What is a Rollover Cable Used For?

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What is a Rollover Cable Used For?
(network cable image by Radoslav Lazarov from Fotolia.com)

There are various kinds of network cables and various ways to wire such a cable. A rollover cable is a kind of network cable commonly used around the world today. It is an especially useful cable for an ISP or for organisations where advanced routers are in use.

Network Cable Basics

Ethernet cables, such as CAT5 and CAT6 cabling, actually contain multiple wires inside the cable itself. These wires are commonly twisted into pairs inside the cable and then secured, at the ends of the cable, to connectors. The wires can be secured to the connectors in a variety of patterns.

Rollover Cable Pinout

The pattern in which the colour coded wires of a network cable are secured to a connector is called a "pinout." The wires of a rollover network cable are secured to the cable's connectors in a pattern that is the opposite on each end of the cable. This means that the sequence of the wires in one connector are mirrored (reversed) in the other connector.

Rollover Pinout Significance

Having wires that are connected in a mirror sequence enables communication between identical ports without any need for internal switching.

Rollover Cable Use

A rollover cable is most commonly used for connecting a computer to a router's console port. This is generally done by connecting the rollover cable's RJ45 connector to the router and connecting the other side to a DB9 or DB25 adaptor. This adaptor is compatible with a computer's COM port.

Names And Appearances

A rollover cable is usually a flat network cable with RJ45 connectors at each side. The cable is usually a light blue colour. A rollover cable is also called a Cisco console cable since consoling into Cisco routers is the primary purpose for which rollover cables are used.

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