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    Using test socket on a permanent basis

    This is a discussion on Using test socket on a permanent basis within the Cabling and faceplate help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; My Sky Mid was plugged directly into my master socket using an ADSL Nation XTE-2005 Master Faceplate but my Sky ...

    1. #1
      Julian's Avatar
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      Using test socket on a permanent basis

      My Sky Mid was plugged directly into my master socket using an ADSL Nation XTE-2005 Master Faceplate but my Sky went really flaky over the last 5 days and after quite a few calls and swapping out micro filters it looks pretty conclusive that the filter in the faceplate is faulty. In a way this might be a good thing because it gave me what I hope is a good idea.

      All my voice services are off a multi-handset DECT system which was also plugged into the ADSL Nation faceplate but two wired extensions are useful for me (one to the living room for my Sky+ box and another to my office in case I ever want to send a fax via my PC or use dialup internet if I have a prolonged broadband outage). I had already removed the ring wire from all extensions.

      My hopefully-bright idea was as follows. Right now I have the ADSL Nation faceplate removed from the master socket so that the test socket is exposed and I have a regular BT microfilter plugged in so that I can connect my ADSL modem to the ADSL port and my DECT phone to the voice port and this all works fine but my extensions are dead of course.

      What I was thinking as why not keep this arrangement permanently but, instead of plugging my DECT phone (base station) directly into the voice port then get a three-way one of these (Maplin > 2, 3 or 4-Way Telephone Adaptors). I then take the extension wires going to my living room and office and, instead of the bare wire ends designed to fit into a faceplate, I fit regular phone jacks to each one and then I can just plug the extensions into the other two ports on the Maplin splitter.

      This seems to me to have two advantages. All the extension wiring is after the filter so there would be no leakage back into the ADSL signal. From this perspective it is the same as the filtered faceplate (isn't it?) but I could go further because I have one of those fancy surge-protecting mains extension/plugboards that also has a surge filter in it designed to protect the BT line from surges. I could feed the voice output from the microfilter into the input port of the surge filter and put the Maplin splitter on the output side of the filter so that any noise from extensions isn't even going straight into the voice port of the micro-filter, it is actually decoupled by the surge protector filter before even touching the microfilter so there is double isolation from any antenna noise picked up on the extension wiring.

      The other advantage is that the connections to the extensions are exposed so to add or remove an extension is as simple as plugging or unplugging it from the Maplin splitter and there would be much more space to clearly tie labels around which cable went to which extension because the wiring is all a lot less tight and fragile that the bare extension wiring that comes into the back of faceplates.

      The big disadvantage is that this is all hardly discrete but since my master socket is hidden behind an access panel in a hallway cupboard then for my setup it can look as ugly as it likes and take up (within reason) as much space as it likes.

      I see no reason why this wouldn't work and give state-of-the-art isolation of the extensions from the ADSL signal. Am I missing anything?

      - Julian


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    3. #2
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      Re: Using test socket on a permanent basis

      Talk about a sledge hammer to crack a nut. All you are doing is creating the same circuit as a filter faceplate, but using a poor filter! If your faceplate filter is playing up, return it for a replacment.

    4. #3
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      Re: Using test socket on a permanent basis

      Quote Originally Posted by Brian69 View Post
      Talk about a sledge hammer to crack a nut. All you are doing is creating the same circuit as a filter faceplate, but using a poor filter! If your faceplate filter is playing up, return it for a replacment.
      Well, I do understand why you say this but I disagree.

      First, and in fairness I should have said this initially, if I go permanent with this solution then I'd use an XF-1e instead of the freebie micro-filter I'm currently using so it wouldn't be a poorer filter and for me I really hate that mess of wiring behind faceplates so the benefit of extracting all the extension wiring into easily plugable and unplugable regular phone jacks is a nice benefit for the sake of 10 minutes with a soldering iron.

