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Old 8th Feb 2018, 2:31 pm   #1
boombox
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Default How were annunciator panels signwritten?

Does anyone know how vintage annunciator panel labels (for the flags) are written? It looks very neat! Template or simply a talented sign writer?
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 6:55 pm   #2
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

Most were hand-written. At one time signwriters were worryingly capable and could do an entire shopfront or side-of-a-delivery-van pretty much by eye (OK they may have used string and chalked-out a curve to follow for the lines of the "Joseph N. Bloggs and Son Family Butchers" masthead but the rest of the infill was done by eye).

It took some skill to do it in mirror-writing on the inside of the shopfront's glass!

Small stuff like annunciator-panels would probably have been subbed to an apprentice, along the lines of "When you've painted a thousand of these little jobs without mistakes we might let you do something bigger".
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Old 8th Feb 2018, 7:48 pm   #3
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

Mine has been altered to suit a change in the premises - and definitely not by a 'thousand-job apprentice'!

According to my January 1929 SUNCO catalogue, annunciator screens were provided in glass or zinc, with glass being black and gold. Writing the names of the rooms cost 6d per signal, and writing the fixer's name and address on the glass cost 1/- extra.

Here's mine. Note the 'amended' writing.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 5:00 pm   #4
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

If you were to walk into an old power station control room and then into their corresponding protection and control substations you would see how vast and complex annunciation was and still is. Its not just the need to announce to others what an item is and its indication of relevant status in time but also its possible diagrammatic link to other similar components.
Most items with the exception of electrically operated semaphores and indication lights had hand or type written miniature cards that dropped into an appropriate receptacle. For example, if a circuit breaker tripped there could be countless reasons why and it was the flag associated with the corresponding device that alerted the engineer to a catastrophic incident or otherwise.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 5:36 pm   #5
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

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If you were to walk into an old power station control room...
...Most items with the exception of electrically operated semaphores and indication lights had hand or type written miniature cards that dropped into an appropriate receptacle.
Like this one, you mean?
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 5:40 pm   #6
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

Sometimes transfers were used. My grandfather was a self employed transfer engraver in the pottery industry.
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 11:03 pm   #7
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookman View Post
If you were to walk into an old power station control room...
...Most items with the exception of electrically operated semaphores and indication lights had hand or type written miniature cards that dropped into an appropriate receptacle.
Like this one, you mean?
One type yes; this being a two element version of the normal 4 element withdrawable TAA 41 or was that TA41? In this case, there has been a gas surge detected by the Buccholz device that would be assembled on the power transformer. The device was in fact capable of storing the gas sample which would be analysed by a chemist who determine the nature of the fault. Other relays would then determine if it was on the primary or the secondary winding.
Repair costs could run into the hundreds of thousands hence the need to determine the feasibility of any such repair
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Old 9th Feb 2018, 11:54 pm   #8
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

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One type yes; this being a two element version of the normal 4 element withdrawable TAA 41 or was that TA41? In this case, there has been a gas surge detected by the Buccholz device that would be assembled on the power transformer.
I didn't show the non-executive Buchholz alarm relay. The PBO in question was for the 11kV / 8.9kV rectifier transformers on one of the Marconi B6122 250kW HF transmitters, which we no longer have; the OCBs being racked out and shutters locked off. The AR64 excitron rectifiers were swapped out with silicon diodes back in '83 but the annunciator labelling remained the same!

We used to test the PBOs by connecting a foot-pump to the Buchholz pet-cock and filling the chamber with air. Gas tests were with silver nitrate solution.

