Apple USB Modem and disconnects...help!

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MaxTek's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 701

Hi,

I am using an Apple USB modem with an eMac 700mhz, OS 10.4.8. I updated to 10.4.8 because I read on Apple's discussions that it fixed the disconnects issue. Well it didn't. I have tried both versions v.92 and v.90 and neither makes a difference.

I have also read about the magnetic issue of the MacBooks and the this external modem but obviously it is not an issue with the eMac.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

Thanks,

MaxTek

P.S. I connected before writing this and it disconnected half way through.

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moosemanmoo's picture
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Joined: Aug 17 2004
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Make sure that the Send PPP e

Make sure that the Send PPP echo packets option in the PPP Options... part of the Modem Network preference is enabled. Or try elevating the modem so that it gets airflow... maybe it's overheating?

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MaxTek's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Re: Make sure that the Send PPP e

moosemanmoo wrote:

Make sure that the Send PPP echo packets option in the PPP Options... part of the Modem Network preference is enabled. Or try elevating the modem so that it gets airflow... maybe it's overheating?

I turned on PPP echo packets and it hasn't helped. Also it couldn't be from over heating. It disconnected the first two minutes of use.

This is driving me crazy. Anyone else have any suggestions.

Macinjosh's picture
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Joined: Feb 12 2004
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Suggestions

Good Lord, do I have suggestions. Smile This used to be my field of work.

1) Is there another modem-enabled computer in the house, or a different USB modem? If so, dial out with it, PLUGGED IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY this modem is plugged in, same cord, same everything.

If not, got a friend that would drag one over? Wink

You want to pinpoint the problem to be either a) in the modem or b) not in the modem. I know, sounds silly but do; you can tell tech(s) later on you did so and 'isolated' the cause of the problem.

2) Between the modem, and the wall jack it's connected to, are there any splitters, or surge suppression devices? If so, temporarily test without them in between, using your newest phone cord.

3) Try connecting without any other phones and/or devices also on the phone line; unplug the answering machines, the FAX, cordless and corded phones, et cetera temporarily and give it a try without them.

4) Double-check that Apple has not released either a script or a firmware update for your modem on a fairly frequent basis.

5) Call your phone company, and tell them you were requested to have a loop test run on your line (notice I didn't say who requested it? Smile) If they see trouble, demand they come out and prove your line good to your phone box, wherever it is. Prepare for resistance; they're only going to want to make your line good enough to talk on it, and modems are pickier than we are.

6) Call your ISP, and ask them for a number you can call out to with your modem that will do a Line Test. They may, or may not have such a number.

7) Error correction, compression, etc settings are dependent on what modems your ISP uses and how they're configured; ask them to help with this stuff.

8 ) Ask if your ISP can temporarily configure your modem to connect via a terminal (it's called something close to this in Windows, so they'll probably know straight off what you're asking for.) If you see garbage intermingled with valid text BEFORE your login is done, that's quite possibly line noise. (Then again if you never get a login prompt, it could be tons of line noise, or a misconfigured modem.)

9) Tell your ISP that your line has been tested and/or serviced by a technician and is verified good. Ask ythem to monitor your connection to their modem and to look for retraining. Modems change speeds automagically per line quailty and a few other factors; and if the rate is all over the map, or goes straight down the tubes, this is telling.

10) Your modem may not 'agree' well with the modems at your ISP. Are you in a place where you can test dial another ISP of your mate's or something, or where you could try a freebie/free trial place for an hour or two? See if connecting somewhere else magically makes the problem go buh-bye.

11) If it does, ask your ISP if they're keeping the firmware up to date on their modems, and if they would be so kind as to tell you what make of modems they're using. Write this down for reference later on.

Using logic of course, loop through these as needed. God, I can't believe I still remember all of that...

-- Macinjosh

MaxTek's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 701
wow, much appreciated but...

I really, really, really appreciate your time and effort. I guess I screwed up when I left out one detail. My iMac DV with internal modem using the same ISP and phone line works perfectly (except for hard rains). Even when it rains hard I kept the slow connection connected.

With the new Apple USB modem it drops the connection very fast. Over at the Apple discussions and on the reviews of this product at the Apple store, it seems alot of people are having the same problem.

I just find it hard to believe Apple would release a non working product as working...at least without a fix, posted or a quiet one.

HELPPPPP.

Thanks.

Macinjosh's picture
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Joined: Feb 12 2004
Posts: 216
Re: wow, much appreciated but...

