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Last updated: 07/29/03

The AOpen FM56-P is currently my choice for a PCI Plug 'n Play K56Flex/V.90 FAX/MODEM.  I've had fewer problems with this MODEM than any other Plug 'n Play MODEM I've used during the last year.  This MODEM uses Rockwell's RLVDL56DPF/SP chip to provide all of the features one would normally expect from a 56K FAXMODEM, including voice.  It works well with ISPs using V.90 or K56Flex.  I have experienced few drop-outs from the several ISPs on which I have tested the MODEM and no quirky compatibility problems or the need to twiddle with dial-up strings.  The MODEM appears to be less vulnerable to telephone line interface failures than others I've seen during this summer storm season (or I may just be a little luckier this year).

Software installation is fairly straight forward, but would be a little easier if the inf file were in the root directory of the AOpen CD: plug in the MODEM and point Windows 95/98 at the  \WINDOWS\DRIVER directory on the AOpen CD, etc.  Software includes Smith Micro's QuickLink III Message Center.  The FM56-P, like many Plug 'n Play MODEMs on the market, is a controllerless WinMODEM.  It will not work if you boot directly to DOS and try to use it directly with a DOS program, but it usually will work if you open a DOS Window in Windows (which is the way it should be done anyway.  If you need a MODEM for a pure DOS system, take a look at the FM56-ITU).

The FM56-P is well-packaged in plastic and comes in an attractive retail box.  It includes cables to interface the MODEM to AOpen  FX-3D Plus sound card and the wake-up on ring connector on AOpen motherboards.  The User Manual is on the CD and is fairly well written and illustrated. 

AOpen's Web site includes software, FAQs, manuals, and detailed specifications.

If you have a motherboard with VIA's MVP3 chipset, be sure to download and install the IRQ routing driver before installing the MODEM on a Windows 98 computer.

The FM56-P has a one-year limited warranty.


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.