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Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 04-Apr-18 11:52:58
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Opinions re Billion AC1600 and Solwise VDSL/ADSL faceplate


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Billion AC1600 and Solwise VDSL/ADSL faceplate - anyone know much about these two devices? One of my male relatives needs his broadband connectivity at home severely sorting out, and I've volunteered to help out. His NTE5A is located in a loft, of all places, and currently there are three landline phones connected to it, plus a broadband connection (using flexible phone cord) going to a BT HomeHub. There's no all-in-one faceplate filter at present; he relies on separate 'dangly' filters for the phones. He's still on ADSL, a very slow connection in his case, with little prospect of getting FTTC in the short term, as the FTTC-enabled cabinet serving him and other local residents is some 1.5km away, across a rural, and largely aerial, route.

To improve his master socket setup, I was hoping that the faceplate filter marketed by Clarity some years ago and which I myself still use with excellent results was still on sale somewhere but that appears not to be the case. The idea being, of course, to fit it on to the NTE5A and to then make use of both the filtered and unfiltered IDC connections on the back of the faceplate, as well as possibly the phone socket on its front. His BT router/modem and most of the phones are located 10 - 15 metres away from the NTE5A, and I hope to be improving the connections to them by employing some Cat5e cabling.

It happens that I've two spare ADSL Nation faceplates that I bought some years ago kicking around, but the ADSL Nation filter uses transistors in the design, and those transistors, I found, were very prone to being destroyed by voltage transients on the incoming line. That's why I myself swopped to the Clarity faceplate. So, I don't want to use that one in the refurbishment.

A few years ago, Openreach produced a Mk3 faceplate, which I understand performed very well, but it too is no longer available.

Looking at what's around today, I've been wondering about the VDSL/ADSL faceplate filter that Solwise sells. Anybody here got any experience with it? Does its filter use good-quality passive components (no transistors or chips)? It's got six IDC connectors on its back, one pair of which is the unfiltered line.

I'm hoping that in due course his BT Hub will be replaced by something with better performance and more fitting for a long copper line - a router/modem from the likes of Billion, for example. The Billion AC1600, which seems to be often called the 8800AXL R2AC (a tad under £100, inc VAT), looks a good contender, and there'd be some future-proofing there, as it includes a VDSL front end. Being a Billion device, it'd also allow his line to be SNR-tweaked, on ADSL, for best performance. But once again, there's an availability problem, as this particular Billion router-modem seems to be in very short supply in the UK at present. Anyone here know why? Have there been problems with it? I think it was first launched in the UK in 2015. Am I right?
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 04-Apr-18 14:50:34
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Re: Opinions re Billion AC1600 and Solwise VDSL/ADSL facepla


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
My master socket is in the attic with a filtered faceplate and I have my router there to keep the telelphone line cable as short as possible. I have ethernet cables to other pars of the house and a 2nd Wifi access point. I don't know about the filters you mention but I have lost a couple of dial up modems to lightening strikes.

Michael Chare
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Wed 04-Apr-18 16:28:16
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Re: Opinions re Billion AC1600 and Solwise VDSL/ADSL facepla


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
For a long line, the 2-wire 2700-HGV was the best around and performance of the modem part has not really been surpassed. The router function is still "OK". And they are fairly cheap even when "unused/new" on ebay. They will also, on a good line, drop the operational SNR to 3dB and continue working right don to 0 dB.

You could install a modem in the loft to minimise cable length and any additional noise, put the modem in bridge mode, or install a small switch and run an Ethernet cable down from there to router if bridge mode is chosen or a switch

For the data or Ethernet - yes Cat5e but don't bother with that for phones as it is took bulky and unsightly (unless hidden) just stick with CW1308 or just 2pairCat5e.

