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8 posts

Wannabe Geek

# 19131 6-Feb-2008 14:30
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Had the engineers in to fit phone etc last week, they did all the work and said it was all working ok and left.
We found out 2days later that although we could phone out to friends etc, if we was telephoned the phones would not ring at all!
Before phoning the company, i did the obvious, checked the phone for ring volume etc, i even took the phone back to the warehouse and got them to exchange it as might be faulty? 

So with a second  NEW phone plugged in, nothing has changed, still the phone wont ring at all?
Called the engineer back, who plugged in his test handset made a call ok, then tried our phone, again all ok. He called the number from his cellphone, and of course it didn't ring at all. his answer...?  "No idea Sir, i will get another engineer to contact you soon, that is better with these things"
When the supervisor called, i was told that nobody would be available until end of the week sorry!

Anyhow, cutting long story short, i am a Data Cabling Electrician (Cat5 and Fibre etc) so i figured i would have to sort it out myself i suppose! Although not totally familiar with phone connections.

So our house has got an old joint-box of some description high on the wall inside the Kitchen, doesn't look like its been opened in decades!
From that box is an old knackered looking 2wire cable, which doesn't look like any phone cable i seen (looks like bell / speaker wire) running down inside the kitchen cupboard to an old 3-Wire Master socket jack (as it has an M on it). The old 2wire cable correctly connects to pins 2 and 5. and from there there is a 2pair phone cable wired around the house to 2 other jackpoints, they are wired in 3-wire with there jacks having an "S" on front of them (Secondary?).
Now i tried to temp remove the old master in kitchen by joining the cable with scotchbloks in an attempt to convert the house wiring to simple 2-wire only. with the jacks that say "S" on them? But when i tried that no jacks at all worked in anyway? So are these "S" jacks not the same as "2" jacks? 

And if i replace all the jacks (being the old master, and the 2 secondary's) with new 2-wire jacks and only connect them with pins 2 and 5 to the old incoming 2wire cable will i get it all working and ringing? Although i still cant see why its not ringing even now? I had also tried plugging in a "Ring Adapter" from modempak but that still no made difference at all?

Its all a bit weird, to the point i am starting to suspect the cheap warehouse phones now! Even though i am sure 2 different brand new phones cant be faulty surely? And no i dont have any other phones to try it with sadly, without spending more money!

Hope somebody has some ideas please?

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3539 posts

Uber Geek


  # 108906 6-Feb-2008 14:55
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Hi Lee,

First off, welcome to Geekzone Smile

Your phone problem is a little perplexing:

-  If those cheap Warehouse phones are 2-wire, they should work on any phone socket whatsoever
-  If they are 3-wire, they should also work because you have the old-fashioned Master (M) and Slave (S) sockets

However, given that those phones came from The Warehouse, I wouldn't trust them.

Can you borrow a known-good phone (preferably non-powered) from a neighbour and try it?

Given that you can dial out OK, borrowing another working phone will eliminate a line or socket fault.

If you still don't get any ring with the borrowed phone, then it must be a problem at the exchange or roadside cabinet you are connected to.  There aren't really too many other possibilities here Tongue out

8 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 108910 6-Feb-2008 15:08
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Thanks Grant

Yup its had me perplexed for hours today when i should be enjoying the sun!
I too cant see any reason why it wont ring, but nor did the Downer Engineer which is just mad!

I not sure i know anyone to borrow a phone, we only moved in last week, but i shall try.
Got plenty of phones in the office at work, but i think there all PABX style phones? (ie: hold buttons, extensions etc)


3539 posts

Uber Geek


  # 108923 6-Feb-2008 16:21
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LeccyLee: Got plenty of phones in the office at work, but i think there all PABX style phones? (ie: hold buttons, extensions etc)

Yeah, those are probably what is called "Key Phones".  They work partly on a Digital Signal and won't be any good at home.

