3Com Total Control documentation


I have "inherited" several 3Com Total Control racks that are used to
provide dial-up service to rural areas.

The racks have been running in auto-pilot for several years now and
the last tech's comments with regard to the racks was along the lines
of "I don't know".

I would like to regain control over the network as recently the
outages are becoming more frequent and extended and we don't usually
know about it until customers call the support line a week later.

Decommissioning the racks is not currently an option as there are no
other reasonable alternatives for internet service (other than
satellite). The ISP being an marginal area provider is also short in

I'm having a hard time finding documentation, firmware updates or
support for these racks.

As far as I can tell, the current owner of the product line is
UTStarCom in China, but their website does not make any reference to
the product.

I also found a company that sells the equipment and provides support
contracts, WRCA, but their pricing is out of the budget range for the

I am hoping that some of you who used to work with this equipment may
still have documentation CDs or firmware updates stored away

I'm looking for any documentation, firmware updates and some help
figuring out which NAC goes with which NIC.

Or perhaps you can suggest other companies that provide support for
the equipment at more reasonable rates.

I would be willing to setup a public repository to help other admins.


My sympathies to your unfortunate situation. The last tech probably doesn't want to be bothered...that's a management issue. A PortMaster 3 may solve your problems.

I looked at 3Com Total Control about 15 years ago but know nothing about it. We employed US Robotics rack-mount chassis paired with Xyplex terminal servers. That was replaced with the Livingston PortMaster 3 (later bought by Lucent). Each PortMaster 3 connects to two T1 lines and a 10BaseT Ethernet, supporting 48 users. Use RADIUS authentication and you're all set.

You can probably pick up some of those for a hundred dollars.

You will need to learn about T1 phone lines and RADIUS.

Best regards,

matthew black
california state university, long beach

By the way, a simple Google search of "3Com Total Control" yields this as the first result:



I've always been a fan of the Lucent MAX series.

In fact, I have a MAX 60xx sitting in my garage (bought it as a reminder of what I used to do). Great little boxes, v.90 with the right cards, and fairly easy to manage at the same time. They're cheap, plentiful, and quite a few people can help you manage them (I built my first dialup ISP with these).

I do second the use of a Portmaster 2 or 3. They're getting up there in age, but I do believe one of the ones I deployed late 90s is still chugging along for ISDN use. :slight_smile: