The Megapus

2 Apr


I worked at a company that made accessories for telecommunications equipment. Most of the telco equipment still uses deprecated RS-232 serial ports, and so all of their products do too.

At one point, I was tasked with making a device that could send an identical serial port data stream to several devices at once. Shortly thereafter, the Megapus was born.

This crazy device took 1 serial port data stream and a 12VAC power supply and split it out into twenty devices at once.

We considered calling it the Icosapus considering the 20 outputs, but I actually crated the device to be infinitely scalable simply by adding more I/O cards with a power supply every fifth one.

The PCBs (printed circuit boards) I used happened to be unpopulated parts for other products that repurposed nicely after shuffing a few components around. Hence the two circuit boards for each layer of four outputs.

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12 Responses to “The Megapus”

  1. Fub April 3, 2006 at 12:36 am #

    I got here through a post on the MAKE-blog, and I’m quite interested in the circuit you used.
    I use PIC microcontrollers with a built-in serial port. Most motherboards only have one serial port (if at all!) these days, so if I want to hook up more than one microcontroller device to a PC, I’d have to use expensive USB-to-serial chips or converters.
    But with a rig like the Megapus, I could hook ‘em up all together and devise a protocol to adress a single device — the other devices would ignore the datastream that’s not adressed to them.

    Could you give us a bit more detail of the circuitry? Thanks!

  2. xSmurf April 3, 2006 at 8:46 am #

    I’d also be very interested in a more detailed post on this one!

  3. Ruprecht April 3, 2006 at 10:31 pm #

    Also interested in a schematic!

  4. Jaime May 21, 2006 at 8:45 am #

    I can’t image a practical use for such an item, unless individual RS232 ports were selectable or could be cross connected to individual ethernet converters? Just thinking about this from a telecom perspective, where craft interfaces don’t have addresses or anything distinguishable from any other system until you’re actually authenticated.

  5. cyb3r-g33k July 3, 2007 at 11:16 am #

    yer i would like some schematics 4 it 2 plz cus im relly interestd in mking it 2

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