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#141462 - 08/18/04 12:46 AM Telephone troubles
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
This is my first visit to ECN since Saturday, as I've been having problems with my phone line.

It went out Saturday evening with a permanent loop on the line somewhere. I reported it to BT and they said they didn't have anyone out this way until next Saturday (8/21/04), so I thought I'd be in for a long wait.

Anyway, I just happened to check the line this morning and got a dialtone, so it looks as though the intermittent fault is clear -- for now, so I can catch up on forums and e-mail!

If I disappear again until next weekend, you'll know I've lost service again.......

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#141463 - 08/18/04 04:29 PM Re: Telephone troubles
uksparky Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 199
Loc: UK
You have my sympathy.

I have been in touch with BT on and off for the last six weeks with 'intermittent faults'. Actually it's noise on the line, and battery presence. Water Of course any noise kicks the modem off, so I can be booted at any time - SO frustrating.

Each time the engineers come they 'do something that will cure it'... Ha! The only thing they should do is replace the ruddy cable from our house to the main road , and this time bury it instead of leaving it in the hedge bottom to be chopped up every year by the farmer's hedge trimmer!!

They are trying to sell me answer is that there is no hope until the line can support it!!!
If hindsight were foresight, we'd all be millionaires!

#141464 - 08/21/04 10:43 AM Re: Telephone troubles
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Everything is now fully operational again!

An engineer showed up about 1:30 this afternoon and set to tracing the fault, after a brief chat about technical matters (apparently he had been passed a note that I was ex-BT telephone engineering).

BT certainly seems to work in strange ways these days however. This chap was from London, and just up here in Norfolk with a few other engineers to cover faults for a week or two, hence the long wait to get the repair carried out.

He was equipped with AutoRoute (laptop and road map software) for directions, but of course not being local to the area he still had quite a time finding his way around to the appropriate cabinets and distribution points (I helped out there, of course ).

Anyway, despite several trips between here and the next village (at which point the line was O.K.) he still couldn't pinpoint the intermittent fault. Luck would have it there was a spare pair from the exchange right to the pole in front of my house, so he just swapped me onto that pair.

Nice to be back to normal!

#141465 - 08/22/04 08:10 AM Re: Telephone troubles
Bjarney Offline

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
About cable faults, Paul, I have a war story… I used work with a telecomm guy who had a Metro-Tel “Breakdown Test Set.” The 630VDC spec is not a typographical error. It weighed probably 30 pounds, about 14x20 inches on the face, and used SEVEN 90-volt carbon-zinc batteries.

He could triple his fun by burning tip-to-ring, ring-to-ground and ground to tip. For older cables it was sometimes handy, but there were some fairly serious risks in using the device. It was usually murder/suicide by default on pulp & lead cable.

#141466 - 08/24/04 06:48 PM Re: Telephone troubles
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8532
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Good to have you back on-line, Paul.
What would have caused a fault like that in the first place?.
Having an extra pair at your end of the line would have been a great relief for the Engineer and you!, says alot for installing Multi-pair cables in the first place.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#141467 - 08/30/04 04:14 AM Re: Telephone troubles
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
A nice piece of equipment, although I might not want to be hanging on a pole testing lines when somebody tried using it.....

Those 90V batteries you mentioned sound very much like the zinc-carbon HT batteries ("B+" battery in U.S. terminology) used in old valve/tube portable radios years ago.

It was most likely corrosion somewhere. Just before the line went out I noticed it getting rather noisy, and a couple of incoming calls had the ringing tripped out on the first ring. The automatic tester was reporting "Rectified loop" as well -- All very typical indications.

The spare pair being right outside was a real stroke of luck. Over the last few years there have been a lot of people moving into houses here which were previously just holiday accommodation, so there's been heavy demand for extra lines, and you'll see a lot of DACS on poles (digital multiplexer to run two lines on one physical pair).

While I was in town a couple of days ago I ran into another of the engineers who's up here temporarily and had a chat with him. Apparently they've had a lot of line problems here with the recent thundery weather and it coincided with many of the local engineers being on holiday, so that's why BT got a few engineers up here from London for a couple of weeks.

The guy I spoke with said he'd never seen so many corroded distribution points before! Right down at ground level the green inside an opened DP up the pole was immediately obvious. All part of the fun of living next to the North Sea!

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 08-30-2004).]


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