Shoalhaven Internet Services
Modem Dropouts

Dropouts - When your modem just disconnects for no apparent reason.
Its frustrating and very rewarding to Telstra. It can be fixed.
Here is a checklist to cure this problem -
The Telstra T200 Phone.
This is a major cause of dropouts. 
Ensure that you do not have any T200 phones connected to the same line that the modem uses. 
The T200 phone is the standard slimline phone that Telstra issued up to about two years ago. If your phone is more than two years old, it probably is a T200. You can check by the model number on the back of the phone. Look for the number "200" in the model number. 
These phones obtain power for their memory from the phone line, and every 5-20 minutes, they will put a burst of noise on the line as they recharge. 
Unplug the phone to test it. 
Replace the Phone if possible.
Call waiting.
The "call waiting" tones  will disconnect you in the majority of cases.
Turn it off. 
55k6 Modems.
Dare I say it - Maybe your phone lines can't support the leading edge. Drop it back to a V34 modem and it will probably function faster (no lost packets) and wont drop out. 


Put this initialisation string into your system. For win95/98 go to 
  • My Computer 
  • Dial Up Networking 
  • Shoalhaven (right Click) then  Properties 
  • Configure 
  • Connection 
  • Advanced 
  • Then put the string into "Extra settings." 
A standard initialisation string which works in most cases is 
+MS=11 (or +MS=11,1,14400,33600) 
If your modem responds with "Modem not Responding" then an alternate string is 
+MS=V34 (or +MS=V34,1,14400,33600)  

Acer Modems (Using TI chipset) 
The string is S32=98   (or so I'm told by Acer) 

LT Modems (I dont think these work but ......) 
The string is either -V90S38=0     or just S38=0 

Noise on the Phone Line
You can try to ride through the noise. The current thoughts are to just extend the time that your modem will wait after loss of carrier, before it disconnects. 
This wont fix the real problem, but it may allow you to stay connected while your phone line is repaired.

Add this string to the present initialisation string. It can be added at the end of any other strings that you have in place. The string is - 
Noise from the Monitor Keep the phone line and the modem away from the monitor. (at least 2 feet !)
Faulty Modem
It happens. They are easily damaged by lightning strikes and other causes. 
Borrow a modem and see if it fixes the problem. (we have a "loan" one here if that will assist.) 
Computer Settings.
You have instructed your computer to disconnect if idle for more than x minutes.
This should be at least 20 minutes or more. (Personally, I turn this setting off.) 
Go To 
  • Start - Settings - Control Panel 
  • Modems 
  • Properties 
  • Connection 
Then either turn it off of set it to something realistic. 

There may also be other settings deep within the settings of ICQ, Microsoft Explorer etc.  Just start clicking around to see if you can find them. By default they should be Ok, but if someone has been there before and changed the settings its possible that this may affect your connection.

A faulty phone line.

I've left this one to last, but it may be your last resort to ask Telstra to check their end of things. I have found them to be very helpful. They have some tests they can do. The hardest ones are where the fault is intermittant.

What does your phone line sound like? Pick up the phone, dial say 3, (to get rid of the dial tone) and just listen. 
Is it clear, or has it a myriad of hmmms or static noises on it? A good first check is to just listen to it. 
The modem requires a good clear line to function well.
Let us know how you're going
We are busy, but we can help as well.

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Shoalhaven Internet Services
11/53 Kinghorne Street
Nowra NSW Australia
Ph +44 22 5040
Modified Feb 13, 1999

Copyright 1998 Shoalhaven Internet Services