Federal Interceptor Siren Questions

Tristar

Member
May 24, 2010
899
MA
I have an Interceptor that in addition to Radio, PA, & Manual, has Wail, Yelp, and Alert. The mfg plate on the bottom says it's a model PA20, Serial No. E1D, 12 Volts. Was this model (with the alert tone) an earlier version of the model with the Hi-Lo tone? Was this one of the first units made, with the serial number E1D?
 

Wailer

Member
May 24, 2010
2,298
Canada
The PA15 (Director) and PA20 (Interceptor) both have wail, yelp, and alert tones. These sirens were in production from about 1962 to 1966. Both sirens have low-pitched wail and yelp tones. There were nine variations of each model. I have manuals for PA20 series E1, E1A, E1B, E1C, E1C-C, E1D, E1D-J, E1D-S, and E1E. The siren oscillator circuit remained roughly the same despite the revisions, but I think it's safe to say that these sirens were unstable if the circuitry needed so many revisions. If you have one in working order, treasure it. PA15s and PA20s are not that easy to find, and working units are even more rare.


The PA15A has wail and yelp tones only, while the PA20A has wail, yelp and hi-lo tones. The PA15A and PA20A were introduced in 1967.


Late 1960s PA15As and PA20As (B, C, and D series) have low-pitched wail and yelp tones. There seem to be more D series versions around than earlier versions, so I assume that production continued into the very early 1970s. These sirens are not that common either, and after having gone through some revisions they must have had issues as well.


1970s PA15As and PA20As (E series) have high-pitched wail and yelp tones. They sound very much like the electronic sirens that are in use today. These are the most common versions of the Director and Interceptor. Series 1E Directors and series 2E Interceptors are very easy to find, but bear in mind they are 1970s models and would be best suited for post-1972 emergency vehicle restorations.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

chuckbates

New Member
Nov 6, 2013
2
Bridgewater, PA
Mr. Wailer,


I have a PA20, Serial # E1E that was originally in 1967 C-95 Mack pumper. As luck would have it, I just got the truck "back home" and want to put the siren back in it. Do you have wiring diagrams that I could make sure I put it in correctly?


Thanks!
 

Torpedo

Member
May 9, 2012
583
USA Fl

Skip Goulet

Member
Feb 23, 2011
4,241
Midland, TX
Wailer said:
The PA15 (Director) and PA20 (Interceptor) both have wail, yelp, and alert tones. These sirens were in production from about 1962 to 1966. Both sirens have low-pitched wail and yelp tones. There were nine variations of each model. I have manuals for PA20 series E1, E1A, E1B, E1C, E1C-C, E1D, E1D-J, E1D-S, and E1E. The siren oscillator circuit remained roughly the same despite the revisions, but I think it's safe to say that these sirens were unstable if the circuitry needed so many revisions. If you have one in working order, treasure it. PA15s and PA20s are not that easy to find, and working units are even more rare.

The PA15A has wail and yelp tones only, while the PA20A has wail, yelp and hi-lo tones. The PA15A and PA20A were introduced in 1967.


Late 1960s PA15As and PA20As (A, B, C, and D series) have low-pitched wail and yelp tones. There seem to be more D series versions around than earlier versions, so I assume that production continued into the very early 1970s. These sirens are not that common either, and after having gone through some revisions they must have had issues as well.


1970s PA15As and PA20As (E series) have high-pitched wail and yelp tones. These are the most common versions of the Director and Interceptor. Series 1E Directors and series 2E Interceptors are very easy to find, but bear in mind they are 1970s models and would be best suited for post-1972 emergency vehicle restorations.

Is the link above to your website correct? I tried to click on it and it wouldn't come up.
 

bpollard

Member
Jun 13, 2010
436
USA, SC
any insight as to where the names were derived? "Interceptor" makes sense, as in police interceptor. "Director"? Was one less expensive than the other? Maybe a less functional siren, at a lower cost, for vehicles used by admin types? Always kinda wondered about that......
 

toon80

Member
May 24, 2010
2,489
Laval, Canada
The Interceptor sirens had wail, yelp and alert/hi-lo tones. Directors had only wail and yelp, although some earlier models (I think) had alert tone as well. Wailer please chime in.


The Director was basically a more economical siren with less -literally- bells and whistles.
 

Wailer

Member
May 24, 2010
2,298
Canada
Skip Goulet said:
Is the link above to your website correct? I tried to click on it and it wouldn't come up.

You can thank my internet service provider for that. I used to have personal web space with my account, but they cancelled that. If I want to get it back I have to pay at least $15 a month. If John is interested, I could donate the web site to elightbars.

toon80 said:
The Interceptor sirens had wail, yelp and alert/hi-lo tones. Directors had only wail and yelp, although some earlier models (I think) had alert tone as well. Wailer please chime in.

The PA15 had the alert tone.


The PA15A has wail and yelp only.

toon80 said:
The Director was basically a more economical siren with less -literally- bells and whistles.

In Federal's own words, the Director is the 'economy' model, and the Interceptor is the 'deluxe' model.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Torpedo

Member
May 9, 2012
583
USA Fl
chuckbates said:
I looked through the Manual Thread, however all I saw was PA20A, not the older PA20. It is early, I could have missed it......

If I'm not mistaken the user wiring for these^is the same. It didn't change until the PA-200 although the harness terminates to the same Cinch-Jones connector, the PA-200 uses a completely different pinout.
 

Skip Goulet

Member
Feb 23, 2011
4,241
Midland, TX
Torpedo said:
If I'm not mistaken the user wiring for these^is the same. It didn't change until the PA-200 although the harness terminates to the same Cinch-Jones connector, the PA-200 uses a completely different pinout.

All of the Interceptors used Jones plugs, as did the North American and SiTron sirens, and they are interchangeable. You can also use the Interceptor plug on the later PA200s, where the output power is internal and not on the wiring harness. In a pinch I've used Interceptor harnesses on both the N.A. and both versions of the SiTron.
 

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