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Anders Nielsen’s Simple Univeral Modem Saves Your Vintage Computer’s Data to Almost Any Audio Device


Vintage computing enthusiast Anders Nielsen has released design files for a “Simple Universal Modem,” designed to allow data to be saved from almost any computing device to almost any medium capable of record the audio – and then load it back to the computer again.

“This little board has everything you need to store data from a retrocomputer, a PC, a microcontroller, or anything else you can think of,” Nielsen explained of the project. “On the other side of things it can store data on any media that can record and play audio.”

If you need to save or load data in vintage computing, Anders Nielsen’s Simple Universal Modem can help. (📹: Anders Nielsen)

Measuring just 50 × 15mm (about 1.97 × 0.59″) and using a minimum of components, the Simple Universal Modem features a five-stage resistor-capacitor (RC) filter and emitter-follower buffer transistor, which captures square wave in a digital. binary logic computer and modulates it into a sine-like wave ready for recording. Once recorded, the data can be played back and loaded into original source device — or whatever.

“The caveats include that you still have to generate a square wave and not just a serial signal,” Nielsen admits, “but the positive side of that is that you’re not so locked into a specific baud rate (considering TX [Transmit] The RC filter can also be changed to new values), which increases the universality of the board.

As well as being able to store and load your own data, Nielsen suggests that the modem can be used for those who conduct a little digital archeology or data recovery. “If you have some old tapes laying around with valuable data from the 70s or 80s,” he explained, “the Simple Universal Modem, makes it easy to read the data with a modern MCU. [Microcontroller]Arduino, [or] Raspberry Pi, because it has an encoding agnostic demodulation interface.”

While the modem is designed to be universal with almost any device capable of loading software, Nielsen built it for use with its ABN6502 single-board computer (SBC) – the latest revision we looked at . two months ago.

Full details are available on the project’s Hackaday.io pagewith Gerbers, KiCad project files, and schematics available on GitHub under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.



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