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Can't Hear the Modem through Speaker (Updated 21-Mar-04)

This page covers what to try if you don't hear your modem dialing & handshaking - or how to turn it off.

Windows is designed to support control of the modem speaker and volume using the Modem Properties. (Control Panel-> Modems  or Control Panel -> Phone and Modem Options). This control depends upon the proper installation of the modem - the modem's .inf file defines the commands available and to be used to control the modem speaker. You can override these settings by using appropriate initialization strings (see below).

If you can't hear your modem... go to ControlPanel->Modems and select your modem. Make sure you have the speaker enabled, and if you have an adjustable volume slider, put it to the max. If you still don't hear the modem:

1. Use the procedure found on the .inf file page to determine the name of the .inf file your modem is using. Make sure this .inf file is really the correct (and up-to-date) one for your modem! When you examine the modemlog.txt file for the .inf file name, also look and see if there are any errors generated by any of the AT commands being sent to the modem. Also look for parameters that turn off the modem speaker (like M0). If any of this is wrong, you may be able to correct it by uninstalling the modem, then re-installing with the correct .inf file.

2. If your modem is external, it should have its own speaker and possibly a volume control.

3. If you modem is internal, it may have its own speaker; some have a volume control.

4. If your internal modem has no speaker and relies on a soundcard, it may not be installed properly. I'd suggest finding the latest driver/firmware (it's probably a Winmodem if it fits in this category), remove and re-install the modem.

5. If you have an LT Win Modem, the wave device for [voice] modem should be listed under the System Control Panel Devices Manager tab. The "generic" LT firmware/setup program available on my site may help if you run the setup program. (The Lucent setup program deletes and re-enumerates your modem, so it is installed properly; if you still don't have sound, you may have problems with the drivers or installation of your sound card.)

6. The driver for your sound card may need to be updated - especially if you have upgraded to a newer version of Windows. (Also see: No Sound in WinXP from Lucent LT Forum56 Post.)

If your modem is in a Compaq system, also see the Compaq/LT page.

If you want to turn off the modem sounds: Adding m0 (m-zero) in extra settings will turn off the modem speaker. [m2 will leave it on continuously - which allows you to check for retrains; RealAudio retrain sample.]

The default setting for the speaker initialization is m1 (m-one). This setting turns the speaker on when the modem goes off-hook, and remains on while the modem handshakes with the remote modem. When the handshake completes, the speaker automatically turns off.

SPEAKER VOLUME: Some modem include a "Loudness" command which can be used to set the volume for the modem speaker when it is on. This command will be:

AT L# - where # is a number. Valid numbers are specific to the modem chipset/driver - usually 0,1,2 or 3 with higher numbers representing louder volumes.

Where does the modem speaker sound come from?
Onboard speaker: the modem may have a small speaker -  

Some modems are designed without an onboard speaker and have a line output for the PC's soundcard. A jumper cable (2 wires) will go from the modem card to the soundcard - which may be integrated on the motherboard. In this case, the "modem speaker" is controlled via your sound card - you must have volume up on your connected PC speakers, and the appropriate soundcard mixer channels must be on. (To access the soundcard mixer control - double click the speaker icon in the taskbar.)

Voice Modem Functions - will not use the modem speaker. Voice modem functions will use either the sound card (with or without a jumper cable), or the modem may have a speaker/headset  (and microphone) jack for voice modem functions. (Voice modem functions include telephone answering machine and speakerphone functionality.)

 

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