dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
6500
share rss forum feed

sparky672

join:2006-04-03
Manhattan, IL

1 edit

Can't get dial-tone with cordless phones

This is a weird problem that just started occurring in the last few weeks. I cannot seem to narrow down the common denominator for the root cause.

We have a U-verse "Internet Only" connection and analog telephone service with AT&T. AT&T installed this a couple years ago including a home-run connection. In other words, the DSL filter is in the NID, the filtered line connects to all phone jacks in the house and the un-filtered line connects directly to the U-verse modem/router's dedicated data jack.

There are no problems with U-verse as far as I can tell.

On the regular phone jacks, there are two cordless phones, a fax machine, and a single old corded phone. All ring normally on incoming calls.

- I can quickly get a dial tone from the corded phone and fax machine.

- However, I cannot get a dial tone from either of the two cordless phones. The jacks are good, these phones ring, and all incoming calls can be answered from either cordless phone. The cordless phones are two totally different brands; one is a newer AT&T and the other is an older Uniden. Both have been unplugged and reset. I also tried each one connected by itself without the other.

If I hit the "talk" button on either cordless phone, there is no dial-tone. Then if I immediately pick up the handset on the corded phone or the fax machine, I hear the dial tone click on, and only then I also hear the dial tone on the cordless phone and can make a call as normal.

I can't see how it could be a bad phone since it started on both cordless phones at the same time. I also don't see how it could be a bad DSL filter, since the audio quality of the voice lines seems normal and the U-verse internet connection is working fine.

I do not understand what could have changed to cause all this to start happening in the last few weeks. There has been no new equipment connected to the phone jacks and everything else appears to be working fine.

Any ideas? Thank-you!

CmmTch

join:2002-08-10
High Ridge, MO
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

1 edit
said by sparky672:

I can quickly get a dial tone from the corded phone and fax machine.

To me this points to the cordless phones, d/t from corded devices and none from the cordless devices.

Could the cordless phone handset battery(s) be getting too low to transmit the offhook condition from the handset to the base? I know you can answer calls on them but maybe making a call is too much for the battery. You might try getting a new cordless phone to see if by coincidence they did in fact both fail. Maybe you could borrow one from a friend instead of buying one just to test.

edit: I had a cordless phone fail some years ago, callers started to get a busy signal when calling, it was intermittently presenting an offhook condition to the switch causing the line be busy from my end.

sparky672

join:2006-04-03
Manhattan, IL
said by CmmTch:

Could the cordless phone handset battery(s) be getting too low to transmit the offhook condition from the handset to the base?

That's interesting and seems technically plausible.

However, each of the cordless phones, the AT&T and the Uniden have extra bases and handsets, so that would mean all four batteries failed simultaneously. Plus, there are no issues with talking on these cordless handsets and batteries going dead during phone calls.

But you make a point about transmitting "off-hook" back to base. Now I'm wondering what kinds of other things will interfere with this signal. So far, physical proximity to base station makes no difference to this problem.


Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to sparky672
Have you resonantly installed CFL bulbs? they tend to interfere with 2.4GHz devices.

also most devices are designed to fail after a year of use so you have to buy a new one.

there is alway that one" faulty component" that manufactures install into the item so they can keep you buying product.


justin
..needs sleep
Australian
join:1999-05-28
kudos:15
Reviews:
·iiNet
reply to sparky672
is there a setting for on hook off hook voltages anywhere? the uniden probably generates its own dial tone and/or the filter has started to confuse things. Perhaps a subtle change in filter quality or voltage has tipped the cordless phone over the edge.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
said by justin:

is there a setting for on hook off hook voltages anywhere?

Agree with justin See Profile open circuit line voltage may be too low. If you have a voltmeter measure the voltage between tip and ring (the two wires on the jack).

With all phones/fax machine hung up should be about 48 volts and ring should be negative with respect to tip.

Colors vary but most RJ11 phone jacks Red is ring, Green tip. May also see blue ring, blue/white tip.

Most modern devices are not polarity sensitive but would not hurt to try and reverse tip and ring and see what happens.

The other possibility is the POTS emulation circuity needs more current to trip. With phone off-hook should be about 20ma but that can very widely. In that case not much you will be able to do except call and complain.

Try plugging the wireless phones into the unit directly if possible to see what happens.

/tom

sparky672

join:2006-04-03
Manhattan, IL

1 recommendation

I haven't had much time to troubleshoot this today.

said by tschmidt:

With all phones/fax machine hung up should be about 48 volts...

Using my digital Fluke-

At the NID on the telephone company side (yes, I have the security screwdriver): 51.46 volts

At the NID on the output of the filter: 51.46 volts

At the jack farthest from the NID for one of the cordless phones: 51.46 volts

Have not tried any of the other suggestions yet.

