Tools for the TEKS

Integrating Technology in the Classroom

Article Archive
Technology Workshops
ListServ Archive
Feedback
Tools and Techniques
My Homepage

How to make an ethernet crossover cable

by Wesley A. Fryer
Last updated Monday, November 11, 2002

If your computer has an ethernet port, one of the fastest ways to transfer information to another computer (with an ethernet port) is through a crossover cable. A crossover cable is different from a standard patch cable used to connect your computer to an ethernet hub. The easiest way to obtain a crossover cable is to buy one, but it is more expensive if you already have access to the supplies / equipment for making regular patch cables. Now that home networking is more common, stores like Best Buy and Circuit City carry crossover cables, along with computer stores like CompUSA.

If you want to connect two firewire equipped Macintosh computers, you can use a firewire cable instead of a crossover cable and ethernet. For more info visit http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n58583.

Making your own crossover cable

The second wiring sequence below has worked for me for probably 20-30 crossover cables I have made. I have received several reports from people who have had trouble with this wiring sequence, however, and have had to use a different one. I have included another suggestion first (before the one I have been using) and links below my suggestions for your use: if my suggested sequence does not work, try one of these before you get frustrated. For clarification on why this first wiring sequence has worked for me (but is not entirely accurate) read this detailed explanation by David Feany of Motorola.

The table and graphics below show the unique wiring sequences required to create an ethernet crossover cable. To make this cable, you will need CAT-5, non-plenum ethernet wire, RJ-45 (ethernet) male connectors, wire cutters, and a crimping tool for RJ-45 connections. You can purchase these supplies a lot of places, but a good source in many areas is Greybar Electric.

A crossover cable works on both Macs and Windows computers. It can also be used to directly connect your computer to a printer that has an ethernet port.

The standard crossover cable(t568-b) is as follows:

End 1
End 2
Brown
Brown
White-Brown
White-Brown
Green
Orange
White-Blue
White-Blue
Blue
Blue
White-Green
White-Orange
Orange
Green
White-Orange
White-Green

(Thanks to Dave Rowan for this sequence)

Alternatively you can use the following color sequence: (Thanks to Steffan Heydon for the graphics and sequence):

Tips:

  • If you are connecting two Windows computers, after connecting the crossover cable to each one you must restart if the computers are not already setup for a network logon and file sharing. Make sure file sharing is turned on on at least one of the computers, and the CLIENT FOR MICROSOFT NETWORKS is selected in the network control panel of each one. Make sure the workgroup names in each network control panel are exactly the same, or you'll have to click ENTIRE NETWORK to find the other computer. This is not a problem, but it is easier if the workgroups are set the same.
  • If you are connecting two Macintosh computers, you do NOT have to restart. You need to change the Appletalk connection in the Appletalk control panel to ETHERNET, however. (for Macs with Open Transport, which is included in OS 7.5.5 and later, but can run on OS 7.1 and later). Non-Open Transport Macs use the "Network" control panel to switch Appletalk protocols. You may need to change the Appletalk setting to ethernet on both macs simultaneously, to get them to recognize each other and that an ethernet connection is available / possible. More info about setting up Macintosh file sharing is available.
  • If you are connecting a Macintosh computer to a Windows computer, one of the computers will need special software to share files with the other one. The easiest technique is to install DAVE or MACSOHO software on the Macintosh (fully functional demos are available). You can alternatively install TSTalk on the Windows computer, but I recommend installing DAVE on the Mac. Only one computer needs special softwware, the other one will use it's normal file sharing protocol

Other links for making a crossover cable (I couldn't get my crossover cable to work using these links, but maybe they will help you if your network configuration is different):

Good Networking Links:


Tools for the TEKS home | Article Archive | Technology Workshops
Mailing List | Feedback | Tools and Techniques | Technology Idea Exchange

Contact me using this webform.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Banner 10000026