I am also surprised that FTTC is not offered - at 1.5km it should give a usable speed, one line I sometimes deal with is around 3.5km with 3Mbps FTTC.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit


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Standard User 4M2
(knowledge is power) Wed 04-Apr-18 17:42:14
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Re: Opinions re Billion AC1600 and Solwise VDSL/ADSL facepla


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
There are some Mk3 plates available on ebay costing £12.99. On my ADSL line I think the Mk3 plate performs a little better than the older Pressac ADSL V1.0 plate. Perhaps it's the Pressac plate that you are referring to that was marketed by Clarity?
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 05-Apr-18 18:52:59
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Re: Opinions re Billion AC1600 and Solwise VDSL/ADSL facepla


[re: 4M2] [link to this post]
 
Many thanks to all respondents for your inputs on this.

4M2, special thanks go to you for letting me know that there were some OR Mk3 faceplates available at ebay. I don't have an ebay account myself but I've secured the assistance of a neighbour of mine who does, and a Mk3 plate from ebay has now been ordered.

Concerning Pressac and Clarity, I've a suspicion that the Clarity 'ADSL v.1.0' faceplate came first. I think it was first put on the market in about 2002/3. Then, some years later, Pressac produced a copy. But even the Pressac one is unavailable now - or so it would appear.
Standard User 4M2
(knowledge is power) Thu 05-Apr-18 19:31:31
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Re: Opinions re Billion AC1600 and Solwise VDSL/ADSL facepla


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by meditator:
Concerning Pressac and Clarity, I've a suspicion that the Clarity 'ADSL v.1.0' faceplate came first. I think it was first put on the market in about 2002/3. Then, some years later, Pressac produced a copy. But even the Pressac one is unavailable now - or so it would appear.


Possibly the earlier filtered faceplate did not have the A-B terminals? If I remember correctly that was an issue to be concerned about when ordering one several years ago.

BTW I'm using a Billion Bipac 7800N router (also hard to get hold of these days) on my ADSL line and together with a Mk3 faceplate the combo seems really good, most noticeable on the upstream SNRM.
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 06-Apr-18 12:52:23
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Re: Opinions re Billion AC1600 and Solwise VDSL/ADSL facepla


[re: 4M2] [link to this post]
 
I myself have had, and still use, the Clarity faceplate. I must have bought and fitted mine somewhere between 10 and 15 years ago. It's equipped with every sort of terminal you need, and certainly includes an AB pair, as I use that pair to extend my connection into an adjacent room.

As it happens, I've a Billion 7800N too, one that's a spare device of mine. I've been thinking of offering it to my relative when I next visit, but he's unfortunately wedded to his BT Hub and his BT Internet ISP account, so I'd have a big battle on my hands to get him to change the Hub for a more standard router. Bear in mind, though, that the 7800N is an ADSL-only device. If his locality were ever suitable for an FTTC connection, he'd need something better, with a VDSL front end. I myself use an 8800NL (Mk1 version), but you can't get them any more. That's why I started looking at the Billion AC 1600, which in advertising terms seems to have undergone a namechange, to 8800AXL R2AC. I think it was first announced by Billion UK about two years ago, but for some unknown reason is currently in very short supply. On paper, the 8800AXL R2AC is VDSL/ADSL, and is generally quite well future-proofed. If I could get one and persuade my relative to use it (that'd probably require him to dispense with his BT ISP account and seek a better ISP) he could at least screw some maximum performance out of his line on ADSL, and would be (especially with the MK3 faceplate and a better wiring layout) instantly ready, should FTTC ever be viable for him (currently, the Openreach line performance tester indicates he'd only get 4M bps tops, on an FTTC connection).
Standard User 4M2
(knowledge is power) Fri 06-Apr-18 17:03:12
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Re: Opinions re Billion AC1600 and Solwise VDSL/ADSL facepla


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
As you know if he did use your 7800N there would be many options to tweak the connection: modulation, SNRM, etc.

Maybe a divorce from the BT Hub might be a good move if the only option is ADSL for the foreseeable future...
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