List of Australian Modem Manufacturers

Where some were passionate about computer games, for me it was about communications. I’ve been working on a list of Australian modem manufacturers and I’ve copied that below.

I ran BBSs in the 80’s and eventually started an ISP in 1995. Looking back, it was a bit more Wayne’s World than I even gave it credit for at the time. There’s a blog post with some details about that and a picture of 40+ modems in a cupboard, over here.

Please reply if you know of others or have any modem stories to share. We especially enjoy seeing your modem photos: labels, lights, switches, ports, cases and cables. I’ll update this post from time to time to include new discoveries.

List of Australian Modem Manufacturers

Guidelines

  • Modem is branded with the name of an Australian company
  • Available for general purchase
  • Especially focused on:
    • analogue modems between 300 - 56000 bps
    • Dates from mid to late 1970’s (BBS) to 2000 (broadband internet transition)

Todo

  • Explore the story of each company
  • Differentiate models designed/made in Australia (especially 70’s and 80’s Australian manufacture)
  • Need a form for recording modem model details, eg speeds and other features, who it was designed by, country of manufacture, where and when it was sold
  • build an internet PSTN replacement

List

  • Applied Technology/Microbee Systems
    • BeeModem. First model was 300 baud only followed by a 1200/75 & 300 baud model. This was further followed by the Automodem. @ChickenMan
  • AusLinx
    • Aus.Linx International Pty. Ltd.
    • Kookaburra 33.6pc PCMCIA Fax/Modem, Kookaburra 56kbps PCMCIA Fax Modem
    • Redback 336e - Ext Voice-Speakerphone-P’n’P
    • Redback 336i - Int Voice-Speakerphone-P’n’P
    • Redback 336e - Ext Voice-Speakerphone
    • Tasmanian Devil 336ev - Ext Data-Fax-Voice P’n’P
    • Tasmanian Devil 336iv - Int Data-Fax-Voice - uses DIP switches
    • Tasmanian Devil 336ev - Ext Data-Fax-Voice
    • Tasmanian Devil 56ES, internal and external versions
  • Avtek
    • Multi Modem
      • 1200bps, autoanswer, $229, Jan 1984
    • MegaPlus V.32bis Modem (CD950), 14.4 kbit/s
    • Mega Modem 1234
    • Mega Modem 336 CD1066
  • Banksia Technology
    • 25 Sirius Road, Lane Cove, NSW, 2006
    • Mymodem (14.4k, …, 56k)
    • PCM14.4F PCMCIA
    • Wave56-SP
  • Datacraft
    • Quadcrafts (2400 bps, MNP3/4/5)
  • Dataplex Pty Ltd
  • Dick Smith Electronics
    • Dataphone 300 baud duplex modem
  • ElectroMedical Engineering, Melbourne, Victoria
    • Microtex 666 (300,75/1200): [ebay listing expired]
    • Sendata 700 series acoustic coupler/modem
    • Sendata TELXON 1200 AA.
  • George Parry & Assoociates
    • 60A Parry St, Cooks Hill, 2300
    • GPA SuperModem: 1200/75 baud smart modem, external, 1986
    • see @ChickenMan’s posting below for ad with full details
  • Interlink Electronics
  • Maestro Distributors, Kalool Street, South Kincumber, NSW
    • As seen on ebay listing: Maestro Supermodem For Apple II Computers Model AEM 4610. Made in Australia in 1986. 1200 baud. [ebay listing expired]
    • Maestro 9600XR: Fax and data, 1989
    • The “Woomera” modem was designed by Maestro to work on the worst Telstra lines available in particular the outback of nowhere. https://whrl.pl/RbDZr7
  • Modem Research
    • Mitchell, ACT
    • Jetstream modems
  • Netcomm, Lane Cove, NSW
    • Modem 64/128 - early mid 80’s
    • AutoModem 2400 (AM1500), 2.4 kbit/s
    • Trailblazer
    • Smartmodem: 1234, 1234SA (2400) - later mid 80’s. M11F - early 90’s
    • AM5066 RAVE3 USB 56K V.92 - 2000’s
  • Rosser Communications
  • Saruman
    • Modular Modem. 28800
    • see postings from @EdS and @Cefiar below
  • SENDATA PTY. LTD.
    • 11 Stamford Road, Oakleigh, 3166, VIC
    • 700 B /700 Series Acoustic Couple/Modem
    • Model 1070 - acoustic modem
    • Sendata Commodore™ Compatible Modem
    • @DigitalRampage
  • Simplecomputing Australia Pty Ltd
    • Simplemodem 24, 96 144f models
  • Swann
    • SwannSmart II Pro (pci)
    • Speed Demon 56k external modem
  • Spirit Electronics, Artarmon, NSW
    • Mike Boorne Electronics
    • Viper (28.8k), Cobra (33.6k), 560SP (56k), Voyager (128k ISDN BRI)
  • Telecorp Pty Ltd
    • Terrey Hills, NSW
    • Tulpi Intelligent Modem
  • The Nice Computer Company of Australia
    • The First Nice Modem
    • Commodore 64 modem “Designed and Manufactured in Western Australia”
    • V21, V23 (300, 1200/75)
    • Telecom approval: C85/37/1322

