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Thread: old smoke alarm

  1. #1
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    Default old smoke alarm

    Anyone seen this system before? I recommended they be changed out because of their age.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: old smoke alarm

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Melville View Post
    .
    Anyone seen this system before?
    .
    .
    Nope?
    .

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: old smoke alarm

    Nifty! What does the meter measure? And what do the buttons do?

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: old smoke alarm

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristi Silber View Post
    .
    Nifty! What does the meter measure? And what do the buttons do?
    .
    Nothing !
    * they quit working long before The Interstate Highways were built.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: old smoke alarm

    I think the button in the first pic is actually a heat sensor rather than smoke. But, I could be wrong. It has happened before. I think it was 1987... No, it was '89.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: old smoke alarm

    The meter looks like it says 'D. C. Volts', so maybe there were batteries in that box?

    Maybe those buttons on the box are 'On' 'Off' 'Reset' and maybe another 'Reset' for another zone. Or maybe the 'buttons' are 'lights' and one indicates the system is 'On' and the other one indicates 'Alarm' condition?

    I'm just guessing at the above.

    I believe that Rick C. does alarms, so he may have run across one of these in the past.

    I also think they are heat sensors and not smoke detectors.

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  7. #7
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: old smoke alarm

    I'm old enough that I probably should know, but do not. Agree that the meter is an amp-meter and it's likely a battery powered system. The buttons are probably test buttons, but not sure what they test, ( voltage and circuit integrity ? ). I do not know of any "older" alarm systems other than smoke and maybe heat detection systems & associated audible alarms.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: old smoke alarm

    This type of alarm system predates me (1986), but I have seen (replaced) many of them and worked on a few.

    Most likely it is a heat detector, but it does not look like any heat detector I have ever seen. Looks like it has a grill or vent at the top, I wonder what the grill is for. I will ask around and see if I can find out more.

    The control panel or box on old alarm systems were battery powered.
    Most often 6 volt lantern batteries, but some used D cell. They did not have a transformer to recharge the batteries. Every month, 3 months, or six months, the alarm guy would come out to change the batteries, test the alarm, and service it.

    There were very few codes and standards for alarm systems back then, so the buttons and lights on the panel were whatever the installer wanted them to be.
    Most often there was a button to test the Bell, and one to test the alarm circuit. Since it was battery powered, lights were not on all the time, only during test and alarm.

    A bit of trivia
    Old alarms used a key to turn on (arm) and turn off (disarm) the system.
    This was called the "Key switch".
    Some key switches also had lights mounted on a cover plate.
    Since the term "Switch plate" was already in use it was called a "Key Pad".
    We still call it a "Keypad", even though no key is used.

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