Cable and Wireline

So, at long last I ran a new outdoor cable for my telephone service.

Previously the line went from the demarc on the side of the building, around the back (under the neighbor’s enclosed porch), up on the roof of the open porch, in the wall to my bedroom, and then to the dirty jack on the wall. The image following shows this:

A shaky hand-drawn isometric display of the phone wiring on the outside of the apartment building. Surface to the left is the back elevation, surface to the right is the north elevation. The width of the whole place is about 40 ft and the depth maybe 70 or 75 ft. As a guess the outside line, shown in dark red, might be 75 ft?

This line was crap to begin with and hasn’t gotten any better with the slimy leaves it has to travel through between the porches. To fix that, I finally bought 100 ft of category 5e cable to replace this old four color stuff. Now it looks like this:

Similarly shaky hand isometric view of the apartment building. Surface to the left is the north wall, common with the previous image. Surface to the right is the front elevation with open porch and steps. Dark red is old phone line, orange is new Cat 5e doing duty as phone cable.

So far it all works, with only a hole punched in the plaster by a window to deal with later. I tried gluing the parts back together with toothpaste, but it didn’t work. I just will have to get some joint compound and custom paint to touch it up for the land lord before I move out some day. I used a driveway marker cut down to about 2 feet with a hammer to break it from the outside, because there was already a hole there for a coax grommet that I don’t think was ever used.

So far it has been very excellent service, no drops or other annoyances to speak of. The new cable certainly helps, but reconnecting the grounding at the demarc box probably helped too.

To get to the title of this post, let me state that the installers for the cable and telephone lines outrageously overdid it. There are at least 15, probably 20 different coax lines entering the splitter box on the side of the house. The box itself is a mess: there are splitters after splitters and lines not even hooked up just forced in there.

One of the lines that was not connected was draped across the front porch roof, down the side of it, maybe 30 feet along the foundation, then back up to go in my bedroom wall! Some time or another, the fitting was daubed with paint to make it useless. I’ve removed that one almost completely. Another that was run under the porch instead of over it I used as a fish tape to haul the 5e that distance without having to get under there myself, which was neat.

On the other common carrier’s side, there are about 5 or 7 telephone lines near the demarc that are all disconnected, and at least one other that was broken off getting there. These are easier, since I am the only one with wireline service, if I find one that doesn’t go anywhere, I can just remove it. I know it’s not “my” building, but the property management has openly told me previously to just do whatever and take it off the rent.

Published by


A hopefully entertaining blogger, frequently of technical things, but some artistic commentary too.

3 thoughts on “Cable and Wireline”

Leaving a reply is incouraged [sic]:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.