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You can recollect
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The devices are
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jk5100
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: Old house, no NIU box, just a wiring mess in basement Reply with quote Back to top

I have an old house and the wires come into the basement and are just connected to what looks like 5 points. From there are 3 "sets" of wires running off and of those some have the red, green, yellow and black wires connected and some just have the red and green wires connected. There are even some old brown fabric wires that are connect to some posts - they don't have any color coding.

I think there once was two lines in because there are two thicker black wires that come in and connect to some of the posts. I'm concerned about starting to disconnect them because it will be very difficult to remember which wire went where (inbound wires are not color coded) and the "posts" are not color coded.

Would it make sense that I could just "cut" these two inbound thick wires, and then be able to reconnect them in the future if needed? Would this disconnect the "ground" wire? I saw something about leaving the ground wire connected and I cant determine which part of the inbound thick wire is the ground (if I were to just cut them)! Would that be important?

I'm a bit electrical and pc illiterate, so THANKS for any help!

Jeff

(My old service is scheduled to be disconnected on mon feb 6 so I just realized that I need to disconnect before then to be sure that it is actually disconnected!)


Last edited by jk5100 on Tue Feb 07, 2006 12:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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navydavy2001
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Jeff,
You may not like this advice, but I think you need to find a local wiring/telephone technician and explain what you want to do. If your wiring is that messed up, you would benefit from having a true NIU installed. Not to mention, it would be good to have for eventual resale. When the guy sets it up, ask him to not connect the house wiring to the telephone company. I really don't think you want to mess with those wires, especially unmarked. You wouldn't want to accidently cut into a live power cable.

BTW, send me your pic at navydavy2001@yahoo.com and I'll post it in here for you.

Dave

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Jeff,

I agree with Dave. It sounds as if you need some on-site help. For what it's worth, if the house once had a second line, it was probably on the yellow and black pairs that you see. The primary line is probably on the red and green pair. Heavy black wires are totally non-standard, unless they're just an outer insulation around smaller red, green, yellow, and black wires.

Do you have a voltmeter, and do you know how to use it? How many phone jacks are there throughout the house?

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jk5100
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Steve,

I do not have a voltmeter, but I am willing to get one and learn to use it! I currently have 4 jacks in the house but can probably get by with 2 or 3 (I just realized that my water meter is attached to the phone line someplace for automated readings - so I may have to put in another jack for that). I just sent Dave the pics so hopefully it will help once you see it! And I also asked him if it is possible and maybe easier for me to just install new jacks - my basement is unfinished so I can easily run wiring from my Vonage adapter or router or whatever I would need to do. Once you see the pictures I'm sure we'll end up back at the original advice: Get a professional!!!

Thanks for the help!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It may not be as bad as it seems. I'm looking forward to seeing the picture.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Steve, I don't think it's as bad as it seems, here are the pics:




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jk5100
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Dave,

Thank you for posting the pictures!

Steve,

The two black thick wires at the bottom of the picture are the "inbound" phone wires.

From this "base unit" there are 3 white wrapped wires (with red, yellow, green. black) - I think standard phone line wire. Two of those only have the red and green connected.

And then 2 fabric wrapped: I'm sure these are the original phone wires which I think go to the only one original jack in the house - which is unused. Its an old fashioned jack that the cover comes off and you connect the wires.

I really appreciate all the help!!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OK, things aren't looking all that bad. The most disconcerting thing that I see is that the standard cable (white cover with four colored wires inside) going off to the right seems to have both its red and black wires tied to the same screw terminal. Is this the case? The black wire may actually be disconnected and hanging above the terminal. If it's actually connected, get back to us before proceeding.

Other than that, it seems that all the greens are tied to one terminal and all the reds to another. This should be your primary phone line. If you want to proceed without professional help, then I would carefully remove the incoming wire that's tied to the green terminal. Keep in mind that it should have about 50 volts on it, so try not to touch any other terminals while handling it, wear shoes, and use insulated handle pliers if you can. It can tingle a bit, but it won't hurt you. Once it's disconnected, just push it back out of the way so it isn't touching anything.

Now try all your phones. If they're dead, you're on the right track. Tape the end of the wire you removed and label it "green". (Masking tape and a ball point pen are fine for this.) Then disconnect the incoming wire to the red terminal, and tape and label it. Now you should be able to just plug your Vonage adapter into one of the wall jacks and you should be up and running.

If the phones aren't dead when you disconnect that first wire, stop, reconnnect the wire, and get back to us.

Dave, you agree?

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jk5100
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Steve!

YES the red and black are connected to the same terminal from the standard cable from the right. Also its green is connected to the green of the others BUT its yellow is NOT connected.

Also the standard wire from theTOP only has red to red and green to green - the yellow and black are not connected.

The standard wire from the bottom has all 4 (blk, red, grn, ylw) connected to different terminals.

Should I disconnect the red/black of the problem cable and see if it effects any of my jacks? And if not just leave it disconnected and then go forward with disconnecting the green as you instructed?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I guess I wouldn't worry about the "problem red/black". I suspect that you could disconnect the black wire without any effect, but I'd leave the red alone. Probably best to just proceed.

Keep in mind that Dave's suggestion about professional help is still the best advice. If you want to proceed, be careful! Do things one step at a time and label things that you've disconnected, as I indicated. That way you can get back to where you started if necessary.

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