New Telephone Codes

By Gus Donnachaidh

Originally published in EUG #19

Well I got some information on the new telephone codes.

It seems that all the area codes will now begin with 01 as opposed to 0 so EUG's area code is now 01705. Not too complicated.

Meanwhile if you live in or want to contact one of these five cities, there is a new number altogether.

  Leeds is now0113 2
Sheffield is now 0114 2
Nottingham is now0115 9
Leicester is now 0116 2
Bristol is now 0117 9

The effect of this, especially upon the cities with completely new codes, will undoubtedly cause confusion for the first few months. I know when the London codes changed, I started dealing with companies elsewhere rather than waste time trying to find the new London code. So some firms in London lost my business and presumably other businesses too. What the effect all this will have on the mysterious economic recovery which we are all supposed to be experiencing soon, we shall have to wait and see. I'm just glad my buisness is not in one of those five cities.

I saw a van the other day with the new code written on the side like this: 01 703 000 000

Apparently BT are thinking of bringing back alpha numeric dialing for some business customers but many phone users now don't have any letters on their telephones. Why they ever abandoned it in the first place is anyone's guess. When you consider the importance of the telephone to the economy, the incompetence of these people is almost beyond belief.

On the subject of telephones. We can all now fit our own extensions to a main line. Instructions are usually supplied with hits but I can give you some more information which is not usually supplied.

Strip some telephone cable back about four inches. There should be six wires each colour coded. These colour codes are arranged in pairs.

  Green with WhiteWhite with Green
Blue with WhiteWhite with Blue
Orange with WhiteWhite with Orange

Some cables may only have four wires. In this case, there will be no green pair.

You should have a master socket fitted by your telephone company. The main difference between these and the extension socket is that the master socket has a big yellow capacitor while the extension socket doesn't.

Most extension sockets supplied to the public now have screw terminals. The telephone engineer will use a different type called IDC. These need special tools which are expensive; mine cost about £16.00. Originally a small plastic device was supplied but these are quite frankly useless. So stick to the screw terminals and, as with everything, make sure you use the correctly sized tool. If you can't afford the tool then, to be frank, you can't afford to do the job.

In the socket are six terminals. These should be numbered 1 to 6.

  • Terminal 1 is for Green with White.
  • Terminal 6 is for White with Green.
  • Terminal 2 is for Blue with White.
  • Terminal 5 is for White with Blue.
  • Terminal 3 is for Orange with White.
  • Terminal 4 is for White with Orange.
                                :       :
                           ---  1       6 ---

                           ---  2       5 ---

                           ---  3       4 ---
                   Diagram of telephone socket layout
Terminals 1 and 6 are not really necessary in most home telephone lines. They can be useful for connecting some types of intercoms but these are quite rare.

Terminals 2 and 5 are the business end. These are the actual telephone line. 2 being the live in 5 being the neutral.

Terminals 3 and 4 are Bell and Earth respectivly. 3 isn't essential in a home telephone, 4 is. Without terminal 4 connected, the extension bell probably won't ring and any functions on the phone, such as redial, and * and # functions won't work.

Now some very old lines have a cable which has four wires. The colour codes for these are Blue, Orange, Brown and Green. Really us mortals shouldn't have to touch this cable since the friendly BT engineer will connect this to a modern BT telephone socket for a huge fee. However, if you do come across this type of cable then the codes are these:

  Blue - Line live=To terminal 2
Orange - Line neutral=To terminal 5
Brown - Earth=To terminal 4
Green can be left disconnected.

One final point which is very important. This earth terminal is not the same as the earth in a 240 volt socket. The telephone earth is a functional earth. It is connected as necessary at the telephone exchange and does not normally need to be attached to the house earth unless done by a BT engineer.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #19