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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

Hi Guys.

Since signing up with PlusNet, I have been reading the odd article regarding the unsuitability of ADSL over aluminium wires.

This worries me as I've just discovered that the BT wires coming from the outside world are silver. leading me to believe that they are in fact aluminium as opposed to copper.

Am I correct in believing that aluminium are not particularly suitable for use with ADSL?

If this is the case, what's the chances of getting BT to change the wire? Also, do they charge for this?

If I'm only gonna be getting a sub 1mb connection due to the existence of the aluminium wires, then I'd sooner look for a cheaper 512kb package if one even exists.

I'd appreciate your views.
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Regards
Ripperoo
18 REPLIES
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

Unfortunatly, BT would charge for this.

However, fi or not it will be an impact on your connection will depend. Alluminium will increase the requirment to be closer to the exchange for service, but it doesn't prevent it from working.

If you are suffering from problems, the first steps are to make sure your setup is OK and that your internal wiring is not to blame.

If this is all OK, does your modem provide any line statistics?
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

Thanks acarr

> Unfortunatly, BT would charge for this.

Ho hum! Any idea how much?

What if someone vanadlised the line to the pole? Would they then replace it FOC (using copper)?

> Alluminium will increase the requirment to be closer to the
> exchange for service, but it doesn't prevent it from working.

Ahhh, so it won't be a total loss then?

According to "SamKnows", I am approximately 1.78km from the exchange (straight line distance).

Should this be close enough? Also, will the speed the line is capable of be limited by the aluminium wires?

> If you are suffering from problems, the first steps are to make
> sure your setup is OK and that your internal wiring is not to blame.

No problems as of yet. Still waiting for line checks, activation etc. Sad

> If this is all OK, does your modem provide any line statistics?

Dunno know yet I'm afraid (it's a speedtouch 330 if that's of any use).

Sorry for all the questions. Sad

Thanks.
--
Regards
Ripperoo
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 12-04-2007

Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

Quote
What if someone vanadlised the line to the pole? Would they then replace it FOC (using copper)?


LMAO :lol: I can hear the cell door slamming shut behind you!!! :twisted: Ya vandal!! Tongue j/k
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

A similar incident occurred about four years ago, not a million miles from where I'm sitting now.
Customer who had been with NTL was returning to BT, but knew that the BT line from the pole to the house was as crappy as NTL's customer services.
Customer reached out of upstairs window with telescopic branch pruner and shortened BT line so that it would no longer reach the house.
BR engineer arrived to reconnect service.
"What the ***Huh?"
"Dunno mate - I guess those cable cowboys must have cut it when they put their line in."
One nice shiny new line. Smiley
jabb0
Grafter
Posts: 716
Registered: 18-09-2007

Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

nice one :lol: Now where did i put those scissors :?
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

FYI

Colour coded "dropwire" was intoduced in the Eighties as "Dropwire No9" which was about 4mm in overall diameter and had 4 wires, Orange, White, Green and Black. This was rapidly superceeded by "Dropwire No10" which has the same 4 conductors but also contains three high tensile wires (red or yellow) for added strength. Overall diameter is about 7mm.

Prior to that, the dropwire would have been Dropwire No6 which was a figure of 8 wire about 3mm x 6mm so looks like a thick bell wire but contains copper coated steel wire. Even older is Dropwire No3 which was also figure of 8 but about 2mm x 4mm but that was discontinued in the early 70's. There are also "monster" dropwires No 4 or No 8 which have extra thick insulation for proximity to high voltage lines and trees etc.
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

Very informative Gary, Thanks.

> This was rapidly superceeded by "Dropwire No10" which has
> the same 4 conductors but also contains three high tensile wires
> (red or yellow) for added strength. Overall diameter is about 7mm

It would appear from the info you supplied that I probably have "Dropwire No10". The outer cable itself is black and approx 5mm thick and has orange, white, black, green and 3 x Yellow wires.

Do these "Dropwires" come in alumunium as well as copper or is the wire type determined by the number of the "dropwire"?

Many thanks.
--
Regards
Ripperoo
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

Drop 10 and 11 conductors are copper, only the supporting wires are steel.
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

Well, according to the ADSL line checker thingy over at "Prodigy", I got the following results:

=================================================
ADSL Line Check

Telephone Number : ***********
BT Exchange : ********
Real Time Check : No

Line Speed Capabilities
Rate Adaptive (250k and 500k): Green
Fixed Rate (1000k and 2000k): Green

250k, 500k, 1000k and 2000k speeds are all available on this line.

Higher speeds upto 8000k may also be possible on this line when
available on this exchange.

Line Status
This looks like a normal BT exchange line with no ADSL enabled.

Exchange Status
This exchange is fully enabled for ADSL.
=================================================

Does the above look promising with regard getting the full 2mb speed?

BTW, progressed to the "Activating your line" stage. Yey!!!
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

I checked mine on there and it says i can only get 512Kb, but i know 2Mb is available because next door have it.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

Just because next door have 2MB does not mean your line will support it. I'm sure someone else will elaborate on this for me and make far more sense than if I did it!
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

"i know 2Mb is available because next door have it."

Don't bank on it.

Your line goes from the house to the pole, from the pole to a green box somewhere down the road, then from the green box to the exchange.

Between the green box and the exchange, your line may take a completely different route to your neighbour's. This is the case here - I'm an upstairs flat, and in the old days when you could simply dial a BT engineer's number (I think it was 17071) and hit the appropriate buttons to check your actual line length, my downstairs neighbour and I both did this. The result for mine was about 0.5 km longer than for his and, sure enough, when broadband came around, he got the OK for 2 Mb whereas I can only get 1 Mb - with a local attenuation figure of 52.5 on mine, I'm way over the limit for 2 Mb.
glynh
Dabbler
Posts: 16
Registered: 31-08-2007

Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

Looking at my incoming line, I have a 'Dropwire No10', which is copper and terminates in a small white box (about 2" x ".5"). This is situated under the NTE5 box.

Two wires then go from the small box to the NTE5 box, which, looking at them are silvery and I guess Al.. Do you think that such a short length (6") of Al wire would affect attn very much? (I guess not but was just wondering).
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Oh Dear! Aluminium Wires??

The Drop 10 was designed to be able to terminate directly on the LJU master socket however alot of the time they do terminate in a little joint box where it will change to white CW1308 6-wire for internal wiring.

Without seeing what you class as AI I cant comment but internal wiring was a bane to me when helping out friends and family sort out their DIY messes.