What is this? Saturday pic

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This is on the end of an old train terminal building. The box on the right is spliced directly into the service drop for the building. The weather head, on the left, feeds a 240 volt single phase meter. The conduit from the box on the right goes into the ground. It is not connected to the meter at any point. If you look close, you can see a piece of either UF or NM cable hanging out the bottom. There is a door in front with a wing nut on the left and hinges on the right. Whoever was in there last clamped the door over the cable.



Using Photoshop, I was able to filter through the paint and read what was on the cover. It reads:

Squared D Inc.
Chicago, IL U.S.A.
(Old building block style 'D' logo)
The letters 'FF' in a diamond logo
Condulet
Pat. Issued and pending.

All the above are in all caps and covered with a thick coat of paint.

The conductors, cloth covered, enter the box through tube type bushings.

Has anyone ever seen anything like this? If so, what is it and WHY is it on the line side of the meter with no fuse, breaker or disco?

To me, this thing looks dangerous as the old conductors to the box are spliced in and hot. The meter below, a digital CL 200 was on and running.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Central NC
Same here, I guess a lightning arrestor with ground wire in conduit to ground. Dig down, probably find ground rod or re bar connection.
 

broadgage

Senior Member
Location
London, England
Could it be a street lighting controller ? probably redundant.
Here in the UK some older street lighting installations used "ripple control" to switch the lamps throughout a district.
A signal at a few times line frequency was superimposed on the POCO network.
Each street lamp or small group of lamps would have a controller containing a tuned circuit that would detect this signal and use it to operate a relay or contactor, thereby switching the lamps.
It was a popular system before cheap reliable photocells.
Although mainly intended for public lighting, anyone could purchase a controller and use it to switch outdoor lighting in say a factory yard, railway station or parking lot.
If controlling public street lighting, the controller would be connected to the line side of the KWH meter.
If controlling outdoor lighting on private property the controller would be wired on the load side of the meter.
The box would contain a fuse, the tuned circuit, and a latching relay or contactor.

This system is still used in central London today ! unlike a photocell for each lamp it has the merit of central control.
It is a simple matter to light the lamps in daylight so as to check that they work, or to turn them off at night if required for filming.
Several different coded signals are available so as to give different switching times for general lighting, road signs, and seasonal lighting for example.
Turning alternate lamps off at midnight is easily achieved.

In the UK the equipment is made by THORN LIGHTING under the name "CYCLOCONTROL"
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Could it be a street lighting controller ? probably redundant.
Here in the UK some older street lighting installations used "ripple control" to switch the lamps throughout a district.
A signal at a few times line frequency was superimposed on the POCO network.
Each street lamp or small group of lamps would have a controller containing a tuned circuit that would detect this signal and use it to operate a relay or contactor, thereby switching the lamps.
It was a popular system before cheap reliable photocells.
Although mainly intended for public lighting, anyone could purchase a controller and use it to switch outdoor lighting in say a factory yard, railway station or parking lot.
If controlling public street lighting, the controller would be connected to the line side of the KWH meter.
If controlling outdoor lighting on private property the controller would be wired on the load side of the meter.
The box would contain a fuse, the tuned circuit, and a latching relay or contactor.

This system is still used in central London today ! unlike a photocell for each lamp it has the merit of central control.
It is a simple matter to light the lamps in daylight so as to check that they work, or to turn them off at night if required for filming.
Several different coded signals are available so as to give different switching times for general lighting, road signs, and seasonal lighting for example.
Turning alternate lamps off at midnight is easily achieved.

In the UK the equipment is made by THORN LIGHTING under the name "CYCLOCONTROL"
Cool! I didn't know power line carrier technology was that old, we have used something similar in the states to control indoor lights for light harvesting, but it didn't work so well. Most of the ststems I know of have been disabled.
 

massfd

Member
Are there any load conductors coming out of the meter. To me it looks like an old weather head from when the service was metered elseware.

They then installed a modern meter, ran the service conductors down to the meter than back up the same conduit to feed the original weather head. The conduit from the old weather head may feed the building.

Have seen simlar wierd things when the area went to underground services, they then came out of the ground ran up the side of the building and feed the original weather head
 
Are there any load conductors coming out of the meter. To me it looks like an old weather head from when the service was metered elseware.

They then installed a modern meter, ran the service conductors down to the meter than back up the same conduit to feed the original weather head. The conduit from the old weather head may feed the building.

Have seen simlar wierd things when the area went to underground services, they then came out of the ground ran up the side of the building and feed the original weather head
IIRC, there is a conduit coming out of the meter socket on the bottom with an LB going into the building. I may be over there again today. My CF card filled up when I was there earlier so I didn't get pics of the meter and further down.

The conduit coming out of the old 'condulet' angles a bit away from the building before it goes underground.

I'll try to get more pics today.
 

scrooge

Member
Location
Texas
1932 Alfred Hitchcock movie made in UK.

1932 Alfred Hitchcock movie made in UK.

Could it be a street lighting controller ? probably redundant.
Here in the UK some older street lighting installations used "ripple control" to switch the lamps throughout a district.
A signal at a few times line frequency was superimposed on the POCO network.
Each street lamp or small group of lamps would have a controller containing a tuned circuit that would detect this signal and use it to operate a relay or contactor, thereby switching the lamps.
It was a popular system before cheap reliable photocells.
Although mainly intended for public lighting, anyone could purchase a controller and use it to switch outdoor lighting in say a factory yard, railway station or parking lot.
If controlling public street lighting, the controller would be connected to the line side of the KWH meter.
If controlling outdoor lighting on private property the controller would be wired on the load side of the meter.
The box would contain a fuse, the tuned circuit, and a latching relay or contactor.

This system is still used in central London today ! unlike a photocell for each lamp it has the merit of central control.
It is a simple matter to light the lamps in daylight so as to check that they work, or to turn them off at night if required for filming.
Several different coded signals are available so as to give different switching times for general lighting, road signs, and seasonal lighting for example.
Turning alternate lamps off at midnight is easily achieved.

In the UK the equipment is made by THORN LIGHTING under the name "CYCLOCONTROL"
Saw a indoor type used as a hiding place for stolen necklace.
 

BJ Conner

Senior Member
Location
97006
Where was it?

Where was it?

Where was it in relation to the whole building and the track?
I have an old rail-road book somewhere and it looks like it could be some kind of signaling device.
Railroad had Semaphores and other signals that were state of the art way back.
IF the building was close enought o the track it could have been to a signal on the roof.
Just a guess.:blink:
 

SOG38

Member
Location
USA
Saturday Pic

Saturday Pic

IMO
It looks like an old weather head as stated previously.
It was common to have the meter on the pole. Wire run to the insulators remaining on the building and then to the old Box shown.
I have also seen something like this used to go to a couple of lamps to indicate a ground on one of the normally ungrounded single phase conductors.
SOG
:)
 

beanland

Senior Member
Location
Vancouver, WA
Cover Opens

Cover Opens

Note that the cover has a wing nut on the left and hinges on the right. Take a ladder and open it up. I would love to see more photos. I am also a little concerned because two wires come from the weatherhead into the box.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Engineer
Using Photoshop, I was able to filter through the paint and read what was on the cover. It reads:

Squared D Inc.
Chicago, IL U.S.A.
(Old building block style 'D' logo)
My Square D literature only goes back to 1938. There is no device like this in any of their Digests, back to that point.
 
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