Redundant BT socket from a decade old Sky installation

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Random Orbital Bob

Established Member
13 May 2011
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Hampshire/Berks Border
Hi Folks

Looking for some telco help this morning.

10 years ago we built our own home and ran cat 5 all over. Regrettably we failed miserably to install it in the one room we now need fast wifi...the lounge because instead Sky advised us their technology at the time required a BT socket installed next to their box, as well as the co-ax to the dish. You simply connected a 4 wire BT plug in the wall via an RJ11 to the Sky box and that downloaded various services to the box.

Sky upgraded us to a more modern version of their box last year which I think is called Sky HD and it no longer uses that BT socket, instead it connects to the home wifi for services....which due to our lack of cat 5 in that room has no wireless access point anywhere near, so a rubbish wifi signal since the router is miles away and through several walls.

My question is, can I repurpose that BT socket and use it to plumb in a wireless access point to get wifi right next to the sky box. I've no idea where it terminates but is it reasonable to assume it's simply a regular phone extension off the incoming primary BT box?

Matters are further complicated by the fact I have a wacking great patch panel at the point my BT box enters the house because that's where all the motorway of Cat5 terminates to distribute phone and internet to the rooms where we did remember to install RJ45 sockets. That makes it very difficult to trace the route of any given cable from its terminus to its origin.

So my lack of kowledge about telco is almost complete. I know that internet only uses 4 of the cables in an 8 cable cat 5 setup and phone uses 2. So, given the socket in the wall in question has a 4 pin style BT connector (not RJ11, nor RJ45 and I dont know the name of the plug other than a 4 pin style BT connector). Do I conclude from that it has 4 cables to it?

If thats true then, I could trace it right through the roof space and down to the BT socket end and then simply wack an RJ45 on the other end and plug it into one of the spare ports in the router. Would that work or am I over complicating this?

My plan B is to take an existing and known to be working cat5 run to our bedroom, split the cable in the loft, install RJ45's on the split and then plug both into a 2 way splitter, then spur off the 2nd channel of that into the lounge which has accessible conduit inside the wall leading to the floor behind the sky box.

I'll do virtually anything to avoid running a fresh cable right through the loft as its enormous and riddled with truss roof thats nigh on impossible to navigate.
Hi Bob
I use one of these to extend the wifi to my garage, it goes near the outer reaches of your existing wifi range and extends from there. It effectively doubles my range in that area.

If you'd prefer 'hardwired' then as per W2S's suggestion a Powerline Acces point like this could be used. you then plug one in in the room to be accessed and one in the room with the router. The signal then goes Router-ethernet cable-powerplug1-existing ring main wiring-powerplug2-ethernet cable-skybox (or whatever you want to connect.)



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If the sky upgrade is a recent installation then I'd try another approach as well. We had sky Q installed last year and I got fed up with the lounge tv box dropping the signal. It has to connect via wifi to the main box which is in my chill out room.

I have BT broadband and although it's easier apparently to solve with sky BB they quite happily fitted a booster box foc to solve our problem
Similar to you I renovated my house about 10 years ago and put loads of cat 5 everywhere, hardly use any of them as everything seems to work well wireless.

I had no wifi to part of upstairs so as others have suggested I got a plug in range extender, works brilliantly, was easy enough for even me to set up. You can also run a cat 5 cable from it if you need.

This is the one I got

Another vote for a wifi extender which did the job for me in our previous property.
if it were me i would try an rj 45 socket on the end of the phone cable by the sky box and then connect to your patch panel. i know that phone cable (cw1308) has fewer twists than cat 5 so shouldnt work but...... and as the cost is only a couple of quid for sockets etc give it a go you might be happily surprised. (ehernet signals have been sent down wet string!!!!!)
I would give it a go you have nothing to loose, but I fear it won't work well, as has been said above its not twisted the same as Cat5 where every pair has a different number of twists.
A long time ago one department at work bought some Cat5 patch leads that weren't the standard wiring, ending up with a split pair this caused lots of intermittent problems with the network.
Can't you use the phone line as a pull cord?

Thanks everyone...some good ideas in that lot.

In the end I skinned the cat in a different way after having tried that old BT line and found it to be dead. In my bedroom we did run cat 5 and its a double cat 5 lead to a double RJ45 wall socket. The idea was that using the patch panel, any given room could have both internet and/or phone depending on use. Well we've never used the phone in there and it just so happens its really close to the lounge so I severed the cable to the bedroom phone line and pulled it back topside. It wouldn't quite reach the lounge so I RJ45 terminated it, then another on a fresh cable and used a £2 joining box to extend that and ran the other end down the conduit to the lounge, upon which i stuck another RJ45 and plugged straight into the Sky box. The patch panel routed it and now we have router quality broadband into the tele. Happy days.

Now, with hindsight, I'm already realising it would have been even better to leave the 2nd bedroom cable in situ and simply cut it in the loft, done what I did but used a splitter and sent the spur off down into the lounge, then I wouldn't even have needed to pull up the cable in the bedroom. Mind you, not used it for the last 10 years so I guess its safe to say it was indeed redundant!

I've never done networking before, it's a doddle isn't it :)
nev":9s0sznno said:
Hi Bob
I use one of these to extend the wifi to my garage, it goes near the outer reaches of your existing wifi range and extends from there. It effectively doubles my range in that area.
Nev, I'm told that these wifi extenders/access points cut down the speed by about 50%. Is that your perception?