Blog Contents

Digifon Logo link to main page

20. The Motorola BitSurfr Pro: A Cheap & Useful ISDN Tool.   9/6/12 by Dave Immer

This little modem-like device has some very handy functions for the ISDN user:
1. If you only have a single ISDN codec it can serve as a 2nd ISDN device to confirm service on your circuit when you are troubleshooting.
2. It has 2 POTS jacks – one for each line - that will allow you to use regular phones with your ISDN (assuming your BRI is configured for alt. voice & data – which it probably is.)
3. With the POTS phone(s) you can confirm your long distance carrier in the US on both numbers by dialing 700-555-4141 (something not possible in the data mode or the G.711 setting.)

Motorola stopped making these in the late 90’s but you can find them used on eBay for about $25 – well worth it, in my opinion.  Caveat: Working with a serial connection and a terminal emulation program is a real throwback to the early days and can be tedious and non-intuitive. But once you have the modem configured for your ISDN you won’t have to deal with it again.

If you do acquire one of these, set it up and get it working immediately.  That way it will be ready to use should a troubleshooting need arise.  First get a Keyspan USB-to-Serial adapter and RS232 modem cable. Then, for Mac, download a free 30-day trial of ZOC. For Windows use Hyper Terminal.

The BitSurfr Pro won’t work for broadcast audio. But for troubleshooting or checking your long distance or just using your ISDN line with regular phones or a fax, it is a very useful gizmo.

Let me know if you have  questions or comments about this.  Thanks,

BitSurfr Pro Configuration Guide