Unofficial Zoom Info File - Feb 11- K56PLUS UPGRADE!

Unofficial Zoom Info File - Feb 11- K56PLUS UPGRADE!

Post by Don » Fri, 14 Feb 1997 04:00:00

I posted this on the 11th, but my Usenet feed went down and it never made
it out. So here it is again!

                       THE UNOFFICIAL ZOOM INFO FILE
(Last updated Feb 11, 1997)

I have no connection with Zoom Telephonics other than being a consumer (I
own Zoom V.34I and Zoom FX9624 non-RPI faxmodems- so I can't actually test
RPI problems without the help of other users.) The above is not a release
of Zoom Telephonics. It is just information that I have collected and
researched. It has not been 'approved' by anyone. Subject to change. Please
inform me of any errors or additions that I should make. Comments are
welcome as long as they are not flames. If you have any other tips, please
send me the information. The author does not assume responsibility for the
use of anything in this file. That is, use at your own risk.
PLEASE tell me if there are any out-of-date URLs. If you can not get to a
specific place by the URL listed, go to the web site itself and search for it.
Then, please tell me of new URL. I check the URLs periodically.

Daniel Rosenzweig

Details at the end of this file.

upd* I. Zoom contact info (US and international)
   * II. Other sources of modem help.
        o a. European Zoom support BBS
        o a1. Notes for North American modem users.
             + b. Other sources
             Zoom now has International modem model descriptions!!
   * Microsoft's own WIN95 newsgroups.
   * III.Zoom V.FC (VFX or VFP) to V.34 upgrade program info.
   * IV.
   2/11>o ** NEW!!! K56PLUS (56 KBPS) upgrade program announced!
        o Zoom 33.6 KBPS models!  
        o ** NEW!!! 33.6 KBPS UPGRADES AVAILABLE NOW!!!!!!! **
  1/26>   ** ONLY SOME V34X MODEMS CAN BE UPGRADED TO 33.6!!! **
        o V.34x Model 470/480 mini-board modem with ROM 1.400d
        o UNDOCUMENTED S210 register -asymmetric speed/symbol rates
        o UNDOCUMENTED %Q1 connection info command
        o b. MAC/PC SETUP INFORMATION- &C &D commands -
             PC always seems to be "ONLINE"
   * V. Zoom V34I ROM info
upd* VI. ROM firmware installation instructions.
   * VII.Zoom 14.4 PC/EX (RPI/WinRPI) info.
        o 14.4 EX Model 165
   * VIII.COMSTAR installation information
        o NEW! Fix for COMSTAR SVD distinctive ring feature problem!
        o a.MORE General COMSTAR installation instructions
        o c.COMSTAR continued
   *  IX. General Info
        o 14.4 VFX Model 360/370
        o Instructions on how to receive the WWW documents and files and
          FTP files via Email

Sales -Toll Free  800-666-6191  8:30 AM - 6:00 PM Mon-Fri
Sales -Toll Free  800-631-3116
Fax- Sales        617-423-3923  24 hrs
Voice Main        617-423-1072  8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Repairs           617-423-2564
Voice Tech Supp.  617-423-1076  8:30 AM - 11:00 PM Mon-Fri  9 AM - 5 PM Sat
Pay Tech Support  900-555-COMM  8:30 AM - 6:00 PM  Mon-Fri 95 Cents/Min
Fax-Tech Support  617-423-5536  24 hrs
Faxback           617-423-4651  24 hrs
BBS               617-423-3733  24 hrs
AOL (keyword)     zoomt
AOL Email         ZoomRep
Compuserve    GO  ZOOM
Compuserve Email  76711,770

Tech support Internet Email addresses:
2) A)

ISP Sales      
Tribe products 
General Internet Email
Employment at Zoom
Zoom Investment info
Comments about Web site

WWW Homepage   
WWW Tech Support form

Zoom Telephonics
207 South Street
Boston, MA 02111-2720


The UK support center has been closed.
Unofficial support for the UK is listed below.

Belgium:  Sales/Returns - 322 716 5014
                      FAX 322 716 5001

Germany:  Sales -         498949 000 186

Zoom now has most contact info on their WWW site:

The FAX number listed on some of the Zoom warranty cards (423-9231) is
INCORRECT. That is the OLD Zoom SALES fax number. The new number is listed
above. The Tech Support fax number is correct in the users manual and
above. You can use the toll free phone numbers for ROM replacements and to
get an RA number if you have to send in your modem for repairs.

Each of the online services and the BBS have separate Zoom tech support
representatives. The zoomrep Email address has more than one. So, if you're
not satisfied by one tech support method, you can try another. Some are
much quicker than others- and some may give you better answers.
Some support options may take longer on one week, but faster on most weeks.
Last time I checked, the WWW tech support form seemed to take a long time to
get a response from.


a. Take a look at the software disks that came with your modem. Zoom may have
included a ZIPed file which has some tech support tips. Look at them!
Unfortunately, Zoom doesn't have these files on the disks supplied with the
current modems. On my Zoom V.34I purchased in 1995, a file called
was found in the UTILS directory of the COMit disk. Pkunzip is included, so
type C: then md zoom to make a directory called zoom. Next, type A: or B:
then pkunzip info c:\zoom to decompress the files into the zoom directory
of your C drive.
Some of the files are old- and may not apply to your modem. For example,
with my V.34I, one of the files says that you usually don't have to set the
comm program speed above 19200. While that may be true with a 14400 modem,
it is NOT true with a 28.8 modem (which should be set at 57600 or 115200)!
Many of the files, though, are very useful.

To look at the files you could use a text editor such as DOS's EDIT, a word
processor or type:
type filename |more  
For example to type s95.txt pausing between pages type:
type s95.txt |more  
Or type:  
print filename    to print on a printer.


Packlink/Zoom Modem Support (not Zoom itself):
Packlink/Zoom Modem Support  +441812972486

UK callers, dial 0 instead of 44 in the above UK telephone number.

