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Where to buy Console Adapters and Cables
(updated: Jan 22, 2008, 09:21 am)

Back when I was starting these pages, I began working at Synopsys, and we would buy Ethernet cables with serial number labels on each end. The cables were also color-coded to the networks, and for serial consoles. The serial number encoded the color, length wiring diagram, and a unique serial number. I bought them from Americable, which later merged to become APA Cables and Networks (

You can see some pictures of my handiwork in chapter 6 of the book "The Practice of System and Network Administration", by Thomas A. Limoncelli, Christina J. Hogan, and Strata R. Chalup, published by Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-321-49266-8.

I worked with Steve Vacik, to develop the schematics for various adapters for a variety of console servers. This was a benefit for many large data centers. I still recommend APACN (Steve is still there) for folks who can buy in larger quantities.

Finding a source for cables and adapters for smaller quantities, who will accept credit cards or PayPal for transactions, has been MUCH more difficult. Some companies will say they are selling a Cisco or Cyclades adapter, but they are unwilling to confirm the wiring inside, so I cannot be sure, and so I cannot recommend any (so far). As a result, I've been putting more adapter schematics on the website, so that you can make the few that you might need. But if you have more than 25 adapters to make, I still encourage you to find a good vendor, and have them make them, and label them. You'll thank me later.

If you find any errors on these pages, have comments for me, or if you have additional information that you feel that I could include, please send email to consoles at Are you curious why I do keep up these pages? I've also started a ConsoleTeam blog, as a place to put ideas for which I'm not ready to create a dedicated page.



Digi sells most their adapters through CDW, in packs of 8. Use the Digi part numbers (when given) to search for the 8-pack items on the CDW pages.

Clearfield Communications (formerly APA Cables and Networks, pre-formerly Americable)

800.422.2537  f) 763.475.8457
5480 Nathan Lane
Plymouth, MN  USA  55442
contact: Steve Vacik

If you need to buy in large quantites, Clearfield Communications can provide any of these adapters, and any of the cables in any lengths you want, even if there isn't an equivalent APACN part number listed on my pages. They can also pre-lable the cables with unique serial numbers, which has been especially helpful for me.

Steve Vacik also created some "Adapter Kits", which included one of a variety of adapters, and some cables, as a way to equip field technicians with a ready set of adapters for a particular vendor. These kits are detailed below.

Annex Kit for Xylogics and Bay Networks microAnnex
Cisco Kit for CiscoSystems, Lantronics, Logical Solutions, and many Juniper Networks devices
IOLAN Kit for the Chase Research (now Perle) IOLAN RackPLUS

Xyplex Kit for the Xyplex 1600/1800, iTouch In-Reach line, and MRV 

Cyclades, Avocent 


The Cyclades part ID convention is that the prefix ADB means an adapter (an RJ45 female and the appropriate DB or DE connector), while  CAB means an RJ45 male connector on a roughly 3YY' "silver satin"-type cable to the appropriate DB or DE connector.  The numeric part of the number indicates the wiring, and the DB or DE connector type. (So, a CAB0036 and an ADB0036 would have the same schematic, if you use a straight-through Ethernet cable on the ADB0036.)  They seem to use "Cross" when they are making the DB/DE connector a DCE interface, and "Straight" means the DB/DE connector will look like a DTE interface. The word "converter" means an adapter.

Not all adapters have a cable equivalent from Avocent. There are the parts that I've been able to order in the past. I'm not sure if Avocent may be adding or subtracting from this list.

Adapters Cables Cyclades description Output signals when connected to an ACS
ADB0017 CAB0017 RJ45 to DB25F Cross Cable/Converter DB25F outputs on pins 3, 5, 6, 8
CAB0018 Cat-5 Ethernet cable, 7'
ADB0025 CAB0025 RJ45 to DB25 M Straight Cable/Converter DB25M outputs on pins 3, 5, 6, 8
ADB0036 CAB0036 RJ45 to DE9F Cross Cable/Converter DE9F outputs on pins 1, 2, 6, 8
ADB0037 RJ45 to DE9M Cross Converter DE9M outputs on pins 1, 2, 6, 8
ADB0039 RJ45M to RJ45F Sun/Cisco Cross Converter
CAB0045 RJ45M to RJ45M Sun/Cisco Cross Cable
CAB0046 RJ45M to RJ45M Cyclades Cross Cable (Null-modem cable between Cyclades units)
ADB0200 RJ45 to DE9F Straight converter DE9F outputs on pins 3, 4, 7

The schematics for the adapters listed here (and many others) can be found on my Cyclades Console Connection Guide.

NOTICE: Most of the pages, articles, and tutorials on this website are copyrighted works. You may make 'deep links' to various pages. (If you let me know which page(s) you are linking to, I'll let you know if I move the page(s) during updates.) Please send me email if you wish to republish any material, or use it on your own website.

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