Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Reminiscing Part 3, old cell phones
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 > Reminiscing Part 3, old cell phones

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mr. ed

Amarillo, Texas

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Posted: 12/23/20 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After starting my business I began wearing a pager to receive calls. Of course, it was a pain to need to locate a landline to answer that number. So I eventually purchased a very early cell phone. It featured a large base and full-size handset with coiled cord, just like a landline phone, certainly not pocket size like modern cell phones. I recall it was also analog, not digital. I forget how I dialed it. I know it didn't have a rotary dial, but probably used pushbuttons.

The phone actually worked pretty well, though I couldn't carry it around all the time so I left it in my vehicle. When I stopped by a restaurant for lunch, I would take it with me and set it on the table. It made me feel pretty important since no one else had a similar device to show off. [emoticon]

My next cell phone was also a dinosaur by today's standards. It was small enough to fit in most pockets (though not completely in a shirt pocket), and featured an antenna that could be pulled out to maximize reception, although it usually wasn't needed. My next phone was flip style and now smartphone. We've come a long way! [emoticon]


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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 12/23/20 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had one of the earlier bag phones. I could take it out of the bag and mount it in a cradle in the car. It was through cellular one I believe and had push button pad on the back to dial with a small lcd screen.

Bag Phone


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Fisherman

Angus, Ontario, Canada

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Posted: 12/23/20 08:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Time flies, my first was a Motorola bagphone, 3 watt output analogue. I swear you could bury yourself 10 feet down and still get a signal. Those were the only phones in the campground that were useful until about 2010 when they planted a couple more cell towers. Even then, you had to stand on the picnic table in a lotus pose and hope. Then I got a portable Wilson booster and solved that problem.

JRscooby

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Posted: 12/23/20 08:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I also had a pager, then bag phone. And for a couple of years it cost too much for calls, so I carried used pager, did not give out number. But evening and weekend calls where free!
One thing about it, in the early days, when few towers where around this area, the extra broadcast power made them work.
LOL. Mine could be locked to only call 3 numbers. My wife's 16 YO son wanted to take it with to impress a girl. Said sure, but locked it. He could call 911, his mother, or grandmother. But I could call him at any time. Don't think she was impressed.

momentum rv

Central Cal.

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Posted: 12/23/20 08:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Same here, pager and bag phone. 35c a minute for phone so only used when pager went off. You didn't see people talking endlessly on the phone in those days (unless they were pretending or the phone was fake - remember those peeps.)


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JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 12/23/20 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WE still have our old bag phone/antenna stored on a shelf in a closet. The wife bought a low miles 1977 all black Catalina from her company. The antenna for the bag phone was a roof gutter mount like many LEO cars in that era. Speeders would come up behind us well over the speed limit...suddenly slow down and stay behind us till they figured out what the car was/wasn't... then sped on by.
After retiring the bag phone my first cell phone was a analog flip phone with a good long antenna. Never a issue anywhere around here in the valleys for signal loss like the new digital smart phones. Were in a fringe area and these new phones have to be on high ground to send/receive.


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Dutch_12078

Winters south, summers north

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Posted: 12/23/20 10:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My first cell phone was a company supplied Motorola DynaTac ("The Brick") purchased in early 1984. As I recall, the retail price was about $4,000 and the battery only lasted about half an hour before needing a 10-12 hour recharge. That thing was huge and heavy compared to the phones we have today...


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 12/23/20 11:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First "portable" phone in a vehicle I have used was a VHF "mobile phone" service from my employer at the time. Similar idea that was used on the old 70s Hawaii 5 0 TV series.. Basically a 50W VHF two way radio with touch tone keypad on a hand held mic.. Had to push to talk, letup on the mic button to hear the other person.. Not a simultaneous duplex trans and receive like a normal telephone.

Predates the analog "bag" cellphones by many yrs..

My first cellphone, I skipped the bag phones but it was still analog at the time and you had to pull the little antenna out for max coverage.

d3500ram

Colorado

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Posted: 12/23/20 11:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Frank Cannon:
[image]

Watching that show in the 70's wondering how'd they do that in the car???

Still, it's gotta be better than the original Smart fone:
[image]

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 12/23/20 12:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ask and you receive an answer..

HERE

That could have been a Motorola or GE phone, had a cradle in the passenger area and had a big box mounted in the trunk typically used 34mhz-35Mhz band..

[image]

[image]

[image]

What I used was a bit newer than that, was basically a commercial two way business band VHF radio which was outfitted with a tone encode/decode board and a mic with a touch tone pad. The radio phone system broadcast a specific tone 24/7 and when a call was directed to your phone number that tone was modulated to open your decoder.

Looked a lot like a Ham 2mtr mobile radio.

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