A Guide to Installing the Zoom V.42bis Modem with Procomm Plus 2.01
"Why didn't somebody figure this out a long time ago?"
The Zoom V.42bis is an excellent modem. It is beautifully made, well thought
out, and very affordable. The manual has very complete information about the
command set, and is clearly written. Unfortunately, it does not go into
detail about the best ways to use all the commands. For those of us not
familiar with the special MNP and V.42bis commands, first time setup is a
trial and error affair. Worse, without the right setup, you may never get
the superb V.42bis performance the modem is capable of.
Procomm Plus 2.01, like the modem, is very well done. The manuals are good
as far as they go, but don't really explain how to take advantage of the
features available on new generation modems such as the Zoom. The software
does, however, have all the necessary features for just about any type of
application you can think of. Though I suspect the information given here is
OK for the earlier revisions of Procomm Plus, I have not tried it.
The instructions given here are based on my own experiences. I hope they
will help you optimize your setup, but they are certainly not the last word
on this topic! Remember that both the modem and software can be customized
to meet almost any need. This setup is for the typical BBS user with a
typical home phone line. My thanks to Zoom Customer Service, Datastorm
Customer Service, and Compuserve, for the information they have provided.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HERE IS BASED ON OBSERVATION AND EXPERIENCE. IT
MAY NOT BE CORRECT. NO LIABILITY IS ASSUMED FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE RELATED
TO: ITS USE, FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE, OR FAILURE TO PERFORM. YOU ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER THIS INFORMATION APPLIES TO YOUR
SITUATION. PROCOMM PLUS IS A TRADEMARK OF DATASTORM CORPORATION. ZOOM/MODEM
IS A TRADEMARK OF ZOOM TELEPHONICS INC. whew!
You may wish to print this document so you can refer to it while looking at
1. Procomm Plus has an installation program called PCINSTAL.EXE. It will
use a file called MODEMS.DAT to install the modem. You must have the
latest version of MODEMS.DAT if you intend to use PCINSTAL.EXE, as the
Zoom entry in the earlier version has been updated. Check your
MODEMS.DAT file near the end for the following entry:
Modem "Zoom 2400 V.42bis"
set baudrate 9600
no_connect 3="NO ANSWER"
no_connect 4="NO DIALTONE"
If you see something different, get the latest MODEMS.DAT file from
the Datastorm forum on Compuserve, or from them directly. If the file
is later than 09/22/91, it may also be somewhat different from what I
have shown above. Or, just proceed with the manual installation I
2. You can follow the installation instructions for PCINSTAL.EXE to install
the modem. This will work, as far as it goes, but does not result in
as convenient a setup as possible. The advantage is that it is fully
automatic. It may also prevent you from ever making a negotiated V.42bis
connection, as it does not reset register S48 for each call.
3. Here is a manual installation which will give you the same basic setup
as PCINSTAL.EXE, but more control over how the modem handles each
specific call. If you do the automatic installation above, it
will take care of setting the NVRAM and some other items for you. I
will still list those steps for ye who enjoy manual transmissions and
non-GUI computers. If you do elect to use PCINSTAL, just check the items
listed here, and change as required. Do not change the NVRAM unless
it does not match the table given.
A. Connect the hardware, turn everything on, start Procomm Plus 2.01.
B. Use P and set the communications parameters to 9600,N,8,1, and
the com port your modem is attached to. Be sure to use the correct
port, or the modem will ignore your commands!