Most Zoom help files from Zoom's Boston BBS available at this location.
The BBS stores Fidonet Zoom Echo messages for an entire year
available for FReq under filename:
Z_M<first three letters of month><last two numbers of year>.ZIP
The Sysop also has his own help files on the BBS.
The BBS file list (updated monthly) is Zoompack.txt
Fidonet Netmail 2:254/235

Worldwide (non-N.A.) Zoom model descriptions:

1. The U.S. ROM firmware versions are not identical and do not have the same
version numbers as the European (non-US) models. If you contact Zoom in the
U.S. for an updated ROM, make sure that you tell them that you have a European

2. Since many European countries have restrictions on modem use, Zoom (like
other modem manufacturers) has certain 'features' on its World Class
modems. As a result, there may be BLACKLISTED numbers which you can not
dial and a DELAY between each number dialed- no rapid redial. This is the
NORMAL way the European modems are set up and is NOT a defect with your
modem. For people in countries where this is not necessary, there is a way
around these restrictions.

3. If you use a U.S. model of almost any modem in another country, the modem
will most probably not be able to correctly detect the dial progress tones,
such as the dial and busy tones. If tones are being interpreted
incorrectly, the only way around it is to disable detection of such tones
using the AT Xn command. AT X1 wont check for busy or ringing signals,
while AT X2 will check for dialtone but not the busy tone. The U.S. model
shouldn't have a problem detecting many Western European countries' dial


Besides Zoom's WWW site, BBS and Faxback, Rockwell's WWW site has some
useful information.  
The BAUDMAN (Baud-A-Cator) section is very useful and contains various FAQs
and manuals. The BAUDMAN is back to answer your Rockwell modem chip (Zooms
use Rockwell chipsets although they may make major firmware modifications)

For software that comes with your Zoom modem, contact Zoom for help.
Delrina (Winfax) and Cheyenne (Bitware) both have an Internet presence. If
you still have a problem, while these companies will probably tell you that
you must go to Zoom for support, you may want to look at their web sites.



If you are having a problem printing in Bitware, go get bftool.dll from
Zoom's website

Tradewind Software (COMit) does not have an Internet presence as far as I
can tell. All that I have found from the company itself is one page with a
phone number for OEM's to purchase their products. You can try contacting
them using the information below.

Tradewind Software
Phone +818-335-7007
BBS   +818-335-6013
PO Box 36
Clendora, CA 91740 USA

Having problems installing your modem in Win95? First contact Zoom. Some
COMSTAR installation help is listed below. If that doesn't help, try the
below URL for generic Rockwell chipset modem installation help:

You may want to try selecting "Record a Log File" so that you can get
detailed information showing the commands to the modem and its responses.
This option is found in the "Modems" option of the "Install New Modem"
Wizard. Look at the log file that it creates called Modemlog.txt .

The mdmzoom.inf file contains the various commands that are supposed to be
entered into the registry. If you make adjustments to this file (make a
backup first), you must uninstall the modem in Win95 and then reinstall it.

The Registry contains the actual settings that the modem is using. You can
take a look at the registry by using the Regedit program. The modem
settings are listed in:
Use caution if you want to change the registry directly.

There is also a way to monitor modem performance while using 32 bit
Win95 comm programs. After you have enabled the MODEMLOG.TXT file, make
a connection, then open System Monitor found in the System Tools menu
inside the Files menu. In System Monitor, ADD the modem. Then you'll be able
to use System Monitor to monitor modem performance.

For advanced users who want to fiddle with the .INF file for their modem,
you may want to download MODEMDEV.EXE (the MDK) from Microsoft. This ~2.5
Meg compressed file contains both explanations of how to create modem .INF
files, plus utilities to help simplify the task. Always back up your old
INF file and be careful! You can get this file from: (Note the caps)

Rockwell has generic AT command set reference manuals available for display
and download. As these manuals are generic for Rockwell chipset modems,
Zoom may add, delete or change some of the commands. Some features are only
available on some modems such as Voice, SVD and Caller ID.
The 33.6 V.34 models resemble the revision 3 file plus the revision three
addendum 1 file. The 28.8 V.34 1.400 ROM resembles the 28800 revision 3 file.
The 1.309 ROM AT set is in between the revision 2 and 3 files.

Another interesting WWW site is John Navas' modem FAQ. Look there for
solutions to common high speed modem problems. The site includes current
modem news, modem help (including data overruns, IRQ conflicts, Winsock,
Win95 modem questions and much more), and explanations of many high speed
modem technical terms. Although somewhat controversial - he does have a USR
slant and doesn't mention that the Zoom v.34, as of ROM 1.309, has many of
the 'advanced features' he mentions - including V34PLUS - it is very

Check out the Usenet newsgroups called:
comp.dcom.modems                 General modem discussions    IBM-PC & general modem discussions
comp.sys.mac.comm                For Macintosh communications     Windows communication program discussions             OS2 communication program discussions

Check out the Fidonet Echomail groups called:
Zoom              (ZOOM)   Zoom_Modem in region 25
High Speed Modems (HS_MODEMS)
Communications    (COMM)
Modems            (MODEMS) Very little message traffic.

If your Sysop doesn't carry them- ask! They are usually very accommodating.

Microsoft now has Usenet newsgroups for Win95 and one for Win 3.1. This
includes newsgroups for Win95 telecommunications. For more information look

In short, you can set your newsreader to Microsoft's news server at:

Then choose from their newsgroups. Their server is very busy, so you may have
to retry again later. One of the newsgroups that you may want to look at is:

Telephony (microsoft.public.win95.commtelephony)
Discussion area for modem, COM port, HyperTerminal, Phone Dialer, and
Telephony setup and usage.

MAC communications FAQ:

III. Zoom V.FC (VFX or VFP) to V.34 upgrade program info.
     Zoom V.FC init string info.

I called Zoom Aug 6, 1996, and they said that they have not reduced the price
of the V.FC to V.34 upgrades. Thus, it may be a better deal to purchase a new
unit from a store than to upgrade to a probably RECONDITIONED unit from Zoom
with this program. The upgrade is now to 33.6 instead of 28.8.

The upgrade from the Zoom V.Fast Class 28.8 modem (VFX or VFP 28.8K) to
V.34 is $89. From the 24k V.FC modem (VFX or VFP 24K) to v.34 is $109. Get
the upgrade form from Zoom's WWW site, Faxback, BBS or call the Toll Free
Zoom Sales number. Sysop's get a discounted price. Contact Zoom, or one of
Zoom's on-line presences.

