Kitz Forum

Broadband Related => Telephony Wiring + Equipment => Topic started by: displaced on February 20, 2018, 09:22:54 AM

Title: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: displaced on February 20, 2018, 09:22:54 AM
Hi,

My mum's just moved into somewhere new and is having a load of building work done.  Sadly the work's nearly complete -- but the telephony wiring's a mess.

The house has no NTE5 -- just a junction box on the wall outside and 4 or 5 wires disappearing from there into the house.  It's possible that some of them are for additional lines, but who knows without peering inside the box.

The builders have fitted a load more phone sockets and it looks like they've just hooked them up to the nearest wire.  Who the heck knows.

By virtue of being close to the exchange, her ADSL service still syncs highly, and voice seems fine.  But the modem's currently connected to one of the original sockets, so it'll be interesting to see when it's moved to its new location on one of the new sockets.

Ideally, she'd like an NTE5 in the hall, the modem on the wall there and the cordless phone base in the lounge on a filtered extension.

Of course, it's in everyone's best interest to get the wiring sorted out before the building work finishes -- but Sky (her ISP and voice provider) won't do anything unless there's a fault.  BT aren't interested as she's not their customer, and Openreach can't be contacted by end-users.

I think I'll take a peer into the junction box when I'm down there next.  I've got a probe that'll tell me which pairs are active without disconnecting anything, so perhaps I'll just try to figure out where the wires go. 

Now, I'm no telephony engineer, but in the worst-case scenario, I'm pretty sure me sourcing and fitting an NTE5C would be preferable to the builders tapping whatever line they find with a dialtone...

Any tips on what to do next?

Cheers!
Chris
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: displaced on February 20, 2018, 09:34:30 AM
Hmm.  Read around a bit more - will see if I can find which socket is the current old-style master and run an NTE5 off that, if we don't have any luck getting it sorted properly via Openreach.  Won't go messing with stuff too much.

Shame though -- it really could do with just being pulled out and re-done nicely.
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: ejs on February 20, 2018, 06:43:52 PM
Adding an NTE5 will make no real difference if there's a load of star wiring branching off the line from the external junction box.
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: displaced on February 20, 2018, 09:06:33 PM
True, true...  I'm hoping at the very least I can figure out what's going where and make it tidy!

I've attached 3 pics of the internal wiring.

The most interesting one is 'wtf'.  This is a loose board with what I think is an old-style master socket (please correct me if I'm wrong!).  The black wire looks like something that's coming from the junction box on the outside of the house. The tangle of pairs somehow joins the black cable with the white one you can see emerging at the bottom.  The white wire goes -- nowhere. It's been cut off. 

'junction-box' shows ... a junction box!  Apparently the builders severed one of the two cables coming from this, causing the main socket to lose tone.  So, I think this definitely goes back to the junction box outside the front of the house... somehow.  I'll see if I can chase it up through the loft.  At least the house is a bungalow, so not too much verticality involved!

The last one, 'main-socket' is where everything's plugged in.  This is all chased into the wall - absolutely no idea where it goes (other than, seemingly, via the junction box mentioned above).  It looks decidedly un-BT-ish - dunno what's going on there...

Any thoughts appreciated!

[edit: oh, and to add:  that 'wtf' photo isn't after any disassembly -- that's just what it's currently like!]

Cheers,
Chris
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: burakkucat on February 20, 2018, 11:39:16 PM
That is just one big utter mess which deserves being stripped out and consigned to a rubbish heap.  :o  :-X

Start at the external junction box (if it's old, damaged and seen better days, replace it with a BT66) and identify the active pair on the service feed. Once that has been found, run your new lead-in (CW1308 specification cable) to where the NTE5 should be. Add a SSFP to the NTE5 and the essential work is done.  ;)

With sanity now prevailing, one or more telephony extension sockets can be run, in daisy-chain mode, from the SSFP.
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: tubaman on February 21, 2018, 09:09:30 AM
That loose socket is a secondary not a master, as it doesn't have any components (Ring capacitor, resistor, surge arrestor) on the PCB.
I agree with @b*cat - it all needs ripping out and starting again.
What a mess! :ouch:
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: displaced on February 21, 2018, 11:11:41 AM
Thanks all.

Going to head over with my tester and figure out which of the many, many cables is actually doing anything.

Is it possible that there is *no* master socket? Iíve yet to see anything that looks like one other than that which has been identified as a secondary.

Iím going to head up into the loft tomorrow and see whatís going on there. The cables from the exterior junction box all disappear into the roof - Iím expecting the worst!!
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: burakkucat on February 21, 2018, 05:52:24 PM
Going to head over with my tester and figure out which of the many, many cables is actually doing anything.

Yes, that will be a good start. DVM, notepad, pen or pencil and a good torch.

Quote
Is it possible that there is *no* master socket?

With what I have seen, so far, that could be a possibility.  :-X

Quote
Iím going to head up into the loft tomorrow and see whatís going on there. The cables from the exterior junction box all disappear into the roof - Iím expecting the worst!!

Don't despair, that may be the key to the entire pig's ear. It might be worth looking into the external junction box first . . . you may find one or more cables are not connected and can be immediately removed, thus simplifying the muddle.

