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#1 Sr. Inquisito

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 07:05 AM

We have 3 cordless phones and a corded phone. My GE cordless 2.4 GHz with 2 handsets has worked great until this past fall. The volume began decreasing to the point where we could not hear the party on the other end. I tried an old 900 MHz unit that is very simple, but we had problems with that one - can't remember what. We tried a Unisonic, but that one had problems. I purchased a V-Tech single handset cordless 5.8 GHz and found that with the base upstairs, it had too much static to use in the downstairs kitchen. I finally purchased a Panasonic 6.0 with three handsets to replace all the cordless units in the house. It started out great, clear, the best we had. Then it began having intermittent garbling of voices where we could not understand portions of conversation. I relocated the base upstairs and we still are having the garbling, and now we are getting intermittent echo when we talk. And, the phone has been doing a disconnect followed by a consistent beeping. We have no satellite dish or wireless networking in the house. We live in a rural area where cell phones use is almost non-existent. Please, we need help. I've had the phone company on the issue and they are stymied. I've called Panasonic and they had me reset the phone by pulling the power and the batteries, but it didn't do any good. What is there about cordless phones that I do not understand?! I'd appreciate any help you can give me.

#2 KenbergTech

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 08:26 PM

Wow! This is wierd.
Do you have any problems with the POTS phones in your house that act up when your cordless phones do? If you don't, It's probrably not the phone line itself.

Here's my disclaimer. I am not an electrician and I do not pretend to be one on TV.
Do you by chance have the power supply for these phones plugged in to a UPS or surge protector? Could there be, by some remote chance, that there would be some reason that your transformers on your phone's power cord got cooked and isn't putting out the proper DC levels? It seems odd to me that several phones, from several manufacturers, all went bad. The chances of you getting two or three bad phones are remote to say the least. I would see if one of those companies would send you a new PS and see how that works. It's worth a try.

As for your static on the old phone, I've seen cordless phones fail at about '25 from the base. This of course depends on your house and phone. Big houses and cordless phones don't always play nice together.

Also make sure that the handset volume isn't jacked up through the roof. That will make things sound worse than they are as well.

These are all just my guesses. It's hard to say without being there firsthand. I would dig out my multimeter and start checking.

#3 Justbill

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 05:44 AM

You mentioned many different cordless phones with problems, which I'm sure it's not all the same problem. Different frequencies can pick up different problems. You seemed to have ruled out radio interference in your home. What about outside your home? Any new towers gone up with-in a few miles? Seen a new antenna on a neighbors house? If it's cause by radio interference it could be anything.

I'd start as was suggested. Check the voltage at your AC outlet and see if it's OK. Then check the output of the transformers to see if they are putting out what it says on the transformer. If both these are good you either have very bad luck with cordless phones or you have an external source of interference.

Got a friend that's happy with their cordless? If so have them bring it over and see how it works at your place. You can also take your phones to a friends house to see if they work and if they do it's time to dump the cordless at your place.

Forgot this. This all assumes a corded phone works fine.

Edited by Justbill, 09 April 2008 - 05:45 AM.


#4 Sr. Inquisito

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:45 PM

Wow! This is wierd.
Do you have any problems with the POTS phones in your house that act up when your cordless phones do? If you don't, It's probrably not the phone line itself.

Here's my disclaimer. I am not an electrician and I do not pretend to be one on TV.
Do you by chance have the power supply for these phones plugged in to a UPS or surge protector? Could there be, by some remote chance, that there would be some reason that your transformers on your phone's power cord got cooked and isn't putting out the proper DC levels? It seems odd to me that several phones, from several manufacturers, all went bad. The chances of you getting two or three bad phones are remote to say the least. I would see if one of those companies would send you a new PS and see how that works. It's worth a try.

As for your static on the old phone, I've seen cordless phones fail at about '25 from the base. This of course depends on your house and phone. Big houses and cordless phones don't always play nice together.

Also make sure that the handset volume isn't jacked up through the roof. That will make things sound worse than they are as well.

These are all just my guesses. It's hard to say without being there firsthand. I would dig out my multimeter and start checking.


Somebody else mentioned something about "dirty power". Maybe a multimeter would help out. The V-Tech was a bum phone as far as static went. The GE phones we had to jack up the volume full blast and we still couldn't hear the other party very well at all. No surge protector - I pulled that out of the system first thing as a possible problem, but it didn't help. What is strange is that the GE phones worked great until this fall. The only change has been an LP gas water heater in the basement - it has electronic ignition. I don't know if that could interfere. Thanks for the reply.

