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Reader Feedback on Modem Timeout in Airport 1.3
Last Updated: 3/12/2001, 1:30 AM
The 3/8/2001 news had a report from a reader on lack of modem timeout he saw after updating to Airport 1.3. (The original problem report is listed below.) I asked for other reader feedback to see if this was a common issue and received several reports.


Reader Feedback on the Issue: (latest reports first)

The reader that originally reported the problem sent a follow-up:

" Things have gotten worse, not better. I switched to a different login phone number, thinking that maybe the one I was using didn't talk well with my Basestation. Voila! Fixed. It worked fine. For a day. Then, it got worse. All settings work intermittently, in that some reset the countdown after 18 seconds, 1:58, or even TWO SECONDS now, but then, after logging off manually and logging back on, then the connection hangs up when it supposed to. Atleast the initial problem was predictable. This is just random. The fact that I have had zero problems for 15 months, then this happens on an upgrade is kind of frustrating. I had given apple a lot of credit for making a product that just plain worked. Now after this, reading the forums and the apple site discussions on Airport, I see I have just been lucky. I will try the forced reset thing, once I find my crossover cable (having recently moved, this isn't an easy task.) Since this is one of the first Basestations to ship, is it possible that it might be clogged with remnants of too many firmware updates?

And one note: While I appreciate the feedback, I think NDR calling me quick to accuse Apple to be kind of hypocritical on his part given how quick he was to accuse me of changing my system, etc. While I am less sure it is as simple as one line of code, I think there is a bug that conflicts with some basestations.

I did not change anything, other than upgrading. This issue occured immediately after the upgrade from 1.2 to 1.3. I don't run any third party extensions, not even MS ones. Just the ones that came with the iBook, and the 9.1 update, and whatever Adobe throws in there for Photoshop, Acrobat, etc. Anyway, his suggestions of the cause make no sense if he read my message. With my computer OFF, I doubt that there could be any network traffic. Where exactly would it be coming from? I am always amazed by the people that suggest that because theirs works fine, there is nothing wrong and it is always user error. Other responses and forums show that in fact, I am not alone in this. I just happen to be afflicted when updating from 1.2 to 1.3. Others seem to have had it with the earlier versions. And there are plenty at the Apple site that have had the connection time out too quickly.
(Michael Kramer) "


" I explicitly tried my Base Station (running 1.3) last night with a 5:00 timeout and it hung up right on schedule. And as someone pointed out, some people had seen the same problem with 1.2. So I don't think 1.3 is the problem.

My suggestion is the same as others': do a complete reset of the Base Station and reload the firmware and configuration. It would be best to recreate the configuration from scratch rather than using a save file, in case the file has gotten corrupted. (I believe the Admin Utility simply sends the entire contents of the file, so if the file is bad using it would propagate the base data to the Base Station.)

Another, more speculative idea...
The Base Station can be configured in several modes, such as automatic dialing, manual dialing. Pascal Werz (http://werz.multimania.com/) figured out that it can also be set to always stay connected. It could be the Base Station got set to this mode. Resetting and re-configuring should also take care of this.
--
Larry Rosenstein "


" Mine works fine, tried it several times with various settings, works fine! Are we being a bit quick to accuse? Is he sure there is not something that he installed or turned on that started this? Network time will do this, any data to the network will cause this behavior. Have him watch the Airport base Station while this is happening to see if there is uplink traffic, if there is than it is a something on a timed interval resetting the Base Station.
-NDR "


" Working fine here (also updated BaseStation to 1.3). No disconnect problems so far. Perhaps the line being kept active and the Airport s/w was reporting it incorrectly? I've also disabled the "Automatically dial" checkbox since I don't want this happening to me as well...(sigh - life w/56k...)
-Ryan "


" Mine is set to 10 minutes, and it logs off like clockwork. (You didn't ask for negative indications, but there you are.)

I had much worse experience with AirPort 1.2, but there the problem was spontaneously dialing up too frequently. That was probably due to some software on one of my systems calling a routine that triggers Internet access occasionally (I suspect my Mac OS X Public Beta machine, because It has been turned off since I installed AirPort 1.3).
-- Bill Cheeseman "


" I'm pretty sure I've seen this behaviour as well. I updated mine yesterday.
Paul "

(I asked for better verification)


" I've had exactly the same problem since I got my Airport Base Station 5 months ago. In other words I discovered long ago under 1.2 that I had to use the 1 minute setting or it would never hang up. I've upgraded to 1.3 but I haven't tested to see whether this lets me do 5 minutes or not.

I was surprised at the time not to see any other reports of this problem. I think it may be a firmware bug in some base stations.
Sam Agnew "

(I asked Sam to report on 1.3 and to check for software that might be keeping connections alive, polling, etc.)


" Hi Mike
I just updated my airport at home and I got the opposite effect with mine. I use my airport with both Pc's and Macs and when I logged off with the PC it did not always disconnect. Now it does consistently.

I did have a problem where it would not dial out at all when I first installed the update but that was solved by doing a hard reset which by the way is not the same as cycling the power.
George "

The FAQ's networking section here has info on the hard reset.


" A while back I had called Apple about some major problems with my base station, and we got it worked out with a "forced reload" of the base station software over it's Ethernet port. I had remembered this technique when reading the post on modem timeout issues and figured that this might be of some use to get 1.2 software back on there...Here is the link from the Apple knowledge base:

http://kbase.info.apple.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/kbase.woa/wo/4.0.21.0.6.22.0. 0.0.3

Getting the 1.2 software back on the base station isn't quite as easy as getting the 1.3 software on there from 1.2, but at least there is a way to go back until Apple fixes 1.3 for dial-up users. Personally I am using 1.3 and find it to be fine, but I am not using the base station's internal modem. Just remember to take the 1.3 software off of all your computers first and reload 1.2.

Not quite a fix for 1.3, but at least a temporary solution...
-John Balint "


(The following is the original problem report for reference for those that missed it originally. Below this is a listing of reader comments in reply)

" Mike,
Do you know how to get a message to someone who matters at Apple? The reason is a major bug in the Basestation software in Airport 1.3. I noticed that overnight, the Airport modem never hung up, despite my computer being off. I had it set to 5 minutes. So, in the morning, it had been logged on for 11 hours! The new Airport panel tells you remaining time to disconnect. It counts down from 5 minutes, gets to 3:02 and wraps BACK TO 5:00! So, I tried 20 seconds. It hung up after 20 secs. So I set it to two minutes, then got called away. Three hours later, still logged on. Gets to 0:02 remaining, and resets to 2:00. So I checked the 1 minute setting, and it works fine.

There is some magical reason that 1:58 into the countdown, it resets the countdown. I upgraded to 1.3 yesterday, and I don't think you can downgrade the basestation software, so now I am stuck. This did not happen under Airport 1.0, 1.1, or 1.2, and therefor I am sure it is just one errant line of code in the new version, probably a mistake added when they added the countdown. However it happened, this is BAD and needs to be fixed right away. One minute is too short a time (it logged off while I typed this), but I don't want to have to manually disconnect each time I leave for a few minutes.

Maybe you or one of your readers could help direct me to the right person.
Thanks
Mike Kramer"


If anyone else running Airport 1.3 would care to comment, let me know.


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