Author Topic: I have this old Gamewell Box  (Read 998 times)


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I have this old Gamewell Box
« on: May 02, 2017, 01:49:31 PM »
I have an old Gamewell alarm box that came from Fresno California.  The box still works, clicks the address of the box and is in reasonable condition.  I have the pedestal as well.  My Dad was a retired Fresno Fireman who also served in the central alarm station for several years.  I still remember the bells and paper tapes telling the alarm bureau which box was activated.  I would like to properly display the unit and am looking for suggestions.  My thoughts are to place it on my back deck - in the weather.  After all, it withstood the weather in Fresno for quite a few years.  Is there any way to wire up the box so that I can place a light on top that will flash a red light when activated?  Are there sources of wiring diagrams for these old boxes?  Harry Dyck,

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Re: I have this old Gamewell Alarm Box
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 10:05:54 PM »
Hi, there's little in the way of manuals Harry, if you have a photo of the unit outside , and photos  inside, it helps since there were different models over the years.
They all ran on low voltage DC, 6 volts is usually enough to actuate the magnet coils inside, adding a gong requires more voltage and a resister and it depends on what kind of gong and it's draw.

Because the current must be limited to about 100 milliamps DC to keep the coils from frying,  it is necessary to  insert a resister between the battery or DC power supply you use and the mechanism.
6 volt lantern batteries work fine, never more than 12 volts.      To calculate the resistor value (in OHMS) multiply the voltage you are using by 10 to get the value.  Then subtract 20 from this value and the result is the value resistor you need.  So 6 volt dry cell x 10= 60, -20 =40 OHMS, while 12 volt drycell x 10= 120, -20= 100 OHMS,

  Buy a  resistor and  put it in the + wire between the battery and the box mechanism.

Resistors  also have a power rating in watts.   For 6 to 12 volts, the resistor needs a 1 watt power rating.  You can always use a higher power rating than called for, but not a lower rating, so get at least 1 watt power rating
  if you leave a battery connected to your box  it will run down,  you will need to put a switch between the battery and alarm box.

To connect the drycell battery to a Gamewell box, use the two outside terminals on the porcelain connection block in the inner box, the center terminal is not needed.

As far as keeping the box outdoors, personally I don't care for that location for mine, such items tend to get relegated out in the "back 40" where they wind up being ignored and fade out of view, insects wind up building nests inside and bringing debris is with them, the sun fades and destroys the paint, and humidity and moisture corrodes steel/iron and can corrode brass as well. The boxes last on the street so long becuase they are periodically repainted and their mechanisms are periodically inspected, lubricated, cleaned, tested and even replaced, they don't just sit there indefinitely.

You can add a light, or a gong, a gong is more authentic, the voltage of either has to match the 6 or 12 volt drycell or equiv you use.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 10:23:11 PM by \\-olff »
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