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ADSL Filters or Faceplates

Community Veteran
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Registered: 26-09-2015

ADSL Filters or Faceplates

Hi,
A regular topic no doubt.  What are the current thoughts on the best filters or faceplates?  Our speed's not the best so I'd like to do what I can to maximise it.  Currently we're using a BT faceplate (marked ADSL v1.0).  Are there any benefits in the more expensive BT or third-party options?    Any first hand experience would be appreciated.    We're on ADSL Max, with only the master socket in use, I removed all extension wiring as soon as we moved in.
Thanks, Tony S
13 REPLIES
nanotm
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Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

personally I found buying the filters from the same company as the routers increased stability and speed
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
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Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

Erm....

Shouldn't you be telling us?  Cheesy
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

No 7up, that's not the case. There is a difference between being a Network specialist who I presume (and from seeing some of his posts) knows a lot about things on the LAN side. That doesn't necessarily make them experts with things to do with xDSL. The same as being an IT expert doesn't make them an Engineer. I assume aesmith is asking because his knowledge in this area is limited and would like some constructive advise.
When it comes to "standard" plug-in filters, they should comply with BT spec.SIN346. You should find that most "rat's-tail" type filters from reputable manufactures do comply (that's Microfilters that look similar to this). In my experience, it doesn't matter who the manufacturer is as long as they comply.
Microfilters that look like solid block socket splitters similar in appearance to these generally give poor performance except on the shortest of lines and the old ones that look similar, that were for dial-up modems, are definitely no use whatsoever.
The Mk3 Openreach SSFP (vDSL) plate is generally a far better device.  It also has a common-mode filter that is compatible with vDSL. It is an Interstitial plate and has the Modem socket at the top leaving a filtered phone socket at the bottom. Any extension wiring connected to the lower front plate doesn't need dangly filters. The Mk3 plate also has provision for connecting extension wiring that can be used for a modem socket - as long as such wiring is to the correct standard - CW1308 - there should be no degradation in performance. Cat5 cable is also usable but is a much bulkier cable and as only one pair is needed, it's a bit of an overkill.
As well as general performance being good, you should find that the Mk3 plate gives you some reduction in some of the errors and some forms of interference but may not have much impact on the change in SNRM from day to night on longer lines and generally won't have any impact on cross-talk.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-10-2013

Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

of course, one needs to make sure they are buying a genuine MK3 faceplate.
there are quite a few fakes on ebay (and such like).
some are easy to spot at the font used on the MK3 logo is different to the genuine, but other aren't so obvious.
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

Quote
The Mk3 Openreach SSFP (vDSL) plate is generally a far better device.
Interestingly we have noticed recently that it actually seems better than the Mk2 one. We're getting FTTC in the office on a 'spare' line and, since it's a self-install, we bought a Mk3 faceplate. Since our install isn't till Wed , one of my colleagues borrowed the Mk3 to try on his FTTC at home. He already had a Mk2 faceplate fitted ( engineer install some while ago ) but putting in the Mk3 gave about 1Mb synch speed increase on both upstream and downstream. We were just a little surprised!, him so much that he decided to spend his own money on a Mk3 faceplate... 
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

The common-mode filter in the Mk2 isn't as good as the Mk3. The DSL filter part is unchanged iirc.
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Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

I am also on ADSL Max and use MK3 sockets on both of my lines each of which has a 10M ADSL wire to the modems in my cabinet, there is at least 4M of spare cable under the cabinet but this has no effect at all (well that I can see) and both modems connect at max speed 8128/832. But as noted you need to make sure you are getting good quality compliant components regardless of what you choose. If it were me, I'd go for the sockets every time not only is it tidier but it eliminates a connection, and as I see it the less connections the better.
nanotm
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Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

a lot of it depends on how the house is wired up and how many extension points there are.
I have a mk3 faceplate in my lounge (fitted by bt when they did the fttc install) the problem is that its not a direct connection to the nte5 box outside, that's wired through the building to the roof space where a line boosting spliter sends the signal to every room in the house where another phone socket is fitted, so I require the plugin filters on every socket, even to the point of needing a plugin filter on the phone side of the mk3 faceplate, that's one of the main reasons why when ever someone says they have a new faceplate fitted but are getting problems my first bit of advice is fit the filters on the phone lines, if their wireing is like mine it will be needed even if the modem/router is plugged into the vdsl socket on the mk3 /
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

That to me sounds like you have a star wired installation where the star wiring is prior to the "Master Socket" and that should have been resolved when you had the FTTC install. You are sure that it's an external NTE and not just a connector box? You can't have NTE5's externally, it would be a proper external NTE if it is one.
As for this "line boosting splitter" there is no such thing (except for TV etc stuff!), so what is it exactly - have you looked inside it? - pictures are always good!
The first bit of advice if someone is getting problems and they have a new vDSL face plate, is to post the DSL stats and then to remove the lower front plate which has the phone socket being very careful not to disturb the vDSL plate and then check that all extension sockets are dead using a phone via a filter.
nanotm
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Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

the grey box with the demarcation nte5 on it attached to the outside of the building, what they should do when performing the upgrade and what they actually do are often very different, the one I had took away the filters I was using along with the old faceplate, I went ot the shop and bought new ones and put them in place and bingo no more internet line drops every time the phone was used /rang .....

as to whats in the loft, I cant get to it any more, looking at the wiring diagram its listed as powered line split amplifer, apparently having 8 phone sockets requires such a device due to something called ring equivalent number ......
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

That setup sounds like a complete cock-up that need redoing. I'm not surprised you had issues with drops when the phone rings and even now I doubt you'll be getting the best sync speeds if it's wired the way you suggest, especially if a bell wire is connected at this external NTE which still can't be an NTE5 unless it happens to be inside a building.
Community Veteran
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Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

Cheers, I didn't notice this post getting updated, and meanwhile an Openreach guy fitted a Mk.3 plate while replacing the NTE5.  I note that the discussion seems to be solely around the different BT offerings, so I assume that the third party products aren't seen to offer any benefit.
By the way, for customers we generally use plug in filters if the line is used for a phone or fax as well as DSL.  In that environment there are more important issues than getting the last bit of speed out of their DSL.  A plug in filter is easy for an untrained person to swap at a remote site.  Having said that, I'm not sure I can remember ever having a fault that cleared when a filter was replaced, but service providers seem to always want you to try that.   
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Re: ADSL Filters or Faceplates

There's this document from the Broadband Forum all about filters, the advantages of using a single centralised filter, and how bad poor quality plug in filters can be:
MR-261, Motivation for Testing xDSL Splitters and In-Line Filters