      Still, I take it from your comment that you do also believe that I am re-creating in every detail (assuming I use an XF-1e) a filter faceplate so on this basis I think I'll go ahead. There is also just a possibility that feeding the voice portion through the surge protector before mating it with the other extensions might improve isolation if the filtered faceplate isn't giving 100% isolation already.

      - Julian

      P.S. I think my faceplate is out of guarantee so price-wise my solution is only about 3 more than replacing the filter faceplate (I already have lots of BT plugs).

    5. #4
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      Re: Using test socket on a permanent basis

      So long as you do not mess about with the incomming line on A and B of the master, you are free to try anything you like. There is a much easer way through.
      (1) You leave all the extension wireing connected to the normal NTE-5 faceplate.
      (2) Take two plug in filters, connect one to the test socket and the other to the phone socket of the first.
      (3) connect router to the router socket of the first filter.

      (4) take two phone plugs and crimp one to a length of normal phone cable. Crimp the other plug to the other end but with the connections reversed.
      (5) use this lead to connect the NTE-5 faceplate to the phone side of the second filter.

      I used this years ago when I needed a filter faceplate, but had run out! The lead between the faceplate and the second filter can be anything (as in two plugs wired straght through or reversed) You would just need to swap the extension wiring around on the faceplate. (2 becomes 5 5 becomes 2 and 3 becomes 4 ) .

      It was only used for a short time, but it worked very well.
      Last edited by Brian69; 10-06-08 at 07:27 AM.

    6. #5
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      Re: Using test socket on a permanent basis

      Yup. Thanks for the new idea. That would definitely be simple and effective but I'm afraid I've become quite enamoured by the idea of moving the feed-offs to the wired house extensions onto individual BT plugs so that they plug into the Maplin splitter a bit like network devices plug into a network switch.

      As it happens this whole thing is on hold right now because now I'm not so sure on Sky's diagnosis that my faceplate was faulty. I just had another disconnect even with the simplest possible setup of a brand new (admittedly cheapo BT) microfilter plugged directly into the test socket with the modem on the ADSL port and my DECT base station on the voice port and all other stuff (extensions) disconnected (obviously). This is with my line that for over 2 years got over 7.6mbps down and 768kbps up from UKOnline (Easynet) 8M service and now doesn't seem stable on Sky (Easynet) 8M service even with the current cap that Sky set after my last support call of 4544kbps down and 64kbps up.

      There are clearly some serious issues that need sorting out here so for now I'll do without all my extension wiring and stay with a single splitter into the test socket until I can get back to decent stable speeds. I might order the XF-1e anyway because it costs pocket change and at least I'll then have it if/when I decide I want to use it.

      - Julian

    7. #6
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      Re: Using test socket on a permanent basis

      have you tried it with a bog standard old school phone in and not your DECT ones - as they are known to cause issues (albeit wireless)...
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      Re: Using test socket on a permanent basis

      @ Julian.
      I have not asked why you want to/or think your faceplate filter is unserviceable, but I have fitted hundreads and only known of one faulty and that was a lightening strike. The ADSL Nation XTE-2005 and the BT v1 both work fine.
      I suspect you have another problem.

    9. #8
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      Re: Using test socket on a permanent basis

      Quote Originally Posted by IAmNotTheEnemy View Post
      have you tried it with a bog standard old school phone in and not your DECT ones - as they are known to cause issues (albeit wireless)...
      Hmm. Interesting. I don't think I could live without my DECT phones but maybe I'd better try it. I don't connect to the router wirelessly, it's all wired, but the DECT base station is right next to the master socket so just maybe the DECT radio in the base station is inducing noise on the incoming phone line or within the microfilter. I'll do some experiments.

      @Brian69 - Thanks for the info on faceplate reliability. The reason I thought my faceplate filter was unserviceable is that Sky broadband second level support ended up with that as the diagnosis but it's pretty clear to me now that the problem is elsewhere (I've had two disconnects today with the brutal speed caps and the replacement microfilter). My guess right now is that it's either a faulty router or interference/noise from the DECT base station.

      - Julian

     

     

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