Wednesday 12th Dec, 2018

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Drop Outs

If your internet connection frequently seems to disconnect without warning, this page may help find an answer.

What is a Dropout?
What causes a Dropout?
What can I do about Dropouts?
What Now?


Q. What is a Dropout?

A drop out is a term used to describe the termination of your connection, wthout you, your computer or our servers initiating the disconnection.


Q. What causes a Dropout?

Typically drop outs are caused by line noise or interference. This noise can be caused by all sorts of things. Examples include:

  • loose/old wiring

  • old cables/connectors

  • phone extension cords

  • overheated modem

  • lack of CPU processing power (internal modems)

  • electromagnetic interference (other electronice devices or mobile phones)

  • poor waterproofing extrernal overhead or underground phone lines

These are some of the more common causes of line noise and drop outs.


Q. What can I do about Dropouts?

We have a number of suggestions that you might like to try to reduce these problems.- Before you even turn on your computer.Call WaitingEnsure that you have disabled call waiting. When some one calls you and you are already on the internet, the beeps that you would normally hear if you were on a voice call are sufficient to disconnect your modem. To turn call waiting off dial #43#, before you use your modem. You should hear a voice confirming that call waiting has been disabled. To re-enable call waiting dial *43#. You can disable call waiting for the duration of your Internet connection by adjusting the dialup number to :

*44 0198 333 550

Other Equipment
It is recommend that your modem be plugged directly into the phone socket. Telephone extension cords and telephone adapters may interfere with the connection, which can result in disconnections. We also recommend that if having dropout problems to remove any other device from the phone line, even if you are not using the device it can interfere. This includes telephones, answering machines, faxes and back to base security alarms. Many of these devices generate noise or draw power from phone lines, which is sufficient to interfere with a modem call.

Location
It is also good to make sure your modem is placed in the best location on your desk. Oviously this can't be done with an internal modem, but try to place your modem in a clear space, where is can be kept cool. Try not to use your modem as a shelf, stacking papers and books on your modem will cause it to overheat, and this can cause damage to your modem and also cause a dropout.

- Now its time to turn on your computer

Modem Strings
Hopefully that will have helped but if you continue to have problems, you might like to try a modem initialisation string. This is basically an instruction for your modem in the form of combinations of characters which each tell your modem what to do. For Rockwell Chipset based modems (i.e. most generic modems) we suggest you try this string: AT&FW2&C1&D2&K3%c0

For other modems try modemhelp.net, modemsite.com, or consult your modem's manual.

The next thing to do is try and establish whether there are actually problems with line noise. In some cases you can do this yourself as you can hear the noise when you are on the phone talking to people.

As an aside Ascend are the people that make our fully digital terminal servers that your modems dial in to, when you call Chariot. Between our digital Ascend Maxen and out fully digital fibre optic lines in and out, we can be positive that drop outs are usually (98% of the time) not at our end.

The next step in line testing we would suggest is to ask Telstra to check your lines. Just because they checked out OK to your ears, does not mean they are noise free. Modems are far more sensitive than human ears. To do this dial 132203 and a Telstra operator should be able to test your line. Be aware however that a successful test does not mean the line is noise free. Telstra only test for voice quality and very low data quality. In fact Telstra only guarantees that you can obtain speeds of 2400 bits per second on a normal line (Telstra Quick Tips for Reliable Internet Access). This is between 10 and 25 times slower than the average modem on today's desktop. Telstra has recently standardised procedures and increased operator awareness for modem related problems such as drop outs and similar Internet connectivity problems, so your Telstra operator should hopefuly be more helpful than some people have experienced in the past.

If your line checks out okay, and none of our other suggestions have helped, then you might try lowering your modem speed. Typically the slower the connection speed, the more reliable the connection will be. To lower your modem speed go to the Extra Settings box in your Modem Control Panel (as per the above instructions) and add the following string: The following is for 33.6K or slower modems.

+ms=11,1,19200,24000

This will prevent your modem connecting at speeds faster than the last number in the string.

You can then reduce or increase the last number of the string until you get a number that works for you. You can only use the following numbers as the last number: 33600 28800 24000 19200.

For K56 Flex

+ms=56,1,300,42000

or For V90 modems you should use this string

+ms=12,1,300,42000

and try stepping up or down the speed in the following increments (replacing the last number with these):

54000, 50000, 46000, 42000, 38000, 34000, 33600, 28800, 24000, 19200.

Following these instructions will reduce your connection speed, but should increase your reliability.


Q. What Now?

If nothing so far has helped the last suggestion we can make is that you take your computer, cables and modem to another location and try and dial in form there and see if the problem persists.

And also try a different modem at your home and the other location. This of course will not fix your problem, but will help to localise the problem to your house if your system works elsewhere.

With a bit of luck one or some combination of these suggestions should help to alleviate your problems.

If you need further help, or need help in following these instructions, please do not hesitate to email or telephone support on 1300 137 425. If you choose to telephone, please have your telephone close enough to your computer that you can operate your computer and talk on the telephone simultaneously. You will not need to dial up to make these changes.




If you have a question that you would like answered, email us at service@chariot.net.au, and include FAQ in the subject.

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