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  1. #1
    JohnSmith is offline Officer First Class
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    Need help with Code 3 lightbar

    I wasn't sure where to put this, as I don't want to limit to to LE, so I'll try here.

    I recently got a Code 3 Excalibur light-bar on my car (Pretty unique). Unfortunately, we only have 3 of these light bars, and all 3 are wired completely differently as our city fleet services aren't too versed with these ones. We use different bars on the rest of our cars, so these are kinda the odd ducks. But they are also awesome bars, so I want to keep it, have it function correctly, and have it function how I want it to, but our fleet guys can't help too much since they just don't know enough about these (No one here does).

    It is a full LED bar, with old style "rotators" that serve as the take downs and alley lights. The middle 2 yellow lights just go on with take downs, and the outer two are actually pretty neat. We have 3 lightbar "settings," where position one lights up some of the lights, 2 some more, and 3 all of them. Well, on position 3 the side yellow lamps swing back and forth, facing sideways and forwards. On alley they swing and hold to look down the alley, and on Take Down they swing forward and hold.



    So here are the problems I'm having. As you know, each LED is a module, so there are a total of 12 modules on the front of the bar. Every module flashes/dances in their programmed sequence, except number 2, the blue one. It stays on all the time. I either want it to dance like its corresponding red module (7), or I want number 7 to stay on all the time. I want symmetry. How can I fix this?

    Here's the second problem, which I doubt I can fix. The outer yellow lights only swing on position 3 part of the time. They are supposed to go back and forth, swinging constantly while on position 3. Mine don't light up or swing about 3/4 of the time, the other 4th they work perfect, lighting and swinging. The take downs work good, and the alleys work good, so they swing and light up like normal for those.

    Any ideas? I'm also going to talk to Code 3, but I'm not sure how far they'll be able to get me as the Excalibur lightbar was offered in so many configurations. It should be noted, the lower half of my bar with the LEDs is a standard Code 3 lightbar in itself now, and that's what we use for all of our new cars. So I know the modules are very popular.

  2. #2
    cajunguy's Avatar
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    Many manufacturers have downloadable wiring diagrams on their websites through the support or technical assistance areas.

    I checked Code 3's site and unfortunately they apparently aren't one of them.

    The closest thing they have is a Technical Assistance hotline. Might try that - maybe they can mail or e-mail you a diagram.

    The number they show is (314) 996-2800.

    Good luck.


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  3. #3
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    I know that you said your fleet wires your stuff, which isn't unheard of. That being said, my PD uses one of several companies in my area that do the wiring for us. You've got to have someone reasonably local, right? Maybe you can just swing by and chat one of the techs up?
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  4. #4
    pgg's Avatar
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    My limited experience with LED modules is that most will have some kind of "jumper" wire. If you just tap it with power it'll switch through patterns each time it is touched. You may have to do that until you find the pattern you want. My only experience with "smart rotators" is from fed sig. Those ones had a takedown override. Which means if you are using them for something else (alley, intersection) and hit the take down that will over ride everything else. I would make sure another wire isn't exposed and is touching the intersection light wire. Another possibility is if you have a park kill feature that would shut those off when the vehicle is in park. Maybe it is getting a false signal
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  5. #5
    JohnSmith is offline Officer First Class
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    Thank you all for the replies! As long as I don't F it up, no one will care and I'll be happy. So I'm doing my homework, because I'm not going to screw this up haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by cajunguy View Post
    Many manufacturers have downloadable wiring diagrams on their websites through the support or technical assistance areas.

    I checked Code 3's site and unfortunately they apparently aren't one of them.

    The closest thing they have is a Technical Assistance hotline. Might try that - maybe they can mail or e-mail you a diagram.

    The number they show is (314) 996-2800.
    .
    Code 3 does have an installation guide, unfortunately its very vague since the Excalibur was offered in so many configurations. And it seems a lot of the LED bars are setup quite differently in how they are "programmed." But I downloaded the 3 that I think are most likely, and I'll see which one applies.

    Unfortunately, the tech support wasn't open when I called, but I'm sure they will be tomorrow. I'm just afraid I'll get someone who has never touched a light-bar, just has a computer and a search button. Ugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic View Post
    I know that you said your fleet wires your stuff, which isn't unheard of. That being said, my PD uses one of several companies in my area that do the wiring for us. You've got to have someone reasonably local, right? Maybe you can just swing by and chat one of the techs up?
    Great idea, I didn't think of that. Unfortunately no other agency in town uses Code 3 (Except the highway patrol and they don't equip their cars here). I can't honestly think of a place, but I'll have to look into that if nothing else works.