If you do not upgrade, for better performance and connections on your V.FC
modem, it is suggested to add %E2 -K0 to your initialization string. %E2
allows for fall forward/back for changing line conditions (instead of
hanging up) and -K0 turns off V.42 to MNP 10 conversion which other modems
sometimes have problems with. These are not the defaults in the Zoom V.FC
modems (%E2 is the default in all the V.34 models and -K0 is in 1.309 and
later V.34 ROMs).

The last ROM for the Zoom V.FC models is 1.000d for the internal VFP and
1.000h for the external VFX.
      ** Zoom Sales- 56 KBPS upgrade program announced!**

Zoom has announced the pricing for the K56PLUS upgrade on their web page.
Please check the webpage for the latest information.  

As of February 11th, the information was as follows:
The upgrade will cost $59 plus $6 shipping.  
The upgrade will be available on these model names and numbers:
Models named: V.34I, V.34I PLUS, V.34X, V.34X PLUS, ComStar, ComStar SVD,
ComStar XT SVD, 33.6 SVD
Models numbered: 275, 278, 450, 460, 470, 480, 620, 2800, 2802, 2835, 2836,

The modem must have been purchased from a US or Canadian retailer between
October 10, 1996 and March 15, 1997. You must have your sales receipt to
qualify! The order form will be posted on Zoom's website on March 18.
Orders must be received by July 31.
Shipping start dates:
V.34I/V.34I PLUS April 1
V.34X/V.34X PLUS April 21
Comstar          June  15

K56PLUS will allow up to about 56 KBPS from your ISP TO YOU and about 33 KBPS
FROM YOU to your ISP- phone lines permitting. Until an international standard
is created, which will take at least (very optimistically) a year, your ISP
must also be using a K56PLUS compatible Rockwell chipset or Lucent's V.flex2
chipset. Your ISP must also be connected to the Internet with a digital line.
There are also other phone company equipment considerations, too detailed to
be placed in this file. K56PLUS wont work connecting to plain BBS's. When
connecting to non-K56PLUS services, you would connect at a maximum of 33.6
Rockwell has K56PLUS FAQs on their web site.

                      ** Zoom V34 33.6 models **

The description of all the products in the current Zoom line is on Zoom's
web page.

                            33.6 Models
V.34I PLUS         Internal  PC: Model 2805
V.34X PLUS         External  PC: Model 2836 MAC: Model 2837 PC/MAC: Model 2838
COMSTAR SVD V.34   Internal  PC: Model 2800    
COMSTAR EX  V.34   External  PC: Model 2835 MAC: Model 2839
PC Card V.34C Plus PC Card   PC: Model 2870 MAC: Model 2871  

Although at the moment Zoom's web site says that the V34X PLUS has Caller ID
support, it is only available as a $21 'upgrade'.

So far, it is known that the 33.6 units add:

A)"Zoomguard" surge protection which uses SIDACtors (TM) thyristors 'and
  other parts' instead of MOVs.
  The Thyristors handle 100 AMPs 800 Volts 15MS;  FCC Rules Part 68.  
  This is also found on the ComStars and other newer models.

B) MNP10EC - This IS in the model 470/480 V.34X's 1.400 ROM.

C) "Distinctive Ring"

If you know of anything else, please let me know.

Modems upgraded with the 28.8 to 33.6 upgrade kits wont have Zoomguard, as
added hardware is needed.

I just tried out a V34i PLUS which has a 1.600a ROM. Unfortunately, the speed
and 3429 symbol rate tests could not be made scientific.

A) Does NOT support V.Fast Class.
   Therefore, the 74 parameter in the +MS command is no longer there.
B) Defaults with &C0 &D0. You should add &C1 &D2 to your init string or NVRAM.
C) Seems to do pretty well with connect speeds.

While at Internet World in NYC, I asked Brian Billick at Zoom Sales about
the differences between the 1.500 and 1.600a ROM. He said that he'd Email me
when he got a reply from the tech people. I haven't received any response.

I checked all the S registers and there are no new ones. The S210 register
and %Q1 undocumented commands still work. Like ROM 1.400 and above, it
responds to RPI+ commands (and uses its synchronous mode for Videophone
compatibility). The documented by Rockwell, but undocumented by Zoom in their
instruction manual, \V1 command works to return both transmit and receive
speeds upon connect. The V.34i PLUS came with the same version 1.0 instruction
manual that came with my 28.8 V.34 circa 1995. It came with a sheet of paper
mentioning that it now includes the V.34 33.6 standard (as it says on the
box). This modem was produced approximately the 18th of November 1996.

Calling from here in NYC to Zoom in Boston, Hayes in Georgia and to a
couple of local BBSs, I almost always get 28.8/28.8 (TX/RX) connects with an
occasional 26.4/28.8. I don't know if those BBSs had 33.6 modems on-line as
of my tests in mid December 96. Of course, the local BBS that I use the most  
which has a 33.6 modem, usually gets 26.4/26.4 and sometimes down to
24.0/26.4. Once in a while I can get 26.4/28.8. I don't know if it has to do
with his phone line, or modem.

Keeping the modem on the line for 5-10 minutes almost never resulted in
a speed decrease- except for on that local BBS which when started out at
26.4 would sometimes go down to 24.0 while on-line.

Doing some testing, I'm not sure if the 1.600a ROM fixes the incompatibility
with the USR's 3429 symbol rate. USR has fixed the newer models on their
side, so I'm not sure if my successful connects at 3429 witha USR Sportster
means anything. I haven't been able to get the firmware revision number from
the sysop. Trying two other USR BBSs I was unable to get a 3429 symbol rate
connect. That may be due to the symbol rate problem- or just phone line
problems. The only way to tell is via a modem to modem connect- which I
couldn't do.

The modem came with the same software versions as my V34i except for Winfax
Lite 4 instead of 3. It also came with the MDMZOOM.INF file for all Zoom
models for Win95. This file was version, dated August 14, 1996.
Interestingly, while this file is a week later than the file listed on
Zoom's website - this one, while it lists the SVD models- does
not deal with the SVD/Voiceview parts of those modems.  The older version
does. The Win 3.1/DOS modem init string files simply added V34 PLUS models
to their V34 init strings.

