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A way to do a sure-fire test of a modem without a phone line??

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Alex Ethridge, Jul 23, 2006.

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  1. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    I used to have three land phone lines. About two years ago, I pared it down to one. We no longer need to communicate on land phone lines and want to get rid of that last land-line phone.

    The problem: I still get computers to service that are on dial-up and I occasionally still need to troubleshoot/replace modems. How can I emulate a land phone line to test these modems' abilities to detect a dial tone, dial and connect?
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    You buy a telco CO simulator, shouldn't set you back more than a couple of grand. ;)

    Are you telling me that you aren't going to have any telephone? :confused: You do realize that you can use a dial-up modem and/or FAX on a VoIP line, right?
     
  3. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Not if you only have cable.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Actually, I use my FAX machine on the VoIP line all the time, and that's going over Comcast Cable. I've also connected using a modem over the same VoIP line, just to see if it would work.

    If you don't have any phone, then obviously it won't work.
     
  5. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    I'm getting rid of the last land-line phone here. It just serves no useful purpose--except maybe to troubleshoot dial-up accounts.

    For the entire last year I had a land-line phone for my business, all it had on it was an answering machine that said the number had changed and gave the cell phone number. The ringer was even turned off. My wife came into the office and got the "company" deskset and I didn't miss it for nearly four months.

    By the way, I have only cable internet and I would never rely on VoIP with that.
     
  6. dobbelina

    dobbelina

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    In most cases (but perhaps not all), checking the modem from "modem properties"
    diagnostics=> query modem usually gives a good indicator if a modem will work or not.
    If you get the "ok", in most cases the modem should work.
    If you turn up the modem speaker to maximum, you should be able to hear the modem dialing out.
    You can do this even if you don't have a line connected.
    If you hear the usual clicking noises and the number being dialed, yet another indicator
    things should be ok.
    If it doesn't make any sounds, you got a problem
     
  7. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    Thanks, but, "in most cases" just won't do here. When I deliver a computer back to the customer, it must be 100%.

    I must test it. In the absence of a 100% sure, in-shop test, I'll just have to make it an on-site call.

    Besides, checking my records, I see I've had only one dial-up problem in the last 5 months. It doesn't look like it's gonna' be a real problem if I can't test it in-shop.
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I have a VoIP account using my Comcast cable account. I can't say it's as reliable as the Verizon line, but it's rarely out of commission. Also, the VoIP accounts allow you to forward calls to another number if your VoIP access is down.
     
  9. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    As for VoIP, I see no use for that either. Some say it is nice for long-distance; but, I got a 600-minute AT&T calling card two years ago (2.9 cents a minute) from Sam's Club and still have over 300 minutes left on it. My 3000 anytime minutes from T-Mobil covers 13 southeastern states.

    The only land line left here is my wife's and I've been trying to talk her out of it for about two years now. I'm already paying $30 per month for her measly 300 minutes and upping it to 3000 costs only $60. The land-line is redundant when she's home and useless when she's not.

    Nuisance fax spammers made my fax line useless so I disconnected it. If I can't get it by PDF attachment or snail mail, I don't need it.
     
  10. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    You want a 100% guaranteed sure-fire way of testing a dial-up modem without having a telephone line (except maybe for the device JohnWill suggested, but you seemed to ignore that).

    Guess what. Not gonna happen. Get a phone line. You have a business. Write it off as an expense.
     
  11. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    I've decided the land line is going the way of the typewriter and the cost of the device Johnwill mentioned can't be justified when I need it only three or four times a year.

    As for dialup/modem troubleshooting, it'll have to be done on-site or not at all in the future. Not that many people are using modems anymore, anyway.

    I was looking for an inexpensive solution; but, since there isn't one, we don't need to pursue it any further.
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    And the reason you don't just use this line to test the modems is? :confused:
     
  13. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    I have been using that line for the last couple of years or so for that purpose; but, we're getting rid of that line, too.

    So, in the near future, there will be no working land lines here.
     
  14. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    The ones who will suffer will be your customers. You will not be able to provide a service for them. If you take the computer to their place and discover a problem with the modem, you'll have to drag it back to your shop for more troubleshooting, then back to their home to test and so forth.

    I don't get it. You run a business, and you need a land line to perform a service in that business. You get basic phone service at the lowest price, and you write it off on your taxes.

    It seems you just want to be obstinate about it.
     
  15. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge Thread Starter

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    Obstinate? I don't understand the application of the term.

    My business is on-site service. If I choose to make it an on-site service call when I'm in the on-site service business, why will either I or my customers suffer? Very little of my work is done in-shop, anyway, and at current rates, I'll have three dial-up/modem service calls in the next year.

    "'Writing off" a $500 loss doesn't mean the government gives all of it back to me. If I "write off" a $500 loss, which is about what a land-line phone costs for a year, and then save $150 in taxes, the other $350 still comes out of my pocket. Where's the business sense in creating a loss like that?
     
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