Simplex 4050-80 in the wild

This was a picture I took a few years ago of the first Simplex 4050-80 light plate I saw in the wild at our SkillsUSA testing site. I don’t go to this technical school so I don’t know if they still are hooked up, but there are Spectralert classics next to old light plates so it’s unlikely they still work. This is also about 3 hours away from me so it’s not easy to try an inquire about these.


Well that’s quite a unique combination, even if one replaced the other. I sure hope that at some point you can save the older alarms though: they are getting rarer as the years go by, mainly thanks to techs who think nothing of throwing them out.

I certainly will try in the future, but I would need a connection through the grapevine, someone who knows about the system since I don’t know if they’re still active. I’m hopeful it will get easier to acquire old devices as the electrical company I work for has close ties to a local fire/security company (we are getting ready to assist in a replacement of an FCI FC-72 system and a Simplex 4002/4005 system), so I will talk to the owner about getting all future devices. The next time I see a Simplex tech in our schools I’ll ask to see if we can hookup in the future. Hopefully by doing this we can increase the number of devices that find their way to collectors.

Best of luck, hope everything goes well. I hope to do my part in saving devices in the future.

A replacement eh? Planning on saving both/all the panels in addition to most or all of the devices?

I will do everything in my power to save everything, although I probably won’t be able to save the 4002 cabinet because it’s recessed into the cinder block wall, but I will do my best to save as much as possible. I’ll post more on it once we start doing work.

That’s excellent, the community needs more people like you.

Well, if they did replace that alarm with that SpectrAlert, then it would have been likely that they ripped out that alarm.

Given the older alarm’s still there next to it they clearly didn’t.

I mean, in the real world you would think they would have ripped them off the wall as soon as the system was replaced.

This is the real world, & they might not have immediately removed it for a number of reasons, including that they might not have had cover plates with them to cover up the hole with (or trim plates that they could have put the Spectralert on). Besides that though there’s technically no problem with leaving the old alarm in place, as long as there’s a newer alarm next to it.

Well, I get that. But I guess I don’t own the building so yeah

At UMass Boston’s McCormack Hall, there’s a lone 4051+80 horn/light remaining… it’s been disconnected for at least 25 years, as there’s a 4903 speaker/strobe next to it. (the system upgrade happened sometime before 1998, given the initiating devices used.)