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Gamewell station Gong! Need wiring help

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  • Gamewell station Gong! Need wiring help

    Looking for some tech savvy members! My dept built a new state-of-the-art HQ that does NOT include a pole or other “cool” traditions from the old days. Bummer. Anyway, we did manage to bring our old Gamewell turtle gongs, tickers etc to the new facility. We have a large oak display cabinet in the day room to display the old helmets gongs etc to the public.

    The members are looking to find a way to get he gamewell turtle gong activated again. My department is combined now with the PD and the dispatch center is located in the same building for both depts. The new dispatch “console” was not wired for “the bells” as it was in the old station.

    We are looking to get the turtle gong back into service without running wires and relays to the dispatcher console. It would involve breaching concrete walls obtaining power sources etc and the Town is not going to pay for that just to get some bells ringing again.

    Does anyone know if there is a “tone activated” DC relay or something that could be wired into the gong to ring once when our station tone is activated? We thought about retro-fitting an old Minitor II and wiring it to a relay or something. The station gong is an early brass Gamewell unit that is 12 inches and uses 12V DC. We’re just looking to get it to “gong” once when the station “tone” hits. Anyone know of any economical way to accomplish this and what hardware will be needed? Thanks for the help. Barrington, RI Fire Local 1774

  • #2
    I too would be interested to hear how this goes. Our new headquarters station will open in April, and I have been asked to find a way to install an old 12v "bubble gum" light from a retired rig onto the ceiling of the day room or dormitory, to activate when our tones drop. I have an ancient but functional desktop plectron which has an indicator light for when an alarm has been recieved. The plectron indicator has a manual reset button. I can hide the plectron in the attic above the dorm and play with relays and low voltage transformers to turn this indicator into a trigger for the bubble gum, but I need a way to make it automatically reset after five minutes or so instead of requiring a manual reset.

    Obtaining a one-strike bell or gong would go well with this, especially if it meant we could turn down the damn heart-attack Minitor tones.

    Maybe I should take this story to my local Radio Shack and see what they have to say....
    You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
    IACOJ Power Company Liason
    When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution
    and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.


    • #3
      When our station was under construction to add the PD for a public safety building a few years ago, we had our radio service hook up a horn outside to tell the construction crew that we were coming in for a call and to clear out of the way.

      Basically it was an old Plectron we had laying around hook up to a siren box. A siren speaker was hooked to that and hung up outside. The plectron was plugged into the wall and between the siren box and the plectron, there was a timing switch that would allow the siren box to run for 2 minutes. The siren was turned on and left on hi-lo so when the power was activated to it it would go off. This timing switch was just a simple diode switch that you can find at Radio Shack. I'm not sure how they got it to do 2 min of activation though. Maybe they come in pre set times and just buy a 3 min switch or 4 min switch or whatever.

      As long as you put a switch between the Plectron and the gong or light or whatever, you should be ok. Wish I could be more help.
      Jason Knecht
      Township Fire Dept., Inc.
      Eau Claire, WI

      IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine


      • #4
        Thanks Dickey. As I supposed, Radio Shack will have the answer. A very helpful reply, I appreciate that, sir.
        You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
        IACOJ Power Company Liason
        When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution
        and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.


        • #5
          what about using a minitor and amplifier. The amplifiers have a relay built into them and with the pager it would be a tone alert system. Maybe look into that route. I know they make a bell for the Minitor IV amplifier, maybe you could go that route and just replace the bell with your gongs.


          • #6
            The dripping irony of the fact that I am asking for advice regarding basic electronics - considering my username - has just dawned on me.

            By way of pre-emptive explanation.... my exposure to electricity is primarily the 8,000 - 500,000 volt AC variety. I don't have much history dabbling in the "little" stuff.

            End temporary threadjack.
            You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
            IACOJ Power Company Liason
            When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution
            and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.


            • #7
              the minitor amplifiers only activate the relay for whatever is plgged into them during the "alert period". My though would be to use that to trigger a relay that is on a instant on timed off relay. then set the timer to 5 minutes. Radio shak shoulc have all that stuff for ya..and then I would use a 120v to 12vdc transformer. those should be extra prevelant around in any electronics store and even probably walmart or something too.


              • #8
                Do the lights come on when the speakers open?


                • #9
                  Mighrt try the folks over at Radioreference.com forums.

                  Bunch of Ham Radio operators over there who are always hooking up tone decoders and what not.

                  Not to pee on another post above, but my recent experiences with Radio Shack is that they only know cell phones and televisions.

                  "You have questions (about radios), we have blank looks on our faces."


                  • #10
                    yeah very true with the knowledge at radio shack. However if you KNOW what you are looking for, usually they have it. I am pretty sure they would have a Timed off 5 minute timing relay for ya to hook up. I could draw up some schematics of how you would need to wire it if you need me to.

                    lil story, I went into a radio shack asking for a variable current and voltage power supply one time. They pulled out a dc to ac power inverter for me. I told them no, explained again what I was looking for. They told me those dont exist. I said then how have I used them for testing before?????


                    • #11
                      We use a plectron (remember those!) they were great, because they automatically reset. So, and i'm not electronics expert, we wired the volt output (there was a connection on the bacK) to a relay to a strobe light.

                      As long as there was audio after alerting, the strobe would flash.

                      I also believe that some minitor models (I know Min IV's) can also be wired this way and set to automatically reset.
                      I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                      "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                      "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."


                      • #12
                        Gamewell gong help wiring ???

                        I do really appreciate the fast response from all the posters here. I think, after talking around the station, is that the “plectron” is the way to go for us. All we need is something to “trip” on and send the 12V signal to the gong when the tones drop. I’ll have to check Ebay for one. They were in the old station decades ago but we don’t have them anymore.

                        DFD asked if our lights go on when the speakers trip. Yes they do. They are controlled by a complex “box” that has an enunciator panel and all kinds of 120V wires running to lights all over the station. We thought of tapping into this but it’s too involved. The union is attempting to find a way to “do it or selves” so that we don’t have to pay big $$$ to have the service guy come out and run wires all day from this brain.

                        I do like the idea about the Minitor too. I could isolate the relay that trips when it detects our “alert” tone then use that to run the signal to the gong. However, I have no idea what that component looks like inside the minitor. Anyone know where it’s located? Or have a pic to forward? I appreciate the help greatly!


                        • #13
                          ffjkf55 & ElectricHoser -

                          In addition to the Radio Reference forums - try the boards over at http://batboard.batlabs.com

                          This is the heart of all things /\/\oto related.
                          Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless


                          • #14
                            Will do thanks again!


                            • #15
                              Well your speakers and lights are powered through a relay panel somewhere in the station.Jump power off the speaker. Run that to a 120v to 12 vdc transformer and then conect your Gong. Doing this will "trip" the speakers, the lights and Gong. This sounds neat, old stuff in new stations. Hope you guys figure it out.


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