California Spec Federal Signal Beacon

348

Junior Member
I recently visited the San Diego County Sheriff's Museum in California and saw they had several emergency lights on display. They had a CTS bar, an Aerodynic bar and a Vision bar. The oldest light they had on display was this Federal Signal beacon with the California steady red light attached to the front. Unfortunately, someone felt they needed to paint over all the chrome with white paint (possibly to match the white roof of the patrol car). The badge was painted over so I couldn't get a model or serial number on it. There were some pictures of the light mounted on patrol cars that didn't appear to be painted white, so I'm not sure why this one was. At any rate, I thought it may be of interest her on elightbars.

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cmb56

Member
Pity the photos of the patrol cars was not in color but if I do not remember wrong the San Diego Sheriff’s Dept. had green and white cars back then.
They should have looked quite nice with the red lights on top.

Michael
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
348

348

Junior Member
Pity the photos of the patrol cars was not in color but if I do not remember wrong the San Diego Sheriff’s Dept. had green and white cars back then.
They should have looked quite nice with the red lights on top.

Michael
I was told by a retired deputy working at the museum that the sheriff who was in office from 1970-1990 was an Irishman and he changed the patrol cars to the green and white design. They have since switched back to black and white and I was told all law enforcement vehicles in the state of California are required by law to be black and white with the only exception being certain ones can be all white. The pictures below are of a Chevrolet Caprice they had on display at the museum in the old paint scheme. Some photos they had showed a green and white Chevrolet Nova with a CTS bar. It was not on display when I visited.

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cmb56

Member
I was told by a retired deputy working at the museum that the sheriff who was in office from 1970-1990 was an Irishman and he changed the patrol cars to the green and white design. They have since switched back to black and white and I was told all law enforcement vehicles in the state of California are required by law to be black and white with the only exception being certain ones can be all white. The pictures below are of a Chevrolet Caprice they had on display at the museum in the old paint scheme. Some photos they had showed a green and white Chevrolet Nova with a CTS bar. It was not on display when I visited.

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Thank you for that information.
It seems that I remembered right.

Michael
 
OP
OP
348

348

Junior Member
That was at the Museum in old town San Diego right?

Yes the museum was located in Old Town San Diego. It had a good deal of interesting items on display. They had 3 different patrol cars of different ages and paint schemes and most of one of their old helicopters you could sit in. The had a dirt bike and a Kawasaki with KZ1000 motorcycle with working lights and siren you can operate. I felt it was well worth the $5 admission.

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Benno

Junior Member
I recently visited the San Diego County Sheriff's Museum in California and saw they had several emergency lights on display. They had a CTS bar, an Aerodynic bar and a Vision bar.
Did you also have some photos and/or info of the vision? Is it standard or somerthing special?
I have a Vision Model V7P44SS-SM -SDS and someone (here on elb) told me that the "SDS" should stand for San Diego Sheriff.
Could that be?
 
OP
OP
348

348

Junior Member
Did you also have some photos and/or info of the vision? Is it standard or somerthing special?
I have a Vision Model V7P44SS-SM -SDS and someone (here on elb) told me that the "SDS" should stand for San Diego Sheriff.
Could that be?
Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the Vision light bar. It was mounted with the underside of the bar to the wall, facing upward. They had one mounted on what appeared to be a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria. The domes were all smart pods and had red, blue and clear domes. I didn't think to check for a serial number or inventory tag.
 

cmb56

Member
17-C?
I can not see any steady red light at the front.
The lamp holder seems to be home built. The lamp holder tube is to small for the sealed beams and the power rod do not come up at the top for the cables.
To me it look like a hack job.
Because it is not original it is worthless in my opinion.

Michael
 
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dmathieu

Premium Member
This "cut out" version is a legitimate version of the Beacon Ray. I believe this was a rear cutout, and was made to use on fire trucks to keep from blinding tiller men and others riding on the back of the trucks. The functions were controlled by an on/off/on switch on the dash.
I could not make out the serial number in the pics, but if it is a 17-C, then Federal marked 2 versions with that number, the "cut out" and the "California". Maybe one was 17C, and the other 17-C. Just conjecture, I don't know.
 

cmb56

Member
I was told by a retired deputy working at the museum that the sheriff who was in office from 1970-1990 was an Irishman and he changed the patrol cars to the green and white design. They have since switched back to black and white and I was told all law enforcement vehicles in the state of California are required by law to be black and white with the only exception being certain ones can be all white.
A little update on this.
I found the California regulation on law enforcement vehicle colors that states as follows:
”Cal. Admin. Code title. 13, § 1141
Barclays Official California Code of Regulations Currentness
Title 13. Motor Vehicles
Division 2. Departement of the California Highway Patrol

Chapter 5. Special Vehicles

Article 5. Color of Traffic Law Enforcement Vehicles (Refs & Annos)

§ 1141. Color Requirements.

Each motor vehicle shall have a distinctive exterior finish, exclusive of wheels and trim, as follows:

(a) Vehicles Except Motorcycles.

Vehicles, except motorcycles, shall be painted:

(1) Entirely white; or

(2) White, except that an area not less than and including the front door panels shall be black; or

(3) Black, except that an area not less than and including the front door panels shall be white; or

(4) Any other color, with any color front door panels.

(5) The indicia or name of governmental entity operating the vehicle shall be displayed in sharp contrast to the background on the front door panels and shall be of such size, shape, and color as to be readily legible during daylight hours from a distance of 50 feet.

(b) Stripes. Painted or decal stripes may be used provided that the stripe does not interfere with the contrast or legibility of the indicia or name of the governmental entity operating the vehicle.”

If I do not misinterpretat, it should mean all white cars, white cars with at least the front doors or all doors black, black cars with at least the front doors or all doors white and any other color with any color front doors.

The last I interpretate as you could have green cars with orange front doors if any agency should want that.

In any case SDSO should quite easy go back to the green and white cars.
I think that the green and white was much more visible than the black and white.

Michael
 

Duster

Member
Yeah, as is typical for the California Legislature, they used all that space to say that you can have a vehicle of any color with any color front doors.

The contrasting marking portion isn't even strictly enforced. Some agencies use "ghost stripes" or markings that blend in with the paint (both light and dark) until they are hit with light, then they reflect.

Any questions as to why we are in soooo much trouble on the left coast?
 

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