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Thread: replacing vintage phone jacks ? bell wire?

  1. #1
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    replacing vintage phone jacks ? bell wire?

    The sockets for phone's in my house are rectangular boxes with 4 large plugs (like sku21020 on http://www.oldphoneworks.com/adapters-plugs-jacks/). I use an adapter to convert them to an ordinary phone connection. Voice telephones work, but vacuuming or anything that jars the adapter makes my DSL intermittent till I reseat the adapter. Is it possible to replace the old sockets (and eliminate the adapters) without rewiring the whole system?

    There are aricles on the web about speeding up internet connections by disconnecting the "bell wire" on phone connections. Are these relevant to the US phone system?

  2. #2
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    Yes, you certainly can replace those old jacks with new ones. If you live in a house that you own I would put the DSL box right where the phone line comes into your house. I would then run Ethernet to rooms where I have computers. In today's world you can just put your wireless router there and forget about the wires. This is what I have done in the two houses I have owned.

  3. #3
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    Never, under any circumstances, consume a laxative and sleeping pill, on the same night

  4. #4
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    Yes, you just get new RJ11 female wall plates at the Radio Shack or Borg and the wires punch down in the slots on the back. They will also sell you a tool for attaching modular connectors to your phone, unless your phone is already modular, in which case it will be cheaper to get a new wire than buy the tool. Most old phone wires only have four wires which, I think is at least two too few for Ethernet, so you'd need to rewire to use existing wire for ethernet. Old phone wire is probably going to be pretty problematic anyway, I wouldn't bother. The phone will use only two of the four wires, unless you have two lines. I typically use trial and error to pick out the right two as the color conventions, if any, often aren't followed in old work--when you get it right you have a dial tone.

  5. #5
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    Put RJ45 jacks in a plate. Terminate phone lines into the blue and white-blue connectors. You are in business. You can use it later for networking, if you wish. Every room in my house has a plate with 2 Cat5 jacks and one coax jack. Some rooms have 2 such setups. They terminate in a media centre in my basement.
    If I were to do it all over, I would add a fibre pair, and speaker wires into each spot, tied off, in case I ever wanted to terminate them. And probably an extra Cat5 jack.
    I hate wireless. I would much rather use hardwired connections. If we didn't have an iPad, our wireless would be turned off.
    Paul

  6. #6
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    Granted you can plug an RJ11 phone jack into an RJ45 outlet, but why would you want to? Sounds like the OP has a 4 wire phone cable and only wants to plug his phone in, so he has no need for added complexity in getting the wires into the right slots on the connectors. If he wants ethernet then pulling new cat6 wire with the right connectors makes the most sense. Even then, as long as you have POTS, it's nice to have phone connectors that are easily visually distinguished from the network connectors.

  7. #7
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    Not sure if it is related to your issue but when I went to DSL I had to install filters on each phone line. ( Phone co. provided the filters for free) Before the filters, when the phone rang, I would get kicked off the internet.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    I use an adapter to convert them to an ordinary phone connection. Voice telephones work, but vacuuming or anything that jars the adapter makes my DSL intermittent till I reseat the adapter. Is it possible to replace the old sockets (and eliminate the adapters) without rewiring the whole system?
    By Bell wire are you talking about the Red, Green, Black and Yellow? If yes then that wire is called Quad wire, a standard wiring at the time based on POT's service. Not good for DSL. Standard Phone wiring is Red/Green for the 1st used pair.

    If this is what you have your Internet will become more stable and most likely faster if you went to Cat 5 or 6 (I will not try to complicate it but it all has to do with twists per inch of wire and distortion), to just the Jack that has the Modem connected. The new wire should run from the Phone Box outside (SNI). This is pretty simple IF you have a new style Phone box (if not I would ask the Phone Company (CenturyLink in NM) to upgrade your box), they should do this with no problem and NO charge.. Run a separate wire from that box to the modem jack and then filtered the rest of the Jacks in the home at the Phone Box.

    If you can be there when the Phone guy comes,ask him if they could at least wire the second sled to be used for the DSL and have them install the filter for you.Some techs are pretty good about helping,it is a quick job.You would need to run the wire from the box to your modem jack///

    If you already have Blue and Orange wires you can just wire in a new jack using the Blue -- Blue/White wires on the R & G terminals on the Jack.

    Also, about disconnecting the Bell wire, I think you might be talking about the small transformer that was used to light the keypad on some of the older phones. It may be in a utility closet and uses the Black/Yellow wire. Not needed....

    I have probably confused you more than helped.If you need some advice PM me.
    Last edited by Alan Gan; 11-18-2014 at 9:43 PM.

  9. #9
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    The 3 wires to the old socket are red, blue and yellow. I have a modern phone box but phone wires to the rooms may date from the 1940's. I'm not looking to run new wires from the phone box to the rooms yet. I just want solid connection to the existing wires.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    The 3 wires to the old socket are red, blue and yellow. I have a modern phone box but phone wires to the rooms may date from the 1940's. I'm not looking to run new wires from the phone box to the rooms yet. I just want solid connection to the existing wires.
    just using the new style boxes that the plug snaps into should solve that. Easy replacement

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