[SATLUG] Re: New user requests advice.

Charles Hogan cd_satl at futuretechsolutions.com
Fri Jun 5 19:16:55 CDT 2009

Reversed polarity and AC voltage present could potentially cause 
problems.  The first being far easier to correct than the second.  As 
for DSL filters messing with the phones, well, those came about 2 to 3 
years after I quit working tech support for an ISP.

Phone line polarity testers are all about the same, I didn't even think 
of Lowes when I mentioned them.  All you need to do to correct the 
polarity issue is to switch the position of the red/green pair, put the 
red where the green was and vice-versa, (assuming that red and green are 
connected to the center 2 conductors in the jack).  The yellow/black 
pair is for when you have 2 separate lines connected to one jack.

If I could, I would run new copper to the jack that has the AC voltage 
present, especially since that is the jack for the modem, and try 
keeping it away from any little nasties like flourescent lighting.  The 
line could be picking up AC through induction by being too close to a 
transformer or some other silly hard to pinpoint thing.

It's been years since I've done anything inside of a demarc, but if I 
recall correctly, they have several jacks, each used for a separate 
phone line/number.

As for your e-mail, you should be able to look into the account settings 
in Thunderbird, and get the directories where your mail is being stored 
locally.  Back-up the entire directory, and pop it into place in the new 
install, everything should work ok if you continue using thunderbird.

I'm not big on browser based e-mail, I've been using thunderbird/mozilla 
since before I started using linux, which was when XP came out.


cdv7 at sbcglobal.net wrote:
> Charles Hogan wrote:
>> 1. When I worked as tech support for a dial-up ISP back in the late 
>> 90's, 2 of the biggest problems we had with connections were incorrect 
>> line polarity and poor line quality.  For the polarity issues, I 
>> carried a line tester and would correct the issue at the jack if it 
>> were present, (some modems are/were sensitive to phone line polarity, 
>> this was my first, and often times only, corrective action).  Altex 
>> has a couple of line testers*, both under $10.00.
>> As for line quality, well, that can run the gambit.  I remember 1 
>> customer that couldn't connect no matter what.  I plugged a phone into 
>> the jack they were using for the computer, and could barely hear the 
>> dial tone over the static on the line.  Customer's reasoning, "We use 
>> that jack for the computer because we can't hear who we are talking to 
>> if we use it for the phone", sometimes you just want to slap the 
>> stupidity out of people.  Plugged them into a different jack in the 
>> house, and surprise surprise, no problems connecting or staying 
>> connected.  No surprise that they didn't like my pricing for running 
>> new wire to the jack, so fortunately, they were left to their own 
>> devices on figuring that one out.  We had another customer with line 
>> quality issues, no static, but a bad line, where someone digging had 
>> cut through the phone lines, and the splice putting them back together 
>> was done poorly.  That was a telco issue somewhere up the line on 
>> their side of the demarc.
>> If you are unable to connect, and suspect line quality issues, try 
>> plugging straight into the demarc if you can, and see if you can get a 
>> connection from there.  If so, you will probably want to run a new 
>> line from the demarc to wherever you are plugging the computer to the 
>> phone jack.  I doubt that there will be any issues with that if you 
>> are able to currently get DSL through the line.
>> 2. Can't help with that one, as I am a Fedora user.  I am sure that 
>> someone else here can help with that.
>> 3. It would be helpful to know what e-mail client you are using.
>> *line testers at Altex:
>> http://www.altex.com/Triplett-Line-Bug-4-Phone-LAN-Line-Tester-9615-P145000.aspx 
>> http://www.altex.com/Telephone-Line-Tester-75-4650-P143540.aspx
>> Hope this was of some help.  I'm off to my new weekly habit of drinks 
>> and jazz at The Landing.
>> Charlie
>> cdv7 at sbcglobal.net <mailto:cdv7 at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>>> Greetings,
>>> Before I attempt to switch from DSL to Dial Up I need to know several 
>>> things:
>>> 1. When I first tried to connect to the Internet in 2005 (I had 
>>> Windows then) I tried several Dial Up ISP's but could never make a 
>>> connection. I was told the wiring is too old. (My house was built 
>>> pre- 1950's but was remodeled during the 1980's , some of the wiring 
>>> was changed then.) How should I address this possible problem? I hope 
>>> its resolution will not be prohibitively expensive.
>>> 2.  It has been recommended that I first update to the newest version 
>>> of Ubuntu but I am unclear about the recent crash of Ms. Holmes. I am 
>>> concerned I may have a similar experience, as I would not know how to 
>>> avoid it.
>>> 3. I need to know how to transfer all my e-mail -not just my Inbox 
>>> but my Drafts and Sent boxes too. (I ran into this problem when I 
>>> transfered from Suse to Ubuntu.) I transfered the contents of my 
>>> desktop by putting them on a flash drive. However, some of the e-mail 
>>> (such as the Drafts Box) was transferred one message at a time. 
>>> Please tell me if there is a more efficient way to do this.
>>> Also,if there are other important things I need to know before I make 
>>> the switch, please let me know.
>>> Thank you very much for your assistance.
>>> ~ cdv
> Greetings Mr. Hogan,
> Thank you for the useful information. I assume the line tester at Lowe's 
> will do just as well as the one from Altex?  (Please bear with me, as I 
> have no experience in this area.) I took this opportunity to test all my 
> jacks - which I know of.
> The results of the test:
> Interior Jack #1
> (The oldest jack, it came with the house. Only one phone is plugged into 
> it.)  - Red Light. Line reversed.
> Interior Jack#2
> ( Installed in 2005. My computer and one other phone are plugged into 
> this jack.) - Amber Light. AC voltage present.
> Exterior Jack
> (In the gray Telephone Network Interface box.) - No light. Dead Line.
> I found the following instructions on the web. Let me know if this 
> applies to my situation. It seems to be applicable to the interior jacks 
> but I am uncertain about the exterior one.
> “Since you have a polarity tester, simply reverse the two wires at each 
> box showing reverse polarity. It sounds like you just split off at some 
> point and attached the B & Y to a R & G, right?”
> “Yes.”
>    “Simply remove the box
>    cover or anywhere along the line, and interchange the two wires
>    connected. Black will go where Yellow was and Yellow will go where
>    Black was. Same with the Red & Green.”
> Also, I was told by a person from Lowe's that sometimes a DSL filter can 
> disrupt the phone line. Both interior jacks have a 2Wire DSL Filter but 
> of course, these were not in place in when I first attempted Dial up.
> To answer the question from your last e-mail:
> The e-mail client I am currently using is Thunderbird.
> Also, what is your opinion of web based e-mail or G-Mail? From the 
> website: 
> http://howto-ubuntu.com/2008/03/03/how-to-dial-up-internet-on-ubuntu-with-gnome-ppp/ 
> This site recommends Opera as the best choice for a dial up browser. 
> Opinion?
> Again, my thanks.
> ~cdv
> Note:
> This is a resend. I responded to your message on May 31^st  and then 
> again on June 2nd but I received failure notices for both. Based on the 
> notices of 6-2-'09 I am hoping the problem has now been cleared up. 
> Please respond if you are able to receive my message.

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