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The PiModem Project

There has been a resurgence recently in BBSing. While the days of phone lines are long gone, more and more BBS’s are popping up - some new, some returning from dusty backup media. Without phones and modems, these “modern” BBS’s are reachable over the Internet via a telnet connection.

Obviously, the best way to connect to a BBS is through an (at least loosely) era-appropriate system and a serial communications program. There are several purpose-built devices out there that emulate a modem command set for just this purpose - the WiModem232 from being one of the more recent additions. If you are looking for an out of the box option for some retro BBSing, you can’t go wrong with this device.

I’m a bit of a tinkerer and I wanted to build a DIY device similar to the WiModem232. I wanted to retrofit it into an existing modem for a look of authenticity. I also wanted to connect the LEDs on the front of the modem so that they actually indicate modem status. And I wanted to add PPP capability so that I can connect some of my “newer” old systems to the Internet without needing an Ethernet card.

Having used Raspberry Pi’s and tcpser before, I decided to use them as the foundation of my project. It took me awhile to find all of the information I needed, so this article is an attempt to gather the important bits in one place. My intent here is not to write a step by step guide, but to put all of the information one might need to do a similar project into one place.”

Link to article