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Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: May 12, 2012 08:39PM
The household phones cut out the other day. I assumed it was the new digital service that RCN switched us to, but the signal out of the new modem is fine. There is dial tone upstairs (two floors of phones), but the signal is now very noisy, and sometimes fails altogether.

The problem seems to be somewhere between the junction in the basement and upstairs. When we added the second floor, I had the electrician run phone lines (and Cat 5) to all the upstairs rooms, so of course they're in the walls. I don't see any easy way to isolate the second floor from the easier-to-access first floor.

I've disconnected all phones, and all cables from walls to phones, hoping to find a bad one—no luck.

I tried my LAN tester, but it doesn't seem to be working past at the junction and beyond (the junction is just a four-screw block—I checked and reconnected all the wires.

The funny thing is, I use the second pair to run my office fax line through the house, so my wife can call patients on that without worrying about them getting our household phone number. That pair seems fine (it's an analog line from a different company).

I'm wondering if there is some tool that phone guys use which would enable me to test the connection between each jack and the block down in the basement. If I could isolate a line causing the problem, conceivably I could bypass it or something. I really don't want to get into the walls. . .

/Mr Lynn



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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 12, 2012 08:46PM
is this a plain old telephone line (no VOIP)? when I had nose on my verizon copper line, the damn line dialed all sort of strange numbers with 1s and 2s, but two times in dialed 9-1-1 and police showed up at my door at 5 AM on July 4th
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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: May 12, 2012 08:49PM
The line coming in is now digital, shared with the Internet and cable on one coax cable. I don't think that is VOIP, but I don't know. I think one can go down without the other, but that may no longer be true.

Anyway, the problem is clearly internal, as the signal at the modem is fine.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: haikuman
Date: May 12, 2012 08:54PM
Your lines may not be properly grounded and some old lines may not be shielded.
Otherwise. Homeland Security has tapped your line again tongue sticking out smileygrinning smiley



“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish"
Steve Jobs

"There are only two mantras yum and yuk mine is yum "
Bernard Mickey Wrangle<>Tom Robbins<> "Still Life With Woodpecker"

"There is a fine line between a rut and a groove"
G.D. Kittredge III

"


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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: Dick Moore
Date: May 12, 2012 11:10PM
Might be time to get the provider out there to test for you -- there is no cheap tester that I'm aware of that can test the analog to digital connection. You could have a bad filter that separates the analog lines from the digital line. the cost of a service call might save you big bucks.



What it is, man, a low-down and funky feelin'
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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: May 13, 2012 05:55AM
Quote
Dick Moore
Might be time to get the provider out there to test for you -- there is no cheap tester that I'm aware of that can test the analog to digital connection. You could have a bad filter that separates the analog lines from the digital line. the cost of a service call might save you big bucks.

D-to-A has to take place within the modem, right? I plug a standard (analog) phone into the modem RJ-11 jack, and I hear no noise on the line. Connect a line from the modem to the household block, and there's noise on all the phones.

When I called RCN originally, they said to check at the modem; if that's OK, then the problem is with the inside lines. There are no filters in the house.

Or am I missing something?

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: haikuman
Date: May 13, 2012 06:17AM
There may be some help here:
[www.google.com]

And here:

[www.google.com]



“Stay Hungry Stay Foolish"
Steve Jobs

"There are only two mantras yum and yuk mine is yum "
Bernard Mickey Wrangle<>Tom Robbins<> "Still Life With Woodpecker"

"There is a fine line between a rut and a groove"
G.D. Kittredge III

"


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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: May 13, 2012 07:08AM
UPDATE:

I don't know why I didn't try this earlier (aside from having lost too many brain cells to my affinity for beer), but there are two pairs in the household phone lines, and the second pair (black-yellow) I have been using for a link to my office fax line (I have a home office with two independent lines), and that pair hasn't had any problems. So this morning I switched the line from the RCN modem to the black-yellow pair, tested it on a two-line phone upstairs, and—it's clean!

Therefore the problem must be with the red-green pair, and not with the whole line. If it's between the basement and the first floor, I can probably track it down. If it's between the first and second floor or in the walls upstairs, that's a different puzzle. That's where some kind of line tester might be necessary.

Anyway, first breakfast. Then see where the cable goes. . .

/Mr Lynn
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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 13, 2012 01:31PM
Skip tracing the cables. Go to each junction box or outlet jack and check in there for shorts or open circuits.

Most cable problems are at the connectors.
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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: May 13, 2012 02:26PM
Or near a connector where a wire has been bent too sharply and cracked inside its insulation.
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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: flareslow
Date: May 13, 2012 08:30PM
Or a wire staple that cut through the insulation. Saw that once in a house causing noise on the line.
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Re: Phone Line Noise—Source?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: May 13, 2012 09:19PM
Actually, one of the fine wires in the Cat5 cable the installer used to connect the modem across the basement to the phone wiring block broke when I started to fiddle with it Friday. He had used really tight staples along the length, too, so the first thing I did was string a new cable. That seemed to help for a few minutes, but then the line got bad again.

Anyway, I think I've found the problem. I disconnected everything from the block on the first floor where the line goes up into my office (with a modular connection to my office phone), and found when I reconnected and tested that the line was clear. So I think it was bad connections, age, dust, whatever. I've got the line working again!

I do want to find better, easier-to-work-on wiring blocks, though, rather than the standard 4-screw ones you find in Radio Shack. If the lines for all the rooms upstairs came down to the basement, I'd get multiple-pair punchdown blocks, but it looks like practically everything is hidden between floors or in walls, and only one or two lines are running up from the basement (I should have supervised the installation, back in 1996!). Just blocks with larger screws or spring clips or something would be fine, maybe something like this:


[www.amazon.com]

Suggestions welcome; thanks for the help, guys.

/Mr Lynn
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