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B1izzard

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CIsco router serial switch box

Anyone ever seen or know if there is a serial switch box for Cisco routers?  I have 5 test lab routers that I'm constantly setting up and blowing out and am having to constantly swap serial cables around.  I'm looking for something that will allow me to connect the regular DB-9 female / RJ-45 Cisco cable to the box, then from the box to the routers (hopefully being able to use the standard router cables as well since I have many).  
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JoshuaJE

So you are saying you are having to constantly console into various routers, disconnecting and reconnectiong the DB9 - RJ45 console cable?
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There is a way out but spend little money on it.
get all console cables ready and get few convertors
1. First switch will go on exisiting serial port
2. Get a parallel to serial port converter and connnect your 2nd switch
3. Install another serial port in PC (link below). Connect your 3rd and 4th switch
4. Get DB25 to serial port converter and connect your 5th switch with it.
5. if you dont have DB25 but have spare PCI slot then get another serial port card as above.

you need to have separate console cable connected with each switch. In this way you can connect to any switch without connecting disconnecting cables.
http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?hl=en&biw=1276&bih=599&q=serial+port+buy&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=4231212655191656867&ei=QogeTebTFMOLhQeP1Jm3Dg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDUQ8wIwAg#
Buy this card to get two extra serial ports in your PC.
If I read your post correctly, you're wanting to connect the console ports of your routers to a switchbox that then connects to your one serial port?

This type of setup was used quite often back when lab equipment was in the classroom. The equipment was racked at the back of the room and the console cables were run to the students desk and they could switch between the different consoles.

The only problem is that you may have a hard time finding one of these boxes with more than four ports.

http://www.trianglecables.com/4waydb9mansw.html

But if you look, you may find one. Search on "serial switch box".

But before you do that, check ebay for used 2511. They usually go for way more than a serial switchbox, but you could get lucky. And if you're going to doing a lot work with this equipment, it's a MUCH better solution than a switchbox.
2600 series router has already been mentioned above...

The 2500 series is no longer supported by Cisco, and you may have a hard time trying to find it, besides it's out dated, and may not support certain features.
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There is a significant difference in the cost of the solutions. The 2610XM with an NM-16A would cost (at best) around $250. The 2511 would be available for about $100.

And finally, the 2511 is a fixed configuration router. There are no modules. So there is no "asynchronous module" required.
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I am intrigued by the terminal server idea, but wasn't thinking of spending that much.  Can this be done with a 2501?  I have one of those laying around.  

softwaresoft:  Thanks for pointing out the obvious.  I suppose I could just buy 2 more dual port serial cards and be done with it.  
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>Can this be done with a 2501?

No. On the 2500 series, only the 2509, 2510, 2511 and 2512 have this capability and of those, only the 2509 and 2511 have ethernet interfaces (the 2510 and 2512 have Token Ring LAN interfaces). Your cheapest option on this path would be a 2509 (which has 8 async serial ports).

This is called (terminal server  Or  Console Server)
this is a very important not only for labs, but for production network, as you are able to manage your devices out of band (OBM) and even on the console ports/ thus is as having connectivity as if you were physically next to the device
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Thanks everyone.  I have more options than I know what to do with, but that is a good thing.