Captain Crunch 2600 Whistle
Earliest versions of the vintage Captain Crunch Whistle toy from 1964.
Famous Phreaker John Draper discovered that the toy whistle emitted a tone of 2600 hertz.
This was the same frequency that AT&T Long Lines required to indicate a trunk line was available to route a new call.
Also known as Cap'n crunch Bosun whistle.
Cap'n Crunch's now famous whistle and the so called crispy crunch cereal.
Cap’n Crunch has been inspiring people to learn telephone electronics for decades.
Quaker 1964 Cap'n Crunch Bosun whistle prize offer Cereal Box.
Put simply, a phone phreak is an individual who uses secret and undocumented protocols and techniques to illicitly obtain telephone communications over public telephone networks. An operator of these systems, often operating with malicious intent, exploits these hidden protocols and systems to make free phone calls and send text messages.
Where does phone hacking come from?
Phone hacking is the breaking into and accessing of telephone networks to intercept telephone calls and send text messages. It is also a phrase used to describe the illegal practice of such activities.
Captain Crunch was originally a Captain Crunch Licorice, discontinued in the 1990s. It has been discontinued once more in 2009. In the early 1970s, one of the Captain Crunch breakfast cereals featured a molded plastic whistle in the shape of the cereal mascot. Whistle versions of Captain Crunch Cereal appeared in grocery stores. The original whistle was described as being made of plastic and with a leather handle, similar to a real whistle.
There are several versions of the whistle, some of which are much sought after by collectors.
There are two versions of the original whistle; a clear-colored plastic whistle and a red whistle with a leather case, resembling a model train whistle.
The blue version, which appears in the early 1970s, has a more plastic-looking plastic handle and does not appear in any commercial advertising.
All versions of the Captain Crunch whistle are currently listed as collectible on eBay.
Captain Crunch's pump handle can be removed, but the horn will not work. Instead, the user can blow on the "horn" part of the whistle (which is actually the plastic piece that snaps together on the spout) and the Captain Crunch logo will light up.
In the US, Captain Crunch's whistle was discontinued in 2009. It is unknown if it was discontinued in other countries.
In the UK, the Captain Crunch Whistle was reissued in 2004 with new packaging and a new type of whistle made of plastic. The new whistle resembles the 1977 whistle released by Nestle, rather than the one released in the 1970s. The whistle has also changed to the colorless plastic previously used in the 1977 whistle. The new whistle is still smaller than the original whistle.
In 2013, the whistle sold for $145 in a rare vintage toy auction on eBay. The auction ended on April 27, 2013, having attracted 54 bids. This is the highest selling one-of-a-kind item for vintage toys on the auction site, according to an eBay spokesman.
The most popular whistle was the ever popular captain crunch. Such a sweet little whistle!
If you’re lucky enough to get one of these ever popular Captain Crunch whistles, it was likely given to you as a gift as a thank you for helping out with the project. As such, it’s likely one of your prized possessions. The Captain Crunch whistle was chosen based on the huge popularity of the line of crunchy cereal and because they’re super sweet.
Like everything from the 60s and 70s, the whistle is made from a single sheet of parchment, which can be rolled up into a tube. When you finally get around to trying it out, it’s quite satisfying to hear. The octave isn’t as low as that of other whistle designs, but with a longer mouthpiece, you can make it fit.
Cap'n Crunch cereal whistle sign was an advertising campaign for the Cap'n Crunch brand of breakfast cereal, which featured an animated whistle sign advertising the cereal. The cereal whistle sign was one of the most widely recognized of the various animated logo advertisements that were a common element in American television in the 1960s and 1970s.
“If you do a Google search of phone phreaking, most people will think that you’re talking about someone who uses a payphone to hack into pay phone hardware,” John Draper said during a recent phone conversation. In reality, many phone phreaks today use multiple devices and techniques to “frustrate phone companies” and other providers of phone and data services. “The open phone system was the system that was broken at that time,” he said.
Draper has worked on and contributed to the Voice Over IP protocol and the underlying protocol that regulates what devices are authorized to make phone calls. He is also a professor at Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Communications Technology Policy and is the author of the forthcoming book The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Global Electronic Frontier. He describes himself as “a front line person to see what’s going on.”
Draper gave an online lecture on Friday at Stanford University in which he talked about what phone phreaking is, and what it isn’t.
