Cheap phone cord (related to cheap extension cords)
Speaking of cheap cord, a few years ago I needed about 40 feet of
modular phone cord, and I was at a hamfest where they had 100 foot
roll of cord for less that Radio Shack sells 50. Plus it was right
there in front of me, and I wouldn't have to look any further.
So I bought it and it worked fine for a few years. I used the whole
100 feet without cutting because I thought someday I might need a 100
foot piece. But eventually it stopped, probably being I was stepping
on it a lot, and tugging on it, and once I burned it (although that
didn't keep it from working even though it had been cream colored and
now was distorted and black for 2 inches and around most of its
And it was one of the days I was stepping on it and tugging it that it
stopped working. So I looked at the end through the clear modular
plug and it looked ok, so I cut off about 6 feet and crimped on
another modular plug, with the proper tool. But it didn't help.
Maybe it was not in those 6 feet that it broke.
I would have checked the cord, but it's hard to get a meter probe into
those little slots, and I was too lazy to get a pin from my sewing kit
and a wire with alligator clips from the basement. Eventuall I found
a modular wall box that took regular wire and one end and had two
modular jacks and used that, and found I had only made a connection
with two of the 4 wires, out of 1,2,3,4, I only got 1 and 2.
That's why it didn't work. The crimper was a cheap plastic imitation
of what the pros use, but it always worked before.
Then I noticed how cheap the wire was. For one thing, if you hold up
2 to 4 inches of it with an end on the end, it flops over. The wire I
usually use takes twice as long a piece to flop over.
Maybe you can recognize this stuff if you see it because it doesn't
have black, red, green, and yellow wires. It has white, green, white,
and white wires.
I didn't know it was possible to have wire this cheap!