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Intelligentleman

Mattel Aquarius Modem | Getting "online" in 2021

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Hello friends. I've recently acquired the Mattel Aquarius modem, complete with the cassette tape holding the program data and all of the instructions/documentation. Assuming I have all of the necessary hardware components, can someone point me in the right direction for a how-two or a tutorial? If such a thing exists, of course. Thanks!

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I may have chatted with you on Facebook about this already, but if not (or if that was a different user), here is some guidance.

 

You need a traditional phone line, Voice over IP may work in some instances but historically has been less reliable than an original dial-up landline.

 

Then you have to find a dial-up ASCII-based BBS that still has traditional phone/modem nodes. Level 29 BBS is a good one that has a few text games, message board and even an external utility to tweet right from the BBS including on the Aquarius. A larger directory of dial-up BBSes is here.

 

Once all of that is done, you plug the modem cartridge into the Aquarius and the modem cassette tape into the player. Do a CLOAD and play the tape once to initialize the loader until it says OK. Stop the tape and then do a RUN, then press ENTER when it says to play the cassette again and play it until the actual modem software loads.

 

Then you can set some options but the defaults should be fine. You can change the border/text/background color as well. Then 'Run/Start' the actual BBS connection and you will see a blank screen with constant beeping. Now dial the BBS, preferably on an old corded phone with easily removable phone line. After dialing the number, you can listen to see if it rings so you know the line isn't busy. As soon as you hear the first ring, quickly disconnect the line from the phone's headset and plug it into the modem. Eventually the data should read and you should see the BBS on screen and can then connect as usual.

 

Have fun!

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On 9/23/2021 at 6:08 AM, Intymike said:

The modem comes with a CompuServe membership. Maybe it's still valid? :)

 

IMG_5442.thumb.jpeg.e64a76e4c31019c57f37449fc3185594.jpeg

That thought crossed my mind… like what IF, after all these years, it somehow still worked?

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On 9/22/2021 at 12:54 PM, MattPilz said:

I may have chatted with you on Facebook about this already, but if not (or if that was a different user), here is some guidance.

 

You need a traditional phone line, Voice over IP may work in some instances but historically has been less reliable than an original dial-up landline.

 

Then you have to find a dial-up ASCII-based BBS that still has traditional phone/modem nodes. Level 29 BBS is a good one that has a few text games, message board and even an external utility to tweet right from the BBS including on the Aquarius. A larger directory of dial-up BBSes is here.

 

Once all of that is done, you plug the modem cartridge into the Aquarius and the modem cassette tape into the player. Do a CLOAD and play the tape once to initialize the loader until it says OK. Stop the tape and then do a RUN, then press ENTER when it says to play the cassette again and play it until the actual modem software loads.

 

Then you can set some options but the defaults should be fine. You can change the border/text/background color as well. Then 'Run/Start' the actual BBS connection and you will see a blank screen with constant beeping. Now dial the BBS, preferably on an old corded phone with easily removable phone line. After dialing the number, you can listen to see if it rings so you know the line isn't busy. As soon as you hear the first ring, quickly disconnect the line from the phone's headset and plug it into the modem. Eventually the data should read and you should see the BBS on screen and can then connect as usual.

 

Have fun!

Yep that was me. I’m not convinced that I’m loading the program on the cassette correctly. So I’m going to try again following your directions. The literature these things come with isn’t the easiest to understand for me.

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