Digicom modem FAQ version 2.03

Archive-name: modems/Digicom-faq
Last-modified: 1994/7/25
Version: 2.03
Posting-frequency: As necessary

      Digicom Frequently Asked Questions       Version 2.03

      archived at ftp.whnet.com /pub/wolfgang/Digicom.faq
      email additions to wolfgang@netcom.com or wolfgang@whnet.com

1. Which different models of Digicom modems are there?
2. What is SoftModem technology and what are its benefits?
3. What is special about Digicom?
4. Can you explain the Signal Computing Architecture?
5. Are there Digicom related ftp sites?
6. What is the recommended setup string?
7. What are the current ROM revisions?
8. Where can I get technical support?
9. Are there any reviews available?
10. Where can I purchase Digicom modems?
11. What's so hot about modems?

1. Which different models of Digicom modems are there?

Digicom currently offers Connection series, Scout+ series and 9624 series
modems and a 1.544 Mbps digital CSU/DSU.

A) Connection series

The Connection modems are the industry's first SoftModems. Two models
are available: the Connection 14.4+ is an internal 14,400 bps data
modem and the Connection 14.4+ FAX is an internal 14,400 bps data
and 14,400 bps fax modem. Connection series modems are software
upgradeable without having to burn EPROMs.

Digicom Connection 14.4+      (internal)               software
Digicom Connection 14.4+ FAX  (internal)              upgradeable

ITU-T V.32bis Modulation
               (14,400/12,000/7200 bps)           X
ITU-T V.42bis Data Compression                    X
ITU-T V.32 Modulation (9600bps/4800bps)           X
ITU-T V.22bis, Bell 212A (2400/1200bps)           X
V.42 (LAPM) and MNP 4 Error Control               X
Built-In Speaker for Line Monitoring              X
Autobaud and Automatic Speed Negotiation          X
DTE Speeds up to 115,200 baud                     X
Flow Control Selection (Xon/Xoff or RTS/CTS)      X
Configurable COM Ports 1-4, IRQ 3-5,9 Support     X
Extended AT Command Set                           X
V.54 Test Modes and Diagnostics                   X
16550A UART Compatibility                         X
FCC Class A/B Approved                            X
Five Year Warranty                                X
Qmodem 4.52 Communication Software                X
Prodigy software and membership kit               X
DOS, Windows, Linux and OS/2 compatible           X
Connection + FAX                                            X
  (included with the Connection 14.4+ FAX)                  X
  Send/receive FAX up to 14,400 bps, Class 1 Group 3        X
  Winfax, SoftModem manager for transparent switching       X
Connection + Voice upgrade                                  X
  use single phone line for data, fax or voice operation    X
  automatic switching between incoming voice/data/fax       X
  voicemail * DTMF control of voice functions               X
  record and playback functions                             X
  multiple mailboxes and greetings * available summer 94    X
Connection + Terbo upgrade                                  X
  19,200 and 16,800 bps V.32terbo modulations               X
  (de facto industry standard)                              X
  up to 115,200 baud data throughput                        X

 ...and MORE. (Let us know if you have good suggestions).
The Connection 14.4+ is one of the industry's first SoftModems. Modem 
features can be added without changing the hardware. Users can keep up 
with changing standards and upgrades by just installing new software and 
don't have to burn EPROMs. 

Support and SoftModem info files are available for anonymous 
ftp from feenix.metronet.com in the directory /pub/wolfgang. 

B) Scout+ series:

There are five different Scout+ modems available. The Scout+ is an
external 14,400 bps data and fax modem. The Scout+ PC is an internal
14,400 bps data and fax modem. The Scout+ Terbo is an external
19,200 bps data and 14,400 bps fax modem. External modems are also
available for the Apple MacIntosh.

