Forest City TAF
Flasher unit acquired in October 2019.
This Twin Amber Flasher unit was removed from a redundant (and long-abandoned) signpost on Highfield Road, Kilburn, just prior to the post being removed from service completely. Originally earmarked for removal in 2005, when a new post supporting a modern flasher unit and School Safety Zone sign was installed a little further up the road, the post would see another fourteen years pass by until it was, eventually, removed. Even in 2005, I believe that the unit may not have operated for a long time. While I can remember a few examples of this type of flasher unit around Derbyshire, by the time that it was removed, hardly any remained at all; the majority of all flasher units in the County having been changed to LED units controlled on the GSM mobile telephone network.
This image, taken from Google Street View, shows the flasher unit as it looked when installed; this image was captured in April 2019 - a few months prior to the unit's removal from service. Notice its relatively low mounting height, and the use of a 'Tamtorque' band to hold the front cover in place.
The flasher unit comprises a light grey GRP body, with orange GRP lenses and steel cowls around the two aspects.
Three bolts hold the cowls (and the lenses) in place on the front of the unit.
A very faded Forest City label is applied just below the upper optic - given its diagonal positioning, I suspect that it may have been peeled off one of the two sign plates that shared the post during installation, and then re-applied to the flasher unit instead. Whatever the case, it provides a helpful means of being able to date the unit - I assume that the '9 - 83' in the lower-right corner represents September 1983.
'Forest City Manchester' is embossed in the middle of the unit.
Two grub screws secure the front section to the rest of the unit under normal circumstances.
The two post-mounting clamps on the back of the unit are very rusty, and the nuts and bolts that affix the clamps have no turn on them at all; indeed, the left-hand bolts had to be cut through with a hacksaw, in order for the unit to detach from the post.
As with the Truesigns TAF unit, operation of the flasher is a manual affair - a key switch located on the underside of the fitting activates and deactivates it as necessary.
The front section hinges open, revealing the unit's internal wiring. As acquired, no lamps were installed; the two 60 W GLS lamps seen here were fitted by me for the purposes of testing the unit. The lamps are surrounded by shallow bowls, in an attempt to produce a more concentrated beam through the two lenses. Notice that the lower bowl is slightly bent; this is deliberate - were it not, it would prevent the key switch from being accessed. The black box in the centre contains the 'gubbins' that allows the lamps to flash alternately.
The supply cable terminates into a Smart & Brown connector block that features an in-line fuse across the live terminals.
The key switch's locknut is located on the inside of the unit.
The screws holding the control box's cover in place were too badly corroded to turn, and had to be drilled out. With them removed, the control circuit board (attached to the inside of the cover) came into view - I assume that the blue component located at position 'RV1' allows the flash rate to be altered, should there be a need to do this. The timer chip located bottom-right carries the code '8407', which means that it was produced in 1984.
The video below demonstrates the TAF's operation, when tested initially, prior to restoration.
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