A number people who have purchased 33.6 V34X/I PLUS with the 1.500 ROM have
noted that their connect speeds are relatively slow. It is quite possible
that their phone lines aren't up to par. Also, Zoom has told me that the
33.6 firmware (1.500) initially connects at a slower speed and then speeds
up if your phone line supports it. You can test this while online for a
couple of minutes by pressing + three times and waiting a second. Then type
ATO (That's the letter'O') and see what the CONNECT message tells you. You
can also try the AT %Q%L test described below to see how noisy your phone
lines are. If it is a modem related problem, I'm sure that Zoom knows about
it and is working on it for the next ROM firmware (they have always sent out
fix ROMs for free upon owner's request) like they have in the past.

       **NEW!! ZOOM 33.6 upgrades for 28.8 models available now!!!**

28.8 V.34 models can NOW be upgraded to 33.6!
The below information is almost definitely also found on Zoom's BBS.

The V34C (PCMCIA-PC CARD) upgrade is for available for free at:
It is also available via UPS for $10.

The installation instructions for the V34C upgrade are found at:

Interesting to note, the file which contains the firmware upgrade
(SHUFAC8D.FW9 348,579 BYTES) is dated December 18, 1996. I wonder
what they have been doing since then with a release date of Jan 10! The
SHUFFLE.EXE file which actually applies the update is dated Jan 3, 1997.
Maybe they were just having problems with that file- but then why the
delay on the other models' upgrades? The MDMZOOM.INF is version
dated, November 12, 1996.

For upgrading Zoom's other 28.8 V.34 modems:
The upgrade program is described at:

Upgrade installation instructions (see my comments in the ROM firmware
installation instructions section):

Upgrade order form:

Upgrade order form for browser without 'form' support:

Zoom has released the 33.6 upgrade for their 28.8 models. The pricing is
listed below. Zoom will be announcing the pricing structure for the K56PLUS
upgrades later this month. The K56PLUS upgrades INCLUDE the 33.6 upgrade.
Therefore, it would be more economical to wait until the K56PLUS upgrade
than to upgrade once to 33.6 than again to K56PLUS (Zoom says so too).

Regarding Zoom's instructions for performing the upgrade:
A) There is such a thing as a chip puller available at stores such as
   Radio Shack which would be the ideal thing to pull the chip out.

B) Zoom tells you to unplug your computer before removing the INTERNAL
   modem. Many people, including Alfred Poor from Ziff Davis (PC MAG etc.),
   recommend that you keep your computer plugged in (but turned off) while
   performing upgrades. That plug is the only thing grounding the system!
   You want the computer grounded if you happen to have excess static abound.
   That said- the EXTERNAL modem must be unplugged before servicing.
   Again, what I say is not 'official' in any way- so use at your own risk.

C) The ID entering instructions are model specific, so don't use those ID's
   for other modem upgrades.

The upgrade firmware is the same 1.600a firmware as the V34PLUS has. I still
don't know if this fixes the below 3429 symbol rate problem with USRs.

USR has released a fix for their 33.6 modem pausing problem. Whether their new
firmware ALSO fixes the 33.6 connect problem (so that even the 1.500 ROM
33.6's will be able to connect to it at 33.6), I do not know. USR denies
that they have anything to do with this problem and say that the new ROM wont
help. On the other hand, USR also released new USR Courier firmware which
THEY SAY DOES fix the 3429 symbol rate problem dealing with Rockwell modems.

There have been problems with the 3429 symbol rate when a Rockwell based
modem calls a USRs. This basically means that it would be impossible to get
a 33.6 connect when calling a USR modem (even if your phone lines can support
it) 31.2 KBPS connections will still be possible (phone line conditions
permitting). Few companies using the Rockwell chipset (Supra) have already
fixed that problem. As of version 1.5000, the Zoom modems still have this
problem. Zoom has always given free ROMs (which you install) for bug fixes
if bugs do arise and you call to ask them for it.

Until this is fixed, there is technically a way of getting around this
problem -BUT it is only for testing purposes- or possibly for use on a one
on one basis. I would NOT recommend it to a BBS Sysop or ISP. The party
with the USR modem has to change a setting on his modem. For the USR Courier
and older Sportsters set S54=80. For newer 92MHZ Sportsters set S54=16. This
disables the 3200 symbol rate.
(From Fidonet Zoom Echo).

The current 33.6 ROM version is 1.600a using the 05BA revision data pump.
The ROM now says 27505BA. They have added security features so that
unscrupulous modem companies wont illegally use the Zoom firmware in
their modems. I don't know if a newer firmware version is supplied with the
33.6 upgrade. I'm waiting for someone who ordered the upgrade to get back
to me.

When I get more info, I'll add it to this file.

The upgrade is done by filling out a form and sending the completed
form back to Zoom. The form is available on Zoom's website and soon to be on
the BBS. You can also call or Email Zoom sales to have them send it to you
via fax/mail.

Generally, the upgrade V34X/V34I program is as follows:

Type ati6 in the terminal mode of a communications program.

If the ati6 results include 05BA then:
 A)If you purchased your modem after April 1, 1996 the price is FREE + $10
  shipping/handling ($10 total). The upgrade ROM chip is sent to you via mail.

 B)If you purchased your modem BEFORE April 1, then the upgrade is
  $10+$10 ship/hand ($20). The upgrade ROM chip is sent to you via mail.

If the ati6 results show an older number (such as 04BC) then:
  The upgrade is $40+$10 ship/hand ($50) and you must send the modem back to
  Zoom. Speak to Zoom if you want to do an advanced replacement so that
  you wont be left without a modem at any time.

Zoom has the Win95 INF file for the 33.6KBPS modems available on their
web site (BBS etc.).


Only the newer (mini) version of Zoom's V34X can be upgraded to 33.6.
You have the newer version if you have the power switch in the front of the
unit. The fifth through eighth digits of the serial number would be ZM3X.
The older units, which can not be upgraded to 33.6 have the power switch in
the back. The fifth through eighth digits of those units are ZX8L.
Luckily, the larger 450 model IS on the list of upgradable units for K56PLUS.