Digicom Scout+       (external)   14,400 bps data 14,400 bps fax
Digicom Scout+ PC    (internal)   14,400 bps data 14,400 bps fax
Digicom Scout+ Terbo (external)   19,200 bps data 14,400 bps fax

V.32terbo de facto standard (19,200/16,800 bps) (Scout+ Terbo only)
ITU-T V.32bis Modulation (14,400/12,000/7200 bps)
ITU-T V.42bis Data Compression
ITU-T V.32 Modulation (9600bps/4800bps)
ITU-T V.22bis, Bell 212A (2400/1200bps)
V.42 (LAPM) and MNP 4 Error Control
Built-In Speaker for Line Monitoring
Autobaud and Automatic Speed Negotiation
DTE Speeds up to 57,600 baud (115,200 baud for Scout+ Terbo)
Flow Control Selection (Xon/Xoff or RTS/CTS)
V.54 Test Modes and Diagnostics
Online help and signal quality testing
16550A UART Compatibility
FCC Class A/B Approved
Five Year Warranty
Qmodem 4.52 Communication Software
Send/Receive Fax 14,400 bps V.17 Class 1 Group 3
Delrina Winfax Lite and Dosfax Lite
Compuserve and Prodigy membership kits
synchronous and asynchronous operation (Scout+ Terbo only)
2 wire leased line support (Scout+ Terbo only)

C) 9624 series modems

The 9624 series modems are 14,400 bps data and fax modems which are
available in external and rack mounted versions.

Digicom 9624LE+ (external)
Digicom 9624LR+ (rack mounted; 16 per rack)
Digicom 9624E+  (external)
Digicom 9624AR+ (rack mounted; 16 per rack; modem management)

ITU-T V.32bis, V.32, V.22bis, V.22, V.21, Bell 212A
14,400, 12,000, 9600, 7200, 4800, 2400, and 1200 bps
ITU-T V.42bis and MNP 5 data compression
ITU-T V.42 (Lap M, MNP 4), MNP 2, 3 and 4 error correction
Group 3 send and receive fax, ITU-T V.29, V.27ter and V.21
adaptive handshake, auto line monitor and retrain
full duplex dial-up and two-wire leased line operation
asynchronous 10 or 11 bit including start/stop
synchronous with internal or external timing
flow control XON/XOFF, RTS/CTS, HP ENQ/ACK
single number call-back
EIA RS-232C up to 38,400 bps
RJ-11 with MI/MIC support
transmit level -10 dBm (dial), -2 and -10 dBm (leased)
receive level 33 db dynamic range, (-43 dBm dial, -35 dBm leased)
test modes V.54 analog, digital and remote loopback with selftest
Temperature 0 to 50 degrees Celsius
relative humidity 0 to 95 degrees non-condensing
Appropriate FCC, DOC, UL and CSA certificates
with Qmodem and Fax software
very low ping latency 
2 year warranty

9624LE+ (external):     eight LED indicator lights
                        grey/white metal housing
                        talk/data switch
                        1.5 x 6.5 x 9.0 inches
                        7 Watts maximum

9624LR+ (rack):         9 LEDS and fits into the 9100RS rack.
                        The 9100RS accepts up to sixteen rack cards.
                        Card dimension 6.25 x 0.8 x 11.5 inches
                        Power: 18 VAC supplied to card
                        Rack dimension: 7 x 19 x 14 inches
                        Power: 117 VAC 60 Hz input

9624E+ (external):      all features of 9624LE+ plus
                        4 wire leased line operation,
                        V.25bis autodial,
                        LCD front panel

9624AR+ (rack):         all features of the 9624LR+ plus
                        4 wire leased line operation,
                        V.25bis autodial, dial backup
                        and Network Management support
                        for 9000ARS rack system

D) Digital CSU/DSU

The Digicom 5664 FT1 is a fractional T1 CSU/DSU. The bandwith on
digital lines can be increased in increments of 56,000/64,000 bps
up to a maximum speed of 1,544,000 bps.

Digicom 5664 FT1 fractional T1 CSU/DSU   1,544,000 bps digital line

Framing:              D4, ESF
BIT Rate:             1,544 Mbps + 50 Hz
Time-Slot Allocation: User defined
Transmit Timing:      Internal, Network, DTE and External
DTE ports:            2,4 and 6 (field expandable)
Line code:            AMI
Signal Levels:        3.0 V + 0.3 V
Connector:            D-Type 15 pin male
Interface Type:       RS-449, V.35 or EIA530
Network Performance Monitoring

2. What is SoftModem Technology and what are its benefits?

  Periodically an industry undergoes fundamental changes in
technology resulting in a new generation of products that open
the door to unique values and capabilities. That quiet revolution 
is now going on in the modem industry.

