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Technican Master socket problems For info

sdesland
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎13-09-2023

Technican Master socket problems For info

Hi there,

 

For the last month or so we've been seeing worsening of our service. This has included a drop in bandwidth (previously 55 - 60 MBps which was good enough down to 25 - 40 MBps for no clear reason) and in the last week a completely unreliable connection.

In July we had an outage. This was traced to a fault in the street cabinet; however, as part of the outage an OpenReach technician came to our flat. I wasn't in, but my partner noted that he'd adjusted something to do with the connection to our router. I assumed just the RJ11 cable was replaced as the socket is under my desk and thought no further of it.

We are on a FTTC up to 80 MBps tarrif and I connect normally using a TP Link Archer VR600 V3 which has never caused any problems in the past.

Reporting the fault I was reminded to test the connection with our Plusnet Hub2 which I duly did and found an minor improvement in bandwidth by around 5 - 10MBps but a still completely unreliable connection.

I did however also find that the OpenReach engineer had replaced the (previously slave) socket under my office desk with a modern 5c MK4 master socket. This was a very poor thing to do as what he had evidently not realised was there was already a master socket on the circuit so he'd basically put two master sockets in parallel. Our main master socket was not in an obvious place as it is on a skirting board in the hall and is connected to the boundary of the property by wiring to a junction terminal in one of the bedrooms (we're in a tennement flat in Edinburgh) and line into the property connects in at that point. The wiring is then star connected to a few telephone sockets of which one was in the office where we have our router.

I'm assuming that he did this because the new advice for VSDL2 connections is to connect the router direct to the master, but he should have checked he was replacing like for like ( a master for a master) and evidently didn't.

By doing this he'd connected the two master socket filters in parallel which had caused the line bandwidth to deteriorate. He'd also made a very poor job of screwing the socket to the backbox and it was loose and over time it appears had loosened the wires hence the intermittent connection.

To solve the problem I had to move the new master socket to the property boundary (technically not OK to do normally but as I have reduced the wiring between the master and the property boundary by 10s of metres they will not have an issue), replace the old master socket with a slave and then run new cable from the new master socket's internal broadband connector to our router using high quality Openreach grade twisted pair cable (you can do this but Openreach for some reason don't publish a wiring diagram). I'm now back up at 70 Mbps (probably due to the fact the VSDSL is now filtered at the boundary) with no issues using either our own TP-Link Hub, or Plusnet's Hub2.

For context I'm a chartered electrical engineer and work in high voltage substations and one of the things I'm involved in is design and commissioning of the control and communications networks so this is easy for me to do. I was just surprised as to how terrible a job had been done.

The moral of this story is if you see a deterioration in your service after an OpenReach engineer has been, always check they've not added a master socket un-necessarily!

 

1 REPLY 1
pvmb
Pro
Posts: 643
Thanks: 79
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎12-02-2014

Re: Technican Master socket problems For info

"I did however also find that the OpenReach engineer had replaced the (previously slave) socket under my office desk with a modern 5c MK4 master socket. This was a very poor thing to do as what he had evidently not realised was there was already a master socket on the circuit so he'd basically put two master sockets in parallel."

Hah! I've been operating with two master sockets in parallel as long as I have been on Broadband (ADSL 2+, now FTTC); possibly even earlier, counting dial-up!

I always use the extension socket (which is an old style LJ master socket) and not the 'proper' NTE 5C master socket.
This dates back decades now... From memory, an old phone socket near the door was replaced and, for some reason at the time, the engineer fiddled about with the extension socket which I have always used. Long afterwards I realised the ring wire circuit had been disconnected, at both ends - this would have meant my old landline handset would not have rung from the extension socket as it needs the external ringing capacitor. My guess is the engineer may have replaced my extension socket with a spare master LJ type socket to provide it with the needed ringing capacitor. Even has the old style voltage suppressor in it.

Works just fine. 😊