November 2000--Hopefully this will
be the last word on stable connections. Seems I left something out
in last monthís
article so Iíll put the correction in here as well as include
information about additional modems. This should cover most modems
on the market, but thereís always the chance thereís still something
unknown out there.
The correction concerns how HyperTerminal should be configured. I
forgot that often Windows pulls a rabbit out of itís hat and assigns
a modem a non-standard communications port, often Com5, but it could
be a higher number. Unfortunately, the instructions I listed only
work for modems that are assigned Com1 through Com4. The good news
is that this isnít a major problem, but the instructions need to be
If you havenít installed HyperTerminal, download it from
Run Htpe6.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
Hilgraeve updated HyperTerminal to version 6.1 to address a security
flaw. If youíre running an older version, I advise downloading the
new version to address the security issue.
Setting It Up
Click on Start | Programs | HyperTerminal Private Edition |
HyperTerminal Private Edition to start the program. You will see a
screen labeled "Connection Description" Ė give your connection and
chose an icon, it doesnít matter what you call the connection or
what icon you use.
Click OK and you will see another screen labeled "Connect To". At
the bottom is a drop-down box labeled "Connect Using". Click on the
arrow at the right and choose your Modem. Put 555-1212 in the Phone
Number field and leave the Area Code field as it is. You wonít be
using the phone number you enter here, so 555-1212 works as itís not
a valid number which might get called accidentally. Once thatís
done, Click OK.
The next dialog says "Connect" Ė relax, youíre not going to dial
anything here. However, make sure to click CANCEL on this Dialog to
bypass placing a call. The hard part of the process is over.
Type AT&F and press Enter, you will see an OK, meaning the modem
accepted the command and processed it (AT&F resets the modem to itís
Set the Modem
Next type the command needed to turn off 56K on your modem. The
command is different for different modems. I have listed the most
popular modems here. If your modem doesnít respond to any of these
commands with "OK", but instead returns "ERROR", check the typing Ė
if itís correct, post in the message boards, listing what kind of
modem you have installed. See Control Panel | Modems | Diagnostics |
select your modem | More info to see what kind of modem you have
Rockwell/Conexant (except PCI modems): at+ms=11,1
Rockwell/Conexant PCI modems (note, most new computers use PCI
Lucent LT WinModem Ė Use whatever code returns OK instead of
USR WinModem: ats32=98
USR Courier: ats58=33
Make sure you see OK on the screen after entering the command
(and pressing Enter to send the command to the Modem). If instead,
you see ERROR - check what command you typed. This is really using a
raw mode to talk to the modem and thereís not much error reporting
other than pass or fail.
Then dial the USR Line Test computer by entering the command:
Then press Enter to send the command to the modem. This will dial
up USRís BBS system and start the Logon process.
When prompted for graphics, hit enter.
When prompted for a user name, enter: Line Test
This test will last approximately 1 minute, and will tell you if
your phone line supports 56K. If it does, congratulations, youíre
done! Youíre in great shape. Close HyperTerminal, saving the
configuration and enjoy the performance.
If the test fails, you have a little more work to do. Close
HyperTerminal, saving the connection, then open Control Panel |
Modems | Click on your Modem | Properties | Connection | Advanced Ė
in the box marked "Extra Settings", put the command you used in
HyperTerminal to turn off 56K access. It only gets in the way since
your Phone Line canít handle the process and itís a source of many
Click OK three times to save the settings and youíre done. What
you should find is a connection that may seem slower, but will be
faster overall because it will be more reliable.
Letís all hope for more stable connections.
Until next month, stay connected.