Assembly required! If you are looking for the ready to go version, see the LAN Tap Pro page. This is a great kit for a soldering project.
The LAN Tap is a passive Ethernet tap, requiring no power for operation. There are active methods of tapping Ethernet connections (e.g., a mirror port on a switch), but none can beat passive taps for portability. To the target network, the LAN Tap looks just like a section of cable, but the wires in the cable extend to the monitoring ports in addition to connecting one target port to the other.
- Gather the components. You should have one Throwing Star LAN Tap printed circuit board, four Amphenol RJHSE5080 modular connectors, and two 220 pF capacitors with 0.1 inch lead spacing such as the Xicon 14050P2221KRC. You will also need a soldering iron, some electrical solder, and a pair of wire cutters.
- Insert the four modular connectors (J1, J2, J3, and J4) into the printed circuit board. Be careful that each of the leads extends through the circuit board before snapping the connector fully into place.
- Solder the eight leads of each connector.
- Insert the two capacitors (C1 and C2) through the circuit board. It is helpful to slightly bend the leads on the underside of the board so that the capacitors stay in place when the board is turned over.
- Solder both leads of each capacitor and clip off the excess with wire cutters.
- Clean the flux from the board. Depending on the type of solder used, you might need water, alcohol, or other solvents. A toothbrush can make this job easier. Allow the board to dry before use.
- Use Ethernet cables to connect the LAN Tap (J1 and J2) in line with a target network to be monitored.
- Use Ethernet cables to connect one or both of the monitoring ports (J3 and J4) to ports on one or two monitoring stations. Each port monitors traffic in one direction only.
- Use your favorite software (e.g., tcpdump or Wireshark) on the monitoring station(s) to capture network traffic.
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