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Santaís Sleigh Needs Lights and Siren, 1946 Maxim Fire Engine


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8355adam 
Member - Posts: 2
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Joined: December†02, 2020
Location: Virginia, United States
Posted: December†02, 2020 at 10:18 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote 8355adam
Yes really he does! My fire station has the privilege of taking Santa round the town to wave and hand out candy canes to every child in town. He does this from our 1946 maxim antique fire engine....but this year we have some electrical problems that we could use some help with otherwise itís gonna be a very sad holiday season this year!
I purchased a new (antique) mechanical siren to replace one that already existed. The siren is 12v approx 100amps it has one wire coming from it for power. The previous siren had a similar lead in wire. The old siren also seemed to be ďgroundedĒ? Neutral? As there was a black wire that connected underneath the metal mounting plate for the siren..not directly to the siren.
When I connected the siren power to the power wire it worked but the wires got really hot and started smoking. I tried to connect the ground in the same way as it was previously ie connected to one of the bolts that mounts the siren to the mount but then it didnít work at all.
The siren only works when only one wire is connect and it gets scary got and Iím worried itís going to catch fire. Whatís going on here? Do all dc circuits need a ground or be connected directly to the negative terminal on the battery? I think there might be something wrong with the grounding off the frame and the connection to the negative terminal on the battery.
I also have a light issue with possible similar grounding issues but due to the lower power requirements Iím not smelling smoke when I go to test it. Any help would be appreciated I really donít have any knowledge of vehicle electronics as you can probably tell. Iím more a mechanic than electrician.
geepherder 
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Joined: October†27, 2003
Posted: December†03, 2020 at 10:30 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote geepherder
Is this a 12 volt, negative ground vehicle? What size wire are you using?
My ex once told me I have a perfect face for radio.
8355adam 
Member - Posts: 2
Member spacespace
Joined: December†02, 2020
Location: Virginia, United States
Posted: December†03, 2020 at 12:49 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote 8355adam
The wire going from the vehicle to the siren is about the width of a nickle. Itís wider than the lead in going to the siren. Yes the siren and the vehicle are running 12 volts.
geepherder 
Platinum - Posts: 3,598
Platinum spaceThis member consistently provides reliable informationspace
Joined: October†27, 2003
Posted: December†03, 2020 at 2:23 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote geepherder
If you have a meter, check your battery voltage. If it's good, I'd retest the siren with jumper cables coming off the battery. If you get different results, then it's likely a cabling/ground issue like you suggested.
You can also monitor the voltage as you do this.
My ex once told me I have a perfect face for radio.

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