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VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

Hi,

Used to have VM years ago and have today rejoined VM after 6 years.

Last time, the VM service was connected to the house phone wiring - so all the phone extensions worked.

Today the VM engineer connected up the new box and plugged our wireless phones (DECT phones) into the SuperHub3.

This, of course, means that only the wireless phones connected to this base station work, but none of the other phone extensions work as they are not connected to the Hub.

Checking the two RJ11 sockets on the rear of the hub, the top socket works but the second socket underneath (nearer the RJ45 Ethernet sockets) doesn't appear to be switched on.

Plugging a lead from the top RJ11 socket into the BT wall socket doesn't work, even when a 'Crossover' adapter is used.

VM Customer Service want to charge me £99 to sort this out, yet when I signed up after talking to a Chat agent, it wasn't mentioned that VM use Voice over IP (VIOP) and no longer connect to the existing wiring.

As we had had VM before, no new cable needed to be laid - all that happened was that the new SuperHub 3 was plugged into the old VM installation. No new phone socket (eg VM's own phone socket) was installed.

How can I connect the SuperHub 3 to my existing telephone wiring so that all of my extensions work again (as they did prior to 9:15am this morning).

Hope someone can offer some help/advice on this.

Cheers,

Zaph.

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Message 2 of 22
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Re: VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

VM are moving away from the outdated POTS technology to VoIP in a lot of areas now. By 2025 it is also likely BT will follow suit as the majority of traffic on the networks will be over fibre.

The second RJ11 socket on the Hub is totally seperate from the first & is there to support a second seperate line.

VM don't do extension wiring as standard. Its an optional extra which is why they want to charge you.

You can do this DIY, but information on how to do this is sparse.

I did find this, which might be of help:

https://forums.digitalspy.com/discussion/2177714/connecting-vonage-to-main-phone-circuit

 

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Re: VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

Looks useful thanks.

Not averse to doing my own 'home wiring' of the telephone system as we haven't been with BT since moving into the house 22 years ago.

Just need to get a NTE5 socket and wire her up!

Cheers,

Zaph

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Re: VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

Hello again nodrogd

The RJ11 cable that connects the SuperHub to the first phone has just two contacts.

Checking with a multimeter there was just over 48V d.c. between them as I suspected - so these behave as the incoming drop wires from a 'traditional' BT phone cable (the Blue/White and White/Blue).

As my internal telephone wiring isn't connected to BT's lines (there is a junction box where the drop wire from BT enters the property and the drop wire is disconnected there) then there is nothing to stop me putting my own NTE5 master socket in (currently we don't have a master socket but several sockets that look like this :http://www.kaiturn.com/ezfiles/kaiturn1/img/pictures/k/KT-3505B1AD_S_KT-3505B1AD-web.jpg with no capacitor).

Then all I'd need to do is connect the VM Hub via an RJ11 lead to terminals 2 & 5 (2 being -50V d.c. and 5 being 0V) and wire up terminals 2 [Blue/White], 5 [White/Blue] and 3 [Orange/White] to the rest of the internal wiring. 

Really annoying the VM do telephones with VOIP now.  When we had VM in the past, they disconnected the wire from BT at the above mentioned junction box in the garage and connected their own wire from an external (splitter) box and all the extensions in the house worked exactly as before.

I have got the above correct haven't I?

Cheers

Zaph

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Message 5 of 22
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Re: VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

Well, to reply to my own post ...

We didn't have a Master Socket in the house - only an old hard-wired junction box and a few old post-1981 style line jack units (LJU's) for various extensions.

You are (apparently) breaking the law if you do this yourself so the following is offered for academic interest and in the interests of sharing knowledge with the wider community.

Before attempting any wiring/rewiring, make sure that incoming wires from BT are disconnected (this is the only bit that is dodgy although I hardly see that disconnecting just two wires is all that big a deal myself).  This will then completely isolate all of your internal phone wiring from BT's (or I suppose I should say OpenReach's) copper POTS network (or PSTN to be more correct).

It really is then as simple as the following four steps.

Step 1

Unscrew the existing face plate (in our case a LJU5/6A - with screw terminals) and remove the cables from the back.

Step 2

Wire the Blue/White cable to terminal 'B' on the Master Socket and the White/Blue wire to terminal 'A'.  Ideally use a Krone IDC 'Punch-down' tool or similar - don't be tempted to use a flat-bladed screwdriver (however tempting) as this will open out the 'V' of the connector in the socket and may well result in an unreliable connection.  If you don't use the above-mentioned tool, make sure you only trim ONE cable at at time after making the connection (to prevent shorts).

Then pass the rest of the wire from the stripped extension cable through the large aperture (you will need to strip at least 5 - 6 cm to make access to the rear of the face plate) easier.

Screw the Master Socket into place.

Step 3

Wire Orange/White of the extension cable to terminal 3 and White/Orange to terminal 4 (this last wire is not really needed).  Fit the ADSL/VDSL face plate and secure with the supplied screws.

Step 4

Then connect the VM SuperHub3 (top socket) to the BT-style NTE5 Master Socket.  You will need either a 2 PIN RJ11 to BT Modem Cable Lead or the same lead but labelled 'Crossover'.  Since they are around 99p each on the Bay, get both and at most you'll have spent 99p you didn't need to. 

All up cost including ADSL/VDSL face plate, Master Socket, back box, Krone IDC punch-down tool and one of each of the RJ11-BT Modem cables for around £12 off Flea Bay.

Hope this helps someone save around £87.  As stated earlier, the above is offered in the spirit of sharing knowledge and I will not be held liable for any work that you may undertake as a result on your own telephone line/extensions/equipment.

Zaph

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Message 6 of 22
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Re: VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

Hi @Zaphod_B

Thank you for the detailed post.

i have the new style BT socket downstairs, and already have an extension going to the upstairs room.