Scroll down this page (http://www.telephonesuk.co.uk/connection_boxes.htm). Is the external box a BT16A or a BT18? If yes, I would recommend replacing it with a BT66 and then join the wires of the service feed to your new lead-in with gel-crimps.
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: Black Sheep on February 21, 2018, 07:01:54 PM
Is it possible that there is *no* master socket? Iíve yet to see anything that looks like one other than that which has been identified as a secondary.


Not butting in here, as the lads are giving sound advice, just wanted to give an opinion on the comment above for others that may have similar issues.

We have a couple of new-build estates on my patch, that sees the multi-purpose plate (the one where your satellite cables are shown in your picture) actually be the 'main' socket ..... as run by the building contractor.

This obviously threw up questions about demarcation/fitting SSFP's ??

Our remit is, if it is  proven that it is the 'Main' socket, then we can divert the 'feed' wire into a newly positioned master socket (usually this would be fit above or below the multi-purpose plate), and then link the extensions up by connecting them to the newly installed SSFP, via a short piece of wire going back into the multi-purpose plate. Hope this makes sense ??

We categorically can not perform this function, if the multi-purpose plate also contains an outlet for 240v.
From your picture it appears yours does not, as there is a separate 240v socket next to it.  :)
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: displaced on February 21, 2018, 07:37:29 PM
Very interesting - thanks!

Iíll take a look behind that plate for associated master-socket gubbins to confirm.

The multipurpose plateís in what is now a bedroom. The line to it appears to go all around the house, via the internal junction box photographed (which is at the back of the house), then somehow right round to the external box at the front of the house!

Iíll proceed with caution and stop just before I donít know what Iím doing  ;)

Iíll see what the exterior j/b is all about - have a BT66 on its way and a load of gel-crimps somewhere around here...
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: displaced on March 19, 2018, 10:33:19 PM
Well, finally all sorted!

I disconnected all extraneous cabling from the junction box and replaced the run from there into the house (well, bungalow).

Since the walls were freshly done, I ended up replacing the multi-function faceplate where the line terminated with separate satellite terminal plates and the new NTE5C.  I then ran an extension from there back up into the loft through the existing trunking and connected that to the phone socket in the new lounge.

So, all standard, neat and working well.

Still to sort was the Sky Q problems.  The Q hub and main Q box were next to the NTE5C in the bedroom, and the Q Mini is in the new lounge.  About as far from eachother as possible.  Signal was barely making it out of the bedroom - and line-of-sight between the two Q boxes went smack through a load of thick walls and the mains consumer unit.

I naively thought I could hook up a decent AP (a Ubiquiti AC LR), but no dice. Sky Q's proprietary mesh won't operate over anything other than their own kit.  Fitted a couple of Sky Q Booster boxes in strategic places and it's up and running.

Lessons learnt: 

- Having a phone line tester is invaluable when faced with mystery wiring.
- Jelly crimps are nifty.
- I will never, ever get Sky Q.  A TV service which dictates what home network gear I can use isn't something I want.
- Never assume how WiFi will behave. Some walls might as well be lead-lined.
- Ubiquiti stuff is cool.  I've now got an AC-LR and an AC-Lite at home 11ac is slightly worse than my Apple AirPort, but the management stuff is excellent.
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: burakkucat on March 19, 2018, 10:43:26 PM
An excellent result has been achieved.  :)  Well done!  :thumbs:

I had to go back and read every post . . . then everything just fell into place.

Out of curiosity, what was the old external junction box that you replaced with a BT66?
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: GaryW on March 20, 2018, 10:17:01 AM
You can stop Sky Q using its own mesh network if you have wired connections to the Sky Q boxes - you can then go into the service menu on the Sky Q boxes and turn off wi-fi.  I use BT Whole Home Wifi discs to get a wired connection near the boxes, but obviously powerline and/or proper wired connections would also do the trick.  You might even be able to just rely on the Sky Q boxes' own (proprietary) Powerline networking - I've never tried it so don't know if it works!  (My setup has powerline disabled as well as it causes major VDSL issues in my house).
Title: Re: Getting wiring normalised
Post by: MrMike on March 20, 2018, 11:27:55 AM
Regarding the Sky Q setup. I disabled Wi-Fi on both the main Sky Q box and the mini box and connected them both via ethernet cables to my switch/router in my home network resulting in no more requirement to use it's own private Wi-Fi network. It alleviated the occasional dropout of TV picture on the mini box as the Wi-Fi reception was poor with the thick walls in my home. The mini box was noticeably cooler to the touch after disabling Wi-Fi as it did get very hot. I'm sure it was within normal operating ranges, but it was very uncomfortable to keep my hand rested on it for longer than a few seconds. It is of course placed in a well ventilated area.

To disable the Wi-Fi radios on the Sky Q boxes go to the main menu and highlight the Settings menu, but don't enter it. Then press 0 0 1 followed by the Select button on the remote. Here you can find the Network sub-menu and disable the 2 wireless radios. Disable powerline too while you're at it if it has enabled itself. It seems it's a feature that Sky are quietly dropping, however it can still be used. Remember to do these steps on all Sky Q and mini boxes.