What is phone phreaking?
Draper’s definition: phone phreaking is a computer protocol, a technology which involves the manipulation of phone systems, all to make phone calls. It means hacking.”
Draper goes on to say that people like to engage in the hobby of phone phreaking, but the hobby is illegal and dangerous, so the very act of doing it could be regarded as illegal, and it is illegal, so it can cause harm, and it is illegal, so it can cause harm.”
There is a lot of controversy among phone phreakers over the term itself. Some describe themselves as “phone phreaks,” others call themselves hackers, or “phone hackers.”
John Draper’s definition
“I personally define phreaking as behavior by phone users that exploits or changes phone systems for the purposes of making phone calls and disrupting telephone company systems.
“It’s a very interesting activity to understand. It’s very complex. It’s very difficult. It’s a very subtle activity. It’s not some weird esoteric dark art. It’s really very simple, and you can learn it.
“There are many people engaged in phreaking who are not necessarily criminals. Many of them are very well-intentioned, trying to see if they can exploit certain systems in order to make phone calls. But the problem is they tend to make a lot of mistakes and they don’t know how to behave appropriately in terms of how they get the system working for them, the do it, use this piece of hardware to make calls, and then the other piece of hardware to use to hack into the phone system. It’s a little more complicated than that.”
Some people feel that it should be called hacking, because the goal is to break into phone systems in order to make calls and disrupt phone company systems. Others feel that “phreaking” is an over-simplification, because it implies hacking without implying any other, perhaps illegal, activities.”
How is phone phreaking different from hacking?
“The reason why I think ‘hacking’ is a better term is that the goal of phone phreaking is not to hack into phone systems for any other reason than to make phone calls. A lot of people who engage in hacking end up doing all kinds of things to the computer and sometimes to other things, and that kind of hacking is not what you see in phreaking.
“I think people should think of phone phreaking as simply trying to make phone calls. There are lots of people who are engaged in phreaking who are not even trying to hack the phone system. They don’t know how. They don’t want to know how. They want to do phone phreaking. There are others who are engaged in hacking who try to do other things to the system, and you’ll see the same kind of things.
“Many hackers engage in hacking as a way to extend their skills and do new things to the computer and to other things. And a lot of phone phreaks do the same things. In order to be engaged in hacking, you need a specific purpose for it. I think that’s very different from doing phone phreaking for any other reason.”
Phone phreaks understand how phones work. They can understand how it works and how the phone company works, and use this understanding to create things that will help them make more phone calls.
Of course, hacking is much more than that, and there are a lot of people who would describe themselves as hackers, but others would disagree with that.
Part of the problem is that there is often a “tech bubble” around something like phone phreaking, where everyone understands the technology involved, and there are real technical people involved, but there are also charlatans and many people who take things very far over the line. There is a great deal of dispute over this issue, and a lot of it is centered around the terms hacking and hacking, and what is OK, what is not OK, and who gets to define what is “hacking.”
In addition to hacking and phreaking, there is also reverse engineering. The intent behind reverse engineering is to understand how a technology works and apply it to make modifications to a technology.
But, a lot of the biggest proponents of reverse engineering are people who are really interested in modifying the phone system itself and the phone system infrastructure itself. They’re not interested in making phone calls.
One person who really identifies with the difference between phreaking and hacking is Mark Fried. He defines hacking as the technical and the illegal side of things. He says that most of the people who are trying to make phone calls are not interested in hacking the phone system, and are actually working to assist their families. There’s a whole range of people who use phreaking and hacking to do this kind of work.
There are also hacking groups that claim to be legitimate, who do similar work. In fact, the Feds have been spending a lot of time trying to recruit legitimate hackers to help them break into phones. But, this kind of work is neither hacking nor phreaking. It’s reverse engineering.
Carson uses the term “hacker” interchangeably with the words “saboteur” or “hacktivist”:
“The problem is that there is a huge range of people who don’t fit into one of those categories. So you have hackers and saboteurs, which are really different things, and a lot of people use those words interchangeably, and there are reasons for it, and it’s arguable about how meaningful they are.
“The question is, if you get too hung up on definitions and labels, then you lose the real point. The real point is that if you’re interested in certain types of information, you should be willing to do some things that would not be done by others. And, for example, hacking is not supposed to be harmful, but some hacking can be very harmful.