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This page includes some tips that apply to all analog modems and two scripts to try for the Macintosh internal modem.
(While some may prove useful to others much applies to the U.S. and likely Canada.)
Things to check or change:
They should be tried by anyone with this model of modem.
Some newer models are on internal USB ports (will list if I can find a definative list). These scripts attempt to set certain serial port factors (speed and hardware handshaking) that do not apply to USB. These might be ignored or might cause the scripts to fail! It may have trouble hanging up the line.
The reasons to try are:
Apple 56k int(V.90) (Download)
Apple 56k int(V.34) (Download)
These scripts include a minor bug fix in the detail capture over the ones posted to info-mac in 2000. They also set touch tone times to 70ms instead of the default 95ms, most modems built for the US default to 70ms. Result, faster dialing, 1/2 sec for ten digits - not much but is seems faster.
After unstuffing the .hqx and the resulting .bin, place the files in the folder called Modem Scripts which is in the folder called Extensions which is in the Systems folder. Finder does not know where to place these by just dropping in the Systems folder, you must put them in the right place. Open the Modem control panel and select the new script from the list. You must close and save for the change to take place. If the new script does not work open the control panel and select the original script, close and save. To get the most of the diagnostic information open the Remote Access panel, click options, click the Connections tab, check the verbose logging box, make sure the logout out after idle is set the way you want, click OK. After a remote access disconnects and returns to idle the Activaty Log may be read for clues as to how the session went. Among the items of interest are TERMINATION REASON, LAST RX rate, and Line QUALITY (a three digit number the lower the better). A sample log on a line too far from the CO for a reliable V.90 connection.
feedback (good and bad) about these scripts welcome, but the scripts aresnot guaranteed.
Spiral of Death on the US Robotics modem (V.90) is the common condition where the modem retrains to a lower speed and never retrains up. This contiues until it can go no lower and just disconnects. I do not know about V.92 modems but since it was never acknowledge or fixed in the V.90 it may still exist. However, these do have better diagnostics for certain line conditions.
CO - Central Office - the building that the phone lines run into. Several in larger cities (central?).
DSL - Digital Subscriber Line
ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network - A very old AT&T protocol (before the breakup in 1984) that most phone companies don't know how to set up and over charge for. Avoid if possible.
ISP - Internet Service Provider
Line length - the total length wire from the CO to your modem plus any other wiring attached (like continuing down the street though bridging clips in the local distribution box, and wiring in you own home). Distance is NOT as the crow flies.
Loading coil - a phone line device to boost voice volume but reduces high frequencies. Usually used on lines longer than 18,000ft or wiring smaller than 24 guage.
Modem - Modulator/Demodulator.
MOV - Metal Oxide Varistor - one of several types of surge suppresors.
Noise - in the context relating to modems is either a radiated signal (like radio waves) that might be generate by fluorescant lighting, motors with brushes (vacuum cleaner, mixer, blender, food processor, drill, hair dryer and possible others) or a magnetic field near the phone wiring or modem (fluorescant ballast, power supply of most electronic equipment, all motors including fans, older ringers in phones). Also a burst of noise is generated when anything electrical is turned on or off.
pad - a device to attenuate (reduce) signal stength, comes as analog or digital. Some digital pads may reduce modem speed.
PAD - (not to be confused with pad above) Packet Assembler/Disassembler
POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service.
PSTN - Public Switch Telephone Network.
Repeater - an amplifier used in phone lines.
TELCO - Telephone Company.
USB - Universal Serial Bus.
Software Modem - Called "host based", controllerless, soft, or winmodems - a modem that uses the main computer processor to do error correction and data compression, as well as command processing. i.e. - cheaper!
Hardware Modem - controller based - uses its own processor to do error correction and data compression and command processing. i.e. - better!
V.90 or V.92 connections are NOT possible unless the phone company switch (the thing that routes the calls) is capable of ISDN (whether they offer ISDN or not)! These higher speeds depend on the signal coming from the phone company being generated (one time only) from a digital to an analog one. Multiple D/A and A/D conversion can only support V.34. The connection all the back to the ISP must be digital! Long distance dialup may or may not work at V.90 (or V.92) because of this.
