View Full Version : "Ham" Modem

Poppa John
14-08-2002, 10:30 PM
The other day when I was in Dick Smiths, getting prices & looking & drooling I was told about a "Ham Modem" on display for $58 inc GST. This Internal unit uses its own on board processor & also "Borrows" some of the main processor. This apparently made it faster & more powerful. Any comments anyone? Poppa John :)

14-08-2002, 10:35 PM
Its another name for a winmodem, or PCI modem, or softmodem

Host Accellerated Modem.

Doesnt go faster, better of with a real modem.

Poppa John
14-08-2002, 10:38 PM
Goddie From the Modem Posts that have been up lately, I take a "Real Modem" to be a good quality external modem? Poppa John.

14-08-2002, 10:50 PM
Can you use one of those fancy external ADSL modems for dial-up (say if you move to a non-Jetstream area)


14-08-2002, 10:59 PM
I would say ...... no (but I could be proved wrong).

Poppa John
14-08-2002, 11:01 PM
Baldy Man. I am in a Jetstream area & would love to have it, however as a "Non-worker" it is too expensive. It would put another $30 on my phone bill. My calorie intake cannot take any more cuts. Slim Poppa John :D

14-08-2002, 11:24 PM
Lets make something clear....ADSL does not use your phone line in the normal sense. So you can never use one for "dial up", anywhere, ever.

They use the "prescence" of the copper line, a bit like an aerial really, to transmit the signal over. Think of it travelling on the outside of the cable, never connecting to the dial up cores.

PJ, not all external dial-ups are equal, I think USB are not much better than internal.

A true Hardware Modem is serial port RS232 connection.

The hardware ones wont increase speed, but reliability is great.

Graham Petrie
14-08-2002, 11:30 PM
That's interesting. I almost bought a USB modem to replace my internal. Can anyone else give their opinions of this before I "upgrade" to something that is no better than what I already have. ie merits of usb vs serial.


Babe Ruth
14-08-2002, 11:37 PM

I have to go with GF on this one. For 'true' hardware modem go with serial port connection eg. Dynalink 56K (rural if need be). I have NEVER had problems with using serial-port hardware modems, simple easy just work!

A number of USB modems are Winmodems/HAMmodems in another guise.


Graham Petrie
14-08-2002, 11:52 PM
Thanks - good to know.


15-08-2002, 12:19 AM
Hi guys,

I just had an external modem installed yesterday replacing a winmodem
for no other reason that they are far more reliable!

As godfather has already posted,they are no faster than the internal but I have noticed over the last 30 odd hrs that where it was taking on average,22secs to connect to XTRA,it is now around 12-14secs!(My connection never varies from 48000bps)

The other advantages are that the external isn't using any main CPU
resources or power from your PSU!


15-08-2002, 12:22 AM
You can get some modems which are both ADSL and dial-up though. Compaq used to put them in some PCs.

But they are "win" and I wouldn't want one myself.

15-08-2002, 12:23 AM
Right on:

After getting a new pc 2 years ago, I had trouble with the internal 56k winmodem supplied..Tried an old 33k external..wow, much better. so now I have gone to a Dynalink External Rural Modem, serial connection. Very much better..


15-08-2002, 12:40 AM
That external rural type thingee sounds pretty good to me. How much would I pay for one?

15-08-2002, 12:49 AM
Man you guys knock winmodems too much. I had mine for 5 years years now, and not a boo. It's a compaq one and I can get 20Kb/s downloads with WinMX. The secret is the drivers - toss out the manufacturers drivers and install the version 6 generic drivers - they like all ISPs heaps and that's worked fine for me.

Did you know you can upgrade a 33k WinModem to 56k just by changing drivers?


Babe Ruth
15-08-2002, 12:55 AM

Dynalink V1456VQE-R1 Data/Fax/Voice Rural Modem

Check in with:
Mission Computers
or try online through PriceSpy (http://www.pricespy.co.nz/)

The RETAIL price is around $220 incl GST
You should be able to do a better $$$...

Cheers, Babe.

Poppa John
15-08-2002, 12:00 PM
SiK (or E) I must confess that the intrnal Lucent modem installed two years ago has not caused me any trouble. I am not far away from the POP tel exchange & I Regularly connect at 50-52 Kbps, so there is no real need to change. Am interested in the version 6 generic drivers tho, can you tell me more ? Either here or direct via Xtra. Thanks, & keep smiling Poppa John

15-08-2002, 12:19 PM
PJ, for the majority of users the WinModems do work OK.

