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Strange phone line setup in new house, help please

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by Tirglas_7, 21 May 2017.

  1. Tirglas_7

    Tirglas_7

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    Hi:)

    Just moved into an 80's house which were slowly renovating.

    There are 2 phone points,

    1 with a bt emblem on it as pictured below, that appears to have one cable in and another piggybacked into the connector.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The other just has 1 cable in and has no bt markings etc.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    before I tried anything I assumed the one with the bt emblem was the master and the other linked off it. But, the one with the bt faceplate doesn't work, the one without an emblem with a single cable does??

    The phone cable comes in the roof somewhere nowhere near either connections. Problem is the one that's isn't working is in my preferred location.

    Could the one that isn't working be my master and still supply another socket whilst not working itself? Or is that impossible? I'm happy to lose connection on the singular but don't want to start messing with my only working connection if the other one can't be fixed.

    Hope this has made sense, thanks for reading :)
     
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  3. ericmark

    ericmark

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    In the past we have used some odd systems, so back to 1950's and the phone was hard wired we were not permitted to do extensions our self, we still have the old GPO junction box in mothers house with many at the time illegal branches, the jack plug came first then the one used today. Over the years many of the old sockets became redundant, in my house wall lights fitted next door caused a mains hum so many of the sockets were disconnected.

    We also used a fax machine, which all phones were fed from it, as soon as a fax was detected, it would switch off all phones so the fax got a better signal.

    Today we have the master socket from the open reach line with a removable bottom half so by removing that bottom half it disconnects all internal wiring so you can easy test with a fault if it's down to open reach or you to repair, however there are still loads where that is not the case.

    The master socket has a number of functions, stopping static build up, and making the bells ring, however with modern cordless phones and modems or routers the bell ringing function is no longer used, so if the only socket in the house was not a master socket it would still work with a cordless phone. So very possible that you don't have a master socket connected.

    I have a problem with mothers house as the extensions spider out around the house, ideal is to router first, then to monitoring station unit, then to phones, the idea is the monitoring station unit will will take over the line in an emergency, does not matter if phone is off the hook, should the fire alarm be triggered the monitoring station will still take over the line and send an alarm call to monitoring station.

    However that would mean the monitoring station unit would have to be in the hall where the original post office phone was fitted. Back in the 50's and 60's standard place for phone was in the hall, and so that is still where you find the master box. Often also a bare earth wire, where it was used for the party line. Also in larger houses look for where the fax machine was, often two sockets where the fax machine was, incoming phone and outging to rest of the house, for years I had a patch lead joining them both together after my Brother printer, scanner, fax machine failed. Look for two phone sockets close together.

    Today at home my router is plugged in at the master socket and all internal hard wired phones plug into the filter so I can simply unplug all internal phones. In mothers house there are live phone sockets everywhere, my dad got some phones without bells, there was a 5 ren limit so these allowed him to have more than 5 phones, I lifted one up the other day and found it still live.
     
  4. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    The one with the BT symbol is the Master Socket. ( it has the blue capacitor fitted ) the one with two cables is a slave socket.

    Sine the Master has only one cable ( the incoming circuit from the telephone exchange ) it is not connected to any slaves.
     
  5. Tirglas_7

    Tirglas_7

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    Thanks for the replies

    The one with the capacitor on it doesn't have a symbol on it. The one with the 2 wires has the bt symbol.

    The one with the capacitor is also poorly wired with the wire loose in front of the skirting board then had been run through a hole in the floorboard.

    It definitely hasn't been done by a bt engineer anyway.

    Is there anyway of me testing to see if this is the master socket? The broadband speeds from it are excellent, however if I ever do have an issue I imagine bt are going to charge me as it isn't their kit

    The wiring comes in from a telegraph pole into the top of the house from the gable end. Could I find this point then run fresh wiring to where I want it in the house?
     
  6. Lucid

    Lucid

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    I'm no telephone expert but it looks to me like Billy Bodger has had a go at re-wiring the phone lines at some point in the house's history.

