List of Australian Modem Manufacturers

Saruman Modular Modem (V34 Desktop), late 1994 release. Unit was one of the first run made, but upgraded firmware over time. Suspect based on the heat issues I had, they may have changed the case, or at least used a better regulator that didn’t produce as much heat (good ol’ 7805 series).

Pic of the bottom which gives the model/serial details (sorry about the weird angle):

Inside the case. Really isn’t a lot to this modem.

As with a lot of late-model V34 capable modems, they use a Rockwell Chipset pair, in this case on a daughter-board that sits on the main PCB - RC288DPi on the top (visible above photo) & L39/U on the back (below pic) of the daughter board.

Nothing on the back of the PCB except traces.

Netcomm Trailblazer (rebadge of Telebit Trailblazer). These used the PEP protocol when doing faster than 2400bps. They used OFDM with 512 channels to get close to 18kbps in one direction. Each of the 512 channels could be assigned a direction, so the 18kbps of total bandwidth could be split dynamically or in a fixed arrangement. Under high noise, each channel could be ignored, allowing graceful degradation in increments of about 10bps. More detail about the Telebit can be found at the Telebit page at Wikiwand

These things were HUGE! 22cm wide, 33 cm deep, and 5cm high.

Only 8 LEDs and 2 buttons on the front. you could have 2 configs saved and switch between then (A/B) , while the T/D was a push-button to manually switch between telephone and data.

Manufactured by Telebit, Redistributed by Netcomm. States the supply was 18VAC.

3 pin power connector on the back. Probably means it was a centre tapped PSU like the Datacraft one. Rear panel is metal, while the rest of the case is plastic. Same type of plastic case and rear panel as the US Telebit Trailblazer, so it’s likely they had a set form-factor for placement that was dictated to local distributors.

There’s 2 separate boards in here. The front board is the Telebit modem (used a 68000 for processing data, which was just part of why it was not cheap), while the rear part is the line interface, power and serial board, which was manufactured by Netcomm, but obviously based on a Telebit layout and underlying design. Telebit was obviously thinking about sales outside Australia when they came up with this setup, which was common given how well these performed with noisy lines (eg: on international calls).


Here is a Netcomm advert in PC Australia magazine July 1986 listing all their modems at the time and a small pic of each.


So I was digging around the web for other stuff and stumbled across this:


Maestro Pty Ltd

Yes, it seems Maestro’s website is still online. Not great on the eyes, and really made for smaller screens, but pics of some of their products and so on.

Tempted to send them an email and see if I get a response…


Found this advert in APC 1986 May magazine for an Australian made GPA 1200/75 Smart Modem suitable for IBM, Apple 2c, Macintosh, Microbee, etc.


I think it’s a great idea to reach out to anyone involved in the Australian computer industry, past, present and future, and let them know that the ACMS exists and welcome them to share their stories. Go for it…

That active discovery archaeology aspect of the ACMS has yet to be fully unleashed: Dig It Al(L) !

Thanks Alan, I feel like I just unwrapped my best present two days early :slight_smile:

George Parry certainly sounds like a man with plenty of initiative. I plan to be in Newcastle on the weekend and the address listed on the ad still exists… so I’ll go door-knocking. I wonder if George’s surname and the street name (Parry) is more than coincidence.

So in the process of digging around, I’ve found out that Datacraft Quadcraft’s above are basically the Concord Data Systems 224 modems (US brand), rebadged/adjusted for the Australian market. The Quincrafts were the Concord Data Systems 296’s.

Bit of a letdown, but while it seems Datacraft did all the Telecom/Austel work, they didn’t design these specific modems.

I struggled over the issue of what it means to be an Australian modem when I first started the list and had a bit of a stab at qualifying it in my original post. I would consider the Datacraft Quadcrafts to qualify on two fronts:

  1. rebadging for the Australian market, especially if that badge is exclusive to Australia
  2. you nominated it. A modem that is significant to an Australian is good enough for me

More generally, the quality of “Australianess” is something that the ACMS has had to consider. Have a look at Collection Guidelines on page 3 of the ACMS newsletter from December 2020: ACMS Newsletter, December 2020 edition.

I recently found a boxed modem amongst a nature strip household contents dump. Besides the modem were a bunch of the same textbooks I used in high school - the dumper and I were contemporaries. The prominent “Australia” on the box got my attention but I would describe it as a modem with an Australian story.
It’s a 56k, external and full modem from very early 2000’s and it’s tiny (11x7x2.5cm). I won’t add it to the list but here’s a couple of photos:

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A new listing on eBay has unearthed a new early Australian made modem:
The First Nice Modem, made by the “The Nice Computer Company of Australia”. It’s a 300,1200/75 for Commodore 64, designed and manufactured in Western Australia.
I’ve added it to the list, check out the listing on ebay:
BOXED Commodore 64 C64 The First Nice Modem Set - Australian Made



That is an amazing specimen. Thanks kindly to the Retro Fuzion team for contributing such a comprehensive set of photos to the list.

Great photos! If you can get one of the circuit board inside at some stage, that would be amazing.

Given the way the First Nice Modem looks, I suspect that it’s related to the Avtek Multi Modem (exceedingly similar front):

Avtek Multi Modem Front

And here’s the insides of the Avtek Multi Modem:

(Pics from Jan 1984 review of the Multi Modem in Electronics Australia, starting on page 90).


This just popped up on eBay, one of the NetComm branded marketing ventures (from memory there was a few of these).

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Just saw this go by on Gumtree.

Specifically, in there is a Sendata Commodore™ Compatible Modem. Another model to add to the list.

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G’day mate, well spotted. That’s a cracker of a load of old kit.
I didn’t realise at the time how popular C64 modems were. It’s great to see more of these come to light. I’ve added this one to the list.

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Might be worth digging around this blog for more:



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That’s an interesting modem. It looks like a first generation to add fax capability. I like how the manual is so specific about the need for a 16C450 serial chip. Thanks for posting!