Basic Cisco Cable Question

I bought some Cisco switches and routers to make a "Cisco Lab" to practice configuring the ports etc. I took a basic Cisco networking class and went through the steps in the books and so on. I now want to start practicing the things I learned and things in the books in my lab. But I can't remember the first step! I don't remember what kind of cable was used to connect the routers and switches to the back of the computer so I can access the Cisco IOS. I think its like a "console cable" or something like that. Its the cable that connects to the "console" port on the router and the switch. Its wide with a lot of pins. The cables I'm asking about were "official Cisco" cables that were light blue with the Cisco emblem. As far as I know, with my very limited experience, its how you access the IOS with a computer.

Second question: I also don't remember if it went into just a basic "monitor" port on the back of the test computer, or if it was a special port the computers in class had.

Believe it or not the workbooks they gave me don't say what type of cable was used.
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new_to_networksAuthor Commented:
It seems like, with the db25 and the db9, the male end that goes into the computer has different options... I'm not exactly sure which db25 and db9 would go into the back of the pc..... I mean I have a 15 hole extra monitor port.... is that right?
DB9 is your serial port on back of pc - this is what you plug the db9 connector into from the console cable

Then you can use Hyperterminal on Windows XP to connect to COM1(usually) and it will connect to the router
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Here is what you need -

Sorry if I didn't answer your question - do you have a console cable currently or are you looking to get one?
new_to_networksAuthor Commented:
I have two asa5505s and two Cisco 3 layer switches, and I need to connect them to the back of a pc. I'd like to do with my work laptop, a Dell E6510 with Windows 7. I haven't got the cables yet, I want to go buy them right now at an electronics store. So, looking at that rj45 to db9, I mean, I don't have a db9 port on my laptop. Do I need a pc with a with a db9 port? I thought the db9 port connected to the back of the switch, that's where I see the 9 pin port sticking out.
What model are the switches, they're obviously the ones with the DB25 console ports yes?

For laptops with no serial DB9 port you can always get either a USB to serial converter -

Just make sure to get one that has a Windows 7 driver

Here is the kit you need for everything -
Can you post the models of the switches and routers you have please?

Unless you are specifically attempting to manage it this way... you may not need a special cable at all depending on the models.
new_to_networksAuthor Commented:
Ok, so here some attached pictures of the console ports on the switch, router, and my work laptop. The switch is a catalyst 2948g-l3, and I thought I bought 5505 routers but it looks like a 2650, anyways, I need to connect these to my laptop and be able to open com1, if the ports on my laptop see com1, which could be another issue.
new_to_networksAuthor Commented:
I was looking at the ports on the switches here at work, and so I was kind putting some wrong info about the db9 and db25 stuff, sorry about that. The pictures above are what I actually need to connect to.
Those are standard RJ45 console ports, the link I sent the first time is the cable you need

As for connecting to your laptop you still need the USB-Serial converter cable/adapter

That will get you up and running

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new_to_networksAuthor Commented:
Just one last question for clarification- on the router, do I plug into the serial port (it has like 60 holes) or do I plug into the rj45 console port like the switch?
new_to_networksAuthor Commented:
Also, do I have to use the Cisco RJ45 to DB9 cable or can I just use a regular RJ45 to DB9 cable from an electronics store?
Into the RJ45 if you are connecting to the console
The serial port on the router is for connections to other devices like modems etc...
Think you need the Cisco one, its wired specifically for a cisco device
A console cable is wired as a rollover, so pin 1 is wired to pin 8, pin 2 to pin 7 etc


Not sure if a standard RJ45 to DB9 is wired like this, they could be wired straight(i.e. pin1 to pin1, etc...)

See here for more explanation -
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