Newbie - asking for historical help/knowledge - Criminal cold case investigation

Deezine

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2024
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16
Hi

I was wondering if anyone on the forum could help me with my research.

I am trying to find out what technology was available in 1971 for 2-way radio communication, specifically for someone finding themselves in a rural or desert location and trying to contact an accomplice so he could be picked up at a rendezvous location.

I particularly want to know if portable, small devices were available at that time. Could person A carry a smallish device and when needed communicate with person B in order to request B to come and pick them up at an agreed location?

If so, what was around in 1971, and what size?

My research is regarding a criminal cold case, and your help would be greatly appreciated.

If this post is in the wrong section, my apologies, and please direct me to the correct section.

Thanks for any advice.
 

trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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PSX_20240624_125227.jpg
11 Meter CB radios were very common and could get the best range in a flat surface with little obstructions, also VHF High HT's were line of sight also using telescopic 18-in antennas. They were about the same size as this CB radio.
 

N1EXA

FT8 Huntin Mudd Duck on the deep end of the pond !
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Are you writing and article or Story ?
Is this 2 way Radio Military - A cb radio or Police and Fire Communications.

You can google Vintage CB radio or Vintage Motorola Radio or Old Military radio's
which many People used War surplus back then.
Really your asking a large question for this topic.
Pete N1EXA

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765ae4fe5ad1b4698b3b85e1c3c374dd.jpg



 
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trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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Yes I agree, this is kind of a vague question, perhaps you could assist members here with a little more information on how you came to the assumption that a relatively small device was used for A to contact B.

The generic answer to your question is maybe, a smallish device, no, the size of the HT shown yes.

Mmm.. I was in my first year of college in 1971 and followed a very big case in 1971 at that time.. so.. you wouldn't be talking about DB Cooper would you?😉
 

K4EET

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Severn, Maryland, USA
Hi @Deezine,

Back in 1974, I bought my first 2-Meter (144-148 MHz) crystal controlled FM transceiver. Introduced in 1971, the Drake TR-22C allowed for portable operation using batteries.


While it was portable, it did not have a handheld, also known as an HT, form factor. You could carry it in your hand but more commonly over the shoulder using a case with a shoulder strap. I still have that radio and it still functions.

As for smaller radios, there was not much available. You’ve got some good answers so far. Let us know if you have any questions.

Dave K4EET
 

KD9KSO

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He did not say a small device was used. He was asking if one was available for use at the time he indicated.
 

N1EXA

FT8 Huntin Mudd Duck on the deep end of the pond !
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Here is the TV show emergency in the early 70s.
A portable VHF UHF Radio - Long before the Cellphone era.

Pete N1EXA

emergency3.jpg


Read this for an idea

 
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trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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Here is the TV show emergancy in the early 70s.
A portable VHF UHF Radio - Long before the Cellphone era.

Pete N1EXA

emergency3.jpg


Read this for an idea

Yep that's what I was using for an example except I was referring to the VHF High HT's with the telescopic antennas used on Dragnet😆

My local police were on VHF High repeaters and they also had handhelds with telescopic antennas in 1971.
 

trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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DB Cooper my first thought!
Me too, if he ever did hitch that ride he left the $200,000 still packed and unopened wherever his parachute landed, it was right next to a River.

Hopefully the original poster will get back to us, I assume he's being moderated as a newbie and there's a delay if he responded.
 

N6JPA

A Ham Radio Operator With too much frequency.
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
79
Location
San Luis Obispo, CA
Hi

I was wondering if anyone on the forum could help me with my research.

I am trying to find out what technology was available in 1971 for 2-way radio communication, specifically for someone finding themselves in a rural or desert location and trying to contact an accomplice so he could be picked up at a rendezvous location.

I particularly want to know if portable, small devices were available at that time. Could person A carry a smallish device and when needed communicate with person B in order to request B to come and pick them up at an agreed location?

If so, what was around in 1971, and what size?

My research is regarding a criminal cold case, and your help would be greatly appreciated.

If this post is in the wrong section, my apologies, and please direct me to the correct section.

