Adding a serial port through an RJ45 connector

[Mike Lu] likes to add serial ports to his routers to use for debugging but he didn’t want to drill holes in his new RT-N12. After a bit of head-scratching he thought about repurposing the four unused wires on one of the RJ45 Ethernet connectors. This would allow him to interface with the necessary signals and still have the option of using that port for a network connection. The first step was to build the circuit to output the correct serial levels and connect it to the unused pins on the jack. Next, to separate serial and Ethernet on the outside of the router he build a short adapter cable.

This is an elegant solution if you’re looking for zero case modifications. But if you don’t mind a few inconspicuous holes we love the serial port used on this Dockstar.

Simple way to fix that broken Ethernet cable

Chances are you’ve come across an Ethernet cable where the small plastic tab that holds the plug in place has broken off. We have a crimper on hand and usually just throw on a new RJ45 connector but [Laxap] found a simple alternative to fix Ethernet plugs. By using a couple of correctly sized cable ties you can secure the damaged connector without replacement. The boxy locking mechanism on the end of the cable tie is used as the catch, slimmed down with the help of an X-Acto knife or razor blade. Once you’ve got the right fit, use a second cable tie to secure it to the Ethernet cable. Simple is brilliant.

[Thanks Password]