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Subject: Phone Trouble - Geek Gold Might Be Given rss

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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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I am coming here for help because I spent three hours try to get an answer on the Internet and little was forthcoming. I'm busy so spending anymore time online would hurt more important things. If you know a lot about phones or have had a similar problem please help! Geek gold will to those who identify the problem accurately or at least help in some way.

Here is my problem:

I have landline phone because it is cheap and until now they have never given me problems. Right now if I call someone I get a busy signal after 5 seconds of silence. No ringing can be heard. If they call me then the phone rings but neither of us can hear each other, in fact those who call say it just keeps on ringing after I pick up. Otherwise the phone works fine and I get a dial-tone.

btw, if you want to tell me that I should get a cell-phone, save it for somewhere else or a private message. Now is not the time to make a sale pitch or criticize. Besides cellphones were mostly worthless during Katrina but my landline phone was king.


1.) Phone might be broken but I have no other phones handy to test this on nor does anyone have a landline phone around here but me. It is lonely being the only 27-year old without a cellphone. I might be able to correct this tonight or tomorrow.

2.) It isn't the wire connecting the phone to the jack because I switched a few of these out. No help of course. It might be the wire connecting the phone to the base. Yes I don not have a cordless phone because they are pricey. I need to save money for boardgames.

3.) Maybe it is the home wiring, but everything else works fine with the phone and usually wiring problems are not this consistent. I know because my old New Orleans home had wiring problems.

4.) I can't find the junction box to test if the problem is inside or outside the house.

5.) It is not a tone or pulse problem.

Like I said, I'm coming here because the Internet has been no help so far and I don't see the harm in asking on here. I lean towards problems 1 and 2 but I'm not sure and I'd hate to buy a phone that won't work either.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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gittes wrote:
I am coming here for help because I spent three hours try to get an answer on the Internet and little was forthcoming. I'm busy so spending anymore time online would hurt more important things. If you know a lot about phones or have had a similar problem please help! Geek gold will to those who identify the problem accurately or at least help in some way.

Here is my problem:

I have landline phone because it is cheap and until now they have never given me problems. Right now if I call someone I get a busy signal after 5 seconds of silence. No ringing can be heard. If they call me then the phone rings but neither of us can hear each other, in fact those who call say it just keeps on ringing after I pick up. Otherwise the phone works fine and I get a dial-tone.

btw, if you want to tell me that I should get a cell-phone, save it for somewhere else or a private message. Now is not the time to make a sale pitch or criticize. Besides cellphones were mostly worthless during Katrina but my landline phone was king.


1.) Phone might be broken but I have no other phones handy to test this on nor does anyone have a landline phone around here but me. It is lonely being the only 27-year old without a cellphone. I might be able to correct this tonight or tomorrow.

2.) It isn't the wire connecting the phone to the jack because I switched a few of these out. No help of course. It might be the wire connecting the phone to the base. Yes I don not have a cordless phone because they are pricey. I need to save money for boardgames.

3.) Maybe it is the home wiring, but everything else works fine with the phone and usually wiring problems are not this consistent. I know because my old New Orleans home had wiring problems.

4.) I can't find the junction box to test if the problem is inside or outside the house.

5.) It is not a tone or pulse problem.

Like I said, I'm coming here because the Internet has been no help so far and I don't see the harm in asking on here. I lean towards problems 1 and 2 but I'm not sure and I'd hate to buy a phone that won't work either.


OK Sean, this is how I usually try to find out/fix these type of problems.

1) Contact your telephone company and see if they can test your line remotely.
2) If you have another jack in the house, test the telephone on that jack to see if you have the same problems.
3) Test a working phone in your jack(s) - this is important because it will tell you if your telephone is broken or if your jack is broken.

Good luck!! Looks like you've done everything you could.

And no, don't get a cell phone!! We got rid of ours over 1 year ago and SHOCKER--we haven't died and don't miss it at all!
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Justin Morse
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EgorjLileli wrote:
1) Contact your telephone company and see if they can test your line remotely.



+1


They will be able to tell you (usually for free) where the problem lies, and what needs to be done to fix it.

We had a similar problem when we first moved into our house a couple of years ago - I had to call the phone company on my cell (you might have to borrow a cell to call the phone company from your home in case they need you to test anything locally) to get them to fix it - 10 minutes later it was working perfectly.

Good luck!

