The Contest Computer!! The X2 Upgrade

W3MM at W3MM at
Thu Nov 28 23:51:04 EST 1996

Well, I presume that you thought that I had gone to sleep for nearly a year.
I just had to operate some DX contests to clear my mind. This post concerns
modem and internet access. Does this address contests? You can bet your rear
does. As of now we can send in our contest scores to ARRL and CQWW via the
NET. What is "X2"?  Read on, it is new, hot, sexy, and looks like fun.

US Robotics has announced the X2 upgrade. What is it? Basically it works like
this. You have a 28K modem and upload to your internet provider at that
With X2 the internet provider downloads to you at 56K!!! Think about it. Most
the time you are sending mouse clicks to initiate downlods or view web pages
etc. So a 56K download speed makes things faster for you. Well US Robotics 
is the only modem manufacturer that is on this band wagon, however, USR has
already signed on 30 internet providers to support this new protocol for lack
a better word. Here is a free phone number to find out what companies have
up for the new protocol.  800-525-USR1. The major players are already there
I noticed that AT&T was not. The list is being updated as more companies sign
up to the new system.

What modems will support this X2 stuff? It appears that the USR Courier and 
Sportster modems will be the key players. So what follows is first the skinny
on the Courier which will be followed by the Sportster.

If you are using a USR Courier you can sign on for a free flash eprom
but you must do so by 31 Dec. To sign up go to
You will fill out an online registration form and that is it! Please be aware
you MUST provide the modem serial number and purchase date.

Please remember that this an upgrade. Most companies would charge you
for it at the get go. It is not a bug FIX.

The Sportster is a different story. I upgraded a couple 28.8 Sportster modems
to 33.6. USR charged $29.95 per eprom chip and as I recall it included
and a tool to remove the old chip. I presume that if you have a Sportster
that you will have to pay for a new eprom. I received a catalog this week
was advertising the Sportster for $149 with an available $20 rebate and it
that you would be entitled to the upgrade to X2 for free as it will not be
untill JAN, 97. I will leave this to you to pursue. The above 800 phone
has info on the Sportster X2 upgrade.

OK!  That is enuff on the modem. As you can see I use AOL as my provider.
AOL has signed up for the X2 program. The really good news is that AOL has 
decided to provide unlimited access to AOL and the NET for $19.95/month
starting 1 DEC. If you want to pay upfront for a year of usuage it is
Pay upfront for 2 years of usuage it is $14.95/month. 

That is it!!!

Now it is time to prepare for the ARRL 160 Contest. I will miss the ARRL 10
meter contest as I will be in Tampa, FL on business. K4OJ U derr?

  VY 73 de Dave W3MM   w3mm at

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