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Author Topic: Rope lites for marker/running lites  (Read 3075 times)
jjrbus
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« on: July 24, 2006, 07:22:59 PM »

 I've got a 79 MCI5C Saudi model (rumored to  be Osama's personal bus). The bus has the double, 2nd, outer roof or whatever you want to call it. Anyway the upright has 1 1/8 inch holes about every 1 3/4 inch the lenght of the bus. I was looking at the roof one day and had a thought. I decided I could far out tacky anything the sticks and stapels could do by installing rope lites inside the roof shinning out throught the holes. Looks cool, just about every hole has a lite in it. I was going to run the lites up the CB antenna, but thought it might be a bit much, tackys OK but I dont want to be garish
 Now my qestion is I used amber rope lite, would this be leagl as marker/running lites?
                                                                                                                      Work?/Play safely Jim
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TomC
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2006, 09:10:07 PM »

NO!
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
John MC9
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2006, 09:50:07 PM »

Sure! A light is a light!
 
 
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Clarke Echols
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2006, 10:39:19 PM »

Sure! A light is a light!

Not so.  All marker, tail, brake, and other lights have to meet federal motor vehicle safety
standards which specify color, brightness, dispersion of light, visibility, and other factors.

A lot of truckers have a lot of marker lights along the top of their trailers (some as many as 10
or more along a 40 or 53 footer).  The rules are that only the lights at the rear are red; all
others are amber (marker, tail, clearance, etc.).

If you have the required marker/clearance lights at front, rear, and mid-ships locations, if
you were to run rope lights elsewhere, I don't know that it would be illegal, but it would
definitely be tacky. Smiley  Nothing wrong with tacky if you like being tacky.

Reminds me of the poster from the 1970s or so.  Picture of a skunk with the headline:
"Why be difficult when with a little effort you can be a real stinker."  Smiley :'D

Clarke
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WEC4104
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2006, 04:49:58 AM »

Clarke made some good points and I'd like to expand on these a little.  I think that what you will be permitted to do with your lighting hinges on the following criteria:

1) You first need to meet the regulations and start with the proper lights in the proper location. For reference, I include the following link  http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/standards/conspicuity/TBMpstr.html   (covers U.S. and Canada)  It doesn't matter what additional lighting you add, if you do not first meet the basic requirements you are illegal and unsafe. (Although my 4104 does not meet requirement #12a., never having the center marker)

2) Colors - Pay special attention to where you place colors.  Red, in particular.  Limiting red to the rear helps other drivers quickly tell from a distance which way your vehicle is facing. Same reason as boats and aircraft use green to starboard, red to port. The second reason is they only want emergency vehicles to have forward facing red lights. It prevents some yahoo with red lights on the front from cycling them on-off-on-off to simulate police/fire/ambulance vehicle.

I also seem to recall one busnut who got his hands on one of those scrolling signs like bars use to announce sports scores and other news events.  It was about three feet wide, six inches high, and could be programmed to scroll messages using red LEDs. The busnut wanted to rig it up in his destination sign location.  After checking into matters, he found the red color of the LEDs was a problem if he was putting it on the front.  If his sign had yellow LEDs, that would be a different story. I can't imagine any cop pulling you over and citing you for the incorrect light dispersion, but displaying red lights on the front of a vehicle is another story.

3) As long as it does not present a safety hazard, what you do with additional lighting is pretty much up to your own personal taste (or lack thereof).  I do seem to recall some additional restrictions regarding using lighting on vehicles for advertising signs, but do not recall the exact specifics. To paraphrase the Beach Boys:  "Tack it up, tack it up, buddy ..."
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 05:27:41 AM by WEC4104 » Logged

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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2006, 04:55:14 AM »

Hey John, Welcome aboard. I was hoping you would join us.
Richard

Sure! A light is a light!
 
 

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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2006, 05:00:57 AM »

I do not know about other state laws, but in California it is illegal to put lights in the wheel wells of automobiles.
I do not recall the details, but it sure made a lot of hot rodders and low riders unhappy.
I never read the actual law, I was just told about it. LOL
Richard
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2006, 05:21:35 AM »

I have had a little experience with the local troopers and my lighting, a good one.

Driving down the highway a trooper drives up along side me and then drifts back and forward, stares for what seemed like a minute

and sped ahead.

Ended up stopped at the same quick stop getting a drink and he offered "wondering what I was looking at?", of course I was curious

and said "Yes"

Told me he noticed the lower rear side marker lights were not lit(leds I am adding), but also that I had reflectors(factory) and that I

met the legal requirement, but might want to get them fixed.  Explained I was converting and they weren't wired yet and had a

pleasent conversation.

So again, as long as you meet the minimum requirement you are OK, as I see lots of trucks that light up the Interstate at night.

But on the other hand how much attention you want to draw is very subjective. Roll Eyes

Cliff
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Beatenbo
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2006, 08:36:43 AM »

Little different twist.. I have regular white rope light mounted under the bottom bin rail on my coach and at nite is has a soft glow all way round the bus. Never turned on going down the road but is cool in a campsite
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boogiethecat
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2006, 09:08:52 PM »

Actually I looked a little closer at the California rules a few years back, after having done my marker lights totally wrong, and found that the basic rule is (regarding marker lights),
anything behind the rear axle should be red, anything in front of it should be amber or yellow, and NO red  showing on the front of the bus anywhere.
Beyond that, it's my personal "opinion" that most anything goes. 
  I was surprised to learn about the rear axle being the line... until then I had no clue but after I read that, then started to observe every truck I ever saw, yup, that's the key...
Cheers
gary
« Last Edit: July 26, 2006, 01:06:54 AM by boogiethecat » Logged

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RJ
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2006, 11:14:21 PM »


Actually I looked a little closer at the California rules a few years back, after having done my marker lights totally wrong, and found that the basic rule is, anything behind the rear axle should be red, anything in front of it should be amber or yellow, and NO red showing on the front of the bus anywhere.




Note that the rear turn signals can be amber - they don't have to be red.  And, IMHO, they should be amber - you can see them better, in all kinds of lighting situations and weather.
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RJ Long
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Clarke Echols
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2006, 12:31:29 PM »

Note that the rear turn signals can be amber - they don't have to be red.  And, IMHO, they should be amber - you can see them better, in all kinds of lighting situations and weather.

Amber was standard in Europe back in the early 1960s.  It just took a long time for the US
to catch up.  Also, Europe had amber/yellow fog lights in front as mostly standard fare.

Clarke
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2006, 04:47:31 PM »

I have been told that the amber headlights from Europe are not legal for use here in the US.
Richard


Note that the rear turn signals can be amber - they don't have to be red.  And, IMHO, they should be amber - you can see them better, in all kinds of lighting situations and weather.

Amber was standard in Europe back in the early 1960s.  It just took a long time for the US
to catch up.  Also, Europe had amber/yellow fog lights in front as mostly standard fare.

Clarke
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
RJ
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2006, 06:06:01 PM »

Richard - Clarke said amber fog  lights, not headlights. . .
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RJ Long
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TomC
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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2006, 09:37:04 PM »

When travelling from state to state like we do, it is just best to follow the lighting requirements for commercial buses.  You'll have the least amount of problems with the law.  If you want to add lights on top of them, great, but put them on a separate switch so you can cut them off at the appropriate time.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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