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Old 04-16-2018, 8:09 AM
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Default Police Radios in 1950

Does anyone know what frequency police were commonly using in 1950?

Yesterday I was watching a movie made in 1950 entitled "Mystery Street." I like to watch old movies to see the stuff people used back then and even to get an idea of how they lived.

This movie was shot in Boston, and it was interesting to see the police there using a 1950 Ford with a long antenna attached to a ball mount on the driver's side in the rear. That antenna looked like it could have been in the 27 MHz class because of its length. There probably were no repeaters used by police in that era, so they would have had to depend on direct contact with a base antenna (?).

Just curious. Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2018, 8:25 AM
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I would say the 150 MHz range. Many areas used this range until the early 2000's including my area. Some agencies still use these frequencies which can include digital and encrypted communications. Before the 50,s, the 30-50 MHz ranges were used.

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Old 04-16-2018, 8:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveFilter View Post
Does anyone know what frequency police were commonly using in 1950?
It depends on the location and department. Here is a web site with information about Motorola systems in that time period.
DIRECTORY OF MOTOROLA POLICE RADIO EQUIPMENT 1942-
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Old 04-16-2018, 8:27 AM
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1500kc-1700kc am and above
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Old 04-16-2018, 8:32 AM
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This Article may help

Fighting Crime with Radio

Bear in mind movies sometimes use props and not real,items but Inthink you will finfpd that they were on around the 30Mhz in the 50s and transitioned to a diffeent band in thatbtime period. Its in the article IIRC.
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Old 04-16-2018, 8:33 AM
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How the public have listened to the police over the years
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Old 04-16-2018, 8:56 AM
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Default 1950s radio

The "ball and spring" antenna you mentioned was probably in the VHF low band (30-50 mhz). Lots of agencies utilized 39 mhz in the day. Including my employer LASD which actively utilized 39 mhz until the 1980s. Some currently still do such as the California Highway Patrol with operations in the 39, 42 and 45 mhz spectrum.
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa6lif View Post
The "ball and spring" antenna you mentioned was probably in the VHF low band (30-50 mhz). Lots of agencies utilized 39 mhz in the day. Including my employer LASD which actively utilized 39 mhz until the 1980s. Some currently still do such as the California Highway Patrol with operations in the 39, 42 and 45 mhz spectrum.
I remember listening to LASD on my Electra Bearcat 210 scanner on a slew of 39MHz channels in Hanover NH via low band skip during the 1979 susnpot maximum. 39.08, 39.14, 39.20, 39.82, 39.88, 39.94 are a few freqs that come to mind. That was some great listening during that time. Once in a while I would hear the very fast talking dispatchers tell a unit to repeat their message because their transmission got covered by skip from the east coast. LASD used a PL of 156.7Hz on the output of their repeaters, IIRC. Listening to the action when "the patch" was in use was fun. I did manage to catch some units on one of the repeater inputs and that's how I got around listening to the busy tones on the repeater output when the patch wasn't being used.

During that time, I recall listening to NHSP through a repeater via skip on a 37MHz channel. NHSP's low band system didn't operate on 37MHz. I don't know where the repeater was located and I suspect it was somewhere near the west coast. I heard that repeater around when LASD was booming in during the afternoon. The input to the repeater was on 45.26MHz, one NHSP's low band channels and local to me. I instantly recognized the NHSP traffic since it was from one of NHSP's transmitters local to me on a mountaintop only a few miles from home. I was hearing the same local traffic I normally listen to but through an unknown repeater somewhere out west.
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Old 04-16-2018, 4:09 PM
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Some early 1950s police radios actually had a telephone handset. Here is an image from the 1954 sci-fi film "Them!".
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Old 04-16-2018, 4:40 PM
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Nassau County Long Island--4th Pct PD in the 60-70,s were Using 39.380 with the 108 inch Ball Mount Whips
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Old 04-16-2018, 4:43 PM
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Quote:
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Some early 1950s police radios actually had a telephone handset. Here is an image from the 1954 sci-fi film "Them!".
FDNY still uses the telephone handset.
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Old 04-16-2018, 4:51 PM
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in michigan i would get peed off when trying to hear the michigan state police because you could never hear them then found out a long time latter they were useing a very new radio system that was very close to what they have now was a very early model of the mpscs system today.
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Old 04-16-2018, 4:59 PM
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Boston PD 39.0200
Simplex 110.9 Hz

Licensed under KCA860 until removed from that callsign in 12/2002

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveFilter View Post
Does anyone know what frequency police were commonly using in 1950?

Yesterday I was watching a movie made in 1950 entitled "Mystery Street." I like to watch old movies to see the stuff people used back then and even to get an idea of how they lived.

This movie was shot in Boston, and it was interesting to see the police there using a 1950 Ford with a long antenna attached to a ball mount on the driver's side in the rear. That antenna looked like it could have been in the 27 MHz class because of its length. There probably were no repeaters used by police in that era, so they would have had to depend on direct contact with a base antenna (?).

Just curious. Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2018, 5:11 PM
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Just for thought, some states, entities continue to hold onto licenses in low band. So don't toss them old low bands out just yet. A few departments I know of have a Chace of low band portables, mobiles still. You never know if they'll come in handy for something.
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Old 04-16-2018, 5:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecps92 View Post
Boston PD 39.0200
Simplex 110.9 Hz

Licensed under KCA860 until removed from that callsign in 12/2002
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Old 04-16-2018, 5:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbswetnam View Post
Some early 1950s police radios actually had a telephone handset. Here is an image from the 1954 sci-fi film "Them!".
Good classic. NMSP used low band until the 60s/70s. One point I dont recall both vhf and low band were being used depending what district you were in and purpose was.

Now it's VHF and 700mhz and will be in other NM areas Depending where you are it since all band, dual band radios are not a issue anymore.
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Old 04-16-2018, 5:35 PM
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One frequent arrangement was an AM transmitter, just above the broadcast band for the base, and VHF low band on the mobile transmitter. Many of those AM transmitters were still in service well into the 1960's.
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Old 04-16-2018, 6:17 PM
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Late 1950s, early 1960s: very popular radio in the NYC area in its day:
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Old 04-16-2018, 7:45 PM
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Very nice
Quote:
Originally Posted by mule1075 View Post
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Old 04-16-2018, 8:46 PM
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Everything was on low vhf back then.
30-50Mhz
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