Livingston PortMaster 3

laforge bought three Livingston Portmaster 3 PM3A-1E, which are RAS (Remote Access Server) that
  • terminates one 1E line (30 B-channels)
  • provides ISDN dial-up on those channels
  • provides DSP based modems in case analog modem calls should be handled.

One unit (rbbs-pm3) is part of the Dialup_Network_In_A_Box, another unit (pm3-2) is part of the Colocated_Hub, the third one is at @laforge's basement.

Livingston Enterprises, Inc. was acquired by Lucent Technologies in 1997, so the PM3 was also sold with Lucent branding.


Electronics / Pictures

External pictures

Livingston_Portmaster3_front.jpg Livingston_Portmaster3_top.jpg Livingston_Portmaster3_back.jpg


Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard.jpg Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard2.jpg Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard_top.jpg Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard_bottom.jpg

DSP / Modem Board

There are 6 slots for modem boards, each board typically has 10 soft-modems, resulting in a total capacity of maximum 60 modems (equaling the number of B-channels in 2 E1 PRI links)

Livingston_Portmaster3_dsp_top.jpg Livingston_Portmaster3_dsp_bottom.jpg

PM3-CMP Stac Compression Board

There is a set of expansion headers on the mainboard which, according to the hardware installation guide, can accommodate a "compression or accelerator card". The compression card is model PM3-CMP and allows Stac compression to run on up to 60 channels.


Spare Parts / Mods


The original fan is a Fonsan DFB0812M (DC 12V 0.1A) fan by DELTA ELECTRONICS INC. The specs seem to state 2600 RPM / 24.8 dB(A) / 29 cfm.

I found it too noisy and replaced it with a Noctua NF-A8 FLX with L.N.A (reduced to 1650 rpm / 12.9 dB(A) / 24 cfm)

Fun fact: The PM3 actually seems to have a 5V -> 12V DC/DC upconverter just for the fan - instead of simply using a 5V fan...

Power Supply

One of the PM3A-E1 at laforge had a broken power supply. The original PSU is an ASTEC LPS1112 rated for 5V/22A output (80W convection cooled, 1120W with 30cfm forced air).

It was replaced with a Mean Well LRS-150F-5. Mechanical assembly via a custom adapter plate that was fabricated easily from a small piece of aluminium sheet metal (175 x 102 mm) with a few drill holes.

PM3-PSU-1.jpg PM3-PSU-4.jpg PM3-PSU-2.jpg

Serial console cable

A null-modem cable can be built with the following pin-out:

DB-9 female (PC) DB-25 male (PM3) Suggested RJ45
1 20 1
2 2 2
3 3 3
4 8 4
5 7 5
6 - -
7 5 6
8 4 7
9 22 8


route to different telnet hosts based on called party number

Assuming one wants to use a PM3 to act as modem bank for accessing different [virtualized] BBSs over telnet, the problem is how to route the inbound call to a specific telnet IP address. The non-radius stand-alone configuration of the PM3 only permits either:
  • automatic forwarding of all calls to one global telnet/rlogin host
  • allowing the users to enter the hostname for telnet themselves
  • providing a list of pre-configured telnet destinations to all users (this was used at the 36C3 retronetworking installation, see 36C3)

However, with the Call-Check radius feature, it should be possible to receive the called + calling identity before the call is even accepted, and then in return provide the telnet IP/port to which the call shall be routed.

