PNNW.net's K56flex Information Center

Since PNNW.net is using the new 56K technology, we have provided as much information as we currently have, so we may better assist you make an easy transition to using it to its full potential. The purpose here is to inform you on how to upgrade to the K56flex current versions, as well as get the latest on this rapidly developing new technology. As new information becomes available, we will post it here.



Latest News on the 56K-Front

ITU Standard on the way? Get the FAQ!
This represents an overwhelming endorsement of K56flex-supported technologies by the worldwide technical community.

What kind of performance can you & your users expect with K56flex?

With Livingston Pormaster 3 modems on our end and K56flex True Digital modem technology, PNNW.net in effect has a completely digital path to the telephone company trunk. The digital Livingston PM3's experience none of the telephone line impairments generally associated with analog modems, and it can transmit data at the highest possible K56flex connect rates.

However, your K56flex modem has to operate within the traditional analog local loop which has been optimized for voice traffic. This optimization actually impedes data traffic (the modem communications), and the K56flex modem must now be responsible for compensating for the telco's human speech optimization of a voice call. The K56flex modem must therefore be intelligent enough to differentiate between the maximum signal levels of a K56flex connection, synchronize with the local telco switch, compensate for digital loss, determine if voice communications are present, and handle whatever noise is present on the phone line. For all of these reasons, it is the K56flex modem that ultimately determines the maximum downstream connect speed.

Because K56flex modems operate asymmetrically, you will generally see a downstream speed of, at best, 42-52Kbps and a maximum upstream of V.34 speeds.

What is required at the User End to connect using K56flex modems?

For K56flex modem operation, your modem must be operating with K56flex v1.0 software or higher. This is VERY important. In many cases this will mean that the users modem will require a flash upgrade and, in a very small base of modems, a hardware exchange may be necessary.

To determine if a the modem is K56flex operational, you can place the modem in the command mode and communicate directly with the modem using the AT command syntax. To enter AT commands you must attach your modem to a computer's serial port and enter commands directly from terminal emulation software such as Windows 95's HyperTerminal program. To use AT commands in terminal mode to verify software version, do the following:

  1. Start any data communications program (Hyper Terminal, Terminal, etc).
  2. At the screen prompt type in ATi3 followed by a carriage return (or enter).
  3. Note the modems response on the computer screen.
  4. If the modem responds with V1.0-56K_DLS (or higher), a K56flex modem connection is possible.
  5. If the modem responds with an earlier version of software (such as V0.519-K56_DLS), please contact the modem vendor's web site for the latest firmware upgrade.

How can I get my K56flex modem upgraded?

It is strongly recommended that you go directly to the modem manufacturer's web site to obtain the latest software image. Some of the most common modem vendor's web sites are listed below. At the web site, they'll want to search for K56flex flash updates. Make sure the flash is labeled version V1.0 or higher.

(This list last updated 10/3/97. If a link is out of date, or you wish to add one, please notify the PNNW.net webmaster. Thanks!)

Best Data
Boca Research

Which modems are compatible with PNNW.net?

PNNW.net uses Livingston Portmaster 3's. Livingston has tested for interoperability with the following list of modems. As more modems are tested we will update this list.

(For a complete listing of Modems that are K56flex capable, please see the Official K56flex Modem & PC manufacturers page.)

  1. Zoom/FaxModem 56Kx
    - Firmware V1.0-56K_DLS

  2. Motorola ModemSurfr K56
    - Firmware V1.0-56K_DLS

  3. Hayes Accura 56K + FAX
    - Firmware V1.0-56K_DLS

  4. SuperExpress 288 PnP
    - Firmware V1.200-07-V34_DS Built July 18 1995

  5. Practical Peripherals PM28800MT
    - Firmware 1.63

  6. Zoom V.34 plus
    - Firmware V.1500 -V34_DS -a Z201

  7. Practical Peripherals PM14400FXMT
    - Firmware 2.17

  8. BocaModem V.34+
    - Firmware V1.510-V34_DS

  9. Gateway 2000 Telepath 14.4k, Made by USR
    - Firmware Supervisor 4.1, 6/27/94, DSP 10, 4/20/94

  10. . USR sportster 28.8
    - Firmware Supervisor 6.0, 12/19/94, DSP 11.4 12/09/94

  11. . MicromCom 33.6k OfficePorte Voice
    Same modem we send to customers as replacement.

  12. . Zoltrix V.34+ Fax Modem
    - Firmware V2.061 US001-V34_ACF_DP1

  13. . USR 33600 Fax modem Internal
    - Firmware EPROM 10.0.23 12/10/96 DSP 10.0.23 12/10/96

  14. . Cardinal Internal V34+
    - Firmware V1.50-V34+DP Data/Fax

  15. . USR Sportster 14.4
    - Firmware Supervisor 4.1, 6/27/94, DSP 10, 4/20/94
    - Firmware Supervisor 4.1, 11/16/93,DSP 10, 11/16/93

  16. . Gateway Telepath Internal
    - Firmware 1.5 000

  17. . Intel 144 _144e _Internal 14.4k as well
    - Firmware V1.7 Rockwell RC144DP

  18. . USR V34+ Internal
    - Firmware EPROM 3.12 8/16/96 DSP 3.12 8/16/96

  19. . Some Rockwell based V34+ modem
    - Firmware V1.500-V34_DP -a Z201

  20. . Gateway 2000 Telepath II 14.4k/Fax V5.2 / USR
    - Firmware Supervisor 5.2 12/09/94 DSP 11.2 09/07/94

  21. . USR 33.6 V32bis, VFC, V.34+
    - Firmware 2.0 1/11/96

  22. . Texas Instruments RK 33600 Internal / USR Modem
    - Firmware EPROM 1.4 11/22/95 DSP 1.4 11/22/95

  23. . Prometheus 14.4k RC140DPi Rev CA
    - Firmware CES-03B- 940315

  24. . SupraExpress 336 PC
    - Firmware V1.440-16-V34_DS Built: July 22, 1996 11:15:10

  25. . Microcom DeskPorte Fast ES 28.8
    - Firmware V1.000-CS39 VFC RC288Dpi Rev 05BA
    - Note Fastest Connect rate 14.4k, V.FC not supported

  26. . Motorola UDS
    - Firmware 1.03.03

  27. . IBM Mwave Internal modem

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