Discovery 9632AX

Anodized aluminium alloy extrusion housing

When I first "got into computers" in 1990 and then discovered modems, 2400 bps (V.22bis) was the standard speed at which us mere mortals accessed services like Beltel and bulletin boards.

AOL, Prodigy and Compuserve were things them rich Americans accessed with their fancy-schmancy U.S.Robotics modems while down in South Africa a modem capable of 9600 bps was a mere dream. 14400 bps was a wet one.

In May 1993 the annual Computer Faire and Bexa was held at the NASREC show grounds. My buddies and I went. We saw. We came. We laid down R1615.00 cash for a Datatronics Discovery 9632AX Intelligent Faxmodem by a manufacturer and a distributor neither of us had ever heard of. But it can do 14400 bps!

Back at a buddy's place we promptly dialled into a BBS.

CONNECT 14400/V.32bis. Major orgasm!

By the next year this was the very modem you'd have connected to when you dialled into the first incarnation of the HMVH Corporation BBS -- but only for about a month: its power supply blew in August 1994. The BBS was resurrected a few months later with a different, internal 14k4 modem.

Eventually this one's power supply (transformer) was repaired, and the modem became something to lug to work during quiet night shifts before finally falling out of favour completely as faster and cheaper modems came and went.

The whole package spread out and laid bare

More photos: Front view | Removable face panel | Rear view | DIP switch settings | abcFAX software floppies

It is now January 2013. The modem hasn't been used in well over 15 years. I'm throwing it out. There's no need for a 20-year-old analogue modem in the foreseeable future.

The end.

This page last updated: 26-01-2013