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Why did Code 3.......

LineSpotter

Junior Member
.....make their SD (& xl) lightbar with the 120 degree offset inner rotators?

They have the normal 180 bulbs typically on the outside rotator, then the 120's with usually only two bulbs (although I have seen some that had 3 bulbs on the 120 rotator.

So what was the purpose of this?
It seems pointless and would add cost to production having to make/stock the two different styles

Also, why did they usually only bulb two of the positions on the 120 rotator instead of all three?

o_O



 

Maxim2Eng

Premium Member
Platinum Donor
Similar to the explanation FedSig gave for the dwell flash of the 174 Super BeaconRay...the "pause" of the irregular flash pattern gave the eye a moment to "adjust" to the lack of active light output (pupil expands) making the next flash appear brighter. Unfortunately, the driver/passenger sides of the bar were not synchronized so the brightness effect was minimalized. I called it a synchronized random flash pattern--or the appearance of multiple beacons...it was still effective.
 

Lyle

Member
LOVE the SDs......
I own 2 XLs and give off a 'custom' type of flash pattern that sets the Code 3s apart from others.
 

ex416

Member
although I have seen some that had 3 bulbs on the 120 rotator.

Also, why did they usually only bulb two of the positions on the 120 rotator instead of all three?

the three bulb rotators were used by Code 3 with special options on the sd and xl models. some collectors themselves have modified the two bulb 120 degree holders into three bulb rotator assemblies to increase the flash output.
 
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CrownVic97

Veteran Member
the three bulb rotators were used by Code 3 with special options on the sd and xl models. some collectors themselves have modified the two bulb 120 degree holders into three bulb rotator assemblies to increase the flash output.

Like this dude here....he customized a 36" Code 3 XL to 3-bulb holders. Amazing light output...but absolute carnage on an alternator if installed on a vehicle o_O !
 

NPS Ranger

Veteran Member
Speaking of alternators, the old NYC EMS ambulances in the 1980's used the sealed beam XL "triple threat" models with 12 sealed beams in each bar. When the truck was at idle they dimmed down and ran slowly due to the ridiculous lighting load - they also had a sealed beam minibar on the back with another 4 bulbs and halogen flashers on the box, grill & fenders.
4860223193_d8f5742103_b.jpg
 

CrownVic97

Veteran Member
Speaking of alternators, the old NYC EMS ambulances in the 1980's used the sealed beam XL "triple threat" models with 12 sealed beams in each bar. When the truck was at idle they dimmed down and ran slowly due to the ridiculous lighting load - they also had a sealed beam minibar on the back with another 4 bulbs and halogen flashers on the box, grill & fenders.
4860223193_d8f5742103_b.jpg
I'm sure lots and lots of alternators were replaced on those trucks....and made a few shop guys go bonkers over it too, LOL.
 

Stampeed Valkyrie

Senior Member
Silver Donor
Like this dude here....he customized a 36" Code 3 XL to 3-bulb holders. Amazing light output...but absolute carnage on an alternator if installed on a vehicle o_O !

The guy who built this bar is a Friend of mine.. if you think this is an amp hog.. I sent him a frame for a 72 and I think he either completed, or is process of completion on that one.
 

lotsofbars

Veteran Member
Speaking of alternators, the old NYC EMS ambulances in the 1980's used the sealed beam XL "triple threat" models with 12 sealed beams in each bar. When the truck was at idle they dimmed down and ran slowly due to the ridiculous lighting load - they also had a sealed beam minibar on the back with another 4 bulbs and halogen flashers on the box, grill & fenders.
The center section had only a Stinger TCL in it, and the rotators were parabolic. I'm pretty sure that they didn't have any with sealed beam rotators.
 

CrownVic97

Veteran Member
The guy who built this bar is a Friend of mine.. if you think this is an amp hog.. I sent him a frame for a 72 and I think he either completed, or is process of completion on that one.
God-dang! That'll be an alternator genocide lightbar right there!
 

NPS Ranger

Veteran Member
If I recall, the parabolic rotators (Force 4 XL bars) came later in the 1980's. First they had 2 parabolic rotator XL minibars mounted on brackets to both sides of the front wall of the box above the cab, with an air conditioner unit in between. Later they had ambulances and GMC Jimmys with full size 52 inch Force 4 XL bars with parabolic reflectors, mounted on the cab roof, which were damn bright. But before all that they had the triple unit Code 3 XL's that very definitely used sealed beam rotators. I can remember taking note that the end rotators were r/w and 180 degrees apart, while the ones next to them were r/w 120 degrees apart like the top of this thread. It was the first time I'd ever seen that arrangement so it stuck in my head. You may be right about the Stinger in the center though, was a long time ago. But the alternator at idle was a joke when it was all lit up, guess they had to scrimp on $$$ somewhere.
 

Sparky_911

Member
Gold Donor
I've got an sd and xl9k, and have tinkered with some twinsonics. The C3 versions have the offbeat flash pop that you don't see with the sonic.
 

LineSpotter

Junior Member
Thread Starter
Off-beat eye catching flash pattern.

Is that actually how they marketed them?
I was thinking maybe it was an option type deal depending on the electrical capabilities of the vehicle or some such. But just guessing.

Asking because I found a NOS XL 9000 that had been mostly gutted for parts. Ive started looking for parts to get it going and had never noticed the 180 & 120 rotators they used on the SD/XL series.
 

Sparky_911

Member
Gold Donor
Probably switched the polarity of the motor on one side.
 

LineSpotter

Junior Member
Thread Starter
No issues that I've found. I have done it in many bars, even independent style rotators. ie streethawk, LP6000 xl.

Any guess on how many hours have you run that SD motor & gearbox in reverse?

I have a line on a pair of motor-drives that are supposedly brand new spares, I would love to run one in reverse as in your video but would be paranoid about causing damage. I know permanent magnet motors can be reversed along with certain brushed motors, curious about the gear drive.
 

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