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HiVolt
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join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
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3 recommendations

Bad wiring story...

I was at my good buddy's house today to help him troubleshoot his constant speed & sync problems. He has regular Sympatico HSE and a SpeedStream 5200. He had a Bell technician at his house a few weeks before, and he apparently found no problems...

Well, here's what I found, with the help of my Alcatel SpeedTouch modem, a voltmeter, and a Radioshack line polarity tester.

Its a 1950's large bungalow with LOTS of phone jacks, and rather old phone wiring. Out of 12 jacks in the house, 7 had reversed polarity. Three jacks had corroded wires, and one had bent pins which could have been causing a line short.

Sync rate reported by the Alcatel modem before doing any repairs was in the 500-600kbps range, interleaved, with 100% line capacity, horrible 4dB noise margin. Obviously, a problem somewhere. When checked on the Bell website, his phone line appears to be 3meg capable.

So, we went to Home Depot, picked up a few new jacks, and I replaced the defective ones, as well as corrected the polarity on the reversed wires. Also cleaned up his distribution block in the basement there were a lot of loose and cut wires, some real hack & slash job that someone had done in the past.

After the repairs, the sync rate reported was 1184/160, Interleaved, and maximum attainable rate was over 6000kbps, noise margin over 25dB. So he never got upgraded to 1.5meg because the line stats were reading so crappy when they were doing the upgrades.
We surfed the net, did speed tests a bunch of times, downloaded stuff, and it didnt lose sync once, and speed was a stable 120KB/sec, so a maximum for the given sync rate. I told him to call Bell on Monday to have him switched to 1.5meg profile and FastPath, since his line can obviously handle it. He was happy as a clam.

And the dumb f*** Bell repairman didnt find any of these problems. He should be bloody fired.
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MacGyver
Don't Waste Your Energy
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join:2001-10-14
Canada
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Great post! Most people don't realize what a huge affect inside wiring quality can have on their DSL performance.

Did the Bell tech actually inspect any of the wiring inside the house or only the wiring outside? And did he charge for the inside wiring check (if he actually did one)?


HiVolt
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Toronto, ON
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said by MacGyver:
Did the Bell tech actually inspect any of the wiring inside the house or only the wiring outside? And did he charge for the inside wiring check (if he actually did one)?

He did apparently check the demarc, jacks in the house, and something at the pole. He has the wirecare plan, so I assume he didn't get charged. And the tech didn't find any problems and left without a solution.

Its freakin unnaceptable, there were SO many problems that a Joe Schmo like me found & fixed with a few basic tools.
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dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to HiVolt
i think the techs only diagnose bell's end, not the customers...the inside wiring isn't bell's responsibility.
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HiVolt
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said by dirtyjeffer:
i think the techs only diagnose bell's end, not the customers...the inside wiring isn't bell's responsibility.

Even if he has the Wire Care plan? My friend said he plugged in some stuff into *some* of the jacks in the house, he didnt bother testing all of them.
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dirtyjeffer
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join:2002-02-21
London, ON
said by HiVolt:
Even if he has the Wire Care plan?
there are certain stipulations about the wirecare plan...think about it...lets say you bought a nice house in an old area...you move in and find the phone wiring is all 60 years old and in really bad shape...do you really think for $3.75 per month you can call Bell and have them rewire your house?
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HiVolt
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Toronto, ON
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said by dirtyjeffer:
there are certain stipulations about the wirecare plan...think about it...lets say you bought a nice house in an old area...you move in and find the phone wiring is all 60 years old and in really bad shape...do you really think for $3.75 per month you can call Bell and have them rewire your house?

No, but at least the tech should have checked EVERY jack in the house, checked the messy distribution box, and let the customer know what's required to repair. All it took is 4 new phone jacks and rewiring the others for proper polarity. No actual wire was replaced. Something like this is surely covered by the plan.
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TilhasBB
Premium
join:2000-08-05
canada
reply to HiVolt
Good work HiVolt and thanks for sharing.

I never knew it mattered if the polarity was inverst would do anything.

How can I check if they are in my house ? With a voltmeter (multimeter)

I don't understand thou HiVolt.
I know when a tech came to my house first thing he did was dissconnect the ENTIRE house from the marc point and connected his little thingy to the wire and saw sync rate and noise margin. Then went to where the modem was and dissconnected it and tried same thing and was like only 1db loss. your wiring is very good and filters and phones aren't doing much.
if he did that he would of EASLY caught the problem.

B777300

join:2002-01-02
reply to HiVolt
Great work there, thats interesting, a little unbelieveable how much difference wiring can make... heh


HiVolt
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1 edit
reply to TilhasBB
To check your jack polarity with a digital multimeter, set your voltage scale to DC Volts, and a range that will accommodate 50 Volts. If your meter is autoranging, don't worry about it. Take your jack apart, and touch the Red(+) probe to the Green wire, and the Black(-) probe to the Red wire. If your meter reads somewhere between 50-52V without a negative sign, your polarity is correct. If it reads a negative value, you can fix it by swapping the wires, and then testing again. Or, you could pick up a cheap tester like the one above for literlly a few bucks, and save yourself the time and hassle of taking apart every jack in your house.

Line 1
Green Wire (Tip) = Positive
Red Wire (Ring) = Negative

Line 2
Black Wire (Tip) = Positive
Yellow Wire (Ring) = Negative
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HiVolt
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reply to TilhasBB
said by TilhasBB:
I don't understand thou HiVolt.
I know when a tech came to my house first thing he did was dissconnect the ENTIRE house from the marc point and connected his little thingy to the wire and saw sync rate and noise margin. Then went to where the modem was and dissconnected it and tried same thing and was like only 1db loss. your wiring is very good and filters and phones aren't doing much.
if he did that he would of EASLY caught the problem.