It seems that addition of hardware or changes in hardware can often trigger incompatability problems, as can changes in Operating Systems.

You should work on the principle that if it isn't broken, you dont need to fix it.

However for those where it has given trouble it is worthwhile going to a Hardware modem.

In my case, while on W98 the modems worked acceptably, however on XP they were almost unuseable. No matter which driver was used, they would always connect fine and operate the first time, but any subsequent time they were asked to connect they crashed the entire system. Faultfinding something like that is horrendous, so I ditched them.

Prior to that, the only issue I had was the "pausing" every minute or so when downloading. None of those problems exist on the hardware ones I changed to.

In fairness XP warned me that they probably would not work when I upgraded to it.

Graham Petrie
15-08-2002, 12:26 PM
Agreed GF. Ain't broke, don't fix it. My modem works fine, except the XP drivers do not support the voice functions of my modem. However, there are more pressing upgrades needed than a new modem.

USB PCI, mobo, case to fit new mobo, removable HD to allow for better backing up, faster CD-RW, better sound, DDR RAM, external modem, LCD screen...

I still think that a 1.2 GHz cpu cuts it for almost all normal application use. I have even found it to be acceptable for running Photoshop, Imageready and AutoCAD2000 side by side. (as well as a few windows and an internet connection). More RAM could help though. 384mb is still a little low for this kind of graphic editing.

How did I get on to this topic?


15-08-2002, 01:27 PM
I tested a Dynalink Internal 56k PCI modem and a Dynalink Internal 56k ISA Modem the other day for a friend and found the ISA model blew the PCI model outta the weeds. I had heard That ISA modems were faster but didn't appreciate the difference until trying them out. Needless to say my friend is very happy with his new ISA modem

15-08-2002, 01:34 PM
ISA are usually (mostly) hardware modems.

15-08-2002, 01:38 PM
yep isa are also true hardware modems.

however how many new motherboards have isa slots? how many of them have those useless amr/cnr slots?

15-08-2002, 02:51 PM
Recently did an upgrade and my mate took my old box off my hands.
The com2 port was dodgy so his external 28.8 went to me and he got my 56.
What I have noticed is that the external is not much slower and is more reliable.
Noticed DS's modem deal and also wondered about the HaM chipset. Found little info on the net until I hit PressF1. Was about to get a rural modem but the outfit I deal with has taken them off their price list but will still go for an external as its a must for linux. I gather the HaM modem is only partly compatable with linux.
Why don't they make full PCI hardware modems?

15-08-2002, 03:41 PM
you must have fairly slow lines for a 28k modem to be only a little slower than a 56k. i find old 33k modems are hndy for those in poor aeras(and cheaper).

they do make some pci hardware modems, i know us robotics has one but its a USA only model :( the NZ models are software and what i call semi-software modems. its all about cost. software modems work for majority of people so companies are not going to spend $$$ on R&D and parts when they can get software to do the job for less $$$.

also OEM PC manafactures want the cheapest product that does the job resonably well. if 90% of people can get away with useing winmodems (no one said work perfectly) then the other 10% can be just blamed on something like their phone lines eg "don't blame us, its telecom's fault your modem is crashing your pc"

15-08-2002, 03:43 PM
I have heard that you can get full hardware PCI in the states, but not here. Why, probably price here, PCI soft modems are much cheaper.

But even if they were available, I would have external by choice. Ability to turn the modem off without shutting down, ability to see what its doing by monitoring all the status led's.

15-08-2002, 04:41 PM
Not entirely sure if its relevant to you, Poppa John, but winmodems are not not very friendly with Linux.

If you are playing around with linux and think you might want to try connecting to/surfing the net, then don't bother getting a winmodem - I'm not up with the technical specs - but linux doesn't seem to like the 'win' in the winmodem. :-)

If this is the case, I think your best bet is to get either an older (non-winmodem), isa or external modem, as there are bound to be more drivers available for these types of devices.


Poppa John
15-08-2002, 05:24 PM
chmod007. No not on Linux, too complicated a change for me with my low IQ, up to 15 today. Would have to leave technical stuff till the end of the month when it will be around 30.

Everbody else. Thanks for your help with my latest flurry of computer questions. Come Fathers Day I will have sufficient funds to make an informed upgrade possible, all down to you people. Thanks again.
Happy Poppa John :D :D