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Wiring Help

apjashley1
Grafter
Posts: 307
Registered: 31-07-2012

Wiring Help

To investigate my speed problem, I've looked at the three phone sockets in my flat and what's behind them.
I've no idea which is the master - they were fitted when the flat was built last year, and have never been off the wall since then (not even when Openreach popped in to install my phone service!)
The first socket is in the living room near the flat's front door [Images 1, 2, 3]. It's a double-size plate bundled with a TV / satellite outlet. I always assumed this was the master, so that's where the modem's been plugged in. In pulling the box off the wall I've disconnected the two little wires and lost my dial tone there - but kept the dial tone at the other sockets, so this must be an extension and not the master?
The second socket is in the hallway [images 4 & 5], a single-sized plate bundled with a CAT5 outlet (that's connected up but to what I have no idea!). Behind it there are two thick purple cables both attached to the same RJ11 outlet, with each colour of each cable going to one of the 6 connections (so two little wires to each connection). There's a dial tone here, but it's crackly.
The third socket is in the bedroom [image 6]. It's a single-sized plain phone outlet flush to the wall. I haven't pulled it off the wall as it's right next to my neighbour's bedroom and I don't want to wake him. There's a dial tone here and it's crackly, but not as bad as in the hallway. I think this is the master as there's no capacitor to be found on the other sockets, and the line attenuation figures are a fraction lower from this one.
Can anyone help me choose which socket to use for broadband, and to suggest which (if any) wires to disconnect to bring down any potential RF interference?
Presumably the third (bedroom) socket would take a posh master/faceplate if you think it'd be worth me investing in one?
26 REPLIES
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: Wiring Help

None of those are the master socket.  You're looking for a BT NTE5 like this:

Unless the master is fitted with an ADSL filter plate as the lower section, all your phones should be plugged in using microfilters at their sockets.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
Thanks: 2
Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Wiring Help

Just as a thought, with it being a flat, could the main incoming lines be housed in a utility room / box somewhere with the surge arrestors etc there ?
pwatson
Rising Star
Posts: 2,468
Thanks: 8
Fixes: 1
Registered: 26-11-2012

Re: Wiring Help

The labelling of the sockets would suggest that they are wired back to a central point, though this would normally be in each flat.
Where does the Cat5 run too? Airing cupboard perhaps? My money would be on the master socket being next to the other end of the network cable as it looks like the flat has been 'pre-wired' for a router to be installed somewhere hidden away...
Bright
Grafter
Posts: 363
Registered: 02-02-2013

Re: Wiring Help

Since the sockets are labelled BDF/013 I'm guessing the cabling goes back to the Building Distribution Frame, which is probably somewhere on the ground/basement floor where all the BT lines come in. I'd guess there is a single cable comes from that frame to your flat and connects to either the hallway or bedroom socket, it's then daisy-chained from there to the other one of those two, and finally to the dual plate with the TV outlet.
It might be that none of these is the master socket, which could be near the BDF. You'll need to figure out which is the cable that goes down to the BDF. The easiest way would be to buy yourself an IDC tool (Krone tool) which is used to connect the wiring to the insulation displacement connectors in the sockets (you'll need that anyway to reconnect the wires on the first socket without damage). Then disconnect the cables one at a time to find out which one has dial tone on it. That's the one that goes to the BDF. Probably the best solution would then be to get an NTE5 and an ADSL filtered faceplate (this sort of thing) and install that on the end of the cable from the BDF. And reconnect the daisy-chain wiring that goes to the extensions to the filtered side of the faceplate, connecting only pins 2 and 5, not all the other 4 wires (2 and 5 carry the phone service, the others are no longer used and can cause increased interference, although with the filtered faceplate you should be fine).  This does mean you'll need to connect your modem/router directly to the filtered faceplate, which might not necessarily be where you want it.
Finally, check you no longer have a crackly phone line. If you do, you'll need to get that fixed!
The cat5 cable probably also goes down to the BDF and is there to provide a Fibre to the Building service in the future (ie fibre to the BDF location and ethernet to each flat from there).
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,099
Thanks: 434
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Wiring Help

Hi apj,
Typical builders etc. not leaving enough spare on the end so that when you unscrew a socket from the wall the wires come off    Don't try poking them back in with a screwdriver. The terminals are IDC (Insulation Displacement Connector) and the jaws of the terminal grip the wires through the insulation, and if the jaws are forced apart by screwdrivers or other implements you end up with a bad connection.
Don't go doing any of the things that Bright has suggested until you know what goes where (sorry Bright) as there may be an NTE5 somewhere else.
As has already been said, none of those are a master, you obviously need to look at that bedroom socket and post a photo of the wiring. Don't be temped to disconnect or alter anything yet until you know exactly what wires go where etc.
The Master ought to look similar to the one in reply #1 except that it should have the OpenReach logo on it not the BT Piper logo, that's an older one. You need to discover where all the wiring goes even if the bedroom is the master because OpenReach will need access to any central point if they need to attend to resolve you fault. If they can't get access, you could end up with a bill! I'll post back with a bit more info shortly.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Wiring Help

