NewDeal Hot Tip 1106

[Hot Tips for...] Telecommunications

PCAO at 14.4

Note: From 1990 through 1992, America Online provided its service primarily through a client software based on NewDeal. named PCAO. Because America Online's support of PCAO has declined in recent years, NewDeal no longer includes PCAO with its products. As of this writing, PCAO will still connect to America Online for email and chat if you have a local Sprint connect number, but new accounts cannot be generated with PCAO, and most other features of America Online are no longer available.

When PCAO was written, America Online (AOL) was limited to 9600 baud and Sprint and Tymnet didn't offer anything faster.

Since then, Sprint has upgraded many of their sites to 14.4 and AOL has created its own network, AOLnet, offering 28.8 connection. Changes were made to the newer versions of WAOL to take advantage of the faster connections, but there were no similar changes made to PCAO.

PCAO doesn't have the necessary protocol in the software for connecting to AOLnet.

However, with many modems, if you turn off your modem's hardware error correcting and if you enable or force a 14.4 connection via the pre-modem string, you can get a 14.4 connection through Sprintnet with PCAO 1.5a or higher. The connecting dialog box will report 9600, because that's the only text string available in the software, but the file library descriptions will display 14400 or 19200. Of course, your serial port and modem must be capable of the speed, as well as your local connect number.

Try the premodem strings below or, even better, examine the documentation for your modem and determine what commands to use to force your modem to connect at 14.4.

When signing on to AOL, first the pre-modem string is run, then the modem dials, then the post-modem string is run. It's pre and post dialing, not before and after AOL.

Open Preferences, Modem and check the speed setting, make sure it's set to 19200.

Due to SprintNet's upgrade of 9600 baud access nodes to 14,400 baud, some Zoom PC, Supra, Supra FAX and other types of modems no longer reliably connect at the higher speeds. If you have one of these types of modems or if you are experiencing frequent "Host has failed to respond ..." messages, then one of the things you need to check is the setup string for your modem.

For PCAO, try these strings in the pre-modem string box.

Compaq Presario UDS     AT&F&C1&D2X6S35=0
Zoom, Supra, Supra FAX  AT&F&C1&D2&K3&Q6S0=0S36=7S37=11N0W2%C0
Zoom PC                 AT&F&K0&Q6F8
Some users have been able to force 14400 access under PCAO with the following modems and using these pre-modem strings. In some cases post-modem strings are not used.
AT&T DataPort Express
Pre-modem   ATL1&FX7%B14400
Post-modem  ATX7Q0V1E1

Boca Modem
Pre-Modem   AT&FE1QV1&D2X4&C1&Q5&K3&D0F10

Practical Peripherals PM14400FXSA
Pre-modem   AT&F1&W&Q9S37=11

Practical Peripherals PM14400FX
Pre-modem   AT&F1S37=11

Practical Peripheral 14400 v.32bis MiniTower 
  Data/Fax Modem Model PM144MT II
Pre-modem   AT&F1S37=11

Prometheuus Modem
Pre-Modem   AT&F&C1&D2S95=1S37=9N0

Supra 144i internal Fax/Modem
Pre-modem   AT&F&C1&D2&K3\N3S11=55
Post-Modem  ATE1QOV1X4

Twincom 144 DFI Fax/Modem
Pre-modem   AT&F&D2&C1S11=55
Post-modem  ATX4Q0V1E1

USR Sportster 14.4
Pre-modem   AT&F&C1&D2&H1&K0&M0&N8S27=128

VIVA 14.4/FAX from Computer Peripherals
Pre-modem   AT&F
Post-modem  ATX1Q0V1E0

Zoom VFP28.8
Pre-modem   AT&F&C1&D2&F10S11=70

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Last Modified 2 Mar 1999