Sunday, March 13, 2011

Does the Actiontec GT701R DSL Modem support ADSL2+?

I recently upgraded from 7Mbps to 12 Mbps download from Qwest. My Actiontec GT701R DSL modem had done well thus far (I use a transparent bridge with my Airport Extreme), and after being warned by Qwest that my router probably wouldn't work with the higher speeds, I wasn't too concerned, as I figured I could buy a new one for cheap as necessary (they wanted to charge me $90 for a new one). I did check the product page for any information, and found this in the product FAQ (the poorly-placed comma in the title was there, too):
What is the maximum connection speed, that the Actiontec DSL Gateway support?
The maximum connection speed for an Actiontec DSL Modem or Gateway is 8Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream.

However, if the modem or gateway has a firmware update available that would upgrade it to ADSL2 or ADSL2+, then the maximum speed would be higher. The theoretical maximum speed for ADSL2 is 12Mbps and ADSL2+ is 24Mbps. But for ADSL2 or ADSL2+ to provide the higher speeds of which they are capable, the ISP must fully support the ADSL2 and ADSL2+ standard as well.
After perusing the internet for confirmation as to the "theoretical firmware update", I found a few people that posed similar questions but no answers.

A few days later, I awoke to the internet being down. It consistently failed to sync, and after resetting the router, I determined this was likely due to the speed upgrade. My last-ditch effort was to download a firmware update from Qwest (QW06.5- for Mac or Windows). After upgrading, the modem worked like a charm. This should also work with the GT701, as they use the same firmware.

So the answer is yes. If you have an Actiontec GT701R DSL modem with the latest firmware, it can at least support ADSL2+ at 12Mbps.

How to Override "No Ink" Error on a Canon PIXMA MX700

When a Canon PIXMA MX700 runs out of any ink, it prevents you from using it, giving the following error message:

U163: The following ink has run out. Replace the ink tank.
This can be a pain, especially when you want to scan, or if you still have black ink and that's all you need to use. There are two methods that will work to temporarily clear this until you are able to get new ink (which, by the way, is much, much cheaper if you use generic brands). These may also work for other Canon printers, but I haven't tried it. (Update: one or both methods have been confirmed to work on several Canon PIXMA models, including the JX210P, MG5220, MG5270, MG5470, MG6320, MP220, MP280, MP470, MP495, MP560, MP620, MP640, MP970, MP980, MX310, MX882, and MX885; more information might be in the comments. Thanks for the info!)

The first method uses the printer's "factory mode". There are some interesting settings in here, but I'm not sure of what everything does, so be careful with them. This works temporarily (as it seems to reset after a few days), and does not permanently disable ink level detection (as it correctly showed full ink after replacing it):
  1. Unplug the printer.
  2. Press and hold the Power button while plugging the printer back in.
  3. Continue to hold the Power button and press the Reset button twice.
  4. Let go of the Power button and wait 10 seconds. It will eventually show the number 1 on the LCD.
  5. Once the printer also shows "Idle" on the screen, cycle through the settings with the left and right arrow buttons until you see "USER MODE POWER OFF". Press the OK button.
  6. You should now be able to print or scan.
The second method is to simply press and hold the Stop/Reset button for at least five seconds. I didn't find this solution for a while because it's buried deep in the Canon KB, and haven't before used it. Be forewarned that Canon claims this stops the printer from detecting ink levels (I'm not sure if it means for the specific cartridge or as a printer setting).