C. Use S to save, then S for the setup menus. Here are
my settings- the critical items are marked with a "*". Please start
with everything as I have shown, including the connect messages:
MODEM OPTIONS (GENERAL OPTIONS)
wait 60 *
autobaud OFF *
drop DTR YES *
send CR YES *
send INIT NO *
max dial 5
MODEM OPTIONS (MODEM COMMANDS)
initialization command ATZ0^M *
dialing command *
dialing command suffix ^M *
hangup ~~~+++~~~ATH0^M *
auto answer on ~~~+++~~~ATS0=1^M *
auto answer off ~~~+++~~~ATS0=0^M *
MODEM OPTIONS (RESULT MESSAGES)
300 baud message *
1200 baud message *
2400 baud message *
4800 baud message *
9600 baud message PROTOCOL *
19200 baud message
38400 baud message
message 1 NO CARRIER *
message 2 BUSY *
message 3 NO ANSWER *
message 4 NO DIALTONE *
xon/xoff OFF *
rts/cts ON *
line wrap ON
screen scroll ON
CR translate CR
BS translate DESTRUCTIVE
break length 350
true underline OFF
ANSI 7 BIT
D. Be sure to save all the settings!!! We will now set up some
dialing prefixes. You will notice that the dialing command above
was left blank. This allows us to use a variety of dialing
prefixes for different purposes. Some of your calls will be to
simple bulletin boards which can't deal with the auto-negotiation
this modem is capable of. They will need a simple, no protocol
prefix. You may sometimes want to call Compuserve at 300 baud to
join in a conference or read the mail. You will need a prefix
for that. And a few others. Call up the dialing directory with
D, then hit P to get the dialing prefix window. Enter the
following codes in each area:
A- AT \N3 N1 S48=7 D
B- AT \N3 N0 S37=6 S48=0 D
C- AT \N3 N0 S37=6 S48=128D
D- AT \N0 N0 S37=6 D
E- AT \N0 N0 S37=5 D
F- AT \N0 N0 S37=1 D
I will explain how to use these shortly.
E. Now we will program the modem's non-volatile random access memory
(NVRAM) to work correctly with all this stuff. From your terminal
screen, type the following commands, each followed by a :
you type modem responds what you did
AT&F OK restore factory defaults
ATL1 OK lower the speaker volume
AT&C1 OK make RLSD follow data carrier
AT&D2 OK who can say?
ATS7=60 OK allow 60 seconds for carrier
ATS11=55 OK speed up tone dialing a bit
ATT OK ONLY IF YOU WANT TONE DIALING!
ATS36=7 OK select a good fallback method
ATS95=43 OK set result codes (43d=101011b)
AT&W0 OK store this info in NVRAM "0"
AT&V see below show the current setup
B1 E1 L1 M1 N1 P Q0 V1 W0 X4 Y0 &C1 &D2 &G0 &J0 &K3 &Q5 &R0 &S0 &T4 &X0 &Y0
S00:000 S01:000 S02:043 S03:013 S04:010 S05:008 S06:002 S07:060 S08:002 S09:006
S10:014 S11:055 S12:050 S18:000 S25:005 S26:001 S36:007 S37:000 S38:020 S44:003
S46:138 S48:007 S49:008 S50:255
STORED PROFILE 0:
B1 E1 L1 M1 N1 P Q0 V1 W0 X4 Y0 &C1 &D2 &G0 &J0 &K3 &Q5 &R0 &S0 &T4 &X0
S00:000 S02:043 S06:002 S07:060 S08:002 S09:006 S10:014 S11:055 S12:050 S18:000
S25:005 S26:001 S36:007 S37:000 S38:020 S44:003 S46:138 S48:007 S49:008 S50:255
STORED PROFILE 1:
B1 E1 L2 M1 N1 P Q0 V1 W0 X4 Y0 &C0 &D0 &G0 &J0 &K3 &Q5 &R0 &S0 &T4 &X0
S00:000 S02:043 S06:002 S07:030 S08:002 S09:006 S10:014 S11:095 S12:050 S18:000
S25:005 S26:001 S36:005 S37:000 S38:020 S44:003 S46:138 S48:007 S49:008 S50:255
F. You should see the exact same data as shown here for ACTIVE PROFILE
and STORED PROFILE 0. Ignore STORED PROFILE 1. If not, change the
appropriate items and resave the data. Note that S95 is stored, but
is not shown by the &V command. You can check it with ATS95?. The
default dialing method is pulse. If you want tone dialing, also
issue the ATT as listed. All future dialing will then be tone.