All Apple 56K internal modems I have seen are Hardware Modems (by looking up the chip set - the only real way to tell).
The Apple modem before firmware update 2.0 tried to test the line for V.90 compatability, when it did this with a 3Com modem on the ISP side it would always fail and drop to a V.34 connection (slower). The documentation and fix is on the 3Com site. The fix was to turn off this test in the Rockwell (now Conexant) chip with the s202=32 command. Version 2.0 firmware doesn't reject this command so it was left in the script. Conexant long ago lost the documentation of this command.
Replacement lighted dial transformer at Mike Sandman's site (bottom of page). Top of page has history and rest of site has useful info. and devices
The + + + command is to get the modems attention (put it into command mode after it is connected) which is fine as long as you don't send + + +. There is supposed to be a two second delay before and after to allow the + + + to be sent as part of data. There is a patent on this delay and most chip makers do not want to pay for it and do not put it in their firmware. They do usually put it in the manual! The original Apple scripts I started with did not have this delay so if it had been in the chip it would not have worked! I think most manufactuers just hope you don't send 3 plus together very often.
Chip manufactuers history.
The D.C. Hayes company (which introduced the command based modem in 1981) is long gone; assets were bought by ZOOM Telephonics.
Before this you either dialed the number on a phone and then connected the modem or used TWO expensive serial ports to connect to TWO expensive boxes; the modem and the dialer.
Wiring tips: The point at which the phone line switches from phone company responsiblity to yours is called the demarc (demarcation). Older lines have a simple lightning arrester, newer ones have a
Network Interface Boxwhich also includes a modular plug and jack set so that the house wiring can easily be disconnected and a phone be plugged in for testing.
Network Interface Box
IMPORTANT - NEVER test or work on phone lines when there are storms in the area!
IMPORTANT - NEVER work on inside phone lines unless disconnected at the network interface box (ring voltage exceeds 90VAC)!
Try to keep new wiring away from fluorescant fixtures and AC wiring (2ft. min., 4ft. prefered). If it must cross AC wiring do so at a 90 degree angle and as much distance as possible.
Color codes below are guides, do not assume the person that installed the wiring followed the standards.
If you are rewiring yourself follow the standards, the person that has to troubleshoot later (it may be you!) will thank you.
It is essential that pairs (blue, blue/white) be used. The fact that each pair is twisted is what gives the wires noise immunity!
Use only solid wiring for in house, stranded is intended for patch (short) cords.
There are two terms often found in dealing with wiring, these are TIP and RING which are named after the two parts of the old operators phone plug. RING in this case has nothing to do with the phone ringing.
TIP is positive and RING is negative. Most modern phone equipment is not sensitive to polarity (switching of the two wires called TIP and RING). The one known old AT&T phone which is sensitive to polarity will work in all respects except the buttons will NOT generate tones (No damage to the phone, correcting the wiring fixes the problem).
Old 4 wire colors:
More detail wiring info. at Phone-Man including diagrams.
I do not recommend rewiring old type lighting arrestor demarcs (because you can't disconnect it) but the wire coming from the pole that has a ridge on it is supposed to be RING.
Cat. 5e wire is usually available at Lowes, Home Depot, and a large number of others.
Apple - Remote Access: Modem Script Basics
Apple - Remote Access: CCL Command Glossary
Apple - Remote Access: CCL Result Code Listing
Apple Modem Script Generator 1.0a1 Document and Software (scripts generated by this normally need a lot of editting!)
Apple - Internal Modems: How To Determine Model Installed
Apple Internal Serial port Modem manual
Apple Internal USB Modem manual
Apple - Troubleshooting Phone Line Issues That Affect Modem Connections
Apple - 56Kbps Modems: Getting The Fastest Connection
Apple - Power Mac G4: Choosing Between Internal Modem Scripts
56k.com Modem Central
3Com white paper on 56K modems (no longer on the 3Com site)
56Kbps Data Transmission across the PSTN by P. Michael Henderson (in .pdf Acrobat)