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Going back to old school lighting

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by southshoreplow, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Thinking about going back to Grote type beacon. led are nice and bright but don't melt snow and sometimes annoying as well as expensive. strobes drive me crazy when it is snowing ! Besides it brings back a lot of childhood memories running to the window when the beam would light up the room at night . plenty of warning less annoying and better visibility in snow in my opinion. Down fall is more power draw. Lets hear opinions or comments.

  2. Tom@AWL

    Tom@AWL Inactive
    Messages: 97

    You really can't go wrong with old school lighting. You can usually find the lights for pretty cheap, and they definitely get the job done. A big perk is that they'll melt some of the snow as you mentioned. As for the power draw, as long as the truck is running, you should e fine.

    Be sure to post some photos with whatever you decide!
  3. Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    Believe it or not, there are a few of us that actually still like the old halogen rotators. Yes, they do draw some amperage, but from a bang for the buck standpoint, they're still hard to beat.

    My personal light bar has the whole lower level populated with LEDs and they're great when the truck isn't running and I don't want to draw the battery down. But, the whole upper level is four good old fashioned rotators and they kick some serious butt.
  4. xgiovannix12

    xgiovannix12 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,417

    lot of guys run older rotators . I ran a rotator till I got a whelen edge for a decent deal. But I dont mind having a strobe. MY old man still runs a rotator
  5. 3bladz

    3bladz Senior Member
    Messages: 172

    Haha. That's funny the part about the light in the window. My Dad said something not too long ago about how I always got up and cleared the walk and driveway with my John Deere 110 when I was a kid. He never figured out how I knew it snowed to wake up. I told him I could hear the state trucks go by and the orange light flashing through my window.
  6. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 942

    I run a halogen Rotator I got off ebay for about $90. I love it as strobes really annoy me, only downfall is with the rotator and halogen light facing backwards my battery gets run down. Should improve when I put on the led reverse lights.
  7. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    Nothing like that sound coming through the roof! It'll keep you awake through the longest storms!
  8. Maine_Train

    Maine_Train Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    If/when I get around to installing a Backrack on my truck, I've got a pair of Federal Model 100 beacons to go on it. I've been using a Star 9200SV mini strobe bar since shortly after I got the truck, but I like the "old school" lights, too.

    Before LEDs, before strobes, before halogen bulbs with a reflector behind, there were incandescent sealed beams. When this thread first appeared, I went to Sirenman's site (<http://sirenman.com/beacons/bsales.html>) just to see what he might have kicking around.
    Yeah, I remember pretty much all of those old beacons, flashers, and oscillating lights shown there. :cool:

    Between the sealed beams and the motors in them, they drew a lot of juice, but the beams sweeping around the vehicle let you know when they were working. When strobes came out, they were promoted as being brighter as well as being easier on the battery, but the "freeze motion" effect could be pretty annoying sometimes.
    As long as the vehicle's electrical system is up to it, I think "old school" has its advantages.
  9. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,325

    I had a Dietz rotator on my 79 blazer for years when I plowed. It did drone through the whole cab. You knew it was on. Please post pics of your project.
  10. Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    You might want to try the halogen rotator version of your Star mini-bar. They're very popular around here and throw an amazing amount of light. Better yet, since it's only the reflector that's getting rotated, they draw less power than one of the old "rotating sealed beam" units. In fact I might just happen to have a brand new one in my basement if you need one.
  11. Maine_Train

    Maine_Train Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    I'll be sticking with what I've got (for awhile anyway) but if it's "old school" enough for SouthShore, maybe he'd take you up on that. :cool:
  12. Going to try a federal model 100 this storm . My friends wife gave to me after he passed recently. I made it a magnet mount and putting it on the dump. Only thing is it is the fast model I hope it wont drive me nuts .
  13. Maine_Train

    Maine_Train Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    Huh; I don't think I knew until now that they made so many different versions of the Model 100. I just looked it up on line, and the 95 FPM version was the only one that came in magnetic mount. I found a data sheet that says there's a 95 FPM, a 120 FPM and a 175 FPM version, but other documents refer to 95 FPM or 175 FPM. A parts list I found (printed 1999) shows a "Motor & Worm Gear Assembly Z8559A055A" and a "Motor & Worm Gear Assy. FAST Z8559A055A-01."

    I think I only tested one of mine on 12V, and it was a "slow" one. One of mine has a plain Federal label, and doesn't show anything beyond "Model 100." The other has an "FS Target Tech" label, and says it's a 443112, which is the 12V 95 FPM permanent mount. The worm gear looks the same on both, so I think they're the same flash rate.

    You could probably change yours if the fast flash rate was too annoying when plowing.
  14. BostonRamGuy

    BostonRamGuy Member
    Messages: 45

    I have a new dual rotator mini-bar up front and LED's in the back. Prefer the old school lights myself. Really throw beams through a storm, also the LED's give a nice pop but its not flashing in my face!


    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  15. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

  16. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    A township around here still has the old single 4 sided rotators going on many of their plow trucks,lol Its funny to see a newer truck and 1980's lights on it.
  17. daman

    daman Member
    Messages: 69

    I love the old school lighting,,i use a Federal Signal with dual 55w rotors you can see me for miles even on a sunny bright day,penetrates bad weather better too IMO. Thumbs Up
  18. I really like the jet stream with smart rotators. Just need to find one.
  19. I believe the slower speed gives more of a pop ! Fast wasn't bad however I think I want a dual beam grote or something similar .
  20. Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    I'll second the motion - with proof. My Star Interceptor has two regular speed rotators on the inside and high speed rotators on the outsides of the upper half. I guarantee you that the slower speed rotators get your attention better.