Strange/unusual Device Pairings

Hello and welcome to my first topic! So anyway, this topic is about the discussion of strange or unusual pairings of fire alarm devices. This can be mix-matched brands, or series. These can either be retrofit or new installs.



An example: I went to a supermarket one day, can’t remember the name of it. They had a Notifier NFW-50 system with SystemSensor HR SpectrAlert Advance horns mounted above SystemSensor S241575 SpectrAlert classic strobes. The pull stations were NBG-12LX’s. I have never seen an alarm pairing like that before. Why not use SystemSensor SR strobes, or SpectrAlert Advance P4R horn/strobes? It was also a new install, because the store was only built a couple months ago. Very strange. This was a true story BTW.





Happy posting!

Perhaps the installer wanted to use up their stock of Spectralert Classic strobes… at my work we even still have some of these sitting around.



Often these unusual pairings can arise during a panel replacement. For instance there is a very odd Simplex/Edwards system at a community college I used to live near. It is completely Edwards except for the horn/strobes which are all late-90’s Simplex devices. What I’ve come to figure, though, is that there was some issue with the Simplex panel, or they decided Simplex service was too expensive. So the panel and all the addressable detectors and pull stations were replaced with Edwards, leaving only the Simplex horn/strobes.

I’ve seen this in a few places:

[]At Spanish Springs in The Villages, I’ve seen EST Integrities paired with Silent Knight devices, and even a Simplex 4903 horn/strobe in an ice-cream store!

[
]In my 3 elementary schools I went to (older Simplex & Federal Signal horns on light/strobe plates with FCI MS-2s)

  <br/>
 Very likely. Don't know why i even chose to mention that, since i've seen much stranger things than that before. Also thanks for adding on to this topic! Been up for weeks without a single reply. But patience, i know.</r>

I’ve seen a few buildings around like that. In my province, we have a bunch of Onroute (or Enroute) pit stops down one of the main highways, the 401. They rebuilt all of them about 5-10 years ago, and most of them were installed with Simplex systems. The signals in all of them are Truealert horns, and then Truealert strobes right beside them.



There was also a trio of schools built in the 90s in a city an hour away from me. 2 of the schools (never went in the third one) had some sort of Wheelock/Notifier system. The signals were Wheelock MT horns, and then Wheelock remote strobes installed beside them too. As both these schools had recent renovations in the past year though (one got a new EST system with Genesis horn/strobes), they are both no longer there.



I never understood why they did this in these systems, the only explanation I could have was that they wanted separate strobe/horn circuits, so they wouldn’t have to put horn/strobe combinations in rooms that didn’t need them. Or to have less horns at a louder volume, while maintaining the strobe coverage, I wouldn’t know for the life of me :?

The intermediate school my brothers went to/go to has a similarly-interesting setup. Simplex rectangular horns positioned above RSS strobes. Simplex dual-action T-bars and a 4100 as the panel. The new wing has TrueAlert horn/strobes.



A high school not too far from there (but in a different district) has an even wackier system. Depending on the wing, NAs are Gentex GMHs with SpectrAlert Classic strobes, GMHs with Gentex vertical strobes, or SpectrAlert Advance horns with EST Genesis strobes (new wings). Most of the school has BG-10s, new wing has BG-12s. All horns have a strobe 1-2 feet below them. Why they didn’t just go with horn/strobe units is beyond me.

The intermediate school my brothers went to/go to has a similarly-interesting setup. Simplex rectangular horns positioned above RSS strobes. Simplex dual-action T-bars and a 4100 as the panel. The new wing has TrueAlert horn/strobes.



A high school not too far from there (but in a different district) has an even wackier system. Depending on the wing, NAs are Gentex GMHs with SpectrAlert Classic strobes, GMHs with Gentex vertical strobes, or SpectrAlert Advance horns with EST Genesis strobes (new wings). Most of the school has BG-10s, new wing has BG-12s. All horns have a strobe 1-2 feet below them. Why they didn’t just go with horn/strobe units is beyond me.
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The only explanation for this in my opinion would be that the GMH’s were put in at the initial installation and when ADA was put into effect, they installed strobes below the horns to have the proper strobe coverage. It would make a little more sense to just replace the horns and put in horn/strobes but I guess that works too

A local hotel (which opened in 2012) has an unusual combination of signals. The system is an EST3, and the lobby area has a mix of Genesis speakers, strobes, and speaker/strobes. However, most other areas of the building have SpectrAlert Advance speakers and speaker/strobes. It’s very surprising to see System Sensor signals on an EST3 since this is a new building and its system has never been modified or upgraded. The company that built and owns this property uses some rather shady financing, so I wonder if this unusual combination of devices originates from a sketchy deal with a supplier or contractor.



The city hall in a neighbouring city also has an unexpected mix of brands in its system. The panel in this building is an EST2, while the pull stations are Simplex 2099-series T-bars and the signals are Johnson Controls bells. In this case, the mix of brands seems to result from a series of upgrades rather than from some seedy deals.


SpectrAlert classic strobes and Gentex vertical strobes were probably installed by the GMHs when the building was renovated to adhere to standard ADA requirements. Whenever a building is renovated or added onto, everything must be brought up to current code regulations, such as ADA compliance. It is much easier and cheaper, however lazier to just mount strobes by horns rather than replacing the horns with newer horn/strobes. As far as the SpectrAlert Advance and Genesis strobes, i have no clue. Probably the installers were just using up old stock.

It’s a shame that retrofit plates for this purpose have fallen out of production… they allowed installers to easily make the change to strobes AND still have it look nice. Any line of devices that once had retrofit plates has been discontinued, as far as I can tell. I think the last ones in regular production were Wheelock RSSPs, those were discontinued around 2010 when the Exceders came out.

