Old 01-14-2006, 06:57 AM   #1
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Question rotating beacon on CF7

does anyone know what voltage is used to run a rotating beacon or dome flasher? i got one off a unit that was headed to the scrapper and i wanna set it up to work at home. i tried a car battery and it didnt work. i'm thinking it might be 24 volt.
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:10 PM   #2
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Most locomotive auxiliary equipment is 72 volt.
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:12 PM   #3
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Default Rotating beacon

any idea where i can get power converter for it. after i cleaned it up and looked at it closer i found a sticker that says 74 volts. i need a converter that will take 110VAC to 74VDC so i can run it in my house
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Old 01-16-2006, 07:38 PM   #4
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Radio Shack or maybe a coputer parts store (CompUSA) might have an approrpriate power supply.
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:06 AM   #5
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thanks for the info. i've benn talking to another guy that just happens to have the beacon that i have. he got his to work off of 12V just by changing the bulbs to 12V automotive bulbs. pretty simple idea.
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J
Most locomotive auxiliary equipment is 72 volt.
Close, but everything on a locomotive is 74 volts. Even the household outlet on the inside is still 74v instead of the standard 110v. However, 74v is still enough to run something such as a laptop computer and other lower voltage items.
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StL-rail
Close, but everything on a locomotive is 74 volts. Even the household outlet on the inside is still 74v instead of the standard 110v. However, 74v is still enough to run something such as a laptop computer and other lower voltage items.
Roger that. I knew the approximate voltage and figured that 72 is divisible by 12 (automobile voltage).
My understanding is that AAR standardized on 74 volts around WWII. Some locomotive systems (more expensive but more efficient) had higher voltage (requires more battery cells but wiring can be smaller gage). EMD was the dominant player and had standardized at 74 volts so the others followed to remain competitive.

In a related matter, some locomotives had electrical auxiliary equipment (just as we do on newer locomotives today). Again, EMD set the standard with belt-driven auxiliaries such as traction motor blowers and even radiator fans. This explains the design of the following two Alco locomotives. The prototype (Rock Island) was manufactured with auxiliaries such as electrically-driven radiator fans at the rear of the car body.

When drawings were finalized for production the auxiliaries became belt-driven (to reduce costs) which required moving half of the equipment to the middle of the car body so that each engine could supply power for its own auxiliary systems. See the New Haven DL109. Source for both photographs is
www.northeast.railfan.net/diesel83.html
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