Two Rare Simplex Annunciators - What Models?

Hello, again. It’s the original firealarmgeek that joined back in 2013. Unfortunately, my account was one of the ones that was wiped when the forum data was corrupted, but I’m back! Hopefully it’ll let me upload my original avatar here soon, but I really am thankful so much of this forum was able to be recovered due to the server failure.

Here’s another post about a some Simplex annunciators. As you might recall, I recently acquired an old Simplex 4305-B 16-zone annunciator/panel and other parts from a building here in town that was recently demolished. A couple weeks ago, I decided to explore two identical 2-story office buildings literally just down the street from where that one was and walked in to find pretty much the same alarm systems in these buildings. Same exact horn/strobe combos - Simplex 2901-9838 horns on 2901-9101 strobe plates. Have yet to check for pull stations, but I’m pretty confident they are 4251-20’s. These buildings were built in the same time period as the demoed building. Building A was built in 1990, while I cannot confirm when Building B was built. I would have to assume 1990 or a year before or after.

Strangely, despite these buildings being identical, they have different annunciators. Building A in the complex has an 8-zone Simplex 4305 series annunciator, very similar to my 4305, just smaller, while Building B has a 4-zone annunciator that I don’t know the model number on. It’s basically just a double gang light switch plate with 4 LEDs on it and painting. I’m tempted to get my B key and open the 4305 and see what the full model is, but obviously that’s illegal tampering that I would never take part in, so maybe you guys can help. Does anyone know the full model numbers on these annunciators, and what kind of control panels might we be dealing with here? I would assume both 4002’s, but maybe the 4-zone is a 4001?

Here’s the pics, which are actually video stills. Hopefully I can get detailed videos of these systems sometime down the road.

Building A:

Building B:

The first kind of annunciator was typically used with Simplex 4207, 4208, 2001 and early 4002 systems. I’m surprised they would’ve used them as late as 1990! Three of the buildings at my college that were built in 1978 and originally had Simplex 4207 systems had similar annunciators, but with small red rectangular indicator lamps…

I think their model number was 4308. Also note the early 70s Simplex logo on the top; they switched to the newer logo around 1978.

Chances are, the annunciator in the first picture is for a 4002 system.

The second one is a Simplex 4001 annunciator. That’s the kind often made for 4001 panels, though I did see an older 4001 system from 1986 with a “block”-style annunciator ala the first picture, with only four zones, and no trouble light or silence/reset switches (4001s were not designed to work annunciators with those features, IIRC.) I imagine that’s what they originally used for 4001 systems before coming out with that smaller LED annunciator.

The 4300 series annunciators came in many variations to suit what architects and engineers wanted. They were flush mount (like the ones in the pictures) and surface mount. They were made in the standard red finish or in stainless steel. These were used with 4208, 4207, 2001, 4002, and any other panel with annunciator outputs that could drive incandescent lamps. With a transformer they were used with older systems in point wired fashion driven by a second contact on the pull stations and other devices.

Wiley’s picture is of a front lighted style flush mount. That is the type where you can see the indicator lamps.

Firealarmgeek’s picture is of a flush mount backlighted style. There is an egg carton looking assembly behind the front panel. Each compartment has a white lamp of the same design as the red ones. The zone indicators are a film that is sandwiched between a piece of white plexiglass in the back and a clear one in the front. There is another variation called dead front. It is made the same way but with a dark red plexiglass in the front so none of the zone markings can be seen until it lights. Those films could be ordered lettered for the job with the actual building locations instead of just Zone 1, Zone 2, etc.

I recently came across a box of old paperwork. If I find a datasheet in there for these annunciators I will scan and post it.

The small LED annunciator is probably a 4601 style for 4001 panels. There were two styles. The LED only and one with a trouble indicator. I don’t have a picture, just the wiring diagrams.

I attempted to upload the drawings as an attachment in png or jpg and received this message.


Could not upload attachment to ./files/3047_4ccf8b4e39423b380ccae4346b111035.

So I found another way.

I did my undergrad at SUNY Buffalo, whose north campus (mostly built in the 70s and 80s) has (or had, in some cases) 4300-series annunciators in most buildings of both types shown, plus some 4600-series annunciators in some newer buildings. Some were relatively small, others were huge and took up the entire wall of a vestibule or lobby. There’s an outside one in the tunnel under the main dorm complex that is a good 10+ feet long.

Thanks for the feedback and schematic! It’s nice to know the history about them and what they were used with. It really is neat to learn about these old annunciators.

Here’s an example of that sort of annunciator, with stainless steel trim instead of the usual red:

This is at a local school near my neighborhood; they have a Simplex 4207 fire alarm system from 1978, still in use to this day.

That is extremely cool! Identical to mine, but of course mine is back lit and red.

I only have 1 to show I haven’t seen it in real life but it’s called a Simplex 4610-9111