Communal living and 49MHz

thevig

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I decided to pay a visit to the 49MHz band. Wasn't expecting to find anything. I was wrong. Identified two baby monitors in my apartment complex. Either the units are really old, or I'm listening to something else.

I'm now all caught on someone's marital and in law problems.

Are some low end units still being made using low band?
 

thevig

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Aside from baby monitors, older cordless landline phones used the 49 MHz band back in the 80's and early 90's. You may be monitoring that.
I would like to think that any 49MHz cordless phone from back then is long dead. I'm thinking It's a baby monitor. After talking to a friend a few minutes ago, he recalls our local Ollie's Garbage Outlet selling some baby monitors that were operating at 49MHz.
 

NC1

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If I remember correctly, there was one 46/49 MHz model cordless phone that transmitted from the base 24/7 whether the person was on the phone or not. Can you imagine having your home bugged all the time without you knowing about it? Oh, wait.... those people probably have Alexa ,an iPhone, and use facebook by now. Never mind.
 

NC1

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A lot of the old 49 Mhz devices used 5 channels.
There were actually up to 25 channels:
 

kruser

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Some very early cordless phones used one of the original five 49 MHz frequencies for the handset to base channel and the base used a frequency somewhere around the upper 1.6 MHz range to near the bottom of the 160 meter ham band for transmitting back to the handset.
I had one from RadioShack back in the day and it was answer only, no dialpad. I installed a DTMF keypad in the thing so I could make calls.
Yes, you could DX long distance signals in the small range of MW frequencies the base units transmitted on. I can't recall my record for distance but it was pretty far away out of state.

I still today see 49 MHz baby monitors and even some low band cordless phones at places like goodwill or thrift shops and garage sales.
Baby monitors were always interesting back in the day as they did transmit 24 hours per day. I'm certain the owners had no idea how well their mics could pickup many of the sounds in the home.

I used to also pickup 900 (ISM band) video signals using standard 6 MHz wide NTSC signals that were video baby monitors. That one was always kind of scary. They had the standard audio carrier and all! The old Icom R9000 was great for seeing and hearing those signals.
 

talkpair

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I had a 49 MHz cordless phone back in the day that had a feature where the handset could be used as an intercom with the base unit.

One evening after work, I was relaxing in my quiet home and suddenly heard a baby crying in the other room.

Living alone, this was quite shocking. The base unit was picking up a baby monitor somewhere that was on the same frequency as my cordless handset.

Since I couldn't change the channel or mute the intercom, I got rid of the phone.
 

IC-R20

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Yeah plenty of low cost units being made on 49 mhz. I actually have a pair myself, I set the monitor unit underneath my scanner and take the speaker unit with me all over the house so I can still hear the weaker signals and such that require base antenna. For going further out I just take my WS1040 since it's really sensitive and can pick it up further.

Also the nice sony 40 mhz cordless units as well at others pop up a lot at the local goodwill and they sell fast surprisingly. I also have Maxon 49 mhz handhelds that I use for talk around on my house and yards. Cleaner than CB but still doesn't get out too far for other scannerists. That'll do since used APX7000 and XTS units with the FPP and all the keycodes unlocked are expensive used on ebay. Would be nice to have encrypted P25 for my commercial pirate frequencies.
 

kb4mdz

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Long story, try to make it short. I started working in a 2-way shop, 1988, in Newington, NH, near Pease AFB. Boss told me this:

The Commander level officers had a VHF-Hi frequency that sometime in the 1980's started picking up sounds of baby crying, man & woman conversation, footsteps, etc. AF & FCC techs finally converged on base, did some DF'ing. Located it to base housing. Knocked on some doors, a woman answered at one duplex. They explained why they were there, what they'd heard, (at which point she blushed, extremely), asked if she had any new electronics. She said they had a night-light/baby monitor, for their new baby. Techs started looking at their spectrum analyzer, yup, that was the source. 3rd harmonic of the 49 MHz operating frequency was wayyyy stronger than the carrier, which was wandering all over the place!!!

They asked where she got it? "At the PX (Post Exchange)"

Duly tromped over there, tested all the cheap chinese baby monitors there, they all failed same way.

Oooops.
 

DeepBlue

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RatShack sold several low powered HTs and belt worn headset 2-ways that were on 49MHz. Maxxon (sp) and a few others had some as well. Back in the good old days when I lived in a small community with one Department store (Rinks, K-Mart, etc), anyone that had a cordless phone had the same make and model. You could walk down the street with the handset and every few houses connect to their base and make a call. Early cell phones.

:)

S
 

NC1

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RatShack sold several low powered HTs and belt worn headset 2-ways that were on 49MHz. Maxxon (sp) and a few others had some as well. Back in the good old days when I lived in a small community with one Department store (Rinks, K-Mart, etc), anyone that had a cordless phone had the same make and model. You could walk down the street with the handset and every few houses connect to their base and make a call. Early cell phones.

:)

S

Ha ha ha. That brings back memories. That is one of the reasons I would take my handset with me. It was amazing that I could make a call from almost anywhere. If I drove along a strip mall, repeatedly pressing the Talk button (or On/Off, I forget), it was inevitable that I would get a dial tone before reaching the end - usually quite a few. The fun part was trying to figure out which store it was.
 

spongella

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Good topic! Yep, I remember 49 MHz walkie talkies sold at Radio Shack, they were pretty low power though. Still pick up carriers on this band, sometimes can hear background sounds, probably monitors of some kind. The carriers come and go though, depending on the day.

Back in the 80's I used to hear my neighbor's cordless phone on my shortwave radio, somewhere around 1.8 MHz.
 

RichardKramer

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I still have my 2/RS 5 ch, 1 single ch, 1 headset 49MHz units. When we lived in the apt complex we used them to keep in contact with my daughter when she went out to play with her friends. She had to use the 5ch unit to stay on a clear ch as their were many cordless phones in use there in the same freq range. When we bought our house in the early 90's a neighbor up the street had a cordless and called Sears to complain about a problem with his refrigerator; after being told he didn't buy the warranty, customer got really mad; the customer svc said they would get a mgr to the phone as soon as possible, I chimed in while customer was waiting and told him to just come over to the store and we'll get it straightened out; he said I'll be right the @@##??% over and slammed the phone down; wish I could have been a mouse at the store! Tons of stories I could tell from the apt complex.
Rich - N3VMY
 

PACNWDude

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Like a previous poster mentioned, having only one vendor for cordless phones in an area meant that many people had the same hardware. This included cordless phones that were sold at military base exchanges and used in the dorms, which also made for some interesting listening with a then new Realistic Pro-2006 scanner. As cell phones became popular, this only added to the listening pleasure.
 
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