Problems with one ornery telephone line

Problems with one ornery telephone line

Post by drgra.. » Wed, 02 Jul 2003 07:47:54



I was reffered to this NG as a good source for some help I need on
deciphering one problematic phone line in the house.  Perhaps someone
can help me out.

I have a rats nest of phone wires converging on something called a
"66B4-B Jumper Block" down in my ba*t.  This block can't beolder
than the house (built '78).   I have phone jacks with 4-wire line at
various locations in the house and ba*t, and I can only get
one line to work on one particular outlet, although I'm pretty sure
it's a 2-Number  line in the house.  I need to setup a multipurpose
fax machine there, and subsequently, an answering machine.  Both are
to be for line #2 only (home biz).  The fax machine needs to be the
first line, and if it's not a fax, it'll shift to a phone line and the
answering machine will pick up after a prescribed number of rings.

I bought a little LED tester that plugs into the phone jack, and it
checks for crossed wires, whether there's 2 lines present, and other
things.  I suspect that something is screwed up at the jumper block
because it's just too easy to snag a wire there out in the open and
pull it loose.

Rather than calling in the phone company, or spending $50-$100 on
something called a tone generator, is there any cheaper way to find
out what's wrong with this line?

And if a tone generator kit is the only answer, can anyone tell me
where I can get the bare minimum unit new or used?

Thanks in advance for any/all help.  If anyone wants to see the 66B4-B
Jumper Block I diagramed it in Visio and have a small gif file with
color coding as wired.  I'd be happy to email it to you.

Mike

 
 
 

Problems with one ornery telephone line

Post by Charles P » Thu, 03 Jul 2003 22:04:12



> I was reffered to this NG as a good source for some help I need on
> deciphering one problematic phone line in the house.  Perhaps someone
> can help me out.

> I have a rats nest of phone wires converging on something called a
> "66B4-B Jumper Block" down in my ba*t.  This block can't beolder
> than the house (built '78).   I have phone jacks with 4-wire line at
> various locations in the house and ba*t, and I can only get
> one line to work on one particular outlet, although I'm pretty sure
> it's a 2-Number  line in the house.  I need to setup a multipurpose
> fax machine there, and subsequently, an answering machine.  Both are
> to be for line #2 only (home biz).  The fax machine needs to be the
> first line, and if it's not a fax, it'll shift to a phone line and the
> answering machine will pick up after a prescribed number of rings.

Do you have two separate phone lines in the house? or just two numbers
that ring on the same line (phone company calls it "ring mate" or
"distinctive ring")?

Normally, there is only one number per phone line, and one pair of wires
per phone line.  If you have two phone lines you should have two sets of
wires, then you need to be sure that there are two pairs of wires coming
to each jack from the point where the lines come into the house.

That point is called the "demarc" and the phone company is responsible
for giving you a good connection up to that point. If you do not know
which lines are which at the demarc, you can get the phone co to come
out and id the lines ("tag the lines") so you know which is which.

Then a tone tracer might help to get the right wires on the proper lines.

Quote:

> I bought a little LED tester that plugs into the phone jack, and it
> checks for crossed wires, whether there's 2 lines present, and other
> things.  I suspect that something is screwed up at the jumper block
> because it's just too easy to snag a wire there out in the open and
> pull it loose.

> Rather than calling in the phone company, or spending $50-$100 on
> something called a tone generator, is there any cheaper way to find
> out what's wrong with this line?

> And if a tone generator kit is the only answer, can anyone tell me
> where I can get the bare minimum unit new or used?

One of the best places for used phone equipment is ebay. You can usually
get a tone generator and probe for about $30-40  there.  You will spend
a lot more than that if you call the phone company in to fix your wiring.

Of course, you might save a lot of frustration if you had a phone guy
come in to fix it for you.  The phone company techs are not always the
smartest or neatest (some are very good) but you can find private phone
installers  who would probably be cheaper.

Quote:> Thanks in advance for any/all help.  If anyone wants to see the 66B4-B
> Jumper Block I diagramed it in Visio and have a small gif file with
> color coding as wired.  I'd be happy to email it to you.

