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CB Radio Forum - Discussions regarding Citizens Band Radio (CB)

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Old 09-30-2013, 8:30 PM
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Default Original H.E.L.P. Emergency Plan/Seperate Reply To "Dumb Question" Below

This needed a seperate posting as it's pretty much lost history.

A little old history is in order here about what the story behind 22A and 22B which are now channels 24 and 25 in the post '77 40 channel band plan. It's truly a remarkable story of some heavy writedowns by Detrioit and some of the parntnered radio companies and one of the reasons that the fickelness of the FCC and other interagency Govt. frequency management agency then called IRAC they don't preside over and the last minute details of the 40 channel band plan caused so much distrust and many OEM players withdrawing out of the market until the dust settled leaving Uniden and Cybrenet as the only two essentially ready to roll by rollout date.

Twenty two A and 22B were originally going to be part of a two channel specialized expansion that was going to be for vehicular emergency use. It's something that's lost to tube cb days around 1965 with barely a passing mention in some SAMs books. The FCC went to far as to authorize type acceptance for a handfull of applicants such as Lafayette and Regency for 25 channel bases. They were also equipped with a jack on the back for some kind of simple selective call unit or alarm that didn't materialize as an emergency product. The plan developed by the auto industry and several radio companies called for these two channels to be implemented in a turnkey vehicular system preferably located in the glovebox. Upon a roadside emergency or breakdown, the user would push one of two buttons and use either a mic or handset. The range was limited and specific to a geographic area served by service stations,police,hospitals,garages, and emergency services and would use the vehicle's am radio antenna. The industry formed a consortium that they were partnering and building radios that would be given to police and hospitals by the car makers as a goodwill gesture to get the process kickstarted. Known industry details came from some discovered Raytheon documents and also a huge writedown by Delco. Prior to the rollout, they companies agressively searched out virtually anyone holding a 2nd or first phone license to be involved with local implementations. I got this part from a guy who was a broadcast transmitter operator who was courted along with anyone else he turned them onto to make sure this went off without a hitch at participating garages and dealers that would have specialized radios that would be activated if needed. The program was called H.E.L.P or Highway Emergency Locating Plan. a name the FCC would reuse christening channel 9 some years later, but not the same thing. Several companies released consumer bases for sale legally with warnings that the feature wasn't yet legal. The police and emergency units were unlike the consumer units. Just alarm based units with a mic that in some cases were designed to be remoted by dc lines to a console and portable units that were part of a go kit (from Raytheon set up lists) indicating that they intended to stay on these channels rather then move off which would make sense during crystal controlled days. The FCC changed their mind last minute leaving the auto and radio companies holding warehouses of finished radios that were never installed. These most likely were two piece sets with a small head in the glove box and used a single tone transmit alert. To my knowledge, none of these ever reached surplus or anyone knew what they were.

This was very well planned and executed much like the electronics industry rolled out music CD's. The automakers planned every detail with radio companies, there was mutual agreement that the FCC signed off on and an infrastructure would already be in place before the radios were offered as an option in the following years models. HELP is nebulously documented in the popular press and books of the time, but there was great cooperation between the players to make sure this would be a perfect success by the time it started. Too bad the FCC or whatever power play behind the scenes caused a last minute decision. It couldn't have been RCC hobbiests with all this money invested. This sort of played out again after channel 9 on a half hearted, limited basis with the same HELP moniker, but no selective calling. Several companies such as Radio Shack offered small, single channel 9 radios and portable units during the early 70's and bases that had either dual watch receive or instant channel 9 switching that never caught on. That's your story for channel 22A and 22B from around 1965.
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Old 09-30-2013, 9:21 PM
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Very interesting, thank you for posting that. I had never heard of this before.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:40 PM
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Here's two quick references I found searching for Highway Emergency Locating Plan that supports this story.

Lafayette Comstat 25

Describes the Lafayette Comstat with 25 channels and future HELP newtork.

Raytheon/Apelco/Webster CB Radio Museum

Second pdf down the page has some hints about the relationship between Ford Motor Company and Raytheon in their development, recommended setups, but also mixes in general info on their RayTel CB's they were trying to sell through Ford dealers. Ca. 1965

The latter reference about Ford/Raytheon is substantiated by a story that I heard from another tech that was a Broadcast Engineer during college and drafted shortly afterwards. He and the other engineers at the station he worked at were given a pitch by the area Ford Dealer's assn. rep about participating in this glovebox radio emergency project as he put it. The rep was clueless about the details, just what it was about and that they would needed licensed techs to oversee the local installations. Don't know why they needed techs unless there was some transmitter work or the radios had to be somehow tuned into the antennas for the base units. The mobile vehicles would come pre-installed unless they were offering retrofits where a tech may have been necessary to do the final alignment. These were tube days and whatever they were using in '65 would have been hybrid at best and use a vibrator or T power supply. They never heard a word again about it, but the achronym HELP was already established.
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Old 10-01-2013, 4:17 AM
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thanks for the info dawn, so is this then the real reason for the void on the 23 channel cb's?...................oldcb
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Old 10-01-2013, 7:27 AM
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Hello All: Great info here as I never knew the story on the 22A and 22B Channels. They were a mystery until reading all this. I will add more when time allows.

Jay in the Mojave
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Old 12-01-2013, 7:55 PM
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Cool The void between 22 and 23

I thought was to be used for some of the class C licensees in the 26.96-27.28 mhz band, to accommodate remotely controlled divides in that spectrum. Being crystal controlled, I would think you could add, as long as you were licenced to do so, as a business with some sort of scientific interest, to insert a crystal in that blank channel for said radio control. That's not a specific finding in my studies of older Citizens Radio Service rules, but an uneducated guess.
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