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Testing a strobe socket

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by plowzilla, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    Hey guys, I have an older Federal signal light bar. It has 4 strobes in it, all of them are 6 3/4" tubes. How can I test the sockets for power that these tubes go in? Is it as simple as using a test light and looking for a flash in it? Or is there something different because it a strobe? Thanks for any help
     
  2. Maine_Train

    Maine_Train Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    There's a lot of voltage coming out of a strobe power supply. I think the safest way to test that, if you can get replacement tubes for the light bar, would be to buy one new tube and try it in the sockets. If that tube works in all four sockets but none of the present tubes work, then you'll need three more replacement tubes.
    If you buy a new one and neither it nor the existing tubes work, then something else is wrong. At least you'll have a spare tube if/when the original ones start dying off.

    Don't get zapped.
     
  3. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    Good idea! Thanks
     
  4. Maine_Train

    Maine_Train Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    A couple of years ago, I bought a small dual strobe bar in a kind of "as-is" (cheap-cheap) eBay deal. The amber dome had kind of a white haze inside it. It almost looked like someone had used the dome for a pan to soak parts in Coca-Cola or something. :rolleyes: Luckily it cleaned up nicely with some Novus plastic cleaner.
    I did have to replace some parts, including the power supply, but everything was pretty much "plug-and-play" as far as the wiring. Even with the cost of the new parts (I also converted it to vacuum/magnetic mount while I was at it), I saved some buck$ over the cost of a brand new bar.
    That could have turned out to be like the joke about "jack up the radiator cap and put a new truck under it," but I came out ahead. :cool:

    Good luck with restoring your light bar.
     
  5. RBRONKEMA GHTFD

    RBRONKEMA GHTFD 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,592

    Just plug a working strobe into the dead strobe tubes socket. If it works then replace the tube. If none of them are working and you do not hear the supply firing start checking fuses. If none of the fuses are bad the make sure all your connections are together. Check for bad grounds. This is the cheapest way to do it before ordering parts.
     
  6. plowzilla

    plowzilla Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    I put a new bulb in one of the sockets and it didn't fire. I don't hear anything either. The fuses are good and I think the ground is good but I am going to double check on that. There are also two way flashers inside the strobe housing and those work fine. Thanks for the help.