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F3 Dual Lights

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F3 Dual Lights
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 1:37 PM
I was wondering if one of the lights on the front of an F3 were used as a mars light, strobe, ect. or was one just dimer than the other?

Dave
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Posted by ndbprr on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 2:44 PM
Can't say definitively but there were a number of options:
1. Backup headlight in case of failure of the primary
2. Red Mars light
3. Oscillating white light
4. No second light (ala PRR - not even a hole for it)
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 3:06 PM
As far as I know, only the Western railroads used dual headlamps on the "F" series of EMD diesels. From the pictures I've seen, there was either a Pyle light or an oscillating white on the top headlamp, while a steady beam on the lower headlamp.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 4:38 PM
Joe

Was there any differences in brightness for upper and lower lamps?

The unit I have is the new Kato F3 with dual Lights.
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  • From: Sarnia, Ontario
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Posted by ShaunCN on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 4:56 PM
what are mars and strobe lights.????

got to learn someday :)

ShaunCN
derailment? what derailment? All reports of derailments are lies. Their are no derailments within a hundreed miles of here.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 10:43 PM
Here's a quick-and-dirty discussion of headlights, particularly those on F units.

The operating rules on most railroads required loco headlights to be able to show a bright setting, a dim setting, and to be extinguished entirely. An extinguished setting was a signal the train was in the clear on a siding, and that the main track was unobstructed. Very useful information when 2 trains are meeting on a single-track railroad.

A dim setting was required when moving in yards, when 2 trains were approachi ng each other on double track, or in other situations when a dim setting would avoid distraction or aid in identification of passing trains.

Otherwise, a bright setting was to be used for the headlight of the engine on any train.

On F units equipped with 2 headlight housings, the lower housing almost always was used for the principal headlight, which was displayed as described above. The upper of the 2 housings then was used for a signal light, which typically of the mechanical oscillating variety. Mars and Gyralight were 2 trade names for these lights, which used a motor-driven mechanism for moving the light up and down and from side to side, as sort of a predecessor of the flashing strobe-type light.

A white oscillating light was used as a warning for motorists and pedestrians. A red oscillating light, on those engines so equipped, was used as a warning of danger to other approaching trains.

F units with only 1 headlight housing (usually at the top of the nose of the unit) carried only the principal headlight, and had no oscillating lights.

--John
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 10:53 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by DTrain5

Joe

Was there any differences in brightness for upper and lower lamps?

The unit I have is the new Kato F3 with dual Lights.


Honestly, I don't know. The only F units I ever saw were all B & O single-headlights. I don't believe it's a difference in brightness, as much as a difference in the type of light used. The steady lower headlight was a sealed-beam unit, whereas the Pyle light is two separate lamps that take the place of a single sealed-beam unit. I'm not sure if you could put a Mars or Gyralight in one of the lamps of the Pyle light and make the other one steady. I had never heard of a Mars or a Pyle light until a last couple of years, so I really couldn't make an informed guess as to the composition or apparent brightness.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 11:55 AM
John,

Great explanation

I have seen engines that are left on a siding overnight with their lights dimmed quite a bit, not fully out.

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