> 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
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.
> 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.
> 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.
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