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PCI Hardware / Jumpered DOS Modems

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  • PCI Hardware / Jumpered DOS Modems

    ISA slots on motherboards soon to be extinct, I am looking for
    PCI Hardware Modems which can be jumpered for a particular COM
    port to connect to Hosts using PcAnywhere for DOS.

    E-Mail to most major manufacturers is being responded to, so far
    no luck. The LINUX Forums and other Info on the WEB suggest that
    there are some PCI Hardware/Jumpered modems on the market but
    fail to say who the manufacturers are.

    Anybody knows ?

    PcAnywhere can configure a connection using it's SERIAL Custom
    Option for Parameters: IRQ (0-7) and Address. I once managed to
    run a Modem on my son's USA Micron WIN 95 machine in Pure DOS,
    having been able to see the IRQ and Address the WinModem used.
    But that was some years ago and I live in the U.K.

    Any of you clever guys know of a way a WinModem can be used in a
    DOS 6.2 machine's PCI slot and it's IRQ/Address identified ? Or
    is there a DOS driver doing what a WIN Modem driver does ?

    Thanks for any advice !

    O t t o.


    [This message has been edited by OTTO WIPFEL (edited January 21, 2002).]

  • #2
    If you are using PCI modems, I'm pretty sure you're stuck with
    P-n-P where the com port is defined by the O/S. You may try
    letting the O/S set up the com port then configuring PCanywhere
    try to access it. Failing that, go with an external modem hooked
    up to Com (1-4). Can't see where you can do much wrong with that.

    There are no atheists in a fox hole or the morning of a math test.
    If my flag offends you, I'll help you pack.


    • #3

      A company called PacificComWare (i think) do some comm port
      mapping software to handle just the problem you are talking
      about, ie. it will map your win-modem on comX, irqX etc.
      to com3, irq4 (or what ever you choose) so your DOS apps
      can use it.

      Have Fun,



      [This message has been edited by Neil Hosgood (edited January 23, 2002).]


      • #4
        That same question was asked in the OS/2 Usegroups. One suggestion was
        to look for w brand called Actiontek. The poster there did not know
        any model numbers but offered that the board was jumper programmable.
        I assume that means both Port number and IRQ with which to address it.

        I haven't done the personal research yet, but I'm going to have to
        do so for OS/2 purposes and some of the folks there report success
        using it under OS/2. It's reportedly available from cited sources such
        as Walmart in the $70 USD range as well as Office Depot here in the USA.

        Thats all just gleaned from Google searching on Actiontek modem which
        will get you started.

        No guarantees. Just trying to help both of us here...

        Mike Luther
        [email protected]
        Mike Luther
        mike.luth[email protected]


        • #5
          At last !

          ACTIONTEC confirmed that they have a PCI Modem which can be used
          for anything from DOS up to XP.

          Although the Specs say that a CD-ROM drive is required, the DOS
          driver can be copied from it elsewhere to a Floppy. A Floppy may
          also be supplied with the Modem, Tech.Support was not quite sure.

          I am going to get a copy and test it !

          PACIFIC CommWare, Neil suggested, sell TurboCom ViP which can
          configure a PCI Win-Soft-Modem for use at the DOS Prompt as long
          as Windows is still in command. Bought one and tried it but can
          not load it in Pure DOS, "Windows is required" !

          Although they promised a refund under their 30 days-money back
          guarantee, I am still waiting for a reply !

          US Robotics have two on their USA Web site but none in the U.K.
          Despite various requests to supply information and a letter to
          their CEO in the States, no response ! I thought business was bad
          in the industry ? Looks like they don't care !



          • #6
            Otto ..

            I hadn't gotten past checking with Office Depot and Best Buy here
            locally for them. There was a substantial discussion in the OS/2
            group over inability to set one up based on conflicts with it and
            the NIC over IRQ use. Since I have very little experience in WIN
            work I only post this for information but it may be useful. I've
            a substantial amount of experience in using PCI motherboard stuff
            with OS/2 including WIN-TV cards and so on but not PCI modems yet.

            There are a number of variations in BIOS code and hardware setups
            relative to PCI slots that are interesting WIN users mostly never
            see. That is because WIN is far better at doing the system setup
            and interface work automatically for the user than OS/2. Some of
            what's come out of this in OS/2 may be what you will need to know
            soon. Depending on the BIOS and the board itself, some PCI slots
            will be able to use two IRQ's per slot and some will not! Even a
            given motherboard may have a mix of this in which some will, some
            won't! There are PCI cards which actually have to use two in one
            slot. An example of that is the Adaptec 3940UW dual channel, two
            chipset SCSI adapter card. This card is typically used in higher
            level SCSI work in which, for example, it may be necessary to use
            an external SCSI device of some kind which might fail in a way in
            which it acutally physically burns up the chips in that SCSI buss
            on the card, but literally leaves the card and the server up with
            the whole rest of the system working so that it can be gracefully
            closed down! Adaptec formally suggests it for this work! If you
            use one, it will require two IRQ's in the same PCI slot and these
            cards will only work in PCI slots which will handle that. WIN-TV
            cards from Hauppage also require two, to my understanding, if the
            internal FM receiver hardware option is on those cards too!

