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 TRENDware CompactFlash 56K Fax Modem Card

 Author: Tim Higgins
 Review Date: 5/16/2001


Model: TFM-CF56

Pros:

- Integrated jack
- Uses built-in WinCE drivers

 
Cons:

- No PalmOS support

 

 

The Basics

 
Indicators

None

Comes with
  • RJ11 phone cord

  • printed User Manual

 

Short and sweet

TRENDware's TRENDnet TFM-CF56 is a 56K Fax Modem card in CompactFlash format.  You can use it on devices running WinCE 2.0 or higher...either HPCs or PocketPCs. Sorry, but no support for PalmOS users.  The modem supports the V.90 and K56Flex standards and can be used for data or fax. 

It worked well in my tests, connecting to my dialup ISP at about 48kbps or so, after I figured out that my phone cord wasn't making contact with the CF56's connector contacts.  The ability of the modem to switch to terminal mode either before or after connecting was helpful in debugging this problem.  I was able to see the conversation between the modem and Casio E-125 PocketPC, which indicated that no dialtone was being detected.  This debugging feature is essential, since there are no indicator LEDs on the device, nor is there the ability to listen to the modem connection sequence on the PocketPC's speaker.

No drivers are included with the CF56, since it works just fine with the drivers included in the WinCE/PocketPC OS.  The printed manual covered the basics of installation, setup of POP3 mail, and using ActiveSync via a modem.

 

Summary

Although TRENDware's been around since 1990 and makes a full line of networking products, (including a CF Ethernet card reviewed here) they are not as widely known (or distributed) in the US as other manufacturers, but are more widely known in Europe.  The main US distributors are Global Computer Supplies and UBid and their Web site lists other resellers.

At about $100, the CF56 is priced about the same as other CF 56K modems. So shop the sales and go ahead and pick one up if you get a good price.


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