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Old 23rd Mar 2018, 5:27 pm   #1
boombox
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Default Calling the old BT technicians...

I'm sorry if this is either not appropriate to post here or in the wrong forum. I wasn't sure where to post it. Feel free to delete/move as appropriate.

Basically I have a weird fault on my line that my provider, Utility Warehouse, have not been able to diagnose and therefore fix.

If I call my number 9 times out of 10, I get through. The phones in the house ring, and if nobody answers, they get our Panasonic answering machine eventually.

Sometimes if I (or others) ring my home number, the handset receiver just plays the ringing tone but at home, the phones don't ring, the Panasonic never takes over playing the answer recorded greeting and if you do 1471 it's as if the call never took place.

Any ideas?!
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Old 23rd Mar 2018, 6:52 pm   #2
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

I think this will get moved to 'Modern Technology'...

Not a BT technician (past or current) but if you have a Master socket which has a split-face front with a removable lower half, unscrew it, pull it out gently with any wiring attached to it and turn it to one side out of the way.

Plug just one wired phone into the socket deep on the inside of the master socket, either directly if you don't have broadband or via a microfilter if you do.

Have someone ring your line or do it yourself from a mobile. Does the wired phone ring every time now? If it does, you have a problem somewhere on your internal house wiring or with something which is plugged into it.

If it doesnt, the possibilities are:

-Fault between your master socket and the exchange.

-The phone you have chosen to use for testing is the cause of the fault (try another).

-The microfilter you have chosen to use for testing is the cause of the fault (try another).

I've had experience myself of ADSL microfilters going low resistance and causing problems exactly like yours.
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Old 23rd Mar 2018, 7:02 pm   #3
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Quote:
Originally Posted by boombox View Post
If you do 1471 it's as if the call never took place.

Any ideas?!
I think there's a clue there. Are you calling the correct number 10 times out of 10?

1471 should work even if no phone was plugged in at the time the call was received.

When you've called your line, but it's not ringing, does calling it from another line give engaged tone?

What happens if you lift he handset when the line has been called, but is not ringing? Do you get dial tone?
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 7:24 pm   #4
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Definitely calling the same number, as verified by my iPhone's list of called numbers.

Interestingly I've tried to 'catch my line out' this weekend and have been calling it as often as I can be bothered/remember and a couple of times when I've telephoned, a GPO 746 wall telephone we have in the kitchen has sorted of 'vibrated' and then done nothing. No other phones in the house, ancient or modern, then ring.

We have:
- A Panasonic cordless handset
- A GPO 746 telephone
- A GPO 746 wall telephone

So we're not overloading the line in terms of REN...

But I guess I have a lead, now. The calls do seem to be arriving at my line but then something is preventing any handset, modern or vintage, from recognising the line is in fact ringing.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 7:34 pm   #5
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Does your incoming dropwire pass by any trees or other obstructions that may chafe it? Is it modern round-section dropwire or the old grey twin figure-of-eight stuff? There's a reason for asking about old dropwire which I'll elaborate on if it is.

Or does it come into your premises underground? How long has this been going on?
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 9:06 pm   #6
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Quote:
Originally Posted by boombox View Post
and if you do 1471 it's as if the call never took place.
I'm still puzzled by that statement. Once a call has been offered to a line and the call has either been cleared, or answered then cleared, 1471 should work. The fact that you're able to try 1471 points to the fact that the call has been cleared, as otherwise the incoming call would hold the line and you wouldn't get dial tone.

After the 746 sort of vibrated, were you still able to hear ring tone on your iPhone, or did it go silent. If you then picked up the 706 could you talk on the call?

Ring tone in this context has the old meaning ie the tone you hear in the ear piece of the phone originating the call.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 9:16 pm   #7
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Quote:
Originally Posted by boombox View Post
Definitely.......... a GPO 746 wall telephone we have in the kitchen has sorted of 'vibrated' .......

.....The calls do seem to be arriving at my line but then something is preventing.... from recognising the line is in fact ringing.

Hi, This could be caused by failure of the surge/lightning protector in the NTE5 Linebox/master socket, particularly if the protector is of the more modern polyswitch type and not the older spark arrestor design. It's not the most common of faults, however I have experienced it in my day job on several occasions over the years.
Of course if this is what is causing your fault Open reach will have to be called out to replace the master socket.

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Old 25th Mar 2018, 10:42 pm   #8
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Let me throw a couple of ideas into the hat for consideration.
746 wall telephone- I've seen an old 700 wall type fail to ring. The customer wanted a Pl 1A on installation, and on ringback test, the new phone rang, but original failed to ring. I consulted the local maintenance man, and the customer had had this problem for some time, New wall phone- problem solved- thought was that bell was polarised.
Second idea- ring trip- caused by too many capacitors in the circuit. OR a fault, known as rectified S/C which causes ring trip.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 10:43 pm   #9
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndiiT View Post
Hi, This could be caused by failure of the surge/lightning protector in the NTE5 Linebox/master socket, particularly if the protector is of the more modern polyswitch type and not the older spark arrestor design. It's not the most common of faults, however I have experienced it in my day job on several occasions over the years.
Of course if this is what is causing your fault Open reach will have to be called out to replace the master socket.
If that was the case I would be asking the same question as Station X vis. Why doesn't 1471 report the existence of the incoming call?

