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Home User DSL Question

tgarrity
tgarrity asked
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Greetings,

I'm needing to figure out what the heck is going on with my AT&T DSL as I'm very confused.
My house came pre-wired with CAT5 cabling all of which is run in the attic in some shape or form.

The Scenario:
There are a total of 5 CAT5 cables in the attic, (2) of which start in the attic and terminate at separate analog phone jacks, the other (2) come in from the AT&T service box on the outside of my house (incoming lines from AT&T), and (1) that terminates directly into my alarm system.
 
So, basically, when AT&T came to install our local phone line and DSL service, three of these CAT5 cables were terminated to their service box. Upon further investigation all three of these cables were terminated separately with the blue and white/blue cables.

The Problem:

I'm trying to determine why I have to use both of the incoming phone lines from AT&T to get a DSL signal. I'm using a telephone distribution module from Channelview. When only using one of the incoming CAT5's I have phone but no DSL.

My problem is that I'm subscribed to the Elite DSL package which allows my 6MB downloads. Currently, I'm getting half (2.6MB) of that when looking at the incoming connection speeds on my DSL 2wire modem.  For humor sake, I connected my DSL 2wire modem directly to an analog phone jack and checked my speeds and it was back up to 6MB. Is something wrong with my wiring? I'm using a CAT5 cable from the Channelview dist. module and terminating the blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange wires into a RJ11 jack.

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Commented:
It sounds like your phone lines are run with CAT5 and you are confusing phone lines and network lines.  A 100Mb connection over CAT5 requires 4 wires.  If you are only seeing the blue/white-blue wires connected, then that is an analog phone connection and not a network connection.  

Also, if you are terminating a CAT5 cable into an RJ11 jack, that will not give you network, that is a phone jack.  RJ45 is a network connection.  It has space for 8 cables. (4 pairs).

Commented:
AT&T should have brought the DSL line - data and voice - on a single pair of wires from the street to an SNI (standard network interface) attached to your house. Are you able to determine which of the five Cat5 cables comes directly from the SNI into the house?

Author

Commented:
To clarify, (3) CAT5 cables are terminated to the SNI box on the outside of my house. Each of these CAT5 cables are terminated (screwed down) into the SNI using the blue and white-blue wires.

(1) of these CAT5 cables that terminates in the SNI is wired directly into a biscuit jack using the blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange cables which is then connected directly to my alarm panel.

I'm attaching some PDFs for clarification.

 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf

Commented:
So the alarm panel and 2Wire share the same phone line?

Author

Commented:
Correct. I think that is a mistake i need to correct

I don't mean to be pejorative but having clarity is really important!!  So, please bear with me.

Repeating what you said and interspersing comments at "***":

The Scenario:
There are a total of 5 CAT5 cables in the attic

***It doesn't matter where they run through for this discussion really, just where they run FROM and where they run TO.

 (2) of which start in the attic and terminate at separate analog phone jacks

How do they "start" in the attic?  Is there a terminal block or splice or .... ?

***It is unclear what "start in the attic" means because it's doubtful that there is any source or destination in the attic.  Might one presume you mean that there are two cables that come into the attic from the outside and runt to phone jacks?  Is that what you're saying here?

, the other (2) come in from the AT&T service box on the outside of my house (incoming lines from AT&T), and (1) that terminates directly into my alarm system.

***I guess then it would add up to the stated 5 if these are the other 3.  Is that it?
 
So, basically, when AT&T came to install our local phone line and DSL service, three of these CAT5 cables were terminated to their service box. Upon further investigation all three of these cables were terminated separately with the blue and white/blue cables.

***What does "terminated separately" mean?  Are they connected to entirely different terminals or into entirely different modules in the box outside?  Or are they all connected to the same terminals outside?  Blue with blue, white with white, etc?

***Let's not confuse "inside wires" with "lines" / "outside wires" (which are the telephone company's outside incoming wires, usually black sheathed.  How many lines do you have?  i.e. telephone numbers?

*** I am going to assume that you have:
-  one CAT5 going from the outside box directly to the alarm system.
- one CAT5 going from the outside box to the attic and then to an analog phone jack.
- one CAT5 going from the outside box to the attic and then to an analog phone jack.
So you can tell us if this is correct.

***It wouldn't be unusual for the phone wires to go in multiple directions on separate wires from the outside box just for convenience.  
***It woudn't be unusual for there to be a single wire coming in from the outside box to a patch panel where all the phone jacks "home run" into and the connection between the outside wire and the inside wires are done there.
***Either there is a DSL-dedicated wire coming in from the box AND a phone-dedicated wire coming in from the box also.  It depends on the outside box.  If this is the case then you can think of one of these as "unfiltered" for DSL purposes and the other one as "filtered" (i.e. isolated from the DSL) for phones, fax, etc.
If this is the case it's hard to tell the difference because phones willl work on all of them and DSL might work on the filtered one for phones but not likely very well.

