My church is about to connect to the Internet. We're going to add DSL
to the existing phone service, and I don't have any experience with
DSL (just cable.)
I talked to "Jessica" this afternoon the Phone Company's help line and
asked about equipment and wiring requirements, but she was no help at
all. She did seem cheerful tho'.
The NID is located outside on a block wall, and it looks like Plain
Old Telephone wire feeds into the building. There's a couple of feet
of loosely coiled POTS wire, then that connects to 75 feet of
telephone flat cord to the only telephone using just twisted
connections and wirenuts. (At least the phone has a modular jack.)
I'm gonna be added several phones (just one line for now) and will
probably run CAT3 or CAT5e cable for all the phone lines and CAT5e for
the one Ethernet line. I'm just about to the question.
Is that 2 or 3 foot section of POTS where the phone service comes thru
the outside wall going to hurt my DSL data rate? And should I put in
a DSL splitter, or just use the filters that the phone company
provides? I think the answers to those 2 questions are "yes, but not
enough to worry about" and "buy a splitter and put it as close as
possible to the NID"
We now have Cox cable broadband, but in our previous house only DSL was
avaialble. The house had been pre-wired for phones. We could have
connected our DSL modem to any of the phone outlets and had the same DSL
performance. We did install the suggested filters at each phone. The
object of the filters is to minimize DSL interference on the phones.
AFAIK, the filters had nothing to do with the DSL performance. We did not
have a splitter nor was one ever discussed or suggested. All of our wiring
was standard phone line (2 twisted pairs). All interior connections were
on the same twisted pair, so there was no separation between phone an DSL.
~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~
Thanks Wayne. The existing wiring is not twisted pairs, some of it is
the old JK cable and some is flat cable, and the splices are
atrocious. I'm concerned more about noise from the phones degrading
the DSL performance than DSL noise interfering with voice. I've about
talked myself into installing one of these for about $30 or $40:
But that might be overkill; it would not be hard to tear out all the
existing phone wire and replace it with twisted pair cable -- except
for that little section where it goes thru the outside wall to get to
Bob, with the hodge podge of wiring you described, I'd be more inclined to
run new twisted pair lines throughout, including through the wall to the
NID. Going through a wall isn't usually that difficult. I've even done it
with a straightened coathanger and a nylon cord attached to the end to pull
the wiring. Think about it...it might work for you.
The POTS splitter isn't a bad idea, but I don't really think it's
~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~
Run a BRAND NEW TWISTED PAIR LINE TO THE NID, feed the modem directly.
A central DSL filter i far better and you can leave your existing
phone line as is just connect it to the filter
the 2 or 3 feet can cause all sorts of troubles for DSL, but will
still work fine for your phone
yeah splitter filter at NID there are outdoor ones for this application
Thanks. All this is up in the ceiling; I need to crawl up there (with
my reading glasses and a flashlight) and see if the pigtail from the
NID just might accidentally be CAT3 cable. The NID and that piece of
cable both look fairly new. Everything else is ancient, although I
found a piece of blue CAT5e cable up there running from one end of the
building to the other and not connected to anything at either end.
Someone else's forgotten project from before I joined, I guess. It
might be useful before this is over.
The whole purpose of DSL was to use the existing installed base of
phone wiring, from CO to your phone to carry data. Various factors
can degrade the performance to the point that you can only achieve
lower data rates or no connection at all. Among those factors are
issues like the total distance, wire branches, wire gauge changes
along the route, etc.
I wouldn't go nuts worrying about 3 feet of wire or re-wiring anything
until you install the DSL modem and find out if it works.
You can do a home-run install, can't get better than that. With DSL
there is a lot that can go wrong, so it really depends. Sometimes
motors, neon lights, wireless, microwave ovens, transformers, etc can
hurt DSL. The shorter the wires, the better.
I think I got a plan: tear out the existing phone wiring *except* for
that first two foot piece. (that's easier to do than it sounds) Put in
new phone jacks everywhere with home runs for all of them, and use the
little DSL filters. That way I can move the modem around and plug it in
anywhere. Then if I need to later, I can replace that short cable to
the NID and/or install one of those fancy splitters and dedicate one
phone jack for the DSL.
Consider this plan...
place the DSL filter someplace near where the phone line enters the
On the phone side of the filter you can use all the old wires and they
will have NO effect on the DSL since they are after the filter. Run
a NEW wire from the filter to the DSL modem.
This way the DSL signal is kept out of all the old regular phone wires
and travels only to the DSL modem via the new wires.
