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Old 05-16-2008, 11:39 AM   #1
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


Hi All.

I have a new DSL connection in my old 1969 home. The wiring appears kind of old inside, and if I seem to connect certain ports in the house, it takes the DSL modem down with it.

So, for now, I have been testing the DSL connection speed through tests and the highest I can get is about 190kbps/second. My service provides for up to 1MBps/sec.

I have done various combinations and this seems to be the case if I have just the DSL modem connected and up to 2 other phones (with filters) on in the house.

For DSL to work, is it a matter of 2 pairs of wire (similar to the phone jacks) to be made active in order for everything to work fine? I'm considering going to the DEMARCATION point and splitting the signal from the source and creating a dedicated DSL jack and splitting it so the rest of the house can use it for phones.

Any advice on this? I will post some pics of what I think is the demarc point (but I'm not sure it is).

Thanks
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:00 PM   #2
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


DSL works on a different frequency than your analog phone jacks. The purpose of the filter is to filter out the frequencies that you don't want. That is why you plug the phone into the ones for phones, and the data into the ones for data. So, in your Demarcation box, you should have a test port. Try to connect the modem directly to that and run a speed test. If the wiring in your home is old, you would probably benefit from using a new wire for data transmissions only. The phone system is really probably not a big deal though, some signal loss is not a big deal. But data is literally a digital signal (Digital Subscriber Line), and is transmitting either current, or no current, each bit representing data. When bits get lost, you lose speed as things are needing to be resent.
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:04 PM   #3
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


By the way, here is the picture of what I think is the demarc box. I also had to disconnect the ALARM box from our alarm system as it killed the DSL signal too.

Can someone confirm if this is the Demarc area?

Do you think I can use this wiring or do I have to hire someone to come in to run newer cable to this spot?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:11 PM   #4
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


Too much of a close up for me to tell for sure, it could be the box to the left, but who knows. Open it up, if there is a phone pigtail there you should be able to unplug it and plug your modem in and test.
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:14 PM   #5
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


Thanks for your quick reply...

Basically the beige box is the electrical panel, but the black ones (I think) are phone.

I will do this, but I just want to make sure I"m not going to fry myself if I disconnect the 4 coloured wires from this area.

Thanks!
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:18 PM   #6
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


I don't think then that this is your demarc box. Could it be outside the house, most houses around here are, but mine is in the basement. Follow your wires to a box that has a customer side and their side, open their side up, there should be a rj11 jack, which is a phone jack connecting their side of the box to yours. Unhook it, connect your modem to it and do a speed test.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:40 PM   #7
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


This is over my head, my son connected our dsl for us, but I know he put adapters on our phone jacks, suppose to help with interference, not sure if this helps or just muddies the water
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:22 PM   #8
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


A home of your age would not likely have a "demarcation box"(shown) that sevver is speaking of unless it was rewired or serviced by the phone company. In 1969 many homes were wired directly to the basement or other accessible area with what you have shown in your picture, mostly a point of connection and a ground wire. It is difficult to see from the pic but as long as your main incoming wire is fine, you would probably do well to wire the dsl line directly from this point. I have a house of that age and when needing to have the telco serviced due to a cut line many years ago, I requested a demarc box to be placed outside the structure which they did. It saved me from having to be home for them to test the line for any problems. The telco is now only responsible for wiring to that box- from the box to inside my house I handle the wiring.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:58 PM   #9
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


This is going to be your demarc point if you do not have an interface on the outside of the house. According to current PSC standards this is not a legal demarc (its not testable) and should be updated. The update would usually be done when other phone work is needed on the house.

There are a few things in your setup that are effecting your speed. The phone filters, the alarm and any old wiring in the house. DSL has limitations on the distance it can consistently work. Each phone filter and the alarm panel add on "length" to the DSL line. A phone filter is viewed as 1200-1500ft of cable to a DSL line because of the circuitry in the filter. The longer the distance of a DSL line the less speed you will get. Your best bet would be a home run off a DSL whole house filter. The main line into the house would go the protector you see in the pic. From there a line will go to a splitter/filter. The splitter will have two sides, data and voice. The voice side will go to the alarm and then back out to meet up with all the inside phone lines. This is to maintain line seizure for the alarm system. The data portion will go directly to the modem for the DSL.

This in effect gives you a "direct line" for the DSL service signal because the data and voice portions are split or filtered before any of your equipment. As you are set up now the DSL line has to "search" through all the lines, filters, and alarm to find the modem. This causes major reductions in speed. This is all assuming that your speed coming into the house is good.

