Question about Federal Fireballs

Lt.214

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
600
Southwest Ohio USA
Hello All,


This question is for all of the Federal Signal experts. I have what I consider a fair amount of knowledge when it comes to Federal Signal products.


I recently bought a Federal Fireball model FB11. I am aware that it was a production model available at the same time period of the FB-1 and FBH11(I have both of these).


I know this model has the friction drive, not the metal worm gear drive that the FB-1 has, and uses a regular incandescent bulb, same as the FB-1(without the locking base on the bulb) and has a larger single Magnet same as the FBH11 versus the smaller 3 magnets found on a FB-1.


So my question is how long was the FB11 produced and how rare are they becoming?


Obviously they are not nearly as rare as a Flashball, but was just wondering if anyone had the specifics for the FB11 model run as I really haven't seen many of the FB11's.


Thanks,


Chris
 

dmathieu

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
8,792
S.W. New Hampshire, USA
I have a 1989 catalog with the FBH11, FBH12 and FB15, and the FB2 in it. Not as scarce, or desirable as a FB1, but still collectable. I think there are many still in use. I remember having one (FBH11) in 1987.


Dan
 
Last edited by a moderator:

stansdds

Member
May 25, 2010
3,547
U.S.A., Virginia
From what I have been able to sort out, the FB-1 series was produced from 1957 to 1975, the FB-11 series from 1975 to about 1992.
 

Lt.214

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
600
Southwest Ohio USA
Thanks. I actually have a FB-1 with metal gears and the incandescent bulb with locking base(unsure of what that is actually called). I have a second that I think was a newer FB-1 without the locking base for the bulb but with metal gears, but it has a FB11 retaining band that I believe was a swap for the original.


I have 2 FBH's, 1 with a split red/blue dome.


I am adding the new to me FB11.


Federal lights mainly populate my collection, small as it is but I always liked and used federal lights.


crescentstar 69, the originals construction are amazing and I feel fortunate that my FB-1 has the original DARK RED dome compared to later run domes that are a lighter red.


THanks for all the info.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

dmathieu

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
8,792
S.W. New Hampshire, USA
The bulb with the locking base is called a prefocused bulb. The FB1 without the prefocused bulb is still a FB1, but a later, series B1 revision. You are correct, yours has the wrong band. It uses a 1195 bulb. The FB11 uses a 1195 bulb, and the FBH11 uses a 55 Watt H1 bulb. The FB11 incandescent was called Fire Ball II. The Halogen FBH11 was called Super Fire Ball. Permanent mounts were the same except the # was 12 instead of 11 (FBH12 + FB12). On all newer versions, a 150 FPM flash rate was available. I have one of those. The 1955 and 1957 dates seem correct. The first mention of the FBF Flash Ball, that I've seen is April, 1960.


Dan
 
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dmathieu

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
8,792
S.W. New Hampshire, USA
One more interesting difference in the motorcycle FBH12M, other than the mounting system, was that there were 2 small mirror (reflector) supports that mounted in the holes in the drive disc on the right and left of the reflector. and each attached to the reflector with 1 small screw.


Dan
 

Lt.214

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
600
Southwest Ohio USA
I have added pictures of my recent addition.


This Fire Ball came to me in very good condition with an Amber dome thats needs a good cleaning and polish(which I will complete at a later date).


I really wish Federal would have continued production of this series of Fire Ball lights.


They were very well built and were a very durable and classic design. I know that other companies still produce a teardrop rotating light, they just are not Fire Balls!


ai839.photobucket.com_albums_zz312_ccr203_Federal_20Fire_20Ball_20FB11_th_Fireball11.jpg


Chris
 
Last edited by a moderator:

stansdds

Member
May 25, 2010
3,547
U.S.A., Virginia
I need to check my collection. I know I have FB's with pre-focused and standard 1195 bulbs, FB-11 and FBH-11's. I even have an FBH-12. Domes marked F1, at least one dome with no markings... I really need to sort this collection.
 

Lt.214

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
600
Southwest Ohio USA
stansdds said:
I need to check my collection. I know I have FB's with pre-focused and standard 1195 bulbs, FB-11 and FBH-11's. I even have an FBH-12. Domes marked F1, at least one dome with no markings... I really need to sort this collection.

The Marked Fire Ball domes I have are marked F 7 like this:


ai839.photobucket.com_albums_zz312_ccr203_th_amberF7.jpg


My FB-1 Dome has no markings on it.


Chris
 

dmathieu

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
8,792
S.W. New Hampshire, USA
Yup, confusing! Flat top was Fire Ball II, model FB2 on some labels, and just FB2 on other labels. The bulletin calls it Fireball 2.


Notice the capital letters, and lack of, and the spacing, and lack of. This is the way it is written on the labels and in the bulletins.


Teardrop, newer disc drive, incandescent was called in the bulletin Fire Ball II, model FB11.


Taerdrop, newer disc drive, halogen was called Super Fire Ball, Model FBH11.


Very confusing, but that's the way it was.


Dan
 

dmathieu

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
8,792
S.W. New Hampshire, USA
The lens with no marking is, if original to that light, an older version, before they started putting the # in the mold. Those with no marking were normally a little deeper color, especially red and blue, ie ruby red vs cherry red.


