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Didn’t think I would have a “Fox issues the power” moment, but…

June 8, 2012, 10:41 PM

…but it looks like Falcon is going to have one.  First of all, though, if you’re wondering what I’m even talking about, it’s a Power Rangers reference.  Before Power Rangers Zeo began, they ran “It’s Coming” previews, and then ran the full song before the first episode of the show.  One line was difficult to understand.  The correct lyrics were, “Unleashing the power”, but Sis and I thought it was “Fox [something] the power” (Power Rangers was airing on Fox at that time).  Back in 1996, we wrote to Mark Oxman (aka “Maxmouze”), who ran a Power Rangers newsletter at the time, about the lyrics.  He indicated that the words were “Fox issues the power”.  Even though Mark Oxman got it wrong, the mondegreen has become how I describe hyped up premieres.

And Falcon’s becoming Schumin Web isn’t that big of a deal visually.  The site will look mostly the same.  But the Fire Alarm Collection pages are getting a big upgrade.  That’s because the restoration of that area is coinciding with some long overdue updates, including added alarms, and all new illustrations.  Realize that many of the photos in the alarm collection pages are more than ten years old.  That’s back in the era of my original Mavica camera.  And I wasn’t nearly as meticulous about how I kept photos early on, and the originals for the old photos had been lost.  So there would be no restoration at all if I kept the old photos in place.  So over the last week or so, I configured part of my kitchen as something of a photography studio, and took new photos of every alarm in the collection.  I’ll leave the final result under wraps for now (mostly because I’m not done with the pages), but I want you to see some of the behind-the-scenes work, as the alarms went in for their closeups…

The tablecloth on my kitchen table does double duty as a backdrop for fire alarms.
The tablecloth on my kitchen table does double duty as a backdrop for fire alarms.

The Cerberus Pyrotronics HDC-24C with the Spage Age light plate, was the first alarm to be rephotographed.
The Cerberus Pyrotronics HDC-24C with the Spage Age light plate, was the first alarm to be rephotographed.

The round Standard pull station was another one to be photographed on the first night.  This photo shows it in a pulled state.
The round Standard pull station was another one to be photographed on the first night.  This photo shows it in a pulled state.

I had great difficulty in separating my Simplex 2901-9838 from the strobe plate and backbox that it was attached to.  Note the bent screw.  I think it easily took 20 or 30 minutes to get that screw out.  What I ended up doing was to bend the screw to use the screw itself as a lever to get it moving, and even then I used pliers.  I obviously got the screw out, and put different (and shorter) screws in when I put that unit back together.  And of course only one screw was troublesome.  The other screw came right out without issue.
I had great difficulty in separating my Simplex 2901-9838 from the strobe plate and backbox that it was attached to.  Note the bent screw.  I think it easily took 20 or 30 minutes to get that screw out.  What I ended up doing was to bend the screw to use the screw itself as a lever to get it moving, and even then I used pliers.  I obviously got the screw out, and put different (and shorter) screws in when I put that unit back together.  And of course only one screw was troublesome.  The other screw came right out without issue.

My heaviest alarm setup.  This is a Simplex bell mounted to a Simplex light plate and backbox.  Note, however, that there is a generic backbox attached to the red Simplex one.  This is to balance the weight of the bell, because the whole unit would fall forward because of the bell on the front.  This also proved to be a troublesome signal to photograph, as I ended up having to borrow the proper size allen wrench to remove the gong from the bell in order to break this assembly down for photographing.
My heaviest alarm setup.  This is a Simplex bell mounted to a Simplex light plate and backbox.  Note, however, that there is a generic backbox attached to the red Simplex one.  This is to balance the weight of the bell, because the whole unit would fall forward because of the bell on the front.  This also proved to be a troublesome signal to photograph, as I ended up having to borrow the proper size allen wrench to remove the gong from the bell in order to break this assembly down for photographing.

Towards the end of the shoot, the Wheelock 7002T gets photographed.  It was supposed to be the last thing photographed, but the bell trouble ended up making the bell the last one instead of this.
Towards the end of the shoot, the Wheelock 7002T gets photographed.  It was supposed to be the last thing photographed, but the bell trouble ended up making the bell the last one instead of this.


My kitchen is back together again after I finished photographing all of the alarms.

Meanwhile, I’ve set Sunday, July 1, 2012 as the launch date for Falcon.  Once I finish the fire alarm stuff, Falcon is done, and goes into beta testing until July 1.  Then at 12:01 AM on July 1, I am taking down the current production version of the site and swinging Falcon into place as Schumin Web.  I am excited, because after a year of work, the site will be fully restored and cleaned up, and running on a new content engine.

So there, you go, I suppose.  I’ll let you know when beta testing begins in case you’re interested in participating.

Web site: Fire Alarm Collection. Obviously, if you're looking at this after July 1, 2012, this is the new version.

Song: "Unleashing the Power", aka "Fox issues the power"

Quote: And with the end of the photography, I'm just glad to have my kitchen back to normal. Preparing food around a tripod is not exactly my idea of fun. But it was worth it.