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Fed Up with NTE 5C

pvmb
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Fed Up with NTE 5C

My (and presumably other people's) Openworld NTE 5C socket consumer plate is a frustrating, constant source of erratic, intermittent sporadic crackling. Does anyone have any practical answer to this? After just kicking the [-Censored-] out of it in frustration I can't see anything much beyond:

1. Getting it sand blasted followed by expensive gold electroplating of the contacts

2. Somehow getting the contacts permanently welded into position

 

Are there any alternatives anyone else has found?

14 REPLIES 14
Baldrick1
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

Are you talking about the.faceplate or the test socket, which you will find if you take the front off? If it's the faceplate then take it off and try plugging your filter into the test socket. If this works then buy a filtered faceplate. There are plenty of sources. Get a VDSL version, these work on ADSL as well. There are two types. The latest type clips on. Earlier versions are retained by two screws. Get the one that matches you master socket. They are not interchangeable.

If you break the fixed part of the master socket you will either have to breal regulations fitting a replacement yourself or risk having to pay Openreach an arm and a leg to replace it.

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pvmb
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

Thank you for your interesting suggestion which I've looked into. However I'm not sure it is the best solution for my situation. Really a replacement ordinary 5C faceplate is what I need (well, sort of!). But these still seem curiously difficult to get hold of. May need to purchase and fit an entire replacement NTE 5C master socket. Hmm...

I don't run my router from the master socket, but from an old LJU extension socket. The existing 5C faceplate has no function other than to connect the internal wiring to the Openreach master socket backplate and phone line - something it appears to do badly.

That VDSL faceplate relies on a PCB - which was behind some of my original problems with the old NTE 5A faceplate design (sigh!). Also, the connecting 'leads' on the Mk 4 VDSL filter plugs/sockets appear not to be gold plated, just as with all the same parts of the 5C backplate and standard consumer faceplate - which seems to me is likely behind the long term erratic performance.

I relied on this YouTube video for the details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD67a-ZC7VY


Hah! Noticed this post from 17 July 2017:

https://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/NTE5C-irritation/m-p/1449542#M60952

"I'm on my third front plate since the new master socket was put in - each engineer seems to have swapped it out... the last one told me that they'd had quite a few problems with faulty plates."

 

Baldrick1
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

You may need to buy a complete socket but you don't have to fit the back part.

The way you are connecting your router is not optimal but if it works for you then fine. For the best guaranteed performance you would site your router at the master socket location and use a filtered faceplate.

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pvmb
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C


@pvmb wrote:

The existing 5C faceplate has no function other than to connect the internal wiring to the Openreach master socket backplate and phone line - something it appears to do badly.

 


Thinks: So I could just chuck the 5C faceplate away and permanently wire in the Openreach line to my internal wiring!

Might be a bit 'embarrassing' if Openworld ever turned up...

Perhaps I need TWO NTE 5C units? One for me and one for Openreach, if they ever come knocking? Wink

pvmb
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C


@Baldrick1 wrote:

For the best guaranteed performance you would site your router at the master socket location and use a filtered faceplate.


I used to get up to ~18Mbps with my existing arrangement. Those were the days!

aesmith
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

Is the problem the removable faceplate coming loose?  That was what happened with my filtered faceplate, I was considering putting a couple of self tapping screws to fix it in place, however before I resorted to that we had BT on site and the guy sorted through a few in his stock to find one that fitted more securely.  He thought it was a general problem.

pvmb
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

That doesn't appear to be the problem. It's just that, after having the new socket for ~18 months, it doesn't seem to supply a very reliable contact.

When I first saw the new 5C model I was unimpressed that the contacts were not gold flashed however, when new, it seemed to provide a reliable contact. Now it periodically becomes noisy and crackly and has to be cleaned of oxidation(?), 'worked' etc. to bring it back into reliable use. It is very tedious.

Baldrick1
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

There’s literally  millions of these sockets in use without problems. Are you sure that this is your problem? Why not change the removable part and see if that helps?

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pvmb
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

Presumably there were "literally millions" of the previous versions in use. Did they all have no problems? Mine did, and I eventually discovered a potential design weakness in the previous version - presumably also noticed by BT/Openreach.

