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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

I have just ordered the Broadband easy start and wondering about the set up of microfilters in my house. I have two telephone wall sockets at home:
1) has a telephone and an extension which then subsequently splits into a phone and the computer (currently have dial up internet access)
2) the other socket has a splitter - one goes to a phone and the other has an extension which connects to Sky tv. This socket also has a monitored burglar alarm.
My question is two fold - firstly what do i do with the microfilters ? Do they just go into the wall ? Do they both take a phone line and an extension ? :?
With the burglar alarm - I am told that I need the company to add a microfilter to the burglar alarm which would cost me £40 for the filter - is this something that I can find cheaper elsewhere and do they stick inside the alarm box or plug into the wall.......?
All a bit confusing and daunting - basically I don't want to be reqiring extensions all over the home which are laid under carpet for the most part ! Any advice gratefully appreciated. Smiley
36 REPLIES
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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

Read this link
http://users.plus.net/tutorials/?id=13
and the link at the end of it concerning alarms.
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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

I did thanks - but by my reckoning I need 4 filters - and will only be supplied 2 free with my starter pack - and as for the burglar alarm - I am just not techy enough to understand the explanation, and will probably have to buy one more filter and give it to ADT to put it in somewhere (no idea where!) apart from knowing that it can be done. I am trying in advance to be prepared and have instant adsl connectivity when the modem is delivered and the line is actiivated.
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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

4 filters and possibly 5 automatically starts bells ringing (excuse the pun if you know whats coming).
Each device connected to a phone line has a REN value. Normal phones, Skyboxes and dial-up modems have a REN of 1. You are allowed a maxium REN of 4, above which phones may not ring or even ring continuosly. So, how many devices do you have that will connect to the phone line, EXcluding the DSL modem and Alarm??
Is the connection from the Alarm wired directly into the phone master socket or an extension socket or, which will make things easy, plugged into the master/extension socket ?Huh
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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

Hi - I have three phones, one sky box and a dial up modem (inside the box) - and have had for years and all seem to work fine. Of course the phones are engaged when I am connected to the internet presently. My ADT alarm is as far as I can see wired directly into the phone master socket - or what I believe one of the two master sockets are in the house. Any thoghts ? I am still in a quandry about number of filters I need and not wanting to require new extensions all over the home which are laid under carpet for the most part
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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

Ok, so you actually have 5 devices plus the alarm.
In reality, that is above what BT recommend. Anyhow, not every modern device actually has a true REN value of 1, normally below, so that is why you are getting away with it. (5 x 0.8 = 4). Old phones with bells had a true REN of 1.
However, should you complain to BT about phones not ringing, they will simply say you have too many devices attached.

You can only have one master socket per line into the premises. You will need to determine which is the master socket by tracing the line coming in from outside. The master socket has to be the first socket box after the line enters the premises. Any other socket boxes will be extensions. You need to know which one is the master socket, as you cannot do anything with the master socket, only BT can touch it internally (legally). Determine if it is actually the master socket the alarm is wired into before proceding (or an extension, as explained above. Note, if BT fitted the extension, both master socket and extension may have the BT logo on, or in fact neither.)

In the meantime, obtain another 3 DSL filters. (4 is better, always worth having a backup)
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=25583
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Bit clearer

Well, I've mapped it all out on paper and am a little clearer now...:
(1) Upstairs there is the Master Socket with a doubler to which a phone is connected, and an extension to which another phone and the dial up modem in my computer is connected (which I presume will be replaced by the ADSL modem).
I guess here I need a filter in the doubler for one phone and then another filter at the end of the extension into which the other phone and modem will go into
(2) Downstairs there is a BT extension (must be wired in the wall and has a BT logo). Into this the monitored ADT alarm is directly wired in the back. There is also another doubler, one side has a phone connected to it and the other side and extension at the end of which Sky is connected to
I guess here I need a filter in the doubler for the phone and then another filter at the end of the extension into which the Sky will be connected
Does this look right in terms of number of filters ? - I see four in total - phone 1, phone 2/modem, phone 3, and Sky. However I see a fifth microfilter needed - is the same kind of filter ? Which somehow the burglar alarm will fit - I guess directly into the box and which the say cost $40 - though the ones I sawin PC World were £12/13 ? :?
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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

From the explanation of your wiring , I can suggest the following
Assume you will not want any DSL signal downstairs.

Upstairs:
Leave the doubler in the master socket. On one side, add a microfilter into which the phone is plugged. Plug the extension cable running to you PC into the other side of the doubler. At the end of the extension cable running to your PC, add a microfilter. One side to the Phone and the other to the DSL modem.
You can leave the dial-up modem disconnected (and preferably disabled within windows to avoid conflicts) except for when DSL may go down, when you would simply replace the phone with the dial up modem.
So far 2 filters.

