Once I had my trusty signal tracers, it was a matter of 10 minutes to find the proper USB settings, COM port configuration in my terminal emulator, and start the reconfiguration process. Blinky lights will save you time, every time. Good quality signal tracers are worth a high cost, because they will save you time often, and serve you well for many years. One day, blinky lights will probably save my life...
So, having solved Problem #1, and with kit in hand, I tackled Problem #2;
Years ago, a couple of hundred APC smart power strips (OK, "0-RU, metered Power Distribution Units") were installed in a data center. Fast forward to last week, when one unit is failing to respond to SNMP after a high-temperature 'event' in the room. Since it was in critical service, we wanted to try using the serial console to see if the brains were still alive. Unfortunately, nobody could find a serial cable for the job, and APC doesn't want folks making their own cables so APC doesn't post any signaling clues. I did find one website with clues about the wiring for the 940-0144 cable.
The clues indicated that the 6-pin RJ-14 interface was, indeed, RS-232 (and not TTL, for example), I could do some experimenting. A new toy in my Doctors Bag (not in the pictures (yet), is a MODAPT from Siemon. With this, and my trusty Digital Volt Meter (DVM), I was able to confirm some signalling that wasn't mentioned in the LuxNET web page.
Pin1 -2v (in reference to Pin2)
Pin2 GND (0v potential to Pin5)
Pin3 TxD output (-5.5v in reference to Pin2)
Pin4 RxD input (0.2V in reference to Pin2)
Pin5 GND (0v potential to Pin2)
Pin6 -2v (in reference to Pin2)
I'll update my APC console page and my Signals page soon with some of this information.