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Test of ZOOM 2949 DualMode V.90 modemApril, 1998
UPDATE - May 1999 - Zoom for some time now has been making the 2949 modem with Lucent chipsets, and will contain the letter 'L' after the 2949. This is the Lucent Venus chipset - and the firmware for it, in my opinion, hasn't matured as much as the Lucent Windows Modems (Mars/Apollo chipset). This review was written on the old Rockwell/Conexant-based 2949 - the firmware for which is also not as good as 3Com and Lucent-Mars/Apollo.
UPDATE - December 1998. Zoom has finally released new firmware for the Rockwell-based 2949 modem - and it is better, although still not as good as 3Com or Lucent firmware. Zoom also has introduced model 2949 (and other) modems that are entirely different inside - instead of a Rockwell chipset, they have the Lucent Venus chipset. The only outside difference is that the Lucent-based modem will have an 'L at the end of the model # (ie, 2949L). The Lucent-based Venus firmware, in my opinion, is better than Rockwell's, but has some serious trouble with certain line conditions the Lucent-based LT Mars/Apollo modems, as well as 3Com/USR modems have no trouble with. I still wouldn't recommend the Zoom.
4/29/98 - I get a Zoom 56k DualMode External 56k/V.90 modem - to try before selling it to a business. (Or returning it for a refund....)
The Bottom Line - I AM NOT IMPRESSED Performance is much worse than Courier modem with V.90; Worse than Lucent LT WinModem with Flex; EXTREMELY poor documentation.
(1) There is NO mention of V.90 in any of the documentation provided with the modem. (Does it have a diagnostic display that will tell me # of retrains / blers, etc. like 3Com and Lucent 56k modems?)
(2) I have found no command reference. The default &F puts the modem in a state where it reports the PORT speed as the connect rate, not the actual carrier rate. (I wonder why? 115,200 sounds a lot better than 30.6!)
The reason I chose this modem was (a) price (b) lights - it looked like the Diamond Supra V.90 has only 4 lights, this one has 14! (c) warranty - 7 years (d) my only choices for V.90 modems were 3Com(formerly Sportster), Courier, Diamond, and Zoom, and I wouldn't even consider putting money down for a 3Com modem considering their [TOTAL lack of] support.
I will try it on the less challenging (for my Courier at least) line that it will be used on, and decide whether it stays or goes back.
To 3Com V.90 server equipment:
1. Kona CO - V.90 connects from 32 - 38k; sometimes get very low transmit side rate - 21.6k; may train up to max of 40k, but transmit side may go down as this happens:
at &v1 TERMINATION REASON.......... NONE LAST TX rate................ 16800 BPS HIGHEST TX rate............. 21600 BPS LAST RX rate................ 40000 BPS HIGHEST RX rate............. 40000 BPS
With the Courier v.Everything to the above number, V.90 connects are always 46-49k, with transmit side of 26.4 - 28.8.
2. Hilo CO - V.90 connects from 28.0-38.6k; double-handshake V.90 fail to v.34 occurs on some attempts; most frequent connect rate around 32k; Have received a couple of 56000 CONNECTs, accompanied by DUNS beeping because of errors (the EC light on the modem is not lit) ; the connection immediately retrains to v.34. On the best connections, the modem will shift up to 40k. The lower speed connections do not train up in speed.
LAST TX rate................ 26400 BPS HIGHEST TX rate............. 26400 BPS LAST RX rate................ 40000 BPS HIGHEST RX rate............. 40000 BPS
With the Courier v.Everything to the above number, V.90 connect speeds vary from 32-48k, and are usually either 32k (more than half the time) or 46.6k - very little in between. Speed will not shift up on the low-rate connections; the 46.6k connects shift between 46.6 and 48k. There are few retrains and throughput is good.
To KFlex Server Equipment:
3. Kona CO - Flex ISP using Livingston equipment: The Zoom connect speed is usually 40000. My Lucent LT Winmodem always gets a 46 - 48k connect to the same number.
4. Hilo CO - GTE ISP using Ascend equipment. Zoom will not negotiate a successful Flex connection. LT Winmodem won't either most of the time, but sometimes will get 32k or 34k connects.
5. Hilo CO - local Flex ISP - same condition as 4.
Conclusion at this point: The Zoom modem will make some Flex and V.90 connects, but it performs poorly on the line conditions I have when compared to both the Courier v.Everything and the Lucent LT Winmodem.