  SoftModem Technology, a software-based modem architecture,
provides the flexibility necessary to accomodate evolving
communications standards, changing command interfaces, the need
for improved support and service, and the integration of data,
fax, and voice related applications. Designed using a general
purpose, reprogrammable digital signal processing (DSP) chip,
SoftModem Technology takes advantage of on-board RAM-based
program memory, allowing all of the modem algorithms to be
software installed and upgraded.

  Other existing modem chipsets use dedicated or "masked"
silicon solutions that effectively "lock-in" the features and
performance level of a particular modem. In contrast, SoftModem
Technology provides the features and performance characteristics
of a modem as a software installable solution that can be
modified or enhanced and then distributed over the phone line
from a bulletin board service (BBS) in minutes.

Historical Modem Design Architecture
  Today's modem designs include a "data pump" chipset and a
dedicated controller microprocessor. Each of the corresponding
algorithms are stored in erasable programmable read only memory
(EPROM) or read only memory (ROM) located on the modem card
itself. The data pump is responsible for the data or fax
modulation functions such as ITU-T V.32 and V.17 respectively,
while the controller functions include AT command processing, I/O
control, error correction, and data compression. This approach
evolved out of the standalone, or "box modem" design architecture
that typically required the use of a controller processor to
manage dip switches, indicator lights, and function keys often
found on an external modem.

  One limitation of this architecture is that the core
processor (a custom DSP) in the data pump is dedicated to modem
functions only and cannot be used as a shared resource. Another
shortcoming is that the effectiveness of the controller is
diminished in internal PC card and motherboard modem designs
which do not require dip switch or indicator light controls.

SoftModem Design Architecture

  The SoftModem concept involves the integration of modem
controller and data pump algorithms into a single RAM-based DSP
hardware architecture. These integrated algorithms are stored
in the Computer's hard disk memory, from which they download into
the DSP board's random access memory (RAM). This downloading, or
"booting" process of the PC-installed software algorithms occurs
as part of the computer's power-up initialization process in less
than 100 milliseconds, making it transparent to the user.

  While data modem functions such as V.32bis modulation and
V.42 error correction may be selected as the default feature set
to be loaded during the power-up cycle, the SoftModem
architecture allows for the dynamic booting of alternate
functions. The ability to install fax or voice software
algorithms and effectively re-use the DSP board's RAM maximizes
the value of the DSP chip which is after all, a general purpose
device. The practice of utilizing the DSP as a general purpose
processor in this manner effectively transfers the intellectual
property of a modem from masked silicon to a software program on
a floppy disk.


  As a developer of communications technology, Digicom Systems
has closely tracked the free-fall of modem prices in the last two
years as well as the growth in the PC notebook and sub-notebook
marketplace. The integration of data, fax, and voice applications 
is underway. Compatibility, performance upgrades, and emerging 
standards continue to confuse users while ever- increasing 
competition has resulted in the largest rate of price erosion in 
modem history. Collectively, these issues give birth to a new 
generation of technology and opportunity that will propel the modem 
industry well into the 90's.

For further SoftModem information please check the SoftModem.faq.

3. What's so special about Digicom?

Some background on Digicom: Digicom Systems, Inc. was one of the
first to realize the power and flexibility of digital signal
processing solutions in data communications (in 1987). DSI then
emerged as a leader in modem DSP design which allowed them the
flexibility to introduce the first V.32 modem using just one,
albeit very powerful DSP. Digicom introduced the industry's
first V.32bis modem to market, the first V.32bis modem with
send and receive fax capability and very recently introduced a
modem based on SoftModem Technology. A local Silicon Valley 

4. Can you explain Signal Computing Architecture?

Digicom's products are based on Analog Devices general purpose digital
signal processors, abbreviated DSP. Modem algorithms require powerful
computational resources and DSPs are well suited to meet them cost

Analog Devices has introduced a common architecture for its DSPs and
the accompanying peripheral chips. It is called the Signal Computing
Architecture. The advantages of this approach are manifold. Companies
developing in different areas of digital signal processing like voice,
data communications, graphics can join efforts more easily and offer
a more unified interface to application program developers. The
Signal Computing Architecture is indeed very popular at present and
is attracting more and more developers, like AOX, Cardinal, Dialogic,
Hewlett Packard, Media Vision, Spectron and many others. For interested 
readers BYTE magazine's four article series on Signal Computing may be 
a good start (November 1992).