Downstairs:
The following assumes you will not want DSL downstairs, otherwise a slight change in wiring would be required.
Plug a microfilter into the extension box. Plug the doubler into the microfilter and then wired from the doubler as you currently have it (Phone & Sky)
So far 3 filters

Alarm:
What you do with the alarm depends on how you feel about doing some wiring yourself and the sort of contract you have with the alarm company and insurance company.
As it is hard wired, you cannot simply plug in a low cost microfilter.
1/The cheapest way, is to add another extension box, put a BT431 plug on the end of the alarm cable and then join the two with a microfilter. This will require some DIY work and could invalidate the insurance reduction you may have or the alarm contract. UK phone wiring is at http://www.wppltd.demon.co.uk/WPP/Wiring/UK_telephone/uk_telephone.html
if you want to try it.
2/ Bite the bullet and get your alarm company to fit the microfilter. This should not invalidate your insurance reduction or warrantee.
3/ Leave it as it is. The modem in the alarm is most probably a simple dial out only and will only be operational when the alarm goes off. That will mean, it should only affect the DSL signal when the alarm is sounding. I cannot guarantee this, but it is worth trying in the first instance. Again, this should not affect warrantee and insurance.

Low cost microfilters can be obtained from the link in the previous response for £1.28 plus postage.

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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

Excellent thanks - Cheesy I have redrawn my 'map' removing the need for one doubler and one filter - per your advice - all makes sense now. You are right I don't want/need DSL downstairs.

As regards the alarm ('simple' dial out), as I am no electrician and I suspect that the warranty would be invlaidated if I fiddled with the connections, I am going to ask them to do the work. They will actually do the work for free during a routine inspection but the £40 they will charge is actually, they say, the cost of the actual microfilter required - which I presume is very much different from the £1.28 ones ? Would you know what the difference is ?

I have ordered some of the cheap microfilters as spares from the site you gave me - its amazing how much cheaper they are compared to PC World even when carriage is added.
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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

Quote
the £40 they will charge is actually, they say, the cost of the actual microfilter required - which I presume is very much different from the £1.28 ones ? Would you know what the difference is ?


The basic circuitry for the filter they will fit will be the same. However, it's a volume of manufacture verses price issue. The £1.28 filters are made in millions, the ADT one , maybe, in hundreds. Also, the alarm one will be considered a special and hence carry a higher margin of profit anyway.
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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

one sky box and a dial up modem (inside the box) - and have had for years

If this applies to your sky box, you are only required to have this connected to 'phone line for first 12 months of contract, or to use red button interactive services. When you are on ADSL, you won't have time! Another REN and doubler you could sacrifice, and welcome aboard.
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Alarm

I use ADT monitored alarm and when having BB installed asked the question the answer came back you dont need it !!!! that was 2 years ago and my alarm monitoring works fine and my BB dosent disconnect !!

Maybe the alarm companies are just getting on the bandwagon If you think about it when do you need the alarm ?? When you are not there therefore what does it matter if your PC or router screws up unless you are PTP ing Gigabytes worth af data !!! hopefully you will never have an alarm event anyway :-)
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Filters

I have now started on PlusNet broadband and so far so good - I can surf like a demon and am very happy. However:
(1) I do have a problem with the microfilters provided though as when I use them plus a doubler, they stick out so much from the wall that I can't fit them behind furniture ! Plus Net did not provide ones which 'hang' from the wall
(2) As per advice above I put a filter into a BT extension socket and then plugged the phone in however the phone now although usable does not ring for incoming calls ? This is after already disconnecting another phone in the house.
Any ideas anyone about using filters and this phone problem ?
Thanks
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

So the phone rings without a filter but does not with a filter. Does the same thing happen on your other phone. If so the filter may be faulty .

Filters are very cheap so why not source one that you can use (i.e. that has a flying lead rather than just plugs into a socket). This will also allow you to prove the PlusNet supplied filters are faulty.

How many phones do you have in the house connected to sockets? And what is the total REN value for all the phones (listed on the phone label underneath.

Are you sure ALL phones. faxes, sky boxes etc are now filtered?
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Micro-filters - setup & home burglar alarms

Yes, the phone rings without a filter and not with. I have not tried the other phone as it works fine and is the one next to the computer which uses the other 'half' of the microfilter. There are actually three phones plus Sky plus monitored (dial up) burglar alarm. I have presently disconnected one phone plus Sky completely until I can source some reasonable flying flead micro filters, so the total REN will be less than four - on the set up prior to switching ADSL on they all worked anyway. I had bought extra microfilters but they will be of no use as they don't have the 'flying' lead. :?