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Ebcdic_ed
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VM changeover to fibre phone

I've read and re-read VM's intentions and instructions on the changeover from copper wire to VOiP phones.

Our layout is a DECT phone, with mains, connected to an extension socket near the SH4. The secondary DECT is in another room with mains, no extension socket. The third phone is an original analogue with extension socket and no mains in another room and the master socket (openreach I believe) in a mainly unused room on the other side of the house to the hub. All the extensions are wired inline.

VM's set-up policy means the hub has to be switched on 24/7 with mobile backup for emergencies or an emergency line put in. Our policy is to switch the hub off overnight and anytime we're away which can be a few weeks and means no incoming calls saved. In fact we're loathe to leave it on for that length of time because of the power consumed and the heat generated. 

I've been informed once switched over the older analogue phone and extensions will be dead, although since, I've read that the hub can be back-wired to the master socket to keep the extensions alive. Without re-arranging the decoration, walls and flooring that would seem to be a no-go.

Our options seem to be:

1. Go with the changeover and possibly lose the extensions and one phone. Point made above about leaving the hub on suggests this is a no-go.

2. Keep the hub for BB turning it off when necessary, find another supplier for the phone connectivity.

3. Keep the hub for BB turning it off when necessary, dump the landline phones and rely on mobiles.

4. See what another ISP can do when the VM contract expires.

Any thoughts/recommendations from the community would be very much appreciated as would any omissions.

Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

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Richw1982
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Message 2 of 12
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Re: VM changeover to fibre phone

Hi, yes the extension socket by the Hub will be connected which will then liven up the other sockets in the house.  If you have a Lifeline etc a battery backup will be supplied.  The Hub really shouldn't be turned off over night as it can sometimes result in missed updates and can cause issues

I work for Virgin Media - but all opinions posted here are my own
goslow
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Re: VM changeover to fibre phone


@Ebcdic_ed wrote:

I've read and re-read VM's intentions and instructions on the changeover from copper wire to VOiP phones.

<snip>

Our options seem to be:

1. Go with the changeover and possibly lose the extensions and one phone. Point made above about leaving the hub on suggests this is a no-go.

2. Keep the hub for BB turning it off when necessary, find another supplier for the phone connectivity.

3. Keep the hub for BB turning it off when necessary, dump the landline phones and rely on mobiles.

4. See what another ISP can do when the VM contract expires.

Any thoughts/recommendations from the community would be very much appreciated as would any omissions.

Thanks


One of the VM forum team provided this last week ref the phone extensions when asked what the VM policy was

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Home-Phone/Extension-phone-cable/m-p/4749109#M154839

VM help pages advise otherwise

https://www.virginmedia.com/help/home-phone/virginphone#whatishappening

“I have several phones connected to extensions – will these work?

Yep, when our technician pops around to install your new Hub (if you need one) they’ll make sure all your phones work too. Please make sure you respond to our calls to schedule a technician visit.”

Some extension reconnections by VM involve the use of an adapter lead to 'back feed' to the extension sockets

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Home-Phone/HUB3-to-Master-socket-adaptor/m-p/4507007#M143805

Best suggestion would be to make clear to VM that you have phone extension sockets requiring reconnection at the time and see what transpires.


The battery backup device which VM supply does not power the VM hub equipment in the event of a power cut. It is a separate battery powered device that allows calls to be made only to 999 via a corded handset using the mobile network.

Leaving the VM hub powered on for an extended period should not be a problem. They are designed to be left on permanently. The power consumption would be tiny. My own hub was installed in 2014 and has been left on almost permanently since then without any issues.

The changes to the phone network are happening with all providers and due for completion by 2025 so switching provider won't really be a long-term fix.

Probably the best approach (in terms of simplicity and least cost would be to)

  • Leave the hub switched on all the time (as it is designed to do)
  • Use cordless phones throughout (either buying a new triple set of phones or adding more cordless extensions to the existing arrangement)
Ebcdic_ed
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Re: VM changeover to fibre phone

@Richw1982

Thanks for the quick turnaround. 

Although there's info out there it appears to be patchy in parts. I was led to believe the hub could and should be back-wired to the master socket. If it can be connected to the nearby ext. socket to liven the other exts. that gives me something else to consider. In that case I'd need what? The adapter supplied by VM and some combination of rj11/rj45 cabling?

Regards

 

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Rad1o
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Re: VM changeover to fibre phone

We have just changed from BT to virgin. In the past, if there was a change over either of the two have just reconnected their copper cable to the house lines in the box outside the house, which was so much easier in a way.

I was given the Virgin pass through connector for the house sockets and it works o.k. But I had to cut the BT phone line outside the house, i.e. Or/Wh and Wh/Bl cables. I tried to make a call with just the Virgin adapter conneted and had both systems talking to me. Virgin would have connected but the BT voice told me that they would not recognise the numbers as our BT services had finished.

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Ebcdic_ed
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Re: VM changeover to fibre phone

@goslow

Thanks for the input. It took some reading.

Issue with adding to the cordless phones or buying a triple set is that I've no power socket where the analogue phone is now. As you would know the power to that phone comes down on the line.

