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What's New at SoundOff Signal!

Written by Matthew Ayers

The current strained economic times are forcing fleet managers and other warning equipment purchasers to seek out the best values for their tightened budgets. While there is a number of quality emergency warning equipment manufacturers out there, SoundOff Signal products are versatile and lead the way in “bang for your buck” merchandise.

SoundOff Signal has offered innovative vehicle safety lighting products for more than 30 years. In fact, SoundOff Signal invented the first professional, heavy duty headlight flasher, affectionately known as the “wig-wag.” Improving upon its success, SoundOff has released several new products and enhanced some existing offerings.
According to Sales Director Bob Van Ee, SoundOff Signal’s merchandise is about offering value. “If a product is inexpensive but underperforms, then there is no value. We ensure that performance does not suffer at lower price points,” Van Ee said. This approach is evident in SoundOff’s newest lightbars, the all-LED Pinnacle Series.

Consisting of both exterior and interior mounted bars, SoundOff’s Pinnacle Series offers the features desired by end-users and state-of-the-art LED performance at pricing that beats its competitors. SoundOff has already seen tremendous interest in its Pinnacle products, winning several bids and writing specification with several agencies across the country.

Pinnacle Series lightbars are the first SoundOff Signal products to benefit from its new Fusion Technology. This innovative optic is designed similarly to a lighthouse, helping to throw light farther and wider. With more than 60 active lighthouses on nearby Lake Michigan, it is easy to see where SoundOff found its inspiration. The Fusion optic offers impressive output, making the most of the light generated by each source LED emitter and providing for outstanding wide-angle viewing. Because the new optic design is so efficient, fewer LEDs can be used to populate the bar, resulting in lower pricing.

In comparison to SoundOff’s proven ETL 5000 Lightbar, the EPL 9000 Pinnacle Lightbar offers somewhat better off-axis viewing. Both are too bright to stare at for any period. Both are also similarly constructed, sharing the same extruded aluminum frame and mounting kits. The EPL 9000 Pinnacle is available in four standard lengths—42, 48, 54 and 60 inches—with either driver- or passenger-side wire exits.

Choose either clear or colored lenses for the LED modules and standard or split-color arrow for the rear directional feature. The split arrow option illuminates every other diode in amber, while still offering authority identifying colors along the length of the lightbar. Gen3 LED takedown and alley lights are standard and offer real value, exceeding halogen light performance with much lower draw and no need to replace blown bulbs. The EPL 9000 also has a built-in traffic signal preemption emitter option.

Also check out SoundOff’s new EPL 8000 Pinnacle Interior Lightbars. These interior lightbars are designed to fit tightly against the windshield, resulting in very little vision obstruction and almost no flashback. Their overall footprint is smaller than competitor bars, averaging only 1 inch in height, which is important when the bar is competing with radar and video units for mounting space.

Pinnacle Interior models are currently available for the Ford CVPI, F-150, Explorer and Expedition; the Chevrolet Impala and Tahoe; and the Dodge Charger. A rear-deck unit is currently available for the CVPI and Impala with more models coming soon, including one for the Charger. In addition to multiple warning patterns, the rear-deck Pinnacle offers directional “arrow” patterns as well.

All Pinnacle Interior bars come with 25 feet of cable to provide plenty of installation flexibility. The bar’s open-top design is different from the competitors’, but once properly installed, the vehicle headliner seals it up. This smart design approach lowers costs without sacrificing durability and contributes to the Pinnacle’s unusually low profile.

Each bar offers eight Gen3 LED Fusion Technology modules, with up to two configurable as LED takedowns. With 23 warning patterns and eight takedown flash patterns available to choose from, the EPL 8000 is a serious contender. SoundOff’s Pinnacle may not have been the first, but it’s quite a contender in the industry.

SoundOff has recently updated several existing product lines. One often requested new item is a surface mount bezel for the popular LED3 Mini Light. These tough polycarbonate bezels allow for a more finished look while simplifying installation. Single, dual and dual stacked versions are available in black, white and chrome.

A new mounting solution is also available for SoundOff’s top-selling GHOST™ mini lighthead. A surface mount version of this ultra-compact LED warning light is now offered in chrome, white and black. Using six Gen3 LEDs and available in 11 color combinations, the new Single Surface Mount GHOST™ promises to be a popular choice for supplemental warning needs.

SoundOff has also released a new two-module addition to its UltraLITE series. This rugged LED unit is available in windshield, interior or weather-proof exterior versions. It is a perfect solution for warning applications such as exterior grille or push bumper lights, and interior deck or dash lights. Of course, it still has all the proven features of the original UltraLITE units, including a variety of user-selectable patterns and several color combinations.

One last product line update worth mentioning is the addition of a Dodge Charger bracket for SoundOff’s excellent PAR36 LED lighthead. The simple bracket allows for quick mounting in the Charger’s fog lamp cut-outs, which is a nice alternative to grille lights. By continuously evaluating and enhancing its product line, SoundOff makes the most out of its existing investments—savings that are passed on to the consumer.

SoundOff’s XP63 LED lighthead has to be one of the industry’s best kept secrets. Powerful, tough and easy to install, the XP63 is among the best values on the market. SoundOff has now collaborated with Setina Manufacturing to offer this excellent lighthead as an optional addition to Setina’s line of push bumpers.

