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Thread: Help testing phone land line.

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    Been having trouble with my land line off and on.
    DSL works as it should. I can still make calls and receive calls but at times there is a loud humming sound to the point you can just barely hear the other person.

    Am I correct if I disconnect the little gray phone line in the box (photo below) and plug in a telephone. If I still hear the humming the problem is not in the house ?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Dave, it has been about 50 years since my employment as a telephone installer/repair person.

    Often a hum is caused by a path to ground on one side of the line. In this case it would likely be on what is known as the tip side of the line.

    If it was on the ring side of the line you phone would likely not ring.

    FYI, the tip side of the line is supposed to be the green wire and the red wire is supposed to be the ring side. Of course now days not all the inside the house wire is the old jacketed wire used by phone companies many years ago. If you have the multi pair wire you may have blue/white pair.

    The junction box in your picture is one that likely came into use after my leaving work as a telephone employee.

    If you have had lightning strikes in your area the protecter may have arced over and created a connection to ground.

    Other likely culprits are dogs, cats or other animals chewing on your wiring inside or under your house.

    On the old style protectors there were only two large screws that held carbon rods close to a grounded plate. Unscrewing one of these could make the buzzing sound go away. They would need replacement if that were the case.

    It is also possible if a new service in your area (anywhere on the same cable as you) was installed or line work was done some sloppy work could have caused a problem for your line.

    Of course there are many other things that could be causing your on line noise.

    jtk
    The most common local cause for the symptom described is the squirrels eating into the cable coming to the house. We have had this repaired a half a dozen times over the last 40 years.
    Ken

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    That's certainly true of Verizon, is it true of phone companies in other areas as well?
    Yea...the copper plant in most areas is pretty bad. It's lasted far longer than it should have, but it's getting "way cranky" with age, weathering, damage, etc. Another aspect of this is that the switching gear that was optimal for copper plant is obsolete, too, and while it's been replace with some more modern gear by the big carriers that can also handle VoIP, the smaller entities have challenges. The larger carrier companies are doing fiber and wireless...they have more capital available, although they are really loath to spend it on anything other than wireless. The smaller companies out there...major angst, including staying afloat financially. Hopefully, the recent Infrastructure legislation will help although the money is focused on broadband/high-speed access. "Landline" phone service as we know it is not going to exist in an increasing footprint.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 01-15-2022 at 4:15 PM.
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  3. #18
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    "Landline" phone service as we know it is not going to exist in an increasing footprint.
    Surely there are many areas like mine that are geographically immune to cellular service.

    It wouldn't surprise me to find some areas still served by open wire. That was a pain in the rain.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #19
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    POTS is already dead in Europe. It's rapidly dying here. Data, sure.
    ~mike

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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Surely there are many areas like mine that are geographically immune to cellular service.

    It wouldn't surprise me to find some areas still served by open wire. That was a pain in the rain.

    jtk
    Oh, I hear you and hope that the infrastructure funding helps extend services farther. There are still a great many "islands" with poor or no wireless services and satellite is not cost effective, at least currently.
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Oh, I hear you and hope that the infrastructure funding helps extend services farther. There are still a great many "islands" with poor or no wireless services and satellite is not cost effective, at least currently.
    I live right off the 275 loop around Cincinnati and dont have fiber.
    Go just 20 min east and they have very poor internet access if at all. Most options are way too expensive. We had employees out that way working from home during Covid and internet was an issue.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
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  7. #22
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    Yea, our data infrastructure seriously needs improvement. Country-wide.
    ~mike

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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    Yea, our data infrastructure seriously needs improvement. Country-wide.
    The biggest problem(s) faced in upgrading our infrastructure may be the regulations that are more focused on looking backward as opposed to changing them to look forward.

    This is a bit beyond my knowledge but one simple example would be depreciation allowances and recapture. If a person is renting out a property, it can be depreciated over time to lessen one's taxes. Of course in the case of many properties the value doesn't go down. To address this tax regulations have a provision known as "recapture." This means any savings realized from depreciation must be paid back. If the property sells for more than the tax savings depreciation allowed, the seller gets to keep the difference.

    Many companies find it costs less to haul some equipment to a land fill than it does to do the paper work and pay the recapture.

    Not being a tax expert, my thoughts on this could be far from reality. (Sometimes being far from reality is an enjoyable respite.)

