Federal Signal Jetsonic:
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Federal Signal Jetsonic was one of the most popular lightbars used by law enforcement.
The patent for the Federal Signal Jetsonic was applied for on May, 16th 1982 but was not published until January 6th, 1987. The patent is for a “Low drag warning system for emergency vehicles having an aerodynamic design reducing turbulent flow past the housing for increased fuel economy and performance. The housing of the warning light system is provided with a pair of light globe compartments possessing an efficient aerodynamic design and a central speaker housing. The speaker housing has a downward sloped speaker grill to create a flow pattern also reducing drag. The air flow is introduced into the speaker housing with a ram effect (Ram Jet). Outflow ports form the speaker housing circulate an air flow within the domes to prevent condensation and cool the components therein….”
On May 16th 1983 Federal Signal also applied for a patent for “A Warning light system for emergency vehicles having a pair of forward rotating lights and a pair of rear rotating lights separated by a reflector structure. A cam and plunger arrangement causes the rotating light assembly to stop at a predetermined position to serve as end lights in a secondary mode. The rotation of the light assemblies is synchronized to produce a series of inwardly moving flashes from each end of the housing.”
Designs / Options:
The Jetsonic was originally built with a chain drive (JS1) that rotated the lights and kept them in sync. The chain was driven by a single motor. The design changed to rotators that had individual motors. The Jetsonic had a built in speaker in the center housing.
Here’s the JS1 rotators that are chain driven:
And the later design that used an individual motor on each rotator.
This rotator was used in a Federal Jetstream:
One of the nice features of the Jetsonic is it’s clear domes that allows you to add different color filters to create a variety of color setups. The domes slide on to the frame and are held on by two large screws.
- Alley Lights
- Takedown Lights
- Stationary Flashers
- Strobe Lights
- Smart Rotators
The ‘Smart Rotators’ had the ability to stop spinning, and become stationary flashers that had an alternating flash pattern. This required the rotator to know where to stop, and then alternate the lights. This feature was on the chain driven JS1 bars. Here’s a look at the ‘brains / relay board’ that controlled the rotators.
Here is a video of a Federal Signal Jetstream with Smart Rotators. The difference between the Jetsonic and the Jetstream is that the Jetstream has a clear center section with a light assembly instead of a speaker housing. You could even get one with a black center section instead of a light assembly.
(Federal Signal Jetstream with Smart Rotators)
(Jetsonic clear lens (dome) above / Color filters below)
One of the most interesting Jetsonic’s was used by the Florida Highway Patrol and had a divider that allowed the rotators to only flash to the rear when wanted. This Jetsonic used a chain drive that turned all of the rotators at the same time. It accomplished the rear flashing rotators by not turning on the bulbs in the front.
Florida Highway Patrol chain driven Jetsonic JS1)
Here you can see (3) different style of alley lights without the domes endcap:
Here are a pair of stationary light fixtures. Note that they can with a mounting bracket to be placed to the right or left.
Here is a stationary light fixture with a strobe bulb in it.
This J22 strobe power supply can power one or two strobes:
Here’s what the speaker assembly looks like.
You can convert a Jetsonic to a Jetstream by removing this speaker housing and installing (2) Jetstream plastic dividers (below) and the short center lens.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Jetsonic:
The Ohio State Highway Patrol used the Federal Signal Jetsonic lightbar.
They were equipped with:
- Outboard rotator
- Inboard Rotator
- Strobe Light
- Flashing / steady burn takedown light
The takedown light was steady burn (constant on) when the switch was positioned one way, and flashed alternately when positioned the opposite direction.
Chicago Police Jetstream:
The Chicago Police Department used a Jetstream lightbar that consisted of a strobe and stationary flashers. They used the same style of strobe as the Ohio State Highway Patrol Jetsonic, but used a blue cover instead of a clear one.
Federal Signal Jetstream:
In 1989 Federal Signal began offering the ‘Jetstream’ which was essentially a Jetsonic that had a light housing where the Jetsonic speaker housings were. You can actually remove the speaker from a Jetsonic and convert it in to a Jetstream. They even made a mini Jetstream which used a single dome with a clear endcap to close it off. These mini lightbars have a metal strap on each end. One use used to hold the clear endcap on.
2007 Description: High-power halogen bulbs and highly polished reflectors combine to create brilliant warning signals in JetStream™ lightbars. Models are available in 48-inch, 54-inch, and 60-inch lengths and with a variety of lighting options. Attention-getting 95 and 175 flash per minute rotators provide primary warning and produce higher activity patterns when used in combination with mirrors. Additional lighting options are available, including flashing lights, alley lights, work lights, and brake/turn/tail lights.