#5 Sr. Inquisito

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:50 PM

You mentioned many different cordless phones with problems, which I'm sure it's not all the same problem. Different frequencies can pick up different problems. You seemed to have ruled out radio interference in your home. What about outside your home? Any new towers gone up with-in a few miles? Seen a new antenna on a neighbors house? If it's cause by radio interference it could be anything.

I'd start as was suggested. Check the voltage at your AC outlet and see if it's OK. Then check the output of the transformers to see if they are putting out what it says on the transformer. If both these are good you either have very bad luck with cordless phones or you have an external source of interference.

Got a friend that's happy with their cordless? If so have them bring it over and see how it works at your place. You can also take your phones to a friends house to see if they work and if they do it's time to dump the cordless at your place.

Forgot this. This all assumes a corded phone works fine.


Supposedly the Panasonic 6.0 phones are supposed to avoid radio interference and microwave interference. No new towers around here - except new FM radio tower equipment 8 miles away. Neighbors are 3 football fields away - no new antennas seen there. I'll check out the voltages. Corded phone works with no problems. I hate to dump the cordless, especially when they have worked so well up until this fall. Like I said in another reply, the only change in our house this fall has been an LP gas water heater with electronic ignition. Two days ago, I called a place two hours away from here, and the lady couldn't understand me - she said I was breaking up. I switched to the corded and had no problems. Thanks for your reply.

Edited by Sr. Inquisito, 12 April 2008 - 07:53 PM.


#6 Lightningrod

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 05:51 PM

Simple check to see if the new water heater is to blame, open the breaker feeding power to it and see if the cordless works then. :ernaehrung004[1]:

#7 639trbl

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 07:28 PM

I'M ON THE POWER SIDE ......BUT YOU ANSWERED MY QUESTION.............SAID THE CORDED PHONE WAS FINE!!!

HAD A SIMILAR SITUATION...LOUD BUZZING/HUMM..........ON BOTH CORDLESS AND CORDED PHONE..............WAS INTERMITTENT, CAME AND WENT, OVER THE COURSE OF A MONTH OR SO...........FINALLY IT QUIT, AS IN THE PHONE QUIT COMPLETELY, AS IN NO DIAL TONE, NOTHING..........AT&T MAN CAME OUT, AND FIXED IT!! SAW HIM A FEW DAYS LATER, AND HE SAID THE PROBLEM WAS DLD, DELAYED LIGHTNING DAMAGE................

#8 Sr. Inquisito

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 08:07 AM

Yesterday, I had the electric company out here checking the transformer, the meter, all connections and wires to the house. Everything was in good working order. 249 V from the transformer and at the meter.

Then I had an electrician in to do an inside inspection, and everything tested okay. All breakers and fuses were tight, secure, and wired correctly. There was 249 V at the large breakers and 125 V at the small breakers. I was mistaken about the electronic ignition on the new water heater - this electrician pointed out the pilot light to me! - so no interference there.

Still having an echo sound in the Panasonic phone. May try sending the phone into the company. Doesn't seem like it will solve the problem since all our cordless phones are screwed up - and they worked well until this fall.

Thanks for your input.

#9 Sr. Inquisito

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 06:57 AM

The Panasonic phone system worked pretty good for about a week. Then I got 5 calls on Tues. morning, but when I pressed the TALK button, there was no voice on the other end. When I tried to place a call, there was no dial tone when I pressed TALK. There was a dial tone on my corded phone. I replaced the Panasonic with a GE cordless and it worked okay, despite the echo problem! I am sending the Panasonic in for repair/replacement. If that doesn't fix the problem, then we can now only use corded phones in this house. This was not a problem until this fall. A COMPLETE MYSTERY!

#10 Norscaner

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 01:44 PM

Just something else to check out. How far from the exchange that you get service from? Perhaps you are on the border for dsl service and your cable pair has been unloaded and this is causing low current that is only bothering your cordless phones? Sometimes Tele Co's go in and unload a count not realizing that maybe you are working on a pair in a count that should not go to your area. This is not uncommon in a semi rural area..... Do all call I D features work??.....That is assuming you are on a tele system and not cable.
Usually low volume is poor loading.

One good thing you have done is come to this site for info....if you add up all the years of trouble shooting done by members here I think you would be amazed , just a quick check shows me over 98 years and that is just from 3 members in two different industries , the rest will check in later. LOL . Keep us posted old trouble shooters never quit....they just get up later in the morning.



