In our office building, we have a Cisco SRW2048 switch. On the back, it has a serial port for console connections. I would like to connect this console port to my computer in my room.

The switch is located in the network room next to the ethernet patch panel which leads to all of the other rooms. I was wondering if it was possible to use that patch panel to connect to the switch's console port.

Would it work if I used 2 rollover cables? Like, if I connected one from the switch to the patch panel and another from the ethernet port in my room to the serial port on my computer?

If not, is there another way to connect to the switch without running a super-long serial cable along the floor from the network room to my room?

UPDATE: Yes, I know I should be using the web interface (or telnet) to access the switch. I just want to connect to the console port as a learning exercise or, you know, just for fun.

I'm just not sure what cable/adapters to use, since in the lab in school, the router/switches had RJ45 connectors as their console ports and we used rollover cables to connect to them. This switch has a RS232 (serial) connector as its console port and I wasn't sure how to interface with it through the ethernet patch panel.

UPDATE 2: Could I use a rollover cable on one end and a "null modem" adapter on the other?

  • 1
    Why do you want to connect to the console port? Couldn't you just get the switches IP address and connect that way? – Anthony Fornito Dec 12 '16 at 16:14
  • @AnthonyFornito: Yeah, I guess I could. I don't currently know what it is and nmap didn't seem to be of much help, but I could probably figure it out. I mostly wanted to connect to the console just for fun :-) – Rocket Hazmat Dec 12 '16 at 16:15

Use a straight through cable from the console port of the Cisco to the patch panel, and then a rollover from the port in the wall to your computer?


You should be able to connect the console port to the patch panel with a rollover cable.

You must use a standard straight-through ethernet on the other end - NOT another rollover cable.

If it's viable, it would be much simpler to configure the switch with a management IP and SSH/telnet access.

  • How would I connect the other end, though? Is there a straight-through "serial to ethernet" cable? – Rocket Hazmat Dec 12 '16 at 16:27
  • If a direct connection with your RS232-RJ45 cable works in the server room, why would you want to use a rollover (aka crossover) cable at all? – Jens Ehrich Dec 12 '16 at 16:28
  • Also, yes I know I should be connecting to the switch via it's web interface or telnet, but I want to see if I can connect to the console... just for fun! – Rocket Hazmat Dec 12 '16 at 16:28
  • @JensEhrich: Because I wasn't 100% sure what kind of cable I needed to use. In school, the router/switches we used had RJ45 connectors as their console ports and were connected to the PCs with rollover cables. This switch has a RS232 (serial) port as its console and I'm not sure how to connect it to my PC in the other room (since I don't have a laptop I can bring into the server room). – Rocket Hazmat Dec 12 '16 at 16:29

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