Setina has cleverly integrated the XP63 into a pair of recess cuts in the upper cross tube, allowing for a clean look, hidden wire routing and protection for the light. This is one of those “head-smack” ideas that was long overdue. Visit the Setina Web site or contact your local Setina dealer for more details.

SoundOff also has a number of new LED-based utility lights that trump halogens in brightness, durability and long-term operational cost. Leading this line is a series of new LED work lights, offering 500 to 1,400 lumens of clean white light. Available in round, PAR36 or 5-inch rectangle versions, these lights have to be seen to be believed. Choose from wide-angle flood, long-range spotlight or intermediate trapezoid illumination patterns for your particular requirement. These waterproof units are suitable for use on specialized law enforcement vehicles, such as boats, ATVs, SUVs and pick-ups.

Another new utility light from SoundOff is the Mighty Night Light. This is a simple surface mount LED spotlight that is ultra compact at the size of two stacked packs of cards. This amazing little unit uses a high density four-diode, multi-chip Gen3 LED to blast 500 lumens of intense light where you need it most.

This light solves the problem of how to obtain alley lighting on slick top or undercover vehicles, easily mounting to push bumpers or prisoner partitions. SoundOff provides 3 feet of cable to permit installation in a variety of applications, and the rugged powder-coated aluminum housing can withstand the elements. Choose from standard or a forward facing unit that is angled at 15 degrees.

Perhaps the biggest news from SoundOff is its newest siren, the 380 Remote Dual Tone. Completing the siren product line, the 380 Remote Dual Tone offers total control of your vehicle’s warning system. As patrol vehicles get smaller, mounting space is harder to come by, and there is usually a variety of equipment competing for it. One way to conserve space is by using remote-type controllers, allowing the electronics and wiring to be mounted in the trunk or other location to reduce clutter in the “cockpit.”

SoundOff’s engineers have come up with a winner. The system uses high-speed digital switching for increased reliability and low power draw. The compact control head measures 3.5 inches high and less than 7 inches wide. It can be mounted using the included bail bracket or recess-mounted in a console; faceplates are available from most console manufacturers. Durable rubber membrane push buttons can be customized with stick-on labels and offer positive tactile feedback for the operator. All buttons are backlit in green, switching to red when activated.

The 380 Remote is a full-featured siren capable of driving two 100 watt speakers. An interesting and impressive feature that SoundOff has incorporated into this new siren is the ability to broadcast two tones simultaneously. Dual tone sirens are commonplace on fire apparatuses and now can be economically added to police vehicles. The 380 Remote offers a variety of tones, including two user-selectable wail and yelp tones, and a third user-programmable tone with several options to choose from. There are 32 different siren tone combinations available.

The air horn feature is programmable as well, offering four different tones and 16 dual tone combinations. While that alone is impressive, the system is also capable of full California Title 13 compliance with tone lock-out settings. Radio Rebroadcast is offered, and the 380 Remote comes standard with a noise-canceling microphone for PA duties, with both features having adjustable volume settings.

SoundOff’s 380 Remote also provides complete control of your warning light system. A three-position slide switch controls three 20-amp relay outputs, and eight push buttons each control 10-amp outputs. The push button outputs can be configured as ON/OFF, momentary, 8-second timer or directional arrow controls, and can be mapped to activate in any of the slide switch positions.

A nice feature is the ability to wire the siren and relay unit using external connections so there is no need to open the unit up. The directional arrow control feature integrates seamlessly with SoundOff’s arrow products, using a single button to cycle through left, right or center-out patterns. LED indicators show the arrow’s mode.

The 380 Remote offers even more features, including Horn Ring capability, configurable for negative or positive input. This should be a mandatory feature for emergency vehicles as it allows siren tones to be changed using the biggest button in the car, thus making intersection clearing duties easier for the operator.

Another useful feature is Park Kill, also positive or negative input configurable, which deactivates the siren when the vehicle is shifted into park. The siren can also be set up to operate independently of the slide switch or be enabled in slide position three only. A buzzer option alerts the operator whenever a relay output is active.

A final notable feature offered by the 380 Remote Dual Tone Siren is built-in self diagnostic capability. The system constantly monitors itself, and LED lamps show the status of the speaker outputs, indicating over-temperature, under or over-voltage, ground fault and speaker failures. Also, each relay output is monitored, and LED indicators flash when a fault is identified.

The siren operates between 10 and 30 volts DC and will shut down when voltage drops below 9 volts DC. These diagnostic features could save hundreds of dollars and tens of hours in labor that might be spent trying to locate a problem, again demonstrating SoundOff’s belief that value is realized only when the product performs beyond expectations.

SoundOff’s new products are clever, well-engineered and suitable for use in any emergency vehicle warning application. According to Tom Palumbo, vice president of Sales and Marketing, the SoundOff product line has grown into “a complete source for all your warning system and lighting needs, be it for police vehicles or your entire fleet.” When one call gets it all, that is true “bang for your buck.”

Matthew Ayers is the owner of Command & Control Installations in Sevierville, TN. He is currently a lieutenant with Sevierville, TN Police Department and may be reached at C2installs@charter.net.

Published in Police Fleet Manager, Mar/Apr 2010

Rating : 10.0


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