No worries; I was hoping some more details might pop through your mind if we went through all of that.

Is your ISP using v.92? K56flex? Both? You want to be using whichever your ISP supports/"prefers."

You might try using the v.92, then the K56flex, and lastly the v.34 scripts. The v.34 script will knock the speed down to 33.6 which should (if it works) increase stability. Do you have different scripts for different protocols/speeds?

Your line slowing down during hard rains would be indicative of something being "weak" about it... maybe damage to the insulation someplace, but with miles of line, who knows? Your iMac's modem is just more tolerant of it; or perhaps it's dialing out slower in those instances.

Do you have it on a powered hub or directly connected to the machine? Try the opposite if that's possible for you; and try it on as many different POWERED USB ports as you can.

It's a Motorola-based SM56 chipset, BTW for future reference.

I hate to even suggest this, but which script do they have you using? If I've got it on my box too, I could compare the initialization strings between those used for Windows, and the ones in the script... but ugh, I really don't want to.

-- Macinjosh

MaxTek wrote:

I really, really, really appreciate your time and effort. I guess I screwed up when I left out one detail. My iMac DV with internal modem using the same ISP and phone line works perfectly (except for hard rains). Even when it rains hard I kept the slow connection connected.

With the new Apple USB modem it drops the connection very fast. Over at the Apple discussions and on the reviews of this product at the Apple store, it seems alot of people are having the same problem.

I just find it hard to believe Apple would release a non working product as working...at least without a fix, posted or a quiet one.

HELPPPPP.

Thanks.

MaxTek's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 701
Re: wow, much appreciated but...

Macinjosh wrote:

Is your ISP using v.92? K56flex? Both? You want to be using whichever your ISP supports/"prefers."

You might try using the v.92, then the K56flex, and lastly the v.34 scripts. The v.34 script will knock the speed down to 33.6 which should (if it works) increase stability. Do you have different scripts for different protocols/speeds?

Your line slowing down during hard rains would be indicative of something being "weak" about it... maybe damage to the insulation someplace, but with miles of line, who knows? Your iMac's modem is just more tolerant of it; or perhaps it's dialing out slower in those instances.

Do you have it on a powered hub or directly connected to the machine? Try the opposite if that's possible for you; and try it on as many different POWERED USB ports as you can.

It's a Motorola-based SM56 chipset, BTW for future reference.

I hate to even suggest this, but which script do they have you using? If I've got it on my box too, I could compare the initialization strings between those used for Windows, and the ones in the script... but ugh, I really don't want to.

-- Macinjosh

My ISP is fastermac.net (Otherworld Computing) and I assume is using v.92. I tried all three of the Apple supplied scripts, v.34, v.90 adn v.92. They all produce the same disconnects.

These scripts are in the network tab of system preferences in OS 10.4.8.

It just disconnected as I am typing this for the second time.

As for the slowing down during hard rains it is most undoubtably the insulation on the wires running up the street and yes my iMac IS dialing out slower in those instances.

Apple does not recommend using their USB modem on a hub so I never tried it. I have tried it on all 3 USB ports on the eMac.

This is getting really ridiculous....don't give up on me yet. Its gotta work better than this.

Thanks.

MaxTek's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 701
Re: wow, much appreciated but...

Should've added this to above....

Everywhere I have checked it says OS 10.4.8 fixes the problem I am having and gazillions of others as well.

But I can't find exactly what is included in 10.4.8 to fix it. Does anyone know what the driver or software or fix is so I can use Spotlight to check my eMac to see if it is present?

Thanks

Macinjosh's picture
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Joined: Feb 12 2004
Posts: 216
OK, quick post because I want

OK, quick post because I wanted to mention this: if Apple says don't use it on a hub, or that it isn't recommended, go with that and don't do it.

Is the iMac's system software up to par enough to try the modem with the iMac? The reason I ask is that I noticed postings, in the review section of the page for your modem on Apple's Web site, containing references to people having better luck with a USB port further away from the power connector on notebook Macs. Trying it on the iMac, I assume, would also eliminate possible causes of interference.

I wouldn't know what to look for within the 10.4.8 update exactly, muh bad. Sad

If anything else comes to mind, I will post it. In the meanwhile, it seems youre very certain on the source of trouble when it rains... problems with it before? Something they can fix?

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, which you may be unable to do, or be dead set against doing hehe, can you try your setup at someone else's place? If not is there more than one line to yours that you could try?

-- Macinjosh