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View Full Version : 3M Opticom: Getting green lights all the time!


Kevin Lynch
01-21-2013, 11:21 PM
My 78 American LaFrance has a 3M Opticom system. This is the strobe light that triggers traffic lights to turn green. (Don't worry, it's been disconnected). These things are worth $1,299 new. I don't want to have anything in the truck that wouldn't have been around in 1978. Anyone have an idea when these came out or became popular in fire trucks????
Thanks!

Russ Austin
01-21-2013, 11:24 PM
I have no idea, but god, would I love to have that in my car.

Steve Loftin
01-22-2013, 09:20 AM
My 78 American LaFrance has a 3M Opticom system. This is the strobe light that triggers traffic lights to turn green. (Don't worry, it's been disconnected). These things are worth $1,299 new. I don't want to have anything in the truck that wouldn't have been around in 1978. Anyone have an idea when these came out or became popular in fire trucks????
Thanks!


Why not post a picture so we can see which version you have?

The technology was introduced in the late 1950s, but didn't become popular until the early-mid 1970s.

Wayne Krakowski
01-22-2013, 10:18 AM
The ones in nearby London Ont.came out here in mid-eighties,darn ugly contraptions many die hard fire buffs hated.large, bulky and ugly,the ones here I believe only changed all lights to red or flashing red,and because the city was cheap they had to have a booklet as to which lights had been equipped,The ambulances in Cambridge Ont.were also equipped by the owner of the service with them,but as they were not government issued had to be removed.

Mike McDonald
01-22-2013, 11:38 AM
My 78 American LaFrance has a 3M Opticom system. This is the strobe light that triggers traffic lights to turn green. (Don't worry, it's been disconnected). These things are worth $1,299 new. I don't want to have anything in the truck that wouldn't have been around in 1978. Anyone have an idea when these came out or became popular in fire trucks????
Thanks!


My recollection is the early 70's for the original big ribbed aluminum box type... we have some operating ones here on CROWN Firecoaches. MM

Russell Dalziel
01-23-2013, 12:57 PM
Kevin. the City of Wyoming. Michigan had Opticoms in 1971


Russ

Kevin Lynch
01-23-2013, 11:49 PM
Here's it all- the dash mounted control; the strobe itself; the control box. On the back of the control box (up against what would be the fire wall) has a warning label: DO NOT TOUCH until the battery has been turned off for five minutes. This warning should be on the front. I guess it refers to opening the unit up. Yes, we'd all like to have one of these on anything we drive. I think that the trend is going more to siren-triggered traffic light controls.
I'll save this for the day I get my own man cave.

Mike McDonald
01-24-2013, 08:43 AM
Kevin: That version is a lot newer... probably late 90's. Probably can do a swap for an "era correct one here if you are interested?

Steve Loftin
01-28-2013, 07:46 PM
Here is what the correct Opticom looks like for your '78 ALF:

(internet photos)

Bruce Oliphant
01-28-2013, 09:43 PM
As a a side note I'm having new GPS based Opticoms installed on all of our rigs at a cost of $3,750 per unit. I'm installing the receivers on all traffic signals in the district at a cost of $7,500 per intersection. This is going to be expensive.