The Bell System Practices contained all of the standards and procedures
required for the reliable, safe and efficient operation of the Bell
Telephone system. They were developed
from the detailed study of every business and engineering aspect of the industy.
The 2B Regrettor appeared in the late 1930's as a parody on the
Practices as well as a depression era political satire. Perhaps Harry
Hershey's description taken from the Seventh Edition of his book
Automatic Telephone Practice (1954) says it best:
"No one seems to know just who authored the "Regrettor," nevertheless this
intriguing bit of nonsense has had a limited underground circulation in the
communications field for the past ten or twelve years. It deserves wider
distribution and certainly should not be lost to posterity."
With the help of the Internet, it is hoped that Harry's desire will
finally be fulfilled beyond his wildest dreams.
The source for this particular HTML document came from a copy of the
Seventh Edition of the book Automatic Telephone Practice by Harry
Hershey. The book is from the collection of Keith Hlavacs. Scanning,
graphics and HTML conversion was done by the TCI webmaster.
We hope that you enjoy our 1999 April Fool's offering.
Paul Wills - Telephone Collectors International
|BULL SYSTEM PRACTICES||SECTION Z999.998
|Special Engineering||Issue 1, 4-26-37
|Extraordinary Services|| Provisional Standard
NO. 2-B REGRETTOR
DESCRIPTION AND PROCEDURES
For People Who Think They Think
- Impedance Range
- Circuit Design Considerations
- Power Requirements
- Mechanical Arrangement
- CONVERTER ATTACHMENT
- INSTALLATION AND OPERATION
1.11 The No. 2-B Regrettor is a light weight, compact
unit, recently developed specifically for use by
persons whose capacities for regretting are below
normal, or who, due to various activities, have more
to regret than can be conveniently handled without
1.12 Through the use of this device it is possible for the
user to have his bad moments regretted for him,
and he is meanwhile left free to engage in activities which
may be regretted later.
1.13 This device may be absolutely depended upon to
faithfully regret in accordance with the wishes of
even the most talented of bunglers. It is guaranteed to
bend every effort to perform its duties, being equipped
with a dynamically stabilized microsynchronous effort
bender of the cantilever type.
1.14 By means of a simple change-over switch, the
No. 2-B Regrettor can be made to rue. Days are
the least difficult of all items to rue. To "rue the day"
it is merely necessary to set the machine up in accordance
with the simple instructions given under OPERATION.
- In case there is doubt as to the simplicity of the
instructions, see Part 4.
1.15 Provision has been made for the use of the
No. D-9445 Anticipatory Converter Attachment
in connection with the No. 2-B Regrettor. The combined
action of these two units operating in conjunction is such
that the Regrettor functions in a negative sense; The net
result is essentially that of an Anticipator. The advantages
attendant upon such flexibility hardly require pointing out.
- This singular effect is explained in Part 3 under
1.16 The No. 2-B Regrettor may be adjusted to give
down pangs of regret if such are desired. All
frequencies up to 20 pangs per second are obtainable
under control of the operator. When the Pang Frequency
Control is set on 20 p.p.s. the output from jacks J-10 and
J-11 labelled FACETIOUS OUTPUT may be used as
ringing current on the drop side of all loops within reach,
- Note: This is what would be known as a
1.17 The No. 2-B Regrettor is designed to fit the
No. 221-C Mounting.
- This mounting is shock proof and will withstand
the impact of the housing of the Regrettor which
sometimes produces violent motion when suffering
pang regret of high amplitude. Helical spring pang
suppressors suitably placed about the frame of the
mounting aid in reducing the acoustic shock to a
minimum, and serve to protect the tube from damage.
A. Impedance Range
2.11 The No. 2-B Regrettor has been designed to
satisfactorily match a wide range of emotional
impedance, the actual values of which depend in large
measure, of course, upon the temperament coefficient of
the user. Where this factor is known to be substantially
consistent, the instrument may be relied upon to
adequately perform regrets for long periods of time
- Human nature being what it is, however, it is
recommended that the instrument be checked at
frequent intervals in accordance with the instructions
given in part 5 of this Section under "CALIBRATION".
- On the other hand perhaps not.
2.12 A chart of the output impedance is given in Figure A,
from which may be seen at a glance.
- Caution: These values are the imaginary components
only. The tabulation of real values is given
Figure B. See table.
2.13 The response of the No. 2-B Regrettor is substantially
uniform over the entire sad gamut of
emotional range being less than 2 db down at the
perfunctory regret end and 3 db down at the black
- Note: Where a flatter characteristic is desired
the Regrettor may be flattered with a
22 type False Praise Lavisher.
- Caution: If an A.C. operated 22-C Lavisher is
used a filter will be required to smooth out the
- The action of the Lavisher may be smoothed
somewhat by applying a drop or two of non-
gumming KS-7415 Guile in the duct provided for
2.14 A typical response curve of a properly operating Regrettor
is shown in Figure C.
