Computers and telephones

  Goldcroft 14:29 22 Feb 03

I understand from BT that every house has a telephone line supplying four REN. A phone counts as one REN and, BT says, an internet connection is one and a half REN.

My "office" is upstairs and my computer is plugged into a splitter in the tel socket with a phone also. That makes two and a half REN.

But if I plug another telephone into any other socket in the house I cannot connect to the Internet. The modem dials, but it cannot connect.

Is there anyone out there please with the telcomms knowledge to answer this problem? It's a fairly new house with five tel points installed. Thanks.

We had 4 phones when we installed a sky digital box and we had to disconnect 1 phone for it to work. At the moment, we have 3 phones plus b/b with no problems.

  graham 16:06 22 Feb 03

REN= Ringer Equivalent Number. Is the extra phone faulty? If you can turn off the ringer of any phone it's REN will be zero.

  Goldcroft 16:35 22 Feb 03

Thanks for the replies.

Somdor: know that BB splits the line into two with internet link and facility to make phone calls, but don't know how that counts in terms of REN. With 4 phones you would have been up to your REN limit of 4. Confirms what I have been told that you had to get rid of one to install Sky.

Graham: have rung (excuse the pun) all the changes on telephones and the splitter. If you disable the ringer on a telephone strikes me that it would render the phone less than useful.

Problem with BT now is that they are rigid in terms of only dealing with probs up to the point their line enters the house to the master junction box. If I call them in and the prob is beyond that point they have warned me that I would face a hefty bill.

Can anyone confirm the REN value of a computer with dial up modem. Perhaps it is more that the one and a half BT quoted me.

  graham 17:15 22 Feb 03

All I can tell you is a modem is usually 1 or 1 1/2 REN. When your modem dials do you hear the carrier from the other end? Also, dial 151 and request a line test (it won't charge you, it's a machine!) Try with and without the extra phone.

  Goldcroft 17:30 22 Feb 03

Thanks Graham. I'll try the 151 line test. Does the computer need to be connected to the internet at the time?

What I have noticed is that once I am connected to the internet plugging another phone in does not have any effect on the connection.

  graham 17:44 22 Feb 03

Try different combinations.

  blanco 18:14 22 Feb 03

Until I move to broadband last March I had exactly the same configuration. The main box for the line was in the living room and I made an extension to the 'office' upstairs which then had a phone and a dial up modem attached giving a total of one phone with answerphone incorporated downstairs and one phone and one modem upstairs.

In more than three years I had no problems dialing up an internet connection and even now when I use it occasionally for fax purposes or because broadband is temporarily down, I connect every time.

Can you borrow another modem just to check?

  graham 18:28 22 Feb 03

Just a thought, you should have one master socket where the line comes in, with a split top and bottom. All the others should be secondary. With a small screwdriver open up the sockets (not the master) and see if any of them has a capacitor, a small cylinder-shaped device. If any has report back.

  misery 19:14 22 Feb 03

to make you spend hard earned cash, if you buy DECT phone the problem will disappear. I do know as I had the self same problem with three extension, a modem and Sky! All solved now.

  spuds 20:21 22 Feb 03

Funny thing this Ren.From the BT box, we have a large extention route, providing suplies to 4 phones,1 fax,1 answer machine,1 fax printer and 1 computer system.Of course all the devices are not in use at the same time, just waiting for action.The system as been like that for about four years now, with no problems.

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