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CB Selective Call Units (Again)

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Dawn

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Looking through the archives, this has come up a few times and pretty much degenerates into nonsense of someone wanting to add ctcss to a cb and the absurd comments around that. I decided to move this from the Johnson thread to a general topic though.

Some of the early tube based cb's as was noted below with the response on the Johnson's had an external accessory for selective calling. While the option was available and the interface present, either there was never an accessory developed or there was little interest. Browning, Sonar, Johnson, Pace, and Lafayette in my experience were the only ones I've ever seen a factory manual mention availability of such a product. There apparently was a standard developed for the original, proposed, H.E.L.P plan that never reached fruition with the so-called 25 channel expansion that didn't happen. The Lafayette comsat 23 channel base that was identical to the earlier, short lived 25 channel HELP capable unit I worked on during the 70's still had the connector on the rear and it was noted in the schematic.

Other then Johnson's, I never seen a bonafide CB selective call system master call or mobile slave unit.
Several of the companies listed above made an AM business band single channel version of their CB's that was capable of power. Only system I worked on like this was a Kaar system in '73 that the company I worked for still supported. Pace and HyGain still sold units as late as '76 that I know of. The Kaar units looked much like a Sonar with no channel selector and were fitted with an aftermarket Speedcall IIRC LC filter based two single tone decoder that operated either group or individual call that was fitted after CB user incursion began to occur sometime after the 60's and wasn't a factory product.

This is a fascinating, but seemingly forgotten part of CB's past that I've always wanted to know more about. It would probably be expensive back then. Most encode/decode sytems even at audible frequencies were based on resonant reeds or torridal filters that required very precise tolerance parts. Phase lock loop chips like the '565 and '567 appeared during the early 70's along with phase shift oscillators or op amp based gyrator filters that could be forced into oscillation for encode at the same frequency. That still would have cost quite a bit and even then, were extremely unreliable due to drift if they used tunable components like 10 turn pots.

CB and AM would require an audible tone signalling system. The problem get much more complex with SSB and I have decades of experience with those system in marine and terrestrial hf networks used in latin america that the selcal units would have cost more then a high end SSB CB mobile or base. I doubt anyone ever used those types of systems on CB.

Any of you have any first hand experience with CB selective call with spec. details in particular or manuals? Nothing that I want to do, just want to understand what the companies were offering. While many old
CB books mention this in passing, none are ever specific about any of the systems used.
 

Grondoline

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Dec 19, 2002
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Back in the mid -1960's my family used CB for the business, but it didn't work out too well because of co-channel users including a taxi fleet. Since two of the CB's were Johnsons, we decided to try the selective calling add-on units on them. Installation was easy, because they were literally "plug and play" with no modification to the radio needed. I don't remember if they were single or dual tone, but were easy to operate with just a 3 position switch and an indicator light that lit when tone activated, and were transistorized even though the radios used tubes.

We eventually dropped the whole mess and went with real FM two-way radio.

The selective calling units were sold by most EF Johnson dealers.
 

pcole

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Apr 7, 2004
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Lafayette

In the early 70's I had the Lafayette selective call set up between home and the car.
Was living in Pittsburgh at the time. It worked flawlessly. You never had to hear all the crap
on the channel. It was a two tone simil. system and would cut through the clutter with no problem.
Wish I still had them.
 

cmdrwill

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So Cali
The selective calling used back then was in band audio tones for a set time. A selective reed like a tuning fork, is what EFJ used.

Something like 761 hZ tone for about five seconds. Different 'tones' for different users.
 

JayMojave

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Messages
668
Location
Mojave Ca
Hello Dawn and All:

I know that General Radiotelephone on Burbank Blvd in Beautiful Downtown Burbank, makers of the Super MC-11A, SB72, and Business Band 25 watt radios made for the Courier and other manufactures has a Tone Alert / Selective Call type accessory made available.

I believe that small business's used these Selective Call Units, that were not in the main stream of CB radio hobby users, going to CB Breaks, Coffee Breaks, shooting skip, rag chewing, and such. So there is no dough a egigma about the Selective Call Systems.

I have to agree with CZS there, as Police, Fire, and City FM VHF low and high band Systems were upgraded and changed, making surplus VHF FM equipment available to small business's and such. I have a old Motorola Tube VHF Radio that has many ID stickers on it.

Jay in the Great Mojave Desert
 

cmdrwill

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So Cali
Was it Fm that might of put a cap on this for all CB radios.....
Yes the availability of FM transceivers in the late 60's, like the small dash mount all transistor Motorola 5 watt FM mobile radios.

E F Johnson stayed with the AM radios in the commercial line up till the 70's or so.
 

techman210

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May 28, 2011
Messages
181
Location
San Bernardino County
SBE Select-A-Call

SBE made the Select-A-Call unit in the 80's that was marketed to both business users and CB. It was priced far above the typical CB user's budget, so it never seemed to take off.

It featured a 5 digit calling ID, and single and group calls. If you called a single ID, and the unit received the message, it would respond back with it's ID code and (fuzzy memory) a lamp would light (or extinguish) to let you know the calling party's radio heard the call.

Naturally, there was no transpond feature in group call.

There was a small 5 digit LED display to let you program in calls in memory locations, enter your ID, and also would let you know the unit that called you.

I can't find any pictures if it on the web, and I just happen to still have one which I thought I threw out years ago. The manual is long gone.

My particular model is "AF6" as barely seen on the far right of the picture.
 

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