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Re: Communicating with USB Modem

On Oct 9, 2010, at 4:22 PM, Camaleón wrote:

> On Sat, 09 Oct 2010 15:29:40 -0400, Hal Vaughan wrote:
>> On Oct 9, 2010, at 12:44 PM, Camaleón wrote:
> (...)
>>> Bufff... as per this doc¹ you could try "sl-modem" package from
>>> non-free repo (it seems that your device -SV92U2- uses the "Scorpio"
>>> chipset) but prepare for the worst ;-(
>>> OTOH, LSI (the owner company of Agere) states that the modem supports
>>> Linux, so you can ask them for a driver :-?
>>> ¹ http://www.modemsite.com/56k/lucentamr.asp
>> I had a reference, and now I can't find the darned link, to it working
>> on Linux, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it -- unless I had a bunch of
>> tabs open when I was researching modems at Newegg and hit "add to cart"
>> on the wrong one -- which could happen.
> I can give you at least one reference (the manufacture's tech. specs):
> ***
> http://www.agere.com/docs/PCS_Catalog_052606.pdf
> (page 5)
> – SV92U2: USB 2.0 device controller, 48-pin TQFP Stack Bus
> (...)
> OS support: Win98SE/2000/ME, WinXP, WinXP 64-bit, Vista (Native Support), 
> and Linux
> ***

I see that, the one thing that is discouraging me is that, while I know they are talking about the chip, the pictures are of PCI modems, not the USB ones, and I think mine is later.  (They show a USB modem on page 5, but different form factor than mine.)  Still, mine may work.

> If that is indeed your device, don't give up so easily :-) Just try with 
> "sl-modem" drivers or ask LSI/Agere for advice, it could work.

I tried the page you linked to, which had a link to the site with drivers, but that 2nd site is all blank web pages -- still looking for the sl-modem drivers.  Did I miss a link?  That's possible.  (The dead link is: http://www.smlink.com/.  It's from the last paragraph of that page, the only section that covers Linux there.)

>> I can't remember where (so it could have been the manufacturer's site),
>> but there was one place I read that if it's USB, it had to use the Hayes
>> command set and would work on anything, but Brad's link to TLDP shows
>> that wrong.  Next time when I see positives on something like that, I'll
>> look for the flip side, just in case.
>> I've already ordered one from NewEgg that has several reviewers saying
>> they're using it on Linux.
> When it comes to modems and linux, the only way to hit the right device 
> is by using a RS-232 modem. No drivers needed and straight-forward setup 
> for all kind of services (dial-up connection, fax facility...).
> Yes, yes... I know. Serial port is a scarce resource in modern 
> motherboards and n[eo]tbook computers ;-(

A little backstory here.  My small business mines data, and a lot comes from some dial-up systems where you can get passwords, but most people ignore them now since they're harder to deal with (therefore, if you're bigger, less lucrative, if you're smaller, good money).  I have a US Robotics RS-232 running on the main system now and I have another that was brand new, that I pulled out and tested, then put back in the box.  I guard those modems carefully.  They work and I know they work.

But an idea hit me this summer.  I haven't been programming in about 3 years (I'm a screenwriter by passion, so I've been doing that).  This idea that hit me would take several months of programming and it'd be a game-changer for me in terms of income from the data mining.  But to do it, I have to decentralize, which means instead of having one computer here doing dial-up, I'd have to put a computer in each client's office and have it do dial-up there.  I won't get into all the reasons and thinking behind what I'm doing, but, in short, I want what's in their offices to be as simple as possible and to be a black box.  I do not want them hooking up a keyboard or monitor to it ever.  I don't even want them to think of it as a computer, EVER!  So I'm looking not at low end as in cheap, but as in saving money and still getting a good embedded system.  Each system will need a modem and I'll keep backups (of the computer and modem) on hand, ready to ship when needed.

I have used a USB-to-RS-232 converter with success for a FOSS project to control an HD radio (http://halblog.com/hdradiocontroller.html), but an RS-232 modem is more expensive and the converters are expensive, too, putting the price per modem well over $50 each.

I've ordered a Rosewill that looks good.  It costs more than the one I have now.  I'm going to try any drivers I can find for this one, but considering the price of the other one, with shipping, is $30, if the drivers don't work and the manufacturer doesn't help, I'm not going to knock myself out over this one.  I can always use it on a Windows machine and use that system for testing (to have my other ones dial in).

As it is, though, considering how cheap these are (this one and the replacement people have tried on Ubuntu), I think spending more than a few hours on this one might be a diminishing return.  Still, if all it needs are drivers, then I'll be happy with it!

Thanks for the input and I'll look for the drivers and see if I can get them working.  I'll let people know what I find out in the long run on this.


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