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Emergency lighting and Sirens For discussion of emergency lighting and sirens as they are associated with Professional Cars. Posting in this forum is limited to PCS Members and / or Site Supporters. We encourage all website users to become members of the Professional Car Society and / or become Site Supporter.

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Old 12-09-2014, 01:09 PM
Dave Lisiecki Dave Lisiecki is offline
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Default Lighting switch panel question.

What would be the common switch panel switches and functions on a station-wagon ambulance or combination? Especially a lower-budget one like a Briarean? Would each one have been totally different, made to suit? On mine for example, I no longer have whatever switch panel and associated wiring that was under the dash, but I have two photos of Briarean switch panels I’m using as templates for mine, the gold ’61 that was on ebay (now in England) and a black '60 I know of. I assume these panels utilize pull-type switches, which I have been checking out from ebay and NAPA. I’m not sure if those other items are indicator lights. I think my original underhood siren was operated by the horn ring, but I wonder if there’s a master switch to switch that over, maybe one for the tunnel lights on all four corners, and one for the 17D that was rather standard. Maybe an additional one if an optional fender-mounted siren-light. Or if there's a 2-way radio, is there a radio function switch? Can anyone make a guess as to what these probably are? Thanks much. I hope this info is applicable to other low-budget combos as well. Curiously, the toggle switch I have on the driver’s kick panel wasn’t for lights or siren, but decoding the wire colors it tied-together the left and right rear turn signals lamps for some reason. (Maybe to make the rears flash together with the flasher?)

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Old 12-09-2014, 01:22 PM
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John ED Renstrom John ED Renstrom is offline
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they could be pull or rotate they look the same from this side. my 53 rotates the toggle is most likely the horn siren switch. the other set could be any combination the owner wanted. one for the corner light/grill lights, one for the beacon. you see a lot that turn on a big overhead light in back also. the jewel light could be wired to indicate any of them being on. most of these type of rigs did not have a lot of stuff. I say most. as there were light and siren nuts that ran them to.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:43 PM
Wayne Krakowski Wayne Krakowski is offline
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If I remember correctly the one local funeral home ran a ford station wagon ambulance if the switch was on the siren worked but not the horn,turn the switch off the horn worked only, I have seen some were they hook up the siren to a second dimmer switch on the floor beside the regular dimmer switch with that you had better pay attention to which one you hit.
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:11 AM
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That's very fancy for a station wagon ambulance. My wagon ambulances (and even my Henney Packard Junior and Flxible Buick ambulances) have simple toggle switches drilled through the dashboard. The Desoto has a pull switch for the beacon.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:44 AM
Kevin O'Connell Kevin O'Connell is offline
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The pull switches are made by Cole Hersee, typically part number M-628. Horn/siren switches are usually toggle type ( I prefer the Cole Hersee 5590), but Cole Hersee does make a push/pull version.
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Originally Posted by Wayne Krakowski View Post
I have seen some were they hook up the siren to a second dimmer switch on the floor beside the regular dimmer switch with that you had better pay attention to which one you hit.
This is a common misconception that many have. The floor switch was not a dimmer switch but a starter button, such as a Cole Hersee 9060 or 9183.

Last edited by Kevin O'Connell; 12-24-2014 at 06:45 AM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:57 PM
Peter Grave Peter Grave is offline
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The Pennsylvania State Police used a dimmer switch style siren switch till just recently. It was not a starter switch but a low amperage unit for the purpose. I will see if I can find one amoung the stuff but some on line research should yield a maker cause they have been found in modern Crown Vics that were surplused out
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Old 12-24-2014, 11:24 PM
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the electric sirens used the momentary on button type. but the mechanical ones used the heavy duty momentary on that appears like a floor mounted dimmer switch. same switch for a solenoid start floor switch. like I said, a momentary on switch. unlike the dimer which is a rotation contact. the starter switch is bigger around and most are taller than the dimmer so you could feel for the one you wanted. they are fairly close together on this 58 so it possible to hit the siren while fumbling for the dimer. bet a man would only do that once. the 70 had one of the waterproof buttons on the floor to trip the siren also.
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Old 12-25-2014, 02:11 PM
Kerry Lange Kerry Lange is offline
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The '62 M-M Cadillac low top (ex Chicago Fire Dept) that we used to run as a standby unit at Winnipeg Speedway a long time ago had a floor switch on both the driver and passenger side. I guess that was so the attendant could have fun on the way to the call as well. Needless to say, the passenger side one was accidentally activated a number of times if you didn't watch where you put your feet.
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:46 PM
Scott A. Anderson Scott A. Anderson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerry Lange View Post
The '62 M-M Cadillac low top (ex Chicago Fire Dept) that we uspanelto run as a standby unit at Winnipeg Speedway a long time ago had a floor switch on both the driver and passenger side. I guess that was so the attendant could have fun on the way to the call as well. Needless to say, the passenger side one was accidentally activated a number of times if you didn't watch where you put your feet.
For that reason many of the places I worked installed a kill switch in the emergency light panel that shut off the foot swich. An anti-embarrassment feature. We still spec this on all our fire trucks with Q sirens. Like the siren/horn switch only disables the foot switch.
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