This is a Simplex 4208AX, manufactured in the mid 1970s. The Simplex 4208 series of control panels were first prototyped in 1969, and released for sale in 1970. Two models were available at the time - the 4208A, which was strictly a DC system with battery backup, and the model featured here - the 4208AX, which was an AC system. The 4208A would become less common around 1975 with the release of the 4207, and both were eventually superseded by the 2001 in 1978.
This 4208 features 15 zones and 2 AC bell circuits. There is also a master code motor in the bottom of the panel that provides signal coding over the bell circuits, along with 2 auxiliary relays for elevator and HVAC control.
(Controls on the front of the panel)
(Simplex FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS logo, used from 1969-1978)
(Inside of the panel)
(Back of the panel door)
(Top four boards for the bell circuits, auxiliary smoke power, zones 1 thru 4 and zones 5-8, respectively)
(Bottom four boards for the main controls, zones 10-13, zones 14-15, and the auxiliary relays/code motor, respectively).
(Code motor assembly. Configured for cadence marching code - 4-4-4-4)
(Side view of the panel looking left)
This is a Simplex 2001-8001. It was built between sometime in 1979 and 1980 and is an early version of the 2001. When the 2001-800x series was first released for sale in 1978, the panel featured an aluminum door with red pin-striping (as shown here) and a slightly different main control card. Other notable features of early 2001 systems is that like the 4207 and 4208, they are still largely relay based. While the coding is no longer produced by an electromechanical wheel, the zone cards and bell cards still use relays to operate the system. Zone cards on 2001 systems manufactured after 1980 no longer used relays, but used transistors instead. 2001 systems would retain the design seen here until late 1980 or early 1981, when the panel was redesigned with a new control card, zone cards, and black (or in some cases, red) painted door. Operation of early 2001 systems was also different compared to 2001s manufactured after 1980. There is no alarm silence feature (“ACK” on newer systems) on the main control card, silencing signals would require a system reset. In addition, when an alarm or trouble condition comes in on the panel, the LEDs light solid and do not flash off and on. There are very few known examples of 1st generation 2001s such as this one left in existence, and are very hard to find due to their very short 2-3 year production span.
This panel features 5 zones and one signal circuit. Coding is provided by the marchtime card slotted next to the signal card on the far top right.
(Panel with door open)
(View of the system cards. Top - Main Control, Battery Monitor, Detector Reset, Zone 1, Zones 2-3, Zones 4-5, Marchtime, Signal Circuit 1 and Bottom - Battery Charger, Power Supply)
(Close up of the main control card. Notice the different design compared to the newer control cards from the 1980s).
(Inside of the panel with the dress panel removed)
(View of an older zone card. Notice the large relays, something newer zone cards are lacking).
Since taking pictures of all of the devices individually would take forever, I took a picture of all of my vintage devices I currently have on hand.
From left to right, top to bottom - Simplex 4037-1 (from @4903-9222, thank you so much), Honeywell SC804D1018, Exide 969R, Simplex 4041, Simplex 4070-6, Simplex 4050, Simplex 4050-80+4051, Space Age Electronics AV32 + Wheelock 34-24, Simplex 2904-9003 (Light), Simplex 2901-9806, Simplex 2904-9101 (Strobe), Simplex 2903-9005+2901-9833.
Also from left to right, top to bottom - Autocall 4015, Simplex 4251-111, ESB Couch F660A, Simplex 4251-20
There are a few things not pictured here, such as my IBM 4251-111 (same as the Simplex) or my IBM 4032-1 horn. Other devices that were previously seen have been sold, or traded.
Some of you may also be asking what happened to the rest of the control panels that I had previously, such as the 4010, 2001-8023 and the smaller 4208. As of last month, I have gifted those panels to my brother, who has developed a slight interest in the hobby and who has always helped me with things such as restoration projects on old panels. I did not see the need to keep all of them, nor do I have the storage space since I currently do not own my own home. I know they are in good hands with him, and he will enjoy them as much as I did.
Although incomplete and missing boards, I do still have my 4020 system. I did not bother including it above as it isn’t really a vintage/antique system (I consider that to be anything over 35 years old). I am not sure what I would like to do with this system (if I should keep it or let it go), as parts for them are extremely pricey. But, for now, it and the devices that go with it will continue to sit under my bed.
I also have a Simplex 4004 that I may be putting up for sale very soon (also willing to do trades within reason). I have to determine if it’s fully functional or not, all I know is that they keypad takes a lot of force for it to register. If I can fix it up, get resistors for it and get it working beautifully, I would love to see it go to another good home.
So that’s everything for now. While I do not have any immediate plans for new control panels (as they are bulky and take up too much space, plus I got rid of my old storage locker), I do plan on obtaining several more devices soon, especially vintage pull stations since I’m lacking in that department. I recently scored a lot of IBM devices off eBay, including another 4037, as you can see below. I’ll be sure to add pictures here once it all comes in the mail.
Anyways, I have a lot more in the works, so stay tuned.