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No Caller ID
on 1 July 2016
I bought one of these modems purely for its Caller ID function. At £8.99 it was cheap enough to be thrown away if it didn't work but a number of reviews, especially klone's 5-star review from Feb 2015, gave me hope.
It arrived with a mini CD of drivers, a cable (of no use in the UK) and a scrap of paper listing the modem's 'Key Features', one of which was 'Caller ID (optional)'.
When connected using a spare cable, my 64-bit Windows 7 system recognised the new device as a 'USB HSF Modem' with a Hardware ID of 'USB\VID_0572&PID_1300&REV_0100', but it did not automatically install anything from the CD and failed to find any driver online.
The CD contains a number of folders (CX-FU02, CX-FU02+, FU06+, FU07, PCIE Modem and PCIE-2) in each of which are sub-folders for various Windows OSs and Linux. The CX-FU02 folder also contains a file called 'USB Modem Installation 0.4.docx'. It appears to be written by Conexant, and is headed 'CX-9Z-NR0226 USB Modem Dongle Installation Guide 0.4'.
After manual installation of a driver (unsigned) from the CD, Windows reported the manufacturer to be Conexant and amongst the Windows diagnostics responses were these:
ATI4 USB SoftV92 Data Fax Modem
The ATI3 response differs from klone's. This worried me.
The ATI4 response makes no mention of 'Voice'.
The ATI5 response of 180 (B4 in hex) indicates that the modem is set up for the UK, but I included 'AT+GCI=B4' in my own init string to make sure.
The modem responds 'OK' to the Caller ID command 'AT+VCID=1', but gives an ERROR response to the 'AT-SCID=1' command.
In use, the modem responds with RING to incoming calls but, despite my fiddling with all the settings I could find, it does not report any Caller ID information.
I Googled 'CX-9Z-NR0226' (from the heading of the installation guide on the CD) and I found what appears to be an archive of a Conexant website page containing links to various files. One of these is named 'SWD-202040-002.zip' and is entitled 'CX-9Z-NR0226 Windows OS Drivers (CX93010-1x/-2x Chipsets)'. So I downloaded it thinking I had found a more suitable driver. No such luck - none of the drivers it contained would install.
Before giving up completely I decided to investigate the chipset. The base of the modem unscrewed easily, revealing the chip as a CX06836-11. Googling a datasheet, there is no mention of a Caller ID facility. I feel sure that if the chipset did support Caller ID, the datasheet would say so.
So it seems that buyers of this item may receive a product which doesn't quite fit the description, and, for me, this purchase has been a complete waste of time and money. It may well be a bargain if you don't need Caller ID; otherwise be prepared for disappointment.
The problem with an unbranded, poorly-documented product is that you can never really be sure what you've got until you take it apart. Doing so in this case destroyed a seal covering one of the screws, so I wouldn't be refunded even if I could be bothered to return it.
I considered ordering another cheap modem, maybe from a different seller, in the hope that I'd strike lucky and get one which works for me, but it could equally well be another failure. So, since I'm not a gambler, I have ordered a US Robotics model instead. Yes, it's considerably more expensive, but it's from a known manufacturer, is well-built, well-documented and is supported via a website and email.