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Steve Vondra
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MMB has it right;
First: Check if it's your phone by plugging a known working (corded) phone into all wall jacks in the house (one by one). If you don't have a corded phone, you can get one cheap at walmart/target/k-mart/radio shack...
Second: If this dosen't work contact your phone co. and tell them about the problem. Don't forget to tell them that you've already checked your equipment (see step 1)
Third: If the phone co. can't find the problem outside, you'll have to have them check your inside wiring. This can get expensive if you don't subscribe to their inside wiring plan (usually an extra $3-$10/ mo)
Fourth: If the Phone co. can't find the problem in the inside wiring, and the exterior lines are functioning, and your phones work, yet the problem persists... Move?

edit: TyP0s
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Chris B
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Unplug any phones plugged into other jacks too, then take a known working phone around to the jacks in the house to check.

I once had a known working phone not work because the modem on my computer had gone bad and was plugged in in another room. (Back in the dial up days).
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Jorge Montero
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Around this parts, the phone box in the outside of the house itself has a jack to test if the problem is in the internal wiring or not. It is designed precisely for this kinds of issues: If the jack works, the problem is yours to solve and pay for. If it doesn't, the phone company has to fix it. It is behind a little plate kept in place with some screws that are easy to remove.

I'd be very surprised if it was a problem with the phone itself, given the symptoms, but trying to make the connection with a different phone could make sense.
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pronoblem baalberith
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gittes wrote:
I have landline phone because it is cheap and until now they have never given me problems. Right now if I call someone I get a busy signal after 5 seconds of silence. No ringing can be heard. If they call me then the phone rings but neither of us can hear each other, in fact those who call say it just keeps on ringing after I pick up. Otherwise the phone works fine and I get a dial-tone.


This sounds electrical and a fault of either the phone itself or one of the terminal boxes. When you pick up the phone it switches on a current through one otherwise cold line (when it is hung up) and then the system knows that you are "off the hook". Seeing that you pick up the phone and the ringing stops but you cannot hear each other means that the short or disconnect is somewhere after that switch as it shuts off the ringer but it is not connecting to the telco. If you have other phone outlets in the house I'd open them up and visualize. Clean / dust them out or disconnect them entirely. I'd also find the main (probably in a basement or on the exterior of the house) and clean that one, wire brush the contacts if there is corrosion. If it is the phone that is the problem then it is after the handset switch... possibly internal short or a broken line in the cord. If you cannot find another handset to test go out to your local thrift shop... you can usually get one for $2.
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June King
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This happened to us years ago, and we had to get a new cord for the receiver to the base. We tested using another phone in the jack and called the phone company. They were very helpful.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Thank you all for the help.

I should have been clear but I don't have another phone to test and all the other jacks are inactive. I did mention that I can't find the junction box that allows you to test the line directly.

Anyway, now is the time to fix this. Geekgold soon to come to everyone!
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I bought some shoes from a drug dealer. I don’t know what he laced them with, but I’ve been tripping all day.
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I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am.
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One other possibility: When we first moved into our apartment we had land-line phone problems. Mostly it was a very strong hum that could be heard when the receiver was picked up, both over the dial tone and while trying to talk. If you immediately hung up and picked it up again, the hum usually disappeared. The hum happened about half the time the phone was used, and seemed to be worse when there had been a recent rain.

We finally got fed up after several months and had a technician check it out. The line to the apartment was fine, as was our main jack. However, he finally traced the problem to an unused (and obsolete design) jack and connector in the kids' closet. Turns out that there was a leak around the chimney for the upstairs apartment that was coming in through our ceiling and threatening our paperback shelf. It also was going down inside the wall and the moisture was getting into this unused connector, which was causing it to short out, which caused the hum.

We told the technician that the jack it connected to was not going to be used, so he snipped the wires and pulled them all out, and we haven't had any problems for the past four years.

So, don't discount the unused jacks as a possible source of the problem.
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Dana R.
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Ran a BBS back in the day and learned that each jack has the capability of carrying 2 lines. I recall it being rather simple to make out once you get the cover off but it was a LONG time ago. You may be able to take the cover off and see how to hook up the other line yourself.

Also, I didn't know it at the time but I was paying a rather small fee, like $1 a month, that covered all work/maint. they did inside the house so I was able to get rewired fully for free. If it appears to be a major problem you may be aboe to pick up the insurance, run it for a pay period and then get them to come in for free to fix and maybe even rewire. Thanks may have changed mind you, after all when was the last time you tied into a BBS?? Once I got my house rewired at their expense I canceled the insurance, may be a buck or so a month but I didn't feel I needed to have as I have new wires!

