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my CROUSE-HINDS model PCE-1000 electromechanical traffic light controller

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spitball's loves13 of 55Collection of New York City pedestrian signalsEarly New York City "YIELD" Sign
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    Posted 2 years ago

    (651 items)

    Here's the first (I think?) item I've shown from my "traffic control" collection. This large (and heavy!) cast aluminum weatherproof box measures about 14"d x 16"w x 30"h. It was manufactured by the Crouse-Hinds Co. of Syracuse, NY, major manufacturers of *all sorts* of industrial electrical equipment since the early days of electricity, their name is cast into its door in a fabulous art-deco font/style. [note, the keyhole cover (which swings to either side so the key can be inserted to open the box) is an unpainted 'reproduction' of its original]

    This box was originally installed on a streetcorner somewhere in Ohio (I believe?) sometime in the 1950's or thereabouts, where it would have controlled the traffic lights at one simple intersection with basically nothing more than red/yellow/green signals controlling one 'main street' and one 'cross street'. All the various mechanisms/wiring seen inside it actually comprise a pretty simple 'bare-bones' model of this machine...they were often found with many more actual "parts" inside, to allow them to control more complicated intersections, automatically change their timing patterns, react to actual traffic in 'real time', or interact with the next control box down the street on the next corner. Most of its 'timing functions' are controlled by the mechanisms on a swing-out portion, (LH side in last pic) the rest of the stuff mounted to the inside of its back includes the actual wiring connections for everything, a very heavy-duty 'light flasher unit', and a 24hr timeclock.

    Obtained from a fellow traffic equipment collector a couple years ago now, this controller cabinet now sits in my computer room between a pair of 8" signal lights (similar vintage or newer, by another company) that came from a different collector. I wish CW allowed video clips to be shown along with still photos -- it truly is lots of fun to watch its moving parts "go", and it also makes a distinctive (and most satisfying) <RRRrrrRRRrrrCLICK> noise when it cycles to change the lights. <lolol>

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    1. elanski elanski, 2 years ago
      Interesting. Have you wired it up to your traffic light?
    2. buckethead buckethead, 2 years ago
      Interesting piece.
      It reminds me of the electromechanical controller on our condensate polishers at the power plant. It controlled the pre-coating, coating, in-service time, and backwashing of resin on three mammoth ion exchange vessels. Most of the time the out plant operators are manually turning the "washing machine" turn stops inside the cabinet to advance the process when it gets hung up. All sorts of RRRRrrr clicking and light flashing. We are currently replacing the 60's technology controller with "state of the art" computer controls.
    3. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 2 years ago
      Thanks SO MUCH to elanski, iggy, buckethead, gargoylecollector, and fortapache for your quick <love its> and comments! :-) :-) :-)

      elanski, yes it is currently fully functional and actually connected to two likewise authentic traffic lights, that can barely be seen sitting to its sides in the first pic. [I suppose I should get some quick pics of those too, for a followup post...??]

      And NO DOUBT buckethead -- though I can't say I'm familiar with your exact 'power plant' machinery -- there's probably little doubt that, ifn's I was there when the old stuff was being taken out, I'd be trying to scavenge/save/load up/haul away as much of it as I could drag out to my own truck... <ROTFL>
    4. spitball spitball, 2 years ago
      I love it. I'd like to get an e/m controller again. My signals all run on circuit board controllers, which serve a good purpose; but it just ain't the same!

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