            For this reason, PCI motherboards often seem to 'prefer' autosets
            for the system on IRQ's which move in steps of two as you move on
            down the row of them! For those motherboards with AGP video card
            slots as well, you need to know that the AGP video card slot plus
            the adjacent PCI slot often use the same IRQ! If possible, avoid
            trouble by leaving that first PCI slot next to the AGP video slot
            empty as not all PCI card hardware and drivers for it really will
            understand every little nuance about automatically setting up the
            whole deal under less tested scenarios! Yes! Your WIN stuff is
            usually tested VERY well! That's the hallmark of the WIN world's
            reason it is so well into the whole PC desktop market! But since
            this may be leaving that sort of world - you may be on your own!

            You need to know that also, certain PCI operations with certain of
            the BIOS implementations can also support shared IRQ's between the
            various stuff! For example, there is line of COMPAQ server's that
            is out there that actually shares the same IRQ for the video, SCSI
            hard disk driver as well! But this stuff is all dependant on what
            the author of the device driver knows and has written into code to
            enable it! Just because your current box, under WIN or some other
            operating system, is successfully using shared IRQ's for the video
            and the hard disk controller and the NIC in the box, as they offer
            in the COMPAQ situation, does not mean that this PCI modem can use
            the same one or a conflicting one in the particular slot you stuff
            it into!

            For that reason, be prepared to fiddle with which slot this little
            puppy goes into! It, may, for example inherintly want to start up
            with IRQ 5 as originally set up in the factory default EPROM as it
            was delivered to you. Your existing sound card may actually be on
            that same IRQ in the current setup you have running, whatever. As
            you start this whole trip, get a print run or hand make a list for
            all the IRQ's and PORT numbers that are currently in use as it all
            exists now! Take a good look in the docs for the modem. It it is
            possible, try to first get the modem into a PCI slot which already
            fits into a pattern of moving down the IRQ's the highest to lowest
            in the order of the PCI slots as that's already evident from those
            shown on the study work you did before you started!

            You can often get it to work in one automagically by simply moving
            it from one empty slot to the other! If you can't and then figure
            out that the only way it will work is to pull something else, such
            as your NIC card and let it go down a slot, to try to free up that
            particular slot to give you one the PCI modem will use just to get
            the system rebooted, be sure and let the system come up and settle
            out any differences in that changed slot mix of the PCI cards once
            before you try the PCI modem in that new slot!

            Then, if you get it up and running and can see how this modem came
            up in the complete WIN system with the diagnostics there, by using
            that same data for a pure DOS operation, using that DOS setup tool
            which was furnished that they are talking about, you match what is
            needed in DOS with it, you'll likely get a complete system that'll
            work with both the WIN world as well as the DOS world too!

            There was a lot of traffic posted in the OS/2 group after this was
            started there about it working in the WIN world on boxes that have
            more than one operating system bootable, but not in OS/2, or plain
            old DOS! Done carefully for you, automatically resolving all this
            in WIN can turn into a very frustrating troubleshooting process in
            other than WIN, if you don't very much know what is going on!

            You have to get it all exactly right, or

            BLAM! Dead wabbit!

            If you like and get in trouble .. email me and I'll try to see if
            I can help. What you learn going through this may be needed as we
            go through this process in OS/2. We need a solution to this modem
            in a box problem too as serial ports go bye-bye in planned moves to
            make us all buy the latest and greatest!


            Mike Luther
            [email protected]

            [This message has been edited by Mike Luther (edited February 02, 2002).]
            Mike Luther
            [email protected]


            • #7
              Thanks Mike !

              Trying to tweak the BIOS is an option I was going to investigate.

              My home built Pure DOS 6.22 / PIII work machine's AWARD Bios is
              set "No PnP installed" with IRQ 3 and 4 set to "Legacy ISA". This
              motherboard still has an ISA slot, not used as I have an external
              Modem connected to COM1. It has also options to assign IRQs to
              PCI slots 1 to 5. If all else fails I shall have a go at setting
              a spare one to IRQ 3 or 4 to see whether that will fool a
              Soft-Win-Modem in it. Could be useful if external COM ports
              become history too !