:confused-smiley-013[1]:

#11 Justbill

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 03:06 PM

Just to expand a bit on what Norscaner posted. Ask the local phone company to do a 5 point test and give you the results. This will include the loop current and loop loss as well as noise, the first two are what you're interested in along with the line voltage. A fairly easy way to determine if the loop current is low is to plug in two corded phones and place a call. After you connect have someone pick up the second phone, if there is a substantial drop in volume you probably have low loop current. There will be some difference even with normal current, so you want to see if there is a very noticeable drop.

The part I don't understand is the works for awhile thing, which you mention happens on all cordless you've tried. That could possibly be caused by a high loop current, but it'd have to really be high, which would also cause problems with fax machines and modems.

#12 dfansler

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 12:33 AM

has anyone checked the old princes ac adaptor that is alway forgotten about. This is the black and yellow wires that will follow down to electrical plug in that used to ad ac power to the older phone set. If this is faulting could be the problem. I alway cut em off now a days and have seen humming from them and makeing phones act strange.

#13 Sr. Inquisito

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:04 PM

I just got back from a trip, so I am responding to the last three replies.

We sent the Panasonic phones back. A local commercial phone installer loaned us a high quality cordless phone to try. Within 24 hours, we had echo on both our phone and the phone of the person we were talking to, the other party indicating that we were breaking up like a cell phone in a poor reception area, and the other party began to complain of a drop in volume until we picked up the corded phone and they could hear us fine. So it is not the cordless phones.

In the past 4 weeks, my wife has had callers complaining even of not being able to hear her on the corded phone. In the past, we have had a problem with people complaining of a drop in the volume of our voices when we pick up a second phone to have a conference call. I will continue to check this out for loop current.

Just this past week, we had the phone company come in and replace our phone jacks, just to make sure that it was not an internal problem. The first call I received was a long distance call from a cell phone, and the line noise was so bad that I picked up the corded phone and it was very clear - the party on the other end said that there was no real change in volume when I switched phones.

It was suggested that the AC ground might be interfering with the phone wire ground, but they are at least 30 feet apart from each other. I do not understand all that has been said by Norscaner or dfansler, but I will take their replies and Justbill's reply to our phone company technician.

Prior to last fall, we only had a problem with people saying they called us and our phone rang and rang but we never picked up, or we picked up when we only heard one or two rings but the called indicating that it had rung many times. The phone company did some work on their switches and finally did something to the type of ring coming through. I am not sure that is resolved since my son called us the other evening and he heard the phone ring and ring, but we never heard a ring on our phone.

All of these problems are intermittent, the problems with the cordless phones seemingly starting up last fall. We have had an unusual amount of precipitation in the area last August and over the winter and this spring, a lot of flooding in our area but not at our house, though I am sure that the water table has risen quite a bit, maybe able to dig and hit water 2 ft. down.

Thank you for your input.

#14 Justbill

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 07:58 AM

If your having problems on the corded also than that has to be fixed before you can start on the cordless. Sounds to me like you have low loop current or are on a local carrier that's flakey.

5 point test and post the results.

#15 weakkneewillie

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 10:25 AM

Im with norscaner, this sounds like a loading issue. Are you 18000 feet or more from your C.O.? If so ask you phone co if your pair is loaded. If so is it loaded right. First load is 3000 feet from C.O. 6000 feet apart after that. Was a load cut out at say 9000 feet? Are you between loads? If so ask tech to c&i your pair (cut and insulate). You havent said if you have hsi. If so phone co can load your line with what we call "smart loads" made by Charles. Lets hsi pass through the load. I have used alot of these and they work great. Good luck and let us know the outcome.

#16 Kevin

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:58 PM

It could be the card in the CO.

#17 lastcenturytel

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 07:44 PM

It was suggested that the AC ground might be interfering with the phone wire ground, but they are at least 30 feet apart from each other. I do not understand all that has been said by Norscaner or dfansler, but I will take their replies and Justbill's reply to our phone company technician.

Prior to last fall, we only had a problem with people saying they called us and our phone rang and rang but we never picked up, or we picked up when we only heard one or two rings but the called indicating that it had rung many times. The phone company did some work on their switches and finally did something to the type of ring coming through. I am not sure that is resolved since my son called us the other evening and he heard the phone ring and ring, but we never heard a ring on our phone.

All of these problems are intermittent, the problems with the cordless phones seemingly starting up last fall. We have had an unusual amount of precipitation in the area last August and over the winter and this spring, a lot of flooding in our area but not at our house, though I am sure that the water table has risen quite a bit, maybe able to dig and hit water 2 ft. down.

Thank you for your input.