The Gentex strobes looked original to that portion of the building when I was in there. Every classroom/restroom has one in addition to those in the halls. And no, the entire building doesn’t need to be brought up to compliance, at least not in New York- my middle school had an addition thrown on in 2005 that had TrueAlerts. Rest of the building had 2901-9838s, only some on strobe plates.



The SpectrAlert/Genesis strobe combo is actually very common around Buffalo. One of the big hospitals has that exact setup in most of the building.

My middle school had the most chaotic setup. I’ll just list them below.



Pull stations:

Simplex 4251-30 (some of them with broken hammers)

I’ve seen one NBG-10L

Where pull stations have been added on/replaced, they used Notifier NBG-12LXs



Notification appliances:

Mainly Simplex 2901-9838s with Simplex 4908-9101s

Added on/replacements were System Sensor SpectrAlert Classic horn strobes and there is one Wheelock NS in the commons and a Wheelock ZNS in the entrance.

Outdoors they have Wheelock 7002s.



There was a sprinkler system but I have only seen a few rooms and closets with them.

All my schools are very unusual so I think I might as well post it here because it is worth mentioning and I like talking about it so there should be no problem at all with me bringing it up.



Elementary School

Pull Stations are a mix of Simplex 2099-9795s in the basement and the first floor, and Simplex 2099-9756 dual-action pull stations on the second floor. Not so weird. However its the notification devices which are slightly weird but not too much.



The horns in the hallways are Simplex 4903-9219 horns in continuous. The cafeteria, elevator room, foyer outside the cafeteria and the storage and boiler room in the back of the teacher’s lounge have Simplex 2901-9838 horns on 4903-9101 strobes plates. There are Simplex 4904-9138s in all of the bathrooms except the cafeteria bathroom.



The unusualness comes from the last two horns. In the ESL (or ELL) classroom and in the speech classroom, both which are rooms that don’t go directly in the hallway, there are Gentex SHGs. The ESL (or ELL) room used to be the art and music room which is how I heard it. The speech classroom was a self-contained class for grades 4, 5 and 6, a reading classroom and a literacy and reading classroom.



The music room has an older Wheelock AS that has a horizontal strobe instead of vertical but its not too old as its the only alarm in the school that is a code-3 horn. Said music room was a first grade classroom, a multipurpose classroom, a playroom, a health classroom and now a music classroom.



And in 2012, the system was ripped out and replaced with Notifier BG-12LX pulls and SpectrAlert Advance horn/strobes. I HOPE that the system is code-3.



Middle School

Not much here. However the pull stations are Edwards 270-SPOs since the system was an old Edwards system before they upgraded in the 1970s to Simplex 4051 horn on Simplex 4050-80 light plates. The lights are in code-3 but the horns are in continuous.



High School

The pull stations in the main building and the aquaculture building are Simplex 2099-9756 dual-action pull stations but they have Edwards 270-SPOs in the modular (or portable) building.



The main alarms are Simplex 2901-9838 horns on 4903-9101 strobes plates in continuous. The biotechnology hallway, the aquaculture building which has two classrooms and the machine shop hallway have Simplex 4903-9219 horn/strobes.



In the cosmetology hallway and in the former assessment center, they have Space Age Electronics 2DCDs (also rebranded as the Simplex 2901-9806) on Space Age Electronic AV32 light plates that blinked in code-3 and were HELLA loud. They were first replaced by Wheelock Exceeders but for some reason they replaced them with new old stock after a few years with Siemens U-MMTs. When a hallway was divided, they used first Gentex Commander 3s next to the doors before once again using new old stock to replace them with 4903-9101+2903-9838s.



The modular (or portable) building has 3 Edwards 892-2Bs.



Outside the aquaculture building, there is a Wheelock ASWP in code-3.



The lecture hall has a classic SpectrAlert in code-3.

Here’s an unusual fire alarm setup, at the elementary school I got those Simplex 4051+4050-80 horn/lights from six months ago.



They replaced the old Simplex alarms with Wheelock AH-24WP-R horns on RSSP strobe plates! Definitely not a common setup. Especially compared to my school, where they just replaced their old Simplex alarms with boring SpectrAlert Advance horn/strobes on trim plates.



BTW, this is my 1,000th post! :smiley:

My school was built in 1951, and was added onto 8 times, and there’s a few oddities out there like Wheelock HSRs on Simplex retrofit plates connected to a 4020 in march time coding.

At my old middle school they had some 2903 strobe plates with integerty horn/strobes mounted to them.

At a high school in my area once, I found SpectrAlert Advance P2Rs mounted right on top of Space Age AV32 light plates.

RPI has that AH on RSSP strobe plate setup in at least one building. Based on old pictures, they replaced Space Age light plates and some form of horn. I’m assuming it was done to avoid patching holes.

Regarding slapping new alarms onto older ones, they had that at a store near my college that is now closed. They had Gentex GMS horn/strobes on Simplex 2903 plates!



This is the only place where I’ve actually seen GMS horn/strobes “in the field.” (I mostly just see SHG horn/strobes.)



And here’s one at the school I went to for kindergarten, when their old Simplex system failed and they upgraded to a Fire-Lite system…



There was originally a Simplex 4051 horn on the two backboxes on the 4050-80, but now it looks much worse than before! (All the other old alarms got completely replaced with SpectrAlert Advances on trim plates.

My high school had Genesis horn/strobes mounted on top of some type of flush mount Simplex horn for the first couple years I was there. Over a summer, they replaced the old Simplex panel with an EST3 and moved/added EST devices for ADA compliance.