You can test this by doing the following. If you do not have an interface on the outside of the house, find the drop line that comes into the house from the pole, or from the ground and connects to that protector. Disconnect everything except that main line. No you will not get zaped, phone lines only carry 48-52 vDC. Now connect a piece of CAT 3 or 5 to the protector and wire in a jack. Test to make sure you have dial tone, hook up your modem to this and then do your speed test. If you get good speed, your issues are inside, if it still sucks the issue is outside and you need to put in a call to your provider.

Either way you may want to call your provider. They can test the line and see the speed. Most of what I described needs to be done by them anyways. You may be able to purchase a splitter/filter and do this yourself, but in my area (NY) all this would be covered by Verizon Online. Not sure where your from, but a call to your provider might not be a bad starting point. See what they can do for you before things start being charged.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:02 AM   #10
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


If you get your telco company to install a demarc box like pictured above, there is a module you can install that does the DSL/Voice split directly. Gives you screw terminals for both and eliminates the need for the DSL filters on all your phones in the house. Also, btw phone line power is 96 volts AC last time I checked. This is also why its a good idea to have a telco demarc box to be able to disconnect your phone wiring to perform work on it. In the mean time, if you leave a phone off the hook when your working on the wiring you should be fine (its really the ringer voltage you need to be concerned about).

Check this page out for demarc boxes and the modules that go in them, scroll down the page a little and you will find the dsl/voice module I am referring to.

http://www.hometech.com/techwire/demarc.html
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:37 AM   #11
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


I installed a splitter that I purchased on the Internet for about $39. Phone line from the telco hooks up to the splitter, I ran a cat 4 line from the DSL connection on the splitter to my modem and all phone lines hooked up to the phone line connections of the splitter. Removed all the filters on the phones. Made quite an improvement to the DSL speed.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:57 AM   #12
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


A dial tone carries a DC voltage of 48-52 volts, AC voltage is sent through the line intermittently to trip the ringer in the phone only when a call comes through. If you are toughing a bare line at the exact time a call comes in you will get a minor "shock", its enough to tickle you finger tips. Leaving the phone off the hook will do nothing because one of the lines you will need to work with is the main line in at which time all the inside lines will most likely be disconnected.

Your best bet is still to call up your provider because the interface and the dsl/voice splitter is standard equipment that is installed everyday for DSL services and not chargeable to the customer. Everything up to the Demarc (this includes the interface and the whole house splitter for DSL/voice) is something that the phone company will provide for you. Depending on who you provider is and who owns the network in your area, a "home run" of cat 5 right to your modem may also be covered.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:54 AM   #13
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


I watched a friend of mine jump when he was working on a 66 block in his telephone demarc box at his store when a phone call came in. Did not have a phone off the hook at he got the 96 volts AC when the phone rang. I would still recommend putting at least one phone off the hook, even if your disconnecting everything on the house side. At least while the house wiring is still connected you shouldn't have anything to worry about. MGA is right about the telco company providing that demarc box outside your house and the modules that go in it. I know they will at least provide you with the "single line" module, but I don't know about the DSL splitter module. I've never had DSL so I don't know for sure on that one. Any way, you would still have a disconnect point and a test jack to verify the wiring, the test jack is where you would connect a phone to verify the phone company side of the box is working. This could be where you test your DSL modem connection to, since it would disconnect the entire house while you test it.

One thing I was thinking of, is you could in the mean time wire your jack to the telco side of that block you have before disconnecting the house wiring (while putting one phone off the hook), you'd be less likely to get the ringer voltage come across the line while hooking it up...

Last edited by theatretch85; 05-20-2008 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:16 AM   #14
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


Hi All.

Thanks for your very informative replies.

Basically, I was able to get 500kbps on the weekend somehow, and then promptly the internet died.

The issue is with Tech support and they tell me that my house is about 6.3km from the central office, which is not what sales told me when they wanted to sucker me into the service, saying I was 2.1 km away.

Basically, I think I'm not going to have any luck with this - will have to go to Rogers cable - which I really wanted to avoid doing!

Thanks for your assistance though.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:57 AM   #15
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DSL slow inside house - wiring options


Anything over 20,000 feet is real sketchy with DSL. (Under 18,000 is usually ideal for max speeds) And your about 20,700 feet according to the distance you gave. It will/could work but it will depend greatly on the condition of the outside plant in your area and then your house wiring. In my area (NY) Verizon online will go to great lengths to get DSL working if the customer is anything less than 24,000 feet. (even if it is in vain) The further you are the less of a speed you will get but you should still be able to get a good service at that length. If you can get the phone company out to check the line for you they can do speed tests at several points in the loop and see where your speed drops off. I have worked on lines many times where the speed is great at the pole, but drops off or loses sync completely by the end of just the drop line (even lines as short as 50 feet) and a new drop line or home run to the modem gives great service. If you dont mind the time on the phone try to see if they will send a tech out.
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