Will flat, modular, outsde the wall phone wire run DSL for 50 feet?

Will flat, modular, outsde the wall phone wire run DSL for 50 feet? Or do I need thicker wire?

I have consistently slow download speeds on low-speed DSL based on the Verizon line-test and

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and the one weak spot in my home wiring could be the wire from the outdood NID to the Verizon modem. I"m not using the wiring that came with the house***.

Right now, I"m using some *indoor* but outside the wall phone wire, the flexible kind that's meant to work with modular plugs and go from the wall socket to the phone. But I have it from the NID, running loosely up the side of the house*** to a window which is shut but not very tightly, to the hall and back into the next bedroom with the modem, a total of about 50 feet.

Is OUTSIDE THE WALL wire inadequate for such a llong length, 50'?

I ask because a few months ago I bought some specially thin indoor modular phone wiring, meant to go under a carpet without making a lump, sold at Home Depot, and when I used that, my phones worked fine, but my internet worked NOTat all.

Changing back to a new piece of the original outside the wall, but not thin, wiring got me back to normal, that is, normally slow.

Should I be using the round, bendable but not really flexible wire, where each of the four colors is a single strand of wire, which is meant to go inside walls and for longer distances?

It's a bunch of effort^^ to try this, so I need some encouragement.

^^In practice, it will mean I won't be able to shut the window even as much as now, until I drill a hole in the window frame.

***I can't use the inside the wall wiring that came with the house because there is an intermittent short somewhere. I looked for it for hours, disconnecting wires etc. and couldn't find it.

Or is it more likely my 4-year old Verzion modem needs replacing? Or that there is a problem in part that Verizon controls?

Thanks a lot.

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It's not the thickness. It's (I assume) the cable's characteristic impedance and lossiness that determine its usability..

If it's low-speed DSL, why should that be a surprise?

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William Sommerwerck

Maybe. Maybe not. I wouldn't use it myself unless I had no alternative.

The only way I can see to really test it, is to move your DSL modem to your demarc point (NID) and connect it there, and try a download with all of your house wiring disconnected. Then, try it with a 50-foot length of your flat modular cable, and see how your speeds behave. Start reconnecting devices in the current house wiring, and see what happens.

With many DSL modems and routers, you can get status reports on the DSL connection (either via UDP datagrams transmitted by the modem, or by accessing a built-in web-server interface). The figures I see on my modem include the upstream and downstream bit-rates, the signal levels and/or signal-to-noise ratio, rate of CRC errors or other packet problems, the number of DSL renegotiations and rate changes, and so forth.

If you find that you've got lousy performance (either raw-DSL, or poor download rate) with your modem connected at the demarc, and no house wiring at all attached... start griping at your phone company / ISP. If you find that the 50-foot length of modular cable hurts performance (maybe increasing the signal attenuation?), replace it.

You might find that the presence of one or more of your existing phones hurts performance. This could be the case if you haven't installed microfilters on those devices (they could be loading down the DSL frequencies). It might be the case even if you *do* have microfilters... you could get better results if you installed a full-sized box-mounted "DSL splitter" right at your demarc, and run separate lines to the DSL modem (from the unfiltered port) and the house wiring (from the filtered port).

As to the wire itself... my recommendation these days is to do all inside phone wiring using real network-grade cable... CAT 5 or better. I no longer use the old non-twisted four-wire "station cable" for any new runs, and I replace it with CAT 5 when convenient. There's one 6' length of modular cable between my DSL modem and the unfiltered jack for it, but the run from the jack back to the demarc is CAT 5.

The reduced attenuation, and better interference rejection of a good twisted-pair cable is worth the trouble, I think... after all, DSL is low-frequency RF and deserves to be treated in the same way as (e.g.)

10BaseT Ethernet.
Dave Platt                                    AE6EO
Friends of Jade Warrior home page:  http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior
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Dave Platt

If you can catch it when it's shorted, the phone company has TDR tools that can tell where the short is. First thing to do is check the sockets. I've seen bent pins in the socket caused by forcing the plug in at an angle or by tripping over the cord and yanking it out.

You need to be more specific. "Slow" to some people may seem fast to others.