The Signal Computing Architecture is emerging as a cost effective
albeit powerful and versatile platform for communications and
multimedia applications.

5. Are there Digicom related ftp sites?

feenix.metronet.com  /pub/wolfgang  SoftModem related files. The
                                    subdirectory /smodem carries the
                                    latest production algorithms and
                                    open beta files. Drivers for
                                    Linux and OS/2 are available here.

ftp.netcom.com       /pub/wolfgang  General information files, like
                                    this file Digicom.FAQ.

ftp.whnet.com        /pub/wolfgang  WH Networks modem prices, info, 
                                    setup guides and more.

sgi.com              /sgi/fax       FlexFAX Unix fax software and
                                    fax related documents and

6. What is the recommended setup for PCs, Macs and Suns?

Here are a few simple setup strings for three different operating
systems which work well for the author. They should work with the
Digicom Scout+ as well as Digicom 9624 series of modems.

For the Connection 14.4+ modems AT&FW1 should work fine in most
cases. Enabling W1 will report error correction call progress when

Setup for the Digicom Scout+ modem.

Setup string for IBM compatibles: AT&F&W
Software Qmodem

DTE:  57600 N81

 E1  K1  M1  Q0  V1  X4 TONE
&B0 &C1 &D2 &R2 &T5 
*E9 *F3 *G1 *M1 *N6 *P0 *Q1 *S1 *T1 

S00=002  S04=010  S08=002  S15=255
S01=000  S05=008  S09=000  S18=000
S02=043  S06=002  S10=003  S25=000
S03=013  S07=045  S12=050  S26=000

Setup string for Apple MacIntosh: AT&F&D0&W
Software Quicklink II, cable included with modem
Use *F0 with Eagle and non hardware handshake cable

DTE:  57600  N81

 E1  K1  M1  Q0  V1  X4 TONE
&B0 &C1 &D0 &R2 &T5 
*E9 *F3 *G1 *M1 *N6 *P0 *Q1 *S1 *T1 

S00=002  S04=010  S08=002  S15=255
S01=000  S05=008  S09=000  S18=000
S02=043  S06=002  S10=003  S25=000
S03=013  S07=045  S12=050  S26=000

Setup string for Sun 3/60: AT&F*F2*M0X5M0&W
Software tip from 4.1.1

DTE:  38400  N81

 E1  K1  M0  Q0  V1  X5 TONE
&B0 &C1 &D0 &R2 &T5 
*E9 *F2 *G1 *M0 *N6 *P0 *Q1 *S1 *T1 

S00=002  S04=010  S08=002  S15=255
S01=000  S05=008  S09=000  S18=000
S02=043  S06=002  S10=003  S25=000
S03=013  S07=045  S12=050  S26=000

7. Where can I get technical support?

Digicom Systems, Inc. 188 Topaz Street, Milpitas, CA 95035

 Voice:           (408) 262-1277
 FAX:             (408) 262-1390
 Digicom BBS:     (408) 262-1412
 SoftModem BBS:   (408) 262-5629

Also have a look at the ftp sites listed under answer #5 and the list
of competent resellers and distributors listed under answer #10.

A few commands which can be very helpful in case of difficulties are

       ATI7  online help
       ATI6  reason of last disconnect
       ATSQ  signal quality monitor
       AT*O  display current connection statistics and
             register settings.

8. What are the current ROM code revisions?

        Latest production ROM releases:

	Scout+	        11.98 MHz  3225/2930	
			no V.17    3225/3310
			with V.17  3C14A/3506

        Eagle                      3310/3310

        Scout+ Terbo               3823/3A22
	Connection 144+ DATA96     3628/3413    Check feenix.metronet.com
			DATA144    3C09/3413    /pub/wolfgang/smodem for
			DATA144B   3C09/3610    these and also later
			FAX144C1   4119/3A15   releases.
                        TEST.DSI   3628/3413

        9624LE+/9624PC+/9624LR+    1B11/2503

	9624E+/9624AR+             2227/2503
	The first number represents the controller code revision, 
	the second number (after the slash) the DSP code revision.
        It's datecoded: 3225 e.g. translates into 1993 February 25.

