I was at a friends place unpacking an old USR HST 14.4 modem he picked up at a flea market.

We proceed to hook it up to an old 286, asked a friend to put up an old instance of a WWIV BBS he had from "back in the day", fire up telix and issued an ATDT command.

We get a dialtone and it proceeds to dial. However.. wait for it.. it never connects and we get a "NO CARRIER" error from Telix. Yeah i know, how ironic given my handle and all.

In fact, i don't remember if the old USR modems turned off the speaker when it began detecting a carrier, so i don't know if the modem itself is busted.

My friend is running DSL in his house, could it be that modems don't work anymore over modern phone lines? (this could be way out there, but i haven't touched a modem in over ten years)..

  • 1
    Shouldn't your name be NoCarri&~ – gbarry Aug 1 '09 at 6:29

By default, the speaker gets turned off, but you will hear the answer tone first. There is a command (in most modems) that lets you choose to have the speaker always on (or always off).

As to your problem, the other end has to answer. Just call from the phone and see if it does. (You probably did this, but didn't mention it.)

Following ernie's link... ATM2 will leave the speaker on. ATM1 is the default I described above.


I haven't had your scenario, but one thing comes to mind:

  • have you put the microfilter to the line going to the modem? For standard telephones you have to, so I'd presume that for modems you should too.

(I'm not certain that the name of the device I'm talking about is microfilter in english, it's the little dongle they give you with your ADSL to put on the standard phone lines)


Oh my god, I can't believe I remember this, but...

The way you tell that your modem is working is by typing AT into the terminal and if you get an "OK" back, then it is. ATH will also ensure that the modem is hung up before attempting to dial (which was one of the things that needed to be done back in the day). There are also some diagnostic AT codes that will be helpful, like ATI0.

There's a more complete list here.

Also, I sincerely hope that your friend doesn't have a "dry" ADSL loop with VOIP, because modems work irregularly at best on VOIP. :)

  • +1 for the VOIP comment, both for informational and for humour value :-). – sleske Mar 8 '10 at 15:18

Disconnect all phones and other equipment using the phone line. If you still can't connect, contact your ISP because your line isn't provisioned for the number you're trying to connect to.

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