Analog modem emulator?

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at
Tue Aug 2 14:05:26 CDT 2005

On 8/2/05, Cini, Richard <Richard.Cini at> wrote:
>         I was talking about the VCF exhibit, where I believe you would still
> need a modem bank. If I have two Apple II's each with a modem plugged into
> the PBX and I "dial" extension 101 which is the host PC, won't I get a busy
> when the second Apple dials "101"? I think you do need a modem bank on the
> host PC with the fallover feature on the PBX programmed properly. The PBX is
> simply acting as the "phone company" for purposes of connecting the two.

The "CO emulator" sold by Black Box will do this, for limited numbers
of connections.  The model I have is smaller than a phone book and
supports 4 phones.  The lingering question I have (since I haven't
powered it up in 10+ years) is if it supports two simulaneous
connections, or only allows one of three extensions to call the
primary.  In any case, for at least a single connection, it allows two
modems to talk, each thinking they are attached to the POTS network -
dial tone, ring tones, ring voltage, the whole enchilada.

Of course, if you want to support more than one or two lines, a small
PBX is the way to go.

My old COMBOX product would only be useful for point-to-point.  It's
as real a connection as a PBX, but only two lines.  In practice, that
should be enough, unless you really want to sit people down in front
of a machine and have them pretend they are a BBS user and make them
choose from two or three different destinations.  Entertaining, but
time consuming.

Of course, you'll have to simulate busy signals as well ;-)  [ except
when Star Trek is on TV - that was always the best time to call the
local BBSes - all the nerds were in front of their televisions, and
they didn't have their computers in the same room back then ]


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