ISDN TA recommendations

Paul Richards paul at
Thu Jan 27 00:41:26 GMT 2000

Dominic Mitchell wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 26, 2000 at 03:36:00PM +0000, Nik Clayton wrote:
> > Glancing through the Handbook, I can see a number of ISDN terminal
> > adapters ("ISDN modems") are listed as being compatible.
> >
> > Has anyone got any praise, or horror stories, for any one particular
> > model?
> Well, if you don't fancy opening up your PC (I'm in lazy mode at the
> moment :), then I don't think the Ascend pipeline 50's are much more
> expensive than some of the options that other people have mentioned.
> I've use them quite extensively at work for a branch network and they're
> pretty good.  I've had uptimes of >1yr.  Because they're an ISDN router
> that plugs into your ethernet (you don't have ethernet?  Aacck!) they're
> pretty nippy too.

That's just what I was thinking, once you get up to those prices a
router is a better bet. I was quite happy with my Cisco 720 which acted
as a "real" router for the office for quite a while until the phone bill
got so high that a leased line became more economical.

On the other hand, if all you have is a FreeBSD box in your bedroom then
the added cost of buying a hub and ethernet cards/cabling is going to
push the cost way past that of an ISDN card. Also, an ISDN card will
give you fax options which a router will not.

Does anyone have experience of using ISDN cards for fax? My current fax
setup is a USR Sportster Flash and it sucks. The hylafax web page warns
about them sucking and my experience is they really do. They fail to
talk to a fair percentage of other fax equipment out there. If someone
knows of an ISDN card that is guaranteed compatible with 1.0 and 2.0 fax
equipment I'd be tempted to get one just to replace our fax setup.

For that matter, if anyone has experience of fax modems (internal would
be good) that are reliable I'd be interested, the sportster is getting
really irritating :-)

> Like Joe said, avoid TAs, because you basically end up with another
> serial port limiting your speed, so go for a "proper" ISDN card that can
> do HDLC, if you don't want to go down the router route.

If you never channel bond then that probably won't be a problem since
most serial ports will handle 64K. If you want to have the option to use
128K though then you're much better off going to a "proper" card.


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