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-   -   Conexant modem won't dial -- please help (

mtrim 07-10-2006 12:26 PM

Conexant modem won't dial -- please help
Hello everybody,

I have attempted to start using Linux (Ubuntu) as my main OS (from win xp) several times over the last few years and each time the incompatibility of my (win) modem drives me back.

The modem I have now is a Conexant HSF modem and since they seem to have relatively good support I have decided to try and stick with it this time.

The problem I'm having is that after installing the driver the computer recognizes the modem just fine but when I attempt to dial (using pon or wvdial) the modem makes a short clicking noise like its trying to do something and then silence. Eventually I get a NO CARRIER error. If I pick up the phone during this time all I get is a dial tone.

If anymore information is required I'd be happy to provide it.

Here is a summary of things I have tried so far:

-About a million different init strings from various sources (same result as above)
-Booting linux with the "noapic" option (System would not start)
-Compiling the source for the driver manually (same result as above)
-Verifying that I am using the correct country code using hsfconfig --region and entering CANADA (Same result as above)

I may have tried other things too that I can't remember as I have been at this for about two weeks now.

If anyone has any suggestions at all I would be extremely greatful as I believe this is the only issue keeping me from using linux.

Thanks in advance...

pljvaldez 07-10-2006 01:22 PM

I got my internal HSF modem working on an old 2.4 kernel, but when I upgraded to 2.6 (which Ubuntu will use) I've never gotten it to work again...

Is it a desktop or a laptop? If it's a desktop, the best suggestion I can give you is to get an external hardware modem for your serial port. All your headaches will go away. I got one for $5 at a local PC shop. Just make sure it's an external serial hardware modem, and not an external winmodem (and especially stay away from USB modems). Plus, the default Linuxant drivers are rate limited to 14.4kbps and you have to pay to 56k speed. So if I was going to pay anyway, I figured I might as well buy a modem that would work easily...

mtrim 07-11-2006 10:36 AM

Ya I was thinking about getting an external modem so I wouldn't have to worry about this. Can you recommend a good place to get one? I checked a couple of places I usually look for cheap computer stuff ( and some others I can't remember. But the external modems they had were like $50? Am I missing something?

linux=future 07-11-2006 12:45 PM

I had a conexant, and even got them to work with the 2.6 kernel with ubuntu breezy. However, they were very buggy at best. They took a long time to dial, and the speaker on the modem never did work. The only way to make sure it was working was to attach a phone to it and pick it up and hope to hear a dial. You are much better off buying a serial modem. has some for a better price. However, you can also buy any modem based on the Intel 536 chipset, even though that is a winmodem. I'm looking at one on newegg from encore for under $10. Be warned though: you will need to download the driver form Intel and compile it yourself, and it is more than your average program because its a kernel module. Its easy to do if you've done it before, and it comes with detailed instructions too. I know they work well with Linux, enough so that we bought 30 of them just for that purpose. :)

linux=future 07-11-2006 12:47 PM

Forgot to mention this. The intel modems have the same problem as the conexant in that the speaker doesn't work. The method with the phone does show it works though. Much shorter dial time too.

mtrim 07-11-2006 01:13 PM

Thanks for the reply, I'll check that website out. Did you have to do anything weird to get your conexant working under linux or did installing the driver do it for you right away?

Also, what do you mean when you say its a kernel module? I recently had to install an Nvidia driver, would that have been the same sort of thing?

Sorry if that's a stupid question, I'm too accustomed to exe's that do this stuff for you.

linux=future 07-12-2006 02:58 PM

It would be like the nvidia driver. The connexant was a bit difficult. I downloaded the driver from the driver did work when I followe dall the directions. However, the major problem with the driver is that the free version only works at 14.4Kbs. In order to get the full 56K, you need to spend 20$ for the full version of the driver. They had precompiled kernel modules for certain distros, but not for Ubuntu. They provide enough source code so you can compile it yourself, and they simplify the process (although the simplified process didn't work on Ubunutu so I had to do it the old fashioned way). I don't remember doing anything weird besides the basic configuration for ppp, so the directions must have been correct.

If you are still interested in the encore modem (which is $10 for the card and the full driver with 56K is free) then I should mention another thing. The driver comes with install scripts for certain distros. If you have a distro that doesn't have an install script provided, then you need to make your own. If you use ubuntu, then search the ubuntu wiki for instructions on getting the intel 536 driver to work. They have install scripts there.

mtrim 07-12-2006 03:23 PM

Two questions:

First, will these modems work with any distro incase I decide to switch? Or only ones with install scripts already made for them?

Second, I live in Canada and that newegg site only ships inside the US, do you know of another similar site that would provide shipping outside of the US?

Thanks a lot for all your help.

linux=future 07-12-2006 04:49 PM

Another site to purchase the modem is They don't sell the same modem, but they sell another one made by hiro with a "voice intel chip" that has the intel 537 chipset (which is also compatible with Linux). They ship to both the US and Canada. When you search for drivers on intel's site, there are multiple drivers for the 537. In addition to providing precompiled drivers for certain distros, they also have an uncompiled driver that will work with any distro when compiled. The only problem is the install scripts if they don't have ones for your distro, but they explain what the scripts need to do so you can make them yourself. You can also google for premade scripts, which probably exist elsewhere in that case.

pljvaldez 07-12-2006 04:56 PM

mtrim 07-12-2006 07:16 PM

Thanks a lot, I will check those links out now. Another thing, I was playing around with the linuxant driver for my current modem just to try and figure it out and I noticed that when I do the 'make' command before doing 'make install' I get the following error and the end of several lines of output:

make *** [default] Error 1

Something along those lines... What does this mean? It doesn't seem very specific, is there a log file or anything that might provide more detail about the error?

linux=future 07-13-2006 02:43 PM

If you do end up buying a new modem, definatly buy the serial one noted by pljvaldez. Its only $3 more.

The error is extremely generic at best. Are you sure that there is no log file or more text that is printed before that? I bet that something you need (such as make or the kernel sources) is not installed.

Is it failing at insmod? I remember that I had to change my version.h file (I know that that is that LAST thing you are supposed to do but it worked fine) because Ubuntu puts their name at the end of the kernel. Just changed the kernel name to the regular one and it worked like magic.

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