Details in
  • Page 4-17 of the PM3A Radius for Unix manual
    • PM3A sends access-request with
      • User-Name=SETUP.Calling-Station-Id/No-Call-ID
      • Service-Type=Call-Check
      • Called-Station-Id=SETUP.Called-Station-Id
    • Radius sends response with
      • Login-IP-Host pointing to IP of telnet/rlogin
      • Login-Service=(Telnet,Rlogin,TCP-Clear)
      • Login-TCP-Port pointing to IP of telnet/rlogin
      • Service-Type=Login-User
  • Page 3-4 of the PortMaster Command Line Reference
    • set call-check on
Files (24)
portmaster3_hardware_installation.pdf View portmaster3_hardware_installation.pdf 1.06 MB laforge, 05/13/2019 06:17 PM
portmaster3_configuration.pdf View portmaster3_configuration.pdf 4.36 MB laforge, 05/13/2019 06:17 PM
PM3A-ChoiceNet-Administrator-Guide.pdf View PM3A-ChoiceNet-Administrator-Guide.pdf 669 KB laforge, 10/14/2019 08:43 PM
PM3A-Command-Line-Reference.pdf View PM3A-Command-Line-Reference.pdf 4.41 MB laforge, 10/14/2019 08:43 PM
PM3A-Hardware-Instalation-Guide.pdf View PM3A-Hardware-Instalation-Guide.pdf 1.06 MB laforge, 10/14/2019 08:43 PM
PM3A-PMVision.pdf View PM3A-PMVision.pdf 526 KB laforge, 10/14/2019 08:43 PM
PM3A-Portmaster_configuration-Guide.pdf View PM3A-Portmaster_configuration-Guide.pdf 4.36 MB laforge, 10/14/2019 08:43 PM
PM3A-Radius-for-UNIX.pdf View PM3A-Radius-for-UNIX.pdf 1.77 MB laforge, 10/14/2019 08:43 PM
PM3A-Routing-Guide.pdf View PM3A-Routing-Guide.pdf 1.34 MB laforge, 10/14/2019 08:43 PM
PM3A-Troubleshooting-Guide.pdf View PM3A-Troubleshooting-Guide.pdf 1.62 MB laforge, 10/14/2019 08:43 PM
release39b26-pm3.txt release39b26-pm3.txt 111 KB laforge, 10/14/2019 08:43 PM
PM3-PSU-1.jpg View PM3-PSU-1.jpg 1.64 MB original PSU (left) and custom mounting plate (right) laforge, 02/06/2022 03:13 PM
PM3-PSU-4.jpg View PM3-PSU-4.jpg 2.67 MB PM3 with original PSU removed laforge, 02/06/2022 03:13 PM
PM3-PSU-2.jpg View PM3-PSU-2.jpg 1.38 MB PM3 with new PSU installed, old as reference laforge, 02/06/2022 03:14 PM
Livingston_Portmaster3_front.jpg View Livingston_Portmaster3_front.jpg 516 KB laforge, 02/20/2022 02:55 PM
Livingston_Portmaster3_top.jpg View Livingston_Portmaster3_top.jpg 930 KB laforge, 02/20/2022 02:55 PM
Livingston_Portmaster3_back.jpg View Livingston_Portmaster3_back.jpg 573 KB laforge, 02/20/2022 02:56 PM
Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard.jpg View Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard.jpg 1.65 MB laforge, 02/20/2022 02:56 PM
Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard2.jpg View Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard2.jpg 2.07 MB laforge, 02/20/2022 02:56 PM
Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard_top.jpg View Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard_top.jpg 1.78 MB laforge, 02/20/2022 02:56 PM
Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard_bottom.jpg View Livingston_Portmaster3_mainboard_bottom.jpg 1.46 MB laforge, 02/20/2022 02:56 PM
Livingston_Portmaster3_dsp_top.jpg View Livingston_Portmaster3_dsp_top.jpg 1.45 MB laforge, 02/20/2022 02:58 PM
Livingston_Portmaster3_dsp_bottom.jpg View Livingston_Portmaster3_dsp_bottom.jpg 1.36 MB laforge, 02/20/2022 02:58 PM
pm3-cmp-1.jpg View pm3-cmp-1.jpg 578 KB PM3-CMP board for Portmaster 3 DrDeke, 11/12/2023 01:28 PM

Updated by eloy 17 days ago · 22 revisions

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