Radio Spies Are Trapped by Direction Finders in Prowling Motor Cars (May, 1941)

Radio Spies Are Trapped by Direction Finders in Prowling Motor Cars

Spy-operated radio transmitters don’t stand much chance of remaining undetected under the new set-up of the Federal Communications Commission. Direction-finding units in automobiles, fixed listening posts at 200-mile intervals, and ten long-range direction-finding stations now keep a 24-hour watch over ether activities in the United States and its territories. The mobile units are particularly effective for tracing illegal stations after their general location has been established by the fixed stations. Two of them, for instance, prowling about an area containing an illegal station, can get a number of direction lines on the station. When these are drawn on a map of the locality, they point unerringly to the transmitter.

To handle the illegal stations which have sprung into operation with growing defense production, the F.C.C. recently increased its field force from fewer than 200 to almost 600 engineers and operators. This is a small staff for checking up on and recording code conversations on the air, foreign-language broadcasts and conversations, in addition to routine work. But last year more than 1,000 illegal stations were tracked down.

  1. Michael Patrick says: November 10, 20082:42 pm

    Pelosi and her pals will call these back into service after her “fairness” in broadcasting legislation passes.

  2. John M. Hanna says: November 10, 20084:02 pm

    “Fairness” in broadcasting legislation? More like “silence any and all dissension from the right” broadcasting legislation.

  3. Tracy B. says: November 10, 20087:02 pm

    More like “conelrad”

  4. hwertz says: November 10, 20089:52 pm

    They’d probably love that stuff now, to track down all those darned pirate radio stations 8-).

    CONELRAD — I have a 1959 ARRL handbook that has a Conelrad circuit design. In case of suspected nuclear attack (by bomber, not guided missile), radio stations were supposed to shut down, they thought the planes might use radio direction finding to navigate. The local radio stations would get a call telling them to shut off, and this circuit would detect a local station shut off and cut out your ham radio transmitter. You were supposed to tune to 640 or 1240 AM to hear any civil defense messages.. apparently they’d rotate what stations were transmitting it to make it harder to direction find them. (Although, rotating wouldn’t work very well here, where all the local stations towers are like 50 feet apart 8-).

  5. StanFlouride says: November 11, 200810:07 am

    Oh boy! Yet another blog comments page being taken over by political trolls.

  6. Charlie says: November 11, 200812:36 pm

    MP: Wow, that was quite a stretch. Is the right wing completely out of talking points?

  7. David Moisan says: November 14, 200810:53 pm

    That a Hallicrafters?

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