I haven't found a guide on the web and am wondering if anyone can point me to a how-to or show me the steps. Basically, I'd like to craft something like this: http://www.amazon.com/CableRack-Rollover-Console-Cable-Cisco/dp/B00GN5OHIW

I have a USB connector, Category-5E cabling and RJ45 jacks. I assume there's some converting that has to be done in the middle to convert the USB's four wires to Category-5E's eight wires.

  • 2
    The Magic™ is the black blob in the middle of that cable where the USB-Serial adapter lives.
    – Ricky
    Mar 17, 2016 at 5:32
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 7, 2017 at 22:03

3 Answers 3


What you are looking at is not just a simple cable, but a USB-to-serial adapter with electronics built in to handle the conversion. It isn't an ethernet cable, and it doesn't require Category-5E. Cisco has had serial-to-serial rollover cables forever, using telephone-grade cable.

If you have a standard Cisco rollover cable, which comes with just about every Cisco device, all you need is a USB-to-serial adapter, and the software which comes with the adapter. This is just those two things combined.


You can do it, all you need is a USB-Serial converter chip, and wiring that in properly with the incoming USB cable and the outgoing cable with the 8P8C connector on the end. You can even buy complete boards which has the chip and assorted power components installed. But the cost for all these approaches are larger than the cost of an off-the-shelf USB-Serial adapter.

  • 1
    You also need some USB software to create a virtual serial port on the PC. Some of those kits include that, too.
    – Ron Maupin
    Mar 17, 2016 at 14:51

Question possibly linked to this

As I wrote in that question, I have personal experience with the mentioned cable, and it works like a charm. It does have an active FTDI chip in the USB end of the cable, since it is actually USB-to-serial and serial-to-consol cable in one.

In regards to using the cable, it is in most cases plug and play, although I've had some issues with older versions of Windows (xp, vista)

I would not recommend wiring that yourself, but I suppose it is possible.

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