Whelen Cantrol/Core Flash patterns

Ja9uar

Newbie
Original poster
Sep 24, 2022
3
UK
Hi All,

Bit of background - I'm in the UK and am looking at importing a 2015+ ex-LEA Charger some time next year for shows/hire/film(when the pound is doing better against the dollar!). At this stage, I do not know whether it will have any equipment still on it. However, as a technical learning project over the winter, I want to procure the lighting hardware and get my head around the setup and programming. I'm completely new to this world, and definetly not an installer. I am, however, a mechanical engineer with some electrical experience to frame my level understanding.

As I understand, with a Sapphire, to control a DUO lighthead like the Micron series, you can only power on the lighthead. And the pattern is managed by the inbuilt flasher in the lighthead, preset with the Scan lock wire. However, I've noticed in the Whelen Commander software that both the Cantrol and the Core have the capability to output a flash pattern on both the low and high current outputs which is great for syncing up with a lightbar. But surely this is not compatible with any lighthead that has Scan Lock? Do I need a dumb style DUO lighthead? I've only looked through the Whelen catalogue so far, but could someone suggest the type of lightheads I should be looking for.

Thanks in advance and apologies if I'm sounding like an idiot. I did have a quick search through the forums. Also aware that this setup is overkill for a vehicle not in service, but I tend to do that with my projects.
 

Tango7

Registered Member
Jul 7, 2020
122
Chicago Metro Area
I'm not a guru, but I just got done installing a CanTrol system to run amber, blue or amber/blue in sync'd patterns on my truck, so I'll offer my $0.02... or £0.018 after exchange. ;)

As I understand, with a Sapphire, to control a DUO lighthead like the Micron series, you can only power on the lighthead. And the pattern is managed by the inbuilt flasher in the lighthead, preset with the Scan lock wire.

Yes.

However, I've noticed in the Whelen Commander software that both the Cantrol and the Core have the capability to output a flash pattern on both the low and high current outputs which is great for syncing up with a lightbar.

Yes, if the bar is WeCAN and the heads can be controlled by the brain box.

But surely this is not compatible with any lighthead that has Scan Lock?

Aye, there's the rub, to borrow from the Bard. Scan Lock syncs with scan lock, Command syncs with Command.

Do I need a dumb style DUO lighthead?

If your goal is a fully sync'd system, yes.

I've only looked through the Whelen catalogue so far, but could someone suggest the type of lightheads I should be looking for.

Any light that has individual power/control of each color and can run in "dummy" mode will work. I have a mix of Whelen 500's and Code3 Micropaks that work well together, but Whelen's Ion Duo or Trio would work. I also noticed Whelen uses the phrase "requires flasher" for their M6, M7 and M9, meaning they should work as well.

I went with the CanTrol as it was the only system capable of running as many outputs as I needed. Oh, and did I mention I wanted different warning levels for each, also sync'd? If you're bored you can follow my journey of discovery through my posts here.

I had an advantage of sorts as I was using true duo lampheads, with separate feeds for each color. Having "dummy" (no built in flash) heads meant I could use the patterns in Command to the fullest and achieve the warning levels I wanted. A bit costly but I'm too darn old to have to settle for "almost good enough".
 
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Ja9uar

Newbie
Original poster
Sep 24, 2022
3
UK
I'm not a guru, but I just got done installing a CanTrol system to run amber, blue or amber/blue in sync'd patterns on my truck, so I'll offer my $0.02... or £0.018 after exchange. ;)



Yes.



Yes, if the bar is WeCAN and the heads can be controlled by the brain box.



Aye, there's the rub, to borrow from the Bard. Scan Lock syncs with scan lock, Command syncs with Command.



If your goal is a fully sync'd system, yes.



Any light that has individual power/control of each color and can run in "dummy" mode will work. I have a mix of Whelen 500's and Code3 Micropaks that work well together, but Whelen's Ion Duo or Trio would work. I also noticed Whelen uses the phrase "requires flasher" for their M6, M7 and M9, meaning they should work as well.

I went with the CanTrol as it was the only system capable of running as many outputs as I needed. Oh, and did I mention I wanted different warning levels for each, also sync'd? If you're bored you can follow my journey of discovery through my posts here.

I had an advantage of sorts as I was using true duo lampheads, with separate feeds for each color. Having "dummy" (no built in flash) heads meant I could use the patterns in Command to the fullest and achieve the warning levels I wanted. A bit costly but I'm too darn old to have to settle for "almost good enough".

Thanks for the great advice and info. I've noticed that the Cencom Carbide can have a Canport interface but this replaces all the input functions. Does the Cantrol still have some basic inputs, as well as the Canport. The Whelen TDS sheets are not very clear on this matter. I need at least 1 input, to allow an inhibit switch that disables the blue and red lights during road use.

Also, why call it Cantrol if the Canport function doesn't come on the normal models!?!
 
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NoLimitSquads

Registered Member
Feb 11, 2021
200
Minnesota
Lots of information up there, some good, some not so good.
Although I think the product line is a bit different here in the US, than it is across the pond.
So, this is all US product info.

All current Whelen lightheads are flashable. If they are scan-lock, there is a “steady” pattern that you can set the lighthead to. Just do not connect the sync wires together among the lightheads.

Cantrol uses WeCan. With WeCan there is a slight delay so the WeCan device wont be totally in sync with the flashing outputs. Cantrol is also being discontinued.

Core uses WeCanX. WeCanX is synced with the flashing outputs, and synced with tones. It has an internal clock that is always running, so when flash patterns and tones start, they start up according to the internal clock, and not necessarily at the beginning of a tone or flash pattern.

WeCanX, only available on Core has pretty limitless options. You can hook up to 99 WeCanX devices. This is lightbars, external amps, etc.. You can also add expansion modules Via WeCanX. This will give you as many outputs or inputs as you could ever need.

WeCan only allows for 3 WeCan devices, it’s pretty limited.
 
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Tango7

Registered Member
Jul 7, 2020
122
Chicago Metro Area
All current Whelen lightheads are flashable. If they are scan-lock, there is a “steady” pattern that you can set the lighthead to. Just do not connect the sync wires together among the lightheads.

I completely spaced mentioning that I'd set my Micropaks to "steady" and they worked fine (no sync wire connection).

Also, why call it Cantrol if the Canport function doesn't come on the normal models!?!

<shrug> Probably because they were using the definition of Controller Area Network as "a digital serial message based communication protocol that allows the microcontroller and other peripheral devices to communicate" (not Whelen's definition, one I found online).

The CANPORT that connects to the vehicle wasn't an option on the first gen Cantrol AFAIK.
 

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