    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    My limited experience with LED modules is that most will have some kind of "jumper" wire. If you just tap it with power it'll switch through patterns each time it is touched. You may have to do that until you find the pattern you want. My only experience with "smart rotators" is from fed sig. Those ones had a takedown override. Which means if you are using them for something else (alley, intersection) and hit the take down that will over ride everything else. I would make sure another wire isn't exposed and is touching the intersection light wire. Another possibility is if you have a park kill feature that would shut those off when the vehicle is in park. Maybe it is getting a false signal
    You nailed it. Except, the Code 3 LEDs have this in different forms. Some had a power, ground, and a control wire. The control wire is the one that's jumped to change flashing modes. Some have a mini circuit board that you go into, and they have two terminals that you jump to change the flashing modes. But, it does seem that all have the same 11 flashing modes. There are 9 modes, a cycle that cycles through the 9, and a steady burn. That blue module, number 2, must have gotten jumped to steady burn when it was installed.

    Or, if it is a control wire type, the control wire may have gotten worn and is touching ground, causing it to steady burn. Which is fine by me, I'll just ground the number 7 control wire. I'm hoping I can change the dance of all of the lights if it isn't too hard, as I kinda want them to flash my way haha. I'm so anal about these haha.

    I'm really not sure what the problem with the lamps are. Got to either be a wiring fluke, like worn/crossed wires that sometimes ground, or a bad control module (Sounds expensive). That's where I need the tech support.

  6. #6
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
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    I was thinking about this more while I was driving today. First thing I would do is pull your control box. Check the connectors and splices. A poor splice or bad connection on the "intersection light" wire could cause them to act intermittently. Usually the command wires for the alleys and takedowns are seperate.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  7. #7
    JohnSmith is offline Officer First Class
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    I am going to also try, if possible, to change what the bar does on the 3 different settings to suit what I'm looking for. Here's my plans so far:

    1- Modules 2, 3, 6, and 7 will be on steady burn. This will help because it won't be flashing, which I've had attorneys drill me for on DUI stops before. But the rear of the lightbar will be full on, every module going for the most rearward visibility including the decklid LEDs.
    2- I never use position 2, so it's kind of useless for me, but I guess I'll add modules 1, 4, 5, and 8 to do their dancing.
    3- Adding the top modules to do their dance, intersection lights, and the flashing headlights.

    We also have a TAIL button, which we use to run selected rearward lights, without any forward lights. I'd like to have this button work all of the rear lights, as I use this a lot (Backup on traffic stops). We'll see how much of this I'm able to do....

    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    I was thinking about this more while I was driving today. First thing I would do is pull your control box. Check the connectors and splices. A poor splice or bad connection on the "intersection light" wire could cause them to act intermittently. Usually the command wires for the alleys and takedowns are seperate.
    I'm going to do that for sure after I tear into the bar itself to mess with the LED modules. I also need to move my entire center console box forward, so that involves taking off the control panel for the lightbar, arrowstick, and the radio.

  8. #8
    pgg's Avatar
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    Our cars have the 3 position slide switch. The first position is for rear lights only. For backing up another officer or hazard warning etc. The second switch activates a "steady burn" facing forward. CA law requires a steady burning red light facing forward in able to make the vehicle a legal emergency vehicle. It is also required to legally detain someone for a traffic, bicycle stop etc. I too have seen defense attorneys burn officers on DUIs for having flashing lights during tests. This eliminates that defense. The third stage activates all your other code 3 lights. It also allows your siren to be activated since we can't legally turn it on without having that stead red light facing forward.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  9. #9
    JohnSmith is offline Officer First Class
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    I called Code 3 today, and the guy got back to me promptly enough and was extremely helpful/knowledgeable. Unless my bar is a tricked out, brand new piece, each module can be flashed to change its cycle pattern. To do this, you remove the cover, and exposed now is the LED module's back, a small green circuit board. He said you'll see two pins on the board, cross them with a flathead screwdriver, and it'll switch the bar to the next mode (9 modes, steady burn, and a cycle of all 9 modes). Perfect!

    The new, tricked out bars, need a magnetic tool, and you just run that directly in front of each LED module, and it'll rotate to the next mode. Pretty pimp, though I know we don't have that trick of stuff haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by pgg View Post
    Our cars have the 3 position slide switch. The first position is for rear lights only. For backing up another officer or hazard warning etc. The second switch activates a "steady burn" facing forward. CA law requires a steady burning red light facing forward in able to make the vehicle a legal emergency vehicle. It is also required to legally detain someone for a traffic, bicycle stop etc. I too have seen defense attorneys burn officers on DUIs for having flashing lights during tests. This eliminates that defense. The third stage activates all your other code 3 lights. It also allows your siren to be activated since we can't legally turn it on without having that stead red light facing forward.
    That's actually a much better setup than we have, because for me, Position 2 is useless. Why would you need flashing lights, and more of them than on stage 1, but not as many as 3? If you are in a situation needing flashing lights, I want every one I've got on. Alleviate that argument when your car gets hit by a drunk.

    I think that's a retarded law personally, it's probably from the old days when the cars only had a couple lights. But nonetheless, steady burn makes sense in a lot of situations. I'll post videos of how I set it up when I get around to messing with it. I am also going to have our shops guy tune the controller to direct which stage does what. I could do what you guys have easy enough, but it would be unnatural for me and my car partner, and the department wouldn't quite like that as it is so different from the other cars, which would open the door to liability.

    I also built an armrest today, I'll put a thread up of it in a little while.

 

 

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