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View Full Version : Are internal modems worth anything anymore?



Druid6900
July 3rd, 2017, 06:56 AM
I have lots, and I mean, LOTS of PCI and ISA internal (fax)/modems (both "hard" and "soft"), once the mainstay of the small business and BBSing world.

They are quite common in the "era" of machines that my company deals with.

Are they even worth the trouble of testing them and putting them on my site?

The same thing with sound cards. I know that some models of some sound cards are valued, but, is the item, on the whole, worth the effort to market them?

Opinions?

glitch
July 3rd, 2017, 07:07 AM
I could see ISA 56K hardware modems still retaining some value -- the kind that can be used under Linux and show up as a standard serial port.

Some PCI softmodems/winmodems can be used as a FXO under software PBXes like Asterisk. Those might be worth something as FXO cards.

NeXT
July 3rd, 2017, 03:12 PM
I dump PCI softmodems when I find them because they are pretty much useless. The ISA and PCI hardmodems are often really interesting devices, especially the ones where they are essentially a full DSP embedded machine. A fair amount of effort into making the ISA ones especially work at rates like 14.4, 33.6 and 56K.

SomeGuy
July 3rd, 2017, 04:39 PM
PCI Winmodems were garbage when they were brand new. Couldn't use them in DOS or in any other OS besides Windows, and since they used the main CPU for everything it could potentially slow things down.

If I were grabbing up modems, I'd grab up any USR internal 56k ISA and 56K externals, as well as any proprietary-form (such as laptop internal) modems, and probably anything pre-PC or with unique features.

gslick
July 3rd, 2017, 04:43 PM
Phase 1: Collect modems
Phase 2: ?????
Phase 3: Profit!

Plasma
July 3rd, 2017, 05:19 PM
I had a crappy winmodem in my Pentium 200 back in the day. Games were noticeably slower when I was downloading in the background.

Druid6900
July 4th, 2017, 06:47 AM
I agree. The win/soft modems were, for the most part, pretty sad.

What I have, mostly on my site are USR modems/fax modems in a variety of speeds.

Should I concentrate on just getting the brand names on there or just anything that is a hard modem in the upper speed ranges?

Syclops
July 4th, 2017, 12:07 PM
I wish they were worth something, I've got a whole pile of them for sale in the marketplace, lol

http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?57724-FS-Dialup-Modem-Extravaganza!-8-Bit-ISA-amp-16-Bit-ISA-Modems-Various-Speeds&highlight=modem

ChrisUnionNJ
July 4th, 2017, 01:24 PM
I don't think modems are worth much now
but for the history they are worth it and
every computer we have should have
one because that's how we got here..

Unknown_K
July 4th, 2017, 10:58 PM
The only ones worth collecting were the expensive externals that BBS's used back in the day.

Like:

"SysOp: Hannibal Lektor INC'92
Inc Dist site -/- 800 Megs
HST 16.8 Dual -/- Running Celerity
Number: ITS-PRI-VATE"

They used to brag about oddball 16.8K, 19.2K speeds before everybody have 56K modems.

I keep a couple external models 33.6k/56K for some reason (they work and I liked externals). Anything win-modem gets recycled.

Tronix
July 5th, 2017, 12:33 AM
Some modems looks interesting for hacking and/or HW modify to make own evaluation board. For example:

ZyXEL U-1496 Plus (http://nostalgy.net.ru/museum/zyxel.htm) Based on motorola 68k. Make Amiga, don't wait anymore :D
U.S.Robotics Sportster (https://habrastorage.org/web/384/b89/cda/384b89cda77347e9924a8d595e58b301.jpg), Courier V.Everything 56K based on i80186 microcontroller. Some older U.S. Robotics models contain i8088 processor, afaik. So, possible to execute x86 code.
etc...

Druid6900
July 5th, 2017, 07:01 AM
Well, looks like I should concentrate on the high speed ones, any branded one (I believe I have a Packard Bell branded one) and any "old-ball" ones.

External units don't show up very often because they are easy to detach and get set aside and that's the end of that. They were also more expensive at a time when the internal ones were expensive enough.

The rest I'll put in manifested boxes on the off chance someone is looking for something specific.

