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gcninja
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So I have quite a few cisco items laying around and I want to go for network administration. I'm starting my pre-reqs in college for Computer Science and plan to get my N+ and CCNA. Currently here at home I have a few Cisco 1600s, 4 cisco 2501 routers and 1 cisco catalyst 1900 router as well as a cisco vpn pix 501 router. I don't have any console cables but been meaning to pick a few up and use a left over laptop I have to access them. I am just wondering a few things.

1) Is this enough for a decent lab?

2) what more do you suggest? (NOTE: I jsut paid for college so my budgets really tight)

3) what sites do you suggests for learning about running and using one properly?

Thanks for your help!

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I second the use of packet tracer. PM me if you can't find a copy. While its not physical access and hardware, it can do 90% of the things you would do in a real lab setup, sans wires and hardware. Still, be sure to learn how to do the physical configurations, get a serial cable so you can do console stuff, like break the boot sequence, enter ROMmon mode, update firmware, tftp files from the desktop, etc.

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I found the Firewall forums very good when I was studying for my CCNA a couple of years ago. There are lots of important "How to" documents and the senior members are perfectly happy to advise about a physical lab (preferable) as well as Packet Tracer configurations.

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When I did my CCNA, about 4 years ago, the lab used to have a big rack with 6 cisco switches and routers, can't remember precisely what models/types.

There were over 8 standalone computers and the lab was pretty much it. We did however use Packet tracer and GNS3 for training as well.

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I'm looking to get one or two from newegg along with some other stuff otherwise I'd probably order from there, thanks though. I've googled but cant seem to find something, I'll still order one, but in the mean time can somebody tell me how to make a rj-45 to usb for console? I know that with this going analog to digital some Commands may not be possible (so I've read) but until I get the real thing, this should do for now. Plox help

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I'm looking to get one or two from newegg along with some other stuff otherwise I'd probably order from there, thanks though. I've googled but cant seem to find something, I'll still order one, but in the mean time can somebody tell me how to make a rj-45 to usb for console? I know that with this going analog to digital some Commands may not be possible (so I've read) but until I get the real thing, this should do for now. Plox help

Try one of these:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=db9+to+usb&num=50&hl=en&newwindow=1&safe=off&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=8700479207519316635&ei=2nwsTby2HMXflge6kZn1Cg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEoQ8wIwAA#

Just make sure you buy one that has drivers to make the USB port look like a COM port.

Youll probably need one of the rj45 to serial adapters too in order to mate them together on a PC that doesn't have serial ports.

Edited by digip
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Well I have an IBM laptop with a serial port. But until I order and receive a serial cable, I was just looking to make a console to usb by hand if possible.

Would probably be easier to make an rj45 to db9. The hard part would be to match up the pins properly though.

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