When I was still in elementary school, my dad's then-wife was really into antiques. This resulted in many trips to garage sales. I tagged along for some of these trips. On one occasion, out in semi-rural Colorado, we stumbled upon a traffic light someone was selling for $5. I decided it was the coolest thing ever and spent some allowance money on it.
Several years later, I dug up the light and hooked up new electronics to it. I repainted it (poorly), and now it has new life. It controls some manner of energy flow in my living room, I'm sure, along with the other signals that have accumulated since then.
This here is the original light from that garage sale. I forget exactly when these were in production with the LFE winged-tire logo stamped on them, but I am fairly certain it was the 60s-70s era. It was originally yellow, and an electrician in rural Colorado lost the visors. Naturally, the lost visors don't help improve on the looks of my sloppy paint job. Fortunately, the painting skills improved by the time the other signal heads rolled around.
This was a collection of spare parts on eBay. They somehow all managed to be first-generation Durasig head pieces. Since the colors did not match, I decided to paint the faces black, and turn the main body of the cases silver. I used Dupli-color vinyl dye for this. I dig how it turned out, and I really dig how the tunnel visors look on this one.
Durasig 12-12-12-12-12 Doghouse
This was a really weird find on eBay. It was stupidly cheap. When I got it, it included an 8" Eagle Mark IV head as the red segment, which I replaced with another spare Durasig head on eBay. Once again, I got lucky with all parts matching. Everything on this guy is a third-generation Durasig head. I only painted the top segment, as it showed up yellow with a black face. Now all of it is black.
I have changed the lenses on this one to be a protected/permissive left turn signal. This is not a common signal head to see, as it is being replaced by the Yellow Trap 4-segment heads. However, standards noncompliant as it is, I really dig the look of it, so I figure it wouldn't hurt to immortalize it at home.
Coming One Day.
McCain 18"x16" Pedestrian Heads
I grabbed these two MTS pedestrian heads from a public works employee in New York. They are in some need of repainting, and perhaps I will get around to that this summer. I'm sure they will end up flat black. You really can't go wrong.
The first of these lights is fitted with a Dialight LED module equipped with countdown circuitry. I got it for $10 on eBay. I am curious what hacks can be done with the countdown electronics, but not curious enough to rip apart the single functioning countdown module I have. Installation is really quite simple... just attach the blue, red, and white wires on the countdown module the same as you would attach a normal walk signal. The module itself will track the phasing and remember how long it runs for. Pretty neat.
The second of these lights was an adventure. The goal was to use incandescent bulbs. However, the case itself is meant for LED modules, and as such, the back part of the case does not have machine screw holes tapped on all four corners. I got a 12"x12" aluminum plate, drilled holes for lamp sockets, and attached (with hook-and-loop strips) the plate to the back of the case. Over this assembly, the reflector is placed. It's wonky, but it's working quite well.
Parts are currently on order to assemble a new controller. Once it is working, it will be put in a NEMA-1-style indoor enclosure.
The controller, once functional, will operate in the following phasing modes:
- Flashing (Street 1 Yellow, Street 2 Red)
- Flashing (Street 2 Yellow, Street 1 Red)
- Street 1 Leading Protected+Permissive Left Turn
- Street 1 Leading Protected Left Turn
- Street 1 Leading+Lagging Protected Left Turn
- Street 1 Lagging Protected+Permissive Left Turn
- Street 1 Lagging Protected Left Turn
- Pedestrian Phase, Streets 1+2 Red
I intend to have environmental input to modulate the phasing cycles, but I have not yet determined how to do this. I do have a spare crosswalk button that may be used for pre-empting cycles.