Question Dedicated Second Cable Line & Phone Line?

Jun 12, 2019
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(Prefix info): I have a Condo built in 1999, with 6 twisted pair communication wire connecting all the phone line ports. I upgraded all the phone ports to Ethernet keystones and installed a patch panel at the central wiring point in the wall. I have 5 data cable lines (all 6 twisted pair), each running to their respective ports in the walls throughout the house, and almost all the Ethernet ports work perfectly...

(Issue): One particular phone port, where the TV is designed to go, has both an independent Cable line running directly down to the main cable junction. This means My condo run two cable lines into the units. the Phone port at this shared location is not a 6 twisted pair cable, like it is at the other end where it was punched into the phone line panel. This means at some point between the main phone line panel and the port by the TV, someone changed the wire type to basic 4 wire phone line. I don't really understand why this is setup this way, and a friend of mine explained that in some cases, an independent cable line is ran for the cable providers to hook up to and test for cable connectivity. They usually also run one phone line to that location also so their cable test box can communicate with the provider to complete the test. I guess they don't bother running a full 6 twisted pair data cable to that location in the process, like they did to all the other phone ports in the condo.

My question is: Does anyone have more information on this type of cable install process, how they typically go about installing this custom phone line, and where they usually change the wire type. I don't have any more visible break out points between the two locations other than a metal shaft that I think is the primary telecommunication conduit pass through. I'm hoping they do the wire change somewhere that is accessible, but so far I can't find the transition point. It's really frustrating being able to upgrade the whole internal wiring system in the condo only to find that one of the more important ports was lazily hooked up with the bare minimum wire. I'm close to just tearing out the wire and replace it, but I'd like to know ahead of time how far I'd have to go to find the transition point between the 6 twisted pair and the phone line.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Why not contact the utility company that services the building and check with them how the setup should be. It's really impossible to guess as to how or why some prior installer ran wires to different places. You would need a phone/wire tester kit to tone out the cables to see where they go.
 

punkncat

Commendable
Apr 3, 2018
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If the outside cable block and the phone block are near each other I would check there first. Otherwise, phone line can be run in parallel with other phone lines so they could have either tied into the back of an existing jack in the house, or they could have made a "tap" in the line(s) anywhere they could gain access to one of them.

Based on what you are saying I would check the ethernet port(s) that aren't working and look for a tap in or behind the jack or line.

Alternately, you can purchase what is called a tone generator at your local depot like store and utilize it to see where that phone line is going. You will have to unplug all the lines at your patch panel side to narrow it down to a specific line, or the tone will carry across all other lines in parallel with it.
 
Don't know anything about this test line your friend is talking about, all am aware of is, phone cablers routinely use CAT cables to wire for phones and is been known to split a CAT's cable pairs for different outlets. Ur lucky that u were able to remake your other outlets for ethernet.

Utility company knows nothing, builder knows nothing. When I moved in to my home, I asked the same question to the realtor and he looked at me like am crazy.

If you have 4 wiring pairs at your non-working TV location, that's a good start, now all u have to do is to find out where the other ends of those 4 wiring pairs are. If they end up at the junction, you are golden, but if any of those pairs go to another outlet, u maybe S.O.L.

U should be able to purchase (rent?) some kind of signal injector, making the wire emit a short range EMI and have like a stud-finder listener so u can follow where the wire goes behind the wall. No idea about cost or exactly what, I've never done this. I'd ask uTube.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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Thanks for the responses!
-The Condo complex managers don't have any info on the construction of the complex, I tried asking them first.

-I have used the tone wands before but there's no need at this stage. All the other lines have been confirmed which ends are terminated where. The remaining 6 pair line at the main panel is all that's left, which has to handle the phone port at the TV end. I just don't know where that cable gets changed into a smaller 4 wire (not even paired) phone line. I wanted to check to see if this is following any sort of standard installation process by which I could reverse engineer to find the point at which the cable changes. I'm going to look once more into the cable shaft in my wall to see if I can find any last hope of a termination. If not then I'll have to tear out the cable through the wall and ceiling to see if its all replaceable.

I appreciate all the ideas you all have posted, It's hard to find people locally that know what I'm talking about and dealing with haha.
 

punkncat

Commendable
Apr 3, 2018
1,433
92
1,540
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The installer would have went for the easiest option, particularly when talking about a cable installer. Sorry, but bottom feeders of the Low Voltage install world.

I would look for a tap in the "going outside" trunk line in the nearest and most accessible place possible. They would have went for something reachable, and easily gotten to.

Check on your phone block outside and see if only the "blue pair" is tied to the block, or if there is an off color pair also in parallel. This would likely indicate that they tied green red (on the untwisted two pair phone line) to that off color pair in the (twisted) line they tapped into.
 
(not even paired)
I read this as not TWISTED. The twist on CAT cables are essential for the functioning of ethernet and technically a certain cable pairs need to used for certain pins on the RJ45, reason why there is an EIA568a/b standard. U cannot substitute a wire from another pair wo impact to signal/speed.

BTW, today's TV often come with a 100/10 port and don't require 1gig speed so u may get away with 2 intact pairs. Single Netflix 4K stream takes only ~25 mbit.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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I figured I'd update you all on my latest discovery.
I found another phone wall port hiding behind my couch where that final 6 twisted pair line goes to. In addition, I found the other end of the small phone line ending at this port. Looks like the cable installer routed that phone line from that port (opposite wall of the TV area) and routed it up, across the ceiling, and down to the TV port. it wasn't even hooked up anymore so it was completely a one time use phone port that was never meant to be used again.

I think I can run my own cat5e up the wall and over to replace this phone line and make it usable again. I'm glad I could at least resolve the mystery of this wiring installation.

Thanks to all who provided responses and ideas to try, I've been bashing my head against this problem since I moved in a few weeks ago and I can finally relax knowing I can solve it now haha.
 

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