Itís been a long time coming, but Project Responder is finally sporting an LED lightbar. I just recently installed a Tomar 930L LED Emergency Vehicle Lightbar. The lightbar is red and blue with three white led modules facing forward and one amber module facing the rear in the center of the bar. This Tomar LED lightbar is fantastically bright. And in switching to Tomar, I am now an authorized distributor for Tomar brand emergency vehicle brand products. Be sure and check out the Public Safety Equipment section of this website.
To begin the project of replacing the previous lightbar with the new Tomar 930L LED lightbar, I first had to remove the panels from the lightbar rack which conceal the wiring. Then I removed the Tomar TDN7 traffic director strobe lightbar and laid it down on the water tank. The next step was to disconnect the lightbar cable from the power distribution center under the bed of the truck. This step was very easy thanks to the TST PDS circuit board. I removed the cover of the P.D.S. and disconnected the lightbar cableís wires. I was now able to unbolt and remove the old lightbar from the lightbar rack. Now it was time to determine the best mounting solution for the new 930L lightbar.
Tomar accidentally sent the wrong mounting kit with the lightbar so I had to wait a week for the tow truck mount kit to arrive. The Tomar lightbar mounts very differently than most other lightbars. Where other bars usually have two channels in which the mounting bolts are located, the Tomar 930L has a single channel down the middle. Because the lightbar housing is curved, the tow truck mounting kit has two pieces that compensate for this curvature and keep the bar secure so it does not roll back and forth. I was able to use two of the previous mounting holes and I had to drill two more. In addition, the cable exits the lightbar on the passengerís side. So I had to drill a one inch hole for the cable as well. After careful measuring, the holes were drilled and I was ready to mount the bar. It is surprisingly heavy for an LED lightbar, but Iím guessing the heft comes from the extruded aluminum chassis.
Once the lightbar was in place, I was able to fasten the bolts to the rack and run the cable across the rack mount and down to the power distribution center. Now I was able to start replacing the components I had removed earlier, starting with the Tomar TDN7 strobe light bar and then the side panels of the lightbar rack. The installation of the 930L is complete and all thatís left is to connect the wires. This turned out to be a little frustrating.
The wiring diagram shows that there are three "modes" which the lightbar will support. For use with a progressive slide switch, the first wire is Orange, wire two is Blue and the third wire is White/Black. Well it turns out that the bar was configured this way and what I ended up with was mode one and mode three. In reality, when Orange and Blue are both energized, this activates mode three. So I spent quite a bit of time lying under the truck programming the flash patterns I wanted for each mode. Mode one programmed with any problem. Then I programmed mode two. So far so good. Then mode three. Now itís time to test the bar and make sure everything programmed correctly. I moved the slide switch for the led lightbar to position one. Mode one works. Move the slide switch to position two, mode three. Wait, whatís the deal? Move the switch to position three, still mode three. I chased this round and round for more than an hour before giving up. The next day, since it was Sunday when I was doing this, I called Tomar and ended talking with Ephraim who did some digging to find out that the wire colors and combinations specified were indeed not correct in the documentation provided. Once this was determined, Ephraim indicated that mode two would be activated from the Blue wire by itself and that was why I kept skipping mode two, Blue AND Orange were receiving power from the progressive slide switch.
I determined that I could resolve the issue with an additional relay so that position number three would actually turn off power to the Orange wire. Thanks to TSTís great design, I was able to do just that. Now I have all three modes programmed. While not exactly NFPA compliant, it is the way I want the led lightbar configured. Mode one is rear only. Mode two is front and rear, but without any white ledís. Mode three then includes the center white dual head led and the two intersection leds which are white as well.
So now all is well and the lightbar is a knockout. You can tell from the video that this is a bright LED lightbar. So if youíre even remotely in the market for and LED lightbar, and you have a large truck or suv, this is the led lightbar you need. If you have a car or smaller suv, then I would recommend the Tomar Blade. Again, be sure and visit the Public Safety Equipment section of the site for some great deals on LEDs and other emergency vehicle products.