Old Cell Phones / Car Phones

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Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Aug 3 2004 - 12:41
Posts: 74
Old Cell Phones / Car Phones

I want a phone in my car. I've got a cell and I'm not interested in the new flashy, flip-able, color, picture-taking, game-playing phones. I guess I'm just too into "old-tech". I'd like to have one of the old-style built in car phones that are actually the size of (or close) a regular phone. And of course the cool little spiral antenna Blum 3

Like all my little tech projects, this is on a budget. So buying a brand new phone that installs in the car (if they even still exist) is probably out. We've even got a Audiovox phone with a speakerphone setup in the SUV but its never been used.

Is it possible to get these old things on current cell networks? I've got a Nokia (which I can't get open at the moment to see the model number!) thats about a year old (does use a sim card) and service with AT&T Wireless. It'd be nice to get a second phone for this number if possible. But I'd even consider a cheap second service to use the old car phone.

And yeah I know there are clip on kits to hold cell phones but its just not the same Acute

Any advice or good websites to look at for this sorta thing?


eeun's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 17:34
Posts: 1895
might help, might not...

A co-worker picked up one of those old car phones...it came in a cloth-covered box about the size of a box of kleenex, and was several years old at least.

He needed it for his cottage which is outside of the digital coverage areas (it being an analogue phone), and was able to get a line subscription for it.

I'll see if I can get more info when I get back to work (I've been off for a week. Yay! I also had the same problem...my Telus cellphone was out of range of the service. Used to be able to connect by switching to analogue, but no longer.)

I've seen similar phones at Value Village (generic second-hand thrift store up here)

woogie's picture
Last seen: 7 years 5 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 267
Analog service

I believe that AT&T/Verizon still sells
analog service. They no longer sell the
phones, but if you have one I think they
will still connect you. I have one of
the old Motorola "bag-phones" that I've
been using for over ten years! It will
reach to places that the digital "Star
Trek communicators" can get a signal to.

Never had a dropout problem anywhere on
the Easter US seaboard. The only draw-
back is that with an analog phone you may
not be able to get a good rate or a wide
are of coverage. You will be assessed a
"roaming" charge. It doesn't bother me be-
cause I don't use my phone that much and
my calling area is usually where I use it
the most. (My calling area covers 4 states)
On the rare occassion that I have had to
"roam" when out side of my area, the charge
is for the entire 24-hour day, so I can
make multiple calls that day and only get
charged one "roaming" fee. (My fee is $3US)
I also don't get all of those strange ring
tones, or huge blocks of free minutes. My
fee is $9.95US per month + 36cUS per peak
minute and/or 16cUS per off-peak minute. My
highest phone bill was $36US one month. I
only use my phone to travel and at our get-
away place on vacation so I don't need all
those "bells and whistles". The phone service
at our get-away place has very poor digital
coverage (the wife has a flip-phone)but has
great analog signal! Analog also seems to be
better in poor weather conditions. I have
used mine during hurricanes and floods when
I was working (professional fire/rescue as
well as volunteer fire/rescue and Red Cross
Emergency Services field coordinator).

The rates I quoted to you are for my existing
phone package and not possibly the rates you
may be quoted today. I also had to buy my
phone ($49US) at the time. Another advantage
of my "bag-phone" is that it had a HUGE
honkin' battery that is rechargeable and runs
for at least 2 weeks between charges (the long-
est I have ever used it between recharges). The
battery weighs in at about 10oz. I bought mine
after we got them installed in our fire/rescue
command vehicles at work and saw how good they
worked. I was also able to convince our local
volunteer fire department to get these and they
are still in use today.

Hope this information is helpful to you.

Eudimorphodon's picture
Last seen: 15 hours 44 min ago
Joined: Dec 21 2003 - 14:14
Posts: 1207
Just as a random aside...

Years ago, one evening I discovered that I could listen to analog cell phone conversations using an old B&W TV set.

(Have you ever noticed that the UHF "dial" on modern TVs only goes up to 69, while back before mid 80's it went up to 83? The last 14 channels worth of frequency band ended up being sold off for use by cell phones. Analog phones are unencrypted, mind you, so...)

Anyway, just noting that you shouldn't expect to have a private conversation on one of those phones. ;^>

(It's of "debatable" legality to intercept a call on one. Technically it's illegal to sell new scanner/radio equipment that recieves that band, but actually recieving the signals with pre-existing hardware is a grey area, leaning towards the side of "it's not nice, but we can't really stop you.)


Last seen: 7 years 3 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 455
Here in spokane, the rumor is

Here in spokane, the rumor is that the analog provider is going to be removing all analog radios by the end of the year on all the cell towers.

For that matter, they are down to one open channel per tower now. The network guys here at the university that i work for, still have the big analog 4 watt portable phones, not bag but the next step smaller. They use them since they have much better coverage than the digital phones in places like cellars and whatnot. The problem is that one network guy can't call another one on the cell phones because there is only one channel/radio left on the tower and the phone is currently using it. When one guy opens a call, he is using that one channel so all he gets is a busy signel when he tries to call the other guy on a analog cell phone.

I for one am sad that analog phones are going by the wayside. I woiuld love to get an older luxury car that had one of the analog cell phones as an option and use it but its very very hard to get service anymore and yoiu won't be able to use it much longer.

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