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Modem Related Problems

By Dr. Raj Mehta

In country like ours most of us access the Internet via dial-up facility and hence are using modems and telephone lines. One of the most common problems which many users face is that modem drops carrier very often. In large part it is related to noise on the phone line and more specifically to the line pair that comes to your computer from the junction box.

If you are facing this problem there are very few things you can do to try to cure it. You might have to work with the telephone company to get it corrected.

There may be things which one can do to minimize the problem. Here we list some of the work around to this problem.

  • Modem is the Heart of dialup Internet functioning and therefore, one should take extra care in selecting/procuring it and therefore not to take PRICE as the only criteria for the Selection of Modem.

  • A Good Modem will work efficiently, in many cases, even with the Noisy / Disturbed Telephone Line conditions.

  • If possible have no extensions to the phone line used for the modem. If it is necessary to have extension then make sure that the computer is the first connection on the phone line.
  • Make sure there are no breaks and splices in the phone line coming to your computer, as they introduce line noise.
  • If you have digital exchange then the problem will be to lesser extent.
  • You can make following two modification in your communication software which will to large extent permit you to work around the problem even though you might not get full benefit of the speed of the modem(The following discussion is in terms of windows95 dial-up software but equally applicable to any other software):

    • Go to Start - Settings - Control Panel - Modems - Select your modem and click Properties - Maximum Speed at the maximum speed field the default speed picked up by win95 installation is 115200 if you have 28.8 kbs speed modem.

      Click for screenshot

      This is the speed modem comummicates with your computer known as "Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) speed". Drop this to a lower value and try the connection. Keep dropping this speed and you may be lucky to find a speed which will hold connection. The Author has found in one case this speed needed to be dorpped to 4800 bps to hold the connection.

    • Go to Start - Settings - Control Panel - Modems - Select your modem and click Properties - Connection - Advanced - Extra Settings. Here you insert S7=255 S10=255.

      Click for screenshot
Unfortunately there is little more one can do to deal with this problem. We hope this helps to to keep the carrier a bit longer than a few minutes.

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998 Dr. Raj Mehta. All rights reserved.