Simplex 4080's (vibratory bells)


Awesome video! I’m quite fond of these bells as their mechanisms have such a crisp movement and their gongs resonate nicely.

The sideways-oriented gong screws are indeed awkward. It must be tricky to install or remove one of these gongs in a semi-flush installation. I’ve always wondered whether these bells could be flush-mounted behind grilles; there may not be sufficient clearance between the sides of the flush mounting box and the edge of the bell to insert a screwdriver.

Interestingly, in Canada, Simplex sold these older-style bells (with the side-mounted gong screws) as 2901-9330s in the mid/late ‘80s. Similarly to the 4080-series models, it appears that the 2901-9330 model number applied to all bells, regardless of the gong size. The redesigned bells (with the off-centre hex screw holding the gong in place) were known as the 2901-9711 (6”) and 2901-9712 (10”) here.

I’m sure these bells could be flush-mounted behind a wall using an electric screwdriver angled at 90 degrees. Not sure if they existed or were common during that era though.

I wonder why Simplex decided to give identical devices different model numbers when sold in Canada. Edwards doesn’t do it, and I don’t think Honeywell does it aside from one or two pull stations.

The numbering scheme is confusing, too. A Canadian 4050 is still a 4050. You also have a picture of a 2901-9818 (high-output -9833), which is probably the US model number as well extrapolating from the fact that 2901-9814 was the Faraday 5920. Then they decided to give separate model numbers to the later 2901 series, and by the time you get to the 4901-9817, in Canada that’s a “12901”-9801.

Glad you enjoyed my video!