Dwight Elvey
July 5th, 2017, 07:30 AM
There were some with AD2100 DSP processors on them. I had one
of the "soft modems" that I re-purposed the DSP to filter and decode
weather fax from the short wave radio. It is an analog signal.
It had a regular fax mode that didn't quite meet the spec for how it
handled ascii CR LF.
The idea was that being a soft load modem, they could provide upgrades.
When I contacted Cardinal, they claimed they didn't support that
model any more ( 8 months old ).
It was a Cardinal modem but made by someone else ( I forget who ).
It ran up to 14.4K as I recall.
I had to hack the loader but it wasn't that complicated.
Dwight

Trixter
July 5th, 2017, 09:10 AM
There were some with AD2100 DSP processors on them. I had one
of the "soft modems" that I re-purposed the DSP to filter and decode
weather fax from the short wave radio.

Dwight is my hero for the rest of the day.

I was very surprised to learn some modems were based on 80x86. I might look into that more someday.

Tronix
July 5th, 2017, 10:36 AM
I was very surprised to learn some modems were based on 80x86. I might look into that more someday.

U.S. Robotics most popular modems in Russia at 90'. Every big BBS or FIDO station use Sportster or Courier. Some russians (Andrey V.Vavaev, Vladimir Dodonov
) hack the original firmware and add some actual at the moment things like analogue caller id (all russians telephone station in 90 be analogue), improve NO DIALTONE at russian lines and many other things. As far as I know who some of them later went to work in 3COM corp, modem department. All this is due to the fact that the modems used the x86 code, familiar to many people.

U.S. Robotics are legendary modems on all exUSSR. Largely due to the modified "russian" firmware.

Casey
July 27th, 2017, 01:37 PM
The only ones worth collecting were the expensive externals that BBS's used back in the day.

I dunno. Practical Peripherals made some nice stuff. I had fun with their external 14.4 for not too much money. IIRC I picked it up at the local CompUSA. Back when there were CompUSAs...


I have box full of internal modems myself. One is a venerable Hayes 1200b; that's a keeper! I don't doubt I have more than a couple Winmodems. Aren't those with Winbond chipsets Winmodems? It's been a long time. Back then I tried to stay with Hayes or USR externals most of the time. The PPI was a pleasant exception.

At least one is a 33.6 internal, and another looks like it has external sound jacks. I've been thinking about posting pictures to see if anyone is interested in helping ID them.

MikeS
July 27th, 2017, 02:37 PM
Might be useful for Call Display.

Dwight Elvey
July 27th, 2017, 03:25 PM
One might setup a personal network.
Dwight

Chuck(G)
July 27th, 2017, 03:38 PM
I gave away 3 external USR Courier (80C88 based) modems just a couple of months ago. The Courier series really was the best; Racal-Vadics were pretty good and before that, Milgo.

Dwight Elvey
July 28th, 2017, 05:56 AM
I'd posted a 8188/86 Forth a few years ago that I'd put on a board
I'd found. Someone took it with no changes and put it on a modem,
connect a terminal and it worked there. He didn't change a thing.
I used Tom Zimmer's TCOM program to create the binary for it.
Dwight

lowen
July 28th, 2017, 06:16 AM
I have lots, and I mean, LOTS of PCI and ISA internal (fax)/modems (both "hard" and "soft"), once the mainstay of the small business and BBSing world....
Are they even worth the trouble of testing them and putting them on my site?

Well, there is one particular modem of which I would like to have a few spares. I'm always on the lookout for GVC SF-1114HV/C1 ISA modems. These use the three-chip version of the Cirrus Logic CL-MD1414 modem chipset, and are used by a particular, no longer supported, piece of DOS software. The software checks for this specific modem, and it checks for several very specific values stored in several data areas of the modem to make sure that only this particular modem is used (it is an interactive voice response software). This company charged a lot of money for the hardware, and so they had to have a key of sorts embedded to make sure you couldn't just buy an off-the-shelf unit and make it work. I'm not really at liberty to mention the software application or the company, sorry.

EDIT: Oh, and I have a fairly large collection of external modems; a dozen or so US Robotics Courier V.Everything from an auction I attended 15 years ago.

Casey
July 28th, 2017, 04:57 PM
Yes. I remember getting a Courier 2400 when another sysop picked up their 9600 model. What the heck ever happened to that?