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Common household remedies request

Continued landline woes:

The DSL, oddly enough, works (although I'm wondering if some of the dropped connection issues I've had have been due to a dirty line). So Skype works, and I'm not completely cut off.

However, for the past few days I've been able to call out, but not in. Today, the phone company guys came, and it's not the line into the house.

That's the good news. The bad news is that now the phone believes that it's "in use."

So the issue is inside the house. I just did the only thing I know how to do, which is check a junction box under the crawlspace. That's good news, unless the bad news is I have to go under the crawlspace.

The DSL and the landline are the same line until my kitchen, at which point they split. Since the DSL works fine, I wonder if the issue could be with the phone itself?

UPDATE I replaced the phone line from the splitter to the phone but no joy, with or without the DSL doodad. How the heck does the DSL work, but not the landline?

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swalcott's picture
Submitted by swalcott on

just had the same situation here in upstate new york. dsl worked, no dial tone just a lot of static on the phone line.

there was noise on the line into the house and more noise on the line in the house.

repair dude ended up running a new line/jack from the junction box, put a splitter on the jack and put the dsl and the phone on a new line. worked great.

he said the wire in the house was from the 1940s and it wasn't even a twisted pair of wires, it was a flat copper wire. fastest thing is just to repace that line.

just trying to help.

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

When you say "landline" do you mean landline? As in Plain-Old-Telephone-Service-was-Ma-Bewll-once-upon-a-time landline? Or do you mean voip service over DSL, i.e. not-a-cell-phone?

If you mean voip, it uses different channels for voice out, voice in, ring out, ring in, and so on. So if for some reason a channel goes blooey, you can get some weird situations. Such as perfectly clear calls if you pick up, but no ordinary way to tell when to pick up because the phone doesn't ring. If it just happened out of the blue, it may be worth rebooting / power cycling everything and see if that wakes it back up. (Power cycling = totally depriving of power for several seconds, like removing a battery from a cell phone, turning off and unplugging from the wall for other equipment.)

Submitted by lambert on

... as in Plain-Old-Telephone-Service-was-Ma-Bewll-once-upon-a-time landline.

Clear as a bell, and the number the family has had for years. Definitely not VOIP.

I have one of those portable phones, and I tried removing the battery, and also changing the line from the phone through the DSL thingie to the DSL splitter, but no joy.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I had a similar problem a few years ago. New wires from junction box to phones, new wires from street to junction box. The problem, apparently, was that the junction box predated the second world war, maybe even the first from the look of it.

I found a cable guy who works for beer....If you run the wires and do a visual inspection, the problem may be fairly obvious. I, too, hate crawlspaces though, which is why I didn't find it. Like swalcott, it was a solid (green) copper wire wrapped in what looked like a tar ball.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

That will prolly be where the answer lies, then.

I love our old, iron rotary phones (which could easily double as blunt instruments, well within reach, were we to have a burgler) and it was my insistence upon keeping them which called forth the cable guy who liked beer. Similar problem to your own.

Maybe you could hire a tech savvy teenager to go into your crawl space? These things don't appear to be all that complex.....certainly not when they eventually resolve themselves into wires sticking out of big old balls of tar.

mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

You can measure the current draw of the phone.

I'm surprised you don't have VOIP. But VOIP might have issues when you were downloading some big file, or watching a movie. You would need QOS.

Submitted by lambert on

The DSL works fine. I'm using it now!

The phone does not. Which would seem to say it's the yellow highlighted phone and or the phone that's the issue. But I replaced them -- new line, new phone.

Could it be the splitter????

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mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

DSL splitter is an LC filter (low pass) with two coils and two capacitors. The coils will be in series with the phone wire and the caps across it. Inside there is a small punchdown block. You need a special tool to put wires into the punchdown block.