[vcf-midatlantic] Your First Modem? (was: Help me remember my first modem)

William Sudbrink wh.sudbrink at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 22:01:56 UTC 2021

I should add that, that is the modem described here:


Bill S.

-----Original Message-----
From: William Sudbrink [mailto:wh.sudbrink at gmail.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2021 4:58 PM
To: 'vcf-midatlantic' <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org>
Cc: 'W2HX' <w2hx at w2hx.com>
Subject: RE: [vcf-midatlantic] Your First Modem? (was: Help me remember my first modem)



Magazine page 195 (pdf page 197), Electronic Systems, Burlingame, CA.  Lower right corner of ad.  I soldered it into the main board of my OSI Superboard.

Bill S.

-----Original Message-----
From: vcf-midatlantic [mailto:vcf-midatlantic-bounces at lists.vcfed.org] On Behalf Of W2HX via vcf-midatlantic
Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2021 11:29 AM
To: vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org>
Cc: W2HX <w2hx at w2hx.com>
Subject: [vcf-midatlantic] Your First Modem? (was: Help me remember my first modem)

What was your first modem? Mine was a kit from Micromint in Long Island. It was around 1980 or so (I was about 13). My dad drove me to Cedarhurst, LI (I lived in Merrick, LI) to the Micromint sales office and bought this kit. It was an acoustic coupler, 300 baud kit, with an enclosure, a PCB and a bag of parts. I had low expectations that it would work when assembled. I spent a few days assembling and soldering everything. I think the time was around Christmas and my new brother-in-law was over. He was a post-grad at university of Texas at Austin and had a computer account (don't recall the computer). It was time to test it. Me, my brother-in-law and my father were all standing around my TRS-80 Model III and this newly built modem, trying to call into the computer system at UT Austin. In those days, long distance calls were expensive. We must have dialed that computer 20 times while attempting to adjust the pots and make it work, unsure if it would ever work. I can't imagine what the bill was.

I was adjusting one of the pots and then, like a miracle, there it was "WELCOME TO THE UT AUSTIN COMPUTING CENTER" I can't swear that is exactly what it said but you get the idea. We all jumped for joy. The darn thing worked as advertised. Great experience and that modem served me well for several years until I upgraded to a Micromint 1200 baud "direct connect" modem before I went to college.

73 Eugene W2HX
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-----Original Message-----
From: vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic-bounces at lists.vcfed.org> On Behalf Of Neil Cherry via vcf-midatlantic
Sent: Friday, December 24, 2021 10:29 PM
To: vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org>
Cc: Neil Cherry <ncherry at linuxha.com>
Subject: Re: [vcf-midatlantic] Help me remember my first modem

On 12/24/21 9:22 PM, John Heritage via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> I'm trying to find a picture of my first modem online, and can't seem 
> to find one..
> I remember my first modem (I was ~ 7 years old or ~ 1983-1984 when we 
> first got it, but had it for years later) being a 300 baud "Bell"
> modem.  I
> *believe* it had an acoustic coupler, but it *might but I do not 
> remember needing to use it to initiate connections to BBSes at the 
> time.  I'm not sure if there were hybrid modems where they still had 
> an acoustic coupler, but also supported auto dial of some kind.
> My memory also tells me it was a black modem, rectangular (metal?) 
> exterior.  I think the modem might have said "Bell Labs" rather than 
> just Bell on the front.  I'm also 95% sure that the modem ..  disappeared ..
> from Bell thanks to a family member who worked there/at AT&T (and also 
> was an Atari 800 owner like us).  We attached this modem (and later
> modems) to an Atari 850 interface, so it had a standard serial interface.
> Lastly, I'm certain it was *not* a Bell 103 modem - which would have 
> been positively ancient by the early 80s, but some other design from 
> Bell.  Or at least not an original appearance one..

I recall the Bell 300 modem (non-acoustic coupled). It had a AT&T Bell logo on the front. So either Commsphere or Dataphone, probably Dataphone. I think it had 103 on the front. Black plastic front, rest of it was metal and an external 48v DC power brick, 2 screws on the brick. I can't recall if the modem had screws or was hard wired. I do recall a DB25, male I think.

Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       ncherry at linuxha.com
http://www.linuxha.com/                         Main site
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog
Author of:    	Linux Smart Homes For Dummies

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