Before my time the HV mimic panel had the semaphore indicators you mention, but it now has red/gn LED paths and commercially-engraved labels. We still employ Faraday disc IDMT relays in some places, and other PBO annunciators. More fun than MCGG and MiCOM stuff!
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Old 12th Feb 2018, 10:15 am   #9
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

Your last sentence has an interesting observation particularly in the importance that annunciation has in respect of reference data and quality of data.
Back in the mid 1970s I attended a Quality Assurance conference and I remember the first thing the lecturer said; he said "you should always put down on paper what it is that you do". So what you may say?
Well, there is a specific range of protection relays missing from the sentence. Here I am referring to the "K" range of relays.
The Faraday disc IDMT (CDG) relays were replaced by relays employing static electronics (transistorised) of the Midos range of which the MCGG range of IDMT relays replaced the CDG (Current Disc General) types.
This was in the early 1980s.
With the advent of the microprocessor and the use of serial link communication technology the K range was developed and introduced 10 years later only to be followed circa 10 years later by the MiCOM devices. Here again, so what you may say?
In the first instance the use of serial link technology gave rise to the use of acronyms or otherwise owing to the paradigm shift of technology at the time; one of which was SMART devices which was used in the USA. We would annunciate them as IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices). Yet here we are nearly 30 years later where the establishment would want everyone to believe that this is new technology.
Secondly, prior to the issue of the MiCOM devices engineers would refer to and annunciate the functional interconnectivity as DCS or DMS which is defined as Distributed Control System or Management System respectively. However, when I first viewed the MiCOM catalogue I noted the term Digital Control Systems to define DCS.
Knowing the man in charge I thought I ought to warn of the error but it would seem that control of such issues had passed from engineering to marketing and to another country?
It would seem therefore that annunciation has its part to play both in retaining technical nomenclature but also factual data and their associated etymology and possibly epistemology.
Incidentally, one of the reasons you may still have disc operated relays could be due to the transfer of designs from electro magnetic to static (CDG to MCGG). To this end, not all relay designs were duplicated one of which I remember as very extremely long time earth fault IDMT relay used for Neutral Earthing Resistor protection. This was used in addition to the E/F relay as a backup E/F relay typically operative after about 28 seconds.
I have also just remembered that it is not a TAA relay but a VAA relay. Last time I used one was about 20 years ago.
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Old 12th Feb 2018, 11:57 am   #10
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

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Incidentally, one of the reasons you may still have disc operated relays could be due to the transfer of designs from electro magnetic to static (CDG to MCGG).
Interesting reply, Bookman.

But no... One of the reasons we still employ disc-operated relays is that they're in a clean environment, they still work, and are still maintained and accurate within their specification. It would cost money to replace them. As well as the older AEI PBO2 type we have the later GEC CDG spinning-disc units, which were the last we used before commissioning MCGG relays, of which we have an entire switchboard-full. Never had a problem with the MCGG sets.

I understand (and can appreciate from the handbook and commissioning notes) that the MiCOM series relays arrive from the factory in a default condition, given their flexibility, and ALL parameters MUST be checked through and set for the task-in-hand. There was an incident in the midlands a little while back where incorrect setting of a MiCOM relay caused unintended actions leading to a major power outage; the settings had remained 'masked' until a subsidiary action had caused it to be deployed.

However... I think we're drifting off-topic here: I suspect the OP is maybe not so keen of installing a power-board overload annunciator in his back-kitchen!
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Old 12th Feb 2018, 12:53 pm   #11
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

Indeed. Back on topic please.
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Old 14th Feb 2018, 1:55 pm   #12
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

An interesting (and slightly amusing) diversion!
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Old 14th Feb 2018, 2:49 pm   #13
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

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An interesting (and slightly amusing) diversion!
It happens... If you're interested in such-like, you might like to get hold of a little book called 'Electric Bells, Alarms and Signalling Sytems', by Herbert G. White (who also wrote a sister book on contemporary 'house' telephone systems).

My copy is dated 1923 and has sections on a.c. and d.c. bells, mains-droppers ( ) batteries, annunciators for home, hotel, industrial and alarm use.
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Old 18th Feb 2018, 5:13 pm   #14
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Default Re: How were annunciator panels signwritten?

The annunciators I was working on in a steelworks coke ovens came with an xlr file that allowed you to notate and print out suitable labels onto ohp sheets which could be cut down and fitted.
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