Also, if it is being suggested that a linebox fault is causing ring-trip, I don't see that being the case either, because the caller hears normal ringing tone.
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Old 26th Mar 2018, 8:59 am   #10
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Sounds like the line is intermittently O/C to me. Perhaps related to conditions set up as queried in post #5? Of course, you would never know until the line was in use. Why not hang a spare analogue multimeter across it in a place where you can see it, or knock up a little hi-Z LED indicator to monitor the 48V d.c.?
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Old 26th Mar 2018, 5:53 pm   #11
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Quote:
Originally Posted by russell_w_b View Post
Sounds like the line is intermittently O/C to me.
The trouble with that Russell, is that 1471 will normally disclose any incoming call to the O/C line once the connection was restored.
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Old 26th Mar 2018, 7:09 pm   #12
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Ahh... Didn't realise 1471 stored stuff! Thanks for that.
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Old 26th Mar 2018, 7:23 pm   #13
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

As far as I'm aware 1471 simply asks the exchange to relay the last number recorded as received on that line.
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Old 26th Mar 2018, 9:01 pm   #14
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Quote:
Originally Posted by russell_w_b View Post
Ahh... Didn't realise 1471 stored stuff! Thanks for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Moll View Post
As far as I'm aware 1471 simply asks the exchange to relay the last number recorded as received on that line.
Both the above are true, but I can enlarge on the "storage" aspect.

BT used to supply an enhanced 1471 service called "1471 Extra" that
listed the last five calls. It was quite useful but it was withdrawn 10 years ago without any explanation.

I formed my own theory that maybe OFCOM thought BT were not honoring the withheld flag sufficiently. The service gave you slightly more
information about "withheld" callers than was possible by other
means, including a caller display.

Say someone called you withholding their number. You speak to them so
you know who it was.
1471 extra will say "The caller who withheld their number called today
at [some time]"

Later in the day they call again, still withheld. Perhaps there was
some malicious content this time, but the point is you don't know
who's calling, but, 1471 now says:
"The caller who withheld their number called today two times. The last
time was at [some_later_time]" So now you *do* know it was from the
same number as the previous call.

I wonder if this was the real reason the service was withdrawn?
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Old 26th Mar 2018, 10:19 pm   #15
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Not really a reason, as my old CD1000 would list a lot of past callers.
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Old 26th Mar 2018, 10:46 pm   #16
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

The point I was making about 1471 was that the information was stored regardless of whether 1471 was used - but perhaps I am being pedantic.

Surely the list of past callers on the CD1000 didn't identify whether the withheld numbers were the same, whereas apparently 1471 Extra (which I must admit I had never heard about) did.
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Old 27th Mar 2018, 12:35 am   #17
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

Yes, it would say for example
"Telephone number 01234567890 called three times, the last time was today at 1846"

But, as in the example I gave before, it would handle withheld numbers in the same way, grouping the calls that came from the same withheld number together.

Anyway, none of this is helping Boombox with his problem.
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Old 27th Mar 2018, 8:28 am   #18
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

I would say the fault is more likely to be on the originating phone network, or interconnect between the networks.
The telcos involved in this, for all you know, could be routing the calls via IP all round the world in an attempt to use the cheapest route at that time, this can result in extremely poor quality communications.
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Old 27th Mar 2018, 9:49 am   #19
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

In post #1 the OP says that he hears ring tone from the earpiece of his iPhone. This indicates to me that a call has been set up to somewhere.

In a later post he says a phone "sort of vibrates" when the call is made.

The OP should attempt to actually answer the call. If he is able to do so, this will indicate that the call has been set up to the correct destination, but there is a problem with the ringing circuit.

If he hears dial tone when he answers, but there's still ring tone from the iPhone, then the call has been set up to the wrong destination.

If he cannot answer the call, then things get more complicated. It could be there's an intermittent line fault of some kind. If a second mobile phone is available, then make a second call to the "faulty" line whilst maintaining the original one. Engaged Tone will indicate that the original call has been set up correctly.
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Old 27th Mar 2018, 12:45 pm   #20
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Default Re: Calling the old BT technicians...

The OP has not told us if he has done the standard tests that Utility Warehouse should be telling him to perform.
ie unplugging everything except a known to be working (and preferably not vintage) line powered telephone, and repeating the tests, and if that still proves inconclusive, repeating the same tests with the NTE5 faceplate off and the test phone in the hidden socket.

Boombox.
Demonstrate to any Openreach engineer who calls to investigate, that the fault occurs with the faceplate off, and therefore all your extension sockets and wiring isolated. Not doing so could easily cost you 130
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