> Mike

If you are dealing with a 66 block you should also have a punch tool for
it (cough up another $30 on ebay).  You can get away with sliding the
wires into the block with neadle nose pliers if you have to, but don't
put more than one wire on a post, and be sure you don't bend the posts
at all.

Charles

 
 
 

Problems with one ornery telephone line

Post by Justin Ti » Thu, 03 Jul 2003 22:48:20



> I was reffered to this NG as a good source for some help I need on
> deciphering one problematic phone line in the house.  Perhaps someone
> can help me out.

> I have a rats nest of phone wires converging on something called a
> "66B4-B Jumper Block" down in my ba*t.  This block can't beolder
> than the house (built '78).   I have phone jacks with 4-wire line at
> various locations in the house and ba*t, and I can only get
> one line to work on one particular outlet, although I'm pretty sure
> it's a 2-Number  line in the house.  I need to setup a multipurpose
> fax machine there, and subsequently, an answering machine.  Both are
> to be for line #2 only (home biz).  The fax machine needs to be the
> first line, and if it's not a fax, it'll shift to a phone line and the
> answering machine will pick up after a prescribed number of rings.

> I bought a little LED tester that plugs into the phone jack, and it
> checks for crossed wires, whether there's 2 lines present, and other
> things.  I suspect that something is screwed up at the jumper block
> because it's just too easy to snag a wire there out in the open and
> pull it loose.

> Rather than calling in the phone company, or spending $50-$100 on
> something called a tone generator, is there any cheaper way to find
> out what's wrong with this line?

> And if a tone generator kit is the only answer, can anyone tell me
> where I can get the bare minimum unit new or used?

> Thanks in advance for any/all help.  If anyone wants to see the 66B4-B
> Jumper Block I diagramed it in Visio and have a small gif file with
> color coding as wired.  I'd be happy to email it to you.

> Mike

There are several ways of troubleshooting your problem.  One way would
be to determine if all the outlet blocks in the house are wired for
2-pair operation.  That means you have to have both the blue/white
pair and the orange/white pair connected to each block.  (Some of the
older wiring uses red/green and black/yellow.)  These need to be
present at each block.

The next thing you have to determine is if your phone jacks are wired
in series - daisy-chained - or are they on individual runs (homerun)
back to the 66 block.

The third thing you need to know is if your line 2 equipment is wired
to find line two on the second pair or on the first pair.  If it is
wired to look only on the first pair, then you will need to rewire the
jacks where you want the second line to be the primary (swap the
orange/white or black/yellow with the corresponding blue/white
red/green) or add a second jack bringing in the second pair as the
primary.

A tech who knows what he is doing can get it done fairly quickly.  It
will take you longer as you will have to diagram it out and learn how
things are connected through trial-and-error.

Good luck.

 
 
 

Problems with one ornery telephone line

Post by Steve Pinksto » Thu, 10 Jul 2003 07:21:42



>I was reffered to this NG as a good source for some help I need on
>deciphering one problematic phone line in the house.  Perhaps someone
>can help me out.

>I have a rats nest of phone wires converging on something called a
>"66B4-B Jumper Block" down in my ba*t.  

( snip)

Quote:>Mike

Mike, I'd say from my own experience that if you do indeed have a
"rat's nest" down there, you'll save time and money in the long run if
you just rewire now.

I think you'll find that if you just yank all the wires out of that 66
block and untangle them, you'll start to get a pretty good idea of
what goes where. Unplug ALL phones and devices and then start checking
each cable for shorts and opens with a volt-ohm meter.

Always punch cable down on a fresh piece of wire, i.e. cut a little
off the end so that you have undamaged unsulation.

You can get some pretty slick home telecom wiring stuff at most
building centers like Home Despot.

As others have said, there are two basic methods:

SERIES WIRING is where you come from the telco's entrance point
(demarc) and go from jack to jack 'daisy-chain' fashion. This is how
most contractors do house wiring if you leave it up to them.

PARALLEL WIRING is where you run a separate cable from each jack to a
central point in your house, and then wire them together at that
central point as needed. This is more expensive and difficult to do,
but is more flexible in the long run.

Good luck!

- Steve Pinkston