Component level repair
wdonzelli at gmail.com
Wed Jan 24 13:27:40 CST 2007
> Will, maybe you could answer something I was very curious about. I
> (probably like many people on this list) was a BBS sysop who made use
> of USR modems. Probably some of the best stuff in the business and
> worth every nickel (particularly at sysop prices) I spent on them.
When was this? Did you ever order modems online, using the USR BBS? I
wrote the front end to that thing, although Jack Rubin does not
remember it. I was a youngun at the time, so I take no responsibility
if the front end sucked.
> Upgrades however, were puzzling. Sometimes, USR wanted me to ship
> the old modem back (sans wall wart), other times they didn't care.
> The most bizarre case when when a firmware upgrade was done and USR
> wanted the old SRAM chip returned. No one at USR could tell me what
> they expected to do with an old 8K (?) chip. Certainly not re-use it
> in a product(!).
So you mean SRAM or EPROM? For a while some of the higher end stuff
had an EPROM supply problem. The modems used 32020 DSPs, with a big
WaferScale Integration EPROM. WSI ran into production problems and
could not supply the parts very well, so USR had to make a piggyback
dual chip kludge using smaller WSI EPROMs. Perhaps with the upgrade
they wanted the proper, bigger EPROM back, to be reused.
USR also ran into a problem with people trying to scam them, often
returning fake modems (I saw some rather convincing PCMCIA fakes) to
try to get credit. Perhaps they wanted a piece back to confirm you
actually had a modem.
Or just plain old stupidity.
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