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Telephone Ringback Code?

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Swarf, Mostly!11/06/2022 11:16:34
684 forum posts
78 photos

Please does anyone know the ringback code for UK landline phone systems? If so, is it the same for BT and for Virgin Media phones?

I ask because we have been advised by Virgin Media that our landline phone is to be replaced by a fibre-phone system in a few days. Their letter gives a telephone number that 'has all we need to know' but which actually delivers a frustrating sequence of irrelevant press button options! The accompnying internet URL is no better.

Our domestic telephone installation comprises four instruments, inter-connected in a way that permits their simple and total disconnection from the Virgin 'master socket'. Incoming calls happily ring all four instruments so our total REN number seems to be acceptable.

The new fibre-phone system comprises an adaptor that plugs into the back of our broadband router - the phone (installation) then plugs in to the adaptor. I am eager to discover whether this new system will also ring all four instruments.

Since I have been unable to fruitfully contact Virgin Media for verbal confirmation I would like, when the change occurs, to be able to dial the ringback code to determine whether the new fibre-phone system will work like the old system as regards ringing four instruments.

If it will, I can connect the adaptor in our router with the connection point of our domestic telephone wiring with an extension cable of suitable length. We shall have to put up with the fact that our router and the connection point are on opposite sides of the living room fireplace and that neither can be easily repositioned. Grrrr!

Please forgive me for any typos in this post - I am a bit cross just now.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

noel shelley11/06/2022 11:26:52
1445 forum posts
23 photos

I wondered, when ny line was converted to fibre and they still used the copper line because fibre only carries signals , NO voltage to ring the bell, hence the copper ! If you only have fibre and the mains power fails will your system still work ? It seems that some systems without backup will fail unless they have power. My broadband dies if the power goes ! Noel.

Swarf, Mostly!11/06/2022 11:39:36
684 forum posts
78 photos

Well, as they say, 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again'.

I just found some Virgin Media on-line FAQs and am now a bit reassured about the ringing several phone instruments query.

I'd still like to know the ring-back code, though.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 11/06/2022 11:40:27

Mark Rand11/06/2022 12:11:50
1314 forum posts
38 photos

1475

laugh

John Haine11/06/2022 12:29:38
4718 forum posts
273 photos

Do you have a mobile?

For BT ringback is 5 IIRC, but whether it works depends on whether the called number has it enabled I believe.

Edited By John Haine on 11/06/2022 12:30:46

Martin Connelly11/06/2022 12:36:52
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2183 forum posts
227 photos

1471 and 1571 were the BT codes in the past for last number that called and voice mail (messaging) retrieval. If you dialled and the number was engaged you could press 5 to ring the number when it was clear. You also had *#37# and #37# to check the status of ring back and to cancel ring back.

Martin C

Swarf, Mostly!11/06/2022 13:41:47
684 forum posts
78 photos

I'm sorry, folks, I obviously made an invalid assumption.

By 'ring-back code' I meant the following: you pick up the phone and dial the ring-back number, then hang up. After a few seconds, the exchange rings you back. When you pick up, the exchange clears down and you get dialling tone. But it's demonstrated that the ringing part of the system is working.

I've seen it used by telphone engineers as part of checking a new or suspect installation. I don't know if it's a permanent facility or whether it's just activated temporarily for the line concerned.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Peter Cook 611/06/2022 13:45:08
309 forum posts
88 photos

Openreach lines use 17070 to access the test facility. Reads your number back to you, then option 1 is ringback, 2 is quiet line 3 is fast test and 4 is fast cleanse - see the website below for what the last two do.

This site Useful shortcodes when diagnosing UK phone line issues - BeachyUK suggests 17070 should also work on other networks, but I can't test that.

Dave Halford11/06/2022 15:15:47
2096 forum posts
23 photos

Back in the day Faultsmans Ring Back was also FRB on the dial, for which you need the dial with 3 letters in each finger hole. You could also drop out incoming trunk calls by whistling 2280hz which was the tone frequency used by the AC9 relay sets.

SillyOldDuffer11/06/2022 15:48:56
Moderator
8903 forum posts
1999 photos
Posted by Dave Halford on 11/06/2022 15:15:47:

Back in the day Faultsmans Ring Back was also FRB on the dial, for which you need the dial with 3 letters in each finger hole. You could also drop out incoming trunk calls by whistling 2280hz which was the tone frequency used by the AC9 relay sets.

