cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Strange problem

pvmb
Rising Star
Posts: 338
Thanks: 26
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎12-02-2014

Strange problem

This is a strange fault apparently with my Openworld 5C master socket's face plate.

I've been having occasional problems with broadband and my landline phone hasn't been reliably ringing or
accepting calls.

A test phone directly in the 5C test socket rings OK. With consumer face plate back in place and test phone
plugged in directly it won't ring. But will ring with ADSL filter in place (ringing capacitor?).

Now I know this sounds like a fault on my side, wiring or equipment. But it isn't. I physically removed the
internal wiring from the snap connector on the 5C master socket for the above tests and there is no short on the
internal pair. I have since reconnected the internal pair to the extension socket (which is also an old master
socket) and everything tests the same as above.

My test phone is an old corded phone that needs an external ring capacitor to work. It also has a visual LED
ringer on top, which I can see weakly flashing when it receives ring tone but doesn't ring. Currently, with the
extension reconnected and no ADSL filter in the 5C master socket, it still won't ring. The normal phone on the
extension is currently ringing at the same time - but likely has its own ring capacitor, anyway it has one in
its own socket. The older test phone, when plugged directly into the extension socket (no ADSL filter), does
ring.

Please note, there is no bell wire connection between the master and extension sockets.

To me it seems to only make sense if the ring capacitor circuitry in the 5C master socket is somehow faulty. But
surely this is in the body of the 5C Master socket? My test phone - which requires an external ring capacitor -
rings OK directly in the 5C test socket, but not when the consumer plate is back in place!

Is there ring circuitry in the 5C face plate as well? This implies both in the body of the 5C AND in the
faceplate. This doesn't seem to make sense to me, yet the 5C master socket works via the test socket and fails
with the faceplate in place. Measuring on the free 5C faceplate I get oddly varying resistance readings between pins 2, 3
and 5 which I can't really make sense of.

Unlike older versions it isn't possible to non-destructively disassemble the 5C faceplate to investigate further.

Any ideas?

TIA

8 REPLIES 8
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 1,597
Thanks: 263
Fixes: 55
Registered: ‎26-03-2018

Re: Strange problem

Hi @pvmb 

 

Thanks for the detailed report - its much easier to visualise issues when people are this descriptive! 

 

"...the 5C master socket works via the test socket and fails with the faceplate in place." - this makes me think that the FP itself could be faulty/not providing a snug connection and therefore disrupting your service when connected. 

 

The faceplate is considered outside our suppliers jurisdiction, I'm afraid. 

The first thing I would ask you to do is purchase a new faceplate (these can be found in most electronic stores and are not very expensive at all) as if this fixes the issues then we know exactly what caused it! If it doesn't, I would be happy to cover the cost of one (up to a value of £5) so you are not out of pocket without a fix to show for it. 

 

How does this sound to begin with to you? 

 

Thanks, 

MoR

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 MoR
 Plusnet Help Team
pvmb
Rising Star
Posts: 338
Thanks: 26
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎12-02-2014

Re: Strange problem

Yes, thanks MoR. I was thinking of replacing the faceplate.

Still baffled to find it appears as if it contains components. I previously thought it contained nothing but metal interconnections.

 

And I appear to be correct, according to the circuit diagram here:

http://www.davefrydoes.co.uk/install-an-new-style-nte5c-bt-openreach-etc-telephone-master-socket-rep...

So I cannot even imagine what is going on!

If I get a new one I will at least then be able to take the current one apart.

I see your reasoning but it may not be as simple as that. The original fault was BB drop outs, this then developed into the normal phone on the extension socket not receiving calls - usually nothing is attached directly to the master socket. Calling the line caused the line to drop without ringing.

Further investigation is called for, with a new faceplate.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 1,597
Thanks: 263
Fixes: 55
Registered: ‎26-03-2018

Re: Strange problem

Ok @pvmb 

 

Let us know how it goes - I'd be interested to hear what you find out. 

 

Thanks, 

MoR

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 MoR
 Plusnet Help Team
pvmb
Rising Star
Posts: 338
Thanks: 26
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎12-02-2014

Re: Strange problem

Oh dear! My Openreach NTE 5C master socket is in trouble.