Thanks for any advice.
Check out a 1970 and 1971 Radio Shack Catalog. They had all kind of handheld CB radios. They diffidently could not fit in your pocket.
 

ladn

Explorer of the Frequency Spectrum
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Southern California and sometimes Owens Valley
I particularly want to know if portable, small devices were available at that time. Could person A carry a smallish device and when needed communicate with person B in order to request B to come and pick them up at an agreed location?
"Smallish" and "small" are pretty relative. Handheld radios were about the size of a small lunchbox or brick. There were a few mobile or portable sets that were about the size of a metal rectangular lunchbox.

The other factor, which wasn't included in the original post was range. Much of the infrastructure that's commonplace today was in its infancy or didn't exist in 1971. Handhelds were in the 2-watt range and portables were, at the most, 5-watts and a lot of the equipment was still low band with inefficient antennas.

So, the short answer is "yes", but only within a rather limited set of parameters. If the OP can elaborate on specifics, we could provide a better answer.
 

Deezine

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Joined
Jun 24, 2024
Messages
16
DB Cooper my first thought!
Correct, well done
I am trying to establish if Cooper could have communicated with an accomplice once he landed on the ground, to effect his extraction.
So, the device does not necessarily have to be a 2-way radio, but something which he could use to transmit his location to his colleague.

Forgive my total ignorance in the subject - that is why I have joined this forum, to avail myself of the great knowledge here
 

Deezine

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2024
Messages
16
"Smallish" and "small" are pretty relative. Handheld radios were about the size of a small lunchbox or brick. There were a few mobile or portable sets that were about the size of a metal rectangular lunchbox.

The other factor, which wasn't included in the original post was range. Much of the infrastructure that's commonplace today was in its infancy or didn't exist in 1971. Handhelds were in the 2-watt range and portables were, at the most, 5-watts and a lot of the equipment was still low band with inefficient antennas.

So, the short answer is "yes", but only within a rather limited set of parameters. If the OP can elaborate on specifics, we could provide a better answer.
In terms of range, I would suggest a 10 mile radius
 

W9OHM

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Location
Crystal Lake,Il
1971'ish... Another possibility is the Motorola HT200 handhelds were common. Easily put into a briefcase.
 

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trentbob

W3BUX- Bucks County, PA
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Messages
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Correct, well done
I am trying to establish if Cooper could have communicated with an accomplice once he landed on the ground, to effect his extraction.
So, the device does not necessarily have to be a 2-way radio, but something which he could use to transmit his location to his colleague.

Forgive my total ignorance in the subject - that is why I have joined this forum, to avail myself of the great knowledge here
I expect we can talk on private messaging after the mods convert you from a newbie to a member and we can set up your sending me, my set of steak knives for being the first one to identify your investigation😁. S/.

There's so much out there to research on this case. I was a Stringer in 1971, ended up in several careers but I retired as a department editor of a large City 7-Day a week daily .

For what it's worth, my conclusion, he landed in the river and drowned, money with him. 2 years later the money was found after dredging had been done in the area where he landed. He's dead.. if he's alive, he's approaching 90 and probably broke😄.

Good luck with your investigation and your post is appreciated and very valid, stay with radio reference as a resource if you need it.
 

Deezine

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2024
Messages
16
I expect we can talk on private messaging after the mods convert you from a newbie to a member and we can set up your sending me, my set of steak knives for being the first one to identify your investigation😁. S/.

There's so much out there to research on this case. I was a Stringer in 1971, ended up in several careers but I retired as a department editor of a large City 7-Day a week daily .

For what it's worth, my conclusion, he landed in the river and drowned, money with him. 2 years later the money was found after dredging had been done in the area where he landed. He's dead.. if he's alive, he's approaching 90 and probably broke😄.

Good luck with your investigation and your post is appreciated and very valid, stay with radio reference as a resource if you need it.
I'm working on a theory he didn't jump in WA/Oregon as is common perception but rather into wide soft landing of the approaches to Reno airport.

The money find you mention was not 2 years later but 9 years after.
 
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