My download speeds are slow. Some sites give me the full 1Mb/s, but most are a fraction of that. And it's been getting worse. Think it has a lot to do with the increased demand from streaming video and significantly greater intrusion from virus scanners, popup blockers, firewalls, all eating up processor power. Even if your burst rate meets the speed, the surfing experience can slow significantly. How far you are from the central office will also affect the speed you get.

AS suggested by others, take your modem out to the box and plug it directly into the phone company and run some speed tests. If that's slow, call the provider and demand what you're paying for. If you don't do that, they'll take a quick look at their computer and claim it's inside your house. They'll gladly come fix it, but it's gonna cost you.

After several tries with Verizon getting nowhere, I stumbled on the phone number for the local manager for DSL service. She was very helpful and sent someone to check the modem on their end. It was configured wrong and I got instant improvement.

Don't remember the exact terminology, but when they ran out of phone lines, they started creating new ones by bridging across two pairs to make a third. That's not good for DSL.

There's a box on the outside of the house. I disconnected the wires from the house and inserted a DSL filter to isolate the whole house. Then I ran a wire from the phone company side around the perimeter of the house thru a hole in the wall to my DSL modem. Used about 50 feet of double twisted pair phone wire. Been working fine since.

Thin stuff designed to run under a carpet is not advised for inside or outside use with a dsl modem.

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OK - You have the "inside wiring" running from the NID to the modem. What else is connected to the telephone line, either in the house or at the NID? Do you have a real telephone hooked up at all? If there is any house wiring connected directly to the NID, without going thru the splitter that normally splits the internet frequencies from the audio frequencies, there are alll sorts of bad scenarios. First tell us more about what your connections are, and then I and others can give you a much more detailed answer.

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microsoft.public.windowsxp.general added, since a couple weeks ago I asked them about readjusting my TCP parameters. At most I changed MTU then to 1492 from 1500 using Dr.TCP, but another program or webpage continued to show it as 1500. So I don't konw if I changed it or not, or if I change it and it reset, and my speed didn't improve or get worse. . Nothing else was attempted to be changed, nor did I use the Verizon optimizer, which claims to change those parameters correctly, but I don't know if it gives a way to change things back. .

But now the problem seems to be solved!!!!

That's a great idea that you and Mike both had. I wish I had been pursuing this when it was warmer out and the days were longer. A warm day like today I had to work in the morning, and the weekend will be colder.

I didn't realize until you said this that after my last rearranging, I have only one base station phone next to the modem (and 3 wireless phones) connected, None of the original house wiring has been connected for months.

Jumping ahead, I found your post as a whole encouragement enough to think the wiring might be the problem, so since it was warm, I just replaced the wire with the round somewhat stiff in-the-wallf stuff, instead of the jack to phone wire that I had been using for a 50 foot run.


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that I had used before. My upload speed was

50 to 85% of what it had been, but my download speed was 2.5 to 3 times what it had been with the same test!! Over 6 new tests.

Using the Verizon provided test -- I wonder if this works for those who don't have Verizon --

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my upload speed was the same as it had been but my download speed was about 3.3 times what it had been with the same test, over 4 new tests.


Speedtest.net also measures ping time, which started out very high but eventually got quicker than it had been. I presume it only pings .. when? Once at the start of a down or upload? So that's not a major factor, right? And I don't really care about upload times because I upload far less, mostly just text for newgroups and email, and I'm not sitting their waiting, usually.

So everything is great now!!! The wire seems to really make a big difference. I should have pursued this diligently when I first got DSL, 4 years ago. (I hate to admit it, but I've been depressed)

I wonder if it slowed down my dial-up too, before then.

They say I should get 500 to 1000 KB download speed. And finally, I'm in that range instead of 220 at most.

speedtest.net tests Ping DL in KB UL in KB

410 550 070 494 600 110 221 540 080 98 590 070 Different Baltimore server. 300 520 110 Comcast 91 670 110

Verizon tests .738 140 . 734 141 734 140 740 138

I'm thinking that the Verizon values are consistently higher because there are fewer links in the data chain, right? The data doesn't have to go via the net to or from comcast.

