The ‘Simple’ Wifi Modem it’s a device to connect a computer with an RS232 serial port to a BBS. It does not use an analog phone line but the internet through a wifi connection. Behaves like a Hayes dial-up modem, and it is designed and built for vintage computers of all kinds, as long as it has an RS-232 interface (Atari 850 for the Atri).
- Emulation of a Hayes modem
- DB25 serial connector
- Uses a 5v micro USB cable port for power
- LEDs for status, as in old modems
- Hardware flow control (partial implementation)
The software installed is a fork of Zimodem written by Bo Zimmerman https://github.com/bozimmerman/Zimodem. It has just been modified to support this device.
Using the Simple Wifi Modem
Plug it into an RS232 DB25 port (or, through an adapter, into a 9-pin serial) and power it by connecting a standard micro USB cable to a USB port capable of providing at least 100mA at 5v DC. The device will turn on the Power LED (and CTS led if the jumper for flow control hardware is inserted). Power on your computer and launch an ASCII terminal program and set the baud rate to 1200. If you now type ATI you must see the welcome message. To configure it use the command AT+CONFIG, follow the instructions and connect to a wireless router.
When connected you can dial into a bbs using ATDT [HOSTNAME]:[PORT]
Hardware flow control
Due to the limitations of the ESP-01 (there is only one GPIO available) having full hardware flow control support is impossible. I decided to test a partial implementation: the CTS pin will always remain high, while the RTS is connected to the GPIO2. To use it put the jumpers on “hardware flow control” (the two-pin jumper) and on the RTS side of the jumper “flow control”. The CTS led will remain always on, and the CTS led will respect the status of the RS232 pin. In the terminal use the ATF0 command to enable the flow control (the default state is off).
If needed you can upgrade the modem firmware or install whatever software you want. You can do it in multiple ways. In every case remove all the flow control jumpers: it’s better to leave GPIO2 low during these types of operations.