You say your hub has been on almost all the time from 2014. I take it that wouldn't be a SH4? I'm reasonably sure the heat output is up on the SH2ac I used to use.

Also I read SH4 acts as a master socket. Would that mean to enliven the extensions I'd have to disconnect the existing Openreach master from the run.

=================

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Ebcdic_ed
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Message 7 of 12
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Re: VM changeover to fibre phone

@Rad1o

We went from BT to VM some 10-12 years ago. Disconnecting the BT line to the property was done by the VM engineer and re-connected with new VM cabling. All worked from day 1.
Is it possible you could post me a snap of the adapter seeing as you have one?
Thanks
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goslow
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Re: VM changeover to fibre phone


@Ebcdic_ed wrote:

@goslow

Thanks for the input. It took some reading.

<snip>


Can't comment on the heat output issue from the Hub 4 as I have never seen/used one. If it does run warm, some would argue that turning it on/off each day could be harmful in itself, since you are allowing the internal hub components to run hot during the day then cool down cold overnight and then heat up again next day when powered on. The heating/cooling and expansion/contraction of the hub internals and components is one reason it may not be a good idea. If it runs excessively hot, then I can understand why you would not want to leave it on if the house is unattended but if it does run so hot to be concerned about it, I would question if it was working properly.

Using the adapter lead to back-feed the existing sockets is a horrible bodge IMO. If VM use qualified telecoms technicians for their installation work, I can't understand why they would not terminate all the connections correctly. As experienced by @Rad1o, the adapter leads to the potential to cross-connect the hub telephone into the old copper network wiring outside of the home, which is ill-advised from the point of view of possible crossed lines. I believe the standard VM adapter is the one shown at message #3 in my final link.

The BT master socket and incoming cable belongs to BT and should not really be modified or used on a VM installation. In @Rad1o's example, the hub was connected into a working BT socket which accidentally linked VM's network to BT's. A master socket also contains additional components which are not required for connection via the hub. These should not have any effect on the connection but they are not required for an extension connection from the hub.

Depending on the age of the wired phone you are trying to connect, that may not work well on a hub phone connection if it is old (phones from the early 2000's and before are sometimes mentioned on here as having problems, usually with not ringing).

In your case, all you need to achieve is a 'daisy-chain' of three 'secondary' sockets which are plugged into the back of the hub. You should leave the BT master socket alone and place alongside it your own secondary socket as part of the daisy chain linked back to the hub. You want an arrangement that you can plug into the back of the hub and easily remove/unplug in case you run into a problem with the extension wiring.

At the link below I wrote a brief DIY guide to connecting up hub extensions

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Tech-Chatter/would-it-be-possible-to-connect-the-old-nynex-line...

The Screwfix extension kit mentioned may not be the best quality but it was listed because it is probably widely available. There may be better quality examples available online. The description is my own suggestion/opinion on what to do, so use at your own risk depending on whatever your level of DIY/tech skills are.

The thing you want to achieve is pretty simple really. It just needs to be done in such a way to avoid connecting the hub telephone to the old copper network outside your home and without interfering with any BT kit.

Finally, have a look in your local area for any freelance/independent telecoms technicians. They would be able to do what you want very easily and may to it for less than a VM technician and possibly to a better standard.

Is this changeover something that is about to be thrust upon you by VM or are you just doing a bit of planning/prep work for when it does actually happen?

Rad1o
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Message 9 of 12
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Re: VM changeover to fibre phone

I did have an engineer around who fished one out of his bag seing what I had planed as our BT and Virgin services overlapped and BT had not released our old phone number.

P6223891.JPG

P6223892.JPG

 The other end plugs into the router.

 I would have preferred to have the phone line connected at the outside box again, as we also turn off everything when we go away.

 

In response to goslow, our house phone network actually/probably belongs to NTL, as when we moved into the house we had 2 NTL phone lines and no wire from the nearby BT phone mast. That was only routed across when we moved to BT 10 years ago and I asked the BT engineer to connect it to the NTL/Virgin phone lines as I did not want any wires on the wall and also no major building work.

In the 20 years we have been in the house I have "extended" the phone network around the house and the BT master socket in the picture has only been installed fairly recently. We also still have a NTL master socket in another room. So I do not buy into this master socket idea too much.

 

 

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Ebcdic_ed
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Re: VM changeover to fibre phone

@goslow

Once again well explained.

You wrote:

"Is this changeover something that is about to be thrust upon you by VM or are you just doing a bit of planning/prep work for when it does actually happen?"

Foisted upon us. Set to go ahead on Aug. 27th. Started with a call from someone with accent purporting to be from VM. Had the sinking feeling it was another scam call. This time I thought I'd play along instead of refusing the call. Turns out it was genuine. Oops.

VM wanted to swap the hub from a 2 (it's no longer supported) to the 4. "Ok", says I and after I installed and online for a couple of weeks, got an email followed up with a letter saying about the changeover. As my neighbours and family haven't received the same treatment leads me to believe VM are straw-picking customers for roll-out and I've been guinea-pigged.

And yes, I'm considering the implications before the go-live.

 

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