There are now Zoom modems which have BOTH HARDWARE ECC and SOFTWARE based
RPI ECC. Most (all?) of the current models (besides the 14.4 PC/EX which
are RPI ONLY) probably have this. I have seen this on the current VFP14.4
and the V.34X model 370 and the V34I PLUS (as opposed to the older 350
and VFP14.4 which had hardware ECC only). If you have such a model,
WATCH OUT when using automatically installing modem programs! For example,
if you let Juno (the free Internet Email service - through version 1.15 at
least)  automatically install the current  Zoom VFP14.4, it will install it
as an RPI modem and expect WinRPI, even though the modem also has hardware
ECC built in. The software finds that RPI exists in the modem - and then
assumes that's all it has. You must do a manual install to correctly
configure the modem.

V. Zoom V.34i/V.34x ROM info

The old 28.8 V.34 models have been replaced by the 33.6 models. Since the
model 470 is also relatively recent, I'm keeping the 28.8 info here for the

Zoom has released a smaller 'mini-board' V.34x (Model 470 for PC and Model
480 for MAC - I'll refer to it as Model 470 from now on) which REPLACED the
larger V.34x (Model 450). This model comes with ROM version 1.400d (US) which
they say won't run on the larger v.34x or v.34i models.

Differences between old V.34x Model 450 (1.309) and new V.34x Model 470
(1.400d) known so far:

1. It has BOTH hardware ECC (error correction and data compression) AND
RPI+ software based compression (the original v.34x had only hardware ECC).
Truthfully, RPI+ would probably never be used anyway. You may want to add
+H0 to your init string to make sure that your modem remains in hardware
ECC mode. It should default that way already.

2. The AT \V1 command will return BOTH the send and receive speeds at
connect time. You may want to add \V1 to your init string (it disregards
the S95 register- and adds 1 to the S31 register ). But BEWARE, any script
files that you have for your comm program or Winsock may not recognize the
new connect string and wont know when you are on-line. Therefore, if you
have a problem, either don't put \V1 in your init string, or change your
script file.

3. The v.34x Model 470 does not have built in Caller ID support. You
can purchase an "UPGRADE KIT" to add this functionality. The upgrade kit
only includes Caller ID support. The cost is $21 from Zoom. It is only
available directly from Zoom. Call Zoom Sales for more information and to
purchase the kit.

Latest ROM for v.34i (Model 275) and v.34x (Model 450) is version
1.309 (US). Contact Zoom (you could use the toll free phone number) for free
upgrade that you install- instructions below. These ROMs are NOT for the
Zoom V.FC (V.Fast Class) modems, which are, of course, discontinued.

To check what version ROM you have, type AT I3 in your communications

A) Fixed dropped carrier problems (found in some of the older ROMs)
B) Increased connect speed
C) Fixed adaptive answering -false fax receive detection- problem
D) SPLIT/ Asymmetric speeds
E) Below undocumented S210 register and %Q1 command.

***** As undocumented commands are not officially supported they may
eventually be removed or changed in newer ROMs, also without notice. These
undocumented commands seem to work on at least V.34 ROMs 1.309 through
1.600a *****

Undocumented S210 register

(Some of this info from Richard Town) Split speed (asymmetric channeling)
has been enabled on the Zoom V34 series from ver 1.309 ROM upwards. The S210
(bit mapped) register allows you to control split speed plus the available
symbol rates.

S210  Available symbol rates          Supported data rates (bps)
===== ============================    ==========================
      NON-ASYMMETRIC (Non-Split) Speed
=0    2400                            2400 to 21600
=1    2400                            2400 to 21600
=2    2400, 2800                      2400 to 24000
=3    2400, 2800, 3000                2400 to 26400 (to 28800 on PLUS)
=4    2400, 2800, 3000, 3200          2400 to 28800 (to 31200 on PLUS)
=5    2400, 2800, 3000, 3200, 3429    2400 to 28800 (to 33600 on PLUS)

      ASYMMETRIC (Split) Speed
=8    2400                            2400 to 21600
=10   2400, 2800                      2400 to 24000
=11   2400, 2800, 3000                2400 to 26400 (to 28800 on PLUS)
=12   2400, 2800, 3000, 3200          2400 to 28800 (to 31200 on PLUS)
=13   2400, 2800, 3000, 3200, 3429    2400 to 28800 (to 33600 on PLUS)

S210=13 is the default.

Version 1.4 and above ROMs can report both send and receive speeds with the
AT \V1 command.

These S210 settings can be used if connecting with (usually some older
v.34s which have problems with the 3429 symbol rate) modems that may have a
bug with certain symbol rates.

If your having trouble connecting to a modem that has a problem with the
3429 symbol rate you can:
A)Force V34 up to max 26.4 kbps with AT+MS=11,0,,26400

B)Force V.FC at up to max 28.8 kbps with AT+MS=74,0,,28800 (If both modems
  support V.FC)

C)PREFERABLY- If you have 1.309 Rom or later, do as above: Use AT S210=12
to limit the symbol rate and still have the possibility of a v.34 28.8
connection- 31.2 on a connection between two PLUS models.


In ROM version 1.309 the %Q1 command was enabled. This command only works
in v.34 mode. This info supplements the info available by AT %Q %L . To use
the %Q1 %Q or %L commands you must go to command mode while on-line. Press
+++ and wait a second. It'll say OK - then type the commands that you want.
To go back to the system that you were on (if the system allows you to)
type ATO or ATO1 . That's the letter O (Oh) not a 0 (Zero). ATO1 starts a
retrain while ATO doesn't.

