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Standard User dwilkins
(newbie) Mon 16-Apr-12 11:40:26
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FTTC conversion - possible issues with sockets


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HI

I understand my cabinet should go FTTC at the end of June 2012. I'm considering whether to upgrade to this, but may have an issue that would prevent it anyway (or make it unrealistically expensive), and wonder if anyone can supply any background on whether the following would cause a major problem.

(apologies in advance for length, but I'm trying to supply all the details!)

My building is one of a block of three very large houses, all 'professionally' split into flats in the 1980s (in our building, five). At the building main entrance (inside front communal lobby) there is a single junction box with a BT cable coming in from underground, fully populated with eight cable pairs (ascertained when BT swapped me onto another pair in 2003 to get a lower ADSL SNR). From this j/box, 5 cables (one per flat) each pick up one of the 8 pairs, then disappear off under the floor.

One re-appears in my (first-floor) flat, in the lounge, in the 12-inch gap between the hinge side of a walk-in cupboard doorway and the nearest exterior (party) wall of the flat. Nowhere in this wiring is there an NTE5 socket. The first connection is a wall-mounted socket (flush to/in the 'face' wall of the cupboard) that doesn't actually work (it carries a standard BT socket, but nothing plugged in to it works). Nor does it have a backbox or pattress - it is simply mounted in a hole in the wall, with the underfloor cable entering from the rear. This socket is on the 'wrong' side of the cupboard (in that with the cupboard door open, the socket is 'trapped' in that corner of the room). There is extra wiring from the back of that flush wall socket, up & over the cupboard door (to the sensible side thereof) to what looks like a small ~65x65mm BT extension socket box (with pattress) mounted on the wall, into which my microfilter, phone and ADSL router connect. This is the only socket in the flat I don't need any extra wiring (the PC/router are right there about 2 feet away, and I use DECT to get a phone in the bedroom, etc).

I have no idea who added the additional wiring and 'box' socket (though the reason is obvious, given the idiotic placing of the flush socket). This has been seen (in 2003) by BT, who I suspect thought it a mite unorthodox, but in any event took no action, nor made any adverse comment

I obviously cannot access or change any of the wiring between the front door of the building and my flat.

Is this likely to cause major issues if I opt to (apply for) FTTC access? Any idea if fixable, and if so, any idea of the scale of work/cost involved? I gather the accepted practice is to add a new face-plate to the NTE5 socket, which is difficult if you don't actually have one!

Does anyone have any useful contacts (mail or phone) I can discuss this with in BT (or, my ISP, but as that is TalkTalk*, I'm not too optimistic there)

* I know, I know, but I started with Nildram; the rest wasn't my idea. To be fair, I'm quite happy with the actual performance, given my line length (about 4.5km)
Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Mon 16-Apr-12 15:46:19
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Re: FTTC conversion - possible issues with sockets


[re: dwilkins] [link to this post]
 
I gather the accepted practice is to add a new face-plate to the NTE5 socket, which is difficult if you don't actually have one!


Not difficult, they'll just replace what's there with an NTE5 and put the new faceplate on it. Replace a working master socket with another, as it were.

--

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

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Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Mon 16-Apr-12 19:12:38
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Re: FTTC conversion - possible issues with sockets


[re: dwilkins] [link to this post]
 
As yarwell says.

Also, please can you have a look inside each of the two sockets, and tell us which is what in this gallery? It seems odd that the "first" one doesn't work at all.

Note that the important thing is the detect the small cylindrical capacitors, as sockets with those are masters.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - Plusnet Value Fibre.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
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Standard User dwilkins
(newbie) Tue 17-Apr-12 14:42:24
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Re: FTTC conversion - possible issues with sockets


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Hi, and thanks to both for your replies.

I can now tell you after examination why socket #1 (flush) doesn't work if you plug anything in to it - namely, that this socket's internal works are entirely disconnected! (It's entirely detached & sitting on my desk now, and I still have internet access, dial tone...)

The incoming cable (from downstairs lobby) is simply spliced to the outgoing cable (leading to socket #2). Socket #1 faceplate (plus 'works') is simply used as a cover! For the record it looks similar to but not identical to LJ2/1A, and carries a sticker which states (under a mag glass) as 'LJ3/1A' (usefully, not listed in gallery). It does indeed have a capacitor (1.8uF, 8017A). But as it's disconnected, it's all a bit moot.

Socket #2 is an LJ2/1A (engraved inside) configures as a master (capacitor present) but - contrary to the gallery - it has the positions of R1 and SP1 reversed (both are populated). PCB design change? In any case, I guess it's a kosher master socket (ish), albeit a bit ancient!

So, hopefully I can have an (new-style/FTTC) NTE5 fitted (in the sensible position, i.e. where LJ2/1A socket is now. But still not sure if TT engineer would be licensed to supply/fit/change that (or is TT eng - if involved, and I don't go to BT anyway - actually a BT eng wearing a TT badge for my visit?)

I'd rather not jump ISP (and lose my mail address) if I don't have to. but...
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Tue 17-Apr-12 16:25:54
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Re: FTTC conversion - possible issues with sockets


[re: dwilkins] [link to this post]
 
It will be an Openreach engineer, whichever ISP you have.

Quite what he will think of that wiring I don't know. What he may want to do is make a proper junction where the defunct socket is, and run a data extension cable to replace the one that is currently connecting from there to the one you use. It depends what he thinks of that existing cable.

He will then replace the socket you use with a new NTE5, fitted with a VDSL2 filtered faceplate.

All will be fine smile. Make sure that whichever ISP you order from does order that data extension cable with the FTTC order. It used to be automatically available if required, but I believe it now has to be ordered. (I think most ISPs do order it without being asked, but I would want to be sure. Trouble is, most sales people won't know, and if you order online I expect there won't be any mention of it).

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - Plusnet Value Fibre.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Standard User dwilkins
(newbie) Tue 17-Apr-12 17:27:56
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Re: FTTC conversion - possible issues with sockets


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thanks (that makes sense - re OR eng - though I could swear TT quoted 'our eng', which is why I mentioned. Perhaps they said 'OR eng' and I misheard them!).

Will try to get data extension cable onto the order as you suggest. But I guess by use of BT cable and an LJ2/1A with cap (BT-supplied? I guess not from Maplins...), I think BT must have been involved previously. I assume they were a bit laxer then when only voice was involved smile
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