The Problem:
I'm trying to determine why I have to use both of the incoming phone lines from AT&T to get a DSL signal. I'm using a telephone distribution module from Channelview. When only using one of the incoming CAT5's I have phone but no DSL.

***AH!  This implies that one is filtered and the other is not.  If so, you hook up the DSL modem to the one that works for DSL and NO PHONES to that one.  Then you hook up phones and fax machines to the other one.  That's why you need two.  
OR
Even with this arrangement, if you somehow want/need to use only one incoming wire then do this:
Run the incoming "DSL" wire all over the place and then filter all the phones at their end.
But, I'm not recommending that approach.
Use the wire that's provided for DSL if that's what you have.

My problem is that I'm subscribed to the Elite DSL package which allows my 6MB downloads. Currently, I'm getting half (2.6MB) of that when looking at the incoming connection speeds on my DSL 2wire modem.  For humor sake, I connected my DSL 2wire modem directly to an analog phone jack and checked my speeds and it was back up to 6MB. Is something wrong with my wiring? I'm using a CAT5 cable from the Channelview dist. module and terminating the blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange wires into a RJ11 jack.

***When you connected to that jack you likely connected to the wire meant for DSL.

***When you get lower speed you might be connected to a filtered line and are lucky that it works at all.

I hope this helps.
Commented:
So, according to your diagrams:

1) There is only one telephone number to the house, used for alarm, voice and Internet, which terminates at the SNI.
2) There are three Cat 5 cables leaving the SNI - one of which terminates onto an alarm jack and two of which terminate onto a telephone distribution panel.
3) The 2Wire DSL modem is plugged into an RJ-11  via Cat 5 cable from the distribution panel.
4) Two other RJ-11 jacks are also wired to the distribution panel.
5) When the 2Wire is connected to the distribution panel via the Cat 5 cable, the download speed is 2.6 Mbps.
6) When the 2Wire is connected to one of the other RJ-11s, the download speed is 6 Mbps.

If this is the case, check to make sure that the termination of the Cat 5 cable for the 2Wire jack is the same at the distribution panel as the wiring to the two other RJ11s.

Author

Commented:
Sorry for not relaying all the information in a clear format to everyone.

Again, I only have 1 phone number with AT&T.

When I stated earlier that 3 CAT5 cables terminate in the SNI AT&T box, this means that each wire is terminated separately inside the SNI box using the blue and white-blue wires only. These wires are terminated to three different "posts" and are screwed down. I can take a picture if needed.

One of these CAT5 cables terminates in the SNI box runs directly to my alarm panel.
The other two CAT5 cables run from the SNI box into the attic and are punched down into this telephone distribution module (this is a 110 punch-down) connection.

Both of the CAT5 cables are punched down (1 and 2 on the distribution module) using the blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange wires into the distribution module referenced above.

The 2 other CAT5 cables are for the analog phone jacks are also punched down to this module (3 and 4 on the distribution module). They are punched down using blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange wires.

The last CAT5 cable is for the 2WireDSL modem (5 on the distribution module) is punched down using blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange wires. I crimped the orange, white-orange, blue, and white-blue wires (from left to right) into an RJ-11 jack. I tired the reverse blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange (from left to right) but got the same connection speed (2.6 MB).



 

Author

Commented:
Inside AT&T Box Inside AT&T Box 2 Telephone Dist Module
Good pictures.  Once more, comments interspersed below at "***"

"Again, I only have 1 phone number with AT&T."

***OK, so that settles that question.  Thanks!
It appears that the 3 house cables entering the outdoor service box are CAT 5 and, indeed are all wired only with Blue/White-Blue... which is fine.  They are simply being used to get into the house on 3 cables with 1 pair each.

***Judging from this I'd say that there isn't a filter in the outside box.  So, all cables are pure unfiltered signal is my guess.

"When I stated earlier that 3 CAT5 cables terminate in the SNI AT&T box, this means that each wire is terminated separately inside the SNI box using the blue and white-blue wires only. These wires are terminated to three different "posts" and are screwed down. I can take a picture if needed."

***I see only two pairs of posts (one red and green per pair) with 2 twisted pairs of wires sharing a post in one pair and 1 twisted pair using the other posts alone.

"One of these CAT5 cables terminates in the SNI box runs directly to my alarm panel.  The other two CAT5 cables run from the SNI box into the attic and are punched down into this telephone distribution module (this is a 110 punch-down) connection."

"Both of the CAT5 cables are punched down (1 and 2 on the distribution module) using the blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange wires into the distribution module referenced above."

***If these are the same cables coming from the outside box then we know that only the Blue/White-Blue wires are connected to anything.  So the other punched down wires are useless and possibly confusing.  Again, if this assumption is true then best case the punch downs are "spares".

