Federal Signal Model 19 How To Get Inside...

Discussion in 'Federal Signal' started by sting3037, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. sting3037

    sting3037 New Member

    Good afternoon to you all.

    I am a newbie at this site and I must say I've been kind of lurking for a couple months but finally took a dive to sign up today.

    I came in possession of a Federal Signal Model 19 Propello Ray and I must say I'm still in disbelief of owning one. I got it as a barn find & it wasn't tested. I received it on Saturday and I'm still amazed how clean it still looks (some basic spit shining is all it really needs). My main concern is that there is only one wire coming from the bottom of the device and there is no second wire so I cannot confirm if this is the positive or negative. I attempted to open it up by first removing the brace that holds the faceplate up, but it appears to be rusted through (Image 1).

    Image 1.jpg

    I then noticed three screws that I believe holds the red glass but as I attempted to remove them, they feel stripped but I still cannot remove them (image 2). I would like to know what these are for if anyone knows (Image 2).

    Image 2.jpg

    I kept exploring & noticed screws on the base of the Propello Ray and not sure if this is how I can get in (Image 3 and 4).

    Image 3.jpg

    Image 4.jpg

    I don't want to damage it as it is a rare piece of technology and a lot of people want to see it run again. I want to try & get in to it, clean it, add new wires and test it. If I need a new motor, I will do some more research & find a similar model and then try it again. Any and all help will be very appreciated so I can open it up and get inside this beauty. Thank you for your time.
  2. unlisted

    unlisted Gold Level Member

    The base will be the negative or ground itself. The wire will be positive.
  3. sting3037

    sting3037 New Member

    So to clarify, there is only one wire coming out of this model and it is positive. So it should work just by simply wrapping it around a positive terminal, correct? Just not used to having the positive wire available at least with my amateur experience.

  4. unlisted

    unlisted Gold Level Member

    I cannot confirm for 100% however many old school beacons and warning lights would just have a insulated wire for positive power and the metal base would be the ground /negative connector.
    sting3037 likes this.
  5. Dave F

    Dave F Moderator Support Staff

    Admin Post
    That metal base still has to go to a ground of some sort; in the case of older beacons the ground would be the chassis body they were mounted to.

    Case in point you will need to have a negative lead touching/tied onto the metal base while applying 12v power to the positive lead
    sting3037 and unlisted like this.
  6. sting3037

    sting3037 New Member

    Thank you both for the information. This helps tremendously! I will attempt this and give an update.
  7. sting3037

    sting3037 New Member

    Still having some issues trying to make a connection and running the beacon. I believe the gauge wire is around 10 or 12 but I'm not sure of the wattage the beacon light is producing. Does anyone know the wattage of the bulb and the motor inside?

    Also, as for the connections to the battery, I am not sure on where to put the ground. I have tried to attach it to the hole in the front on the base, but not sure if this is it.


    Is there another place to attach the ground to on the base? I'm not seeing a spot that could work.

  8. Skulldigger

    Skulldigger Site Veteran

    Use a set of jumper cables and your car battery. Hook the positive to the wire and clamp the negative to the base anywhere. It should power up. IF not then there is a ground issue. Sometimes rust develops around the screws that hold the base to the light and it looses it's ground. Simple disassembly and cleaning will fix it. Also the connection to the bulb will corrode over time and the bulb may be good but not work. The bulb will be a standard automotive bayonet style bulb. Never took one of these apart. Usually I just start removing screws and see what comes loose. Take pictures along the way to remember how it goes back together. Try and remove the base first. The screw in the bottom of the base likely is what holds it to the light. It's probably long enough to go through the base into the housing and screws into the motor housing to hold it. The screws around the rim likely hold the retaining band on that holds the red lends in place. They could be stripped over time. find some way to pull them up as you turn the screws.
    southpaw likes this.

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