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CCNA TechLabs: The Hardware

The first two TechExams.Net CCNA TechLabs require a lab setup as described in this document. Each component will be described and shown in picture (click the picture for a larger version). The following network diagram is a logical representation of what we are going to build:

The routers

The routers used in our CCNA TechLabs are 2501 routers, displayed in the picture above. The upper router in the picture shows the back, where you'll find the connectors and, also important, the power switch. The 2501 router is equipped with the following interfaces:

  • AUI - This is a traditional Ethernet LAN port.
  • Serial 0 and Serial 1 - These are synchronous serial WAN ports.
  • Console - This is the management console port.
  • AUX - A modem can be connected to this port to allow 'out-of-band' management.

Serial Connection

The picture on the left shows a V.35 DTE cable with a male DB60 connector and a male standard 34-pin Winchester-type connector. The right picture shows a V.35 DCE serial cable with a male DB60 connector and a female 34-pin Winchester-type connector. As you probably guessed already, the male connector of the DTE cable is attached to the DCE cable's female connector, this is depicted in the picture below. This is known as a back-to-back connection, and 'simulates' a WAN link. In a real world setup, the DTE cable's male connector typically connects to a port on a CSU/DSU provided by a service provider (i.e. telco), which in turn connects to a CSU/DSU at another location, thru a T1 link for example. The DB60 connector connects to a Serial interface on a router.

Ethernet LAN connections

These two small devices are Ethernet Transceivers and are used as an adapter between the AUI interface on the router and a twisted pair cable that leads to the NIC on your PC, a port on a switch, hub, or other router. This is essentially your LAN.

Console cable

This is a UTP roll-over cable with an RJ-45 connector that connects to the Console port of the router. The other end of the cable typically connects to a small adapter with a DB-9 female connector that allows you to connect it to a COM port on a PC. A router that is installed and configured with IP addressing is typically managed using TELNET. The initial configuration is performed thru the management console. Besides the initial setup, the console connection must also be used if you need to perform password recovery on a router.

The End Result

When everything is connected properly, and the power is turned on, it should look like the picture above. Click here for a huge version of this picture.

Configure the router

To configure the router we are going to use HyperTerminal (included in Windows), but most terminal emulators will do. Make sure the console cable is attached to a COM port on your PC and the other end to the Console port of one of the routers.

- Start up HyperTerminal (Start, Programs, Accessories, Communication)
- When the New Connection dialog box opens, enter a description for the connection (i.e. Cisco 2501), select an Icon and click OK.
- Select the COM port to which the console cable is connected and click OK.
- Set the properties of the COM port to: Bits per second 9600, Data bits 8, Parity None, Stop Bits 1, and Flow control None.
- Save the connection and place the shortcut on a meaningful location, i.e. your desktop.

If you turn on the power of the router after you start HyperTerminal and connect, you will see a similar output as shown below:

System Bootstrap, Version 11.0(10c), SOFTWARE
Copyright (c) 1986-1996 by cisco Systems
2500 processor with 8192 Kbytes of main memory

Read the Basic Cisco Router Configuration and Management TechNotes for more information about the router start-up sequence.

If the router is turned on already, and you connect to it, the following output will be shown by default:

Router con0 is now available

Press RETURN to get started.

(Router is the hostname of the router, which can be different.)

If there isn't a startup configuration available the intial Setup dialog will be started, which is like a text-based wizard. In general, you should skip it, and configure the router manually.

If this is 'your first time', or you simply want to check everything, run the following commands at the command prompt and check out the output:

Router> show version

Router> show interfaces

Router> show flash
This shows the flash memory and the IOS file.

Router> ?

Or start right-away with our first TechLab: Configuring a RIP network

Cisco CCNA Labs – Are you looking for additional Cisco Labs? We have Cisco CCNA Labs, Cisco CCNP Labs and Cisco Video Training that you will bring your Cisco routing & switching skills to the next level. Click Here for more Cisco Training!

Certificationkits.com – Experience the real thing, build your own lab. Free study labs and documents, command lists, router/switch procedures, lab suggestions, and more.

Discuss this Lab here
Back to the list of CCNA TechNotes & Labs
Author: Johan Hiemstra


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