Here is a breakdown of what AT %Q1 returns
(from Kiwin (Stephen) Palm):

Here is an example output from the AT %Q1 command:
    005 028 038 000 002
     |   |   |   |   |
     |   |   |   |    \___  Pre-emphasis
     |   |   |    \_______  TX Level Reduction
     |   |    \___________  Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
     |    \_______________  Signal to Noise Ratio Index (Not in dB)
      \___________________  Symbol Rate Index

It shows a fairly decent connection, when interpreted with the following:

Symbol rate index  (higher the better)
   0 = 2400    -Supports up to and including 21600 BPS
   2 = 2800    -Supports up to and including 24000 BPS
   3 = 3000    -Supports up to and including 26400 BPS (28800 on PLUS models)
   4 = 3200    -Supports up to and including 28800 BPS (31200 on PLUS models)
   5 = 3429    -Supports up to and including 28800 BPS (33600 on PLUS models)

SNR - Signal to Noise Ratio Index
   The reported value is a raw value. To convert to dB use:
     db= raw*1.7 -7
   Thus for the example (28*1.7-7) it is about 40dB

THD  Total Harmonic Distortion

TX Level Reduction
  - just indicates how many dB lower the transmitter is feeding
    the central office.
    Zero   through E (hex)  in -dBm

  - Pre-emphasis is a linear equalization method where the transmit
    signal spectrum is shaped to compensate for amplitude distortion.
  - There are 11 different filter spectrums for various
    tuning to the local loop.  They are labeled 0 - A.


There is a slight problem that makes the speaker mute in Windows 95. The
below simple fix of removing a semi-colon will generally work. Theoretically,
some comm programs may assume that you have the semi-colon there and not
work properly if you plan on dialing more digits after the connection has
already been made. If you do plan to dial more digits after the initial
connection, you could probably add commas to the end of the phone number,
before the extra digits, to make your modem wait a few seconds before
continuing to dial. This is the way it has always been done before Win95.

In your C:\WINDOWS\INF there is a file named MDMZOOM.INF. First, make a
backup of that file. Then, load that file into a text editor such as
MS-DOS's EDIT. Do a search for ";" (parenthesis included) and replace with
"" (remove semicolon)-double check that you're editing the correct line.

The original line

HKR, Settings, DialSuffix,, ";"

should now be

HKR, Settings, DialSuffix,, ""

After you save the changes to MDMZOOM.INF. Go into the Control Panel and
double click on the modems icon. Delete the entry for the modem, then
re-add it. If this causes any problems (none are expected), you could just
reenter the semi-colon or use your backup copy.
b. MAC/PC SETUP INFORMATION- &C &D commands - PC always seems to be "ONLINE"

Does your IBM PC compatible always say ONLINE even when your modem isn't?
Well, for some reason, some Zoom firmware versions are set correctly for
the IBM PC by default and some aren't. So, if you are having such
problems, make sure that you have &C1 &D2 set in your initialization string.
Even if your modem is set correctly be default, it would not hurt to put
those commands into your init string.

If you have an Apple Macintosh on the other hand, make sure that you have
&C1 &D0 in your initialization string.
VI. ROM Installation Instructions

Zoom now has ROM firmware installation instructions listed in the 33.6
upgrade section.

Regarding Zoom's instructions for performing the upgrade:
A) There is such a thing as a chip puller available at stores such as
Radio Shack which would be the ideal thing to use.

B) The ID entering instructions are model specific, so don't use those
ID's for other modem upgrades.

VII. Zoom 14.4 EX/PC -(RPI/WinRPI) info.

Rockwell has released a v.34 chip with RPI+ (without hardware ECC). I
don't know if Zoom will ever use it. If they do, then most of the below
information should apply to those modems as well.

If you own a Zoom RPI modem, you can upgrade to the hardware based ECC
(V42bis etc.) model for $26 from Zoom. Call Zoom Sales.

14.4 EX Model 165 has been released in a new case similar to the new
V.34x's case. According to Zoom, there are no functional differences between
the Model 150 and Model 165. They MAY have changed the chipset to make
marketing more convenient, but it doesn't make any real difference to the

The EX and PC models (unlike all other Zoom models) need special software
to be able to support Error Checking and Data Compression (ECC) since they
use RPI (Rockwell Protocol Interface- a description of RPI is given in the
Rockwell RPI FAQ- the URL is listed below). The WinRPI free software driver
gives this functionality in just about any Windows program.

*Please note that there are other brand modems which use other chipsets
that may seem to be like RPI, but they are not. Lucent Technologies
(formerly AT&T) has a chipset that does not have a hardware controller at
all. The controller is emulated in a software driver. Without this driver,
you don't have a modem any modem. Also, UMC (Universal Microelectronics
Corporation) has UPI (UMC Protocol Interface) which seems functionally
equivalent to RPI- but it is not compatible with RPI (or WinRPI). (UMC info
from Geoffrey Welsh)*

Newer versions of these Zoom RPI modem models come with WinRPI on the COMit
disk. Of course, even if your RPI modem came with WinRPI, CHECK TO SEE THAT
YOU HAVE THE LATEST VERSION. If you don't, then get it from Zoom's or
Rockwell's WWW site listed below.

For 14.4 EX and 14.4 PC - these are RPI or RPI+ modems:
Serial # xxxZA1ixxx or xxxZA2ixxx are plain RPI (older) models

If you type AT I3 you'll get the ROM version which would also say RPI or
RPI+ after it. The '+' is at the end of the line, not immediately after the
letters 'RPI'- the RPI+ message will look something like this. ROCKWELL RPI (TM) MODEM+

No new modems are being produced with the plain old RPI chips- they are all
RPI+. Check to make sure that you have the current ROM version. If not,
contact Zoom (you could use the toll free number) to get a replacement ROM
for you to install. Since the older models use different ROMs than the
newer ones, you'll have to ask Zoom what the newest version is for your
modem. Look at section V. for general ROM installation instructions.

Rockwell has released WinRPI version 2.26 (for WIN 3.1)- Bug fixes which
may help any problems that you may be having with the older 2.23 version-
give it a try!

WINRPI for WIN95 - version 1.15. Includes INF file for RPI modems including
v.34 RPI modems. Remember that if you are using Win 3.1 comm applications
inside WIN95, you still have to change the init strings in the individual

Instructions for WinRPI installation- including how to change your
initialization string in your communications program (e.g. Procomm, America
OnLine, Winsock) - WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT- are included in each package.
Zoom has more application specific (America OnLine etc.) information on its
WWW site. Some of the changes that the author recommends are not necessary
if you use the newer version 2.26 WinRPI drivers instead of the version
2.23 drivers that came with Zoom's old RPIKIT4. I would advise using the
2.26 WinRPI drivers. The author of those information files has tried
WinRPI 2.26 since the writing of those files and now advises using 2.26.
He had problems on AOL which were fixed when he used the 2.26 WinRPI version.
(The URL for WinRPI 2.26 and WinRPI for Win95 is above. The identical drivers
are also available on Zoom's web site.)

