TinyPilot or similar remote KVM suggestion request

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WolfNet

New Member
Jan 18, 2023
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Is there a device out there, like the TinyPilot, which would be able to be used in a remote tech hands situation?

Example: Where I work, I'm often on the HQ end of a tech support call/bridge. We have a field service tech goto a customer site, and may need to connect their laptop to a managed edge router (if they are there, it is likely not working...).

So, field tech has a corp laptop (locked down) using a USB to Serial to router/etc console, then they share their screen (mostly teams, due to security, etc) via a phone hotspot (or alternate wifi), and serial putty session, etc. So this is more remote-to-field-oriented than an in-datacenter oriented use case.

This setup works, but, had many drawbacks.. painful remote media (eg reload firmware), and teams copy/paste issues, plus inability to alter protected windows (eg. local network config for laptop!) etc. Additionally, the field tech may need to hang out like a treestump while we remotely troubleshoot or load software....or they need to connect to different ends of a long extended demarc, etc.

Is there a device out there that could streamline some of this? Like a TinyPilot... but, works either directly using LTE, or, Wifi (to a hotspot, etc). Where the tech could hook up the device, maybe drop off a hotspot, and could go about their day while we take our time?

Device would be primarily just for a remote console connection.. or, a remote web browser (to access webUI devices OOB)?

The only primary concern is security, of course, and a way to access the device remotely over whatever hotspot/lte/dynamic ip used, so some kind of auto-vpn and a central system to establish the remote kvm-like device?

The simplest/least janky/least cabled solution is best here. Just a tool for a field tech's kit. (We would likely purchase a fair number of them, if so.)
 

newabc

Active Member
Jan 20, 2019
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BliKVM or PiKVM on aliexpress.com, if you are talking about KVM and need a HDMI-output to HDMI-input, and also keyboard/mouse remotely. Or you can see the instructions of STH itself or other youtube channels.

Update: Some enterprise server/network equipment channel mentioned this one, but it is Chinese language and it needs a camera to point to the things on-site:
 
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JudMeherg

New Member
Sep 13, 2022
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The PiKVM crew has a kickstarter right now for their V4 KVM that adds LTE to the networking stack. Delivery date states March 2023 which might be an issue for you to get a handful of units. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mdevaev/pikvm-v4

Normally I hate kickstarters, but they have a proven track records with the v3. I personally own a v3 and use the heck out of it.
 

WolfNet

New Member
Jan 18, 2023
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Video is nice to have (the capture like TinyPilot does is an awesome feature) but, in this case video from the premise device is not needed as this is mostly just serial or webUI to network devices.

Basically, I'm looking for something techs can very quickly attach, and leave attached if needed, that allows secure, easy out of band troubleshooting/configuration. Serial terminal is the primary use. Having the ability to run a local browser for webui is a giant plus.

It might even be easier/cheaper if a phone/tablet app could do it using a usb-serial dongle, too. .. or usb-enet for the browser/webui. This, in fact, might be a better solution overall, since it eliminates needing a separate phone or hotspot connection.

I know there are also bluetooth//wifi console adapters, too.. same thing, less wires. The key purpose is to allow the cleanest/easiest/fastest remote config.

Field techs in this case are trained for cable modems and circuit drops etc... hooking up and configuring routers/fw/switches is likely second nature to us here, but, it's just not in most field tech's skillsets or practice. Some never used putty or a usb-serial adapter (COM port..omg!) so we have to do that screenshare too. Etc.

Storytime: Part of my last straw to look into this, was sending a (decent) tech on a site recently to hook up to an industrial LTE modem (config got lost)... in a waterproof box, on top of a ship...while it was raining/sleeting sideways. Poor guy was freezing, wet, and killed his (company) laptop. Keeping the sealed weather box open for an extended time also is really bad.
 

gregsachs

Active Member
Aug 14, 2018
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What about something like this?
Might need to pair it with ethernet/serial device, but this is a self-contained box that phones home over cellular to a vpn cloud, then you connect to it.
Make a small box with unit, small 120/24vdc supply, and potentially a ethernet/serial converter, or talk to ewon about if their usb port can run a serial port for a terminal.