Federal FIRE BALL Family History

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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Here is another new addition to my Fire Ball collection. This strobe light is usually named the "Firebolt" strobe, yet this particular version is marked Fire Ball I Strobe. Due to this Fire Ball name, it is going in the "Fire Ball" collection.
This is the only one that I can remember seeing.

I'm wondering if Federal used the name Fire Ball I Strobe before adopting the FireBolt name.
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tsquale

Site Minion
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I, too, have never heard of that. Is there any sort of date on it? Looks like an older cigarette plug on it. GREAT find, Dan!
 
Great job your fire ball history compilation! Thank you!

Do you know concrete dates about the Fire Ball 2 market introduction and the end of production? I dont know the exactly years, only 'from the early 80s to the 90s'.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Just found another first issue Fire Ball FB-1. As in a previous post this seems to be the first version and has a serial # of 1A10. This means that it would be 6 volt, but the 6 seems to be scratched out, and replaced with a 12, probably after converting from 6 to 12 Volt. This has no anti vibration plate that the guts mount to (everything is attached by screws through the base plate), no secure mounting clip on the bottom, and a flip over clip instead of the screw manner of attaching the dome retainer band, All found on the production model S/N 2A12.
This is my second light of this version as seen in previous posts.
I can't resist such a significant piece of Fire Ball history. s-l1600.jpg s-l1600 (1).jpg s-l1600 (2).jpg
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Posted on the previous page is an EB-4 Fire Ball as opposed to the typical FB-1. The EB-1 has no power cord, but is powered by a 1/4" phono plug that is inserted into a socket mounted in the base. I was showing a friend and he said "electric base". This may be the meaning of the model # "EB"-4 111757_787e31bb5538720ab1793c06bb15de73.JPG 111755_1b4e7e8c6ae7e0317705ed792326ae8c.JPG 111594_93fa9aaf9514337c6c2b7a475389ab05.jpg
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

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The FIRE BALL Family of lights encompasses close to 1/3 + or - of my collection. It's hard to believe the number of models, variations, vintages, and odd serial #s that were manufactured. Most people look at a teardrop light, and assume it's a Fire Ball, and they are all the same. Once you get into the history and nuances of the Fire Ball family you realize how the collection can be so large, with few duplicates.
 

Wolfie

Site Regular
Yeah, I'm lucky enough to have 9 NOS (different versions and vintages) with the covers, and the one my Dad use back in the 1960s, also still with perfect cover.
My only teardrop is a Blue NOS Southern VP (currently in service) and I think I would have had to paint the back of the dome if I hadn't had that cover.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
They are available, but be warned, you will not be pleased with the results. The LED will lack the bright hot focal point, and the pop of the desired flash. Many have tried, and I've heard of none who were happy with the results. I'd stay with the halogen, as that's what the reflector was meant for.
 
Dan...I've seen one Fireball EB model; or at least I presume that's what it was. When I was on the West Carlisle VFD in Lubbock, one of our captains drove a Volvo and had a red Fireball that had a phono plug on it with a receptacle that mounted to the roof. This was in the early '80s. If I'm not mistaken I think this might've been one of the late-model lights as it had a large magnet on the bottom.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Got my latest rebadged Fire Ball today. It looks and works great. After a complete tear-down and clean up, I'll post more pics. This is definitely a rebadge, and I'm now on the search for what company would have started their Model numbers with a "H". The model number is H573 instead of Federal's FB-1, and is pictured a few posts up. Has anybody got any ideas on the "H"?
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
DARLEY IT IS!!!
My newest FB-1, shown in post #427, is rebadged for Darley as Model # H573.
I have a 1961 Darley catalog, and that was their model #H573 for the portable Fire Ball FB-1. The Darley name would also explain the D5 at the end of the 2A12 serial number 2A12D5. This also shows that added characters to the standard Federal serial numbers is done to denote companies or agencies that the Fire Balls were made for.
Thanks for the input! Another piece to the Fire Ball puzzle, and a great addition to my Fire Ball sub-collection!!
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