The Armory Gets More Phone Lines

[ appliance ] Message 169: Mon Feb 6 1989 12:09am
From: Zaphod, Fugitive Galactic Prez
Subject: ooooh!

    the Armory's first ever dual login!  due to the fact that I installed
3 more phone outlets today so we were able to put the Mac on a different
line than my PC.  Not only that, but i installed them in such a way as to
set the stage for an eventual triple login, just as soon as Elizabeth gets
her power supply fixed and we get out third line in, which we already have
about one quarter of the trench dug for.  Though it does seem to be hard
going; I had to buy a pickaxe yesterday.  Fortunately Mike managed to avoid
rupturing the gas line when he came across it (though that would have been
kinda fun actually).  Maybe we should have a trench-digging party.  Cheaper
than renting a back hoe.
[ appliance ] Message 176: Mon Feb 6 1989 6:37pm
From: Zaphod, Fugitive Galactic Prez
Subject: phone installation

    The first thing the phone techs tried was to pull another line through
conduit.  Unfortunately it turned out that the fools that put the line in
originally (as part of the house construction) direct-buried it so there is
no conduit there.  Not that they told us that to start.  The first guy they
sent out encountered some difficulty, so a more experienced person came out
to have a look.  He said "don't worry, we'll take care of it", but when I
came back he had just left a message saying "Third service subscriber must
provide trench".  We had to get the supervisor out there doing the whole thing
again before we got the real story.  In fact he had to come out again (fourth
phone-company trip to our place) to tell us exactly what we had to do (how 
deep to dig the trench, what kind of conduit, how to mark the end, etc.)
    I asked whether it would make any difference if we had more phone lines
put in at once and they said no; it is a set $39 to connect each line
regardless of whether they just have to hook up a wire or (as in our case)
dig a trench all the way around the corner (several hundred feet.)  You take
it to the edge of your property; they take it from there.
[ whine ] Message 3844: Mon Dec 18 1989 9:05pm
From: Zaphod, Galactic Prez   Fugitive Galactic Prez (armoror@ucscb)
Subject: hmm... speaking of phone lines...

     the Armory has achieved breakeven!

     I mean, uh, breakthrough.  I finally determined that the layer of sand
that we were depending on to tunnel through came to an abrupt end before the
Great Root (though it worked well to tunnel through under the Great Sidewalk).
So, I hacked away at the clay until I had picked a hole through it (and killed
my back).  Got the pipe in today.  Had to climb up on the roof (for the first
time) to do it... don't ask why.  All we need to do now is call the phone
company, and fill the friggin' trench back in.  If we're Real Lucky, we'll have
4+ phone lines here just about exactly one yEaR after we started working on it.
     Which brings to mind the thought... we should have an Armory First
Anniversary Party, shouldn't we?  Hmmm...
[ House Rivalry ] Message #88 (last) Wed Jan 24, 1990 9:00pm
From: Armoror
Subject: phone/trench

    thatz why i said 'phone people' instead of 'phone company' :-)
nope, the pc itself doesn't dig trenches anymore.  it was a contractor.
and in fact, they came back yesterday and cut the road.  and in fact,
came back today and dug it up and, ah, laid their pipe...  'twas 
interesting, they cut straight across the road to the center divider,
then up the divider to the point where the box was, then across the
street to the box.  which makes perfect sense, since the divider isn't
covered with concrete (just dirt).  They put a Genuine Phone Company
Mini-Box right next to the termination of *our* pipe, ready to serve
all of our future needs, and used the string I left in it to pull
through some Genuine Phone Company Heavy Duty Twine, much more 
Industrial Strength than the stuff I left.  Presumably they will come
by tomorrow or sometime soon to use it to pull through a cable.  Then
We'Ll hAVe OuR PHoNe liNeS at lAST!!!
[ House Rivalry ] Message #164 (last) Wed Feb 14, 1990 11:04pm
From: Armoror
Subject: Armory Phone System

     is finally largely in place.  I think I'll write up a story on our
trials and travails.  Anyway, there's lots of capacity in place now.  I just
tonight fixed the line to my room that Mike Scott cut last summer.  There
are currently 3 lines; two more will be added in the next few days.  Then,
Irene/John, CraigN/Liz, Dierdre, and Marlo/CraigJ/Bela will each have private
voice/modem lines, and ye olde 426-9371 will be a house voice-only line.  Things
worked out well enough, it just took a while!  
     So, how many active lines does theHouse have now, huhhuhhuh???  :-)
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1993 09:32:24 GMT
From: John DuBois
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: Re: Maximum Number of Phone Lines to a Residence?
Organization: The Armory

     Pac Bell seems to be pretty good in this respect.  When we moved into
this house, I asked the landlord how many phone lines there were; he told
us that it had previously been rented by "computer scientists" who he was
sure had had plenty of lines.  But, when we got around to ordering our
third line, we discovered that there were only two.  An installation person
came out and tried to pull a third line through the conduit that appeared
to connect their-end with our-end.  Didn't work.  
     So a more experienced person came out, and assured us he'd take care
of it.  I returned to find a message on the door saying "Third service
subscriber must provide trench".  Huh?  I called to ask what the deal was,
and a supervisor came out and told me that the conduit-end poking out of
the ground next to the house was fake; the line had been direct-buried!  He
said we'd have to put in conduit, buried at least 18" deep, from the house
to the edge of the property to get more lines. We could do it ourselves or
they could get a contractor to do it for us for some large amount of
money.  But, they would be glad to bring as many pairs as we wanted to the
edge of the property.
     I decided we'd do it ourselves, since it was only twenty feet, and how
hard could be it be to dig a twenty foot, 18" deep trench?  Ha.  Turned out
there was a rock layer 12" down, plus the occasional root structure we had
to burrow under.  It ended up taking us a year of off-and-on pickaxe &
shovel work, interspersed with giving up on it, to get it done.  I was
tempted to use explosives at times.  Certainly gave me more respect for
trenchdiggers.  I think I'd rent a backhoe next time.  But, we did get it
done, and I laid the PVC per their instructions, after spending 'way too
long trying to figure out how to get a piece of string through a 20' PVC
section (they wanted it to pull the cable through); first time I climbed on
the roof of this place...
     Then they came and looked at it and said, Oh, actually, you must have
the end of the conduit within 6" of the house.  Grr.  The thought of
digging a new trench for the last 10' or so didn't appeal to me, so I just
unburied the end and dug a notch to allow me to tip over the end so that
it leaned up against the house.  I wondered what they'd think about that,
but they didn't have a problem with it.
     Their contractor came and dug a trench down the street (taking
advantage of the unpaved center divider) to give us our extra lines, at a
cost of somewhat over $3K, which they absorbed.  Then the Pac Bell people
came and used my Wimpy String to pull through some of their Hardy Phone
Company Twine, and then came back again and pulled through the cable.
I had asked them to pull 10 pairs through, for further expansion, and they
had assured me they would, but when they were done there were only five. 
But at least it was in conduit, so when we needed more they used the one
5-pair cable to pull through two 5-pair cables, which has sufficed so far
(5 voice lines, 5 data lines).
     They have so far been very understanding of my need to have four phone
lines in a hunt group at residential rates.  The only hitch has been that
I can't have my open-access system listed by name unless I pay business
rates.  But I can live with that.  And whoever rents this house after *us*
will find it nicely wired :)

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