Strikelink Ultra + Raspberry PI = Complete Modem Solution

Another useful hack. We have macs at my house. All my roommates have macs. Not one pc in the bunch. The only way I’ve been able to BBS at home is using the Comet, hooked to the mac, using the mac’s wifi, and using the Ethernet cable to chain to the Comet. But I’m stuck at 2400 baud with that solution.

Getting TCPSer4j working on the mac was a 12 hour exercise in futility. If anyone can figure that out, be my guest. No luck there. (Using 10.5 Leopard btw)

So, I figured, instead of the comet, let’s get a simple Raspberry PI Solution going. TCPSER can do ANY Baud Rate I want, and pl2303 devices (such as the Strikelink or any other Serial<>USB Device) do not need additional drivers for the PI – they’re already included in the raspbian distro. It’s Built into the system. so let’s give it a shot.

Installing TCPSER is easy on the PI. If you haven’t done it yet.

sudo apt-get install tcpser

That should be it, then from commad line, just run:

tcpser -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -p 6400 -s 9600 -l 4

-d is the device. Yours should be at ttyUSB0, but in case it doesnt work, try USB1, 2, etc. -p is the port. -s is the speed. Strikelink Ultra does 9600 so use that option. -s 38400 for swiftlink/turbo232 etc. -l 4 is the logging level, i always use this.

Plug her in and you’ve got a cheap solution based out of a pi. That took 15 minutes to get running, way better than trying to get the mac rolling. Enjoy!

Hybrid 2400 Emulation . Using Mac Vice with a Pi Modem Emulator

A reader named Mike sent this in. He wanted to use his Raspberry Pi as the modem emulator, and his Mac with Vice to call BBSes. Here’s the working combo he came up with:

1. Install tcpser on my Raspberry Pi.
2. Run tcpser with this command line:
tcpser -v 25232 -p 6400 -tSs -l 7 -i “k0″ -s 2400 -N “/tmp/noanswer.txt” -B “/tmp/busy.txt”
3. In Mac VICE, alter these:
:: Peripherals: Cartridges: ACIA disabled (uncertain if needed)
:: Peripherals: Cartridges: Userport RS232: Baud Rate 2400 / Enabled/ Device 4
:: Peripherals: RS232: Device 4: |nc 25232

4 Strikelinks Available, and new NTSC Diskmag / UDI Spreaddisk

Hey everyone, I have 4 strikelinks available for $20 (plus $5 shipping outside of the usa). Send me a msg.

Also starting a new diskmag / weekly spreaddisk called “Afterlife”. Afterlife is a 1 file weekly news note that has stuff of interest to American / Canadian sceners and some cool old school hacking / phreaking stuff as well. Basically, anything i want to put in there I do, so you can catch up and play the latest games, and generally have a new diskside or two every week to enjoy.

Here’s issue 1


BBSing with Vice on Linux

Calling BBSes at 2400 baud with Vice on Linux / Rasp Pi is possible, though no good instructions around on how to do it with ease. I spent a good chunk of my day figuring out how to install it on my Raspberry Pi. Thanks to Jasmaz and ShadowM for putting in the time to help me out with this. And VidKid who has hacked the ACIA routines from 1.19 (read his blog here for his method!)

This method is good for calling bbs systems, but not hosting a bbs. Vidkid’s hack has this figured out. The max baud rate for now is 2400.

This pertains to installations of Vice 2.4 with the SDL Library.

sudo apt-get install tcpser
sudo apt-get install netcat

Make sure netcat and tcpser are both on your linux/pi.

from the command line via ssh or standalone run netcat and tcpser

(I’m not sure if this init of netcat is needed but i do it anyway)

netcat 25232
(some systems need nc 25232 instead)

tcpser -v 25232 -p 6400 -s 2400

Add the &x64 if you aren’t running tcpser via ssh

In Vice, go to F12 -> Machine Settings -> RS232 Settings
Disable Acia interface emulation

Enable Userport RS232 Emulation
Host Device 4
Baud Rate 2400

Device 4 will have the pound symbol followed by a few characters. KEEP the pound symbol but erase everything else!!! After the pound symbol add the following
nc 25232

No spaces between the pound symbol and ‘nc’

All 4 device baud rates below to 2400

That’s it, go back to terminal, makesure your term program is using a standard hayes/user port setup (In Striketerm it’s the User Port modem), 2400 baud, type AT in terminal and you should get an ok!


C=64 at Hope X! NYC July 18-20 2014

HOPE X will take place on July 18, 19, and 20, 2014 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. H.O.P.E. stands for Hackers On Planet Earth, one of the most creative and diverse hacker events in the world. It’s been happening since 1994.

The event features Hackerspace villages, film festivals, Segway rides, lock picking villages, a wide variety of vendors, art installations, live video, vintage computers, robots, an amateur/ham radio station, electronics workshops, book signings, and the country’s biggest supply of Club-Mate.

I will be repping the C64 for the weekend, showcasing Commodore Hacks and Demos throughout the entire 3 days, building hardware, arduino devices, BBSing, Telnetting, Q-Link, and using the sid chip to play those badass bluebox tones. This is a tremendous opportunity to present the modern day C64 to thousands of enthusiasts who are not your usual suspects.

I’m calling all demomakers to for help with submitting Hope X related demos, and project builders to get in touch about displaying their work at this year’s Hope X. All demos must be NTSC friendly.

Deadline for submissions is July 16th.

Learn more at

Email me at

Strikelink Ultra is HERE!

Currently there are 4 available!

Strikelink is NOW 9600 baud compatible (using the UP9600 driver). And as before, it’s still fully user port compatible for running standard 2400 bbs systems. For dialing out on Striketerm, you can use the User Port OR UP9600 modem drivers without the need for additional hardware.

To be honest, I wish I knew or someone had told me about the 9600 baud mod, as Jim Brain made this discovery 10 years ago to mod a 2400 baud user port modem to full 9600 baud compatibility, so I wholeheartedly apologize to anyone who got the first batch of Strikelinks from me, I didnt know this was possible until today. If you wish to mod your original strikelink and have a soldering iron, please email me and I’ll walk you through the mod.

What is Strikelink? This is a user port 300/1200/2400/4800/9600 baud -> usb com port driver for windows xp (for use with BBS Server software). In short, a null modem that utilizes the usb port as a serial port. This will let you run your c64 up to 9600 baud as a hayes modem for running a bbs or calling bbses. Fully compatible with most bbs programs, and of course, 100% compatible with Striketerm (using the user port modem at 2400 baud setting or UP9600 modem driver at 9600 baud).

The best part of all, only $20 USD with shipping in the USA. $25 USD with shipping outside the USA.

I am doing another run of 10, so place your order now

Send paypal to

then email me at with your shipping info.