new java won't connect to site with sha1 certificate

I have an applet that is compiled and the jar file built with java 1.7.0_45.  The clients are all java 1.8.0_60.  I have signed the applet with an SHA256 certificate.  I have created the new DeploymentRuleSet.jar and signed that, placing it in the appropriate windows folder (windows\sun\java\deployment).  Everything is working correctly EXCEPT ...

I need to connect to a site running https.  it has a network solutions certificate that is only SHA1.  The applet keeps throwing a "connection reset" error.  I tried adding the certificate and thumbprint to the ruleset.xml file, re-building the jar file, and signing it, but then the java applet is not allowed to run at all due to security needing to be high or very high.

This is something I really need to get corrected today/tomorrow if possible.  I am new to the java security requirements now being enforced by Oracle, and I really need some guidance here.
dhenderson12Asked:
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CEHJCommented:
Try the following approach

appletviewer  -J-Djavax.net.debug=all http://foo.bar.com/applet.html

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dhenderson12Author Commented:
The problem is that the java 1.8 client won't let me connect to a website with an SHA1 certificate?  how do I get around that?
dhenderson12Author Commented:
i figured out the problem.  i had to set IE to include SSL2.0.  now it all works fine.

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dhenderson12Author Commented:
I answered my own question.
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