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Phoneline Question

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Phoneline Question

The other day there was a fault on my line. Not the line i use for my internet connection the other line. Anyways i called the fault number and BT said there was a problem and they would come and sort it out. Anyways when the guy had finished down the manhole and then came down from the pole he got from his van what looked like a long telescopic fishing rod. It was a long extendable pole with a metal tip on the end. He went under each overhead cable and extended the pole so it was touching or almost touching the cable. I couldnt see too well if he touched them or not. Does anyone here know what he was doing as its confused me.

Many thanks.
15 REPLIES
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Phoneline Question

This pole is used to see if the lines run high enough accross the road, such that high vehicles can pass safely.

They do this to see if new lines or possibly some adjustment is needed.
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Phoneline Question

Alternatively, but not 100% sure, it could be a current probe, to determine if there is power flowing in the line.
This method is certainly used remotely to check for leakage to ground.
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Phoneline Question

Wouldn't have thought it was a current probe, that would only be useful for tracing a full short to earth, not likely in drop wire which is 20 ft up. :?

Jeff
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Phoneline Question

I did say "not 100% sure". It was the mention of a metal tip that got me intrigued.
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Phoneline Question

It could have been a tone pickup/amplifier.
The tone/amp is the most useful piece of testing kit. Basically an oscilator is stuck on at the exchange, and it is traced using the inductive pickup, it is used for cable pair identification ( usually in man hole joints). When found,short circuiting the pair will stop the tone if the pair is continuous back to the exchange. If one wire is disconnected, then the tone stays on and you have to go back at least one joint and try again.

If this is the kit that the BT enginner was using, he would most likely have had a headset or speaker box with him.

I don't really see the point of toning out a dropwire, the engineer would have been able to resolve the pair at the junction box at the top of the pole , I can't see the need to check the height of each drop wire, maybe check one and then visually compare the others.

Maybe he was just bored, and wanted to see if he could start a forum thread?

Jeff
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Phoneline Question

naw, he was just wardriving land lines.... Cheesy Tongue
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Phoneline Question

Scaring birds away? (as opposed to cg who frazzles 'em!).
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Phoneline Question

hahahaha
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Phoneline Question

Lol thanks for the info guys.

When he got under each cable he looked at the base of the pole. Like there was a readout or something.
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Phoneline Question

That'll be the admiring glance indicator for all the ladies out there.
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Phoneline Question

Well BT are gonna send out someone this week because the phoneline is playing up AGAIN. BT suck. So ill ask about the pole lol.
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Phoneline Question

So is it fair to say that you can't fix a 'phone line with a big stick?
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Phoneline Question

Indeed, but if you have one that's big enough, you could probably get a new line Tongue
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Phoneline Question

Possibly for free!

While it's quiet.

We have six BT phone lines at work. Last Friday, we noticed a fault on one of them (ring light on 'phone permanently and buzz on line). Soon after, noticed fax software being silly (line two). Soon after, monitored alarm sounded, reporting no line (line three). Checked spare line (we need it, not yet implemented) same as line one. Bear in mind Friday PM and fast approaching beer time! Tried to convince BT call centre that there was a fault, they checked lines and apparently no fault found. We insisted on an engineers visit, but we were informed that it would be Monday before this could happen, and we would be charged if no fault found. Because we were not prepared to leave premises unattended without alarm fully monitored, we agreed to pay for out of hours work (but still Saturday AM earliest). This took 'til just after last orders to arrange.

So Saturday AM, two engineers arrive to check alarm line only. Where's the alarm cabling then?, they asked. Buried in the wall and hard wired into the tamper protected console, we replied.

To make things a little easier for them, we showed them the fault on line one. They plugged a piece of test equipment into their socket, made a 'phone call to exchange requesting a minor modification be made, and five minutes later, all four lines working again, and call out charges waived (will see on next bill though!).

Off they went.

Saturday PM alarm sounded. You can guess the rest.

Moral: If it don't work, it's probably a BT fault, even though their call centre say not.