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What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎14-07-2009

What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Standard procedure for fault-finding on a poor broadband connection is to remove the faceplate from the master socket and connect the router to the test socket underneath.  I have visited two homes in two days and in both cases this has brought about a huge improvement in the downstream sync rate.  In both cases the master socket was relatively new and had BT Openreach written at the top.  I thought this type was supposed to have some built in isolation, similar to what is achieved by fitting a BT 'Broadband Accelerator' (formerly 'I-Plate'), to an older socket but if it was there then it wasn't doing much good.  I disconnected all the telephony equipment I could find that was connected to an extension socket but the mere fact of replacing the faceplate reduced the sync rate by 50% or worse.
So as things stand there is a straight choice between telephone extensions and lousy broadband or good broadband but no telephone extensions.  Is there a way forward that avoids this trade-off?  For example, if BT could be persuaded to swap the existing faceplate for an ADSL faceplate is that likely to work?   
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Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

I am sorry to say that the answer is to sort out the internal wiring.
First thing is to get rid of the ring wire
I don't know how good the BT  filtered faceplate is but I am very happy with my ADSL Nation one.
However neither of them are much good if there are more than two wires connected to the faceplate
x47c
Grafter
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Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?


Yes, there is another way - if you know what you are doing.
You wire your entire house's phone system in good quality solid core Cat5e Network cabling....you only need to use one of the 4 pairs in a standard cat5 cable.
I've got some 35 meters of the stuff in a rather tortuous path between the NTE5 and my study at the other end of the house.
You need to decide the colour coding you are going to use of the wires in the cat5 and then stick rigously to it throughout the house.
It will far exceed the quality of any existing internal phone wiring...some of which, sad to say, will be of a truly dire quality and of a type not suited in anyway for high frequency data transmission.
Cat 5 will also exceed by a fair margin the quality of the dropwire from the BT pole to the NTE5.
Even new houses are not immune from the problem of grotty internal house phone wiring.  It has been known for "electricians" to wire up the phone extensions in the house in low grade multi-strand non twisted pair burglar alarm cable - OK for voice but totally unsuitable for  ADSL/data transmission.....All buried in the wall of course...nice!
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Although x47c is right about the quality of Cat5e wire you do not need to go to the expense and bulk of Cat5e cable. Cable to BT.spec. CW1308 as used by BT is sufficient.
If the existing wiring is not a 2 pair cable (ie. 4 wires) coloured Blue/white trace & White/blue trace and the second pair Orange/white trace & White/orange trace then it is not CW1308 spec. cable.
If there are 4 wires in the cable coloured Blue, Orange, Green and Brown then this is very old standard GPO cable and needs replacing as it is not twisted pair..
If the cable is already CW1308, the the only wires that should be connected are  the Blue/white & White/blue to terminals 2 & 5 at the rear of the NTE5 faceplate and all extension sockets. The other important thing is to use decent filters of the Rat's tail type. Filters that look like solid block splitters are inferior quality and will degrade broadband performance.
The other option is a complete re-wire job as I've just posted here.
Edit: No plug in extension cables should be used between any socket and a filter or between the filter and the modem/router unless the later is a special quality twisted pair type (not supplied with the modem/router).
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Surely the easiest solution is simply disconnect the extension wiring, fit an ADSLnation Phone/ADSL faceplate to the master socket, plug the broadband router and a cordless phone base-station into the faceplate, locate phone wireless handsets + chargers around the home.
I don't understand the need for telephone extension sockets any more, with the convenience of modern cordless phones.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Hmm, cordless phones can come with their own issues  Wink If you go down that route don't buy cheap ones, search this forum there are some good recommendations I've seen somewhere.
Also some NTE5's are in very small hallways and no power socket, so it's not always a convenient solution (and could result in a safety issue with trip hazards).
Community Veteran
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Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Okay, the faceplates have three connectors and all three have been utilized.  If I can work out which one takes the ring wire I can disconnect it.  Is the middle connector the ring wire?

If that fails I can, I suppose, disconnect all three wires to follow Purleigh's suggestion.
Community Veteran
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Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

The Orange one. In fact anything that is not on terminals 2 & 5 !
Community Veteran
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Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Have a look here for a few pictures http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/socket.htm
Community Veteran
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Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Yes, I had looked at those pictures but most depict 6 terminals and there were only three on the faceplate.  This makes identifying terminal 5 difficult, to say the least. 
Community Veteran
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Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Surely the terminals are labelled with SOME sort of identification?
Community Veteran
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Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Quote from: ReedRichards
Is there a way forward that avoids this trade-off?

The new-style "VDSL" interstitial plate is pretty good. I have one now and it works a treat on ADSL2+.  Grin
Here for example: http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/ShopDetail.asp?ProductID=13095
Routefinder
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Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Quote from: HPsauce

The new-style "VDSL" interstitial plate is pretty good. I have one now and it works a treat on ADSL2+.  Grin

But the note on the linked page says this:-
Please Note: This BT VDSL iPlate is suitable for all FTTC Fibre Broadband connections that have been installed by a certified BT engineer. It is not suitable for use with Virgin Media Fibre Broadband or any ADSL 2/2+ service.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

Quote from: HPsauce
Surely the terminals are labelled with SOME sort of identification?

Surely indeed - but because they have wires attached it's not possible to get the faceplate far enough away from the socket to see the identification. 
Community Veteran
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Re: What do you do if connecting to the test socket works?

If you note the colours, can you then check at the other end of the wire (extension socket) - is there a bit more slack there to allow the numbers to be read?
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