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Perplexing test socket test results

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Perplexing test socket test results

Hi all,
I'm setting up a new telephone line and ADSL connection for a charity but it hasn't been working well so far, with a loss of sync every couple of minutes, even after line training had completed. The setup is as simple as it can possibly be, with just a Billion 7800N plugged directly in to an Openreach NTE5. There are no phones, microfilters or extensions. Nonetheless, after looking at the line stats (which seemed fine) and wondering what on earth could be causing the problem, out of desperation I carried out the standard troubleshooting procedure of plugging the router in to the NTE5's test socket and… it's perfectly stable, with latency reduced by a few ms too.
So, I'm really confused, because plugging in to a test socket normally only makes a difference when there's extension wiring involved, which like I say isn't the case here. Is it possible that the Openreach faceplate could somehow be faulty? If so, whose responsibility would it be to provide a replacement? Openreach will have provided the faceplate (naturally), yet their responsibility is only as far as the test socket. Or are there any other obscure possibilities for what's causing the poor connection via the faceplate?
Thanks in advance!
10 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
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Registered: 24-07-2014

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

For the sake of speed and a few quid, I'd personally have a look at Maplin where you can pick up a new socket quite cheaply.
 Tony
 Plusnet Support
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

I would get an ADSL Nation filtered faceplate and get rid of the dangly filter
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

OJ,
I'm not sure that there is a dangly filter in the equation here...
Quote from: Be3G
The setup is as simple as it can possibly be, with just a Billion 7800N plugged directly in to an Openreach NTE5. There are no phones, microfilters or extensions.

... I might though be reading too literally!  Roll eyes

Hi Be3G,
For the sake of clarity and avoidance of doubt when you say directly into the NTE5 and no microfilters, do you mean in to a SSFP on the NTE5?  (Which one?)
When plugged into the test socket were you using a microfilter?
If the answer to both of these is yes, then it suggests that the SSFP is duff.

If I have misunderstood, can you please clarify.  If there is a dangly filter involved, it could be the case that the contacts on the lower faceplate are soiled or damaged.
Kevin
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

Quote from: Townman
I'm not sure that there is a dangly filter in the equation here...

Correct! The only three pieces of equipment involved here are the router, a modem cable (RJ11 to BT) and the NTE5.
Quote from: Townman
For the sake of clarity and avoidance of doubt when you say directly into the NTE5 and no microfilters, do you mean in to a SSFP on the NTE5?  (Which one?)

Nope, no SSFP, just the standard plate supplied with the NTE5. I thought I'd leave microfilters (or an SSFP) out of the equation seeing as the ADSL connection is unfiltered anyway, so it seemed pointless to add an extra complication and potential point of failure.
Quote from: Townman
When plugged into the test socket were you using a microfilter?

I wasn't.
Thanks!
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

Hi Be3G,
That does clarify things... modem connected by a hybrid cable direct into the standard phone socket on a naked line with no extensions, no (low pass) filter and no phone.  When connected to the test socket, you see better performance than when connected via the removable faceplate.
I would look at the cleanliness of the faceplate contacts and make sure none are damaged / bent.
Community Veteran
Posts: 374
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

I have the opposite anomaly with my line though, my broadband is worse in the test socket!
It could well be a faulty faceplate - I have seen it a couple of times.  Once was a new plusnet connection and they insisted that it would be a charge to get it replaced as everything worked fine in the test socket and it had to be the extension wiring despite there being none.  I ended up getting a NTE2000 faceplate to replace the faulty standard faceplate.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

Thanks for the replies. Checking the contacts is a good suggestion too, but assuming they're fine (the faceplate hasn't been fiddled with much prior to my investigations) it looks like it really is just a faulty faceplate. I wouldn't have thought such a thing were possible, but there you go!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 29-06-2010

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

Quote from: Be3G
[faulty faceplate]. I wouldn't have thought such a thing were possible, but there you go!

Very possible, and often replaced by BTOR engineers as a matter of course.
If you do buy a replacement, you should consider getting one with a built-in filter, such as this one.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

There are no components in a standard faceplate to go faulty (except the Bell-wire filter if it's a recent faceplate - and this in any event won't affect the broadband with no extensions connected). So this will be a case of a bad connection between the faceplate and test socket or the main socket on the front. Apart from making sure the contacts are lined up straight they should be angled down at about 30°.
Then plug a connector in and out of the test socket a few times, and likewise in and out of the front socket a few times. This should help remove any oxidation.
Then take pencil rubber - not an abrasive ink one - and rub along the line of the contacts on the back of the faceplate a few times.
Make sure all is clean when you re-assemble and see what it's like.
Edit: Should have mentioned the bell-wire filter first time round Embarrassed
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Perplexing test socket test results

Thanks Chris. I have already done quite a bit of plugging and unplugging but it won't hurt to try your ideas nonetheless.