    From what I can see here's what I think is messed up:

    The socket marked LJ2/1a is the Master Socket. That big blue electrical component (a capacitor) marked up 'LCR 1.8 250V' is part of the circuit that made the bell ring on old phones. As it's the Master Socket, this should be the one that is the first socket in your house as the telephone wire comes in from the outside. Someone has put yours at the end of the extension i.e. it's in the wrong place.

    The socket market LJ3/3A is a slave socket, and since the Master Socket is in the wrong place then guess what.... the slave socket is too.

    I'm not going to go in to detail about the wiring because the sockets themselves are pretty old. If the slave socket (LJ3/3A) was originally supplied by BT then the 'T circle' logo dates it to 1980-88. The wiring and socket positions was probably messed with at some point after.

    Strictly speaking, the Master Socket is BT's (or OpenReach as it is now) property. It marks the boundary point between what's their property and what's yours. It shouldn't have been moved or messed with. That point is a bit moot though since it obviously has. What you want to avoid now is getting a bill from BT for their engineer coming out and putting things right. It's about £150, and probably plus VAT too.

    It's going to be simpler and better to replace both with new. The Master Socket should be a BT version of a NTE5. If you're connecting an internet modem/router then you can get a version of the front plate with an ADSL filter - so this has two sockets rather than one; there's a phone socket and one for the smaller plug used for the router connection. Alternatively you can stick with just a regular BT NTE5 and use the plug-in ADSL micro-filter. (The examples given are just that, examples. Once you know what to search for you can look up alternative versions yourself.)

    There's a comprehensive guide to wiring phone sockets here. The connections are pretty straight forward. The incoming line uses blue (on to pin 2) and blue/white (on to pin 5) for voice/data. Our phones no longer need the bell ringer wire (orange, pin 3 I think) so that doesn't need to be connected. Your extensions simply carry the blue and blue/white wires to the the same numbered pins as the Master Socket. I hope this helps.


    - Did we help? Then use the THANKS button. It's free and it marks good advice for other readers -
     
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  8. Tirglas_7

    Tirglas_7

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    Great info thanks.

    Where the new bodged master is located is the wrong end of the house. Ironically where the redundant extension socket is located is close to ideal.

    I'm happy to completely remove the bodged master as its unsightly and not required in that location.

    Rather than trying to extend the wiring from its current location to the new one, am I better off finding where it enters the house upstairs, then running fresh known good cable (house is being refurbished so ceiling/wall damage is no issue at this point) down to my preferred location.

    Then terminate it all neatly into one of the new style sockets.
     
  9. Lucid

    Lucid

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    I've mentioned before that the Master Socket is BT's property - so, that caveat dealt with, I think your plan for a fresh start seems reasonable. If the sockets have been bodged like this then who knows if the cable hasn't been messed with either? Use Cat5e or Cat6 twisted pair cable, and make sure it's all copper - 100% - not this Copper Coated Aluminium (CCA) rubbish being peddled cheap on ebay and the web.
     
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  10. Tirglas_7

    Tirglas_7

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    great, i have a bt cables 305m cat6 solid copper core reel that i'm using for my network and ip cameras so i'll use that.

    now to find where it comes into the house:)
     
  11. ericmark

    ericmark

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    The standard open reach type master socket seen here [​IMG] has a bottom bit which you can remove, the extension phones connect to that bottom bit, and behind it there is another socket so if there is a fault removing the bottom bit isolates rest of house and allows you to just test the open reach bit.

    I had to phone to get my phones working again and the standard thing from Sky and I expect all the others are the same was to remove the bottom bit and test from there, when I reported I still had the old post office junction box, they got open reach to fit a master socket for free. At under £4 not really an issue, it was the if we find the fault is in the house we charge thing which is the problem, it was not in the house so no charge.

    But now it is so easy to be sure fault is not in house, two screws and all house internal wiring is isolated.

    I made some mistakes wiring phones in my house, I put cables in a wall between me and next door, then they fitted wall lamps which put a mains hum on the phone line, so that section had to be removed from the circuit, today my router is right where the master socket is, and the cordless phone is right by master socket, so although wiring is still in the house the hard wired phones don't use it any more. I feel better to hard wire LAN cables than phone cables.
     
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  12. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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