Just lost my 8th modem! Argggggh!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by FFTT, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I could just scream!:mad:

    In fact I have....... A lot!

    I was connected earlier today and all last night though our normal crappy 2.4kb dial-up signal. I was in the middle of helping someone online and suddenly was disconnected.

    The day is calm and there was no risk of a thunder storm or lightening.

    I tried for more than an hour to get back online, getting mixed results
    of no dial tone, the operator ( through the modem ) saying please hang up and dial again and buzy signals.

    The network diagnotics are not specifically indicating a problem
    with the G5's modem but it will not connect so I'm using the same phone cable, posting here now through my G3 and my 7th Global Village external modem.

    I just got off the line with Verizon repair and tore them a new one for
    7 years of delay to replace our phone lines and now modem #8 is shot.

    All of these modems were surge protected, but I learned long ago
    that the surge protectors can not react fast enough to protect your modem from a power surge through the phone lines.

    I'm 1 hour from the Nations Capitol of the most advanced civilization on the planet dealing with 60 year old copper phone lines , no dsl, no cable
    and I've HAD IT!

    Now I need to find out what it will cost to replace the modem on my G5.

    I told Verizon that I intend to notify the FCC and the State Corporation Commision about their failure to provide our community with modern day utilites.

    At the moment it looks like all I've lost is the modem, but if there's any damage to there motherboard or any other components, Verizon is fixing it.

    I am SO MAD!
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Wow...I'm sorry. :( That sounds extremely frustrating!

    Have you ever looked into some kind of wireless solution? Either an EDGE modem or some kind of long range wireless high speed access? That's just too too much to deal with. There has to be *something* where you live....
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    I would make Verizon pay for the modem also.
    I would call verizon, and tell them to expect a bill soon for repairs to your computer that they caused. Then get the modem fixed by whoever you want, and just send them the bill.
  4. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The only option we have right now is satellite and the trees make that iffy.

    I just can't afford $600 for the dish and installation and another $59.00
    per month for the service and it's not even 2 way for that price.

    It's pretty much the same for DirecWay, Earthlink, Wild Blue
    and all the others.
    The one's that do cover our area are way too expensive.

    Our cell phone signal up here is so shaky, I doubt any wireless service would work either IF the trees didn't interfere.

    The problem is that our small community of 32 homes is 5 miles
    from the closest small town and Verizon and the cable companies are too freeking cheap to run new lines up here.

    I have friends here and all over the word that have better utilities
    than we do.

    We've been collectively waiting for 7 years to get broadband.

    I've tried numerous times to reconfigure the normal modem settings.

    I pulled up the Connection Log and it shows Connect script failed.

    I've also tried my normal ISP and Earthlink dialup.

    Obviously, the ISP's are OK or I wouldn't be able to connect with my G3

    I just don't undertsand how I could lose a modem with no weather issues.

    It must have been a voltage surge through the phone line from somewhere.
  5. Arcus macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    of my hand will get me slapped.
    May I suggest getting a USB to serial converter and an external US Robotics?
  6. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    well, i don't know about the "most advanced civilization" thing. ;)

    but on topic. i bought at radio shack some surge protectors that have also surge protection for phone lines. so far in the last 24 month nothing happened to my modem and we had plenty of thunderstorms here in the boston area (i live in the suburbs).
  7. dblissmn macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2002
    How to lobby

    FFTT -- There was a similar situation in northeastern Minnesota several years ago; the state Public Utiliities Commission forced the phone company (GTE, who became Verizon, who within a month sold the holdings to Frontier) not only to upgrade areas with non-mobile radiophone service to landline but to do so with full DSL capability; this back in 1999. After a two year wait for permits by the phone company due to the US Forest Service's over-zealous interpretation of the National Environmental Policy Act, the cables (fiber optic, no less) and relay towers were finally installed by Frontier in 2001.

    Minnesota petitioners got their way by a) documenting years of phone company intransigence (bad service, turning down opportunities to improve it, even as electric utilities were fixing their infrastructure), and b) organizing. Getting businesses involved, getting petitioners from other similarly affected areas up to 70 miles away, and pointing out the lack of alternatives to landline service were all important parts of that process.

    It's also important to establish data transmission (e.g. fax and internet) as part of basic landline service. That's especially important given that you alrady have landline service. This includes pointing out services you have LOST because of being stuck with such poor lines. If Maryland is like Minnesota, it will be easier to do this using fax as a leverage point than the Internet. Example -- 15 years ago, 2.4kbps was still OK for fax machines. It is not OK now -- new fax machines don't support such a slow speed.
  8. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    FFTT--I can understand your frustration, but you are extremely unlikely to get Verizon to cover any repair costs. Or, unfortunately, to do anything else.

