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I remember when the administraion switched out our 150-baud acoustic-coupled modem for a shiny new Hayes 300 baud model. The first nice thing was we didn't have to dial the main university campus on a regular telephone and then plonk the handset onto the suction cups. You just told the system to connect and the little lights flashed while you heard the Banshee Screech of Connection.

Even though it was twice the speed of our old modem, I could read faster than the letters flowed over the phone line. It was annoying to have the little stutters, like listening to a wino telling you about his life story as he stopped every few consonants to make sure nobody stole his bottle of cheap booze.

Hayes sold a lot of the flat aluminum boxes, and every so often I stumbled across one here and there. Actually, I still own two of them. When I picked them up the 56.6K Baud modems were the norm. I think I paid a buck each for the Hayes with power supplies. 

It turned out that the Hayes model in particular was easy to convert to Baudot code to use with ham radio. A couple of simple circuit tweaks and you could connect it to your transceiver to send Baudot over the airwaves. It gave the modems a second life for a couple of years until some sharp bloke with extra brain cells and an engineering degree came up with a device that combined a lot of different transmission methods into one tiny box. The Hayes were permanently retired from my radio shack after that.

Iron Noder 2017

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