I will be the first to admin but I love finding little things like what I am about to talk to you about. I first found the “SuperLooper” device at a major electronics chain in Nevada on a trip recently. Over the years, we had all accumulated a collection of cables of different lengths, some wired straight through, others wired for crossover and yet others for specialized purposes such as a T1 crossover when you need to cable two CSU/DSU’s together when simulating a T1 or similar connection. The problem is that you never have the right cable when you need it or it isn’t the right length etc.
This is where the SuperLooper line of Adapters can give you the equivalent of a swiss army knife in a very small package. The first group of adapters are for ethernet use. You have one version that is for converting a regular ethernet cable to a crossover cable when you have an interface that doesn’t have auto-MDIX. If you think you may have an interface that isn’t seeing a cable plugged in the way it should, there are adapters that will loopback the end of a cable or allow you to plug directly into an interface to see if it is passing all the right signals. There are versions of both of these plugs for 10/100 and gigabit connections.
When you have those times where you are dealing with either a T1/E1 or PRI/BRI,there is a SuperLooper for that as well. As with the Ethernet versions there are Crossover adapters for T1/E1, PRI and BRI data circuit connections. While you may not need this type of adapter a lot, there are times when you need to connect two of the devices that use this types of connections directly to another one without any intermediate equipment. There is also a loopback version of the SuperLooper for each of these when you want to make sure that either the cabling or the interface on the device you are working with is functional so that you can have the Carrier or LEC address the problem in their facilities. You have probably seen the loopback connector before that is a very small circuit board and a RJ45 connector soldered directly to the circuit board.
The last adapter in the SuperLooper line is one that you should have in your bag of tricks if you only have this one. It is called the Rollover adapter. It allows you to take a regular ethernet cable, putting the SuperLooper rollover adapter at one end and a Cisco RJ45 to DB9-F at the other end and have a console cable ready to go at a moments notice with have only a couple of small nondescript plugs in your pocket. I try to travel as light as possible and use the SuperLoopers help you do just that. Even if you don’t need all of them now, you will probably need one or more of them at some point. I have found that with something like this, it is not if you will need it but when you will need it. While you can make some like this on your own, for the reasonable price of each of these devices, isn’t it a better use of your time to be doing something else instead of custom wiring adapters like these and keeping them correctly labeled?
The only improvement that I can suggest to the good folks at SmartTronix is to offer to buy these in a bundle so that you can get all of them in one package. I keep mine in a Pelican 1010 micro case clearly labeled so that isn’t any confusion as to what is in the case. To buy your own versions of these great little devices, go to www.smartronixstore.com and place an order today !