Author Topic: Norstar 616 Again!  (Read 1248 times)

Offline DavePEI

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Norstar 616 Again!
« on: November 02, 2015, 10:37:42 AM »
My spare Norstar 616 arrived today, same software revision as the other (DR2). Seems to have survived the trip well. I won't be able to be sure how well it works until I set up a couple of phones on it since they don't initialize without phones connected, but it does power up.

 Also with it is a multiple BIX block, with one row having modular jacks - very handy! Fortunately, I do have a couple of BIX tools, one which Terry sent me years ago, and and original BIX tool I found last year in a yard sale..

 Looks just as good on the outside of the cover. Pretty good for just $30.00 postage! Now, I won't worry about a possible failure on the main 616 in the museum. Just swap 'em out!
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Norstar 6x16 Again!
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2015, 07:19:23 AM »
After I finished cleaning up the 6x16 yesterday, I noticed the Amphenol connector you use to connect your lines had taken a hit at some time,  and the plug was driven in at one end. Not a big problem, as long as the wiring inside the plug wasn't shorted against the metal case, but it also didn't appear to be seating very well in the 6x16, and might not have given a reliable connection.

With some very careful prying and persuasion, I got it apart, then got it reformed so it would sit under the metal cover correctly...

Just a bit of a pain in the butt, but just one of those things!
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Norstar 616 Again!
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2015, 08:01:00 AM »
I hooked up my other 616 many years ago, so I remember the wiring, but often forget how to program various functions and have to look in the manual. If you have never hooked up a Norstar 616, there are some good videos on YouTube by "The Nortel Guy", not only on installation, but on basic programming. I didn't have the advantage of having these videos back when I hooked up my original 616, and had to rely upon multiple emails between Terry Biddlecombe, and me to guide me on the process. I am sure I drove him crazy at the time! You tube is great, and for these videos, go to:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmKVf1bVeOZdaiQXAf5Dctg
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
http://www.islandregister.com/phones/museum.html
Free Admission - Call (902) 651-2762 to arrange a visit!
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: Norstar 616 Again!
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2015, 12:39:09 PM »
The Norstar 6x16 system received under test - AOK. I still need to adjust up the contrast of the M7208... However, this does confirm the unit is in good shape and operational. This is a spare in case my existing Norstar fails. I need to key in Feature * 7, and 4 to increase the contrast - been a while since I had to do it, and had to look it up again. Alas the default contrast setting in Norstars is always way too low.

My QMBIX-10C mounts (one spare) arrived yesterday, and I have the QCBIX 1 A strip and the QCBIX 36 B mounted in it as of a few minutes ago. I still have to go over to the museum and get one of my BIX punch down tools to connect the two. As you can see, it will make a very neat connection, allowing both direct wiring for distant runs and connections via the RJ-11 jacks for closer demo phones. Jacks will be punched down starting at pins one and two at the right of the QCBIX 1A. Each pair on the top strip is one line, until all 16 lines are punched down - beyond that are such items as external bell contacts, external paging,  and MOH, I could have flipped the QBCIX 36B over, but that would have required less direct links back to the QCBIX 1A.The other end of the cord connects directly to the amphenol connector in the 6x16.

In my existing demo 6x16 installation, I used a QCBIX 1 A with wires leading to biscuit jacks to connect the demo phones close to it. This will be a much neater way to do it, as the RJ-11s are built into the QCBIX 36B mounted with it. It will still allow distant lines to be punched down directly to the block.

The Bix system was developed by Northern Telecom Cable Group, and sold by Nordx/CDT, and is now marketed by Belden. Bix is certified for Cat 5E, and its newer iteration is GigaBIX, which is certified for CAT 6, as opposed to earlier 66 block technology, only certified for CAT 3.
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
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Free Admission - Call (902) 651-2762 to arrange a visit!
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Offline G-Man

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Re: Norstar 616 Again!
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2015, 07:11:55 PM »
The Bix system was developed by Northern Telecom Cable Group, and sold by Nordx/CDT, and is now marketed by Belden. Bix is certified for Cat 5E, and its newer iteration is GigaBIX, which is certified for CAT 6, as opposed to earlier 66 block technology, only certified for CAT 3.
Whoops. It is definitely an oft-repeated misnomer that 66-type blocks are not Cat5e compliant. Both Western Electric’s 66 and 110-type insulation displacement terminal blocks will accommodate Cat5e (or higher) data rates.
 But I am with you as far as desiring a much more compact terminal block for data cables, but I still use 66-blocks for voice.
 
The BIX is based upon Western Electric’s 110 system and is prevalent in the Great White North, while 110 is the termination de jour on our side of the border. In Europe, Krone appears to be the leader.
 
One thing 66 terminations have over both BIX and 110, is that it is more suited for use in less than optimal environments. The wider spacing makes it less susceptible to leakage in areas of high-humidity and dirt.

Here is a blurb from one of the current manufacturer’s catalog:

“The M1-50 [66] is a proven, economical connecting block solution for category 5e network cabling. These features make this block an ideal choice for supporting today's high bandwidth technologies such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and Gigabit Ethernet.”

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Norstar 616 Again!
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2015, 07:45:06 PM »
The original 66 block was only Cat 3 compliant. The ones you refer to are the redesigned 66 style blocks, and are correctly called "M150 block", "S66M1-50 block", "S66M150" or "Siemon 66 block". While compatible with 66 accessories, they are completely re-designed.

I am not saying that BIX is one's only option, but by Nortel specifications, it is the correct one. My other Norstar system here is all done with BIX, and I have never had any problems with it over the course of the past ten years or so since I set it up.

I am aware down in the US, the 110 block is used more commonly, and I have punch down tools for 66, 110, Krone, and for BIX. However, BIX remains the preferred way to punch down Nortel for me. I have used 66 blocks in many places in the museum for non-digital connections.

One advantage to users, is BIX isn't considered to be an impact technology, and standard BIX tools aren't impact (as compared to 66 and 110). When pressed into the block, it is pressure only until it reaches the end of its travel, and the scissor side snips. Mind you, you can get BIX blades to fit standard impact tools, and when used with those tools, there is an impact.

However, I am in Canada, so I use the Nortel recommended system.  :)

Dave
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 07:00:42 AM by DavePEI »
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
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Free Admission - Call (902) 651-2762 to arrange a visit!
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Offline G-Man

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Re: Norstar 616 Again!
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2015, 11:22:13 PM »
Hi Dave, I wasn’t disparaging BIX, only pointing out that despite a popular misconception, that for the past 10-15 years or so, 66-blocks are compliant for Cat.5 and higher, data networks. They were upgraded, much as BIX and other systems were, when higher-speed networks were being introduced.
 
As I stated, I prefer a more compact solution for data networks, such as the Western Electric 110 system, even though, like BIX, they are more expensive.
 
I continue to use 66-blocks for voice since they are more economical and much more versatile when additional flexibility is needed for complex voice networks. In our part of the woods, 66-blocks were  used even with Nortel key systems such as the venerable Norstar 616.
 
As far as Nortel specifying only BIX being used in conjunction with Norstar installations, I am certain the specification originated in the sales and not the engineering department since the key system could care less about whether BIX, 110, 66, Krone, or even screw terminals were being used.
 
Of course, a Category 5e or higher wiring system is always a good idea, since it could be used when the day comes that a VoiP system replaces the old key system.