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Motel room surgery

Motel room surgery

Thought I would share this adventure with you guys and gals. When I go on the road and have the HP Palmtop and a PPI pocket modem. I also bring my road warrior emergency kit with some phone cable, alligator clips, tools, etc. It saved me from being cut off from CIS yesterday.

I tried to connect to CompuServe from a RJ-11 wall plug in a motel room in Gloucester, MA. I had no success. Suspecting a hardware problem on my 200LX, I tried again with my girlfriends 100LX. Same phenomenon: absolutely no data arriving from the modem to the HP Palmtop. So the problem was probably not the HP Palmtop. The modem's LEDs indicated that it was working, so I suspected the modem cable I purchased from Shier Systems..

Upon close examination, the PPI end of the cable could be turned freely and made a strange clicking sound. I used a sharp knife and pair of cutters from my kit to open the connector. Inside the cable I found two loose wires. I suspected that one of them was intentionally disconnected and used a Radio Shack multimeter from my kit to determine which wire was previously connected to the HP connector side. I also found the pin that it was connected to.

I used a make-shift soldering iron (alligator clip and lighter) to solder the wire back and was modem again. One of the first things I did was to contact Shier Systems via CIS. David Shier sent me a replacement cable at no cost.

Gilles Kohl

CompuServe ID: [100114,3146]

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