If you don't have any luck borrowing a phone, then perhaps take the phone you already have to work and try plugging it into the Fax Line.  That should be a standard analogue signal which will work with any 2-wire phone.  Try plugging the Warehouse phone into the Fax Line and then try calling your fax number from another phone.  Your Warehouse phone should ring if it's any good, and if that is the case, then there must be a fault at the exchange or roadside cabinet which connects to your house.

There's more than one way to skin a cat as they say Wink

8 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 108925 6-Feb-2008 16:24
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thats a great idea, i shall take it in to work tomorrow

7057 posts

Uber Geek


  # 108953 6-Feb-2008 19:07
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Hi LeccyLee, got your PM and had a look at this thread, been away with today, however Grant seems to have been giving you good advice.

One thing that does concern is that a Warehouse phone will not work, these should work with any M/S/2 socket as most/all of their product is only 2wire.

Might I suggest that you wire the Master socket back to the incomming line, dont connect the rest of the house for now, and plug your phone into that, if you cannot get a Master socket (or 2wire) to work then there is an issue outside of your home or the phone is faulty.

Just to clarify, there are two systems that should not be mixed and matched, but if you understand whats happening then you can mix and match, but dont expect any Telecom support.

On a M or S socket the IDC headers labeld by number reflect the pin numbers in the BT socket itself, 2&5 are the direct line, 3 is the bell circuit. A 2Wire socket has two IDC headers but one header is all connected to pin2 of the BT and the other pin5.

A Master Socket should have the inbound wiring to pins 2/5, it contains a bell capacitor that provides the bell circuit to the BT jack on pin 3 (of both the BT and IDC) along with the original line on 2/5. Most older phones will need the bell circuit on pin 3 of the BT jack, newer ones have their own internal bell capacitor and dont use the external capcitor or wire 3 at all.

An Slave socket has no bell capacitor, and requires that all wires 2/5 and 3 are linked from the Master socket, a Slave sockets will provide the bell circuit on line 3 via the capacitor back in the master socket.

A 2 Wire socket normally has a bell capacitor that provies a bell circuit to pin3 of the BT jack should the phone connected want it. Most modern phones have an internal bell coupling capacitor and as such only pickup the direct line on 2 and 5 which is the two IDC headers.

From here you should be able to work out what you need to do, but if you cannot make the bell work from the direct 2wire inbound line with either a M or 2 socket then there is either a fault with the phone or the line card provisioning your home.

3Wire systems should be disbanded if you want good DSL performance, if no phones in the house actually terminate line 3 from the master socket then it acts as a beverage antenna and couples rubbish into the DSL circuit. If you use DSL then I recommend you move your whole house wiring to 2Wire, and add a master filter while you are at it.


90 posts

Master Geek

# 108969 6-Feb-2008 20:23
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At risk of going off topic, could you please explain what a 'master filter' is, Cyril?

I have installed a 2-wire system into my house, and would love to get rid of all the filters, if that is what a master filter allows one to do...

Cheers, Jason.

3539 posts

Uber Geek


  # 108974 6-Feb-2008 20:51
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jase250: At risk of going off topic, could you please explain what a 'master filter' is, Cyril?

I have installed a 2-wire system into my house, and would love to get rid of all the filters, if that is what a master filter allows one to do...

Cyril has done a fantastic job of explaining everything in considerable detail above, so I'll take a turn and help you with this question...

A Master Filter is also called a Central Splitter.  MasterTrade have them, among other places and they cost around $50 or $60.  The best one to get is made by Marque Magnetics and is an epoxy-potted block (coloured black) with 4 wires coming out.  Two are the input (to be connected directly to the phone line) and two are the output (to be connected to all other phone sockets in the house).

The Central Splitter should be connected as near as possible to the Telecom Demarc Point (where the cable enters your house).  Your ADSL router will need to be placed at this same location, and then all other phone sockets should be downstream from that point.  Once you have done that, you will be able to remove all filters on the other phone sockets.

I hope I've explained it clearly enough for you to see what I'm on about Smile



90 posts

Master Geek

  # 108980 6-Feb-2008 21:50
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Thanks Grant.

Simple enough - I had never heard a splitter being referred to as a "master filter" before.  Thanks for clearing it up.

