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Old 18-March-2007, 13:33
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Thumbs up Tips for Broadband on Extension Wiring

Broadband internet is mainly carried to homes either over the phone line, which is "ADSL Broadband", or by "cable" (meaning co-axial cable). Both use a modem (MOdulator/DEModulator) to turn the computer digital data into an analogue signal.

They are different systems however they do basically the same job.

All telephone wires are basically 'twisted pairs', in other words, two wires loosely twisted to form the basis of one circuit. The entire 'copper wire' infrastucture was designed to carry voice, which is relatively low frequency, and it's been pressed into service over the years to deal first with FAX, then with dial-up modems, and more recently with ADSL broadband.

BT Openreach provide the physical connection to your house, up as far as the Master Socket, which is the first one you come you when you follow the wire into your house. It's usually the one with the removable front that reveals another phone socket inside, which they call the 'test socket'.

Up to that point BT Openreach are supposed to provide a 'clean' line, or as clean as they can get. After that point, the rest of the wiring is your responsibility.

Extension wiring can cause problems with broadband, even if the phones work fine, because broadband is a much higher frequency signal, and suffers more from poor connections and damage to the wiring which might not be immediately apparent. It also suffers from 'reflections' of the signal that occur within the wiring.

It helps to have an analogy, so imagine your wiring is a hosepipe, and you're going to send a coded message to someone by turning the tap on and off.

The best thing you can do of course is connect your broadband modem directly to the master socket. If you don't put any hosepipe on the tap it's easy to do your signalling.

Most people however have extension wiring, and this is all from the 'old days' before cordless (wireless) phones.

The very best thing you can do is to plug your broadband filter and modem into the master socket, along with a good cordless phone base-station, and disconnect all your 20th-century extension cabling. Take the removable plate off the front of the master socket and tug the wires out of the little slots on the removable bit, roll them back up inside the box, put the plate back.


In other words, connect it all straight to the tap.

If you're going to have a wireless internet connection anyway it mostly doesn't matter where you put the broadband modem and router, especially in a house, it will probably cover the whole area.

If you don't intend to have a wireless network and your computer isn't near the master socket you might want to put the modem on the end of an extension.

There are several simple things you can do to get the best from extension wiring.

Firstly, try to arrange the extensions so that they are wired up in a line, master socket to first extension, then on to the next, then on to the next, and so forth. Avoid creating a 'tree', even from the master socket. This might mean you finish up with longer wiring.

Imagine connecting pipes up like that, you turn the tap on and off and water can come out the end, and also from any of the 'T' joints you've put in the pipes, there'll be a delay in your signalling, but at least it'll work.

If you split pipes off like branches of a tree then it's harder to signal properly because the water in the branches swills back when you turn it off and glugs about everywhere, which limits the speed at which you can turn the signal on and off and still make your message readable.

This is very similar to the problems you get with reflection in a wiring network. The broadband signal bounces off the ends of all the bits of wiring and these reflections degrade the signal. Like trying to listen to an announcement in a railway station.

Extensions are wired by 'punching' the wires into slots in the back of the sockets. Some of them have screws. To run one extension from another you can continue the process by connecting the feed to the next socket straight into the back of the previous one. It's neat and in some ways makes a better join but also makes investigations difficult. I would recommend using the extension kits that come fitted with a phone plug already on one end, so that you link your extensions together by connecting one to the other with a double-adapter (splitter).

Why? Two reasons. Firstly it easy to disconnect bits of the wiring to see what effect they are having, which also means you can leave unwanted sections disconnected, and secondly you can prevent any parts of your extension wiring that are 'upstream' of the broadband modem from being a nuisance by plugging them into the telephone socket on the microfilter.

This means they are no longer part of the high-frequency broadband network, so they won't degrade the signal and you won't get reflections from them.

All joins, and to a lesser extent, kinks and bends, cause signal loss and reflection. It may be small but if you have enough of them it gets significant at broadband frequencies.

If you're wiring up a new network try to avoid sharp corners, by which I mean try not to make knife-edge turns by 'hammering' the cable round a corner. If it comes out of a hole somewhere hidden try to leave a little loop like a question-mark, it doesn't need to turn sharply. Same with internal corners, if you can turn it gently then do it. Not a tighter bend than round your finger if you can help it.

If you have a tight outside or inside corner that has to look nice you can change the level of the cable as you go round the corner, in other words turn and go up or down the corner by an inch, and then start off on the new surface, putting a little 'snake' in it. That way you avoid a very sharp turn, or if you're feeling very creative, just cut a tiny 'v' slot.

