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Article #8 (29 is last): Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.16-32bit.reviews From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Zoom 2400 Baud Modem/Hardware Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Date: Mon Jul 8 12:55:22 1991 The ZOOM 2400 baud modem by Chris Freemesser, ACORN If you're one of the vast number of computer owners who use 1200 baud modems, you've probably been looking to upgrade to 2400. Undoubtedly, you've read something about the ZOOM modem. It was one of the first 2400 baud modems to break the $100 price barrier, and is sold by many mail order houses, as well as some local stores. However, many of the modems in the under $100 price range are mediocre off-shore products. When my old modem bit the dust, I picked up a ZOOM 2400 as a replacement. Happily, I can say that this is a GOOD modem. Available at prices starting at $80 or so, it offers high quality at a low price. The modem itself is quite small, measuring 5" x 6" x 1.5". The casing is made of black smoked plastic, which is not quite opaque enough to completely block your view of the inside. It features the 'standard' 8 LED indicators on the front face, as well as a rear power switch, RS-232 port, and two phone connectors (one for the line, one for a phone). A UL-approved power pack supplies the 9.5 VAC needed to run the modem. Included is a plastic mounting tab so you can mount the modem on a wall. The tab is a little loose, but as long as the face of the modem doesn't tilt towards the ground, it will hold the unit. The tab simply slides into a recess in the bottom of the case. The circuitry looks like a good design. Components are laid out neatly and logically. The modem is fuse-protected in case of a power spike or surge. A medium-size speaker is located near the front of the modem. There is no physical volume control, but the task is done through a software command. The modem has one interesting feature that I've never seen before; a line noise adjustment pot. If you have a noisy phone line, turning the small potentiometer will filter the line. The ZOOM modem sports full Hayes compatibility, including all S-registers. There are no dip switches to set with this modem; any changes you may wish to make are done through software commands and are kept in non-volatile CMOS memory. However, I found the default settings satisfactory for regular use; it worked right out of the box on my 520ST. The 50 page user manual isn't flashy, but is well- written and very informative. The plastic case doesn't seem to invite RF interference. My modem is stuck on a wall, about 3 inches from my monitor, and has not had any problems. That's a tribute to the tolerance of the circuit board. After being on for 24 hours straight, there was a small warm spot on the top of the case, but not hot to the touch. Now of course you're thinking that this is just another of the inexpensive off-shore modems. WRONG! This modem is made in the good 'ol USA. As if that wasn't enough, it comes with a SEVEN year warranty! In summary, this modem is a good buy. It's small, inexpensive, works great, has a huge warranty, and is domestically manufactured. If you're poking along at 300 or 1200 baud, the ZOOM 2400 offers a viable upgrade path.