Ethernet Products

Crossover Cables

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It is common fact that Ethernet patch cords are used for allowing one device to communicate with another; however there are different kinds of patch cords each with specific uses, the most commonly used being Ethernet crossover cables and Ethernet...

It is common fact that Ethernet patch cords are used for allowing one device to communicate with another; however there are different kinds of patch cords each with specific uses, the most commonly used being Ethernet crossover cables and Ethernet straight through patch cables. The difference between each type of cable is the order of the pairs on the jack this is known as the pinout. There are two standard types of pinout, 568A and 568B, both use all four of the pairs but in different order.

Ethernet crossover cat5e cable or cat6 cable are used for like devices communicating with each other, for example: a PC connected to another PC. PCs communicate by using the 3rd and 6th pins for receiving information while the 1st and 2nd pins are sending information. Because the pins in the mod plug, rj45, on both sides of the connection are serving the same function the Ethernet cable has to crossover the wires. So where on one end of the cable the pattern would be one, two, three, six; the other mod plug would be organized six, three, two, one. Another way to say this is that the rj45 Ethernet crossover cable has 568A configuration on one end while the other end’s mod plug has 568B. Otherwise there would be no connection; it would be like driving the wrong way down a one-way street, two different flows of traffic on a one-way street would result in no movement. Companies typically use bulk cable to connect telephones and computers to network and phone equipment.

Straight through patch cords are generally used when connecting a PC to a switch or hub located in your data room. PCs are set up as a 568B pinout whereas a switch would be set up to have a 568A configuration. Because of this an Ethernet crossover cable pinout would cause them to be operating on the same pairs; however a straight through cable would allow them to communicate.

Some newer switches are able to recognize whether a straight through cable or crossover cable is needed and can adjust to accommodate either one. There is also an adapter that can be plugged onto the end of any cat5 or cat6 cable to switch that end of the cable to the opposite of what it is currently arranged to be. The one adapter will configure a 568A to a 568B or the other way around.

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