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Federal Signal PA200 - Can someone help me with an inner malfunction?

I work on electronics.... i know its plugged in.

I have an older model PA200 by the Federal Signal Corperation. The other day, for the 1st time in probally 30 years, the case was opened. I wanted to mount the thing in my vehicle, but only to use the radio function, and i wanted to replace the siren button with a horn (by building and adding a circut, after taking the existing wires off). Thats because im not really allowed to use the siren as a volonteer responder, but the horn is legal and i could realy use the radio function sometimes.

The top circut board with all the sound generating circuts just slides out. I took that out, looked at the wires to see things such as where i may be able to add additional componants, then i slid the board back in and closed it. After that, i cant get it to make noise. I figured it was the old contacts, so i sprayed them, and i even tested them with a meter and every contact was contacting its pin with 0 resistance.

If i hit any noise button and there is no speaker, i can still hear the buzz from it, however i am not hearing that. I dubble checked all the connections, and i used the owners manual to figure out what each connection should do, and like i said, no contact problems. I do not know why this is happening.

In addition, i looked at the componants and they appear to be fine, i handled the circut board with care as to avoid breakage or ESD, and i did not touch anything else.

Would anyone perhaps having experiance know what may be wrong? It would greatly help. Just leave any questions in the comments and i will answerthem. Thank you.


Thank you for the feedback. I plan on fixing it. This thing, is and has appeared to been shot, since CMFD got it. It was put on our boat for years... i can see the salt stains across the board. This then ran hard in a chiefs car for several years. Blew up a cap then, then that was replaced. All the componants look like they should be dead... this thing was ran hard.

I have a great multi-meter and i will fix this. If all else fails, ill have to spend money on a PA-300. I'm young and poor, lol im not one to spend money when i can simply, or complicatedly, fix something. Thankyou Griz806A.

2 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 5
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    To begin with, I would think it won't be worth the effort to troubleshoot the thing. Let me explain why.

    First thing to check on anything that old that could have been stored long term is electrolytic capacitors. They can dry out and become worthless little cans, sometimes they seem to work fine for a couple of times and sometimes they are just dead. If you have access to a capacitance meter or meter with a cap function, test them one by one out of circuit.

    Second thing that I would suspect on a 30 year old board is some component having an insulation breakdown. This includes coils, transformers, ceramic disc caps, wire jumpers and anything else that may have insulation as a working part.

    Third up is everything on the board ( the real deal killer!). All electronic components have a given temperature range for storage and operation. While it is easy to remember to look for scorched stuff damaged by operating temperature over failure, we all sometimes forget that things like transistors and chips fail due to storage temperature range and you often *CAN'T* see the damage at all. Lead to silicon junctions melt or crack and separate due to over temp storage or under temp storage and render transistors and chips useless little black doohickeys over long periods of storage. Ditto for every other type of active and passive component if stored at a temperature that may creep high or low without notice.

    This all boils down to you might have to rebuild the entire board to get it functioning as intended. It's up to you, but I'd say you have a better chance to use the case and build your own boards to stuff into it than to fix this on a permanent basis, at a guess.

    Sorry, I hope I'm wrong here, but somehow having played this game a few times before wising up, I'd say it is likely just a nice case with some switches and screws at this point. I do wish you luck and stay safe!

    P.S. Thanks for volunteering!

    Source(s): Me, myself and I.
  • 8 years ago

    You power it with 12 volt DC - you connect a normal horn type speaker to the output (any 8 ohm speaker will work). If that does not work something is wrong with it. That is a very old unit so there could be many things wrong with it (especially after 30 years). Probably not worth fixing.

    Source(s): former mobile 2 way radio tech
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