How do you know all those millions of NTE 5C units are working faultlessly? Are there no other phone users in the UK suffering intermittent sporadic crackling noise on their line apart from me?

Did you see this post, linked to in a post of mine above? -

https://community.plus.net/t5/Fibre-Broadband/NTE5C-irritation/m-p/1449542#M60952

"I'm on my third front plate since the new master socket was put in - each engineer seems to have swapped it out... the last one told me that they'd had quite a few problems with faulty plates."

I would replace the consumer plate if I knew where to buy one! I don't want to buy an entire NTE 5C just to use the consumer plate. Especially as that would anyway just be to replace one half of the problem contacts.

 

 

Baldrick1
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

No I do not have reliability data for all these connectors. I have however had a bit of experience in the past engaged in reliability analysis.studies, On your part you do not know whether it's just a BT technicians cop out to change the master socket to show that they have done something as an excuse for getting off site. This may be behind the one example that you have found.

Anyway the suggestion that you at least try to help yourself is obviously falling on deaf ears so I will leave you to it. 

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pvmb
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

Good.

pvmb
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

As the setting Araldite of despair atones for the master socket of doom...

Crikey! The things we have to do to stay online via ADSL. Shocked

Following a few more outbursts of crackling, disconnections and error rates making like the white cliffs of Dover I really needed to do something. It occurred to me (amongst other things) that I could more or less bypass the NTE 5C completely. I don't normally use the NTE 5C and my existing LJ2 extension socket already is a master socket.

The design of the NTE 5C means I could either remove the line pair from the incoming ID connector and bring them round to the extension side ID connector or bring the extension pair round to the line ID connector (if it accepts two pairs).

I removed the entire NTE 5C from the wall socket. As I did this I noticed that disturbing the extension pair was causing crackling, so I looked here first by removing the wires from the connector. The extension pair ID connector looked in a poor state, with signs of possible copper corrosion and I noticed the extension pair - installed around 35 years ago - looked thinner than the current normally used wire. This could cause a poor connection at the ID connector. I decided to use 'new' style wires in the extension ID connector and then solder them to the existing extension pair.

So I cleaned up the ID connector for the extension and stripped the pair back. The entire surface down to the insulation was black and rough and not going to make any kind of secure contact. The pairs were also brittle and broke with handling. Fortunately the extension lead was quite long at the surface so I was able to cut back the insulation and get a couple of inches of 'fresh' cable. When I stripped the ends of this I was genuinely surprised to see it too was all black, though more a shiny black. I used a piece of Brasso wadding to remove the oxide. It didn't work. I used some steel wool. It didn't work. It was resisting STEEL WOOL! Eventually I had to use a fresh blade from a packet of Stanley Knife blades to completely scrape clean both wire ends against a piece of wood.

I soldered the wires together and, as I had no better method available, sealed both joints with a coat of Araldite. Back in business! Just have to see how it goes.

pvmb
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

So, nearly a week since the wiring work at the NTE, how's it going now?

Um... Well the SNR and therefore speeds are the same. The big difference is in CRC Errors and Bit Swaps shown in DSLstats.

CRC Errors are now typically at a low level ❤️ per sample or lower, but with occasional much higher spikes, including on phone calls. The Bit Swap plot is very different: spread out sparse low levels of swaps with some individual peaks which appear to correspond to spectrum type 'holes' in the Bitloading plot, previously identified as likely due to AM radio transmissions.

May even be worth asking for a reset at some point!

pvmb
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Re: Fed Up with NTE 5C

Whoa! All over the shop.

Back to square one! Well, this is ADSL, where nothing is 'forever'. The crackle brothers are back. Where? Where are they ever...

A brief exploration of The Usual Suspect (NTE 5C), involving removing it from the wall, seems to indicate this time it isn't the wires or my new joint (good!) or the IDC connections - it's the front plate again.

Do we perhaps have an 'environmental issue'? AFAICS, the only ultimate solution here is a complete frontal lobotomy for the NTE master socket - bypass it completely at some stage, leaving it a redundant piece of plastic that just lives on the wall.

For now it's the usual jiggle it about, pull it out - push it in, bang it. Keep calm and carry on. Until the next time...

Now reconnected at UNDER 15MBps - of course...

Hold that reset. Ticked_off