Dan
 

Lt.214

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
600
Southwest Ohio USA
Ok I took a picture of 3 of the Fire Balls that I have(I have 5 total). These are the ones that have been up for discussion. Sorry the picture is not the best.


[Broken External Image]:[URL]http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz312/ccr203/th_fireballs-1.jpg[/URL]


From left to right: Fire Ball model FB11. Fire Ball model FB-1. Fire Ball model FBH11(split RED/BLUE dome).


The FB-1 dome has no markings and is a darker/deeper red than the other domes that are stamped with F 7 .


The FB-1 to my knowledge is all original, this would explain the deeper red color.


Thanks for the help Dan I was getting confused on the different names.


Chris
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Lt.214

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
600
Southwest Ohio USA
dmathieu said:
Awesome clear Junior Beacon Ray.



Thanks, It is all orignal, glass dome and optics, and a factory magnetic base. The Amber 1 is the same. I really like the clear 1 though. I haven't seen many of them with a factory magnetic base.


Chris
 

iceman4122

Member
May 25, 2010
312
New York
I know this thread has been stagnant for a while, but I just got my hands on a fed sig fire ball model fb11 seriesA2. With a red dome. Can anybody tell me what this thing may be worth? Thanks for your help.
 

dmathieu

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
8,792
S.W. New Hampshire, USA
iceman4122 said:
I know this thread has been stagnant for a while, but I just got my hands on a fed sig fire ball model fb11 seriesA2. With a red dome. Can anybody tell me what this thing may be worth? Thanks for your help.

NOS in perfect condition w/ box and cover maybe $150-$175, then go down from there, depending on condition.


Dan
 

iceman4122

Member
May 25, 2010
312
New York
Well I have no box. The red dome has a couple of scuff marks and scratches. Long chord with cigarette plug and a square magnet. If anybody is interested pm me an offer. If you want pics pm me your email address.
 

patrol530

Member
May 23, 2010
1,016
Central Florida
dmathieu said:
One more interesting difference in the motorcycle FBH12M, other than the mounting system, was that there were 2 small mirror (reflector) supports that mounted in the holes in the drive disc on the right and left of the reflector. and each attached to the reflector with 1 small screw.
Dan

Additionally, although it may of been a local modification for the cycle light, was a toggle switch mounted in the bottom of the base. My fathers Kawasaki had this, so you could shut off the pole light from the 2 fairing lights and save battery power. I recall the installation being very clean and factory appearing.
 

fireball3

Member
Oct 25, 2010
864
Lyon, France

Retirednccop

New Member
Jan 12, 2014
3
NC/Statesville
dmathieu said:
The bulb with the locking base is called a prefocused bulb. The FB1 without the prefocused bulb is still a FB1, but a later, series B1 revision. You are correct, yours has the wrong band. It uses a 1195 bulb. The FB11 uses a 1195 bulb, and the FBH11 uses a 55 Watt H1 bulb. The FB11 incandescent was called Fire Ball II. The Halogen FBH11 was called Super Fire Ball. Permanent mounts were the same except the # was 12 instead of 11 (FBH12 + FB12). On all newer versions, a 150 FPM flash rate was available. I have one of those. The 1955 and 1957 dates seem correct. The first mention of the FBF Flash Ball, that I've seen is April, 1960.
Dan

Any idea where you can find bulbs for the locking base lights ?
 
Jun 18, 2013
3,737
PA
Does anyone have any links or information about the Flashball?


Were there different models? What markings identified what revision? Mounts etc?
 
Jun 18, 2013
3,737
PA
Interesting.


I believe I found a Flashball FBF Ver 1.


I am gonna see if I can borrow it so I can get some pictures and check it out.


cool beans.
 

Lt.214

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
600
Southwest Ohio USA
Just for reference, this is my Flash Ball. First version that has an original lens which is darker in color and no F7 molded into the top.


ai839.photobucket.com_albums_zz312_ccr203_Flash_20Ball_IMG00338_20110614_1402.jpg


ai839.photobucket.com_albums_zz312_ccr203_Flash_20Ball_flashball1.jpg


ai839.photobucket.com_albums_zz312_ccr203_Flash_20Ball_flashball2.jpg


And to show the difference in color, from left to right, FB11 with a newer F7 red lens, FB-1 with original color lens, and my FBH with Split red/blue lens.


ai839.photobucket.com_albums_zz312_ccr203_Fire_20Ball_20Family_fireballs_1.jpg


Chris
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jun 18, 2013
3,737
PA
The split dome is pretty sweet actually.


Since I don't have the flashball in hand I can't be specific other then it matches what a V1 should look like, and it has a blue lense.


I shouldn't have a problem borrowing it so I can take some pictures.
 

Lt.214

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
600
Southwest Ohio USA
Stampeed Valkyrie said:
The split dome is pretty sweet actually.

Thanks.


That dome is unusual as I have never seen another split front to back. Federal did have an option to split domes side to side(one color front and the other to the rear). It is a professional split, so either someone was really handy when it was done or it was a custom order from Federal. Sadly that Fireball came to me with no history:confused:.
 

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