Retro Challenge - 2014 WW - Day 21

VOIP Issues

The VOIP setup that I was using and tested ok with yesterday is not working, everything is answering but there is noise or bad latency on the connection causing drop outs.

I have moved the second line to a real phone line which is now accessible via...

(01744) 20900

Remember that this is designed to accept connections from old stuff and therefore does not do any error correction or auto negotiation it needs to be set to V23 7E1 and you need to turn off any clever features on your modem.

I'm using the following AT initialization string I'm using on the server side which works with the Terminatel ViewData terminal...

AT &F0 &C1 &D3 &R1 &S1 &K3 &Q6 B0 %C0 %E0 M0 Q1 E0 +MS=V23C,0

After trying this with a modern modem +MS=V23C,0 seems to be required to get it to connect, B0 &Q6 &K3 may all be required on your modem to dial in correctly.

Retro Challenge - 2014 WW - Day 20

Standalone BBS Server

Well the new PC is now functioning as the standalone BBS system, there are currently 2 dial up lines connected via Hayes modems.

To contact the system use a ViewData compatible terminal and connect V23 (1200 / 75, 7E1), to one of the numbers below...

(0845) 0950081
(0845) 0950082
You can also connect via a suitable ViewData terminal via raw sockets on...
Both lines are local rate in the UK only. If anyone outside of the UK is interested then I'll setup a suitable number.

If I can setup the other 2 lines then I'll add them in as I've got another 2 Hayes modems for this task.

Custom Entry Forms

Currently working on making the system implement some kind of data entry form for use in applications. 
I'm trying to get simple text boxes to work but intend to implement several controls such as buttons, check boxes and a password box.

Retro Challenge - 2014 WW - Day 16

Dial In Server

Well had an emergency at work so have ended up working until the early hours.
Did managed to get a few small things sorted..

1) Got a PC setup ready to be the dial in server, this will run the entire system and control the modems. The back end may stay as a VM but I would like to be able to move the entire system eventually so that I can demonstrate it at the Wakefield Acorn show in April.

2) Added Prestel node names to the system. You now get logged into a node with one of the names from the original Prestel system.

3) Wired up the second VOIP line, just need to plug the modem into the new PC and we will have 2 lines incoming.

Retro Challenge - 2014 WW - Day 15

VOIP Setup (Again)

Reconfigured my other firewall that has VOIP built in to sit on one of my Internet facing IPs.

I have configured 4 VOIP lines each with a local rate number (not like the 1980s where it would cost you 10p a minute).
The lines are using the G711A codec which is uncompressed, this uses more bandwidth but should be able to cope with the limited frequencies used by the V23 modem.

So to dial into the system you can contact it on...

(0845) 0950081

Just set your modem to V23 (1200 / 75, 7E1) and use a suitable ViewData / VideoTex terminal.

I will be setting up the other lines next week.

Prism VTX 5000

I managed to get hold of one of these units on ebay the other day, this was the piece of kit that I remember using at a friends house when I first used Prestel.

Below you can see the manual toggle switch for putting the unit online. There are also Rx and Tx modes that let you connect to other modems instead of Micronet.

Tried dialing the server, its very fussy about the line. Managed to get it to connect once but I think it needs to be connected directly to the wall rather than through a long extension lead.

Retro Challenge - 2014 WW - Day 13

VOIP Setup

Had a go at setting up my Asterix PBX, decided to upgrade the firmware and now it won't boot.

Going to setup my other router and configure the 2 VOIP ports to allow incoming calls to the PABX, this should then ring all of the modems that are available. I think if I can remember the PABX can be configured to ring one after the other which I think is a better idea. As the PABX has 3 incoming lines I can also add the real telephone line if required.