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Aug 9th, 2007
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I am currently studying for my CCNA. I have done the courses, and as they say, I need practise, practise, and more practise.


I have been able to obtain 2 3600 routers, 3 2600 routers, and 2950 switches. All of these are in good working order.


I have been reading a lot about creating a home lab, especially if I wish to progress to the CCNP later, but I am struggling to find any diagrams, configurations and the worst one is cables.


I have a mixture of serial connections on all routers, which are either WIC1/T or WIC2T, and these can be swooped around.


Can someone please advice me on how to connect my switches and routers using the serial ports, and where I can find the correct cables (DCE/DTE) as I am having problems sourcing them.


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Edison Ortiz Thu, 08/09/2007 - 07:59
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The routers will connect to the switch from their ethernet port to the switchport by using a regular CAT5,5e,6 cable.


As for DCE/DTE cables, the best source for cheap prices would be eBay.


Go to ebay.com and enter DCE/DTE Cables in the search field and you will find plenty of auctions. Choose the length that will accomodate your needs. I find the 6 footers to be the ideal length for labs. Make sure to get the DB60 Male/Male kind as they have the correct pinout for your serial card.


The cable will be marked as DCE on one end and DTE as the other end. The router connected on the DCE end must have the clock rate command under the interface so there can be communication. In other words, the clocking is controlled by the DCE device, without clocking the serial line will be down.


HTH,


dobsonl1954 Thu, 08/09/2007 - 08:12
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Hi EdisonOrtiz,


I thought I could do that with the net work interfaces.


However, I wanted to use the serial interfaces as that was what everyone seemed to mention for the CCNA/CCNP studies.


As for the cables, I have tried my organisation cable suppliers, and they say they would struggle to get them.


I feel I will use the ethernet ports, as I have spent quite a lot of time researching this.


Thankyou for a swift and a acceptable resolution.


LLoyd

Edison Ortiz Thu, 08/09/2007 - 15:48
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Lloyd,


You can use the cables I suggested for your studies. It will enable you to connect the routers via the serial interfaces in a back-to-back fashion.


I went thru the same thing, getting cables thru a regular cable supplier may be harder than getting it thru eBay.


These cables are mostly build for study/lab purposes and cable supplier do not cater those kind of customers.

dobsonl1954 Fri, 08/10/2007 - 00:25
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That seems to be the reason why I thought my suppliers were having me on.


At least that puts my mind at ease as I now that they do exist.


Thanks for this.


LLoyd

pstebner1 Thu, 08/09/2007 - 08:00
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You can connect router to router (serial port to serial port) using a T1 crossover cable. You can make this by simply crossing 1,2 to 4,5.

The switches must be connected to routers using ethernet interfaces on the routers.


HTH,

Paul

dobsonl1954 Thu, 08/09/2007 - 08:19
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Hi Paul,


Thanks for this.


Does this mean that if I connect each router into the switch, I will be able to get a simulated LAN/WAN environment good enough for CCNA practice?


Thanks for your assistance.


LLoyd

pstebner1 Thu, 08/09/2007 - 09:54
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Hey Lloyd-

You could definitley manage to come up with a good practice environment with that gear.

Do you have 2 or 3 routers? How many switches?

An example would be:

switchA -> routerA fa0/1, RouterA S0/0 -> RouterB S0/0 via T1 crossover, RouterB ->switchB via RouterB fa0/1. If any router has multiple fast E ports you could hook another switch up.


OR you could segment a switch into 2 different VLANs, for example:

int FA0/1 - 12 are access ports for VLAN 10

and FA0/13 - 24 are access ports for VLAN 20.

Then you could hook any of 1-12 up to a fast e port on router A and any of 13-24 up to a fast E port on router B. Then A and B can still be connected via T1 crossover, and they 'virtually' have their own switches.

These are just a few examples.

Tell me what you have and I'll/we'll be happy to help out.


HTH,

Paul

dobsonl1954 Fri, 08/10/2007 - 00:30
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Hi Paul,


I have not reached VLANs as yet, but this sounds great.


I have 3 2610 routers running IOS 12.3, and 2 3600 routers running IOS 11.??, (I have not tried to upgrade the IOS yet). I also have 2 2950 switches.


Thankyou for the support and ideas, this has now added a new dimension to my studies.


Thankyou again.


Regards


LLoyd

dobsonl1954 Fri, 08/10/2007 - 00:22
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Hi Paul,


That seems to be the reason why I thought my suppliers were having me on.


At least that puts my mind at ease as I now that they do exist.


Thanks for this.


LLoyd

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