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Old 07-06-2006, 04:49 AM   #1
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Question Light Monitor - what the heck is this?

I am exploring, cleaning, painting and looking at my new 76 Sovereign. Found something that I had assumed was part of the streetside awning set-up...but it's not...and I need some help understanding what it is. On the street side there is a small (about 2"X2") gray plastic thingy, attached by 2 screws, located about 4ft from the bottom and about 4ft from the front, just under the lower vista view window, that has two small red/orange lenses looking forward. I removed the screws and the gray plastic cap and found two wires going into the rubber molding that holds the two lenses. I have the original Owner's Manual and the Service Manual and cannot find any reference to this thing, except for a small mention on a diagram in the Service Manual that says - Light Monitor (optional). Any body know what this thing is and how it is suppoae to work? Thanks, Bill
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:52 AM   #2
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The two "wires" are fiber optic cables that terminate just behind the bulbs of the turn/stop/tail lights. This way you can monitor your lights from the drivers side view mirror.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peegreen
The two "wires" are fiber optic cables that terminate just behind the bulbs of the turn/stop/tail lights. This way you can monitor your lights from the drivers side view mirror.
How come they don't have this on the new models?
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:01 AM   #4
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Information overload?
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peegreen
Information overload?
Maybe, but it would be nice.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:30 AM   #6
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Vintage with a modern twist

Quote:
Originally Posted by peegreen
The two "wires" are fiber optic cables that terminate just behind the bulbs of the turn/stop/tail lights. This way you can monitor your lights from the drivers side view mirror.
Well, I'll declare!, who would have thought that a 30 year old trailer would have had anything on it that was "fiber optic"!! Do you think this was an "add on"....Hmmmm....probably not, since it is mentioned in the original Service Manual. Thanks for the info. Now I have a "bet you don't have one of these thingys" discussion topics! This trailer is amazing. Bill
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:06 AM   #7
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Bill,
They were fairly common back then. My 76 also had them and they actually worked! I had to clean and re-seat the sensors in the tail light assembly but got them working before I sold that trailer.
My 81 Excella also has them but for the life of me, I can't get them to work.
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:03 PM   #8
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Are these the things they were talking about in this post? I don't see how they work, since there aren't any bulbs in them? Just empty yellow plastic tubes that fit on the end of the wires. What the heck?!!
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebolewis
Well, I'll declare!, who would have thought that a 30 year old trailer would have had anything on it that was "fiber optic"!! Do you think this was an "add on"....Hmmmm....probably not, since it is mentioned in the original Service Manual. Thanks for the info. Now I have a "bet you don't have one of these thingys" discussion topics! This trailer is amazing. Bill
Hi, actually fiber optic lights were common in the late sixties and seventies on Cadillacs, Lincolns and Caprice's that I know of and I'm sure there were others. Most people found out what they were after they cut one of those wires. Oooops, Too late!
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Old 05-23-2007, 12:05 AM   #10
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My '72 has them, they still work although I don't find myself checking them too often.

Becky, the fiber optic cable captures the light at the tail/stop light and carries it to that unit you're holding in the photo. Kind of like a wire, but not really.
Dave
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:49 AM   #11
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Yup, our 76 Sovereign had them and they always worked and are still working, as far as I know. Sure was nice to be able to monitor our signals while at the wheel.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:05 AM   #12
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yep, got 'em on my 73, and they work. I just wish I could find a replacement housing cover thingy for it...mine is disintegrating.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
yep, got 'em on my 73, and they work. I just wish I could find a replacement housing cover thingy for it...mine is disintegrating.
As is mine on my 72 Tradewind. I imagine one could fabricate something out of sheet aluminum to replace the deteriorating plastic cover and then rivet it onto the skin.
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Old 05-23-2007, 09:36 AM   #14
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take a chance

anyone want to send me one? I could take a splash off yours and maybe make a new one out of fiberglass or carbon fiber! would look nice. DG
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Old 05-23-2007, 10:35 AM   #15
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Carbon fiber would be nice! You culd sell a few of those!

When and if you convert to l.e.d.s you can save the system by adding a bright white l.e.d. behind the circuit board to power the telltale. The big l.e.d.s can be pushed into a piece of tubing slipped over the end of the fiber optic cable.
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Old 05-23-2007, 11:19 AM   #16
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DG I'll buy two!!

DG
You build it, they will come. I’ll buy 2. My 78 Excella has 2 mounted on the drivers side. My covers are so disintegrated I have been afraid to remove them until I could make replacement covers for them. I thought about using soft aluminum and trying to form it to match the covers. Carbon fiber sounds great. It sounds like there are a lot of Airstreamers out there with the same problem. Another question, my service manual shows 1 installed as an option and mine has 2. does anybody out there have 2 installed?
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Old 05-23-2007, 04:25 PM   #17
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Yeah 7xp, our '78 Excella has a pair!
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:53 PM   #18
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Turn Signal monitors

My 73 had the monitors mounted on the flat side panel at the rear where the curve section starts and they were kind of far back and sometimes hard to see in bright daylight. My 79 had them up front where the flat side panel meets the front curved section. Both units had one monitor with two amber colored lenses. The top one monitored the right turn bulb and the bottom the left turn bulb. When the brake lights were applied both top and bottom lit. It was a good system that not only told you if the bulbs were good but also if I forgot to plug the trailer into the tow vehicle. I never saw a trailer with two units, only one unit with two amber lenses. I think Packard motor cars were first to use these, my father had a 1948 Packard Sedan with this system. With the AS I always found them reassuring in heavy, slow, stop and start traffic to know my lights were working and wish my 1990 had them. My 73 also had a small clear lens on the road side, rear, low on the flat side panel . It was a warning light that would glow amber if there was a reverse polarity in the campground wiring feeding the trailer. A couple of good features that went bye bye with cost cutting. CharlieE
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:59 PM   #19
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I'll need a good one for the mold! who wants to send one ? I'm thinkin this would be a good winter project. Hey Charlie thanks for the info, my 73 has that clear lens thing, I was wondering what that was for, still gonna chase the wires tho. I need a manual for my 73, I need a beer now DG
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Old 05-23-2007, 07:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorgunner
I'll need a good one for the mold! who wants to send one ? I'm thinkin this would be a good winter project. Hey Charlie thanks for the info, my 73 has that clear lens thing, I was wondering what that was for, still gonna chase the wires tho. I need a manual for my 73, I need a beer now DG
Remind me when winter gets closer, you can use mine. BUT, I'm going camping first.
Dave
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