For example:

Subject: Disconnection 1 - Settings
                                            ART MATRIX - LIGHTLINK
                                            PO 880 Ithaca, NY 14851-0880
                                            (607) 277-0959      Voice
                                            (607) 277-8913      Fax
                                            (607) 277-5026      Modems
                                            03/18/02 12:00pm

     There are a number of reasons that users have disconnect
problems, and they tend to fall into 3 broad categories: Settings,
Software, and Physical Connection.

     This posting is about setting issues that can affect modem
disconnection rates as they are the easiest to fix and produce marked
results in many cases.
     Although we concentrate on Win95/98 in this posting, the same
data applies to Win 2000 and XP.  Macintoshes are a different problem
and we will aproach them in a different posting.

     The first part of this posting goes through a general description
of the settings that need to be made.  Then at the end we take you
through the whole thing to make the changes in Win95/98.


     1.) Required to connect

     All modems need error correction turned on to work properly,
other wise line noise, which is ubiquitous on all phone lines, whether
you hear it or not, comes across as data.  If lines are too noisy,
error correction won't work at all, so most modems try to negotiate
during the startup phase to see whether error correction will work or

     The problem is that if the lines are too noisy for error
correction to work, the modems will sign on without error correction,
then the line noise bursts start to come across as data.  The modem
has to resend packets over and over again and eventually signs off
when the retry limit is surpassed.  So it is of questionable value to
even allow a modem to sign on without error correction.

     There is an option setting that forces the use of error
correction, this bypasses the negotiation phase, and tells the modem
to use error correction even if the lines are 'too noisy for it'.  The
result of this, is that if the lines really are too noisy, the modem
won't be able to sign on at all, but usually the modem will sign on
just fine and then work perfectly.  The negotiation process is not
perfect and will often say that the lines are too noisy for error
correction when in fact they aren't.  But lines are ALWAYS too noisy
to run without error correction, so forcing error correction often
solves this problem.
     2.) Disconnect after X minutes

     Some few users have their dialup adpater set to disconnect them
if idle for more than 5 to 10 minutes.  The purpose of this is to
protect against long phone bills should you walk away from your
computer and forget to sign off.  Our own modems will disconnect you
after 40 minutes of total inactivity, so you don't reallly need this
setting, and if it is on, it may be disconnecting you while you are
reading or composing e-mail.

     3.) Username

     Some of our modem banks are more forgiving about incorrect
usernames than others.  During busy times, users that are used to
getting on one modem bank may be rolled over to another and suddenly
they can't get on at all for a while, it keeps asking them for their
username and password.  A while later it works again.

     Thus it is important to enter your username correctly in the
dialup adapter.  Your username is part before the @ sign in your
lightlink e-mail address.

     For example my e-mail is and my user name is

     Incorrect user names are:

     Homer W. Smith
         homer   <- notice the leading spaces, even trailing spaces
                    will cause a problem.

     4.) S10=20

     Modems depend on a carrier wave to keep the signal going between
both ends.  If there is a momentary disruption in the carrier or a
noise burst drowns it out, the modems will hang up.  Modems can be set
to tolerate momentary outages of the carrier without hanging up, the
S10=20 setting tells the modem to tolerate 2 seconds (20 tenths) of
outage before hanging up.  This fixes many problems caused by phone
wires swinging in the wind etc.

     5.) Number you are dialing into.

     If you have a 14.4, 28.8 or 33.6 modem you should be dialing into
our analogue modem banks at 277 5026 for Ithaca and 735 4949 for
Elmira.  The 56K modem banks will not get you any faster speed, and
they will drop you more often.

     If you have a 56k or V90 modem you should be dialing into the
digital modem banks at 277-0356 for Ithaca and 735-9691, 735-9844 or
733-1323 for Elmira.

     Ithaca and Elmira users must be very careful which numbers they
pick or long distance charges will result.

     6.) Call waiting

     If you have call waiting on your modem phone line, then every
time someone calls into you while you are on line, the line creates a
beeping noise and breaks the modem carrier guaranteeing that you will
be bumped off.  To turn off this behavior during the period of your
modem call, you need to stick a *70, infront of the dialup number.

     So for example rather than dialing 277 0356, you would be dialing

     Note it is very important that you NOT do this if you don't have
call waiting as your call won't go through at all, you will get an
operator's voice instead complaining about your misdialed number.


     Outlook and Outlook Express both have options to hanging up
after reading e-mail.  Many customers complain that every time
they read their e-mail they get disconnected, well this is why.


     Close out all programs and all windows on your desktop so all you
have is your desktop and its icons showing.

once with the *RIGHT* mouse button, hit on PROPERTIES with the left
mouse button.

     Notice what type of modem it says you have and write it down.


     If your modem has 56K or V90 in its description anywhere, then
change your phone number to 277 0356.  Otherwise change your phone
number to 277 5026.


     If your modem has 56K or V90 anywhere in its description, change
your number to one of the following: 735-9691, 735-9844, or 733-1323.
Each bank has 16 modems in it, so if one gets busy, use another.

     If your modem does not have 56K or V90 anywhere in its
description change your phone number to 735-4949.

     Then for all users again:

     Click on CONFIGURE

     If you have a 14.4 modem set the speed to 57600.

     If you have a 28.8, 33.6 or 56K/V90 modem set the speed to 115200.

     Click on CONNECTION


     Click on ADVANCED.
     In the upper left turn ON Use Error Control, Required to connect,
and Compress data.

     In the upper right, turn on Use Flow Control, and Hardware
RTS/CTS (Request To Send/Clear To Send).

     In EXTRA SETTINGS put S10=20
     HIT OK, then OK again, then OK again.
     At this point you should be in the Dialup Networking window
looking at your lightlink icon.

     Double click on the lightlink icon and bring it up.

     Make sure your username is *ALL LOWER CASE* with no at the end of it, and no leading or trailing spaces.
Swipe it out and type it in again carefully if you aren't sure.

     Then click on DIAL PROPERTIES

     If you have call waiting on your modem phone line, half way down
the properties page, turn on the suppression of call waiting and make
sure it says *70,

     At the very bottom it will show you the exact phone number you
will be dialing, this should include the *70, if you have turned it

     Save your work and dial in.


     Go to Tools -> Options -> Mail Delivery and turn off
hang up after reading e-mail.

     In Outlook Express go to Tools -> Options -> Connections and turn
off the same.

     Please report back to us if any of these changes improved your
disconnection rate.

     Thanks  Homer