At each end of the round 4 conductor wire, I attached a surface mount modular telephone jack that I had saved, and used an 8-inch piece of modular wire to plug into the NID and the modem. At the NID, I put the jack box in a ziploc bag, and tomorrow I'll tape the bag even more shut than it is now.

I didn't cut the wire yet, until I saw if it worked, and I have about

20 feet or more folded back and forth in 10-inch sections. I suppose that might be lowering my speed also, right?

I read your post and Mike's and if there is anything i should answer, I plan to do that tomorrow, but right now I want to find a movie or Youtube thing I can watch, or one of those Republican debates that I missed when they were live amd my DSL barely worked. .

I watched one video segment from C-span.org before measuring my speeds, and it was flawless.

Thanks to you both, and William. And Paul and Paul and Char and everyone from XP who helped me before.

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From: "micky"

DSL must use Twisted Pair and the MTU for PPPoE DSL is 1492.

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Reply to
David H. Lipman


There is however, flat and superflat Cat5/5E cable designed for that exact purpose.

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who where

If you're 12,000ft or more from the CO, probably not. If you're less than about 6,000ft from the CO, it might work. If you're in between, it depends on how you have the DSL filters or whole house splitter arranged. A clear description of your wiring derrangement would be helpful.

The problem is resistance and the lack of twisted pairing. Ordinary #24awg station wire (solid copper) has a resistance of about 26 ohms/1000ft. A 50ft length will have a DC resistance of 2.6 ohms.

That's not too horrible.

The flat phone cable is #28awg with a resistance of about 70 ohms per

1000ft. Your 50ft length will have a resistance of about 7 ohms. That's tolerable, but only for fairly small loop resistances. The lack of twisted pairs will cause some of the signal to radiate to the unused adjacent conductors and just about any metal that the flat wire passes.

I suggest you find some CAT5 cable, and use it. Stay away from the untwisted CAT3 round "station wire" for DSL. Also, if you're at

12,000ft or more from the CO, consider buying a while house DSL splitter instead of using microfilters.

The advantage is that with the splitter at the MPOE (minimum point of entry), you can have a literal rats nest of inside wiring, and it would not affect the DSL performance. Crappy inside wiring is an all too common problem. You'll need a dedicated CAT5 cable run between the splitter and your DSL modem.

As for troubleshooting the speed problem, there are a few things you can do before you rebuild your wiring mess. First, identify the maker and model of your DSL modem and router. Most of them have a status page that displays the SNR and line levels. These are sufficient to determine if you have excessive line loss, noise, a disturber in the cable bundle, etc. For what the numbers mean, see:

Also run a speed test with your unspecified ISP or speedtest.net.

After you print the numbers, drag the DSL modem outside to the NID (network interface device) box and connect it directly to the incoming phone line, with the house wiring completely disconnected.

If the numbers are the same, then there's probably nothing wrong with your inside wiring. However, if moving the modem to the NID magically fixes your speed problem, then you have an inside wiring problem.

Good luck.

# Jeff Liebermann 150 Felker St #D Santa Cruz CA 95060
# 831-336-2558
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Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

So that would have modular ends and plug into my phone company NID and also into the DSL modem, right, and it would work right there?

My storm and inner windows don't fit very tightly, and I coulld shut them on the the indoor wall-to-phone wire I was using with no crushing, just a crease, like the crease inside your elbow or knee, inside the two 90^ bends for each window. .

Would bends like that and running right next to the aluminum windows frames for about an inch each lower my DSL speed much if I used the flat CAT5E cable?

I hate to drill holes in the upstairs exterior wall or window frame when I expect to fix the house wiring eventually.

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Just one real telephone (with 3 wireless extensions from it.

As you probably saw, replacing the wall-jack-to-phone wire I was using from the modem to the NID with the rather stiff, round, inside-the-wall wire multiplied my download rate by atout 3.

This is not the stiffest phone wire made, either. I think I've seen both flimsier and stiffer wire of the same 4-wire 4-color design.

For that matter, my wall-jack-to-phone wire probably wasn't the best quality either. It came from a 100' roll from Radio Shack iirc. A lot of wire doesn't come with ratings and I don't know which ratings matter, and what values are good or bad.

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You're right. I ahould have realized that low is slow. Please disregard my previuos post. ;-)

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Better to make longer runs with twisted pair, IMO.