The clear center section of the Jetstream allowed the use of the Meteor traffic clearing light. The light moves left and right and oscillates up and down.
Federal Signal Jetstrobe:
For customers who prefer the high-activity patterns of strobe lighting, JetStrobe lightbars are available in 48-inch and 60-inch lengths. The 60-inch models have low amp draw making them ideal for large vehicles. All JetStrobe models utilize multi-flash power supplies that produce 72 quad flashes per minute for each strobe head. The multiple flashes from each strobe head provides high activity patterns with minimal “dark time,” making the light appear brighter to observers. JetStrobe models with 10 strobe heads have the patented “Action Flash” pattern that creates overlapping flashes, resulting in no dark time. All models have a front-light cutoff feature and a low power mode.
Models are also available with additional lighting features, including alley lights, work lights, flashing lights, and brake/turn/tail lights.
Unlike the strobe bulbs used in some of the Jetsonic and Jetstream lightbars, the Jetstrobe lightbar used strobe assemblies with strobe tubes, and a larger power supply.
Federal Signal Jetstrobe Plus:
The most aerodynamic strobe lightbar available for fuel efficiency and top highway speeds.
All models include quad-flash power supplies specially engineered to give longer effective retinal “dwell time.”
Double-axis Fresnel lenses intensify strobe light signal.
Four-, six-, and ten-head models available with front cut-off, hi/lo power, and quad or “Action Flash” (ten-head).
Design-your-own-bar options: alleys, takedowns, flashers, steady burn, brake/turn/tail, speaker, Meteor
Available in 48″ and 60″ lengths.
Federal Jetstream LX:
LED Jetstream from 2005-2006 and then becoming the JetSolaris in 2006.
- LED lightbar available in 21″, 48″, 54″,
and 60″ lengths
- Features Solaris LED technology, a reflective optical design that maximizes LED light output
- Five year warranty on LEDs
- LEDs are available in amber, blue, red, and white
- Dome colors are available in amber, blue, clear, and red
Federal Signal JetSolaris:
Federal Signal is proud to offer the 21″, 48″, 54″, and 60″ JetSolaris LED lightbars. The Solaris reflector maximizes the LED light output by using a highly efficient optical design with the latest LED technology. The result of this technology is an aerodynamic, performance driven and affordable LED lightbar that can be used in a wide variety of applications for Fire/Rescue, Police, DOT, and Tow/Recovery. In addition, each JetSolaris lightbar uses the versatile Intelli-Flash LED flasher that offers multiple flash patterns to enhance the performance needed
for your individual application.
Various halogen options are offered in the JetSolaris lightbars. You can incorporate features such as a traffic clearing lights, work lights, and LED Stop-Tail-Turns. Various dome colors such as red, amber, blue, and clear are also available to enhance the performance and aesthetics of the lightbar. Combining these features provides the customized flexibility expected today by the Emergency Responder.
Low current consumption and low maintenance are two more benefits of the JetSolaris LED lightbar and Federal Signal offers a five-year warranty on the Solaris LED modules.
Federal Jetstream LED:
JetStream™ LED lightbars offer significant benefits of LED lighting technology. The JetStream LED lightbar features Federal Signal’s ModLED LED warning light modules. The modules provide high light intensity with extremely low current draw. All ModLED modules are rated for more than 100,000 hours of use.
JetStream LED offers a full 360-degrees of warning light protection. This full-size lightbar features the Intelli-Flash™ flasher to provide a choice of ten selectable flash patterns. JetStream LED lightbars meet SAE J845 Class 1 requirements (SAE J1318 Class 1, 2009).
The durable housing has proven to withstand the toughest conditions that work trucks and fire trucks are exposed to everyday. The “T-slot” found in the hardware of this lightbar allows for easy installation.
Federal Jet Series Time Line:
- Federal Signal Jetsonic JS-1: 1983-1987 (chain driven)
- Federal Signal Jetsonic JET: 1987-2000 (Individual rotators/motors)
- Federal Signal Jetstream: 1989-2016 (2017?)
- Federal Signal Jetstrobe: 1992-2010
- Federal Signal Jetstrobe Plus: 2001-2004
- Federal Signal Jetstream LED: 2011-2016 (2017?)
- Federal Signal Jetstream LX (LED): 2005-2006
- Federal Signal JetSolaris: 2006-2016 (2017?)
It appears that after 2004 the Jetstream, Jetstrobe, Jetstream LX (LED) and Jetstream LED lightbars were only available for the amber market, with the JetSolaris only being offered in red or amber. If anyone has confirm any other time frame information on the Jet series lightbars, please use the ‘SUBMIT’ button below to contact me.
Federal Signal Jetsonic Video:
Federal Signal Police Fire EMS catalog 2007
Click the photos to enlarge.