How to always have the right length cross over cable on hand!!

While working for a client a while ago, I would have to drive to many locations through out the state to turn up networks or to resolve issues. During an outage I would have to drive up to three hours before arriving to the location with the failure. I used to stock pile pre-made CAT5 cables and fiber jumpers of multiple lengths along with power supplies, SFP’s, SFP+, XFP’s and many spare line cards.


Due to past failures of poorly made CAT5 jumpers, I was not allowed to make my own cables. Due to this, I stock piled as many cables as I could. Unfortunately, I was only allowed to be issues a set amount. Every once and a while I would need a crossover cable. Most of the time, I didn’t have a cross over cable long enough to reach.

My solution to this was a RJ-45 Straight through Barrel. If I needed a 45ft crossover cable, I would use a 45ft straight cable, place the barrel on it, then attach a 6ft crossover cable to the other side of the barrel and now I had a 51ft crossover cable. Then of course I would have to schedule a maintenance window to get the correct cable installed, but my outage was fixed in a timely manor.

Now, I always have a 6 inch crossover cable and a barrel in my bag. I never know when I’m going to need it and it has gotten me out of a bind many times.

What cabling tricks do you use? Let me know!!!


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About Scape

Over 10 Years in the networking field. Have worked in the Service provider and Enterprise environments. I have worked with Cisco, Foundry/Brocade, F5, Riverbed, Scientific Atlanta, Routers, Switches, Firewalls, Load Balancers, WAN Accelerators, DWDM, SONET, Multicast etc...

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