Whelen ROTA-BEAM Family History

Maxim2Eng

Premium Member
Platinum Supporter
Good old days of the Rainbow Fleet when private muscle cars did patrol work! Very cool! And you are proof this hobby is an obsession. :p
Incredible collection!
 

BLUELIGHT

Established Member
How did the larger Rota-Beams compare to sealed beam beacons in terms of brightness and fpm? I know the Cadet is quite bright with a 795X 55 watt halogen bulb rather than the original.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
The Hawaii version Senior had a cruise light adapted to it.
The Cadet can not accept a 50 Watt 795X or 55 Watt H1 bulb. It cones with a 27 Watt bi-pin bulb.
The Seniors were very bright if the correct bulb was used, and focused properly, as seen in the video.
Flash rate ranged between 80 and 100 FPM.
 

BLUELIGHT

Established Member
My bad. I'm thinking Corporal and typing Cadet. The Corporal will accept 795X bulbs, and they are shockingly bright. How did the Senior compare to sealed beam lights?
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
In old 1978 Whelen literature effective CP was very close; Standard Rota-Beam 1057, and sealed beam 1134 . Due to the larger magnifiers in the Senior Rota-Beams, the effective CP would have been higher than the Standard Rota-Beams.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
The 1964 Ford wagon, gold color with wood grained sides, on the left, was My Dad's (Sergeant's) personally owned car. This car had a blue/red split dome Whelen Rota-Beam RB11 on the dash, a large mechanical siren under the hood, and a town owned radio with long spring/whip antenna on the rear quarter. This was officially designated Grafton "Cruiser 17" (I have the paperwork so designating). This car was used on patrol from time to time, and to answer calls, as supervisor, while off duty. I would love to rebuild this car! 87227fa991e6b61cf6c97b35197ecce6.jpegS6306689.JPG
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
I know, never. I have a catalog page only. That cruiser was in my home town. The only CJ base I've ever seen.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
REFURBISHED ROTA-BEAM for my collection.
Rebadged Whelen Model Senior Rota-Beam.
Rebadged as: H. O. K. Sign & Signal, Inc.
102 S 26th St. Phoenix 34 Arizona
Model 100, 12 Volt, Serial # 00453
The stud mount was not a Whelen standard mounting option.
This light would have been early 1960s vintage.
Rota-Beam Standard Model RB11 shown for size comparison.
Looks like the same light on this Grafton, MA truck.217284

Works like a charm
217281217282217283
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
I believe that I have the complete line in my collection. Makes it hard to collect now. As with this one, I can upgrade to new/NOS/mint from used, as I have in most cases.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
Whelen did use brown "lamp cord" back in their early days. Many times, after so many years, it gets so brittle that it has to be replaced.
 

stansdds

Veteran Member
Beacon in a can, interesting way to ship one, but I guess it worked.
 
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dmathieu

dmathieu

Premium Member
BETTER THAN I COULD HAVE HOPED!!!!
NOS 1st Whelen Automotive Light ROTO-BEAM RB10 BLUE
This is the darkest blue that I've ever seen, with a purple look from some angles. The pictures do not do it justice. This is Whelen's first stab at blue domes.S6306964.JPGS6306965.JPGS6306967.JPGs-l1600 (5).jpgs-l1600 (7).jpg
Shipped from Joliet, Illinois to Undertaker's Supply Co. Pennsylvania on 7/26/55 or 56.
Included original shipping box, storage can, instructions, brochure, and newspaper packing.
 

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