Acoustic Coupler

Acoustic_coupler_20041015_175456_1.jpg (292 KB)

Seen these in school before and just found out the name of these yesterday. Anyone use these before?

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    I’m making a guess that it uses audio signals to transfer data?


    wellyes of course you do that. its some kind of very old school modem.



    I never really thought about the age of the people that come to this site until now.
    hoi1ma – Modems used to use acoustic couplers to connect to your phone system.
    Exclesior – Yes, modems modulate an analog carrier signal in order to transfer digital information. Modem is short for MOdulator-DEModulator.
    Am I the only one who reads this blog who has actually used one of these before? Does anyone else remember when we thought a 300 baud modem was really fast?


    I am 17 and i refuse to acknowledge the word “blog” in any popular culture sense. This is a website of image awesomeness, not a fagblog, however, thanks for the information. I wasn’t aware of what kind of switching device was used in modems, i figured it was along the lines of a mux/demux circuit.


    I have seen these before, I found one while cleaning out my fathers stuff after he died. I have kept it cause it reminds me of him.


    Didn’t Matthew Broderick use one of these to hack the Pentagon in WarGames?

    Alec Dalek

    I’ve used one, back when they were NEW technology. I’m getting too damn old.

    Alec Dalek

    I’m guessing this one would have run at 150 Baud. That’s roughly 14 characters of text per second. This is from when ASCII art was just called graphics.


    Yes, gpat, come of us used them. The 10 character-per-second acoustic coupler I had on a teletype was a joy because I could store data in a remote computer system rather than on rolls of 7-bit punch tape. (Early 1970’s – long rolls of yellow, one-inch wide paper with ASCII coded 7-bit characters, one per line.)

    On a side note, if you had a fairly good sense of pitch, you could whistle into an acoustic coupler and make characters type on the teletype. It was a delightfully geeky party trick… 8)


    AlecDalek – remember the ASCII graphics Playboy centerfolds? Now that was art… 8)


    Yeah, I’ve used them in the past. And confused many a fax machine by whistling the right pitch at it.


    I still have my auto-answer acoustic coupler stashed in the closet. I’ll take a picture and submit it this weekend.

    Howie Feltersnatch

    Long ago, Ma Bell owned everything that you plugged into a phone jack. Basically, it wasn’t legal to build a device that had a phone jack on it, unless you were authorized by the phone company. The acoustic coupler was a way around this.

    I never used one. But my first modem (on my Mac Plus) was 1200 baud. So there.


    Just as a point of interest, at one time it was illegal to use an acoustic coupler that you didn’t rent from the phone company. The phone company would diconnect your phone if they caught you using one. They even put ads in the paper claiming it would endanger live by interfering with airport radar. Look up the Carterfone Decision for more information.


    i had one for a commodore 128. that machine was hot shit – we had an external disc drive and not the cassette drive that most people had.


    ohh, never saw one of those before. I came along when 28.8 was the hottest shit, and before modems were built into computers, I had an external modem, and a windows 3.1 computer with 16 colors, but lacked the parallel port to connect them together.


    How do you think I am browsing the site? It takes me 30 minutes just to load a picture!!


    I used to have portable one of those that folded up.