Unity / Whelen RV26 (MSP led beacon)

unlisted

Gold Supporter
Does anyone happen to have an install sheet for this beacon and/ or detailed literature on it? Or know where I can easily get a copy?


I'll provide photos in a week. Just want to ensure I'm hooking it up correctly and want to see if there's flash pattern options, what they are and so forth.
 

7d9_z28

Gold Supporter
I have been under the impression that since its a retrofit that theres no fancy extra stuff and they just used the existing wiring for the unity. I've only seen them on one pattern around here...
 
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unlisted

Gold Supporter
I guess if anyone knows the flasher model. . And there is at least 3 wires. Assuming one is for low power /possibly sync?


I've heard rumor they have different flash patterns.
 

jph2

Senior Member
Not sure what the flasher model is but they do have the capability of having different flash patterns as MSP did experiment with different ones (based on youtube videos) before settling on the one they all use. Personally, I wish they'd picked a different one as I don't like the one they're using, but that's just me. Sorry I can't help with the specifics though.
 

tsquale

Site Minion
Platinum Supporter
And called whelen - in case anyone is wondering

Red +

Black -

White pattern select ( + )

Purple low power ( + )
Ha! I emailed them and received the same answer. They were going to see if they had some sort of schematic as well
 
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unlisted

Gold Supporter
:crazy:


Well I can finally see well enough to upload some images. I'll do some video tomorrow as its already 22:40 HRS here and well, any led looks bright at night. Mind you, I think this would kill my camera if I tried to take photos / video at night, and possibly confuse local pilots trying to land at the airport about 10 miles away.

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7d9_z28

Gold Supporter
Cant be that hard to make a video, I recorded a pair of them a few weeks ago with my phone LOL
 
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unlisted

Gold Supporter
How about a mini using LINZ6s?  KILLER!Where'd you get the flasher?
Flasher for this? It's a legit whelen/unity beacon. [emoji106]

For whatever I create I'll have to ponder in the very near future. Showed this to two people tonight and they both want an amber version for their wreckers.
 

AJ3814

Site Regular
I don't like it. Maybe if they cut the linears in half again, but now it just looks like a flasher. They need to go back to halogen.
 

EL1998P71

Senior Member
The problem with the 100W halogen bulbs they use in the rotator version don't stand up to the rigor of Police work.

I wasn't a fan at first when these started to come in at my previous employer. but the Action flash pattern they use (for the most part) stands out and easily recognizable at a distance.

I have noticed on all the new Ford Sedan's and Utilities Mich st Police is getting they don't use headlight flash or tail light flash.
 

acala91

Veteran Member
I'd like to see Whelen make a beacon like this with the rotabeam technology. That would be sweet. 
 

nerdly_dood

Veteran Member
The problem with the 100W halogen bulbs they use in the rotator version don't stand up to the rigor of Police work.

I have noticed on all the new Ford Sedan's and Utilities Mich st Police is getting they don't use headlight flash or tail light flash.
Might wanna fact-check your wattage. Last I heard of people using that kinda power it just melted the dome. Standard sealed-beam halogen lamps for beacons like this are normally 35 watts, and by "standard" I mean that it actually is really bright as long as the particular light uses at least two of them.

As for headlight flashers, some new vehicles (Fords in particular, and also the 2015 Charger) can't use normal ones because of the way the headlight is designed to use a single bulb for both high and low beams, with a mechanical shutter to switch between them that would wear out quickly if used too much. There are devices to have the shutter always open for high beam and then just turn the bulbs on and off, or even adjust intensity for a HLF plus low beams at night, but those devices are like a few hundred dollars each for something that normally is like $20 or so.
 
