As You Were

My miserable run continues it seems as I start December pretty much where I left off in November.

I had a reasonable opening day yesterday, but today, I couldn't trade for peanuts and subsequently lost all but £6 of yesterday's profit. It's seems I can barely manage to string two winning days together these days.

I seemed to be operating in slow motion today, with sloth-like reactions costing me dear. I only did four horse races and I lost everyone of them.

The late afternoon greyhounds weren't much better, despite the large amounts of money floating around. I just kept getting caught, or more accurately, saw that I was about to be caught and my slow reactions ensured that I did. I just couldn't get to grips with how quickly the markets were moving.

The only good thing was, after yet another screw up and an all red position of £8.54 in the 4:57 at Belle Vue, there was a late withdrawal and Betfair voided the race. As that felt like a win, I stopped.

Changing the subject, on the broadband front, I thought I was getting somewhere. I swapped routers and, after a bit of on-line research, I disconnected the bell wires from all sockets. This second router resync'd to over 3.3Mbps! I've never seen that even when I've got a good connection.

Moreover, it remained steady. Each subsequent test I did revealed the same figure. Unfortunately, I saw no improvement in speed, mainly because my iprofile set by BT remained at 500Kbps. Worse, the SNR margin, while starting off at a healthy 10.5db was less with each test until it had fallen so low that the router lost synchronisation. As a result, when it resync'd, the connection rate had dropped to 1.1Mbps.

I also took the opportunity on Tuesday to trace my cabling from the point of entry to my house. I didn't expect to find quite the mess I did though.

As I've been trying to tell my ISP, my telephone installation uses the old style 'star' wiring. The BT cable enters the house via the attic where it is meant to terminate in a small junction box. This one however has its two wires spliced onto the end of the scabbiest, strangest two-core cable I've ever seen. This does a few loops around the attic floor and then enters the junction box.

Not only that, the two sockets emanate from this junction box, as you'd expect. However, on inspection of the connections inside the sockets, all six terminals were connected - only connections 2 and 5 are required for modern telephones. Not only that, they were wired without adhering to the conventional colour coding.

In addition, the socket in my bedroom, which I assumed was an extension, turns out to be the master socket, with the one in the hall being a slave.

Why the wiring is arranged in this way is anyone's guess, though I suspect it to be a previous owner's DIY mess. The dangers of buying secondhand.

Unfortunately, while sorting this, , is a piece of cake, it is also illegal for me to touch it. So I might as well get it rewired by BT so as to provide an up to date, modern style socket. Though I believe BT will charge me in the order of £150 for the privilege. Bloody rip off. At least then I'll be able to tell any ISP when they inevitably try to blame internal wiring that they can think again.

This saga will run and run I feel.


Pez said...

DO you not have virgin in your area?ive had it for a couple of years and its fast and stable

Alistair said...

Afraid not Pez. No sign of fibre optic cable out in the sticks. I say 'out in the sticks', but I'm only 7 miles from Edinburgh city center.

Anonymous said...

what exactly is illegal about sorting the telephone wiring?

Alistair said...

It is illegal for anyone other than a BT engineer to tamper with and otherwise modify any wiring being the master socket as that is their property and the master socket is the demarcation point of their responsibility.

However, there is some confusing when it comes to star-wired phone systems as any additional sockets are connected to the junction box, not the master socket.

My understanding is that I cannot legally touch any of the wiring of my phone system. So I have been very naughty in disconnecting the bell wire.