The previous 5A version had (in my estimation) a design weakness which caused me MONTHS (more than 12) of problems a couple of years ago. One of the design specs. for the newer 5C was for greater reliability in difficult environments. I'm not sure that has been met!

I was initially a bit sceptical of the 5C when I saw they had completely abandoned gold flashing on any of the metal contacts - presumably a cost saving measure. Nevertheless, experience seemed to show that it was up to the job. Longer term experience suggests it may not be.

The faceplate on mine seems now to be infected with some kind of 'metal rot' or recurring black surface oxidation. Just as with my previous problems with the 5A, it is starting to look very much as if corrosion in the 5C consumer plate may be causing the peculiar symptoms, plus noisy line and ADSL disconnections, I have recently been suffering from.

Following the previous posts I looked on line and found no 5C consumer plates available to buy as a replacement. Complete 5C units - yes; replacement 5C consumer plates - no. Seemed a bit OTT to buy the whole thing, and anyway, as the main unit belongs to Openworld a consumer shouldn't be touching that, right?

So... I'm not sure what to do: Buy an entire 5C unit and fit it myself (which apparently will only have a couple of years life in my home), or buy an entire old 5A unit and fit it myself? (I might be able to mitigate the design weakness in the 5A consumer plate). The latter will be awkward if I ever have to call in Openworld as the current policy, already implemented at my premises, is to replace the 5A with the new 5C.

IMO Openworld themselves must have become aware of vulnerabilities with the old 5A unit, which is why they replaced it. But how many years did that take? Is there any way of bringing this to the attention of Openworld?

Anyone else having problems with their 5C unit?

pvmb
Rising Star
Posts: 338
Thanks: 26
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎12-02-2014

Re: Strange problem

Used the landline for a (free phone) call this evening. CRACKLE, CRACKLE, CRACKLE. No wonder I'm getting long hesitations while browsing. :sad:

I can't remember now how long I've had my 5C master socket, a couple of years? So that's about how long it can be expected to last (in a 'demanding' environment) before it becomes unreliable. So what does one do?

1. Have a good 'scrape out and polish' when needed? (More or less the present situation)

2. Drop it (or the consumer plate) in a bottle of vinegar once a month?

3. Buy and install a whole new master socket?

4. Buy a new one and try to get the contacts gold plated somewhere before I install it?

5. Wait for Openworld to decide they need to introduce a new '5D' model and get them to install one?
(I'll probably be dead by then!)

 

What are other people finding?

ThePillenwerfer
Grafter
Posts: 46
Thanks: 23
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎09-01-2018

Re: Strange problem

Mine's an NTE5A from 1992 and works fine, though it was out of use for about ten years 'til a few weeks ago though.

I've never seen a 'phone socket of any type that doesn't have gold-plated contacts on the socket itself.  I think your problem could be where the wires connect in the back as the IDCs aren't gold-plated and the wire itself certainly isn't.  It will be even worse if the wires are copper-plated steel or, heaven forfend, copper-plated aluminium.

Unfortunately you're not allowed to touch those as smearing them with Vaseline would offer at least some protection.

pvmb
Rising Star
Posts: 338
Thanks: 26
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎12-02-2014

Re: Strange problem


@ThePillenwerfer wrote:

Mine's an NTE5A from 1992 and works fine, though it was out of use for about ten years 'til a few weeks ago though.

I've never seen a 'phone socket of any type that doesn't have gold-plated contacts on the socket itself.


So you haven't seen an NTE 5C, have you? :wink:

It was one of the first things I noticed about mine. I think I mentioned it in a post when it was installed, it certainly made me suspicious. But, originally, it proved to be reliable so I thought it would be OK. It is presumably a cost saving measure. I am not sure what the surface metal is, it looks silvery. Now, a couple of years later, I see a black film building up internally and some of the surfaces now seem rough and need cleaning periodically.

ThePillenwerfer
Grafter
Posts: 46
Thanks: 23
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎09-01-2018

Re: Strange problem

I have seen NTE5Cs though never had cause to closely examine one.

The contacts not being gold-plated is a shocking revelation as even the ones in cheapo extension sockets I've had have been, as are those in some £1.84 for five plug-to-plug couplers I bought last year.