Home Web Hosting DSL Dial-up Mail Help

Zipcon Logo

Troubleshooting Connection Problems

Alternate Phone Numbers
Full list of Zipcon dial-up numbers

We have alternate modem numbers you can try calling:

206-384-4050 Seattle V.90, K56Flex and ISDN

425-645-0040 Everett V.90, K56Flex and ISDN

253-650-0040 Tacoma V.90, K56Flex and ISDN

Please be sure to at least try the different numbers available for your area code.
If your area is not covered by the above numbers, please see the full list of Zipcon dial-up numbers.
If this doesn't help, please be sure to continue on with the rest of this document.

Upgrading your Modem Firmware

Please be sure you have the latest v.90 firmware available. Most modems are now software upgradable. You can download a program that will upgrade your modem to a newer more reliable version of v.90.
Try using our modem firmware listing page to find a firmware upgrade for your modem.

Commas after the Phone Number

As odd as it sounds, this often works with modems. Try adding from 3 to 6 commas after the phone number in your computer setup. For instance, tell it to dial 206-384-4050,,,, instead of just 206-384-4050
. The reason this sometimes helps appears to be because some modems become confused by the sounds other modems give out when first answering the phone call. Each extra comma tells you modem to sit and wait a second before attempting a connection.

Phone Line Noise

If you are having trouble staying connected it could be a number of things. Possibly the phone line, the modems involved, or both. If you notice any noise on your phone line, please call your phone company and let them know that you hear line noise when making voice calls.

Century Link Residential phone repair: 1-800-573-1311
Frontier Residential phone repair: 1-800-483-1000

56K Problems, Modems Connect too Fast?

V.90 is relatively new. Some modems are extremely agressive about connecting at the highest possible speed. This sounds great in theory, but in practice can cause problems. The reason is becuase the modem may actually connect faster than it can reliably send and receive data. When this happens, you connect up nice and fast, but then get lots of stalls and or disconnects.

You can try limiting the modem to a lower speed, usually this is done by putting something like +MS=v90,1,0,45333, in

Start/Setting/Control Panel/Modems/Properties/Connection/Advanced/Extra Settings.

This will cause the modem to not attempt to negotiate a full speed connection. You can set the maximum connect rate by adjusting the last number. The numbers have to be v.90 though. Here is a list of possible v.90 speeds.

53333, 52000, 50666, 49333, 48000, 46666, 45333, 44000, 42666, 41333, 40000, 38666, 37333, 36000, 34666, 33333, 32000, 30666, 29333, 28000

If you have problems with that, and your modem does K56Flex, try telling it to do K56Flex by using:

Rockwell: +MS=K56,1,0,46000
Lucent: s38=1-v90=0

For the Rockwell modem INIT string, the "K56" part sets the protocol (V90 or K56). Only the 206-384-4050 hunt group support K56Flex. K56Flex speeds are different from the V.90 speeds, here is the list:

56000, 54000, 52000, 50000, 48000, 46000, 44000, 42000, 40000, 38000, 36000, 34000, 32000

Finally, if you modem is a 3Com/USR Sporster or Courier, it can connect using x2 (only to the 206-384-4050 lines). Try telling it to use x2 by entering an INIT string "+MS=x2,1,0,45333". The "x2" part sets the protocol. The x2 speeds are also different from the v.90 speeds, here is the list:

53333, 52000, 50666, 49333, 48000, 46666, 45333, 44000, 42666, 41333, 37333, 33333

Finding an ideal INIT string for your modem

The right INIT string for you modem can make a world of difference. If you are having trouble, please try finding an INIT string for your modem on one of these pages.

Zipcon's modem INIT strings page
Ask Mr Modem
ModemHelp.org INIT Strings

We also suggest you read this Modem FAQ

If you have a USR/3Com PCI 56K Voice Faxmodem use &F&C1&D2X7&H1&R2&B1&A3

Setting your INIT string

Setting the INIT string will vary depending on what software you are using. If you need help or have information you think would be valuable here, please email the support desk.

If you are using Windows 95 or 98, you can put these additional modem INIT string settings in:

My Computer/Control Panel/Modems/Properties/Connection/Advanced/Extra Settings

Skips the first AT portion of the INIT string, Windows 95/98 will do this for you. For instance, most Rockwell chipset modems would require the following to disable error correction (\N0) and compression (%C0):

\N0%C0 or just \N%C0

If you have a USR Sportster, &M0 turns off error handling, and &K0 disables compression. For Sporsters (or Couriers), please try:


Lowering the Computer to Modem Port Speed

Another option is to lower the port speed your computer is using to connect to the modem. This is usually available in the modem software. The standard port speeds are 19200, 38400, 57600, and 115200. If you are using a 28.8/33.6 modem, try 38400, if you are using a 14.4 modem, try 19200. In Windows 95, this setting is available at:

My Computer/Control Panel/Modem/Properties/General/Maximum Speed

Showing the Correct Modem Connection Speed

Some modems do not show the modem to modem speed when connecting, but instead show the connection speed between the computer and the modem. If you see connection speeds of 38400, 57600 or 115200, its possible your computer is giving you the connection speed between the computer and modem, instead of the connection speed between your modem and Zipcon.

To fix this, please set a new INIT string. In Windows, the setting is available at:

My Computer/Control Panel/Modems/Properties/Connection/Advanced/Extra Settings

In the Extra Settings box, most modems just need:


If that doesn't work, try:

&FW2S95=0     OR
&FW2S95=1     OR
Your own INIT string with "W2" added.

Thanks and we're sorry for any problems that your are experiencing!

z z z

Please feel free to email the Zipcon Support Desk

The Zipcon home page.

Thanks for using Zipcon!