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Technical support article

Help for Modem Connection Problems



Unwanted disconnections and slow connections may occur for a variety of reasons. Diagnosing the problems may require some background questioning.
  • Have you always had this problem, or are the problems a recent development?
  • Are the problems consistant (following a pattern) or sporadic??
  • What has been changed on the system? (New programs installed, etc)
  • Have you recently upgraded your modem?
  • Have you recently added new telephone devices (answering machines, Caller ID, etc)?
  • Do you have call waiting?




Note: To help prevent busy signals, we have inacted timers on our system to free up modems that are not actively being used. If you are inactive for 30 minutes straight our system will disconnect your account from the server. You can immediately reconnect as soon as you are ready to use the service actively. There is also a call limit of 4 hours placed on accounts. Whether you are actively using the account or not, our system will disconnect those users who "park" on our modems for extended periods of time. This 4 hour call limit does not prevent you from immediately logging back online if you choose to do so. Although we have unlimited accounts, if you are not actively using the account, you should make sure to disconnect so that other customers can log on as well.

Since there are dozens things that could cause disconnections and slow connections, you need to determine if the problem is the modem, an incorrect setting, a software problem, a problem with your phone line, etc. Below is a listing of some things known to contribute to disconnections:
  • Weather can cause many interruptions with your modem and your phone lines. Moisture in the lines after a rain shower or frozen ice crystals after a snow storm are just a few examples of weather items that can hurt your connections. High winds can down power and phone lines can also be the culprit of a bad connection.
  • Disable call waiting. The interrupt designed to notify a caller of an incomming call will usually cause an on-line modem to disconnect. Click here for instruction on how to temporarily disable call waiting.
  • Interference on phone line. Devices attached to your phone line may cause interference on your phone line. The interference can cause slower connect speeds and even disconnections. Remove all phones, answering machines, Caller ID boxes, etc from your phone line and try to connect. If your connection is successful, reattach devices one at a time trying to connect in between each device to isolate the device causing the problem.
  • Disable all screen savers. Some screen savers may cause problems with internet connections.
  • Check to make sure the telephone cord is not damaged or loose. Your favorite pet chewing on the cord can harm both the pet and your connection.
  • Make sure the cable is not wrapped around or routed near any other devices or cords carrying electrical current. Avoid running the cord through a splitter.
  • Extra long cables can cause slower connect speeds and often disconnects. Try to keep the modem cord as short as possible, preferrably less than 6 feet in length.
  • Make sure there are no programs, graphic intensive wallpaper, applications or files open or running in the background, which may use up memory and system resources that could better be utilized for your internet connection.
  • Make sure you have the latest modem driver's on your machine. As with all technology, everything changes and upgrades at an accelerated pace. We try to keep our modems as current as possible, and in doing so, assume that our customers are doing the same. For more information on updating your modem driver, click here
  • Make sure error control is enabled. Also, check that the maximum speed is not set too high. An excessive number of errors in the data may lead to the modem intepreting and seeing the errors as a lost connection.
  • Modem Speed (DCE) in bps Maximum Speed (DTE or Port) in bps
    14400 19200 or 38400
    28800 57600
    33600 115200
    56000 115200
  • Disable "disconnect call if idle for more then x minutes". To do this, click on My Computer, dial-up networking, click on Quad-Cities OnlineŽ with your right mouse button and hit properties, Click on configure, and remove the check mark from the above mentioned box.
  • Check to make sure there is no construction or phone work being done in your area. During times of construction, wires may be possibly cut and re-routed, causing phone problems. There may also be upgrades or repairs being done by your telephone company nearby which can cause disturbances or disruptions.
  • As a last resort, you can try to reinstall Dialup Adapter and TCP/IP. If you need help with this, give us a call at 757-5037.




If trying all of the above mentioned steps does not solve the problem, it could be that there is static (line noise) in your phone lines or you do not have good quality lines. You can contact your telephone company for a line quality test. Most phone companies guarantee only a 9600 connection speed through their phone lines and make no guarantee that you will be free from disconnects. Having old or bad wiring through your home or in your phone lines may not be a problem that can be solved.


If you are looking more information on modems including common problems and fixes, you may wish to visit one of the following off-site links:
http://www.modemhelp.net
http://www.modemhelp.org
http://www.56k.com
http://elaine.teleport.com/~curt/mod-w95.html


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