Possible

Research references

  • Austel - every modem was registered with Austel
  • Australian Modem Manufacturers’ Association (AMMA)
  • Old Windows driver repositories
  • ISP, BBS support and forum archives

Australian Modem Social History

  • Modem resurrection, ARN, 26 May, 1999, link
4 Likes

Totally need SENDATA from Oakleigh in Melbourne on the list :slight_smile:

Thanks for participating

1 Like

You can add Applied Technology/Microbee Systems for their BeeModem. First model was 300 baud only followed by a 1200/75 & 300 baud model. This was further followed by the Automodem.
beemodem

2 Likes

Also need to include Avtek for their Multi Modem. See EA Jan 1984 for full review.

2 Likes

SENDATA Pty Ltd


2 Likes

Those 40+ modems you had @podmo are Spirit Viper 28.8’s right? I still have mine from 96!

2 Likes

ACMS member Alex Rosser ran Rosser Communications. He gave the ACMS a whole bunch of modems recently.

When I have time I’d like to have a chat with Alex about those early days of Rosser Communications and their early products.

1 Like

Thanks everyone, especially with photos. The beemodem case and logo is an easy win for attractive tech of the time.
I’ve edited the first post to include them all on the list.

Has anyone heard of “The Nice Modem Company”? There is a reference on Whirlpool to them being an “Aussie [modem] manufacturer.”

Thank you Adrian, it warms my heart to know that one still exists!

One of my favourite experiences of running the ISP was crossing the valley, Willoughby to Artarmon, to see Mike at Mike Boorne Electronics to buy Spirit modems in bulk or just for the odd support call. He was always very friendly and helpful. I also recognised how lucky I was to have the manufacturer of the tools used in my business located just up the road.

Perhaps next time you pass it by, you could snap a photo and post it here please?

1 Like

Let me know where- I live in Naremburn or do you mean of the Spirit modem? I’ll do that no problems.

Here is my C64 Netcomm modem which connects via the User Port


2 Likes

And here is my Netcomm SmartModem 1234A (2400baud) originally used by the Microbee User Group (MBUG) in Melbourne back in the mid 80’s attached to their PC running the MBUG BBS.


2 Likes

My first modem was a Tulpi Intelligent Modem that had top rate of 300 bps full duplex. I later upgraded it to 1200/75 with a Hayes command set. It got hit by lightening at one point and needed repair but continued to provide service until I couldn’t stand it being so slow and I jumped on an Avtek 9600 which had a secret 12000 mode which could be used with other Avtek owners.

I kept my Tulpi and offered it to powerhouse museum but they didn’t get back to me so I recycled it within the last 10 years. Pity. I had the original box and docs.

I still have my Avtek and several Netcomm smartmodems from the late 80s. Want them?

Other company:
Automatic Ice had a 1200/75 card based modem for Apple II with slots.

2 Likes

:grinning: a photo of the Spirit Viper modem would be great. Perhaps down the track we can add location photos to these corporate profiles. Netcomm and Banksia were neighbours in Lane Cove

1 Like

This advert in Aust Personal Computer Aug 1985 says the TULPI Modem is designed and made in Australia.

That photo has left out the handset that was permanently attached. The handset was similar to the one pictured with the beemodem above.

Ask and you shall receive


1 Like

Bonus sendata modem pic

1 Like

Wow, that’s the one I remember. Not the prettiest modem but rock solid. Thanks for the photos. Do you mind if I use the Spirit Viper photo for my profile picture?