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Review: Cardinal v.34 external modem
Robert Davis Amateur Radio K0FPC firstname.lastname@example.org
I know a few Amigans who use the Supra V.34 modem as reviewed in AR 401.
But when I decided to get a higher speed modem, I could not find the Supra
in any of the stores I frequent.
So I bought a Cardinal v.34 external modem. It had been available for
several months, but with the introduction of a model supporting voice-mail,
the older unit suddenly got cheaper. I spent $170 for mine, without
voice-mail, at the Elek-Tek store in the Kansas City area. I have seen the
Cardinal in Computer Shopper for less than $150, mail-order.
The modem does not come with a serial cable, so if you don't already have
one, it will cost you a few bucks more to get the modem going. And of
course, the included software is for clone computers, so you gotta find
your own programs to make it work on an Amiga. My favorites are Terminus
The modem lives in a plastic box about the same size as a Supra and about
the same color as my Amiga 3000. It has eight LEDs on the front panel. My
Cardinal modem replaced a Zoom 14.4 which I had owned for about three
I've used several modems on my Amigas. An early 1200 bps unit, a Supra
2400, a Cardinal 9600, a GVC 9600, an AT&T 14400, the Zoom 14400 and a
LineLink 14400 (which I still have).
The Cardinal v.34 is the FIRST modem I've hooked up to an Amiga which
required NO change in configuration and worked the first time I tried it.
Almost all of my use of this modem is to call my Internet Service Provider.
I only call a couple of BBSes. My A3000 contains a GG2 bridgecard and an
ISA dual 16550 buffered UART serial card. Therefore, the A3000 talks to
the Cardinal modem at 115200 bps. Since I got the modem in November '95,
it has not dropped a byte.
Also, I sent a few faxes from the A3000, using GPFax 2.347. Without
changing anything from the default configuration set up by the GPFax
installation, it worked perfectly.
To get some type of speed indication, I downloaded the INDEX.Z file from
ftp.netnet.net. The file transfer came over the Internet at a busy time,
during the noon hour on a Friday. On this day, INDEX.Z measured 724717
bytes. AmiFTP showed a transfer rate of 2696 characters per second on this
binary file. I can live with that speed.
I have not yet called the Cardinal BBS to see if there is a Flash Rom
upgrade for this modem. As a firm believer in "If it ain't broke, don't
fix it" I am very reluctant to make any change in this modem. It works so
Is there anything this modem does not do? Uh, yeah. It does not connect
properly to one local system which I am told runs a bank of USR Sportster
28.8 modems. I have no idea why. But I keep my LineLink 14.4 around just
for the times I need to communicate with that particular IBM mainframe
We've reached the bottom line. I am very pleased with this Cardinal v.34
modem. I recommend it.
1107 Mary Apt. 4
Emporia, KS 66801