    As to Verizon covering repair costs, they will almost certainly refuse for three reasons. First, the chance of an electrical surge capable of frying a modem being carried on a twisted pair is almost nil. Second, if you are that far away from the nearest town, you are most likely being served by off of a remote terminal like SLC-96 or SLC-2000. Neither of these are capable of such of a feat. Finally, there is almost certainly--you would have to review the relevant tariff to be sure--a provision in your service that prevents Verizon from being held liable for damage to anything connected to their service.

    As to Verizon upgrading your lines, they are not required to as long as they meet the minimal standards for 1FR POTS service (pardon the redundancy). As a for-profit business, they will upgrade your infrastructure only when it makes economic sense for them to do so, absent an order from the state PUC or the FCC. You would probably have better luck with the state PUC--state agencies are often more responsive then the federal counterpart.

    Also, given your described geography, placing new cable, whether copper or fiber, will be very expensive, as would upgrading the remote terminals.


  9. stefan15 macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2005
    Who runs your 60 y.o. lines in the area? Here in Calgary, we have Telus as an internet provider. Our lines outside our house were basically sucking the hell out of our bandwidth, only getting about 1/8th the speed. Also, we intermittantly experienced noise on the lines. Occaisionally we'd lose connection all together, were forced to give up a second line, lose some jacks, etc.

    Here, Telus ALSO runs the government telephone lines. So in your case, I am guessing that Verizon does not run those. Instead, get in touch with who does. We complained about the problem to Telus and after fighting with them for about a year, got them to change parts of the crappy line outside our house.

    8 modems is rediculous, it's time for someone to fix that.
  10. Laser47 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2004
    And I thought it was frustrating verizon fios wasint avalible in my area. I hope they bring broadband to your area, i know how bad dialup can be.
  11. dblissmn macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2002
    Central office or SLC/DLC proximity

    Just occurred to me, how far are you from either the local phone company "central office" or exchange, or at least from the nearest digital loop carrier (DLC) or subscriber loop carrier (SLC) battery box? If you are within three miles of a DLC you should certainly be able to get close to 50Kbps, and that distance is usually about the outer limit of the phone line having enough power to sustain DSL. I have relatives who are closer to five miles from their nearest DLC on approximately 30 to 40 year old infrastructure and they still get 42.6Kbps or at worst 38K. If you are anywhere near a DLC or SLC (their main purpose is the battery box to boost the power to the signal) the performance you're getting suggests a line fault that should be Verizon's responsibility to fix as a matter of routine. And it shouldn't be blowing out modems like that -- I think in all the time I was on dialup I had one blown modem in ten years, and that was what I can only assume was a power surge because my modem, motherboard and stereo all went out within a couple of weeks of one another despite all being surge protected. The producers of the modem and computer and the vendor of the stereo repaired everything under warranty.

    Also, are you using a UPS box for the computer? They have a little more oomph and speed than a regular surge strip. That's what I now use.
  12. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    Send an invoice to Verizon with a due date. See what happens...
  13. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003

    Actually, if he is served off of almost any kind of remote terminal ("RT") he will not get above 28.8 KHz. The only exception would be if the RT has been upgraded to handle remote DSL. The reason is that the main point of an RT is NOT a "battery boost" but rather to multiplex various individual DS-0 lines to a single transmission channel. Thus a SLC-96 multiplexes up to 96 DS-0 lines to one or two DS-1s (typically) for transmission back to a central office. They work by compressing each DS-0 to either 16 Kb or 32 Kb. A SLC-2000 (and other RTs from Lucent, Avaya, Nortel, etc.) works on the same principle, the main difference with a SLC-2000 is that it is capable of handling an OC-3 feed and thus many more DS-0s can be fed from a single RT.

    FFTT--One thing I can suggest is that you ask Verizon to run a line test on your phone line and to provide you with the results (beyond the standard "it passed" statement). What you want is the dB line loss out to your home--that will drive what connection speed you have. Also, you can see if you have a second drop to your home--if you do, ask if they can either connect a second line or use it to test if the line quality is better. If the second line's quality is better, ask to have your service switched to that line.

    Unfortunately, you're unlikely to get anything above 28.8. However, neither should you be on an 8th modem! Something is clearly wrong there--but it is virtually impossible for a RT to send that kind of a voltage spike down the line--it would burn out the SLC card your line is connected to.


  14. dblissmn macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2002
    An interesting point . . .

