I hope this group is somewhat appropriate. I didn't find a better group for this question.
We just got an APC UPS (Smart-UPS 1000VA unit) to power a computer system, one that their supplied software doesn't support. I'd like for the UPS to tell the computer, at minimum, it lost power, and is about to shut down, so the computer itself can go through the shutdown procedure. I found the protocol to communicate with the thing over a serial port, however I can't seem to get the serial port itself to work. Supposedly it works at 2400 bps, 8 bit no parity, and several different websites seem to confirm that. Yet it won't talk to me. I have no problem writing software to talk to it, but it has to speak to me first! It came with a serial cable which the websites say you have to use, and I am using it. The UPS end is nonstandard (it has a 10 pin version of an Ethernet RJ45 plug)
APC isn't helpful. They seem to want to keep how to talk to the thing a secret and the person I talked to didn't seem to happy that I already had the protocol and just needed to talk to the serial port.