        A low latency ROM is available for the Scout+ (3C14). Also a low
	latency version for the Scout+ Terbo will be available lateron.

9. Are there any reviews available?

There are numerous modem reviews in which Digicom modems are usually
faring quite well. Here is only a brief selection.

PC Computing Magazine rated the Digicom Scout+ as the top choice from
the 48 modem reviewed in the June 1993 issue. Modems were rated for

ftp.netcom.com /pub/wolfgang/Scout.txt has a review of the Scout+
by the author of these frequently asked questions.

sgi.com /sgi/fax/bakeoff carries extensive test results on the fax
capabilities of several current modems and rates them according to
a metric called faxstones. The test was performed by Sam Leffler.
The Scout+ faired well.

PC Week reviewed the Digicom 9624LE+ favorably in its November 19,
1990 issue. 

PCWeek published benchmark results on April 29, 1991. The 9624LE+ 
was selected as the Analysts' choice.

The fractional FT1 CSU/DSU received the 1993 user choice award in
Communications Week magazine.

Digicom is supplying modems and chipsets to several other modem
manufacturers under OEM aggreements. 

10. Where can I purchase Digicom modems?

Firms that carry Digicom communication products and know them well:

Argentina:      Turbo Bulletin Board Service
                +54-1-545-0370 voice/fax
                +54-1-545-0365 BBS
                contact: Claudio Vidal

Austria:        Focus EDV GesmbH
                +43-316-28-16-16-981 (fax)
                contact: Georg Tamm

Canada:         Virtual Record Store
                1967 Raymond
                Laval  QC H7S 1R3
                Contact : Alain Azzam
                E-mail  : vrs@nstn.ns.ca
                Tel.    : 514-668-3638
                Fax.    : 514-747-0665

Germany:        Seicom Computer Vertriebs- und Service GmbH
                +49-7121-9770-19 (fax) 
                +49-7121-9770-20 (Fido)
                +49-7121-9770-30 (Unix Test BBS)
                contact: Winfried Haug
                DIGICOM MODEM Support & Distribution Site in Germany

Hongkong:       Global Network Communication Technology Co.
                +852-4925025 (BBS)
                tomyan@gnct.com (retail)
                garyng@gnct.com (corporate)
                contact: Gary Ng

Ireland:        Gallimaufry Ltd.
                +353-88-599673 (Mobile) Paul Harrington
                +353-88-547228 (Mobile) Ronan Waldron
                +353-1-966052  (fax)
                contact: Paul Harrington

               "We support the FSF. We support/install/configure Scout+
                modems for fax, e-mail, slip, uucp etc. We offer
                consultancy by e-mail as well as by remote login over
                internet and phone."

Japan:          Independant Research Associates  (Japan approved ROMs 
                +81-75-951-1168                   available)
                +81-75-957-1087 (fax)
                davidg@aegis.or.jp (within Japan)
                contact: Dave McLane

                IRA offers Telix (DOS) and Z-term (Mac) installations
		configured for Scout+ (no extra charge) and consults on
		various telecommunications projects (contact for fees).

New Zealand:    MycroCom NZ Ltd
                Ph 649-263-9666
                Fx 649-278-8221
                EMail karl@ak.planet.co.nz
                Contact Karl Willdig

               "We support a wide variety of modems, have 20+ National 
		Support BBS's. Buy the BEST at the BEST prices."
Singapore:      DLS Pte Ltd
                Pager 3100745
                Fax 4485831
                email: kohkhang@iscs.nus.sg
		contact: Jerry Koh

                DOML International
                +65-242-7795 fax
                +65-411-5053 pager
                contact: Andrew Loke

USA:            WH Networks
                +1-650-390-9317 (fax)
                contact: Wolfgang Henke

11. What's so hot about modems?

	"A lowly device, called modem, was central to the initial 
	   formation stages of our information based society. For
	   several decades after the invention of the transistor its
	   cost of production declined dramatically while the cost
	   of bandwidth remained high due to cost-plus regulation
	   of local telephone monopolies."

	   4th grade textbook, 2043

Wolfgang Henke