Fibre between Cisco & EtherREGEN?

I’ve been using a 10m run of dubious-spec ethernet cable from my router to ER, and wanted to try the latter’s fibre-optic port (employing a spare Cisco 2960 between router and ER).

Ordered myself a ‘Cisco compatible’ SFP cable - hoping for an easy plug & play outcome - but alas, the indicator light on the Cisco’s fibre port sadly fails to light up. A mode button Cisco reset didn’t help.

Any thoughts from the forum’s switch sages?


For optimal results, the same transceivers should be at both ends : 2960 and ER.

The list of compatible transceivers can be found here :

With defaults settings it’s all just plug and play, you don’t even need to turn off the Cisco switch.

As recently discussed on another Cisco thread, some ‘compatible’ SFPs are blocked by the switch if it detects that they’re not genuine Cisco models. You can log into the switch and override the block, or just buy a genuine Cisco SFP from ebay.

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Non-CISCO transceivers are perfectly compatible, as long as they are really compatible.

The be sure, it is best to choose well renown brands. I chose SWIX. But there are several other brands making compatible and reliable modules.

It’s not that the non-Cisco versions are incompatible, but if the switch blocks them, they will only work if you log into the switch and remove the block. Given that you probably need to buy a console cable and figure out how to do this, it’s probably much easier for most people to just buy a genuine Cisco knowing that it will work in an unconfigured/factory reset switch.

I used several non-cisco transceivers with several cisco switches front the Catalyst family, not only 2960 and 3560. Never had the inconvenience to log to use the console.

I suppose this depends on that depends on firmware versions.

Either your switch has been configured to accept any SFP, or you have been lucky to choose non-OEM SFPs that the switch will accept. I’m suggesting that rather than trusting to luck, the OP buys a genuine Cisco SFP which will work regardless.

This article explains how to configure the switch to accept “unsupported” SFPs if they don’t otherwise work.

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I guess I we were lucky then We always bought SWIX modules

this is the wiser thing to do, of course.

Thanks for the article Chris. My Cisco is an old 2960G so it is likely a 3rd party compatibility issue.

Genuine Cisco SFP cables look too pricey for such a whimsical experiment. Perhaps there does come a time in a man’s life when he must learn to console his Cisco (but I’d be doing it from a Mac, which seems like an additional headache).

you can use the MacOS built in terminal.
You’ll easily find the procedures with a quick google search.

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Thanks - although typing commands in Terminal always spooks me slightly. I guess worst case is I brick an old switch that I no longer use anyway.


Don’t worry, you won’t do any harm to your switch :smile:

Even if I do, I won’t be inconsolable :woozy_face:

Have a look on ebay, you can pick up genuine Cisco SFPs for next to nothing.

I have the Etheregen too and tried cascade switches before.
2 cascade Ciscos sounded better than one.
With the ER, I found that adding the Cisco deteriorates the sound. ER alone sounds better.
However I have not tried SFP.

Yes, I’ve had exactly the same experience, which is why I now have 3 Ciscos sitting in the spares cupboard (one with SFP port).

Wanted to try the ER’s SFP link simply to check I wasn’t missing out on a possible SQ upgrade, but that was before I realised I’d be faffing around with console cables etc…

Meanwhile, an Uptone JS-2 LPS arrived in yesterday’s mail. Will report findings on the ER / LPS thread. (Hint: I like it!)

I don’t think you would necessarily have to get a console cable.

Just get Cisco SFPs/fibre e.g. from fleabay…?

Correct, if you use genuine Cisco SFPs and your switch is set to factory defaults, it will work.

Yep, probably sound advice, but I’ve already paid for a cable, so Plan A is to try to configure it via console.

If it works I’ll be rather impressed with myself. If not, there’s always Plan B.

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