Like this 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Openreach-Telephone-Master-Socket-Faceplate/dp/B07NX2KC8Y/ref=asc_df_B07NX2...

As I have just moved to VM from Plusnet the router is upstairs, is there anything I can do to connect the downstairs box to the extension upstairs so that my home alarm which is already plugged into the BY socket has a phone connection?

 Thank you 

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Re: VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

Hi Sep

I'm sorry.  I am not, nor have I ever been, a telephone or communications systems engineer (I was a teacher). The information earlier in this thread was offered in good faith and for acadeic interest only.

My advice is to either to be VERY SURE about what you are doing (thorough research helps here) and to also bear in mind that interferring with the BT Master Socket in any way (other than using the specified secondary terminals within the socket to hard wire an extension/s is illegal.

I can accept no liability for any damage caused to BT or VM equipment howsoever caused and the following is again for academic interest / discussion only.

You need to basically disconnect the old copper pair (called the drop wire) from the NTE5 Master Socket (strictly speaking this is illegal as the Master Socket is BT's property and you aren't allowed to touch it by law - and yet this is exactly what a VM Engineer would do after VM charge you £100-150  *shrugs*).  If you do remove these wires (again I stress that you aren't allowed to do that) make sure that you don't short the wires (best to put them inside a small connector block if there's room) - only one wire per hole - https://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Plastic-Housing-Double-Terminal/dp/B00H4W94M2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=1.5...

Then run a cable from the back of your router and into the phone socket of the extension upstairs.  You need an RJ11 plug to BT plug (BT431A).  These cables come in two versions - 'straight' and 'crossover'.  These cables are widely available on FleaBay - eg items 351286547466 and  401441284391.  I can't remember which one you need - I think it is the 'straight' cable - but at £1.49 each and free p&p buying the two will hardly break the bank.  Search for 'RJ11 to BT cable' if those item numbers no longer work.

If you need to re-wire anything, the correct tool to use is an idc Punch Down tool - like item 372230158970. DON'T be tempted to use a thin blade or a small flat-bladed screwdriver!  The punch-down tool locates, connects and trims the wire to the correct length in one simple push and is about £2.50-3.00.

The RJ11 plug is the more square-ish of the two.  It has 4 'ways' but only the centre two are used.  Only Blue (white stripe) and White (blue stripe) should be connected. These are 50V and 0V respectively.

The BT plug is the more rectangular and 'flattish' plug and has 6 'ways' - only four of which are used.  Looking at the top, cable coming towards you and the latch on the right, they are numbered 1 - 6. Only 2,3,4 and 5 are used (in other words the outer two 'ways' con't have a wire in them.

The colours of the cables *SHOULD* be 2 Blue (white stripe), 3 Orange (white stripe), 4 White (orange stripe) and 5 White (blue stripe).  It is only really necessary for pins 2, 3 and 5 to be connected (pin 4 was for PABX use and isn't needed in a domestic situation).  The orange (white stripe) is the 'Bell Wire' and goes to pin 3.  This is what makes the other phones connected to the socket ring when there is an incoming call.

This extension socket should now behave as the old BT Master Socket - except it doesn't need all the gubbins that the copper pair telephone wire does.

Providing all of your house sockets were wired correctly to the Master Socket, they should all now work as before.

If you carry out any modifications to the phone wiring - expecially the connection between the incoming copper pair from BT Openreach and the Master Socket - and you find that things don't work as expected and you need to call out an engineer, make sure you put the incoming wires back as they were.

If you are at all unsure, you need to get a qualified telephone engineer to look at your installation.

Zaph

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Message 8 of 22
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Re: VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

Hi @Zaphod_B,

Thank you for your detailed reply.

We have a small box where the main BT cable comes in, from there it goes into a NTE5c. In the NTE5c I have my upstairs connection and the alarm connected. So as I had one of these at home I tried using that to connect the VM line using a RJ11 from the router and that worked.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secondary-Telephone-Converter-Connector-Uvital/dp/B07H4N9168/ref=sr_1_3?key...

I may have to disconnect the two cables into the NTE5c from the small BT socket once the line has been moved.

Regards

Sep

 

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Message 9 of 22
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Re: VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

Just want to mention (in case you have not considered it) that Virgins VoIP service is dependant on your domestic electricity supply & the supply to Virgins local network segment being in working order. While it does not rely on the internet connection itself (so under most circumstances if Broadband goes down the line will still work) it will not work during power outages.

This should be considered when connecting house monitoring or care line alarm systems to VoIP. 

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Re: VM Fibre installed today, house extensions no longer working

Hi Nodrogd,

Quote: "Just want to mention (in case you have not considered it) that Virgins VoIP service is dependant on your domestic electricity supply & the supply to Virgins local network segment being in working order."

That's very true.  VoIP simply adds another layer of 'this has to be working' to get a working phone line.

With BT's POTS (or more correctly, PSTN) over copper wire, your phone would work regardless of what the electricity supply was doing, so you could have a blackout and still retain a working phone line as the voltage for the phone (approx 50V) came from the phone line itself.

Mind you, this isn't as important as it once was with a large proportion of the population having access to one (or more) mobile phones.

The POTS copper is useful for alarm systems and elderley/vulnerable careline monitoring systems (eg Age UK's Personal Alarm) in that, as you said, it isn't dependent on the VM broadband working.

Using ADSL / ADSL+ with FTTC, the fibre broadband and voice line are combined at the street cabinet with both the phone and the broadband travelling the remaining few metres to your home via the BT drop wire.  Between the cabinet and the exchange, the broadband and voice go by separate routes so you can have the bizarre instance (as we once had) of the phone not working (because a JCB had gone through the copper) but the broadband still working as normal.

Zaph

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