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SoundOff Signal Intersector Mirror Light

Written by Matthew Ayers

Every emergency vehicle operator knows that intersections present the greatest risk for collisions. The problem is one of angles. As the police vehicle approaches, it is often perpendicular to the view of other motorists. Since most emergency vehicle lighting is oriented to the front and rear, “intersection angle” warning is often lacking.

One of the better solutions to this problem is mirror-mounted warning lights, an idea that has been around for well over a decade. Mirror-mounting puts lighting at an angle and situates it near the emergency vehicle driver’s view, ensuring that if the emergency vehicle operator can see another driver, that driver can see the warning light. Additionally, mirror-mounting helps to profile the emergency vehicle’s width allowing others to judge its distance and approach speed.

SoundOff Signal has been at the forefront of emergency vehicle lighting innovation for years. SoundOff Signal continues to innovate with an entirely new kind of mirror-mounted light—their unique and patented Intersector™ LED Light. This is a product that was designed, engineered and built in their Hudsonville, Mich. facility.

SoundOff Signal designed the Intersector™ product based on problem solving research. Statics from Michael Ransom of the Michigan State Police indicate that over 50 percent of crashes involving police, ambulance and fire vehicles occur at intersections.

Given this extremely high rate of intersection accidents, SoundOff created a solution that will significantly boost profile illumination for all emergency vehicles. What makes the Intersector different is the way it mounts and the angle of coverage. The light is essentially a “pod” mounted under the mirror instead of being mounted on the front mirror skull.

Unique Benefit: 180-Degree Coverage

The Intersector’s unique bottom-mount design offers several advantages. Under-mirror mounting allows SoundOff to take advantage of a specially designed reflector and nine high-output LEDs to provide 180 degrees of lighting, something no competing product offers. The Intersector offers impressive warning at the 45-degree “intersection angle,” as well as to the front, sides and rear oblique. That is an LED warning across a full 180 degrees. Mounted on the mirror, this coverage may eliminate the need for sideways, B-pillar lights.

Other bottom-mount benefits include a simplified installation. There is no need to work around or behind the mirror glass—a huge labor saving, not to mention fewer broken mirror parts. Other benefits are fleet-wide compatibility, and impact protection. Once the emergency vehicle is retired, the small mounting holes will most likely go unnoticed, protecting the vehicle’s value.

SoundOff engineers designed the Intersector to work with almost any vehicle mirror by using “building block design.” A variety of adaptors and leveling wedges are provided and the instructions detail the combinations required for the most common police vehicles. The light’s round footprint is very compact, contributing to its mounting versatility. In fact, the Intersector can be surface-mounted almost anywhere 180-degree warning is needed and have even been used for ATV and motorcycle applications.

In addition to a clever mounting system, the Intersector offers 30 flash patterns, which can be synchronized with other SoundOff LED lights. A low-power, steady-burn cruise light mode can also be selected. The unit operates from 10-16 volts DC and draws less than 1.5 amps. It is ruggedized for exterior mounting applications and protected from moisture, vibration and dust. The Intersector meets SAE J845 standards and is covered by a five-year warranty.

Installation

Mirror light installation can be one of the more complex, time-consuming upfitting tasks, ranging from challenging to downright frustrating, not to mention pieces broken during the upfit. Some of this upfit challenge is dependent on the host vehicle. Some of it is dependent on the mirror light being installed.

I recently installed Intersector lights on several police vehicles including the Ford CVPI, Chevy Tahoe and Dodge Charger. I was impressed with the ease of bottom-mounting versus other designs. It is clear that SoundOff used a fresh sheet of paper in designing the Intersector.

So what does it take to install the Intersector? First, remove your driver and passenger door panels and determine the best path for the control cable. Next, determine where the Intersector is going to mount, paying particular attention to allowing enough room for the light to clear the door panel. This is important because if you fit the light with the mirror off the door you may find it hits the door skin (don’t ask me how I know).

Do not assume both mirrors are angled similarly from their respective doors. For example, the CVPI mirror angles are different for the driver door versus the passenger door and that makes a difference in mounting location.

Once you have a rough idea of where the light will mount, remove the mirror assembly taking care not to damage or drop it. Pre-assemble your Intersector using the appropriate wedges and adaptors. Make your final positioning determination keeping in mind the alignment marks on the bottom of the Intersector. Now mark the location of the two screw holes and wire pass-through hole. Double check and then drill pilot holes. Be careful not to drill too deep and watch for wires! Follow SoundOff’s instructions with regards to drilling the wire pass-through hole and angling it toward the mirror stem.

Next, assemble the light and mounting pieces to include the foam gasket. Route the control wire / cable through the mirror and set the light in place. Screw the mounting base down using hand tools only to prevent stripping the pilot holes and then mount the Intersector to the base using its screw, washer and square nut. Re-mount the mirror to the door to ensure proper fit. If everything is correct, insert the Intersector wires into the connector.

Be careful…you have one shot at this and you must pay attention to the correct pin-out order. It is important to note that the provided in-line flasher must be used and that you must never power the light without it. Doing so will damage the Intersector and void the warranty. Now you can test the light and set the patterns similar to other SoundOff lights. Once you understand the process and get the first light done, the next will go much faster. If you have installed other variations of mirror lights, you will find installing the Intersector to be a welcome relief. Increase your fleet’s intersection warning with the Intersector—a great product from a top manufacturer…and my favorite new product for 2011.

Matthew Ayers is a Lieutenant with the Sevierville, Tenn., Police Department and the owner of Command & Control Installations (C2 Installs). He may be reached at C2Installs@charter.net or mayers@seviervilletn.org.

Published in Police Fleet Manager, Sep/Oct 2011

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