At a push, you can use two small screwdrivers to make a decent IDC connection but as above, don't push the screwdriver down the middle of the metal bit.
Lay the cable over the metal IDC blade on the socket then using equal force on each side of the wire with two screwdrivers push down. The screwdrivers should be as close to the blade as you can get them without actually touching it.
This will usually result in a pretty decent connection - I've not had one fail on me yet. I do have a number of Krone tools but on the odd occasion where I need to make a connection in an emergency, this works for me (I can actually make a decent connection with no tools at all but I won't go in to that here lol).
Bright
Grafter
Posts: 363
Registered: 02-02-2013

Re: Wiring Help

Quote from: Anotherone
Don't go doing any of the things that Bright has suggested until you know what goes where (sorry Bright) as there may be an NTE5 somewhere else.

True. That's typical of me - dive in, pull it all apart and try to figure out how it works Wink
As the building seems to have a structured cabling system, you may well find that BTOR's Network Termination is in the equipment room where the distribution frame is located. Can you get access to that room and trace your cabling down there? Your cable should be attached to position 13 on the frame (hopefully labelled similarly to your faceplates). What's it connected to from there?
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,431
Thanks: 1,008
Fixes: 60
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Wiring Help

I used my wife's tweezers (the blunt ended ones) to push down the wire into the slot  Lips are sealed
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,099
Thanks: 434
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Wiring Help

Whilst I have also resorted to such tactics as suggested by picbits & Oldjim in the past, not to be recommended for the inexperienced!
Get yourself one of these Punch Down tools, at £1.69 they are very good value and will certainly cope with the number of connections you may ever want to do. You might be able to get a cheap plastic disposable one locally from a Telecoms shop, but in my experience they are over £1 is such places, nearly £2 in DIY shed type places, never worth it!
Have a good look around the flat to see if there are any hidden telecoms outlets etc, there could even be connections behind a blank plate. Where the wiring goes for that RJ45/RJ11 module that's come off the faceplate in the Hall is certainly the clue to the fact there is something somewhere else., especially as it is daisy changed (2 cables) to something. Out of curiosity you could try plugging your modem/router direct into it to see if you get any sync - it might be connected to the phone line  Shocked
Whilst on the subject of Unplugging/plugging  in modem/routers, best to use this method especially as you already had/have a dropping connection  -
Do a Disconnect of your PPP Internet session with the ISP - you need to login to the modem/router interface and look for the Disconnect button to click on. On the Thomson modem/routers you will typically find it in the box marked Internet as shown here. Now wait a  minute or two, power down. Then take at least 10 minutes (during this time swap sockets, any filters, modem/router, connect to test socket, etc) and then power up again (You may need to login to the modem/router and click on Connect to re-establish the PPP Internet session). On checking the stats immediately (The Noise Margin [SNRM] shown is usually the current Target Noise Margin).
I usually recommend you do this no more than 5 times in an hour, and then leave it alone for the rest of the day.  Remember the reason for this procedure is to help prevent the Exchange DLM from thinking you have a dropping connection (or a worse one than you already have).
(You can use the Disconnect/Connect (without a power down) to Gateway hop).
We'll wait for your update.
apjashley1
Grafter
Posts: 307
Registered: 31-07-2012

Re: Wiring Help

Hey guys, thanks so much for detailed replies!
There are no other sockets in the flat. There is a fuse box, that is locked, but it just looks like a trip-switch setup to me, certainly not big enough for a phone socket.
I mayyy have already put two wires back into the IDC blade things by brute force (oops!) but that was because the hole looked screwdriver shaped and I thought that's what you were meant to!
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,099
Thanks: 434
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Wiring Help

Post a pic of the bedroom socket wiring etc when you can.
apjashley1
Grafter
Posts: 307
Registered: 31-07-2012

Re: Wiring Help

Here we are, a master if ever I saw one...?
Again it looks like there are TWO ethernet cables, both wired up to all points so no idea which is my "phone line".
I was expecting an "A" and "B" screw for the main connection to the line though?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Wiring Help

OK, nothing too difficult really, that's all phone wiring and consistent with the colours elsewhere.
You need to pull out all the wires in 1,3, 4 and 6 leaving just 2 and 5 IN ALL PHONE SOCKETS.
You also really need to work out how it's all joined up, i.e. where the phone line comes in and what links to what to work out if it needs "adjusting".
apjashley1
Grafter
Posts: 307
Registered: 31-07-2012

Re: Wiring Help

Okay, I've spoken with management.
There's a no-entry room in the basement where the phone lines come in to the whole complex. They can't let me in but would let a BT Openreach engineer in as long as I arrange it in advance.