PLA Issue #12: Converting Your 2400 Baud Into A 28.8

Written by RedBoxChiliPepper on November 28, 1992. Last Revision on January 8, 1995

This file was originally titled, “Upgrading Your 1200 Baud To 2400 Baud” but
times have advanced just a little bit so I decided to rewrite the file. Doing
this the dishonest way is very simple but requires a deposit of around $200,
give or take a hundred and you get every penny of this money back.

This works best with externals so I’ll assume that’s what you’re using. First,
find the store that you want to use. An actual computer store is not
recommended because they’re not too stupid and sometimes they even know what
they’re doing. I suggest a place like K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, Venture,
Circuit City or Service Merchandise.

Buy the modem that you want from the store. Take your modem home (or better
yet, just do this in the car), open up the casing on both your old 2400 and
the new 14.4 you just bought. Switch the insides on the two modems, put them
back together and take the 14.4 back for a full refund. (The 2400 baud modem
in a 14.4 casing.)

Just tell the clerk that it didn’t seem compatible with your computer or
something. If he wants to start asking a bunch of stupid questions, pretend
you’re computer illiterate and act like you’re in a hurry. Most places will
ask you to take the modem to the electronics section of the store so they can
open up the box and make sure that everything is there. So make sure you
didn’t “forget” to include the phone wire, AC adapter and manuals or you
probably won’t get your money back.

You shouldn’t have to worry about the clerk pulling the modem out of a box
and examining it all over, usually they just want to make sure it’s all there.
If you have any troubles, see the section below.

Oh, and if you’re the type that has some kind of conscience and are thinking
about the poor guy that’s gonna come in and actually purchase this expensive
14.4 modem and find out when he gets home that it only works at 2400, you can
probably prevent this by calling up the store and telling them what you’ve
done. I usually call up a store and confess to the electronics guy only if he
was a jerk to me. Then, I’ll call him up and insult him and tell him how
stupid he was.

A Few Notes

If the new 14.4 won’t fit into your old 1200 or 2400 casing, don’t worry about
it. It doesn’t matter how ugly your modem is, just how fast it performs, right?
If you’re paranoid about the circuit board just laying out like that, you can
easily make your own casing out of a few parts from Radio Shack. If you’re
really poor, make a case out of a few sheets of plastic and melt them together
with your lighter or soldering iron. And if you’re really pathetic and don’t
even have plastic to spare, cut some pieces of cardboard and scotch tape.

If your old 2400 won’t fit into the stores 14.4 case, then you have a few

1. Use a hack saw to cut the 2400 circuit board down to where it’ll fit
comfortably into the 14.4 casing. Be sure that once it’s put back
together so that nothing looks out of place.

2. If there’s no way that your old circuit board is gonna fit in there, get
some switches, plug ins, etc from Radio Shack and glue them wherever
they’re supposed to go on the 14.4 modem casing. If the circuit board has
any weight to it, glue something inside so the store clerk won’t notice
anything funny. Believe me, a store clerk doesn’t usually pull apart the
whole modem just because you want a refund.

3. Put the 14.4 case back together totally empty. Wrap the styrofoam or
plastic or whatever around it and scotch tape it so the clerk hopefully
won’t bother to pick it up and look at it.

Emergency Situations

Let’s say that for some reason the store clerk decides to whip out his pocket
screwdriver and begins to take the modem apart so he can see what the problem
is. This has never happened to me, but I would probably say something like,
“Listen, I’m late for work and I don’t have time for this. Just give me my
refund so I can get out of here.”

What if he did open it and sees a cut up circuit board in there? Well, your
best bet is to pretend to be as surprised as he is. Say that you had nothing
to do with it and someone must have bought the modem before you and done this.
If he gives you any shit, ask to speak with the manager and if it comes down
to it, threaten to sue them if they don’t refund your money or at least
replace the modem with a new one.

If none of this works, pull out your AK-47 sub machine gun and demand all the
money in the drawer. After you get the money, gun down all the customers and
employees and go to a real computer store and buy yourself a 14.4 modem.

Internal Modems

There’s a bit more risk involved here but I’ve pulled it off twice out of the
two times I’ve tried it and had no problems. When you buy an internal, you get
a the modem, wrapped in plastic lying in a foam thingy. So take out the 14.4
and put the wrapping around your old 2400, put it all back in the box, phone
cords, manuals and all and take that back for a refund.

I first tried that at Wal-Mart and after it went over so well the first time,
I decided to try it again. Only this time I replaced the modem with an old
circuit board out of an AM/FM radio. The old bag working electronics that day
just glanced in there to make sure it was there and gave me my money back. It
just so happened that she didn’t know how to work the store’s cash register
either. Go figure.

One More Thing

You shouldn’t limit yourself to just a new 14.4 baud modem. You can use this
method on virtually anything electronic. Radios, stereos, electronic spare
parts, telephones, anything.


08/13/05 – neofox87 from undislclosed: I took your mom, cut her open, and put parts from your dog inside, and got a full refund! Thanks PLA!

05/20/04 – Electronic Moose from Cardboard Box: Hehehe! I’ve been doing this for years with all sorts of shit (Namely external harddrives :-P ) Hehe!

04/25/04 – Brian from Minnesota: Pla lifetime warenty plan! Repaired a monitor, S video cable, and more!

02/15/04 – Matt from Palatine illinois: dude, i did that with an internal modem and replaced it with a curcuitboard i pryed out of this altair my science teach has. i got detention, but hey, free modem!

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