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NPS Ranger

Veteran Member
Might wanna fact-check your wattage. Last I heard of people using that kinda power it just melted the dome. Standard sealed-beam halogen lamps for beacons like this are normally 35 watts, and by "standard" I mean that it actually is really bright as long as the particular light uses at least two of them.
I believe MSP did use 100 watt bulbs in their beacon which is what made them so bright, the PAR-46 bulb # 4537.  Here is a link in the Unity parts section:

http://www.unityusa.com/U-4537-2-PAR-46-Aircraft-Lamp-Kit_p_2169.html
 

nerdly_dood

Veteran Member
Oh now that sure is a thing. I know for sure I've seen someone post here where they put those in and it pretty much immediately destroyed the light because it was so hot... I figure glass would hold up just fine but the last plastic dome I'd expect to hold up would be a Spitfire dome like MSP used. Learn something new every day.
 

jph2

Senior Member
I believe MSP did use 100 watt bulbs in their beacon which is what made them so bright, the PAR-46 bulb # 4537.  Here is a link in the Unity parts section:

http://www.unityusa.com/U-4537-2-PAR-46-Aircraft-Lamp-Kit_p_2169.html
I didn't realize they were 100 watts, but a former trooper told me they were aircraft landing lights. They always carried spares in the car and it wasn't unusual to have to change one during a shift. Nothing like the pop of an MSP spitfire, though, if you ask me.
 

EL1998P71

Senior Member
Oh now that sure is a thing. I know for sure I've seen someone post here where they put those in and it pretty much immediately destroyed the light because it was so hot... I figure glass would hold up just fine but the last plastic dome I'd expect to hold up would be a Spitfire dome like MSP used. Learn something new every day.
I worked on Mich state Police cars (new unissued cars and in service cars) from 2000 till 2011 and saw the change from Halogen to LED (2005), and every single rotator they had, had 100w air craft lamps par 46 bulbs in it. And i've never seen any domes melted. Out of the last batch of red spitfire domes that were installed I was able to purchase 2 of the extra ones.  I'm guessing that the one that was melted that was posted had rotation problems or something.

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nerdly_dood

Veteran Member
Here's the post I was thinking about: 

My favorite too. Although I preferred the aftermarket "rounded" dome vs the flat top Federal stock domes. My dad started his career in law enforcement in the 70's and a fellow deputy put aircraft landing lights in his beacon and ended up melting the dome!
From this thread.
 

jph2

Senior Member
I worked on Mich state Police cars (new unissued cars and in service cars) from 2000 till 2011 and saw the change from Halogen to LED (2005), and every single rotator they had, had 100w air craft lamps par 46 bulbs in it. And i've never seen any domes melted. Out of the last batch of red spitfire domes that were installed I was able to purchase 2 of the extra ones.  I'm guessing that the one that was melted that was posted had rotation problems or something.

View attachment 145614

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You got not one but two brand new in box MSP Spitfire rotators? Good for you! Jealous!
 

EL1998P71

Senior Member
You got not one but two brand new in box MSP Spitfire rotators? Good for you! Jealous!
I only have the one. I sold one of them a few years back.

I do have a refurbished one (done by me) with a custom made green spitfire dome on it. (I also have a amber regular dome and a blue factory spitfire dome.
 

UnityUSA

Site Regular
To clarify, we did use 100 watt aircraft landing lamps for MSP beacons. Also the halogen beacons had to be discontinued because we couldn't get motors for them anymore.
 

jph2

Senior Member
Today I thought I had happened upon a good, ole-fashioned MSP Spitfire still loose in the wild.
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Alas, it was a Spitfire dome over the Whelen LED guts. :(
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unityrv26

Member
Not sure what the flasher model is but they do have the capability of having different flash patterns as MSP did experiment with different ones (based on youtube videos) before settling on the one they all use. Personally, I wish they'd picked a different one as I don't like the one they're using, but that's just me. Sorry I can't help with the specifics though.
The troops have figured the "jump wire" that selects the patterns. Even though they aren't supposed to, some that have their own cars are changing the to the somewhat rotating pattern. it's more like a one side flashes then the other.
 

unityrv26

Member
Today I thought I had happened upon a good, ole-fashioned MSP Spitfire still loose in the wild.
View attachment 153235
Alas, it was a Spitfire dome over the Whelen LED guts. :(
View attachment 153236

That's a very rare thing!! I have only seen a few...the troops either switched them before their old car shipped out from the post, or I know of one who uses his own spitfire on his take home.