These things don't mean much in themselves, but added up over a run of cable you can easily have fifty little bends in it, especially if they go round door frames! Be brave, drill a hole through the door frame, go on, it's only a little one

If you have cable spare that you want to leave under a floor or in a roof space, try not to coil it up in a neat little roll, leave it in an 'untidy' mass, or open it up like a spring. Whatever you do, dont squash it up and wind the end round it like a bow-tie.

Think about what that would do to a hosepipe.

Lastly - if the idea of wireless networks doesn't appeal and you simply have to run a cable from master socket to where you want your computer, how about leaving the modem at the master socket and running a network (ethernet) cable from that to your computer, rather than a phone extension. You can buy long cable with a plug already on each end, they go through a half-inch hole, or you could buy or borrow a crimp tool and put your own on.

At least it's designed for carrying high speed data!
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Old 18-March-2007, 16:36
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Default Re: Tips for Broadband on Extension Wiring

Hosepipe, you related to the US senator who thinks internet is made of tubes that are getting full? ;-)

Your only phone line should not be a dect/wireless one, it may not work in emergencies for powercuts or RF interference.
Dect and wirless routers can both operate in the unlicensed 2.4ghz and may interfere for some people if co-located.

If you are wiring up extensions, why not use a decent twisted pair cable not those cheap flat preformed extension kits. The twisting will reduce most of the interference. Just connect the 2 wires to pins 2 &5 and leave the ringer wires unconnected. Unless your signal is very marginal this will allow most people to run their dsl modems over the extension with similar performance to the master socket.
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Old 18-March-2007, 21:46
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Thumbs up Re: Tips for Broadband on Extension Wiring

I have the original BT ADSL set up in that BT changed the master socket to one that had a built-in filter and two outlets. One a CAT5 for ADSL which was the wired (by BT) upstairs to where we had the PC's. The master socket also fed (original 1988 built house and wiring) all the other five telephone sockets. As the master socket has a filter we do not need/require any other filters to use our telephones. We now have a mixed wired and wireless network and three Dect telephones all working happily together.
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Old 27-February-2009, 14:20
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Default Re: Tips for Broadband on Extension Wiring

Hi there - desperately looking for advice!! At present I have the following system:
Main BT socket - flat domestic cable running 6mts to filter - cable to splitter - one cable to phone other Cat5 cable to BT home hub 1.5 Cat5 cable from ethernet port to computer - another Cat5 cable to office computer 25 mts.
The problem - I want to connect my son's room to internet. I live in what is known as a large pile! His room is 80 mts away.
At present we have a Cat5 cable running from his room to downstairs for a now redundent phone. This cable is sharing with another separate line so is therefore only using 2 pair.
My idea is to purchase (ebay) BT home hub2 with 4 ethernet ports. I'll then be able to link the hub via the redundent phone cable using 2 & 5 connections on the RJ45s. Does this sound possible. We only get half a meg and cannot use wirless as the walls are at least a meter thick.
Appreciate any assistance. Cheers and all the best Phillip
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Old 03-November-2010, 23:48
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Default Re: Tips for Broadband on Extension Wiring

Hello, Im having some house work done and I need to run an extension from my BT master socket to an temporary outside building about 70-80 feet away, I currently have the 4 cord phone wire doing the job, but im losing a rather lot of speed no doubt to the length of wire and its thickness and possable minor breaks plus weathering.

what I need to know is, can another wire source be used?

Speaker wire
Thicker grade of copper wire
2 core electricity wire
etc, etc

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Old 04-November-2010, 14:50
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silver silver is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Broadband on Extension Wiring

Hello, Im having some house work done and I need to run an extension from my BT master socket to an temporary outside building about 70-80 feet away, I currently have the 4 cord phone wire doing the job, but im losing a rather lot of speed no doubt to the length of wire and its thickness and possable minor breaks plus weathering.

what I need to know is, can another wire source be used?

Speaker wire
Thicker grade of copper wire
2 core electricity wire
etc, etc

Originally Posted by reeceyboy View Post
what about putting a wireless router in the house and hooking up outside using wireless, it should go 70-80 feet w/o issue (I would guess!)
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Old 04-November-2010, 22:42
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Scoobs Scoobs is offline
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Default Re: Tips for Broadband on Extension Wiring

Leave the router @ the master socket and run a cat5 network lead to the out building that way you wont loose any speed.
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