TWO HOT NEW MODEMS
Tel-A-Modem and MultiModem
by Brad Kershaw, Antic Products Specialist
Antic recently checked out two new modems that offer impressive features at a wide range of prices. Here's what we found...
"Smart" modems have built-in microprocessor chips and can carry out a series of complex commands with a minimum of instructions from your computer. However, the Code-A-Phone Tel-A-Modem ($599) is not just a smart modem it's a smart telephone too.
If you have two phone lines, you can simultaneously use your computer for telecommunications while you're making voice calls on the Tel-A-Modem's built-in phone.
This phone has its own nine-number auto dial memory with battery backup. There's also a hold button, plus auto redial of the last number you called.
The 300/1200 baud modem itself has the most familiar features of the widely used Hayes SmartModem, right down to the dip switch settings. You get automatic or manual answering, auto send and auto receive all in either pulse dial or tone dial.
Code-A-Phone Corp. 16261 S.E. 130th Avenue Clackamas, OR 97015 (503) 655-8940
The MultiTech MultiModem ($499) also has all the key features of the Hayes SmartModem. The biggest difference seems to be that the Multi is in a white plastic case while the Hayes has a more compact brushed metal casing.
The front of the MultiModem has light emitting diodes (LEDs) indicating modem status such as sending or receiving data, carrier detect, 300 or 1200 baud, busy signal and transmission. Most operations can be automated.
The new MultiModem 224 model ($795) adds a lightning-fast 2400 baud to 300/1200 baud operations. Otherwise it's the same as the 300/1200 except for two additional switches on the front.
Both of the MultiModems have a built-in speaker for monitoring your call. The speaker automatically shuts off after connection is made.
MultiTech Systems 82 Second Avenue S.E. New Brighton, MN 55112 (612) 631-3550
If you are planning to buy a modem, one major consideration is that a smart 300/1200 baud modem will communicate with just about any computer. With only 300 baud you are limited to communicating with computers running at the slower speed.
Everybody may well be telecommunicating at the 2400 baud standard in a couple of years. But meanwhile that speed won't do you any good unless there's another 2400 baud system at the other end. Ma Bell also says you should have a dedicated line for 2400 baud operation because of the carrier noises generated at this high speed.