Re: NTLK Novatel Merlin Wireless Modem

From: Hai Ng (
Date: Fri Jun 16 2000 - 00:16:00 CDT

On 6/15/00 8:51 PM, Ed Kummel said:

>The Merlin is "old" technology. It was one of the
>first of the Type II CDPD cards (both Motorola and IBM
>came out with type III even earlier than the Merlin)
>If you seriously want to go with CDPD, consider
>checking out Sierra Wireless and their new designs!
>be aware though that most of the wireless networking
>cards will only work with specific providers and these
>providers want you to use their software. This
>basically limits the Newt...(I recently found this out
>from Go additional $.10/kb for transfer
>if you don't use their do the math!)
>So, unless you got alot of money and time, I would
>suggest that you just don't do CDPD with the
>won't work!(at least not flawlessly) If you truely
>want to do some wireless work with the newt, stick
>with a cellphone and a modem card...It's faster anyway
>than CDPD!
>web/gadget guru

You're pretty much right about the potential cost though there are some
companies like AT&T and Verizon which will let you go unlimited for
$59.95 when you are NOT roaming, so your mileage may vary depending on
where you live.

As for cellphone and modem card being faster than CDPD, it really depends
on what system your cellphone is on and depending on your system, again
costs will vary.

If your cell system is TDMA, you're looking at 9600kbps before
compression since TDMA phones will have to switch to its analog
companion, AMPS, to handle a data call. That means everything from
lowered battery life on your phone.

CDMA is better and GSM is pretty cool. Except I found out that with some
plans, you actually have to pay extra when you do GSM Data.

I use cellular with my Newton with my Nokia 6160 via a 3Com 3CXM756, and
it is adequate.

What I would recommend is look at your potential useage profile, your
travelling profile and then find the plan that best suits you.

As for CDPD, I know for sure the Merlin will accept ATDT commands for all
configurations and operation, it appears as a modem. The Aircard 300 on
the other hand may require specific driver as it is more like a network

If you're going cellular, the 3CXom 3CXM756 is a great modem but a little
expensive at about $210 with cable if you go to the right online store.


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