If you have the time and gumption, and if the church can afford the
supplies, the best long term solution is to replace it all, with home
runs to a 110 block as close as you get out of the weather to the demarc
block. Whoever has to work on it all in 10-15 years will thank you. If
you have never heard of the term 'punchdown tool', best to look in the
local ad paper for a moonlighting or semi-retired phone installer. If
you do the rough-ins, and pull all the cat 5e or cat 6 wire (labeling
the ends at the 110 block), and all he has to do is punch it down and
test it, it should be pretty cheap. Once new wires are up and running,
you can either rip out the old stuff, or abandon it in place if it won't
be in the way. Make sure to use plenum-rated cable if you will be
snaking wire through air return ducts or anything like that.
Look in Google or the local book store for DIY books or web sites on
residential and light commercial phone wiring. The pictures describe it
better than words ever could. A 110 block will allow you to easily
upgrade to a small business phone system, if ever needed. I assume you
just have a few vanilla voice lines now, with no features or bells and
Just one voice line; no bells, no whistles, no fax machine, not even a
long distance carrier. I'm gonna wire everything for 2 lines, but
actually getting a 2nd line is probably years away. I was thinking of
using a small 66 block. I know what a punchdown tool is, but I've never
used one except on a RJ45 socket once that had 110-style connectors.
(is 110 easier to use than 66?)
I did exactly what Mark suggests a couple of years ago and had no
problems until a squirrel ate thru the telco line insulation outside
the house. They fixed that after I complained that our data rate went
down whenver it rained. I did try putting the modem in a number of
places in the ceiling of the basement until I found the place that
gave the best signal to my wife's laptop on the upper level. My
laptop is hard-wired to the modem since it is only15 feet away and no
problem to run the wire.
Our only DSL problems have been caused by squirrels and tree branches
outside too and came on with rain. At first the phone company repair
person would come and just experiment until he found a wire that hadn't
been chewed into yet to switch to. Before the last time, I followed the
wire up the street until I could see a long damaged section where a tree
branch had fallen in front of a neighbor's house. When I pointed this
out to the repair person, they decided to string new wire. We haven't
had any DSL problems since.
I now have FiOS, but previously had DSL. The only problems we had were
loose or shorted wires inside the house, and bad wires outside, which
were eventually fixed by Verizon /phone/ people, not the DSL guys.
To the OP:
If your inside wires are old, and perhaps have loose wires, it may be
best to put a splitter in as near the ONT as possible, and a single
filter on the wire(s) that go from there to the phones. Use a separate
run(s) to the DSL modem (can even be on the same cable, just a different
pair - watch the connections). It is important that the DSL wiring be
twisted pair or better. So your rewiring skills may come in handy after
email address is invalid
The phone company is gonna give me probably three phone filters. There
is currently only one old long wire of dubious quality. If I put put
one of the filters at the *head* of that wire instead of at the phone
end, and branch off with all new CAT3 cable for the DSL and the new
phones, will that keep the old wiring from poisoning my DSL? (I think
I still need some kind of terminal strip to make the connections. I
tried one of those phone blocks from Radio Shack that have screw clamp
terminals that are supposed to pierce the insulation on the wires like a
real 66 or 110 block. It was so unreliable I tore it out and ended up
soldering the connections. (yes they are just floating in the air, but
the cables are stapled nearly) Even tho' a 66 block is overkill for such
a small installation, I might go with it just for reliability and
reconfigurability. Heck, I might put one in my house.
Think electrically (grin). If there is a bad conncetion or an almost short
in the old wiring, you'd have problems if that was connnected in parallel
to your neat new wiring. If you are rewiring, cut the old wire. Stick a
note to the cutoffs to explain to the next person that the wires are from
an old phone installation, now disconnected. I assume <hehe> that there is
no power connected anywhere to the old wiring, except for the phone company
You get what you pay for... Radio Shack stuff like that is junk,
just look at what they sell as "phone wire"... Do it the way
a telecom installer would, pick a 66 type or 110 type block
whichever type you would prefer to use to terminate the ends
of the cables...
Why on earth would you solder telephone connections, that
is TOTAL overkill... If you don't want to buy a punch block
to connect the cables just use a couple of scotchlok insulation
displacement connectors to take care of it...
You were concerned about the quality of the connections at
other locations in your wiring, you said some were wires
twisted together with masking tape etc., replace any existing
connections with the scotchlok connectors and you will be fine...
Often the "problems" with old wiring have more to do with the
loose connections where it is spliced than the actual quality of
the wiring itself...
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