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dukehenry
Newbie
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Message 1 of 2

For your delight and bemusement, How Not To Fault Find.

There should be an Engineer's Hall of Shame somewhere. This needs to go into it.

 

My background is in Telephones and Comms. Back in the days when the Post Office was the sole provider of telephone services and the ubiquitous white socket box was a new and frightening development. Buying your *own* telephone was a new and exciting opportunity. The fall of night saw young rogue engineers stealing out by moonlight to wire in illegal Master Socket boxes into the old oval socket boxes and enable the public to mess up the line voltage across the exchange with dodgy Red Triangle phones in the shape of Porshes, caterpillars and bananas. No admissions will be made publically about the exact nature of my background in this field, save that I knew of it. End of statement.

 

So I have a working knowledge of telephones and how they function, yet more, why they do not.

 

Had a fault on our line, no calls coming through and no line tone when the receiver lifted. Dead line.

 

First thought. Some potato head farmer has ploughed up the cable again (this has happened twice in the last 15 years here, this is Norfolk), fail to lift the plough coming out of the field, plough up the footpath and what is this cable dragged out of the ground. No, the Broadband is still up. Could be an exchange fault, had a spate of those, three years ago.

 

Run remote line test via the BT website. Fault on Customer's Property. Harmph! Like One believes that. Tirade about spotty programmers followed.

 

Better check all the wiring, suppose, unplugs trusty BT Viscount from the wall. This is the old 9515AR 1986 vintage LD with MF option and one of the most robust and indestructable phones made. Seen a 9515 dropped in water for a week, fished out (of fish pond) and still working. Respect.

 

Check Master Box. Plug in Viscount, no line. There are 3 direct wired extension lines out. Check accessible extension, unplug the router. No line. Unplug extension reel, cable break maybe causing short. No line. Disconnect all sockets, about to rip out wiring.

 

Worrying thought. What if (Heaven forbid) it is a fault in the old Viscount? No, indeed, perish the thought. Tell it is not so.

 

Dig out very old line simulator box, truly ancient test engineering kit. Take the line filter box off the Viscount and - murmurring a prayer to Old Telephone Gods - plugged in the Viscount. Green lights over box, happy smile. Picks up filter box and

 

Looks at Filter Box.

 

Stares at Filter Box.

 

Plugs in Filter Box.

 

Fault.

 

So, have spent entire evening, walking around plugging a faulty filter box into every extension and

 

Finding the same fault.

 

The moral to this story is: before you start testing, test your test equipment. That is all.

 

Yours indeed,

D H Plantagenet Esq.

 

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 2 of 2

Re: For your delight and bemusement, How Not To Fault Find.


@dukehenry wrote:

There should be an Engineer's Hall of Shame somewhere. This needs to go into it.

 

My background is in Telephones and Comms. Back in the days when the Post Office was the sole provider of telephone services and the ubiquitous white socket box was a new and frightening development. Buying your *own* telephone was a new and exciting opportunity. The fall of night saw young rogue engineers stealing out by moonlight to wire in illegal Master Socket boxes into the old oval socket boxes and enable the public to mess up the line voltage across the exchange with dodgy Red Triangle phones in the shape of Porshes, caterpillars and bananas. No admissions will be made publically about the exact nature of my background in this field, save that I knew of it. End of statement.

 

So I have a working knowledge of telephones and how they function, yet more, why they do not.

 

Had a fault on our line, no calls coming through and no line tone when the receiver lifted. Dead line.

 

First thought. Some potato head farmer has ploughed up the cable again (this has happened twice in the last 15 years here, this is Norfolk), fail to lift the plough coming out of the field, plough up the footpath and what is this cable dragged out of the ground. No, the Broadband is still up. Could be an exchange fault, had a spate of those, three years ago.

 

Run remote line test via the BT website. Fault on Customer's Property. Harmph! Like One believes that. Tirade about spotty programmers followed.

 

Better check all the wiring, suppose, unplugs trusty BT Viscount from the wall. This is the old 9515AR 1986 vintage LD with MF option and one of the most robust and indestructable phones made. Seen a 9515 dropped in water for a week, fished out (of fish pond) and still working. Respect.

 

Check Master Box. Plug in Viscount, no line. There are 3 direct wired extension lines out. Check accessible extension, unplug the router. No line. Unplug extension reel, cable break maybe causing short. No line. Disconnect all sockets, about to rip out wiring.

 

Worrying thought. What if (Heaven forbid) it is a fault in the old Viscount? No, indeed, perish the thought. Tell it is not so.

 

Dig out very old line simulator box, truly ancient test engineering kit. Take the line filter box off the Viscount and - murmurring a prayer to Old Telephone Gods - plugged in the Viscount. Green lights over box, happy smile. Picks up filter box and

 

Looks at Filter Box.

 

Stares at Filter Box.

 

Plugs in Filter Box.

 

Fault.

 

So, have spent entire evening, walking around plugging a faulty filter box into every extension and

 

Finding the same fault.

 

The moral to this story is: before you start testing, test your test equipment. That is all.

 

Yours indeed,

D H Plantagenet Esq.

 


And I was gonna book you for a job......Smiley Very Happy

toekneem

(EASBF)

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