Is that the one that reported 'Dolty Filing Pulzez'?

My GPO friend had a big list of local dial codes which could be used make long distance calls by connecting via a series of local to each other exchanges: not very practical.

When I was at school, the dial code from Bath to Bristol was 97, as was the return. So a friend of a friend used to dial 9797979797979797 until all the lines between the two cities were tied up. Seemed to work, and would have been downright anti-social if we'd thought of leaving the phone off the hook. And the Daily Wail moans about young people today...

devil

Dave

modeng200011/06/2022 16:41:40
311 forum posts
1 photos

BT have sent me an adaptor that plugs into the mains and has a socket that accepts a standard telephone plug.

This adapter 'talks' to the BT Home Hub so the corded phone can be used when the system changes.The Home Hub also has a socket labeled 'Phone' that I'll use for our cordless phones.

John

Edited By modeng2000 on 11/06/2022 16:42:07

Georgineer11/06/2022 17:42:31
589 forum posts
33 photos

I used to have the ring-back code but last time I tried it, they had changed it.

One possibility nobody seems to have mentioned is to ask a friend or relation (or that nice chap from Amazon who's so concerned about unlawful activity on your account) to ring you back. If you have a mobile, you could also ring yourself from that.

Does anybody know if the old-fashioned pulse dialling, loop-disconnect, rotary dial type phones will still work?

George

Mike Poole11/06/2022 17:43:36
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Moderator
3383 forum posts
77 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 11/06/2022 15:48:56:
Posted by Dave Halford on 11/06/2022 15:15:47:

Back in the day Faultsmans Ring Back was also FRB on the dial, for which you need the dial with 3 letters in each finger hole. You could also drop out incoming trunk calls by whistling 2280hz which was the tone frequency used by the AC9 relay sets.

Is that the one that reported 'Dolty Filing Pulzez'?

My GPO friend had a big list of local dial codes which could be used make long distance calls by connecting via a series of local to each other exchanges: not very practical.

When I was at school, the dial code from Bath to Bristol was 97, as was the return. So a friend of a friend used to dial 9797979797979797 until all the lines between the two cities were tied up. Seemed to work, and would have been downright anti-social if we'd thought of leaving the phone off the hook. And the Daily Wail moans about young people today...

devil

Dave

Phone Phreaking became something of a problem in America in the ‘60s and ‘70s where students in particular could access the system and make free calls, the more malicious activity of tying up all the lines between exchanges was amusing to some just because it could be done. I remember the technique of making a local phone call but routing it via remote exchanges was called tromboning which entertained a mate of mine while we were supposed to be maintaining our private micro link system between plants.

Mike

Mark Rand11/06/2022 19:35:09
1314 forum posts
38 photos

As I stated in the fourth post. The ringback code (simple, not the full diagnostic menu) is 1475. That is for BT though...

Edited By Mark Rand on 11/06/2022 19:38:51

duncan webster11/06/2022 20:15:13
4123 forum posts
66 photos

Way back we used to dial GULO6 from a call box to get free long distance calls. Can't remember exact details.

Nick Clarke 312/06/2022 16:08:25
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1475 forum posts
64 photos

I had an issue when Virgin connected my phone to the router - the house phones were wired to a socket in the hall and this had a plug on a short cable that plugged into the Master socket two inches underneath. Unfortunately my Virgin router was upstairs and to run a cable between the two would have meant running it up one side of the staircase, up and over the top of a bedroom door and down to skirting level again, over the top of the loo door ditto, over the bathroom door ditto, over two different bedroom doors ditto and over the top of the study door and down to the router on the landing! You may ask why I didn't just move the router - because there was no power near the master socket in the hall and two network cables would have had to follow the same route in reverse to reach the router in its new position.

A very accommodating Virgin Engineer turned up ahead of the day the changeover was due to take place and sorted it all by fitting a new master socket upstairs without any ridiculous wiring.

Also is there is a health issue or similar they will install a non internet backup line for free.