    . . . and one that explains why the Minnesota case I mentioned migrated to a DSL demand. I had recalled there being a barrier part way up the scale of dial-up speed (though I think it was 33.6 and not 28.8Kbps -- are you sure about 28.8?) and I think you have just explained why. Certainly, all the remote DLCs newly installed by Frontier in 2001 as a result of that case support DSL.
  15. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003

    I'm relatively sure about 28.8, because only 57.6 Kb of a DS-0 is available for payload--the balance is overhead for framing, etc. And the RT simply muxes down the 64 Kb DS-0 to 32 Kb, 16 Kb, or even lower. I would not, however, guarantee it--it has been a while (2003) since I've worked in the field.

    And just about any RT installed since roughly 2002-2003 is (or should be) DSL capable. Whether the company placing the RT uses it to provide DSL is another story, though....

    I'm really scratching my head as to what could be causing FFTT to lose so many modems, though--that is at once both strange and immensely frustrating.


  16. Bulb macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2005
    My mate here in Sydney had this, he ended up buying 3 modems from the Mac store at $200 each before he finally got the ***** and bought a $20 PC piece of junk, ironically it hasnt blown since..

    Are you getting a different brand of modem each time ? It sounds bizarre but maybe something in your modem is a prob with your line ? If you have tried different types, id be buying the cheapest compatible modem i could find..
  17. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Wow I really do appreciate the support and comments.

    I learned a few things today.

    I talked to the lead operations forman of the local power company office
    asking how a/c voltage could get into a phone line with no sign of inclement weather.

    Answer: car hits pole, branch lands across line, backhoe cuts cable and in all three cases hot goes to neutral.
    The phone company shares that neutral.
    The resulting surge is so fast nothing made can stop it.

    I had 2 phone jack surge protectors in line.

    The phone repairman dropped by while I was gone and said he removed
    a bat's nest from the junction box somewhere along the lines.
    And that now the lines checked O.K.

    O.K., well the modem still won't connect.

    A zapped bat! Go figure.

    At least it's not as gruesome as fried squirrel.

    We're almost 6 miles from the closest switching station or hub or whatever they call it.
    The previous Verizon field supervisor and a technician came out here about 2 years ago and double grounded everything.
    There was nothing more they could do until they get the budget to replace the lines in our community.

    Instead of replacing the lines where people have the most problems,
    they're going for numbers of homes connected as a priority.

    I hate it, but I understand.

    Still enough is enough.

    The faster they get to us the less it will cost in materials and labor.

    I also dropped by the AppleStore and explained how I was either getting no
    dial tone, a busy signal or the operator saying " please hang up and dial again" through the modem speaker system.

    I've also been getting a popping sound through my sound system each time I boot up or shut down.

    The genius told me to bring my G5 in.
    It's still under waranty.

    It's ONLY 47 miles to the store.

    At least I'm not going through Macrumors forum withdrawls too badly.

    My G3 connects fine through good 'ol Global Village modem #7 at a heart pounding 21,600 bps.

    My record best ever connection was 26400bps just recently in the G5.

    One last thought

    There's a whole bunch of nice old cars out there younger than these phone lines
    and they qualify as antiques. :(

    I hope that freekin bat suffered!
  18. pubwvj macrumors 68000


    Oct 1, 2004
    Mountains of Vermont
    We have very bad phone lines and I've been through similar horror stories. I use Panamax surge supressors, in series (3x), on the phone lines and carefully design the bubble's of power as well as reinforcing the grounding for our power/phone. This has helped but I think the phone company's grounding is bad as stuff still gets through. The good news is the Panamaxes die, usually just the first in the series, to save my equipment.
  19. Xeem macrumors 6502a


    Feb 2, 2005
    I'll agree so far as the fact that our old Global Village modems were far more reliable than Apple's internal modems, which tended to burn out very easily in our house. I also connected faster on them; I was getting 33.6 on my PowerCenter Pro at the same time (and from the same phone jack) as our Cube was only getting 26.4 with its internal 56K modem.
  20. FFTT thread starter macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    The first 7 modems I lost were Global Village externals.

    A few days after I vented my frustrations to the repair representative and called the local supervisors office, they sent a technician out again who installed
    a line noise filter.

    I'm now connected at a heart pounding 28,800bps. :D

    Unfortunately, My signal now disconnects several times a day with no explaination.

    The local office has told me they will eventually get to us, but their planning roadmap is all about improving services for the highest quantity of customers first.

    I'm guessing it will take a few more years.
  21. Gokhan macrumors 6502a

    Oct 7, 2003

    mate i fell your pain thats ****ed wow atleast in the states the compaines pay up ! here in the uk bt while installing my phone line in my business busted my shutter box £180 no remorse or payment

    good luck

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