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Did I say thanks? I should have.

Never mind. I see that it would.

I found this cable, although it's CAT6, not CAT5. This company only has flat in CAT6, no CAT5. Is that okay?

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CAT6 550MHz Flat Ethernet Patch Cable RJ45 CM PVC Snagless 45 FT Black $9.68 plus 12 shipping. + almost 22 dollars T568B (AT&T 258A) Wired UTP Unshielded Twist Pair CM Type PVC Jacket

32AWG Flat 4pair Stranded Copper Wire 50 Micron Gold Plated RJ45 Plug RoHS compliant The cables are only a slim 1.2mm thick that gives a plenty of ventilation room for network rack wiring. This is the longest this store has. I have to see if 45 feet is enough.


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CAT5E Flat UTP Cable, 32AWG, Black, 50 ft Twisted , stranded, RoHS Compliant $3.95, how can it be so cheap? Plus 7 dollars shipping, (since the order is under $50) = 11 dollars, half the price of the first one, but perhaps too cheap to be worth it?

Also, in white but I want black.

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CAT 5 E Flat UTP Cable, 32AWG, 50 ft $13.39 Free shipping. ! No mention of twisted pairs, but I gather all Cat5 is twisted pair.

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Cat6 is higher spec/speed than 5E, which in turn is higher spec than Cat5.

It is.

Try this one:

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(first hit on googling "superflat cat5"). Up to 50ft Cat5E.

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who where


This one is very good. $17 + shipping. Thanks a lot.

I'm embarrassed to say that I only googled on flat, not superflat. I guess I thought the same companies would sell both, bu I guess not.

Hmmm. I hate to seem ungrateful but I figure you'll want to know. It says .08 inches, which is iiuc 2 mm. The one from primuscable is

1.2mm, even though it only calls itself flat.

(The cheapest one, Cablewholesale, has a spec sheet,,

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is confusing, Jacket: Min thickness: 0.45mm Good. Jacket: Overall diameter: 6.00 +/- 0.20 mm 14 times as much? Must be the width. 8 times for 8 wires and then 3 spaces in betwen and 2 on the edges. Yes. So 0.45mm would be very thin too, but this supplies all the DSL so I think I'll pass on this cheapest one. )

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Cat5/5E/... cable has controlled pair twists, which minimise crosstalk between pairs. At a twist "crossover" point, you have in the cable build:

. sheath . wire insulation . wire . wire insulation . wire insulation . wire . wire insulation . sheath

The thinner you try and make the cable the greater the corners you have to cut. But which of these do you reduce? The sheath is important where (super)flat cable is to be run under carpet, as is the conductor and insulation on each wire. No easy answer.

If I understand your posts, that .08"/2mm will fit your scenario. Although I haven't used their superflat (they don't ship to my country, sob!) that 2mm is about as much compromise as I'd personally accept.

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who where

Well, super flat uses #28 awg wire. Commodity CAT5 is #24 awg. CAT6 is #23 awg. The #28 awg isn't a problem unless you need to replace the crimp on connector ends, or you need to run DC power through the cable.

I've tried using flat (not super-flat) CAT5 under carpets. The stuff rolls over as the rug moves and eventually creates a lump. Carpet tape helps, but it still doesn't last. I recently received some flat cable designed specifically for under the carpet installs:

Note that it's #24 awg wire, which means it uses standard connectors. I'll be replacing the lumpy CAT5 shortly and expect it to work better. Note that I have to notch the wings in order to make a turn.

Tyco/Amp's catalog for under carpet installs:

Jeff Liebermann     jeffl@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D    http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Thanks Jeff and Who. This is enough to decide what to buy, later today after I do some other things. (I think any of them will work well.)

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Crikey! While I would contemplate flat-cat under carpet(*) (local interpretation here is wall-to-wall and fixed with barbed "smooth-edge" around perimeter) I'd never expect a satisfactory result under a rug (loose piece of carpet). Your experience reinforces that.

Tnx for the link.

The application here was in a residence with solid brick walls, and the need to get connection to an "island" section of inner wall without cable running down a wall or around a skirting board, which the client felt would be unsightly. Client also ruled out wireless. These rooms were carpeted(*).

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who where

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