View Full Version : What's this light called ?

Mike McGeehan
12-16-2013, 04:04 PM
The tri-bulbed below windshield ?

Bill Leverett
12-16-2013, 04:15 PM
That"s a Roto-Ray. The new models have LED lights in them.

Roto- Rays are rare in BC. Never seen one on any fire vehicle new or old until last year. Colwood Fire Rescue (suburb of Victoria) has on their new Pump.

Pictures can be seen here:


John Royark JR
12-16-2013, 04:22 PM
Here is one in action

Dan Brintlinger
12-16-2013, 06:14 PM
Roto=Rays were very popular in the 50s or so, but lost their appeal.......a dept just north of Decatur, Hickory Point Vol Fire Dept, puts them on all their apparatus........email me if you want the Roto-Ray co. address.....

Merry Christmas!!

Mike McGeehan
12-16-2013, 06:51 PM
Thank you for the information. I assume they had limited applications on ambulances. I think they'd look killer. Are there specifications on mounting the unit that would pose a challenge on an ambulance ? Grill mount ?
I did find one picture of two mounted on a 1950's ambulance. That thing looks like it wants to fly !

Steve Lichtman
12-16-2013, 11:21 PM
Here is a link (http://www.keplingerfire.com/Product.aspx?id=91) to a place you can buy new Roto Rays, with the company address listed.

Old ones are available like other old warning lights.

The thing about mounting them is that they have a motor which takes up space. You need to have a large, open area, as those really do spin, so the entire area within the diameter of the spinning bulbs needs to be clear. And because of the movement, the mount has to be very stable.

But they do look cool. We have them on all our heavy fire apparatus at Mt. Airy VFC, and many places around here have them, too. (In fact, while DC Fire & EMS does not purchase Roto Rays on their fire apparatus, the city buys apparatus with the wiring and mounts in place - the individual station can raise money to buy their own and have it installed!)

Jerry Jacobson
12-16-2013, 11:51 PM
Did the old ones rotate that fast? :confused:

Steve Lichtman
12-16-2013, 11:56 PM
Did the old ones rotate that fast? :confused:I'm pretty sure the old ones were much slower. The new ones create a blurred circle of light.

Wayne Krakowski
12-17-2013, 07:59 AM
A blurred circle of light? kinda like the parking lot at the international meets.eh?:D

Skip Goulet - Deceased 1945 - 2018
12-18-2013, 06:12 PM
I'm pretty sure the old ones were much slower. The new ones create a blurred circle of light.

You're right, Steve. The older ones turned very slowly. Some of the ones that I've seen on very old fire apparatus had chain drives.

Kevin O'Connell
12-23-2013, 11:52 PM
This was originally called the Buckeye Roto Ray, made by the Buckeye Iron & Brass works of Dayton, Ohio. Buckeye was well known for its agricultural products (tobacco cutting machinery, linseed and cotton seed oil presses) and steam fittings. The remains of the Roto Ray product line were acquired by firefighter Richard Sleppetz of Herndon, VA in the 1980s. Demand for Roto Rays never completely abated and Mr. Sleppetz was able to redesign the light and produce it reliably. Today production runs approximately 700 units per year. Virtually every fire apparatus manufacturer includes wiring for a Roto Ray in their custom cabs.

Mike McGeehan
01-18-2014, 05:33 PM
WHOA !....winning bid $1225. That's a lot of dough for the bling.


Skip Goulet - Deceased 1945 - 2018
06-27-2014, 06:10 PM
I'm pretty sure the old ones were much slower. The new ones create a blurred circle of light.

The very old ones were quite slow and were chain-driven. I've seen a few newsreel stories that showed them in action. Either they were very slow, or the old film, itself, was slow (or a combination thereof)!