4. You now have a more or less fully configured system. When the modem is
on and Procomm Plus is started, the command ATZ0 is automatically sent
to the modem, loading stored profile 0 into the active profile. This
eliminates having to use a long initialization command.
5. All that remains is to load some phone numbers and try it out! As
mentioned previously, there is no default dialing prefix. What you will
do instead is to select one of the dialing codes loaded earlier,
depending on what type of connection you wish to make. If you wanted
dialing code "A" you would simply enter the phone number as:
A 1 234 567 8900
Any delays or other things required by your phone system would also
have to be included. Here are the meanings of the dialing codes you
A- The modem negotiates the best speed and protocol that it can. This can
take a surprising amount of time to connect, so I usually use it to
see what the other modem is capable of, then switch the dialing code
to the specific speed and protocol needed. Just watch the upper left
corner of the screen when connection is made to find out what was
B- 2400 baud with V.42bis compression or fallback
Compressed files will transfer at about 270 CPS.
C- 2400 baud with some level of MNP or fallback
On a good BBS you should see file transfers at about 250 to 260 CPS
with compressed files and MNP5.
D- 2400 baud with no error correction or compression
Use this with Compuserve, as file transfers are much slower if
MNP is used. You can expect about 220 CPS with this, but I have
seen as slow as 110 CPS with an MNP 5 connection and compressed (ZIP)
E- 1200 baud with no error correction or compression
Use this for communicating with systems built during the stone age.
F- 300 baud with no error correction or compression
Use this for communicating with systems built before the stone age.
Also use it for conferences and to read mail on Compuserve
and other hourly services.
Set all baud rates to 9600 in the dialing directory. The modem will
take care of the actual rate via the dialing code. You will need the
bits and parity set correctly for each call. Compuserve, for example, is
Use ZMODEM for most file transfers. It seems to be the fastest and
most reliable. You can even set Procomm Plus so ZMODEM comes up
automatically when needed.
S register 48 is important. It controls the negotiation process
when you dial a number. If you do NOT get a V.42bis connection, the
value of S48 may automatically be changed from 7 to 128. Any future
calls will then go directly to MNP or nothing, without checking for
V.42bis. Because of this automatic reset "feature", you must initialize
S48 for each call. That is why the first three dialing codes include S48.
I am not aware of any other registers which change value all by them-
selves, but it is possible. Neither am I sure exactly what conditions
cause S48 to change, as I have definitely seen it reset (and Zoom confirms
that this is normal), yet I have also expected it to reset and had no
Every now and then I have managed to confuse the modem during setup. If
you get odd dialtones and dialing on top of dialtones, just restart
Procomm Plus, or even power down the modem. This is highly unlikely in
normal use unless you are sending modem commands from the terminal screen.
There are various commands which work together, along with commands which
duplicate each other. There may be more efficient ways to do some of the
things I have described here, but I have no information which suggests
that one way is better than any other. Experiment!
The purpose of the result messages is just to switch Procomm Plus out of
the dialing directory and into the terminal screen. By placing the
PROTOCOL message in the 9600 baud slot, you insure that the first thing
sent by the modem will put you in the terminal screen. It doesn't really
matter which baud rate slot you put it in, but 9600 should maintain
computer to modem speed, even if someone turns the autobaud feature on.
When you first go to the terminal screen after making a connection, you
should see something like this:
COMPRESSION: CLASS 5
The result message is "swallowed" by Procomm Plus, so you won't see the
word PROTOCOL on the terminal screen, only the type. This should be
sufficient to keep you informed about the details of the connection.
Note that the upper message "Connected to XYZ at 9600 baud" will always
show the computer to modem speed of 9600 baud. This is normal; the only
way to change it is to change the computer to modem speed, which is not
More detailed result messages could be had by setting the W1 option, but
this would complicate things, as you could not predict the first response
from the modem.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have additional suggestions, or
questions, please leave me a message on Compuserve.
Conrad Hoffman 6 October 1991
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