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dialup access problem

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by RB, Jun 24, 2004.

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  1. RB

    RB Guest

    I have a friend who has dialup interenet conncection. His setup was working
    fine last nite. This morning he doesn't get a dial tone and can't go

    I checked out his phone cable to make sure it was plugged in right at the pc
    as well as at the wall jack.

    I also disconnected his pc and plugged a phone into the wall jack. The
    phone worked fine.

    I think I know where this is headed, but just want to ask and make sure.

    Now, I'll add in that we've had lots of storms and lightning each day for
    awhile now.

    In the past, when my pc was on dialup, I periodically got my modem fried by
    lightning surges. I suspect this is what's happened to my friend's modem.

    However, gotta ask if any other cause is likely. If not, we get a new modem
    tomorrow and try it.
  2. Ken Weitzel

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Suspect that you've got it... the only thing you
    didn't mention checking is the cord between the
    modem and the wall jack. Why not plug the phone
    into the extra jack on the modem just for the
    heck of it?

  3. RB

    RB Guest

    Will do. Thanks for that tip.

    I'm afraid his modem is fried, though.
  4. w_tom

    w_tom Guest

    Plug phone into other jack on modem. That way if phone
    works, then phone line is properly connected through modem.
    Furthermore, appreciate how modem is damaged. The naive will
    claim a surge enters on phone line, damages modem, then stop.
    But electricity cannot flow without both an incoming and
    outgoing path. If incoming on phone line, then where is the
    outgoing electrical path to earth ground?

    Lightning damages modems because modem completes an
    electrical path from cloud to ground. First electricity
    (lightning) passes through everything in that circuit. Only
    then does one part fail - typically the DAA section of modem.
    Often modem can be repaired by replacing PNP driver transistor
    to off hook relay (which hints at the credibility and
    experience behind this post).

    Lightning strikes the AC electric lines highest on poles;
    not telephone lines protected by those AC electric wires.
    Lightning seeks earth ground. Incoming on your AC electric,
    into computer on wire that bypasses power supply, through
    motherboard and modem, then outgoing to earth ground via phone

    Why does lightning seek earth ground via phone line? Phone
    lines already have protection provided and earthed by the
    telco in that little gray box - the NID. 'Whole house'
    protectors are so effective and so inexpensive that telcos
    install them for free. But is a 'whole house' protector
    installed on your incoming AC electric? Therein lies the
    incoming source of damage to modems, portable phone base
    stations, and answering machines.

    Replace the modem. But also fix the reason why modems are
    damaged. Further information is provided in previous
    "RJ-11 line protection?" on 30 Dec 2003 in pdx.computing at
    See all posts from 30 Dec 2003 through 12 Jan 2004.
  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello RB,

    You can plug in a splitter (two phones into one jack). Plug in a phone,
    hear the dial tone. Plug in the turned-off modem and listen on the
    phone. If the dial tone has now disappeared chances are high that the
    modem is indeed fried.

    One poster asked where the electrical path is: Many modems have a metal
    oxide varistor (MOV) across the phone line terminals to protect against
    excessive voltages. When a really large surge comes along these can
    short out for good. They are sometimes replaceable but that might be
    more hassle than a new modem since modems became so cheap.

    Regards, Joerg
  6. Nigel

    Nigel Guest

    Does he actually get the dialup prompt when opening Outlook or Internet
    Explorer ?

    I'm assuming that you've checked the dialup settings (Always dial my
    default connection, 8 N 1, TCP/IP,etc) and checked what report you're
    getting under the Modem Properties tab.

    You might also want to examine the modem's .log files - this can sometimes
    give a clue on what's happening.
  7. Matthew Domb

    Matthew Domb Guest

    You might want to check if the modem is listed as being connected on the
    control panel.

    Double-click on my computer, double click on the control panel icon,then
    double click on "System" icon.

    Click on the Device Manager tab and expand the listing "Modems"(click on the
    plus sign). Check to see if the modem is listed (the name may not be exactly
    the same. if it lists terms like V90, 56K, that is the one you want).If it
    has a little yellow exclamation point,double click the name and reply with
    what it shows there.

    - Matthew Domb
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