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Can I bring my dial-up modem into the 21st century?


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Recently I've been learning about how to get my Atari 800 online and I believe I know what I need now; an Atari 850 interface, a CX-87 serial cable, and a Lantronix MSS-100 with a null modem adapter (or a Wifi232 if I could find one). After thinking about it though what if I could get an even more nostalgic experience and use a real dial-up modem to connect to a BBS over the internet without actually doing so over the phone (I have a landline but that would mean long distance charges).

 

Is there is a way to use an actual vintage modem and trick it into thinking it is dialing up over the phone but actually have it connected to my router and make it dial up an internet address? I know the Lantronix simulates a modem but using a real one would be awesome. I searched around but didn't come up with much of anything so I don't know if this is even possible. I figured if anyone knew it would be someone here.

Edited by Banquo
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It's funny to put these search terms into google and see what familiar names come back ...

 

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?9450-Using-an-Old-Modem-to-Communicate-with-Modern-Computer&s=1171d3c3718474a647e2da36268a46ac

 

That seems to be asking about how to connect two local computers together using a modem, like both in the same room. I was looking for a way to connect an old computer online using an old modem but not by dialing a phone number but by somehow interfacing it directly to the internet and having it "dial" up an internet address the way the Lantronix does when it simulates a modem. Maybe it's a stupid idea, I was just curious. I thought it would fun but I probably should just get the Lantronix and forget about using an old modem. :)

 

w QE`.6YUE4IL';][

\Z

 

I'm totally confused.

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I know my link wasn't exactly what you wanted, but I thought it was funny to see some AtariAge regulars in a different context.

 

This page, which is about simulating a modem connection for the Sega Dreamcast, could probably be used to a similar effect for your project.

 

https://dreamcast-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3122

 

The lantronix thing looks like a more certain thing ... if you really really want to make this work in that way. I've also heard of people setting up a serial connection from old computers to a raspberry pi server to contact BBSes. Why someone wouldn't use the thousandfold more powerful Pi directly, leaving out the beige box, is a mystery understood only by the acolytes of the church of the retroputer.

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I know my link wasn't exactly what you wanted, but I thought it was funny to see some AtariAge regulars in a different context.

 

This page, which is about simulating a modem connection for the Sega Dreamcast, could probably be used to a similar effect for your project.

 

https://dreamcast-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3122

 

The lantronix thing looks like a more certain thing ... if you really really want to make this work in that way. I've also heard of people setting up a serial connection from old computers to a raspberry pi server to contact BBSes. Why someone wouldn't use the thousandfold more powerful Pi directly, leaving out the beige box, is a mystery understood only by the acolytes of the church of the retroputer.

 

Thanks! That does appear to be what I want to do. Sounds a bit complicated though; you're probably right that the Lantronix is the best bet. Plus if I get the Lantronix I can use it with my TI-99 and any other old computer I might get someday. I'll bookmark that link though, it will be interesting to learn how to set it up even if I don't end up doing it.

Edited by Banquo
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If you're just interested in doing some BBSing, then yes, it's absolutely doable. If you want to avoid service or long-distance charges, here's what I recommend:

 

  • Sign up for a Google Voice account.
  • Buy an Obihai 202.
  • Configure the Obihai 202 with your Google Voice account.
  • Connect your modem to the Obihai's line (phone) port and go to town.

This is the setup I have an experimental BBS running on, and it's very reliable. VoIP doesn't give the greatest data rates, but 9600bps is fairly standard with the odd fluke connection at 14.4Kbps. For most dialup BBSes, that should be fine.

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If you're just interested in doing some BBSing, then yes, it's absolutely doable. If you want to avoid service or long-distance charges, here's what I recommend:

 

  • Sign up for a Google Voice account.
  • Buy an Obihai 202.
  • Configure the Obihai 202 with your Google Voice account.
  • Connect your modem to the Obihai's line (phone) port and go to town.

This is the setup I have an experimental BBS running on, and it's very reliable. VoIP doesn't give the greatest data rates, but 9600bps is fairly standard with the odd fluke connection at 14.4Kbps. For most dialup BBSes, that should be fine.

 

Cool, thanks! I never even considered the possibility of using a dial-up modem with a VoIP service. That sounds perfect. They appear to be going for a bit more than I was looking to spend right now but I'll definitely keep an eye on those. I think for the moment I'll just go with the Lantronix, but someday I would love to get an acoustic coupler modem and an old desk phone and go online with them if just once. For now I'll be happy to connect to some BBSs and experience them since it is something I missed out on. I had a Colecovision and a 2600 but I never got a computer until '98, long past the BBS days. Looking forward to doing more with my Atari 800 than just playing Donkey Kong. :D

Edited by Banquo
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