National Time and Signal Corporation

Hello everyone, New to the site, however I am a long time alarm enthusiast. Glad to be able to finally find a forum where I can discuss alarms with other enthusiasts!

Moving on, I am from the Detroit area and we have a company up here called National Time and Signal, they are based out of Wixom, MI. They specialize in Fire Alarm Systems (obviously) and Master Clocks. Although all of their notification appliances are now Gentex products, (They formally used Faraday products) all of their control panels are original design.

My question is: do any other enthusiasts in other states know if any buildings using their products? I’m curious to see how much of the market they have in the U.S.

Please please please post pictures if you can!

All of National Time and Signal Corporation’s products can be viewed at www.natsco.net in case you were curious!

Thanks for reading!

Howdy, and welcome to the board!

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve seen any new Natsco systems “in the wild” but I have seen older Natsco mechanical horns (some of the collectors here have some pretty old stuff!).

Texas and Oklahoma tend to stick with Simplex or the Honeywell brands, with a bit of Siemens thrown in the mix as well; but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. I’ve just yet to see them.

I assume you are talking about the model 411/411F horn? Those are nightmarishly loud. Proud to say I own both the the standard and flush mount versions as I am an avid fan of their products, however it is my least favorite to set off! Still haven’t been able to get my hands on one of their control panels though, EXTREMELY HARD to come by those. :frowning: :frowning:

Welcome to TFP. I have a lot of National Time stuff in my collection, but I have never seen it in the field. I doubt they ever had any presence around here. I think every one of their products I own came from someone in Michigan. I rarely ever see them on ebay from anyone outside that state.

Just looking at their site, looks like their only fire alarm presence is in Michigan. Doesn’t mean they don’t have distributors elsewhere though, I’m not sure what their business model is. I’d also assume the focus on the k-12 market and package fire alarms with clock systems when selling them, since clocks are their bread and butter.

Chris you are definitely correct about the schools. Up here almost EVERY school district within 150 miles has both their clocks and fire alarms. It’s a rarity actually to have anything else…

I’m sure this is no longer the case, but National Time appears to have been active in Canada in the past. I was recently using the See Inside feature on Google Maps for a building in Toronto, and I happened to notice this National Time pull station (pictured below). I was very surprised, as I had never heard of this company being active around here. The company’s presence must have been miniscule north of the border.

Also, I have an old National Time panel in my collection (purchased from an eBay seller in Michigan, unsurprisingly); let me know if you’d be interested in seeing photos, and I’ll gladly post a detailed album of this panel.

Surprised to hear they were active in toronto!

Also PLEASE! Post pictures of your panel I would absolutely love to see it!!

In addition to Gentex N/A’s, National Time also rebrands Apollo smokes and other addressable peripherals.

I think my school has a couple old horns for boiler alarms. Thats about it.

Here are the pictures. If you’d like to see any other specific close-ups of this panel, let me know, and I’ll add them to the album.

That’s a beauty! Where did you get it?

Thanks! I bought it on eBay in early 2009 for a cheap price. It’s definitely a cool piece to have in my collection, especially considering its nice condition.

See them all over in Macomb county Michigan. Old Emerald Theater in Mount Clemens at one point had NT 641 Tbars. Those are still around in a few places but they are very rare, especially for sale. Most every building in my area (MI) has National time commander 3 and rebranded tbar (Simplex/Ademco/Bosch). I own a 641 tbar, 411 horn, and Wsf-w strobe (Cerberus pyrotronics rebrand) I got the tbar and strobe from local sellers but the horn came from eBay. I bought that up right away. I’ve been a collector for about ten years and I’ve barely ever seen their older stuff online .

I haven’t seen any natsco systems in my area yet

In Canada they were somewhat around. I am near a school that has the exact same T-bar that Samuel posted. The school also has these very, very old and rare horns, which I think are also National Time & Signal.

National Time services Michigan only with a few exceptions. This is because their service department is in Wixom, MI and their support range is limited because they do not have fire alarm distributors. They are primarily in SE Michigan and should be in most of the K-12 schools in this area. Their systems are also present in college campuses such as MSU, Northwood University, Mott CC, and Macomb CC among others. The State Capitol building also has a National Time system in it.

National Time’s clock systems are sold worldwide with installations in Europe, the Middle East, as well as Asia. The company is family owned and operated officially since 1918 with roots dating back to the late 1800’s.

National Time makes their fire alarm systems in the Wixom location (they have another location in Oak Park that fabricates the sheet metal and paints) and by this I mean they actually fabricate the equipment from bare components (PCBs, resistors, diodes, capacitors, etc). They do not make the notification (horns, strobes, speakers)/initiation (smoke detectors, heat detectors, monitoring modules, etc) devices but they do engineer and fabricate the power supplies and control panels. To my knowledge, they are the only fire alarm manufacturer in the US that actually makes their equipment inside the US, not importing it from China and sticking a label “Made in USA” like its competitors do.

The 411/411F are horns are used on their 120VAC 2000 series fire alarm panels produced from ~1950-1990. The 2000 panel is a red panel with large resistors, diodes, relays with analog displays using a needle gauge.

The successor to the 2000 panel - the 7000 panel - is a black panel that varies greatly in size. Modular in design, it is a conventional 24VDC fire alarm panel with initiating and notification cards that fit inside a main board. There many be numerous main boards that house dozens of initiating and notification cards for larger systems. These panels were introduced in the 80’s and were last produced in the 1990’s.

The successor to the 7000 panel was a hybrid conventional/addressable microprocessor based fire alarm system with LCD called the 900 panel. It’s a gray colored panel and can be quite large like the 7000 panel since it has modular pieces as well. This panel started in 1990 and was discontinued around 2020.

The 902 panel has the same gray color as the 900 panel but smaller in physical size. It is the most common and thus flagship panel of the company and is fully addressable for the initiating devices with LCD similar to that found on the 900 panel. This panel was created in 1995 and still manufactured and sold today.

The 910 panel is a fire alarm panel with built in dialer with modernized hardware that can network to both the 902 and 900 panels. At about half the capacity (in terms of devices) from a 902 panel, it’s made for smaller scale installations. The same initiating and notification devices that go on the 902 also go on the 910. It was introduced around 2021 and of course is still being manufactured today.