    Changing this section of tax law to allow a moratorium (maybe for a set number of years) on recapture of depreciated assets being replaced to upgrade service might get a lot of our rural areas a quick communications upgrade.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 01-16-2022 at 2:42 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #24
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    There's a further complication to this, Jim...here in the US, most of the existing copper infrastructure that was put in place years ago and is wearing out had a huge amount of government funding as the communication system was a permitted monopoly and that's how things got structured. So depreciation/recovery gets weird for the communication companies since it largely wasn't their money that built it out originally. The replacement infrastructure in the current world has had to be paid for by the carriers themselves and you have the whole shareholder dance thing going on. Hopefully, the something like $60B allocated in the recent legislation will grease a few more wheels in that respect, especially in the more rural areas where a normally acceptable rate of return on investment is a tough row to hoe due to large implementation cost vs low subscriber rate per mile of infrastructure. There's just no way that Wall Street will ever support the full cost of such build-outs. And to be sure it's understood, even if broadband is going to be delivered to a currently unserved or underserved area via wireless technologies because of help from public funding, there still has to be a substantial physical plant of fiber installed to serve the wireless base stations. There will need to be a lot of those to support minimal accepted broadband speeds and that means using frequencies that expect more base stations that are closer together. 'Gonna be interesting...
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  10. #25
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    Yep. There's no benefit for businesses to pay for the infrastructure upgrades. None. With the current environment, I can't blame them. So we're left, falling farther and farther behind the rest of the developed world. It's been noticeable for a long time now, when traveling.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    There's a further complication to this, Jim...here in the US, most of the existing copper infrastructure that was put in place years ago and is wearing out had a huge amount of government funding as the communication system was a permitted monopoly and that's how things got structured. So depreciation/recovery gets weird for the communication companies since it largely wasn't their money that built it out originally. The replacement infrastructure in the current world has had to be paid for by the carriers themselves and you have the whole shareholder dance thing going on. Hopefully, the something like $60B allocated in the recent legislation will grease a few more wheels in that respect, especially in the more rural areas where a normally acceptable rate of return on investment is a tough row to hoe due to large implementation cost vs low subscriber rate per mile of infrastructure. There's just no way that Wall Street will ever support the full cost of such build-outs. And to be sure it's understood, even if broadband is going to be delivered to a currently unserved or underserved area via wireless technologies because of help from public funding, there still has to be a substantial physical plant of fiber installed to serve the wireless base stations. There will need to be a lot of those to support minimal accepted broadband speeds and that means using frequencies that expect more base stations that are closer together. 'Gonna be interesting...
    I've read that until recently the fiber used for cellular base stations and fiber used for 'retail data' for want of a better term were different. That is being changed so the same physical plant is used for both. Perhaps the additional fiber being deployed for 5G can also support fiber to the premises. It's still going to be expensive providing broadband service to places in the midwest and great plains where houses are a half mile apart or more. Elon Musks's Starlink satellite system?

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    I've read that until recently the fiber used for cellular base stations and fiber used for 'retail data' for want of a better term were different. That is being changed so the same physical plant is used for both. Perhaps the additional fiber being deployed for 5G can also support fiber to the premises. It's still going to be expensive providing broadband service to places in the midwest and great plains where houses are a half mile apart or more. Elon Musks's Starlink satellite system?
    That's true. Right here in Doylestown is a good example of that...all the 5G base stations (the brown boxes and cylindrical antennas on top of poles) installed by Crown Castle and initially deployed for VZ's use physically plug into the same fiber infrastructure as consumer and business FiOS. You can literally see those connections on the poles coexisting with residential/business connections. The signal gets split out at the wiring center (sometimes still referred to as the "central office") and wireless communication streams get routed differently than FiOS from that point. Crown Castle may offer bandwidth to other carriers off those same base stations in the future, but that would undoubtedly follow the same physical pathway as the initial installation...they could even use different wavelengths for different carriers to keep things separated until it hits the routing infrastructure.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 01-18-2022 at 1:04 PM.
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  13. #28
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    Had the Phone Co out again today. Phone was out all day Monday. But as luck would have it. Was working as it should when they were here.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    Had the Phone Co out again today. Phone was out all day Monday. But as luck would have it. Was working as it should when they were here.
    I hate it when that happens. Intermittent electrical problems are the worst, even more difficult to find while they are working!

    But it makes me wonder - was there anything notably different about the two days, for example significant differences in the temperature or humidity? Expansion/contraction from temperature changes or moisture changes could affect a defective component, connection, conductor, or insulation.

    When electrical/electronic things are not working I usually start by reseating any connectors and loosen and retighten connections, one at a time and while monitoring the signal or voltage if possible. (this sometimes requires two people)

    For connections subject to outdoor environments I like to add a smear of dielectric grease while apart to help protect against corrosion. To check for problems related to temperature, freeze spray and/or a soldering iron or heat gun (or hair dryer) can be helpful.

    Suspect and inspect everything! At a previous house I had intermittent problems with the cable TV that were temperature related. I found a place in an attic where the insulation was abraded on a poorly installed cable. The cable was suspended such that it touched a corner of a brick chimney and over the years contraction in the winter pulled it tight against the brick and slowly cut through the insulation and into the shield and conductor!

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