Help changing flash patterns on Whelen 900 on ambulance.

lfguard10

Member
May 30, 2010
28
Pearisburg, Virginia
I have a 2009 F-450 ambulance that is fitted with all Whelen 900 and 600's LED's. These lights are all sync'd in an alternating fashion, which obviously means they're operated by a single flasher controlling all the lights. My problem is that I can't find this flasher ANYWHERE. The 900's do not have the Scan-Lock wire.....only the power cord and ground cord. Two of the 600's, however, do have the Scan-Lock wire, but this wire does nothing to the pattern when touched with 12+. I have checked the area in the diagnostic cabinet behind the "captains chair" in the back of the unit, but the only thing back there relatively CLOSE to what I'm looking for is the headlight wig-wag relay.
 
Who is the Ambulance manufacturer?


Some builders, like Horton for example, use a proprietary multiplexed control system for everything, including custom modules for control of the lighting. These systems can oly be changed by writing a new computer program for the lighting module, which Horton will gladly charge you around $300 or so to do...


- Pete
 

lfguard10

Member
May 30, 2010
28
Pearisburg, Virginia
LOL Go figure lol. It's a McCoy-Miller. This originally had an all-halogen set-up (as a demo ambulance), however, when we ordered it, we spec'd it for all-LED. Don't know if that makes a difference or not.
 
May 21, 2010
1,176
NJ & IA
I thought that according to some KKK reg, ambulance box lighting must be alternating in that pattern??


I dont know the reg number but i recall it being discussed on the old board.
 

unlisted

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
7,333
NA
Would changing the patterns void any type of "necessary ambulance" warning pattern?


Dunno about your area, but there is only certain flash patterns permitted on ambulances in our area. No clue why, its just written that way. (IIRC, its the "kkk" pattern/specification or something of the sort???)


(edit- hit preview instead of submit.. dur)
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
The applicable Federal Specifications for a Star of Life Ambulance, KKK-A-1822F were effective August 1, 2007. If ordered to sepcification, builders are supposed to provide a looseleaf binder that includes testing results and wiring schematics. That should show you the location of the flasher. Also, study the illustrations of the Whelen flashers in the catalog. Some look more like HLF than the old strobe or halogen ambulance flashers/


Unless your state has more binding regulations, there can be some variaance in flashing pattern. the current federal specs read as follow:


3.8.2.1 EMERGENCY LIGHTING SYSTEM CONFIGURATION.


The ambulance standard emergency warning light system shall contain twelve fixed red lights, one fixed clear light and one fixed amber light. These lights shall function in a dual mode system as shown in Table I below and meet the physical and photometric requirements. The upper body warning lights shall be mounted at the extreme upper corner areas of the ambulance body, below the horizontal roofline. The single clear light shall be centered between the two front facing, red, upper corner lights or in a dedicated housing mounted forward of the body on the cab roof. If due to limited body dimensions and physical size of the outboard forward facing lights, the lights may also be mounted in dedicated housings on the cab roof. Doors or other ancillary equipment shall not obstruct the standard warning lights. The amber light shall be symmetrically located between the two rear facing red lights. The red “grille” lights shall be located at least 30 in. above the ground and below the bottom edge of the windshield and be laterally separated by at least 18 in., measured from centerline to centerline of each lamp. The lateral facing intersection lights shall be mounted as close as possible to the front upper edge of each front fender and may be angled forward a maximum of 30 degrees. All warning lights furnished shall be mounted to project their highest intensity beams on the horizontal plane.


Alternate approved lighting systems are NFPA 1901 compliant or SAE J2498 compliant.


The recommended flash sequence is in table 1, with a primary (clearing right of way) and secondary (blocking right of way) mode. Secondary mode usually eliminates grille lights and the front center white light.


My advice, check with the manufacturer's rep. They should be able to tell you where the flasher is located.


tnems7
 
May 22, 2010
233
Bauxite Arkansas
Saw a truck once (had combo strobe & halogen) that had an alternating kussmaul flasher mounted at the bottom of the electrical cabinet with a harness run to the top going to two studs. Those studs had all the halogen lights attached to them. A larger harness with all the strobe cables and halogen cables came into one spot at the top there.


