Village:CuTEL HQ

From Electromagnetic Field 2022
Revision as of 17:24, 19 January 2022 by Marrold (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CuTEL are hoping to provide traditional copper telephone services ("POTS") to most of the site, as well as Dial Up internet, BBS access, Faxing and some limited ISDN and ADSL services.

If you're into retro telecoms or just want to hang out you're welcome to join us.

You will need

In order to connect to the network you'll need a couple of items. We've engineered things to make it as cheap and easy as possible.

  • ~50m Ethernet Cable, CCA is fine and can be purchased for as low as £11.99 Amazon Link - If you're desperate to get a connection it might be sensible to bring 2x 50m and return 1 if you don't use it.
  • An RJ45 Coupler - ideally not the really cheap beige coloured ones that fall apart. We'll have these available to buy.
  • An RJ45 to BT master adapter. We'll have these available to buy.
  • A phone, modem, fax machine, or some other retro device that interfaces with a phone line.

If you plan to bring your own BT master socket or other cabling you're welcome to but it must be terminated with RJ45 on the far end.


Analog Telephony / POTS

A traditional telephone network - in a field.


  • The gateways support pulse dialing used on older rotary style phones but don't support converting pulses to DTMF mid-call which will make navigating IVRs difficult. It might be worth converting an old pulse dial phone to use DTMF, or bringing a spare one with DTMF support.
  • We're aiming to integrate with other telephone networks on-site.
  • If you wish you can use a splitter to plug in a phone and a modem or some other combination. Lines are limited to 2 REN.

Dial Up Internet

We'll be providing good old fashioned dial-up internet. In theory the platform supports full v.92 56kb/s - In practise you're more likely to see 30-45k because the core network is VoIP based. Some Cisco proprietary magic makes it work fairly reliably despite running over VoIP.

If you need closer to 56k or a more reliable connection (like if you're demonstrating several retro computers or hosting a LAN party) please get in touch and we'll see what we can do.

You will need

  • A modem and a computer / OS that supports it. In theory the network supports 300b/s up to 56kb/s


We've tried desperately to support IPv6 over Dial Up but ran out of time. We were using a Mikrotik router to do prefix delegation with DHCPv6 and dhcpcd on the client side, however:

  • Router Solicitation messages over a PPP tunnel seemed unreliable. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn't. Restarting dhcpd after the ppp0 interface was up fixed the issue, but was a bit of a hack
  • I tried dibbler-client with inactive-mode but it was failing to start if ppp0 is missing
  • wide-dhcpv6 doesnt seem to start if ppp0 is missing either

If you're an IPv6 genius that's desperate to see IPv6 over Dial Up please get in touch.

Wholesale Services

We're running a full LAC / LNS setup with a FreeRADIUS backend so in theory other ISPs can offer their own Wholesale Dial Up services - please get in touch if this is of interest.


Faxing should just work

Bulletin Board Systems

We're hoping to run at least one Bulletin Board System (BBS) - See the "How to help" section

Videotex / Prestel / ViewData

We'd love to provide a Prestel / ViewData / Videotex service to connect to TELSTAR - This is somewhat dependent on creating a Telnet Proxy (See the "How to help" section).

How to help

If you can help with one of the following please get in touch with Marrold


We're still after 3-4 Cisco VG224 Analog Telephone gateways for reasonable money.


  • We're looking for someone to make a simple "Telnet proxy" - The modem hardware isn't capable of distinguishing between different telephone numbers so everything is bridged to the same Telnet server I.E a single BBS. To host multiple services like BBSs and Videotex we need something that will listen on multiple ports (One per "modem") accept the incoming TCP connection, query an API to find out the dialled number, and then proxy it through to the desired service. If it comes to it we'll try and do this ourselves but its fairly low on the priorites list.
  • As it stands the modern internet is incredibly bloated and almost unusable over a dial up connection. If someone could create a couple of slimmed down web pages this would be helpful. Just some basics like news and weather.


  • If you're familiar with BBSs we'd love for someone to take the lead and create one for EMF - we're aiming for something simple that someone can use without prior BBS experience ( Just messaging, chat and some games? )

How do I sign up to get services?

In theory the majority of services should be self-service and as simple as plugging an Ethernet cable in, however it would be helpful if we can gauge demand and have an idea of what cool stuff people are bringing. If you're bringing something, please fill in the form below (coming soon)