Configuring a Xyplex 1640 as a terminal server

I have a bunch of networking equipment in my home lab and after a few years I got tired of getting up to move a console cable from one device to the next.

The long term solution for this problem is an access server. Cisco makes the 2509 & 2511 that have 8 & 16 serial ports respectively, but they are still relatively expensive and require speciality cables. Xyplex makes the 1620/1640 Access Server that have 20 & 40 ports respectively.

I purchased a Xyplex MX1640-004 from EBay for cheap. I knew almost nothing about this device beyond the way I wanted to set it up.

Target configuration:
Connect 1640 to my LAN. DHCP is nice but static address is OK too.
Serial lines connect to assorted Cisco switches and routers along with a bit of 3Com gear.

A quick bit of background:
Configurable hardware ports are 0 ... 40
Port 0 is the ethernet port.
Port 1 .. 40 are RJ-45 ports on the back of the device.
The device can be configured by telnet'ing to it if you know the IP address or via serial if you can find a port that is configured to manage the device (hint: check first and last ports) and the serial port configuration (hint: start with 9600 8N1).

Items in RED are values from my equipment - you'll need to substitute values for your equipment.

Items in Green are commands to be entered.

Items in Grey are system prompts or responses.

Device Security:
There are two levels of access: User & Priviledged
Initial connection is User level, the configuration is read-only.
Privileged access allows you to change the configuration. The Xyplex default password is SYSTEM
To get privileged access:
Xyplex> SET PRIVILEGED
Password> SYSTEM
Xyplex>> 

During configuration you can SET most values which will have an immediate effect or DEFINE them which won't use the new value until the device has been restarted.
The device can be restarted via:
Xyplex>> INITIALIZE DELAY 0

How it is supposed to work:
After you've wired and configured the 1640, you should be able to reach the console of any connected device by:
user@host: telnet 192.168.1.98 4600
Where 192.168.1.98 is the IP address of the 1640 and 4600 is the local base port + ( 100 x serial port ).
In this case my local base port had been set to 4000 and I wish to access the device connected to serial port 6.

You set the local base port
Xyplex>> DEFINE IP LOCAL BASE 4000

You may need to know how much memory you have installed:
Xyplex>> SHOW SERVER ALTERNATE STATUS
Look for Installed Memory.

My 1640 has a flashing console port. This indicates that changes have been made to the configuration but those changes have not been saved. Normally, any changes are automatically written within a minute or so and that's the end of it. If you try to reboot the access server before the changes are written you will see this message:
Xyplex -198- WARNING - changed configuration has not been saved
In my case no amount of time was enough to write the configuration. To find out what is wrong I ran:
Xyplex>> SHOW PARAMETER SERVER
Bad news ... in the bottom of the display I see:

Xyplex>> show parameter server

MX1640 V6.1 Rom 4C0000 HW 00.00.00 Lat Protocol V5.2 Uptime: 0 00:20:59
Address:   08-00-87-0F-D0-01   Name:   WCARY3HP             Number:         0
                                                        25 Oct 2012  20:03:34
Check Timer:                       30       Parameter Server Limit:         4
Retransmit Timer:                   5       Parameter Servers:              1
Retransmit Limit:                   3       Rejected Servers:               0
                                            Bad Parameter Messages:         0   
Path: 

Last Update Version:              1EA       Storage State:               Idle
Last Update Date:                           Loaded From:    08-00-87-0F-D0-01
Last Update Time:                                                    WCARY3HP

Name             Address            Version Date              Status   Reason
Local NVS        08-00-87-0F-D0-01      1E8 23 Feb 2011 20:31 Failed   Write   

So a write failed to the NVS before I bought it ... never a good sign. Now the question is: Can this be recovered? The normal approach is to use a paper-clip and reboot the device into a wiped configuration but I have not been able to do that yet.

The next thing I tried was to get a listing of what is on the PCMCIA card figuring I could always move it to my TFTP server and boot from there instead.
Xyplex>> SHOW MANAGER FILES
Xyplex -786- Memory Card Feature disabled