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1960's Era Car Phones?


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On 7/25/2021 at 9:21 AM, 8E45E said:

That is certainly true for early cell phones:

 

 

11bh030.jpg

Very similar looking phone that dad had hooked up in his work truck. It was the first 'mobile' phone we had in the company. Hooked up so that the horn blew when a phone call came in. Early 80's.

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1 hour ago, TAKerry said:

Hooked up so that the horn blew when a phone call came in. Early 80's.

I remember that horn feature a lot!  I heard several of those going off here in Oil Country back in the early '80's!!

 

Craig

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I have always been one to "embrace" technology. In 1974 I started with a Honeywell Alpha Delta fire and HVAC system. Miss Honeywell '68 was already dated. I did have the podium interface and wall panel pictured. Our graphics were slides in a carousel that were indexed by codes and backlit on the reverse of a simulated CRT tube face. But that was 50 years ago.

 

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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20 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Roadmaster (Robin), in what years were these the costs?

1960's?  1970's?  I'd like to mentally convert them for inflation.

This is the information I was wondering about.

 

These figures show why the average person would not own this equipment---

 

 John,

Those prices were from the late 70's and early 80's. When I started in the two-way radio business, just the phone type control head for a mobilephone radio could sell for $1500+ depending on features. 

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5 hours ago, Robert G. Smits said:

If my memory is correct I paid $1800 for phone and installation for my new Mercedes 240D in 1979

Robert,

Was that a cellular phone or a conventional radio mobile phone?  Easy Question to define the type...  Did the phone have a "SEND" and "END" buttons to begin and end the call?  Only cellular phones had those buttons for those who were wondering about my question 😀.

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On 7/22/2021 at 2:04 AM, GregLaR said:

Curious if anyone here has, or knows a source for a vintage car phone?

I'm looking for an Aristocrat, Cambridge or Motorola Pulsar style phone with hand set and rotary dial.  Appreciate any and all input.

 

Greg, here is a lead for you.

In perusing cars for sale on Ebay, I happened across

a 1976 Lincoln with a car phone.  The car was sold by

a dealer;  but the dealer could probably put the new

owner in touch with you.  Perhaps the new owner doesn't

need the car phone and would be happy with a little extra

money by selling the phone to you!  

 

Here is the link:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/184941611841?

 

The dealer's phone number is listed in the ad as:

607-329-8668 or 607-769-1181.

 

And here's a picture from the Ebay listing:

 

1976 Lincoln with car phone 2.jpg

1976 Lincoln with car phone 3.jpg

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Greg, here is a lead for you.

In perusing cars for sale on Ebay, I happened across

a 1976 Lincoln with a car phone.  The car was sold by

a dealer;  but the dealer could probably put the new

owner in touch with you.  Perhaps the new owner doesn't

need the car phone and would be happy with a little extra

money by selling the phone to you!  

 

Here is the link:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/184941611841?

 

The dealer's phone number is listed in the ad as:

607-329-8668 or 607-769-1181.

 

And here's a picture from the Ebay listing:

 

1976 Lincoln with car phone 2.jpg

 

I believe those pushbuttons with the red 'Play' are for one of those silly horns that play 75 or more tunes. 

 

They definitely do not belong to the phone.

 

Craig

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On 8/6/2021 at 11:38 AM, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

Greg, here is a lead for you.

In perusing cars for sale on Ebay, I happened across

a 1976 Lincoln with a car phone.  The car was sold by

a dealer;  but the dealer could probably put the new

owner in touch with you.  Perhaps the new owner doesn't

need the car phone and would be happy with a little extra

money by selling the phone to you!  

 

Here is the link:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/184941611841?

 

The dealer's phone number is listed in the ad as:

607-329-8668 or 607-769-1181.

 

And here's a picture from the Ebay listing:

 

1976 Lincoln with car phone 2.jpg

1976 Lincoln with car phone 3.jpg

While I have no idea what the apparent keypad mounted near that unit is, the "phone" is not a phone. It is an EF Johnson Messenger 130A 23 channel CB Radio. I am posting a link that shows an image of one up close. 

 1f98f72aed9b601292e7c74745405bf6.jpg

 

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On 8/7/2021 at 5:48 PM, Digger914 said:

Back in the days when CB radio was the thing several companies sold a 23 channel set that looked like a car phone. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/241435229998915131/

 

29 minutes ago, Larry Schramm said:

That "phone" looks almost exactly like the CB radio that was in a car that I bought in 1978.  My bet is it is not a mobile phone.

 

I think you're right, Larry:  Clicking the link that Digger provided

shows that the two are identical.  Pinterest wouldn't let me copy

the picture, but Matt's photo above shows it clearly.

 

I suppose that car phones were such a "prestige" item back then

that they made the radio look like a car phone to impress people!

 

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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The car phones that we are talking about are actually just two way radios with some special options. The radio itself was mounted in the trunk or behind the seat in pickups. The radio unit was "full duplex". What that means is that it could transmit AND receive at the same time. No push to talk needed. This required a larger radio housing to allow space for the special filters needed to keep the transmitter power from damaging the receiver. The real magic was the control head with the dial and phone handset. The electronics in the control head allowed for the channel selection, signaling options, and audio control of the radio. The signaling options are the real magic. I will not even try to explain how it all worked, but those options are what allowed the radio to respond to an incoming call for just that unit. It also allowed the automatic identification of the unit when it made a call so billing was possible. It also encoded the number dialed so the call could be connected to the public telephone system and the number dialed to connect the call. It took a lot of electronics to do this in the 60's and 70's. By the 80's the electronics had become smaller and easier to integrate into a radio package. Because they were still a specialized unit the cost was fairly high. The control heads ranged in price from around $800 to over $2000 in the early 80's. The radio package was $1000+ depending on various options.  I had a very fancy demo unit in my pickup in the mid 80's that had  dealer cost of well over $4000 for the complete unit. The radio unit was made by General Electric and the control unit was made by Glenaire. These were the best of the best for the hardware. Motorola had equil or possibly even better radio units, but only Motorola dealers could buy them at dealer cost. Now in all fairness, this was much more of a setup than I ever sold to a customer, but it had everything so I could demo options. It also had a high power transmitter that allowed for longer range. This was also on RCC systems, NOT telephone company systems. The telco companies were almost impossible to deal with, as a radio dealer, for mobile phone customers. The telco companies generally had one radio dealer in an area that they contracted with for install and repair. Those companies were almost exclusively Motorola shops as they tended to use Motorola equipment, such as the Pulsar mentioned in earlier posts.  This is just a small primer on old mobile phone systems. If you are interested Google RCC mobile phone and IMTS mobile phone for more information.

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On 7/27/2021 at 7:45 AM, 8E45E said:

I remember that horn feature a lot!  I heard several of those going off here in Oil Country back in the early '80's!!

 

Craig

I had one in my company car in the eightes with the horn connected and there was nothing worse than standing in a food shop to get lunch with the car was parked just outside the door when the phone rang.

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On 8/8/2021 at 5:39 PM, MCHinson said:

While I have no idea what the apparent keypad mounted near that unit is, the "phone" is not a phone.

It is one of those gimmicky "Hey look at ME!" car horns.  See my post above.  

 

Craig

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