2.15 In regard to selectivity, it may be said that the
No. 2-B Regrettor affords a fine power of discrimination
between regrets differing by as little as a single
blue note. In fact, 5 moods off resonance the response is
60 db down.
2.16 During the recent lean years, many sluggards have
repeatedly gone, not to the ant, but to the earlier
types of regrettors which lacked sufficient output power
to handle their requirements adequately.
2.17 To fill this crying need, the No. 2-B Regrettor has
been designed to handle a maximum output power of
60 watts R.M.S. (Room for More Surges). This is far in
excess of the power normally required for ordinary
household and industrial use.
- It is of interest to note the fact that the No. 2-B
Regrettor will withstand excessive overloads for
long periods. Preliminary tests were made, in which
the Republican Party Inc. and The House of Parliament
Ltd. assisted in tests to destruction of the No. 2-B
Regrettor. While regretting for the Republicans the
test unit operated under conditions of almost 90%
overload continuously for 6 months without failure,
and this failure was directly traceable to an abnormally
high concentration of hot gases and cigar smoke which
interfered seriously with proper ventilation.
- The results of the preliminary tests with the
Parliament people, proved conclusively that the
ultimate breakdown point of the instrument far
exceeded the requirements of normal use. In this
case the operating conditions called for a continuous
headache punctuated at intervals by high amplitude
pangs. The test was made during a time when there
was some question about the British coronary
incumbent. The average overload was 72% and
failure occurred by corona discharge and flash over
in the plate circuits of the output tubes.
E. Circuit Design Considerations
2.18 Spurious or parasitic regrets are prevented by the
use of Avrton-Perry windings on the beductance
coils. The fact that each turn of wire is doubled back on
itself is believed to be responsible in large measure for
the low reactance of these coils and consequently for
2.19 The No. 2-B Regrettor is always to be operated at
the highest possible sobbing point. Sobbing point
measurements can be made from readings of the non-
rectifying type meter on the panel. This meter is of the
past mistakes type having 1000 ohs per volt and will
give a true indication of how far things have gone.
- Note: Under conditions where regrets are desired
in the "acheing" range (4.5 to 5.6 moregrets/sec)
a slight inherent tendency toward regeneration would
set up a violent sobbing condition which might
increase in amplitude up to the peak capacity of the
tubes were it not for the anti-sob resistors connected
in the grid circuits. These effectively damp out all
but the "racking" type of sob.
- The dampness is controlled by a lachrymal
potentiometer conveniently located on the
2.20 Since certain regrets call for a sustained racking
sob condition, provision is made for dissipating the
excess energy thus developed in a load circuit made up of
four 600 ohm Utter Futility type pads.
2.21 All grid prejudice voltages for the tubes are supplied
from a single bias rectifier supply.
F. Power Requirements
2.22 The No. 2-B Regrettor is designed to operate from
a 105 to 120 volt 50 or 60 cycle A.C. or D.C. circuit
and requires 100 watts.
G. Mechanical Arrangement
2.23 The No. 2-B Regrettor unit is relatively light in
weight, moderately small in size, fairly mobile and
essentially the type of apparatus known as portable,
A typical installation is pictured in Figure D.
2.24 Overall dimensions are approximately as follows:
- (a) Width: 24 33/64 inches
- (b) Length: 60 63/64 inches
- (c) Height: 40 37/64 inches
- Note: These dimensions are overall and include
the carrying handles.
- Caution: The handles are not furnished with the
unit and must be ordered separately.
- (1) Bronze only is furnished when specified.
- Note: Nickel screws only are furnished with
- (1) Screws should match the handles.
- Note: Screws should be ordered
2.25 The total weight of the instrument including the
No. 221-C Mounting and the No. D-9445 Anticipatory
Converter Attachment is approximately 1242 pounds,
8 oz., 10 grams, 1 grain.
2.26 Controls are brought out to the front panel for
accessibility. For ready maintenance on the
interior of the cabinet, the 25 knobs and 15 keys are
removed and the front panel is then removed by unscrewing
112 machine screws, and running an oxyhydrogen torch
along the edges of the panel.
- Caution: Since all wires and component units
mounted inside the box are embedded
in sealing compound, a trough should be
placed below the front panel when it is removed.
3. CONVERTER ATTACHMENT
3.11 Due to the inherent principle of operation of the
No. 2-B regrettor, it assumes a perpetually
pessimistic attitude. When the phase of this attitude is
reversed, a steady state of optimism is set up. The
D-9445 Anticipatory Converter Attachment is virtually a
phase inverter. The pessimistic attitude of the Regrettor
is reversed through a pi-section network.
