Splitting the NID

For the past few weeks we’ve had a lot of static & interference on our home phone line … it doesn’t effect the Vonage line, so I figured it was coming from outside the house.

Well, it turns out the ‘NID Splitter’ we have in the phone box is giving out.     A NID Splitter is a device that plugs into the Network Interface Device that acts as a DSL filter for all the inside phone wiring.   A NID is the box where the telephone companies wiring interfaces with the house wiring.   Everything on the ‘Customer’ side of the NID is is your responsibility, anything on the other side of the NID is the telephone companies responsiblity.

It’s called a NID Splitter because it lets you split the phone line signal into two parts … one part that goes directly to the DSL modem, and the other half that goes to the house phone wiring.   The NID Splitter filters out the voice data on the phone line so it doesn’t interfere with the DSL signal.

Since I don’t have a replacement NID Splitter I tried a few things …

  • DIY NID Splitter
    Put standard DSL filters on all the phones in the house … unfortunately, this didn’t work because the alarm system doesn’t have a filter.
  • I tried creating my own ‘DIY’ NID Splitter from a single DSL filter, but it didn’t work either.   The DSL line worked fine, and I got a dial tone from the phone line, but I couldn’t dial out.   That’s a picture of my DIY NID Splitter over there.

Because of the alarm system doesn’t have a filter, I’m kind of stuck with needing another NID splitter.   Unfortunately, they are not the kind of thing you can buy at the local home store … even Frys didn’t have any.

As luck would have it, however, my friend Steve DOES have a NID Splitter … he switched from AT&T DSL to Comcast business cable for his internet service … and no longer needs the splitter.

Tomorrow he’s coming over with the splitter, and has convinced Dennis to help, to get the internet working again (FWIW: Steve has some beer that he bought for Dennis, so they are killing two birds with one stone).

For the time being, I’ve switched the home router over to use the Covad DSL service.   It’s not as fast, but it works adequately.   Ginny, however, can’t use Second Life until we’re back on AT&T DSL because I don’t want the midrange.com traffic effected.


Update 9/20: Steve and Dennis came out and we got a new NID Splitter in the NID … everything’s working fine now.   My download speed is a little slower than Dennis’ diagnostics say it should be, but that’s something to deal later this week.

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