CmmTch

join:2002-08-10
High Ridge, MO
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
Could you take the cordless phones to a friends house that has wired dial tone from the central office to see if they work there? Need to find out if the cordless phones are the problem or rule them out as the cause, if they test ok then you can look at other things. It might be something else since they both started the same issue at the same time but before you start chasing ghost's lets try the simplest things first.

Your line voltage is fine, doesn't seem to be any problem there.

sparky672

join:2006-04-03
Manhattan, IL
Very briefly I thought the issue rectified itself. I got the dial tone on the Uniden. However, my hopes were quickly dashed as it was only the once... I tried a dozen more times and no dial tone.

said by CmmTch:

Could you take the cordless phones to a friends house that has wired dial tone from the central office to see if they work there?

I only took one phone, the Uniden, to another house in the same neighborhood. It worked perfectly. In every single test, I successfully heard a dial tone.

This Uniden has an "off hook" LED in the base station. In any case, the LED lights up even when there's no dial tone, so the "off hook" signal is being received just fine by the base station.

CmmTch

join:2002-08-10
High Ridge, MO
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
Have you tried to dial after you've pressed the button to go off hook and the LED indicates the phone is off hook?

Dial tone is not necessary to make a call, it was put on for the customer so people heard something when they picked up the receiver. You might see if in fact you can dial out even though you're not getting d/t.

sparky672

join:2006-04-03
Manhattan, IL
said by CmmTch:

Have you tried to dial after you've pressed the button to go off hook and the LED indicates the phone is off hook?

Actually, that's how this whole thing started.

We used to just pick up the handset, hit the "talk" button, and dial... all without listening for a dial tone first. Until one day, a few weeks ago, none of the calls were initiated. That's when I discovered there was no dial tone and thought the line was dead.

Anyway, I just tried it again on the AT&T cordless and nothing happened... the same very faint hum, both before and after dialing.

CmmTch

join:2002-08-10
High Ridge, MO
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

1 recommendation

reply to sparky672
From what you've done so far the cordless phone(s) themselves seem to be ok, the base unit senses the handset off hook request but something is causing that condition to not be seen at the switch in the CO.

Have you tried unplugging all other devices except one cordless phone and then checking for d/t? If the cordless phone works that way then plug in devices one at a time until it doesn't work.

sparky672

join:2006-04-03
Manhattan, IL

1 edit
said by CmmTch:

Have you tried unplugging all other devices except one cordless phone and then checking for d/t? If the cordless phone works that way then plug in devices one at a time until it doesn't work.

Before I started this thread I had tried each cordless phone separately, but not with everything else also unplugged.

So today I plugged the Uniden directly into the NID jack and the result was the same... sort-of. I was able to randomly get a dial tone only about three times out of a couple dozen attempts.

I'm sure this problem is with AT&T, however, convincing them to investigate it might be more trouble than it's worth.

Edit/Update: We have "line-backer" so convincing AT&T Repair to come out was not a big deal. I'll update when I find out more.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to sparky672
Try reversing tip and ring...

sparky672

join:2006-04-03
Manhattan, IL
AT&T Repairman is on scene:

1) plugs his mini tester into a wall jack and he can't get dial tone either.

2) connects his larger tester onto the line at the NID and says, "this is really weird" and "never seen this one before".

3) he left to visit the VRAD and said he'll call me in a couple hours.

BTW: weirdly, line was testing "good" by automated system when this trouble was called in today.

sparky672

join:2006-04-03
Manhattan, IL
reply to CmmTch
AT&T Repairman did everything he could. Got a new pair and said the dial tone issue is coming from CO equipment. Have to wait for CO night crew to hook up new pair.

CmmTch

join:2002-08-10
High Ridge, MO
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

1 recommendation

They might need to cut the OE (change your line to a different port on the switch, seamless to you), I have seen some very strange problems and that ended up being the only thing that fixed them.

The automated system looks at the cable pairs for balance, does a capacitance reading, resistance, looks for ringers and other things depending on if the full x test is chosen. If the problem is with the OE then none of those tests would have shown any problem with your line. Especially due to the intermittent nature of it, you said your corded devices seemed to work with no problems.

I'm glad the tech was able to duplicate it, the intermittent problems are the worst and can be the hardest to fix.

sparky672

join:2006-04-03
Manhattan, IL

3 recommendations

said by CmmTch:

I'm glad the tech was able to duplicate it, the intermittent problems are the worst and can be the hardest to fix.

Almost 24 hours without a voice line and it's finally fixed. Getting dial tone on both cordless phones now.

Thanks for all your help with this.