I guess this tech was a dumbass, lazy, or just wanted to go home. Needless to say, he didn't do his job. I recall a tech doing the same test at my house when i had problems in April.
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teddy

join:2002-02-20
Kingston, ON
reply to HiVolt
Hey HiVolt, wanna come over to my place
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HiVolt
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said by teddy:
Hey HiVolt, wanna come over to my place

Are you asking me out on a date?


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to HiVolt
said by HiVolt:
I guess this tech was a dumbass, lazy, or just wanted to go home. Needless to say, he didn't do his job.
i can't argue with that.
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NRJ

join:2002-10-03
reply to HiVolt
said by HiVolt:
said by teddy:
Hey HiVolt, wanna come over to my place

Are you asking me out on a date?

Not looking looking for a date, but it would great if you can come a check mine.


HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
LOL. I was joking about the date part...;) I'm a lazy mofo, my friend bugged me enough times, I finally caved in...


HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21

1 recommendation

Just an update... My friend called Bell yesterday, and today he has been upgraded to 1.5/320 and FastPath. Everything is fine, he has no packetloss or any other issues.

Tyreman

join:2002-10-08
Canada
reply to HiVolt
Did some investigating here in our apartment,found that there was approx. 43' of surplus bell wire and loose connections on 2 outlet/jack feedthru boxes also the internet connection came off the last box,was able to install it to the main apartment entrance for the bell wire(still with all that reduction in footage) Internet connection is now 1st off and the connection is good so far found no wrong polarities but the black wire to one "feed" was broken and just laying touching the terminal barrier.


Tpav

join:2000-08-11
Canada
reply to HiVolt
Excellent post I had sort of the same frustration, took me a couple of weeks to find it and the help of this forum of course. Mine was an old line that was not connected but hiding in the duct work. When I did find it the two wires would contact the duct work intermitantly causes shorts line noise or whatever. All I can suggest is if people are having problems go right back to the source run a new line directly to the computer if it resolves the problem than you might want to check the wiring....regards Tpav

Tyreman

join:2002-10-08
Canada
reply to HiVolt
I refined things a bit to this excellant advise already given.. cut a regular 4 wire phone cable,one you don't want for good with a least one good male jack on one end,strip the wires insulation off on red and green on the other end,you'll still have black and yellow no need to strip them, notice of the 4 wires two 'nner connection wires are green and red simply plug the remaining male end into the jack to be tested with your meter connected its there.... away go or no go,I also "tinned" the bare red and green leads with electronic solder too as they are fine,my meter has aligator clip converters to simplify the process.


teddy

join:2002-02-20
Kingston, ON
Reviews:
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reply to HiVolt
All these success stories, and I wouldn't have a clue what to do to check my line. It's an old house that used to have 2 lines before we moved into it, and as a result, a whole lot of dead jacks.

Luckily, my speeds have been going up lately... about a week ago, it was 800kpbs, I've been checking every day, and it's been slowing raising, now it's at 1150.
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Tyreman

join:2002-10-08
Canada
reply to HiVolt
The testor is available in boxed kits($21.00approx.)for adding line jack(cable,jack,testor,instruc. etc.) now at Radio Shack... checked 3 stores didn't have tester available separate but said it was around 7-8 dollars.. no knowledge of when they come into stores so thats why I made that fast "jack checker" up

dslrocksya

join:2002-02-28
ca
reply to HiVolt
Tried to get a phone line tester from Scrap Shack Canada today....... it seems that they no longer sell them on their own. You can get on within a jack kit for about $20 cdn. Bought it but made sure I could return the jack kit.

Checked all my jacks....... on my way back to the shack for the refund for the jack kit.

Thanks Scrap Shack


HiVolt
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Yeah you guys are right, the tester isnt sold separately anymore... I was at RS earlier today to pick up some solder, and I looked arount the phone accessories, and it was only included with the jack wiring kit... Too bad, I remember paying like $2.99 for it separately like a year ago.
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dslrocksya

join:2002-02-28
ca
I saw that there was a similar one at Home Depot USA....... but what about Canada...... any where else to get one with out getting ripped off by scrap shack?


Apostolic

join:2003-12-09
Montreal, QC
reply to HiVolt
How about a reading of 52.8 on the polarity check?

Tyreman

join:2002-10-08
Canada
Nothing serious.


blueeyesm

join:2003-09-05
Waterloo, ON
reply to HiVolt
A lot of Bell techs are not always qualified... a friend of mine ( we both graduated in the same electronics program, at a college)knew some of these testers,.. some just had very basic knowledge, if that .. but then again, these guys aren't exactly high paid, and at that time these gyus were contractees through Bell. I agree he should have done a thorough search, but if they don't have a thorough foundation in the field they are in, thats when bad work occurs.


HiVolt
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Yeah those independent contractors aren't exactly always all that bright. I had bad experience with Rogers cable techs over the years, which were contracted out to some company (Mastec I think).
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anon234

@nutnbut.net
reply to dslrocksya
Try a place like Electrosonic, Sayal Electronics or Active Circuits (all are in the same area - Finch & Victoria Park Ave.) Also look in the Yellow Pages for electronic components and / or test equipment. Might take a few phone calls but I'm sure you'll be able to find it.