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AC3

join:2012-03-22
Pierrefonds, QC

[Homephone] Bizarre ring-tripping like landline problem...

I've been having on and off again problems with my Bell landline since last year. Started off as bad intermittent static on the voice side (usually weather related - hot, rainy or humid days); recently I've also been seeing my DSL lose sync on several occasions. I've tried disconnecting all phones, alarm panel, bought a new phone and tried plugging it directly into POTS splitter (disconnecting all house wiring). My DSL is connected to POTS via a cat5 homerun. Static persists even with the above, then clears up on its own. Bell tech couldn't find anything...aside from RCO's running on the high side. Told him it was intermittent, but he told me they can't do much if the problem isn't actively happening.

Lately, I've been having what I can only describe as intermittent ring tripping (half a ring then it just stops, nobody on other end) - but it is only specific to certain numbers calling me, and I am assuming VOIP specific calls coming from my bank, and my own US cellular (which does LD over voip). None of these ring, but other incoming calls will. This has been happening for several weeks.

Does it make sense that some callers will ring through normally, but others (voip) will suffer from this tripping-like problem? Is there actually a difference in ring signals coming from voip that could trigger this problem?

To make it more interesting - I just purchased a US voip interface/service the other day, it's connected to my router. If I call my own Bell landline, it trips and doesn't get through. Just for kicks, I disconnected the 2-line phone that the landline/voip are connected to - with that phone removed from the landline, the voip rings through to my other home phones. Doesn't explain why my bank or other calls weren't able to get through for the past few weeks...

So, is it the phone, or the line? As mentioned above, I've previously tested the static issue with this & all existing phones out of the picture, and the static didn't go away (and I still lost dsl sync), but now seeing that the phone is possibly ring tripping, can this be a coincidence that 2 problems are presenting together?


ruggs

join:2012-03-26
Ontario

It is possible that you can have multiple problems, but, I'd say disconnect at the NID or protector and some how call in with the same conditions that you were getting ring trips, then you know for sure its outside, if it rings through there could be an issue starting with your entrance line and going forward


RickStep
Premium
join:2002-11-25
Hamilton, ON
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to AC3

said by AC3:

Just for kicks, I disconnected the 2-line phone that the landline/voip are connected to - with that phone removed from the landline, the voip rings through to my other home phones.

I would look at the 2-Line Phone.

I had a Nortel 9417 2-Line Phone that went "on the fritz" after a power failure during an electrical storm.




The 9417 has a conference button that bridges Line 1 & Line 2. After the storm some weird things were happening and the problem was traced to the 2-Line phone.

Some things you can do:
1. Were there any storms or power failures that happened close to the time line of the phone problems.
2. Remove the 2-Line phone(s) and operate with single phones until other issues are resolved.
3. Did the "random" ring only ring the 2-Line phone?
4. Do you have an in house message centre recorder that covers more than one line? Failed electronics may also be an issue here.

Any hardware that has multiple phone line connections is suspect. A lightning strike close by or a mile or 2 away can send enough energy down a phone line to arc across a circuit board and create a burn mark on a circuit board. Almost all (except microwave boards) use either fibreglass or cellulose and an epoxy filler to make the board. Most phones will use a cellulose/epoxy board which when burned creates a carbon trail across the board or through the board and can cause all kinds of issues.

You have a complicated setup. I would remove/check any hardware that allows you to connect more that a single phone line.

Edit:

In any electronic phone; the ring that you hear is generated within the phone. On any defective electronic phone any issues within the phone line such as "crossed" phone lines due to a defective bridge circuit within a 2-Wire phone could cause the phone to ring. This could also be caused by other hardware, message recorders (as noted above) that produces noise that trip a digital circuit.

Bell sends a 90 volt AC signal down the phone line to "ring the older analogue phones". Newer phones use a sensor circuit; similar to that used in an electronic volt meter (but not as accurate) to detect the signal and close a switch which can create an electronic sound of the owners choosing.

Failures within a phone are relatively common due to storms, electricity supply issues or component failures. The problem is compounded with multi line devices.

Rick

urbang33k

join:2010-02-13
Canada
kudos:1
reply to AC3

Are the ring trips coming from calls that are ringing in as long distance? vs the standard ring from a local incoming call?


AC3

join:2012-03-22
Pierrefonds, QC
reply to AC3

Thanks for the suggestions.

