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THE AOPEN FM56-ITU FAX/MODEM

fm56itu.jpg (28308 bytes)Give me a MODEM which is economical, works well and is one I can control.  By control I mean a MODEM with jumpers and a wide selection of IRQ and port address options.  The Aopen FM56-ITU meets these requirements.

The FM56-ITU is a non-plug and play, ISA bus FAX/MODEM with old-fashioned jumpers to set the IRQ and COM port address.  One does not have to have a PCI MODEM to have a fast MODEM.  The ISA bus runs at 12 Mhz.  It   is far faster than any demand that a 56K MODEM can impose.   Also, an ISA MODEM can be used in a wider variety of computers. Furthermore, I prefer jumpers, especially when installing a MODEM in a computer with a motherboard with misbehaved COM ports (ports disabled in the CMOS Setup, but still detected by Windows 95/98) and machines in which there are so many expansion boards that Interrupts have to shared.

Features...

ltblball.gif (377 bytes)  Dual V.90/K56Flex standard.   I have tested this MODEM with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) running V.90, K56Flex, and X2.  It works flawless with all of them.  Of course, it can only run at 33.6 KBS when talking to an X2 MODEM.  In my locations it runs 42 to 46K when connecting to V.90 or K56Flex MODEMs.  These are typical speeds for 56K MODEMs, which can connect at a max speed of 53K in the U.S.A. in very ideal conditions--the FCC limits the maximum speed of voice telephone lines to 53K.

ltblball.gif (377 bytes)  It has the Rockwell RCVDL56ACFW/SP chipset and a 16550/A Compatible Enhanced UART.

ltblball.gif (377 bytes)  The MODEM is easily jumpered for COM1: through COM4: and IRQs 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 15.  All of he jumpers are on a single header.   All of the combinations of COM ports and IRQs are silk-screened on the board and easily understood.  (I would be happier if the jumper header were located near the top of the board where it could be jumpered without removing the board from the computer.)

ltblball.gif (377 bytes) The speaker is no wimp.  It can be clearly heard outside of a closed computer case.

ltblball.gif (377 bytes)  There are connectors (and cables) to connect the MODEM to an Acer motherboard for wake-up on ring and to pipe the speaker sound to a sound card.  The sound cable plugs right into the AOpen FX-3D sound card.   I have made it work, with some finagling, with other sound boards as well.

ltblball.gif (377 bytes) With Windows 95/98 the MODEM shows the actual connect speed (some show 115,200 BPS regardless of the true speed).

ltblball.gif (377 bytes)  It works well with DOS applications.

ltblball.gif (377 bytes)  Telephone answering machine (TAM), voice mail, caller ID and distinctive ring detection functions are supported.

ltblball.gif (377 bytes)  It has two RJ-11 and two audio jacks (speaker and mike).

ltblball.gif (377 bytes)  Smith Micro Software's QuickLink MessageCenter III software is included.

ltblball.gif (377 bytes)  And, of course, you can use it as a 14.4 send/receive FAX.

Overall, a very good product, and the price is right.

Larry

Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.