SO... Look for a flasher that might be remote to the cable ends. Probably not... But just something to look for.


Craig
 

Outsider

Member
May 21, 2010
148
New Hampshire
The reason your 600's aren't changing, is they are probably also connected to the external flasher. You won't be able to change patterns while the light is turning on and off by the flasher. Remove the light, connect to constant power source, then adjust flash pattern. Keep in mind, once you reconnect it to the external flasher, it will continue to just turn on and off.... but this time when it is on, it will display the pattern you selected.
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
10,971
Northwest Ohio
All McCoy miller trucks come with schematics. 9 out of 10 times McCoy puts them in an outsider compartment with the suction pump. It's usually on the driver side.
 

n1xrf

New Member
Jun 1, 2010
1
Portsmouth Ohio
They have also been known to be installed in the compartment just forward of the airway seat. The dozen or so type 1 mccoys we have, have a vanner or whelen halogen flasher installed in that compartment. Its also the same compartment where the main circuit board is. They also might be on a multiplex system, depending on how the truck was originally speced. If it is a basic model halogen flasher that is running the leds, you may not be able to change the flash patterns. You would have to remove the flasher, and either reinstall a different model/type of flasher or you could change the flasher into a constant current type of relay, and then change the patterns on the light heads via the scan-lock wires on each head.
 

jantman

Member
Jun 2, 2010
42
NJ, USA
TheHealer said:
Some builders, like Horton for example, use a proprietary multiplexed control system for everything, including custom modules for control of the lighting. These systems can oly be changed by writing a new computer program for the lighting module, which Horton will gladly charge you around $300 or so to do...

- Pete

Depending on the age. One of our older trucks - either the '99 or the '93 (both Horton 523's) - had a way through the control panel to change between 3 or so patterns. On the new one (a 2007 with all Whelen LEDs) it's a fixed pattern, but one of our local shops found a constant output line and hooked the bar and Dominator in the grille up to that.
 

lfguard10

Member
May 30, 2010
28
Pearisburg, Virginia
It does indeed have a Vanner flasher installed in the driver-side compartment with the suction pump. Upon calling Vanner, they state that this flasher doesn't technically change patterns and that it will only cycle between PRI/SEC lights?? Makes sense I guess. I'm assuming I would have to eliminate that specific flasher and install a simple relay and just control the lights individually??
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
Is the ambulance out from under the End Stage Manufacturer warranty? Usually there is a one year warranty and messing with the wiring could void that. Also seems like you need to check on how difficult it may be to run synch wires? Upper front lights and Upper side lights usually flash on different phases.


On any future ambulance purchases, a more specific flasher for LED lights should be part of the purchase specifications.
 

LED

Member
May 25, 2010
610
New England, MA
Are these 5mm 900 series or super led? Some of the 5mm series lights ive seen have 2 little metal prongs sticking out next to the led's when you take the lens off. If you use a piece of metal and touch them both togeather the pattern will change.
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
10,971
Northwest Ohio
You could replace the flasher with a whelen KKK-compliant ambulance flasher and you get the choice of SingleFlash, SignalAlert™, CometFlash® and


Double Flash


[Broken External Image]:http://www.whelen.com/_AUTOMOTIVE/images/Flashers/Universal_Flashers/hiresweb/afm1660.jpg


http://www.whelen.com/install/139/13966.pdf


Or try a fedSig intelli-flasher which has 16 KKK complaint patterns


[Broken External Image]:http://www.fedsig.com/products/images/main/650302.jpg


http://www.fedsig.com/products/index.php?id=167


Presonally I prefer large blocks of slow flashing lights as primary/secondary lights.
 

emtspruitt

Member
May 25, 2010
226
Huntsville, AL
My ambulance had a switch wired in that was used to change that patterns, which I hate. The one that I had before that I had to pull all the LED hot wires off the flasher and power them with a constant power and use the 2 metal prongs to change the pattern on each head like "LED" said. All the external flasher did was alternate phases. And then the flasher didnt "hold" long enough for each lighthead to cycle all the way thru the pattern before it swapped phases.
 

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