              "Watch this space"



              • #8
                Com1 is normally used with IRQ4.
                Com2 is normally used with IRQ3.

                If your mother board has an actual serial port for them, then
                you should not really try to assign those IRQ's to other things.
                You may someday want to use something on them and the setup will
                still need then if that is true!

                IRQ2 is normally used in the old ways together with those up
                above IRQ8 as it is paired with IRQ9. You use 2; you are really
                using 9, and the reverse. Old systems often internally used 9
                internally, but modern ones don't. IRQ1 and IRQ8 are used in
                the scheme of things internal; you don't get to use them in
                'standard' ways. IRQ7 in the old scheme of things is taken for
                the normal use of the first parallel port, typically a parallel
                port printer, but also scanners and lots of other things folks
                like to use are here. IRQ5 is usually in the old way of things
                sort of wanted for the second parallel port, but ... It is oftem
                found used by either the sound card or the network card.

                IRQ 14 is used by the first IDE hard disk or device driver in
                the normal way of things. IF you have a second IDE device
                driver at work, a frequent way that we get optimum speed if
                we use a hard disk and a cd-rom on each, that one will be on
                IRQ15. Thus any video card IRQ which is needed will typically
                show up on the highest IRQ not in other use between IRQ15 and
                your IRQ12, but the standard one for the MOUSE in the old way
                of things is that IRQ12 for the MOUSE port! IRQ13 is used
                internally for things systematic in the normal way of things
                and isn't available for fun and games. Some sound cards actually
                use TWO of the IRQ's as well! And joy sticks and other control
                devices can be in there as well!

                You are left, in most cases, with only possible "free" IRQ12,
                if the MOUSE doesn't have it or IRQ11, IRQ10, IRQ9 and sometimes
                IRQ5 for typical user boxes with IDE systems. Those that do not
                have a second IDE driver in use also have the IRQ15 available too.

                I think the by far most ordinary matrix that shows up all said
                and done is to see the sound card on IRQ5. You then see many
                of the NIC network cards wind up on IRQ10. Alternatively you'll
                quite often find the sound card on IRQ10 and the NUC on 11, and
                Mr. Mouse will be on IRQ12 in PCI slot boxes, under the logic in my
                first post plus what is here.

                Thus a new modem in a PCI slot that leaves the COM1 and COM2
                operations still there, will usually wind up on IRQ10 or IRQ11,
                or if it is not in use on IRQ5. You'll have to use the desired
                and agreed upon actual serial port hex number for your modem
                that is other than COM2 or COM3. If you DO uses these COM1 amd
                COM2 ports in a PCI slot which is also used with a motherboard
                that has that same serial port too, be sure to disable the on-board
                one in the BIOS. While some operating systems use what we
                call LEVEL STATE signal levels. others, such as OS/2 do not! The
                first time that anything touches that IRQ in OS/2 that isn't
                taught carefully to be shared, it is GONE for use later in the
                boot run. Many a standard setup run on a card that did that
                and confuses the system for that reason for use with it somewhere
                else later on has caused many worries in users that don't understand
                that. You have to also, thus, know how these IRQ's are used in
                whatever you do to do all this on your own too!

                You'll have to learn your hex numbers for the ports to make
                sure you have that not in conflict with something else!

                And there is one other little thing that will not be needed
                in the thinking process for your new PCI modem. That is the
                DMA numbers which are also used for some of this. Even though
                your new PCI slot modem doesn't use them. while you are going
                through this, take note of how the sound card and so on do
                use them! Yes the floppy drive uses IRQ6 as well as a DMA!
                These little creatures can't be in conflict either on normal
                old equipment or BLAM .. Dead Wabbit!

                All of this stuff also changes in the case of the USB port
                boards. USB is there partly to help solve all this mess for the
                average user as sharing these scarce resources can be a mess
                if you run out! The other reason we do this is that serial
                port communications are more difficult to get high speed data
                across too! Port speeds of over 128K on serial ports are very
                special animals in the zoo! Nowdays, we really need to get
                up there WAY over that to even take any advantage of DSL or
                CABLE connected IP use and plain line connected modems of only
                V90 or V92 are simply too slow as serial port devices to even
                be in the race any longer!

                Phew .. but only trying to help others here. One of the hardest
                things in the game to fix is a box that goes bonk just because
                you put a hardware card in a slot that doesn't work like you
                think it should.

                Mike Luther
                [email protected]
                Mike Luther
                [email protected]


                • #9
                  For the record:

                  PACIFIC CommWare have refunded the money for the Soft-Win-Modem
                  driver software which does not work in Pure DOS. No news about
                  a driver which does, yet.

                  The search goes on