Rockwell has an (old) unofficial list of DOS and Windows communications
programs that support RPI (without using the universal WinRPI Windows

If you use a Windows program that has RPI support built in, and you have
WinRPI installed, you must disable either RPI support in the program or

There are now Zoom modems which have BOTH HARDWARE ECC and SOFTWARE based
RPI ECC. Most (all?) of the current models (besides the 14.4 PC/EX which
are RPI ONLY) probably have this. I have seen this on the current VFP14.4
and the V.34X model 370 and the V34I PLUS (as opposed to the older 350
and VFP14.4 which had hardware ECC only). If you have such a model,
WATCH OUT when using automatically installing modem programs! For example,
if you let Juno (the free Internet Email service - through version 1.15 at
least)  automatically install the current  Zoom VFP14.4, it will install it
as an RPI modem and expect WinRPI, even though the modem also has hardware
ECC built in. The software finds that RPI exists in the modem - and then
assumes that's all it has. You must do a manual install to correctly
configure the modem.

Rockwell has a very extensive FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) file about
RPI and WinRPI. Zoom now has a link to this FAQ from their homepage.

The instructions with some of the WinRPI drivers tell you to change the S95
register so that your modem will return a more informative CONNECT string
(including whether or not you have made a error corrected and/or data
compressed connection). Also, your RPI modem returns TWO sets of CONNECT
info- first saying no ECC- then saying yes ECC once WinRPI kicks in. The
problem is that some script files (e.g. in Trumpet Winsock, Chameleon or
script files in a communications program) don't like this extra (or
different) info. As a result, your communications program may never know
that you're connected and will keep waiting for your modem to connect.
Therefore, IF you have a problem- either change your S95 register (using
the below table as a guide) - or tell your script file to search for the
more complex CONNECT string. Sometimes, just changing the search string
to the word CONNECT without a carriage return (^M) at the end will do it.
On RPI (non-RPI+) modems, there is a 'display' setting in the applet that
comes with WinRPI instead of the S95 register.

S95 register- add numbers for message desired-(valid for RPI+ and modems with
                                                hardware error correction)
0  CONNECT DTE (computer to modem) speed
1  CONNECT DCE (modem to modem)    speed
2  /ARQ if error correction
For example: AT S95=1 will return CONNECT 14400  when connected at 14400.
             AT S95=47 will return all the above info besides DTE.

RPI+ models use standard AT commands to control ECC. Plain RPI models have
their ECC controlled via an applet that comes with WinRPI (WRPIEN.EXE). Also,
on plain RPI models, you must disable WinRPI (with the applet that comes with
the WinRPI driver) before using fax mode. You do NOT do this with an RPI+
model. Some of the much older plain RPI models don't support WinRPI at all.
These models will only support programs with RPI support built in.



There is a new MODEMS.INF file which will fix the problem with
distinctive ring in COMSTAR SVD modems. Get it from Zoom's website
(or BBS etc.). Instructions are included.
The complete URL is:

IMPORTANT NOTICE (This message is from the Zoom BBS):

If SETMODEM.EXE terminates upon installation before completing its
execution and displays the message, "abnormal termination error", this
could be due to a conflict with another device in your system, i.e. a
soundcard. In that case, there are two other utilities that allow you to
configure your modem.

First, to determine the available comports in your system, run the
ZPORTS.EXE program included on this disk. From a DOS prompt and this disk,
type ZPORTS and press ENTER. ZPORTS will suggest a combination of comport
and possible IRQs that the modem could use.

Secondly, run the SETPORT.BAT utility using the settings provided by
ZPORTS. For example, if ZPORTS suggests COM 4, you would type SETPORT 4 and
hit the enter key. Then, if the program didn't confirm that the modem was
set up on COM 4, you could try COM 4 with a different IRQ than the default.
To try COM 4 on IRQ 5, for example, you would type SETPORT 2E8 5 and hit
enter. Please note that when you need to try an IRQ that is different than
the default, you need to enter the hex address rather than the number of
the comport. Please refer to the tables below for different comport/IRQ
                    Modem set to:                  If the ZPORTS info fails,
Typing      =       Comport     IRQ                try SETPORT in this order:
SETPORT 1        =     1         4   (default IRQ)
SETPORT 2        =     2         3   (default IRQ)         1st
SETPORT 3        =     3         4   (default IRQ)
SETPORT 4        =     4         3   (default IRQ)
SETPORT 3E8 5    =     3         5                         2nd
SETPORT 2E8 5    =     4         5                         4th
SETPORT 3E8 7    =     3         7                         3rd
SETPORT 2E8 7    =     4         7                         5th

Comport Hex Address Reference Table:
COM 1 = 3F8
COM 2 = 2F8
COM 3 = 3E8
COM 4 = 2E8


SETPORT.BAT runs a file called PORTWIZ.EXE which actually does all the
work. If PORTWIZ is successful in configuring your modem, it will ask you
if you want to add it to autoexec.bat so that your modem is configured
automatically each time you start your machine. This is a good idea. In
order for PORTWIZ to work from autoexec.bat, there has to be a copy of it
in your root directory. SETPORT.BAT does this when you run it. This means
is that you will only have to run SETPORT during installation to find a
configuration that works in your system. Thereafter, each time you restart
your computer after that, your modem will be automatically configured on a
comport/IRQ when autoexec.bat runs at boot time.

Files of interest (on the BBS, AOL, CIS and WWW servers) to COMSTAR users:
Comstar modems currently selling have these updated files already. Revision D modem installation files including COM/IRQ setup
programs (e.g. setport and portwiz) and an .inf file for WIN95. The second Cheyenne Bitware disk (without current above files)


To set up the Comstar in Windows 95, remove any old modems and sound
card(temporarily until after setup) from your computer if you have them. In:
Control Panel>System>Device Manager,
Remove any modems under Modem and remove ALL Com ports under Ports.
Then go to Add New Hardware and let Win95 detect the modem.
IF THE MODEM IS DETECTED ON COM5, then do the following:
Control Panels>System>Device Manager>Modem>ComStar 28.8(14.4).
Click on:
and take the check out of "use automatic settings".
Change to basic configuration 002.
Click on Change Setting.
Using the up/down arrows,change the address to 03E8-03EF Click on OK.
Highlight the IRQ selection.
Click on Change Setting Change the value to 05 (or 07 if 05 shows a conflict)
Click on OK and then OK again.
The modem is now set to Com3 with irq 5.
Select a different address and IRQ if Com3 is in use.
Happy modeming
        Joe Zoomrep
If you have an older computer with a PCI bus and are having a problem with
installation, continue reading.