Cheers, Jason.

3025 posts

Uber Geek

  # 108982 6-Feb-2008 22:02
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I believe that Telecom have stated that it has been years since they approved any telephones that weren't 2 wire. You can check the age of the phone from its approval sticker.

I have not idea how cabinetised lines work but the NEAX line circuit has a relay contact in the ringing path. It can happen that the contact(s) are damaged so that ringing isn't applied to the line even though the caller gets the ring tone. If you have a cellphone and a voltmeter it should be a trivial exercise to check whether or not you have the ringing actually on the line.

One other thought is that you may be connected to the wrong line. Even without the phone ringing can you answer the call? Again that is simple to check by dialling a cellphone with caller ID.

8 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 108984 6-Feb-2008 22:11
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Thanks for all the info guys, 

Yes when the line is called, if we pick up it is connected, so assume the number is correct.
Havent checked voltages, i cna do that in morning, so if i telphone my number what should the voltages be across the two wires?

I still think maybe the phones, but then again however crap some of the Warehouse stuff is, i cant comprehend they have a bacth of phones that dont ring?

3025 posts

Uber Geek

  # 108986 6-Feb-2008 22:25
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For most lines ringing will be

" As an operational guide, the standard Telecom ringing supply is 25 Hz and the
voltage at the customer's premises will generally lie in the range 30 - 85 V rms. Testing
to this Specification is based on 38 V rms which is typical for a line with multiple CPE
connected. "

There will also be ~50V dc across the line.

3539 posts

Uber Geek


  # 108988 6-Feb-2008 22:31
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SNAP:  I see that Bung has already answered your question.  However, here's my reply anyway; there are some additional points and it's a shame to waste all this typing Smile

Havent checked voltages, i cna do that in morning, so if i telphone my number what should the voltages be across the two wires?

When the phone is ON HOOK, you should see about 48VDC on the line.  This applies whether the line is ringing or not.

Additionally, when the line is ringing, you should find approximately 70VAC @ 25Hz present in pulses: Burr Burr Pause Burr Burr.

You need an isolation capacitor to allow the AC Ringing Voltage to be measured apart from the DC.  If you can pick up the appropriate points inside your Master Socket, it will allow you to use the Bell Ringing Capacitor for this purpose.  Otherwise, your multimeter may well not read correctly on the AC Range, due to the presence of the 48VDC.

8 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 109197 7-Feb-2008 23:07
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Well as an update...

Firstly i took the phone into work as suggested and tried it on the Fax line, Yup it rung fine, no problems (see i thought even cheap crap phones must work! lol)

Then i telephoned the contractor that installed the phone (Downer) and told them that theres clearly nothing wrong in my house, and that they should go check there exchanges, only to be told "we cant do that without visiting your house, we are the experts here sir. And as you are not home daytimes we cant make it to you until Saturday, when we shall call at 9am Sir".

Pee'ed off at that attitude, i phone my phone companies complaint department and explained abruptly that i would not be paying this weeks line rental as still have a faulty phone after a week after it was installed. They didnt comment, but said they would pass my complaint on to the faults department urgently.

Anyway, i got home from work at 9pm to find a note under our door saying "Sir your phone fault has been rectified at the exchange at 6.30pm" 
Plugged in the phone, rung it and it rings !!!!!   Smile 

So i suppose the moral is, 
-firstly when you are technically minded and know there cant be anything wrong at home... Trust your instincts!
-When the installing contractor scratches there head saying "no idea, might be your phones, but the line def works ok"... Ignore there ignorance
-And finally when the said contractor cant be assed to rush to fix a fault at a time suitable to you, then phone your supplier refusing to pay... And see how the contractor suddenly gets off there butt to fix it at 6.30pm  LOL

So who thinks i should call Downer and say "I TOLD YOU SO" when they kept say fault was in my home? !!
Told them it MUST be a fault in there end, or exchange

Thanks for advice

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