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Noisy phone line when modem connected

fastaudi
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-10-2008

Noisy phone line when modem connected

Hello all, I have a problem with my phone line/broadband connection. From time to time the crackle and hiss I can hear gets unbearable and my broadband connection keeps dropping off. I think it has probably always been like it but as the level of the noise is not constant (it ranges from just noticable for a couple of weeks or even months to unusable for a day or two) I have tended to put up with it until it gets better. Also due to the fact that the phone is provided by one company (Toucan), the broadband by another (Plusnet) etc. I have never been able to get either to take responsibility and resolve my problem. Angry
I have now tried replacing everything, modem, filters, telephone and now even the master socket. but to no avail; there is still noise on the phone line when ever the modem is connected, disconnect the modem and the line is crystal clear. So what could be causing this?
Anyone had a similar problem and got it resolved? Any help or information would be appreciated.
Ta in advance.
13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

If you have tried replacement equipment, and have also tried just the router and a wired phone plugged into the test socket behind the master socket (via a filter) and the noise persists then it is likely you have a line fault.
Initially, get in touch with Toucan (preferably when the noise is present on the line) and complain about the noisy line.  At this point do not mention broadband at all.  Get the operator to confirm that they can hear the noise during the call and ask them to send a PSTN engineer to investigate the source of the noise.
If this doesn't solve the problem, then you will then need to raise a fault at http://faults.plus.net.
It is imperative that you have completed any steps that you are asked (if possible) to ensure that you will not be billed for a callout by the BT SFI engineer.  If you are confident you have tried everything possible then you should not be charged (and PN will fight this on your behalf if you are)
B.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

A bit of a silly question, but it has to be asked!
Do you have all the phones on your line plugged into the phone side of a filter? 
Every phone must be filtered as must everything else plugged into a phone socket (Sky boxes, fax machines, etc.).  Generally this means one microfilter per phone socket in the house not just the socket the router/modem is connected to.
fastaudi
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

I have tried two of everything. All plugged into the correct side of a filter, a filter for each device.
I did get Toucan to send a BT engineer to my house without mentioning broadband (I made that mistake the first time I tried to sort this out) and I demonstrated that the noise was there with both my Netgear and Speedtouch modems, any filter and any of three phones I tried. He said it is definitely an issue with the beoadband but not his sphere of excellance.
I went back to Plusnet with this and the BT engineer said he was going to file a report that incuded that I had demonstrated that the problem was present with two lots of equipment. However, they are adamant it is problem at my end!
Bring back the G.P.O!
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

I would suspect that Plusnet were merely askin you to triply ensure you have checked everything at your end.
At the end of the day, while it's annoying PN are only trying to save you from the extortionate BT callout charge for a No Fault visit.
Do you have a ticket number I can point one of the Comms team towards?
B.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 17,641
Thanks: 535
Fixes: 159
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

I've just looked at your account (the one linked to this forum username) and can't see a fault raised on there. There was one raised in September, however that was closed after we asked you to monitor the connection as it had been connected for 4 days straight.
Is it the same account or a different one? If you can post a ticket number it will help us identify the correct account. Otherwise I'd suggest getting a fault raised at http://faults.plus.net so we know you have a problem.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
fastaudi
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

As I said it comes and goes. It had been fine for quite a while following the ticket I put in in September but last night I got home and the connection was down again and I had to reboot my modem. Usually the modem shows DSL as connected but not connected to the internet, what ever that means. Roll eyes
Trouble is by the time anyone looks at my problem it has usually improved to a point where the broadband connection stays up and I am left with just a crackling phone line at this point I think it is deemed to be a line fault, not a broadband fault. However, as I said, unplug the modem and the phone line is fine, absolutely crystal clear but plug the modem back in and you can hear it try to connect then the line becomes crackely. At it's worst the phone is almost unusable and every time you pick it up the broadband disconnects.
I know the two signals should be able to co-exist on the same cable due to the fact they are at very different frequencies and the filters should seperate the signals completely but I have tried three lots of filters and all are the same. Sad
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

What type of filter are you using?
If it's the simple telephone socket doubler type (i.e. no "dangly" wire) then these tend not to be very good.
Have you considered trying a filtered faceplate or a professional filter?
I'd recommend trying the filtered faceplate - I've fitted a few of them (including to my own line) and they do improve things no end!
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,303
Thanks: 968
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

Note that if you are fitting a filtered faceplate and there are extension phone sockets elsewhere in the house you will need to get an insertion tool to fit them to the filtered faceplate for them to continue working.
I did that initially but then went over to a DEC phone with several handsets so I just left the wires unconnected.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: 26-07-2007

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

...or, if they're just plugged into the front of the current socket, plug them into the phone socket on the front of the new plate.  Remember though that ADSL will only be available at the socket on the front of the new faceplate and not on any extensions - unless you run a dedicated ADSL extension from the blue terminals at the rear of the faceplate.
fastaudi
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

Quote:"What type of filter are you using?
If it's the simple telephone socket doubler type (i.e. no "dangly" wire) then these tend not to be very good.
Have you considered trying a filtered faceplate or a professional filter?
I'd recommend trying the filtered faceplate - I've fitted a few of them (including to my own line) and they do improve things no end!"

The first filters I tried came with the modem from Plusnet (don't remember reading anything before I signed up that would suggest that the equipment they were supplying might not actually work!!!) Anyway, the next ones were the "dangly"  type that came with my Netgear modem. The third "dangly" type came with the Speedtouch modem that I am currently using; a modem that has previously worked without issue at my office for several months.
Can the filters mentioned above really make that much difference? Are there people out there that have switched to this type of filter and achieved genuine improvments in their connections?
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

If you have tried in the test socket with all three filters and at least two modems then it really is likely to be a line fault.  Honest guv!
Different filters and filtered faceplates will help you with troublesome extension wiring, but the above test removes all of your extension wiring completely - hence it then being fairly conclusively a line fault.
Filtered faceplates can make an enormous difference when you have substandard or unusual extension wiring (or a large extension circuit with the bell wire attached, for example)
B.
fastaudi
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

Personally I think the problem is external to my house and throwing more money at it via alternative filters isn't going to make the differnence but who is resposible Plusnet, Toucan, BT?
As I said bring back the G.P.O!!
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: 08-09-2008

Re: Noisy phone line when modem connected

Not all ADSL micro-filters are created equal. Some have very sophisicated active filter stages built onto PCB's and with added surge protection (and flashing blue LEDs). And they cost - sometimes £30 per unit. Whilst other micro-filters are nothing more than a resistor and a capacitor soldered together inside a BT adapter housing (probably made on someone's kitchen table in China)  which provides an optimistic low pass filter for the audio band. We had a batch of these 'budget ADSL Micro-Filters' that were scrap in a jiffy bag. They were so bad the ADSL link was disconnected every time someone lifted a handset!!!
Moral of the story: Beware cheap filters.
BTW: For ONLY the tech heads out there, here's an interesting little fix to potentially improve your ADSL signal to noise ratio..
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/faq/sections/radsl.html#235