NTE5A & vDSL faceplate fault diagnosis
May 17th, 2016 6:31 am

The main benefit of an NTE5A master socket is easy fault diagnosis, by simply removing two screws the end user can disconnect any internal extension wiring and plug directly into BT's network, thus proving where the fault lies.

However, with the introduction of the vDSL I plates fault diagnosis becomes a little more complicated to find whether the fault lies with the filter, wiring or the BT line itself. Read on to find what is causing the problem.....

First off, with just an NTE5A fitted:-

NTE5A master socket

Remove the two screws, the lower front plate will unplug from the main socket :-

NTE5A lower front plate

If you have any extensions fitted these should be wired to the back of this plate on connections 2, 3 & 5. Don't worry if there are any extra connections with or without wires in them-they aren't used. With the lower front plate off you will see the NTE5A test socket :-

NTE5A test socket

With the test socket revealed it's important to check all extensions are DEAD. If they aren't then this indicates your extensions are not wire...

NTE5C Master Socket & VDSL MK4 faceplate
April 28th, 2016 12:04 pm
NTE5C Master SocketNTE5C type master socket from BT Openreach.

Openreach have announced a new version of the NTE5 master socket will be available soon. As you can see the new design features a rounded faceplate. The new version will NOT be compatible with any of the faceplates currently desiged for the NTE5 so this may well shake up the filtered faceplate market! Openreach have announed the following versions will be available :-
  • NTE5C (replaces NTE5A)
  • NTE5C Secure (replaces NTE5B-the Blank no socket version!)
  • NTE5C/VDSL Front Plate Mk4 (new version VDSL faceplate-combined unit)
  • NTE5C SDSL Front Plate (replaces NTE2000 CCU SDSL Front Plate)
  • NGA FVA Voice Plate supplied with NTE5C backplate (replaces NGA FVA Voice IPlate
The new socket is also a tool less design, the front plate clips on (no screws) & the internal wiring is...
Service Specific Face Plates (SSFP's)
April 28th, 2016 11:57 am

SSFP's or Service Specific Face Plates, this little buzz term covers what we commonly call a filtered faceplate or ADSL/vDSL faceplate. If you have broadband (ADSL or vDSL) then there are a few reasons why you should really consider one of these. Over the years we've sold thousands of these little gizmo's, they all do basically the same thing, the main types are as follows...


NTE2000 front viewNTE2000 rear view

The NTE2000 is as old as ADSL itself! Earlier versions had ADSL V 1.0 printed on them but later on in production this was changed to ADSL 2+. This really was nothing more than a marketing exercise as the filter design was unchanged. This filter simply replaces the lower front of the NTE5 and filters any extension wiring so no need to have plug in filters around the house! Installation is simple, remove the NTE5 lower front plate, note which wires are going to 2, 3 & 5, remove the wires & reinstall on the new NTE2000 using an IDC tool. Removing the need for plug in filters isn't the main benefit mind, remember when we covered the NTE5 & explained how the bell wire filter improves connections by isolating it from the broad band signal? Well, a filtered faceplate takes this a step further. Any copper wiring between you and the exchange adds to your line length, the longer your line the slower the download speed. A filtered faceplate isolates any extension wiring from the broad band signal so in effect shortening your line.

But there is a downside, with this fitted you can only plug your modem or router into the socket on the faceplate as all extensions are now filtered (filtered means the broadband signal has been taken away), now a lot of people have their master socket in a hallway and really don't want (or can't due to lack of power socket!) to have their router in there. Fear not as the NTE2005 fixes this issue...


NTE2005 rear view
Those paying attention will notice a subtle difference - the IDC block on the rear has more terminals and is BLUE! For extensions carrying just voice (so you just need a telephone on them) the wiring goes to 2, 3 & 5 as before. Now the added part, for a broadband extension you wire a pair of cables to A & B on the blue IDC block. At the other end you can either terminate to one of these (connect to 2 & 5):-
Filtered BT socket with RJ45 port 

or to a standard secondary BT socket (again, connect to 2 & 5). If using a standard BT socket you will need a plug in filter. Not because the router or modem requires it but simply because the lead will be fitted with an RJ11 plug & th...

Patching BT telephone lines to CAT5/CAT6 (RJ45) wiring
April 28th, 2016 11:54 am

We have four main categories of patch kits :-

  • Standard
  • Port Sharing/Multi Line
  • Privacy
  • Broadband

The standard patch kits are our most basic, they allow you to patch a single BT line to as many as 4 extensions. For example, the single user standard version (RJ45V1S) comes with everything requited to go from the BT outlet to the patch panel and then at the outlet end convert the network outlet back to a standard BT type socket. The 4 user version adds to this & yep, you guessed it, comes with everything required to patch a single BT line to 4 extensions over structured cabling (structured cabling is the term used to describe CAT5e & CAT6 cabling among others ).

The port sharing & multi line versions expand on this concept. The port sharing version (RJ45V1PD) allows you to patch a single BT telephone line over the SAME cable as an Ethernet device (a printer or a PC for example). There is a downside, because we use what used to be the spare pairs in the cable the device will only connect at 10/100 speeds. Gigabit speeds use all 4 pairs to transmit the data so there are no spares to utillise for other services. In reality this is no big deal, 10/100 is plenty fast enough in the majority of cases.

The Multi Line versions ( RJ45VDLS & RJ45VDLA) enable you to patch 2 separate BT lines over a single cable/outlet. One is designed for standard analogue lines (RJ45VDLS) while the other caters for ADSL enabled lines (RJ45VDLA). The really good thing about the ADSL version is it allows the modem or router to be sited at the outlet end rather than at the patch panel. In some situations this is what the user wants. Consider this scenario, you are in a serviced office block with structured cabling. The patch panel is in the basement but your office is on the top floor. You simply want to connect a wireless router into the telephone line so everyone can connect to the Internet wirelessly. With our kit you effectively move the BT line to the outlet in your office so the wireless signal is nice & strong.

The privacy versions are an evolution of the standard versions. What these kits do is effectively "lock" the telephone line to the extension that uses it first. Imagine you have one telephone line which is used for both telephone & a card machine (PDQ). If someone is on the telephone the last thing they want is the card machine interrupting their conversation! Likewise, if someone is doing a transaction on the card machine they don't want the termi...