Dialectic Icon

Modem Dial Method

If your computer has a traditional analog data/fax modem (internal or external) connected to your phone landline, Dialectic can dial the phone by generating touchtone signals through the modem. You dial through the modem, but you talk through your phone. Once you dial, you will be instructed to pick up your receiver to conduct your call. If you do not pick up the receiver then when the modem hang up time has expired, the call will be disconnected.

Note: See below if you need to dial a very long number (such as a calling card, PIN, number, & credit card) when using the Modem Dial Method.

Note: If you are using an OS X 64-bit kernel (10.6+), the Apple external USB modem may appear to be incompatible. However, this modem does, in fact, work on these systems. The key, however, is that you must use the 32-bit kernel of the OS, not the 64-bit kernel which is the default for recent Macs running OS X 10.6+. For more information on how to choose the kernel to use, please see the following link from Apple’s site:


Note: If you are using OS X 10.7 or newer and want to use an analog modem to dial or for monitoring incoming calls, please see the OS X Compatibility note for important information.

To help configure Dialectic for dialing with the Modem Dial Method, we offer free scripts on the Resources page (see the “General Dialing Configuration” section):


You can also access this script from within Dialectic itself by selecting the “Configuration Utilities…” menu item from the Main Menu.

modem Dial Method annotated

1 Modem Dial Method Category. The group of all Modem Dial Method configurations.

2 Modem Dial Method Configurations. Configurations allow you to customize the Modem Dial Method using different modems or settings for different types of calls or locales.

3 Modem. The modem to use for dialing.

4 Init String. The initialization string for the chosen modem (you can use one of the supplied init strings, use your own, or even try using Dialectic with no init string at all — leave this field blank).

5 Monitor Sound Through Speakers. If enabled, the modem’s tones will be played through the speakers when dialing. Note: Some third-party external USB modems may not respond to this setting and will not route the modem audio to the Mac regardless of this setting or a custom init string.

6 Wait for Dial Tone. If enabled, Dialectic will wait until there is a dial tone detected on the line connected to the modem. If you are using your modem with a VoIP service that provides an analog telephone adapter (ATA) that does not supply a standard dial tone, you should disable this option. Also, to make dialing with the modem quicker, disable this option.

7 Tone or Pulse. For nearly all setups, tone is the option to use.

8 Disable Calling Tones. The Disable Calling Tones checkbox is useful only under non-US phone systems, to prevent the modem from emitting the extra beeps that tell the phone system that the call is data. The call is not data: you’re dialing with the modem, but the call will be a voice call (not, say, a fax). Thus you may need to check this checkbox for certain non-US phone systems. Do not check this checkbox in the US, because on the US phone system the checkbox works backwards: checking it will turn the extra beeps on!

9 Wait for a Response. Enable this if you want Dialectic to wait for a response (e.g., a busy signal) before continuing. Dialing with this option enabled can add a few seconds to the dialing and make the application unresponsive when dialing. For this reason, some users prefer to disable this option. However, disabling this will also disable the automatic redial on busy feature.

10 Redial on Busy. When “Wait for a Response” is enabled, you can use this feature to automatically redial the last number when a busy signal is detected. Set the delay between attempts and the total number of attempts to try before giving up. If a redial attempt is successful, no further attempts to redial this call will be made.

11 Hang Up Delay. The seconds to wait before then modem hangs up. You must pick up a connected extension before this time has expired or the call will be disconnected.

Long Dial Strings

When dialing with the Modem Dial Method, the length of the number sent to the modem for dialing cannot exceed 45 characters (this includes numbers and characters contained in “*#,!@^+”; all other characters, including spaces, will be ignored and do not count toward the total length of the dialed number). If you need to dial a number longer than this (for instance, you need to use a calling card & PIN before dialing the main number and this would exceed 45 characters), you can add two pipes (“||”) where the number should be split when dialing. In this way you can dial a very long number and still have it processed properly by the modem.

For example, if you have to dial a calling card number (e.g., "18005555555"), wait before entering a PIN (e.g., “123456789”), then wait again before dialing a Domestic Long-Distance number (e.g., "12125551212"), then, finally, enter some further information such as a credit card number & expiration date with pound signs to delimit these numbers (e.g., “123400000000000#0812#”), this is how you would configure your Dialing Rules for the current Location:

  1. Switch to the Dialing Rules tab of the preferences and select the Domestic Long-Distance Call settings.
  2. In the prefix field, enter the calling card number, commas for the pause, the PIN, and a few more commas for an additional pause before dialing the main number (e.g., “18005555555,,,,123456789,,,,”). Each comma represents a 1-2 second pause.
  3. In the suffix field, enter commas for a pause before the credit card number & expiration date (e.g., “,,,,123400000000000#0812#”).

Then when dialing “12125551212”, recognized as a Domestic Long-Distance call by your Dialing Rules of the current Location, the total dial string would be “18005555555,,,,123456789,,,,12125551212,,,,123400000000000#0812#”. Since this is longer than the maximum 45 characters for a single dial command, you could split using “||”. So, for instance, you could add the “||” at the beginning of the suffix field (e.g., “||,,,,123400000000000#0812#”).

Now, when dialing, the first part of the number will be dialed (“18005555555,,,,123456789,,,,12125551212”) then, after a brief pause, the final part of the number will dial (“,,,,123400000000000#0812#”).


Open Modem Dial Method Configurations

Related Topics

Dial Methods

Dialing Rules

Was this page helpful? Were there errors, inaccuracies, or typos?
Could something have been explained better? If so, please let us know. 

Copyright © 2017 JNSoftware LLC. All Rights Reserved.
All other products mentioned are copyright of their respective owners.
No endorsement of or affiliation with any third-party product or service is implied.