Unity "effed" themselves by not marketing a rotating version of this light. If they simply would have put their LED spot beams in place of the halogen beams they'd be in great shape.
 

bmd224

Member
Unity "effed" themselves by not marketing a rotating version of this light. If they simply would have put their LED spot beams in place of the halogen beams they'd be in great shape.
The problem wasn't the bulb/light source. It is the motors. Their source for the motors dried-up, thus causing them to cease all beacon production. Also, those motors are thirsty amp drinkers. Nowadays with the extra electronics such as radar system, in-car camera system, mobile data terminals (computers), radio modem for the MDT, etc, every increase in amperage equates to increased electrical system strain leading to increased fleet vehicle downtime. Fleet managers look for any way they can to cut power consumption, so a thirsty rotator motor is first to go--especially since solid-state led modules can simulate a rotating pattern (though I agree nothing is as good as the original).
 

jph2

Senior Member
The problem wasn't the bulb/light source. It is the motors. Their source for the motors dried-up, thus causing them to cease all beacon production. Also, those motors are thirsty amp drinkers. Nowadays with the extra electronics such as radar system, in-car camera system, mobile data terminals (computers), radio modem for the MDT, etc, every increase in amperage equates to increased electrical system strain leading to increased fleet vehicle downtime. Fleet managers look for any way they can to cut power consumption, so a thirsty rotator motor is first to go--especially since solid-state led modules can simulate a rotating pattern (though I agree nothing is as good as the original).
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not a fan of the flash pattern on most of the MSP LED beacons. However, over the weekend, I saw one that was set up to simulate a rotating beacon and it did not work at all. The Whelen LED modules are too big an array that was either on or off, and so they flashed in sequence. Well, unless you were on an angle, you only saw one side, so you only saw a single flash. Most people probably would not have realized this light was trying to resemble a rotator. It might have worke better if the LED modules were positioned like a diamond on the car instead of square to front, rear, and sides.

So, now I've seen a worse flash pattern on an MSP beacon. The standard MSP pattern is definitely better than this thing was. And, at least the standard pattern is distinctly MSP and recognizable as such.
 

dmathieu

Premium Member
The most effective (longest dwell time) Whelen patterns are the 75 single FPM, and the 75 FPM SignalAlert. This is why the NFPA models of the L31 have these patterns only. The Michigan SP pattern is a combination of the 75 FPM single, and the Comet flash. This combination is a standard Whelen pattern. The single is more effective than the Comet. If it was single combined with SignalAlert, that would be fantastic.
 

UnityUSA

Site Regular
That's a very rare thing!! I have only seen a few...the troops either switched them before their old car shipped out from the post, or I know of one who uses his own spitfire on his take home.

Unity "effed" themselves by not marketing a rotating version of this light. If they simply would have put their LED spot beams in place of the halogen beams they'd be in great shape.
Our motor supplier discontinued the motor we used. We were not able to find a replacement motor that we felt met our standards. At the time beacon sales were also dramatically dropping, most departments switched to other forms of lighting. Business wise the line was basically dead and not worth reviving.

Also LED lamps are heavier than halogen ones. I have been told the motors wouldn't be able to effectively handle the extra weight. The beacon line was just ending when I started working at Unity, and was dead when LED spots came around that I have never seen it tested to know if that's true, but that's what I have heard.
 

cmb56

Member
:crazy:


Well I can finally see well enough to upload some images. I'll do some video tomorrow as its already 22:40 HRS here and well, any led looks bright at night. Mind you, I think this would kill my camera if I tried to take photos / video at night, and possibly confuse local pilots trying to land at the airport about 10 miles away.
I am a little curious about of what LEDs that this unit uses.
Are they 1 Watt or 3 Watt LEDs and are they white or red in colour?

Michael
 
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U

unlisted

Gold Supporter
Leds are red in color. No idea which led diodes it uses. I could take a more detailed photo or two if you wish?
 

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