May 13, 2009

Hiding Again

Right smack dab in the middle of the week! Ruint the whole thing. I was wondering why everything was going worng.

Posted by Paladin at 06:39 AM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2009


The trouble report was "long-hot levels" in both directions.

It is old gear, a SMAS. As far as I know this is used by testboards to access special circuits. The circuits are wired through the crossbar switches on the right, the switches are controlled by the equipment on the left. Not that I care. The equipment is maintained by the switchroom people, all I take care of are the modems. Antique 1200 baud modems. A 212 on the left and a 202T on the right. The 202 is the modem to be tested, using the 829 interface which takes 1/4" phone plugs to connect to the transmit and receive. Dug the antique HP Transmission Measuring Set out of the van, powered it up (Wow! It still works!) looped transmit to receive and worked the plugs and switches to clear off enough corrosion to get good readings.

Called the testboard since I was now set up to assist in the testing. Patched into the 829. Didn't notice Jack sneaking up to take the picture. Phone didn't quite reach which is why it is not in the left hand picture.

Well.... The "Problem" being long (meaning too low) and hot (meaning too high) levels, at the same time, in both directions, I had a strong inkling that it was not a problem with the modem or transmission levels.

Time to assume the working position. I am going to be waiting on the phone for quite a while as the testboardman calls hither and yon and does whatever testboardmen do when they are testing circuits.

Eventually he comes to the conclusion I had before I even left the shop: not an OCS problem. DUH!!! While that 829/202 may be an antique it was built by Western Electric back when they made things to be pretty near bullet proof. Old Technology. Built to last indefinitely. Which is a good thing as they are pretty near all gone. Not to be found anywhere at any price.

You know.... one of these days one of the many 202Ts we have in service will eventually fail. Will be interesting what will happen then. But odds are that I will have been retired for years so I will not have to worry.

Posted by Paladin at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2009

Ya Gotta LOOK!

John was off yesterday, so I got to go play phoneman in his building.

Voice Express 10-button KTS
Had a case of trouble yesterday and today, seems they lost service to their SpectraLink telephones on the thrid floor of Gardena Toll. Find the central unit, it says it has lost contact with a base station (transmitter/receiver.) Find the base station on the third floor, dead. Try to order a replacement, need an exact model number. Fortunately John came in today, located a spare base station, left it in the fourth floor terminal room and ran off to Simi Valley. I take the replacement to the third floor, swap with the bad, still bad. Hmmmm....

Back to the central unit, disconnect jumpers and connect to the spare base station. OK. Go to the thrid floor terminal room, likewise, and likewise good. Go back out to the floor, connect to the jack, good. HUH? Disconnect the phone, plug in original base station, good!! Look at phone.

YEAH, I should have looked at the phone first. It is a 10-button Voice Express (Key Telephone System!) No labels on the keys. Also on the table is a 6-button keystrip, with labels. A 6-button key phone uses 17 pairs, does not use any of the violet pairs. The base station is using those pairs. The 10 button set uses all 25 pairs, including the pairs for the base station which it was shorting out.

Trouble fixed. Except I would like to know who thought they were educated enough to do OCS work and instead managed to knock out the wireless phone system.

Posted by Paladin at 07:04 PM | Comments (0)