Losing internet connection

I have just bought my first mac and my internet connection drops all of the time. I'm typing this now on the other computer in the house (a pc) that this doesn't happen to.
After dialing up and launching the browser everything seems to go fine and then within 5 minutes I lose the connection.
I have tried macPPP/freePPP,
macTCP/open transport but with the same result. Could this be a powerbook
related problem.

I'm using

Powerbook 1400c/133/16MB
Zoom V.34C Plus pc card
MacOS 7.5.3

Apple Internet Dialer 1.1  then  FreePPP 2.5v2
with MacTCP 2.0.6 or Open Transport 1.1

Could the modem initialization string or other settings also cause a problem?
Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
John


bajan071397Asked:
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weedCommented:
Could be a modem init string but that tends to kill the connection relatively quickly. Is your connection set to timeout after so many minutes? are you using error correction?
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riftyCommented:
Further to weed's question, what is your init string? Do you know how to change it?

Rifty
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bajan071397Author Commented:
weed:
I don't know how quick is quick but it drops in about 2 minutes consistently.
the connection was set to timeout if idle for 20 mins but I unchecked that box eventually.
I'm using CTS & RTS flow control (does that control error correction?) - I have seen in the "more details" of the "FreePPP Information" window about 12 CRC errors in the 2 min connection

rifty:
I was given this list by Zoom and have tried all
AT&F&C1&D2%C0
AT&F&C1&D2\A2%C1
AT&F&C1&D2\A2%C1S95=1
AT&F&C1&D2\N5\A2%C1
AT&F&C1&D2\N5\A2%C1-K2
AT&F&C1&D3&K3S95=1

I also tried "AutoDetect init string" in the "FreePPP modem setup"
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riftyCommented:
OK, I don't think it has anything to do with the init string. I thought of line problems, but you said that you could use a PC successfully, presumably using exactly the same phone line - is the modem being used for the Mac the same modem being used for the PC? If not, can you test the Mac's modem on the PC - or is it an internal modem on the Powerbook? (I imagine so.) Sorry, I don't have much to do with Powerbooks, so I apologise if these questions seem dumb. Just trying to eliminate some of the variables.

Rifty.
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idjohnsoCommented:
try AT&F for the init string (use ZTerm or the terminal window in the ConfigPPP Control Panel).  Who is your ISP?
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weedCommented:
I second idjohnsos comment. AT&F works consistently for me on my old zoom so its worth a try. AT&F resets the modem parameters to factory defaults. Also what doyou have tour baud rate set to? (Baud Ratesomewhat equals port speed) it should be set to around 57.6 for a PPC
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bajan071397Author Commented:
rifty:
The modem on the mac is a pc card and the one on the pc, internal

idjohnso/weed:
I tried AT&F without improvement and had the baud rate also set to 57.6 (I'm don't know what ZT erm is though)
My ISP is a local one, Caribsurf which has been generally reliable - using pc software anyway

I didn't point out that when the line drops (eg. during the middle of a download) the connection clock keeps running but then in the "Free PPP information" window (which is showing me the rate of data transfer) the rate drops to 0, then sometimes gives a flicker or two and then stays at 0 (even after minutes of waiting). The download progress bar also stops moving forward yet the connection clock keeps running and I have to click "disconnect" because nothing else comes.

I guess I should also try a download with another modem or modem-to-wall cable.
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riftyCommented:
Zterm is a terminal program that lets you connect direct to your ISP without using PPP (so, no Netscape or Eudora....) but it would be a good test to see whether or not the problem is with PPP or with the modem or something else. It can be downloaded from www.shareware.com

If you make a connection successfully with your ISP using zterm, then you really just have to wait and see how long it stays online. (Just keep pressing return at the prompt every minute or so to keep the activity going once you have actually logged in. (Zterm will give you instructions on how to log on.)

Worth a try in order to eliminate some of the possibilities, and possibly to identify the source of your problem.

Rifty
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bajan071397Author Commented:
thanks for the suggestion
will try
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bajan071397Author Commented:
SOLUTION!
(sort of)

After much emailing with Zoom tech support a new initialization string has solved the problem

I now use   AT+MS=11,1,300,28800  which lowers the speed of my (33.6) modem to 28.8
The line does not drop any more
My ISP says that there should be noproblem with 33.6 so that is still a small mystery for me to solve
thanks for the help in the search

(Zoom gave me this list to try)

"AT&Q6S37=6N0 for 2400 connections with no error correction/data compression
 AT%C0S37=6N0 for 2400 connections with no data compression
 AT&Q6S37=9N0 for 9600 connections with no error correction/data compression
 AT%C0S37=9N0 for 9600 connections with no data compression
 AT&Q6S37=11N0 for 14.4 connections with no error correction/data compression
 AT%C0S37=11N0 for 14.4 connections with no data compression

 AT+MS=11,1,300,28800 for V.34 connections
 AT+MS=11,0,28800,28800 for V.34 28.8k connections
 AT+MS=74,0,26400,26400 for Vfast Class 26.4k connections
 AT+MS=74,1,300,28800 for Vfast Class connections

Also, add %C0S10=200 to the end of the string"
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mmarquesCommented:
1. although your ISP may support 33.6, you may have a phoneline
which doesn't (my phoneline is "noisy" and I rarely get higher
than a 28.8 connection and never 33.6 - whether on a mac or pc)

2. You may want to consider upgrading to 7.5.5, keeping OpenTransport 1.1, and using Apples own PPP connection tool (which is free to download from their site). I've used various combinations and have found that the most reliable (although you
can also upgrade to OS8)
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