The traffic clearing light...vids added

JohnMarcson

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May 7, 2010
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Northwest Ohio
What are people's feelings on halogen traffic clearing lights? 888s are almost becomming like rotorays or bells... a really cool nostalga/tradition/shiny thing. It also seems many models are prone to failure probably due to having a lot of moving parts. I recently got a crossfire and it seems pretty soild vs the designs of an oscilaser or Federal TCL. Last year federal dropped it's last halogen TCL from it's product line...
 
The Federal MagnaBeam oscilating dash light seems to have the qualities of both a dash warning light, and a traffic clearing light. I think it's like a portable / volunteers TCL It has an offbeat flash, especially at a slight angle. It also puts out more warning power (advertised as 3 times more) than a rotating light like the FireBeam, for the same amount of flashes. This is due to longer dwel due to the shorter arc of rotation (oscilation). Too bad this light wasn't more popular, and is being discontinued. I think some sort of traffic clearing light is a very desireable part of a warning pkg.


Dan
 
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I have a blue magnabeam for sale if anyone wants a cool TCL.
 
I hate to see them disappearing. I used to have an oscilaser in my MX, and my FD had two stingers in a XL. I thought they really seemed to have a nice punch.
 
I had one in a Jetstream, and it never failed, but I have no idea if it actually "cleared traffic" any better or worse than any other light. The local ems rigs had stingrays, and those that were mounted behind clear inserts really stood out, but not as well as the HLFs.


I just scored a Magnabeam when it was announced that they were discontinued, just for the heck of it. Always wanted an oscilaser.
 
I love the rotoray, just never been on a truck with one...


Had a truck with a single 888 in the center of the cab (ford 8000) which worked great...


I really can't see stingers as anything to write home about.


Everything else = junk
 
My personal experience has been:


Oscilasers are prone to the connection to the light failing or the gears getting stuck.


Meteors have gear stripping issues


Stingrays (multifunction LP rotators) the brain fails


Stingers (sealed beam tcls) the connections to the motor fails


888s are too big to mount on and ambulance but otherwise are great


Crossfires seem cool but I have never used one except in my collection
 
:cry: freekin firewall here at work wont let me view the videos. cant get youtube here either. oh well, wait till i get home and find time there to watch. :evil: :x
 
I'm an 888 person, but then again I've been doing this for a long time. The Oscilaser is a good idea, but had poor connections.
 
Had one in the center pod of the FS Vector that I had as a LEO...never an issue but it was just a side to side sweep not the full side to side and up / down motion.


Have the intersection lights end mounted in our vistas here at my current job. 1 light bar after about 8 years of service has the sweeps finally fail, the rest work fine. Not to bad.


I personally love them and is one of the reasons I don't like LEDs as much.
 
Jared @ 911Lights said:
We still sell quite a few of the older lightbars from SVP with the traffic clearing strobes. They are a linear strobe tubes placed at the front corners of the bar and set to flash at a very fast rate. Very effective, even when combined with an LED bar.

-Jared

Intersection lights are more of a feature and not their own stand alone light though... If you wanted to buy a halogen standalone TCL today you have to buy an 888.
 
The Federal Signal version called the TCL a.k.a. Traffic Clearing Light, had a stationary lamp with the reflector moving around it (the same with the cross-fire, although it had 2 bulbs and 2 reflectors). The Code 3 version was called an Occilazer. The lamp was in the center of the reflector and what ended up happening was the contact to the bulb would fray.


The Code 3 Stinger was a version of the Mars 888. Although, Code 3 used 2 motors,(1 to drive the lamp up and down, and one left and right), IMO the Mars was far superior even though it only had one motor.


The Code 3 Stingray was an animal of a different kind. It was a great system when it worked properly. But the control boxes would fail. If more thought went into it, I think C3 could have a better system. Like the J2? systems that Federal had. Great idea to have a 2 wire strobe system, but it failed tooooo quickly.
 
john, i have a oscilazer, and a tcl , the only light i don't have is a orignal powerarc or the version2 that uses rubber bands as belts must of the "888" in this area are still in service.
 
John, I hope it's ok for me to bring an ancient thread back to the top, but I wanted to re-open the conversation. Amusingly enough, I found this thread while using google to try to find more more information. I guess I should have just searched here to start with. :D


I just picked up two FedSig TCLs yesterday and I'm thrilled with them. Of course now I can't decide if I should use them, or put them on a shelf. They're nothing too exciting (well, they are to me because they're mine and I'm a novice collector), but I'll have to post some pics. I've always been a huge fan of oscillators. I had a 2001 Impala patrol car, and picked up a Code 3 Oscilaser cheap somewhere and I threw it on the dash. That thing was amazing at night. One of the town PDs had them in MX7000 lightbars, and I'm convinved they are extremely effective.


I'm a nostalgic kind of guy anyway, and as much as I like LEDs, I hate to see these lights falling out of favor. I guess the construction was never really all that robust to begin with, but the Oscilaser as a lightbar feature seemed to do better than an auxiliary warning light, especially when mounted on the exterior of an engine, etc. My FD's volunteer engine had a pair on the front that kept getting replaced; finally they gave up and went with LEDs.


So, I think all your points are spot on, John, and they defintely have the "really cool nostalga/tradition/shiny thing," going on, but I truly think they are extremely effective as warning devices and I'm sorry to see them go.
 
theolog said:
John, I hope it's ok for me to bring an ancient thread back to the top, but I wanted to re-open the conversation. Amusingly enough, I found this thread while using google to try to find more more information. I guess I should have just searched here to start with. :D

I just picked up two FedSig TCLs yesterday and I'm thrilled with them. Of course now I can't decide if I should use them, or put them on a shelf. They're nothing too exciting (well, they are to me because they're mine and I'm a novice collector), but I'll have to post some pics. I've always been a huge fan of oscillators. I had a 2001 Impala patrol car, and picked up a Code 3 Oscilaser cheap somewhere and I threw it on the dash. That thing was amazing at night. One of the town PDs had them in MX7000 lightbars, and I'm convinved they are extremely effective.


I'm a nostalgic kind of guy anyway, and as much as I like LEDs, I hate to see these lights falling out of favor. I guess the construction was never really all that robust to begin with, but the Oscilaser as a lightbar feature seemed to do better than an auxiliary warning light, especially when mounted on the exterior of an engine, etc. My FD's volunteer engine had a pair on the front that kept getting replaced; finally they gave up and went with LEDs.


So, I think all your points are spot on, John, and they defintely have the "really cool nostalga/tradition/shiny thing," going on, but I truly think they are extremely effective as warning devices and I'm sorry to see them go.

My streethawk has both intersection lights and a TCL in the middle, and they could make the entire bar by themselves. Very effective oscillating lighting. My Code 3 Oscillaser is also great, but I like the Federal design better.
 

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