Hope is offers some thoughts,
Dana
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Phone is fixed. Everyone here will get some gold.

The problem was the phone company and it was a clerical error of sorts. They basically put my phone on "the backburner." Weird, but I had seen this suggested as a problem elsewhere.
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Will
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gittes wrote:
Phone is fixed. Everyone here will get some gold.

The problem was the phone company and it was a clerical error of sorts. They basically put my phone on "the backburner." Weird, but I had seen this suggested as a problem elsewhere.


Very odd.

(note: I know you've fixed this, but I'm going to write up a reply in case you or others are wondering about some of the details of phone stuff)

There should be a phone junction box (aka telephone network interface or demarcation box) on the outside of your home (unless its an apartment) somewhere. Its where the phone line comes in and then gets split off to the rest of your house.

Something like this:


Most of them built within the last 20-30 years or so will have 2 parts to it (and if not, if the phone company comes out for service they will often upgrade it). One part you can open with a normal screwdriver and that is considered your section. You are responsible for the wiring in there and the rest of your house. If the phone company is called out to fix a problem from that point to the rest of your house, they will charge you enourmous amounts of money.

Once open, the inside will look something like this:

You can see where it says telephone company access only on the closed left side. There's a special non standard screw in there to help prevent people from opening that. Under the left side is the telephone company's responsibility. The part you are interested in is on the right, which is your responsibility.

You can see where the one module with a jack is opened at the bottom right of the picture. What you do is open that up, and plug a test phone into it. If you don't have a spare phone to test, pick one up. I think you can pick up cheap landline phones for $5 at places like Bestbuy or Walmart or maybe even Radio Shack. The $5 is much much cheaper than paying the phone company or a repairman to fix things.

If the phone works fine while plugged into that jack (opening the jack up disconnects the rest of your house which allows you to plug directly into the phone line from the box without using inside wiring), then that means the problem is inside your house, and you should not ask the phone company to come out. They will charge HUGE amounts of money to fix issues in your house, things like $100 for every 15 mins.

If the phone still shows problems when plugged into that jack, the problem is the phone companies, everything back from that point back is thier responsibility, and you should be able to call them and get them out to repair without fear of getting charged huge amounts of money.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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I went around looking for but I didn't find it. Thanks though because if ever need to I'll have a good image to work from.
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Will
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gittes wrote:
I went around looking for but I didn't find it. Thanks though because if ever need to I'll have a good image to work from.


Did you check next to the fuse box where the power comes in?

What kind of building do you live in? Apartment? 50-100 year old Victorian? An old business?

Depending on several factors, something like this may be in differant places or differant boxes, but there's ALWAYS a place where the phone wire enters the building if you have POTS (plain old telephone service, aka a landline). The phone company always has a "demarkation" point at which they say "this is your responsibility past this and ours behind it".

For instance, a place of buisiness might have a special phone setup with some of the equipment inside. An apartment might have a main location (like a common basement) where all the electricity and phone comes into.

An older building (I used to live in a 100 year old victorian house) might have a much smaller differant looking phone box. Sometimes the demarcation point is even inside. In recent homes (20-30 years or so) its been mostly outside to make it easier for phone company to service, and to make it clear which part is thiers and which part is yours.

Here's an example of one from the 40's (on the left) that is inside a house:


Note: If you don't want to keep looking for it thats fine, I wouldn't blame you for wanting to leave it alone now that your phone is working

But in case you or others who do a search need this info, I figured I'd elaborate a bit.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Quote:
Note: If you don't want to keep looking for it thats fine, I wouldn't blame you for wanting to leave it alone now that your phone is working

But in case you or others who do a search need this info, I figured I'd elaborate a bit.


Well it isn't internal, but just in case this information is very useful.
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Will
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This is kinda random and out of the blue, but coincidentally, I was looking at both this thread and a dr. who cake I stumbled across at the same time. I just noticed you have a "dr. who fan" minibadge, and hey this is chit chat (and besides its a phone box so its related right? ), so I'll post it.
http://www.doitmyself.org/2009/08/tardis-cake.html






Its almost entirely edible, and the cake designer found a way with mirrors and hundreds of LED lights to make it appear larger on the inside than the outside.


I highly reccomend visiting the link, there's a bunch more pictures of the making and explaination of how they did it.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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New Orleans
Louisiana
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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Very cool!
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