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The various methods of relocating your FTTC modem

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

The various methods of relocating your FTTC modem

Firstly, for the technically minded.
The FTTC modem has a RJ11 plug on which plugs into the top of the VDSL filterplate.
The VDSL filterplate actually has and RJ45 socket on it. Yes it looks way too small to be an RJ45 socket but I assure you it is.
Yes a RJ11 will fit into an RJ45 socket (although you may damage the end two pins if you're not careful).
The middle two pins (4 & 5) carry the signal - this equates to blue and blue/white stripe on an RJ45 socket.
That should keep the techies happy and enough info without having to read through the info below.
Ok, so BT Openreach have been in, replaced your faceplate on your NTE5 master socket, done their stuff at the exchange and left you with a modem into which you have to plug a router - lots of cables and flashing lights.
Great unless it's not in a convenient place. In my case the master socket was in our bedroom.  It was like Blackpool illuminations in there with all the green flashing lights and I was getting disapproving glares from the wife. "Not a problem" I kept reassuring her - after the 10 days training period is up I'll hide it all.
Anyway, a few more than 10 days later and I decided to do something about it. Fortunately you have various options ranging from the very easy to the slightly more difficult.
The easiest option if your wife complains about the flashing lights is to stick some black electrical tape over them, pour a beer and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
If however your wife has a cablephobia like mine then here is what to do :
The easy way
1. Work out where you are going to locate the modem and router
2. Grab a reel of string and work out how you are going to route the cable. Avoid going under carpets or anywhere the cable will get trodden on or pulled.
3. Bear in mind that a CAT5 cable has a plug at each end. If you're going to drill holes in walls etc, make sure they are big enough to get the plug through or consider one of the other options below.
4. Buy a CAT5 cable with plugs either end (Ebuyer / Amazon / Ebay etc) which is marginally longer than you need. Also purchase a CAT5 coupler
5. Run the cable from the master socket to where you want to keep the modem and router.
6. Plug the CAT5 cable into the top of the master socket. Attach the CAT5 coupler then plug the modem cable into the other side of the CAT5 coupler.
7. Power up, grab a beer and show the wife how clever you are.
The slightly more difficult way
1. Follow the above points but cut the plug off one end off the CAT5 cable - double check the cable is solid cored (not stranded)
2. Pop off the faceplate of the VDSL extension socket (the two screws at the front)
3. Notice the two Krone type connectors towards the top. Make a small hole in the backbox of the socket, push your extension cable through then wire the blue and blue/white wires to these connections. According to what I've read, the modem isn't fussed which way round these go but don't hold me to that one. You will need a Krone punchdown tool to do this properly - around a tenner from Toolstation. Don't use it the wrong way round though or you'll cut the cable off just as you've punched it !
4. Continue to plug the modem into the other end of the CAT5 cable via the CAT5 coupler and RJ11 lead that came with the modem.
5. Job done, beer etc etc
The downside of this method is that you now have a hardwired cable which if you need to plug the modem back into the original socket could introduce noise and extra capacitance etc on the signal which according to some posts I've read is why BT don't hardwire in this manner.
The way I have done it
A couple of days before the BT engineer came over, I ran some CAT5e through the wall, left some spare cabling in there and put a socket on the wall. I also pulled through a ready made cable just so I could have it hanging out of the wall and annoy the wife (see attached picture). The other end of the CAT5 socket is wired into a patch panel elsewhere in the house.
This afternoon, I decided to earn some brownie points and move all the "flashy wirey annoying things" from the bedroom to where my servers are located in the house.
I unplugged the modem from the wall socket, plugged in a CAT5 patch cable to the VDSL box (phew - it fitted), plugged the other end into the CAT5 socket I installed last month,  ran across the house with the modem and router, plugged the modem RJ11 plug into the corresponding socket on my patch panel, powered it all back up and off it went. Zero problems, speedtests are the same as before I relocated everything and took 10 minutes start to finish.
The way I would recommend you do this is similar to how I've done it, bung a CAT5 socket near the BT Master socket, run some CAT5 cable to where you want to locate the modem, put another socket at this end and just plug it all together. If you need to unplug it from the VDSL Socket /Master socket you just pull the wire out and you can plug the modem straight back into it for fault finding purposes.
Hope this helps and isn't a breach of forum rules or a repost of something already popular on the forums.
Dom
5 REPLIES
MJN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,093
Thanks: 39
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Registered: 26-08-2010

Re: The various methods of relocating your FTTC modem

Ha ha... Like it. We've obviously married the same type of woman (i.e. the female variety)...
All good stuff, just one point to make though:
Quote from: picbits
1. Follow the above points but cut the plug off one end off the CAT5 cable - double check the cable is solid cored (not stranded)

I would've thought that most retail patch cables would be stranded as it is more flexible and robust to flexing. Solid core is somewhat rarer outside of structured wiring uses.
Mathew
PeeGee
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,081
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Registered: 05-04-2009

Re: The various methods of relocating your FTTC modem

It doesn't really matter - both types are terminated with IDC connections  Smiley Though, as MJN says, stranded is used for flexibility (patch leads) and solid for infrastructure (as it "pulls" better?).
Plusnet Fibre (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
Using a TP-Link TD-W9980 modem-router.
MJN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,093
Thanks: 39
Fixes: 2
Registered: 26-08-2010

Re: The various methods of relocating your FTTC modem

I was always of the understanding that stranded cable should be terminate with IPC connections, no? This is on the assumption that whilst it may 'work' in an IDC termination it would be outside specification and subject to potential failure at a later date as a result.
The issue I believe is down to the fact that IDC works by clamping the conductor between two uprights. This relies on a particular diameter of conductor such that a gas tight connection is made between them. Stranded cable, by virtue of the smaller cores, runs the risk of not being sufficiently clamped in the same manner depending on the orientation of the conductors at the time. IPC connections on the other hand pierce the centre of the cable thus guaranteeing contact with the stranded core regardless of conductor orientation.
I'm not saying it wouldn't work, but like the OP I don't think it is the right way of terminating such a cable.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: The various methods of relocating your FTTC modem

I've had both stranded and solid patch leads recently - in fact I think I've had more solid core than stranded on the shorter patch cables recently.
Solid cable is actually considered better for patch leads as it can support higher data rates than stranded.
pengbo
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 15-01-2013

Re: The various methods of relocating your FTTC modem

Sorry it's not a patch lead if it's solid core.  The reason you don't use solid core in a patch lead is they are designed to be flexible so they can take multiple connections, disconnections and the fact that the cables get moved and stressed a lot.  Solid core is prone to snapping internally under this mistreatment and you wont know it's gone until it no longer supports a connection and there is no sign of why.