Old hardware… it’s what’s for dinner

So I’ve had this ancient ISA modem for… well, a long time. It’s a 56k flash-upgradeable job with a Rockwell chipset, the RCVDL56ACFW/SP 56k ISA PnP 2 MB ROM DFS, and was made by GVC with the model SF-1156HV+/R19 56k Data-Fax-Speakerphone ISA PnP. Why am I quoting silly long model numbers at you? Because the information at modem-help.com about this card is wrong, and it cost me a lot of extra time.

My card had the original firmware on it, which doesn’t support CID. I always thought it would be cool to log my CID info all the time, and of course all you need is a modem that supports it – when the phone rings, it will automatically decode and print out the CID info to the serial port. Problem was, my original firmware didn’t support CID – it was added in a later version.

So after searching high and low I realized three things:

  • I needed Windows 95 or 98 in order to run the upgrade software. Windows 2k or XP won’t work, and my modem is in the only machine with an ISA slot, which happens to run Linux. So I found a spare crap hard drive and installed Win98SE on it, just to run the flash software.
  • The info on modem-site.com about this modem is wrong. This modem has a 2Mb (that’s mega-bit) ROM, not 1Mb. 2Mb flash upgrades are very rare, and in fact my manufacturer (GVC) never officially released one
  • The correct firmware upgrade to use is the one for the Zoltrix FMVSP56i3, which uses the exact same chipset. The Zoltrix firmware upgrader will warn you that it doesn’t think its firmware is suitable, but it works fine.

So now finally I have a modem that supports CID in my server.


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2 replies

  1. And… did you get it working?

  2. No – I think there’s something screwy with the wiring of that jack. I installed it myself so it’s quite possible. Thing is it was working with CID months ago, but then we cancelled it, and then reordered it last month. ‘Tis weird.