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#160111 - 05/23/05 02:39 PM Intermitant phone static
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Any reliable ways to handle this one:

Customer calls and says they have static on the line when it rains. You get the call on a bright sunny day, NO STATIC, no visable entry of moisture, lines ring out fine, and clear, connections look great. You find nothing to warrant tearing the whole mess apart, and leave.

It rains again, customer calls, office sends you out on the next SUNNY DAY! Etc., etc.

Any advise, short of silencing the customer, or 're-arranging' the office?
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Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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#160112 - 05/23/05 04:38 PM Re: Intermitant phone static
John Crighton Offline
Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 172
Loc: Southern California
I had this exact symptom at my old residence in SoCal, and it was Pacific Bell's problem. The aerial distribution cables were old and getting damaged by rodents.

You'll probably need to get the customer to help isolate the problem to either the inside wiring or the telco side. The next time the static occurs, have him open up the Network Termination Unit, isolate the inside wiring by unplugging the short cable with the modular plug, and connecting a known good telephone directly into the modular jack in the NTU. If the noise persists, it's a telco problem; if not, you won't have much choice but to inspect every connection at the premises.

This assumes that the NTU has the isolation/test jack. If it was installed or updated within the last 20 years or so, it does.

Incidentally, after I determined that the problem wasn't with my inside wiring, I wrote a letter of complaint to Pac Bell. Within a month they re-cabled the entire block and gave me the name and direct number of the cable plant manager in case of further problems. That was a high-quality organization.

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#160113 - 05/23/05 05:41 PM Re: Intermitant phone static
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
John, I would do that, but what would you do if theres no static that day? If it's not doing it, how do you isolate it? There are ways using a SideKick, and been thinking of getting one for the shop, just don't know how. There are some other types of equipment too. Maybe someone has a really easy answer that I have over-looked all these years.

BTW, PacHell/SBC operaters are trained to always say "its an inside wiring problem". Something that I love to rub in when it's not. Like when I got the call for a dead phone line, customer calls PacHell, they say "inside wiring", I get there and the drop is in the street.

What I'm looking for is way to show up, CHARGE FOR IT, and say one way or the other.
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Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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#160114 - 05/23/05 05:41 PM Re: Intermitant phone static
hbiss Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
Question is why is the customer calling you instead of the TELCO? Was the inside wiring installed by you and still under warranty? Most people automatically call the TELCO because they know it will cost them nothing. If the TELCO says the problem is with the wiring and not their problem THEN they part with a few bucks and call me, but they rarely do that first.

But I digress.

Anyway, in cases where there is static, hum or other noise, crosstalk or other problems and you know the installation, don't even bother going out there, call the TELCO. 99% of the time it's their fault, ESPECIALLY if the problem is static that goes away when it isn't raining.

-Hal
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#160115 - 05/23/05 05:52 PM Re: Intermitant phone static
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Hey Hal, knew you were there somewhere.

Yep, part of plant is mine, and some existing, typical for remodels.

I'm either the last guy there, and I get the blame, or PacHell say "Inside", they call me back, or often the call PacHell, they show up, find nothing, say its fixed, and customer calls me again!

Eventually, you show up on the day there's static on the line, isolate it to outside, jam a butt-set against the customers face, and say, "See, not my problem".

Sorry, I had one this morning, I'm still wound up...
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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#160116 - 05/23/05 05:55 PM Re: Intermitant phone static
hbiss Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
... if theres no static that day? If it's not doing it, how do you isolate it? There are ways using a SideKick, and been thinking of getting one for the shop, just don't know how.

There is no way for you to isolate outside plant problems, not your job. You HAVE to be there when it's happening. Disconnect the inside wiring at the demarc and check the dialtone with a buttset then break dialtone and listen. If it's noisy call it in and leave. If there is no problem at the demarc start by disconnecting phones and checking jacks then wiring. You really don't need any fancy test equipment, maybe an ohm meter. Just keep disconnecting until the problem goes away. That's the only way I've done it and seen it done.

-Hal
_________________________
www.myphonetechs.com

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#160117 - 05/23/05 06:01 PM Re: Intermitant phone static
hbiss Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
Gotta stop typing when you are.

Yeah, there is always a lot of finger pointing. Sometimes the only way to resolve the problem is to be there when the tech is. Like I said, static and stuff like that when it rains is always the telco unless there is outside wiring or jacks after the demarc that can get wet.

-Hal
_________________________
www.myphonetechs.com

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#160118 - 05/23/05 08:51 PM Re: Intermitant phone static
John Crighton Offline
Member

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 172
Loc: Southern California
e57,

Um -- I obviously wasn't telling you anything you didn't already know. I apologize for stating the obvious.

As for the Sidekick, I don't think it will tell you anything useful unless the symptom is present (in which case your ears and a butt set will tell you the same thing for $1K less).

The bummer is that it's perfectly simple for the telco to isolate the IW during loop testing, because there's a function in the NTU to do exactly that. Hal is probably right that it's just unofficial policy to deny the problem until the customer gets squeaky enough.

In the case of the letter I wrote, it probably helped to compare (unfavorably) the quality of service to that of a third-world country. Or maybe it's that I addressed it to PacBell's CEO.

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#160119 - 05/24/05 12:23 AM Re: Intermitant phone static
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Sorry John, if I sounded off, but this stuff irritates the death out of me. Only posted it, because I want a magic bullet for this type of problem.

Anyway, welcome to the forums.... And sometimes stating the obvious need to be said.

Back on the whine train... There needs to be a tool out there somewhere, or class or something, that will allow you to 'wave your hand over it', and allow you to say, "It's there!" $1000, OK! Sign me up... $2000, still think about it. Because IT WOULD PAY FOR ITSELF IN WASTED TIME. Doh, getting wound up again.

OK, I'm back... Anyway, be it water, for the rare occassions I have my arm twisted to run anything outside, or for that matter other stupid intermitant static problems where this type of finger pointing happens between inside (Me), and outside. (Telco - haven't come up with any derogitory terms from SBC yet - but need one!) 90% of the time it's outside, its just the path you need to take to get them out of your hair is long and thorny. There's got to be a better way!
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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#160120 - 05/24/05 01:33 AM Re: Intermitant phone static
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I'd go with Hal's suggestion. The most practical way is to wait until the problem reappears, then disconnect at the network interface and connect a phone direct to the incoming line (either your butt set or get the owner to plug in a regular phone if he's doing it when you're not there). If you still get noise, then the problem is on the TelCo side.

Here in Britain we can dial a test number which runs an automatic routiner on the line, looking for basic faults such as low-resistance to ground etc. It doesn't always identify every fault, but in a large number of cases of noisy lines you can bet that the tester will come back with a result which indicates it's TelCo plant problems.

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