Swarf, Mostly!12/06/2022 20:12:46
684 forum posts
78 photos

Nick:

How many 'house phones' do you have? Do they all ring OK?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Jim Guthrie12/06/2022 20:50:01
110 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Mike Poole on 11/06/2022 17:43:36:

Phone Phreaking became something of a problem in America in the ‘60s and ‘70s where students in particular could access the system and make free calls, the more malicious activity of tying up all the lines between exchanges was amusing to some just because it could be done. I remember the technique of making a local phone call but routing it via remote exchanges was called tromboning which entertained a mate of mine while we were supposed to be maintaining our private micro link system between plants.

Mike

That brings back memories. I remember doing a bit of phreaking in BBC Broadcasting House in 1960/61. From what I can remember we dialled an unobtainable number - Slough9999 - then flicked the rest such that the exchange selector dropped on to the operator level. There were only one or two extensions on the BBC's internal PABX which would allow this and they were known. Then it was all by interacting with the GPO operators to get routed to who you wanted to call - it was a few years before STD came on the scene. We had lists of all the internal codes to use and I also remember never to say please or thank you or you would be sussed. Calls had to be limited to under three minutes, or six minutes at a push since a PO engineer doing random listening checks and not hearing the three minute pip might suspect dodgy use and do a trace. You pushed your luck going for up to six minutes since if he missed a three minute pip he might hang around to see if he got the next one due.

I think I did it a couple of times just to say that I had done it but things were getting a bit hot at the Broadcasting House since the GPO apparently were well aware that there was a fair bit of this phone use emanating from the building and were on the hunt. The BBC had recruited a fair amount of technical staff from the Post Office so there were a good few people on staff who know the internal workings of the phone network and made good use of it.

I also remember that the Button A/B phone at the BBC Staff Hostel also worked very well.

All remembered from 62 years ago.

Jim.

Nick Clarke 312/06/2022 21:19:56
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1475 forum posts
64 photos
Posted by Swarf, Mostly! on 12/06/2022 20:12:46:

Nick:

How many 'house phones' do you have? Do they all ring OK?

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

4 and yes

John Olsen13/06/2022 02:11:30
1256 forum posts
94 photos
1 articles

While we are on naughty things to do with phones... There were a couple of techniques with the old coin phones. One that required a bit of skill was dialing the number you wanted by flashing the switch hook. That required some skill, and the techs in the exchange could often hear that it was being done, and would drop the call for you. Another was to put the money in as per normal, but instead of pushing the button when the called party picked up, you just talked very loudly into the earpiece. This worked well enough as a microphone to let you talk to the other person. Then when you had finished, you pushed button B to get your money back. I tried this as a lad to prove that it worked, but never made serious use of it.

Later when I was working for the NZ Post office, there was a trunk between most of the PABX's around the district. They weren't all that well documented, but of course idle fingers tried all sorts of likely numbers just to see where they went. To find out, you would dial a likely code and then 0 for the operator. When she (which it generally was back then) answered you would ask where she was. This tended to confuse them a bit, but in this way we managed to document quite a lot of the system. Once we had a good idea of the setup, we could dial a call into and out of lots of the local PABX's, then back to another phone on our one. That would ring OK, but having been through so many PABX's. the voice was often too weak to hear. (PABX...private automatic branch exchange, like the ones larger businesses have.)

The in the eighties the office I was working in was equipped with one of the new PABX's with all sorts of fancy features. Like "ring me back when the guy I want to call hangs up" and "Ring me back when he is there". So one lunchtime, I had a lot of fun after everyone else had gone setting up a whole string of the latter from a number of phones. The way it worked was if nobody answered, you put in the code for "ring me back" and later, when someone used the phone and then hung up, the exchange would first ring your phone, then when you picked up, would ring the party you had been trying to call. All very clever, but when you set up a whole lot of these between a whole lot of phones it becomes a bit of a minefield. You just have to be careful when setting up that you don't pick up any phone that you have already set one up to, but you can set up a whole lot of them. Anyway, having committed this act of sabotage I went off to lunch myself. Luckily the boss was not the first back! The guy who was would have had no problems until either he made a call from one of the phones, or someone from outside called in. After that call was finished an he hung up, a number of phones would have started ringing. Being diligent, he would have rushed over to answer the phone, only to have another phone start to ring...Anyway, he told me that if I ever did that again he would personally kill me.

John

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