My thoughts,

Ideally your telephone ground should be bonded to your AC ground not separated from it. Say just as an example, you power meter is on one side of the house and your telephone box is on the other, each with their own ground rod. If lighting struck power lines down the road, it can actually travel down the neutral, down the power ground, then back up the telephone ground on the other side and toast you telephone box and possibly your house wiring. Where as if they are bonded to power at the house, it tends to travel straight to ground because it has the least resistance. The telephone network is supposed to be bonded to the power company's MGN(multi grounded neutral) every 1/4 mile at a minimum and at the house for noise mitigation and lightning protection.

Echo on some or all local calls could indicate a load coil problem, loads improperly spaced or missing, or a 66MHz load in there somewhere with 88MHz loads. If this were the case the echo would be consistent with the party you were calling. Say if you always had echo when calling one particular person, or list of people but not others.

Low call volume generally indicates low line current.

Echo, phone ringing and ringing at caller's end but not ringing at your house, static, random disconnects in the middle of conversation, one way tranxmission, and low call volume are all common problems with cheap long distance carriers(like Centurytel).

It's really hard to diagnose what is possibly a line issue and what is possibly a cordless phone issue. Is your corded phone a cheapo or quality. You've got so many variables I don't know where to start. I hear your complaints and I immediately think LD problem and possibly a second problem of you have really bad luck with cordless phones. Panasonic makes the best phones out there that I know of. Telephone companybranded phones, V-tech, uniden, and radio shack are all garbage and should be avoided.

I see you are in rural Wisconsin which means there is a good chance you are a Centurytel customer and have Centurytel LD......if you are, if you do, switch to AT&T LD.

Edited by lastcenturytel, 09 July 2008 - 01:47 PM.


#18 HR Dis

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:56 PM

We have 3 cordless phones and a corded phone. My GE cordless 2.4 GHz with 2 handsets has worked great until this past fall. The volume began decreasing to the point where we could not hear the party on the other end. I tried an old 900 MHz unit that is very simple, but we had problems with that one - can't remember what. We tried a Unisonic, but that one had problems. I purchased a V-Tech single handset cordless 5.8 GHz and found that with the base upstairs, it had too much static to use in the downstairs kitchen. I finally purchased a Panasonic 6.0 with three handsets to replace all the cordless units in the house. It started out great, clear, the best we had. Then it began having intermittent garbling of voices where we could not understand portions of conversation. I relocated the base upstairs and we still are having the garbling, and now we are getting intermittent echo when we talk. And, the phone has been doing a disconnect followed by a consistent beeping. We have no satellite dish or wireless networking in the house. We live in a rural area where cell phones use is almost non-existent. Please, we need help. I've had the phone company on the issue and they are stymied. I've called Panasonic and they had me reset the phone by pulling the power and the batteries, but it didn't do any good. What is there about cordless phones that I do not understand?! I'd appreciate any help you can give me.


Encountered this here in New Zealand, I firstly check to see if the cordless handsets frequences are 'crossing over' for example one handset send freq is in the same range as the reciev freq of another handset, this will cause NDT (no dial tone), secondly one of the pieces of equipment has a 'rectified loop', which basically sounds like a hr dis (high resistance disconnection) which causes a slight higher pitched noise while using the phone, it is compounded if you have the volume up as the side tone (tinny noise) becomes unbearable to use the phone, one other piece of advice only plug in 1 piece of equipment at a time, use it for a couple of days then connect another phone etc until you find the offending piece of equipment.

#19 Sr. Inquisito

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:02 AM

Wow! Thanks for all the input. I'm don't understand it all, but I will present it to the phone company representative when I call this morning. He called and said that he changed "the card" and said we have a short in the wiring that the local carrier installed. We have kept a log for 2 days, 75% of the cordless calls have had problems, but it is crystal clear on both ends with the corded. It is noticeable to the other party that we have a definite drop in volume with both the cordless and the corded open, but a big difference when we shut off the cordless. Again, thanks for your input. I'll get back to you.

#20 Sr. Inquisito

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 01:32 PM

The subcontracting local carrier technician came today and checked out our equipment and wiring. He is really stymied. He noted a notable difference in volume between the cordless (both mine and his) and the landline, even though the cordless volume was set at its highest level. I printed out the info from this forum and gave that to him. The tech from the phone company that subcontracts its lines to our local carrier called and talked with the local carrier technician. He said that the load distance is within the appropriate distance from the CO (I believe that is the right term) - less than 3 miles from our house. They tried attaching Call Waiting to our phone, and it worked a-okay. Both techs are researching further.

Edited by Sr. Inquisito, 08 July 2008 - 01:33 PM.




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