3.12 After reversal, the attitude is fed into a Class B
attioamplifier which excites a Class C Extrapolater
circuit. This extrapolater by means of its dynatronic
characteristic of negative resistance, absorbs the output
of the attioamplifier faster than it can be supplied, and
the net result is that a projection into the future is
obtained. This projection amounts to negative regression,
which is, of course, the same as anticipation. Figure E
illustrates a typical curve of the operation of a regrettor
with the Anticipatory Converter attachment.
4. INSTALLATION AND OPERATION
4.11 The Regrettor should be placed in as bright and
cheery a location as possible. Dark, dank corners
should be avoided inasmuch as the instrument generally
surrounds itself with an atmosphere of gloom and where
this cannot be dissipated rapidly, it builds up to an
undesirable concentration in the vicinity.
4.12 The maximum ambient attitude should not be
allowed to become higher than a medium "pall of
gloom". Ambient attitudes higher than this produce a
corrosive degenerative effect on the instrument causing
its output to drop off, and ultimately the machine will go
into a decline and waste away in the manner of an
4.13 The Regrettor should be mounted vertically.
- a. When mounted horizontally the grid lead resistors
cannot drain rapidly enough and the result is as
shown in Figure F.
- Note: See Figure F.
- (1) It is to be understood that this is representative
of an average case only.
- (a) Average cases are difficult to find.
- Note: It is doubtful if such exist.
- (1) See Figure F.
4.14 The Regrettor should be turned "ON". Shortly the
tubes will be hot, and the Regrettor will be prepared
to receive its first assignment.
4.15 The assignment generally used to determine that
the set is functioning properly is essentially that of
regret at having purchased the instrument. The procedure
below would be followed:
- Set switch D2 to the "Regret" Position.
- Advance "OUTPUT" control to about half
- Rotate the QUALITY dial to the setting marked
- Look at invoice reading "Price: $3,145.25,
slightly higher west of Kearney, Nebraska".
- Observe that the Regrettor has a single high
amplitude pang, and note the immediate cessation
of doubt and regret at having bought the instrument.
||If it is found that following this pang,
a wish to buy another identical unit
arises, the OUTPUT control was set
||If a slight lingering feeling of regret is
noticed, the OUTPUT control was set
4.16 The D-9445 Anticipatory Converter should be
attached and tested by patching through from jacks
marked "ANTIOUT" to "REG. IN." and from "UT. FUT.
MON" to "ANT. HYB. IN" and the following procedure
- Advance Regrettor OUTPUT to FULL.
- Set QUALITY knob to "ANYTHG CN HPPN".
- Turn the OFF-ON switch on the converter to
"ON" and observe that the Agastat S-3 picks up.
- Rotate the Converter dial marked "TIME" and its
Vernier, "HOURS", slowly, and observe the
following future trends:
- (1) Skirts will become longer, then much shorter.
- (2) Non-fixable traffic tickets will be fixed.
- (3) The New Deal will conduct investigations.
- (4) Rows of theater seats will continue to be too
4.17 If it is observed that "Hearst prints paper in RED
ink", the instruments are defective and should be
returned to the manufacturer for adjustment.
5.11 The calibration of the No. 2-B Regrettor is most
conveniently checked by the arbitrary values of
regret felt on March 15th. The desirability of the type of
regret connected with this date lies in the tact that it is a
universal standard, welling up on every hand, and
flavored with equal bitterness everywhere. The following
procedure is recommended in calibrating the No. 2-B
- Set the Regrettor QUALITY dial to ACHEING and
leave D-l turned "OFF".
- Look at notice from Bureau of Internal Revenue
and recall 1936 Presidential Campaign.
- Observe dull ache near billfold.
- Suddenly turn Regrettor switch D-l to ON and
observe that as tubes heat and Regrettor takes up
the load, ache near billfold subsides, and a wish is
felt to rise and sing first two verses of "We're
With You, Mr. President."
5.12 This procedure will accurately check the calibration.
If the instrument is found to vary, repeat procedure
and reset QUALITY dial to ACHEING.
6.11 From Durand's "Critique of Pure Reason", it can
be shown that, given sufficient time, an element dv
of the regression characteristic is a periodic function:
- Fd(r) = FDR sin t +
The last term is largely transient as shown by its factor:
- P2W2A2 = (PWA) (WPA) x 107
|lim f (P2W2A2)
||G. O. P. x 108
The latter half of this expression cancels out, of course,
where the bias voltage of the Chief Justice approaches
cutoff, and where the ratio 5/4 holds.
|| = a constant
it is clear that
- in F. P. C. units
(Farleys per cm2)
The tippling coefficient as shown by Haig and Haig
- T = K (1 + .00073LV) per cavort which puts
the quart before the hearse.
and the regrettor dynamic function is
- T x 108 +
This explains why F (r)
is essentially not linear.
Knowing , the characteristic can
be extrapolated with a fair degree of accuracy to a first approximation.
Hence the gullibility factor () may be increased
without limit, and at all times equals the number of what
P2 T x 109 Barnum said was born every minute.