The "Floppy Drive Controller Error" as well as some other such
errors on some Pentium computers has to do with the fact that the
BIOS boots the system so quickly that the modem's plug and play
information hasn't finished loading by the time the system queries
the chip.  This can lead to any number of problems including missing
floppy or hard drives.

The problem can be solved either with a BIOS update if needed OR by
taking the following steps in the CMOS setup of your computer:

1. Enable P.O.S.T or the Power On Self Test
2. Enable the "Above 1 meg memory test"
3. There should be a setting for "fast" or "turbo" boot, this should
   be set to OFF or NORMAL speed.  Some Intel Firmware may even have a
   setting where you can program in a time-delay before the POST occurs.

All of this is assuming that the BIOS in your computer is current.
The firmware revision appears in the upper left corner of the screen
at power-on.  You can see if the number that appears is current by
contacting the manufacturer of the motherboard-not the manufacturer
of the BIOS chip.

c.Comstar continued....
If you purchased your Comstar in 1995:
If you can't get your modem to work using a 32 BIT (Win95) comm software,
then it is possible that the registry has AT&FE0V0&C1&D2S95 instead of the
complete AT&FE0V0&C1&D2S95=47S0=0 (You can check the registry by using
RegEdit as described above.) Therefore a mistaken init string is sent to
the modem. The ModemLog.txt file may say that the correct string was sent,
even though it wasn't. Zoom's newer INF file (December 1995 or later)
corrects this problem. Get it from Zoom's web site. After you get the file,
you must uninstall the modem in Win95 (don't physically uninstall the modem)
and then reinstall it for the new settings to take effect.

IX. General Info

Zoom has also released a 14.4 VFX (hardware V.42/V.42BIS/MNP) modem with
the new case. This is Model 360 for the PC and 370 for the MAC. There are
no known functional changes in this model as compared to the previous 14.4
VFX model.

STORM! The majority of modem breakage occurs from lightning damage. Zoom
modems do have built in surge protection (new models have even better
ZoomGuard thyristor surge protective devices) - nothing will protect from a
direct lightning strike and a strong enough non-direct strike can still do
damage. As such damage will cost you $30 to repair, you may also want to buy
an additional phone line surge protector.

To improve communications reliability with high speed modems using Windows
3.x (not Win for Workgroups 3.11 or Win95) with your 16550A UART, you
should install an enhanced comm driver such as the one that comes with
Winfax - also available at:

Before purchasing any modem of any brand, make sure that the store in which
it was purchased has a good return policy. This will allow you to make sure
that the modem works well with your computer and phone lines/switching
equipment- and with the phone lines and modem on the end of the services
that you are connecting to! Once you have purchased a modem, call the
manufacturer to make sure that you have the current firmware. Many
manufacturers (including Zoom) will send out updated ROMs for free- at
least while the modem is under its (7 year for Zoom) warranty and they
still produce the modem (or have ROMs leftover).
You do not need World Wide Web access- only Internet Email. I do not know
if the Fidonet<>Internet gateway will accept this- Juno would do, as long
as the file will be automatically split into pieces smaller than 61K.

Email to:                   In the body of the message: Type SEND then the URL(address).    Type SEND then the URL.          Type GO then the URL.      Type GET then the URL.

To get detailed help- send the word HELP as the whole message. An
instruction file will be returned via Email. It may take a while to receive
the document- I once tried and it took about two days. Sometimes individual
servers can be down for weeks at a time. You can even receive binary files
such as WinRPI via this method. You'll need a copy of UUDECODE (or possibly
MIME) to decode binary files. Fidonet will not allow binary files.

To get the self-extracting UUDECODE program send Email to:
SUBJECT: send muud
The subject must be in lower case. No body of the msg.

To get MIME64 (not self extracting- will probably be UUENCODED)
send Email to
The body should contain:
cd /pub/simtelnet/msdos/decode
You can FTP any file using the above bitftp site- using regular FTP
commands in the body of the msg. The file will be divided into 38K parts.


Send Email TO:

Subject in lower case:
send zoomfaq.txt


Thanks to Tyler Akins for the Binky service!
Subscriptions and other ways to obtain this document will be available soon.

Thanks to Cyber-Wizard, this file is also found on the WWW without active
links and via FTP.


Path and filename are: /Wizardchives/zoomfaq.txt

This file is also posted on:
Usenet:  comp.dcom.modems,
Fidonet: Zoom Echo

Some versions of this file are freq'able from Overnight Network 1:278/404
(my host 'boss' node). This site does not always have the latest version.
Only the first node has Fido Mailer software properly configured. If that
line is busy, it will automatically roll over to the second node. Therefore
if you get node 2, you'll have to call again later when node 1 is available.
You can FREQ to get a list of all files from the BBS including
my Zoom files. The currently posted file is . Each version is
numbered sequentially. You could also download the file from the Overnight
Network BBS (formerly Overnight II) directly at +718-980-5838 (33.6-USR) or
+718-980-4693 (14.4). The nodes have been temporarily switched, though.
The BBS is fully functional again.

This file is available via Fidonet File Request (FREQ) from 2:254/235
and 2:254/256 (7pm-7am UK time) as Z_MFAQ.TXT or download from the
following BBSs:
Packlink/Zoom Modem Support:         +44(0)1812972486

Internet Email:                    

Among others- If you do a search using an Email search engine you'll find
some other Email addresses of mine. Almost all of them listed are
NO LONGER VALID. I have searched and found about 7 or so of my old Email

*****DO NOT USE******           THIS ACCOUNT HAS BEEN CLOSED!!!!!  Mail sent to this address will NOT BOUNCE-
*****DO NOT USE******           BUT I can NOT access the messages!

Fidonet Netmail (Email):
         Daniel Rosenzweig