@urbang33k: yes, they would be LD for 2 of 3 tests that I did -my US cell and US voip are both NY 518 area codes, and they both tripped. When I called via my Rogers phone, while roaming in NY, I"m assuming it would have rung as local (both 514). I can only assume my bank's brokerage call center would also be a LD ring, them being in Ontario. But I receive many other LD calls from ON and QC, and they come through no prob, so hard to pinpoint...but the only common element seems to be incoming voip

@RickStep: thanks for the detailed info. My phone is an Aastra 9120, but similar in form & funtion to your Nortel. Hard to associate the onset with an outage/storm....I've had share of both, but the problems seem to have been there earlier than recent outages. The 'random' half ring rings all over the house. No in-house recorder. With the 2-line phone disconnected, it rings through ok (at least for the voip...I'll have to try via my NY cell next time I go down to the cottage, with the phone unplugged). Weird thing is that right now that that phone is unplugged, and I'm still getting fierce static on the line when using other phones.

@ruggs: that would be good to try, it's the 'somehow' trying to reproduce it while I'm here and not calling from there that's a bit of a challenge! There are ways....can forward my voip # to the landline, disconnect @ NID, and call my voip # via cell and see if it rings or not.


AC3

join:2012-03-22
Pierrefonds, QC
reply to AC3

Update: with the 2-line Aastra phone out of the picture for 2 days, things seem back to normal - calls that were previously tripping are now ringing normally. I'm going to crack it open to see if I can finds signs of arcing.

Static was last heard 2 days ago, up to 10-15 minutes AFTER unplugging the suspect phone...is it possible that the phone / tripping issue destabilized the line, causing some temporary residual static? Or did something else get fried in the process (POTS splitter)?
Problem isolating the static is that it can be so intermittent at times...but since it persists each time I unplug everything and test with a brand new phone (even directly to POTS), I'm trying to figure out if the 'residual static' is a viable argument, or if I have to start thinking the POTS can be faulty? I know, ideally I'll need to test at the NID when it happens again...


RickStep
Premium
join:2002-11-25
Hamilton, ON
kudos:1
reply to AC3

The phones used by the original Bell Systems were powered over the phone line.

New phones are powered from the home electrical supply via a power adapter. While it could be possible that a catastrophic event could cause damage to the phone line, it is highly unlikely.

The adapter that powers your Aastra phone, however, could be defective and cause weird phone behaviour.

I looked up the specs for the Aastra 9120 and located 2 different publications specifying wildly different adapters; 1 requiring 9 Volts DC and the other 16 Volts AC.

Make sure that your phone has the proper adapter. It happens fairly regularly when phones and other devices are moved that adapters get mixed up. There are only a few common connectors and if they fit doesn’t mean they are the proper adapter.

Make sure that the power requirements on the phone rating plate, match the power supplied by the adapter as listed on the adapter rating plate.

Replacement adapters are relatively cheap. The Aastra 9120 price is close to $200.00. Trying a new adapter might work. Places like The Source would likely take it back and provide a refund if the problem isn’t corrected.

You also might have 2 problems; the other being a defective phone line.

Rick



rogersmogers

@start.ca
reply to AC3

I had issues with a nortel 2 line phone back in the day that looks almost the same as the picture above and had the same issue happen until I removed it from the lines.


mintaka905

join:2006-11-03
Holland Landing, ON
reply to RickStep

Nice answer Rick!


AC3

join:2012-03-22
Pierrefonds, QC
reply to AC3

I can't find my old diy test handset & clips to test at the NID, so I was stuck playing at the pots splitter. But I did measure 53vdc on hook at a couple jacks...isn't that running a bit high? (and could that have influenced the 9120?)

It is the proper 16v adapter that came with the phone (fyi, same spec adapter as the older Vista 390's which I also had, but it died in a wall impact accident when the static started last year) - I had tried both adapters previously, both working fine (voltmeter readings normal).

Since my last post: static returned yesterday, despite everything including alarm being disconnected (used a brand new phone connected direct to the pots, house wiring fully disconnected from pots). No more tripping, but lots of static.
Called Bell yesterday, they scheduled a visit for today. Explain the sutuation, but they absolutely positively need me to be here for them to check my house (again).

Today, I patiently await from noon till 5pm for their tech, never showed up nor called. I phone them to see what was up - they tell me that the problem was at the CO and they are fixing it, no longer need to come over. Couldn't or wouldn't give me problem specifics, but told me that things will be fixed by this evening. Asked for a supervisor to call me with some info, was supposed to call me over an hour ago, but that never happened.

I just reconnected everything, including the 9120 - no static (fingers crossed), but the 9120 still trips with the LD rings from my voip service...so obviously this phone is part of the issue here.

That being said - is it more advisable to avoid these 2-line phones? I bought it last year, knowing that I'd eventually add a SIP/VOIP adapter at some point, but given my problems and your comments / experiences, maybe I'm just better off leaving a cheap $10 WalMart handset connected to the VOIP adapter? I'll take function over form at this point.
Thanks for your assistance!