"The 2 other CAT5 cables are for the analog phone jacks are also punched down to this module (3 and 4 on the distribution module). They are punched down using blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange wires."

***Depending on how they are terminated at the jacks, I'd probably make the same comment as above.  Guess: Only Blue/White-Blue are in use at the jacks.

"The last CAT5 cable is for the 2WireDSL modem (5 on the distribution module) is punched down using blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange wires. I crimped the orange, white-orange, blue, and white-blue wires (from left to right) into an RJ-11 jack. I tired the reverse blue, white-blue, orange, and white-orange (from left to right) but got the same connection speed (2.6 MB)."

***OK.  Now I think I get it.  The Channel Vision C-0432 Telephone Distribution Hub connects ALL the Blue, ALL the Orange, ALL the Green and ALL the Brown wires (pairwise of course) together.  How the wiring is done inside the box is a mystery but I hope there are twisted pairs from point to  point.  

***The upper left punch downs are for the telephone company incoming wiring.  But they aren't being used and that may be OK but ... more below.

***In effect, you have two cables coming up from the SNI and connecting in parallel in the punch downs on 1 and 2.  That's redundant and might not be the best idea.

***Here's what I'd do:

1) Bring the telephone company blue/blue-white wires on "Cable #1" into the Blue INPUT connection.  Bring the telephone company blue/blue-white wires on "Cable #2" into the Green INPUT connection.  With this it appears you will now have access to either of the two cables in the distribution box and it eliminates the parallel connection which is a good idea.
Now we have Cable #1 coming to Blue and Cable #2 coming to Green throughout the box.

2) Next, and this is already done, run the telephone jacks to any blue terminal you want.
Do the same with the alarm system.  (I have left the Orange terminals in case you want to run a separate line i.e. telephone number for the alarm system although I'm not sure why you'd want to do that).

3) Next, and this is slightly different without the parallel connection problem, wire the modem to one of the green terminals.  This way the modem is wired all by itself straight out to the SNI.

I still don't understand how you are doing the necessary DSL filtering.
- it appears it's not in the SNI.  Normally that would entail a separate module in the SNI and I don't see the wires connected that way.  But I'm going to reserve judgement on this because I can't tell absolutely FOR SURE>
You might convey the DSL filtering method so we can understand.

OK.  Now for all this to work without further modification, you have to have DSL filters on all the phones AND the alarm system.  You can plug these into the phone jacks and however the alarm system connects.  If it's a phone jack then great, just add a filter.

If the unexpected happens and there's a filter in the SNI then you have to know which wires are filtered and which wires are not filtered.   NOT FILTERED goes to the modem.  FILTERED goes to phones, faxes and alarm systems.  If this happens to be the case then all you have to do is swap the wires at the INPUT block.

Because the alarm system doesn't run throught the distribution box, you will definitely have to filter it separately (unless, in the unexpected case, it's already filtered at the SNI).

****************

OK.  now I'm going to take a bit of a departure because of the need for filtering and assuming there's no filtering in the SNI:

Move the input from the Blue INPUT to the Brown INPUT using the same Blue/White-blue wires because we know that only those two are connected outside.

Wire a DSL filter from the Brown INPUT to the Blue INPUT.  Now all the phone jacks will be filtered at the distribution box and don't need filters at the jacks.  You still need the alarm system to be filtered somehow.

Also, it appears from the description that you have wired the RJ-11 improperly.  Line 1, Blue/Blue-white goes on the two center conductors and Line 2 (unused in this case) goes on the two outer conductors.  In fact I'm surprised that it worked at all.  Setting aside that mystery, you do want your DSL signal to be on a twisted pair.
See: http://wiringwizard.com/primer/cables/cat5/
This shows "CAT5 Connectors" including RJ11 wiring using CAT5 cable colors.
It shows Blue/White-Blue on the center two conductors of the RJ-11.

If filtering is a bit of a mystery, here's how I like to think of it:

- the DSL signal consists of rather high frequency components.  These high frequencies can cause "hiss" on the telephones ... which is the least of your worries.  On the other hand, telephones can load down or attenuate the high frequency content of the DSL signal.  So, the filters are to isolate the DSL signal from those telephone loads and keep the DSL signal quality where it belongs.  
This means there has to be a "raw" telephone signal to the ADSL modem and THAT means that every other device has to have a filter between it and the telephone company service and, thus, the modem.
 
You could ask the phone company if there's an ADSL splitter in the SNI box.
Here's a link to a picture of one type:
http://www.dsl-filters.com/pic/LPF200.pdf

Author

Commented:
Many thanks for your time and help on this!
Did it work?  What is the filtering situation?
Oh yes.  And, thanks for the points!

Author

Commented:
Not sure if it worked yet. But you gave me the information needed to move forward on this project.
Thanks again.