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CONELRAD in the Movies

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#1
Atomic Attack is a movie currently available on Amazon Prime (and also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5JiIjSjo_c). It's from 1954, broadcast by the Motorola Television Hour, and depicts the events after a hydrogen bomb is dropped on NYC.

CONELRAD is featured prominently in the movie, with references to the 2 frequencies and constant alarms and bulletins over the radio.

The audio is bad, the video is bad, the acting is dramatically overdone, and some of the premises are hilarious - nearly all utilities were restored after 10 days; we have defeated "the enemy" (unnamed); and naive understanding of the effects of fallout.

In other words, it's a gem! Also, a young Walter Matthau plays a doctor.
 

KK4JUG

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#5
I forgot about those triangles. FM radio was just beginning to blossom and didn't have them.

I have a friend here who is director of Emergency Management. He still has one of the lockers with the "leader's" whistle, flashlight, paper forms etc. He also has big canisters with the water and crackers, too. They're still sealed.
 

spongella

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An old-timer here....yep remember the Conelrad system well along with Civil Defense shelters and ducking under the desk once a week in grammer school class as practice in case of an attack.

Oh, and one way to spot an "older" radio is to see if it has the triangular marks on the dial for 640 and 1240 kCs (yes back then it was kiloCycles not kiloHertz).

Kukla Fran and Ollie (tnx KK4JUG for the memory) , Krushchev banging his shoe at the UN, Cuban Missile Crisis, and AM radios with the number of transistors displayed on them. Fun days.
 
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#7
CONELRAD was before my time, but I remember being at a hamfest and seeing a bunch of old transistor radios in a box. They all had the triangles, which I never saw or noticed before. Looked it up and found out all about CONELRAD.
 
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Don't forget about the 6 month or yearly air raid siren tests and actually having to go indoors. You had listen to or watch TV for information.There was one a few blocks from my grandparents house where I was staying in 1960, and it doesn't sound like today's fire sirens, it had a very low growl and rumble to overcome NYC noise.Someone at some time in my youth said it had a frequency of around 600 hz. I actually saw the demise of that siren while working NYCEMS as a car had hit the 2 telephone poles holding it up.It lay in the street for a few weeks before sanitation removed it.

You may be able to find one or two still affixed to the top of the elevated train station platforms in the Bronx. I am sure they don't work as it's been over 50 years since they were tested.

Moto probably funded the film as part of their advertising campaign as they made radios and TV back then. Anybody remember the Moto advert of works in a drawer for the first modular TV. You could just open up the drawer next to the CRT and change a plug in board for repairs.

Now as I am watching this film the radio seen is a Moto AM radio, and the acting is about normal for any sci-fi film of that era.
 
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Not a thunderbolt, as thunderbolts required an air compressor (some were actually Chrysler Hemi engines) to amplify the sound through the rotating horn (I was a service tech for Federal Signal for a short time in the late 70's). Think of a normal size siren (Federal model 5) and multiply x4 that's how big around it was about 40 in and took 2 telephone poles to hold it.
 
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Anyone here still have radios with the conelrad points on the dial? None on my Telefunken, none on my Korting Delmonico, none on my SX-88, but the only one I have with them is my Zenith 500D transistor portable.
 
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#13
After that u-tube song there was an simulated CONLRAD test during the broad cast of Password listed on the right.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In5xpvaF2so

There is mention during the noon newscast before the password show the comment about the future Hara Arena on Shilo Springs Rd. Future home of the Dayton Hamfest to open in 1964, and that TV station UHF channel 26 is now a CW affiliate according to one who lives there.
 
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Token

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Anyone here still have radios with the conelrad points on the dial? None on my Telefunken, none on my Korting Delmonico, none on my SX-88, but the only one I have with them is my Zenith 500D transistor portable.
Ridge, while these markings were required by law from 1953 to 1963, and your SX-88 would have been made during that time, I think that requirement only applied to radios used for entertainment, and that communications receivers were exempt. Also radios not made for the US market would not have had such markings, so German radios of the period, not made especially for the US market, probably would not have them.

Just a guess.

I have several radios around with these markings, but I have seldom seen them on communications receivers. Off the top of my head the only comms RX I remember seeing them on was a late production Hammarlund HQ-129X.

T!
 

Token

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#15
There is a really cool song by Peter Scott Peters called "Fallout Shelter" that mentions CONELRAD towards the end.

"You'll live like a king in your fallout pad, 'til the all-clear sounds on CONELRAD. Dial 6-4-0 12-4-0 - CONELRAD."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFUqh7uF1G4
That is pretty funny that you mention this. I have this, and other similar songs, on my MP3 play list, and this song happened to show up in the random play this morning.

T!
 
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Ridge, while these markings were required by law from 1953 to 1963, and your SX-88 would have been made during that time, I think that requirement only applied to radios used for entertainment, and that communications receivers were exempt. Also radios not made for the US market would not have had such markings, so German radios of the period, not made especially for the US market, probably would not have them.

Just a guess.

I have several radios around with these markings, but I have seldom seen them on communications receivers. Off the top of my head the only comms RX I remember seeing them on was a late production Hammarlund HQ-129X.

T!
Hey T! Thanks for the accurate reply. That's what I thought too especially with the SX-88 which was built in 1954. I guess they figured folks who went for the pro communications receivers would already know where to tune in a conelrad emergency right?
BTW to this thread's author-neat video! actually liked the "over-acting" especially with the mother. Poor thing hugging the radio with her head:)
 
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#17
LOL. Glad you enjoyed it - I really did too. I read a continuous stream of nonfiction books about the cold war (atomic weapons development, the AEC, polar overflights, skunkworks, etc), and this video is a great time capsule from that era.
 

DJ11DLN

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#19
Car radios during that time period had those Conelrad triangles on their AM radios too.
I remember those on a couple of my parents' cars. I don't doubt the "1953-1963" requirement period, but my memory isn't exactly jibing with that. Seems as if I recall them on some cars built well after '63, late '60s or early '70s models.

Of course I could be wrong...ye old memory isn't what it once was.:(
 
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#20
Ridge, while these markings were required by law from 1953 to 1963, and your SX-88 would have been made during that time, I think that requirement only applied to radios used for entertainment, and that communications receivers were exempt. Also radios not made for the US market would not have had such markings, so German radios of the period, not made especially for the US market, probably would not have them.

Just a guess.

I have several radios around with these markings, but I have seldom seen them on communications receivers. Off the top of my head the only comms RX I remember seeing them on was a late production Hammarlund HQ-129X.

T!
My Hammarlund HQ-100 and HQ-160 receivers both have prominent Civil Defense triangle symbols at 640 and 1240 kHz. Oddly enough, my Hallicrafters SX-110 receiver doesn't have the Conelrad symbols on its dial, and it was manufactured at roughly the same time as my HQ-100 and HQ-160. Also, I seem to recall reading that some of the early Japanese made transistor radios still had the Conelrad symbols on their dials as late as 1966.
 
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