Rollover Cables

In order to connect to the console port, you’re going to require what Cisco calls a rollover cable. While these are usually provided with a router, they are also exceptionally simple to create. All that you require is a reasonable length of twisted pair cabling, some RJ-45 connectors, and the ability to remember what rollover means.

The pinouts of a rollover cable are simple to remember because they relate directly to the cable name – the ends of the cable are actually “rolled”, with the pins directly opposite one another in terms of their connections. In that way, pin 1 on one end connects to pin 8 on the other, while pin 2 connects to pin 7, and so forth. There is no need to pay attention to colors when creating a rollover cable. Just ensure that the cables on one end are in reverse order on the other end.

As a best practice, make a point of identifying the various cables you create to avoid confusion. Use different colored cables if possible, or at least consider adding letters such as “X” (for crossover) or “R” (for rollover) to the cable ends using a permanent marker.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.