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Old 10-06-2005, 04:50 PM   #1
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Here's something Everybody Needs...

Hi,

Check this out... makes the Perfect Christmas Gift for an Enthusiast!
http://www.sportsimportsltd.com/misttrlich.html

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99

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Old 10-06-2005, 05:46 PM   #2
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sweet.

i assume it only works in cities where they installed lights controllable by emergency vehicles?

now, does this unit really work? do cities combat it by reprogramming the lights? is there a single protocol for all such lights across cities?

please advise.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bhduxbury
sweet.

i assume it only works in cities where they installed lights controllable by emergency vehicles?

now, does this unit really work? do cities combat it by reprogramming the lights? is there a single protocol for all such lights across cities?

please advise.
Hi,

The original Semaphore Control System was invented by 3M Co. and went by the name OptiCom. My Late Father (Former 3M Executive VP) was involved in it's initial phases and the city where I live - St. Paul, MN (and 3M's HQ) was the first city to employ the System - a SweetHeart Deal with 3M for Beta Testing it. It works using codified light pulses, whether these pulse frequencies vary by Municipality I cannot say, but I suspect not, doesn't seem any point to it.

This item would seem to work since they are advertising it, although not exclusively, for Police Depts., smaller, more Budget strapped ones in particular.

That is not to say that it is legal for private use. I can't imagine there isn't some regulation on it's use. Still, would be a most convenient gadget to have...

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 10-06-2005 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:24 PM   #4
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Yep, the most convenient way to get you into an accident. Last thing i need is some crazy idiot messing around with the traffic lights.

Last edited by spine911; 10-06-2005 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:30 PM   #5
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This type of device is true. My city has it.

About 4 years ago I had a client who worked for the fire department. I noticed that some of our traffic lights had some type of sensor.

I thought back then it was for speed.

He drove his fire truck to my office and showed me a flashing strobe light on the front bumper, that changed the light to green. The traffic light has to have a sensor or the strobe light will do nothing.

The strobe light points up to the sky.
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spine911
Yep, the most convenient way to get you into an accident. Last thing i need is some crazy idiot messing around with the traffic lights.
Hi,

You're missing the point. This device turns the light Green and the Crosstraffic light Red, through the regular, albeit sped up cycle. When the sensor gets the signal, it either holds the light Green, if it was already, or it immediately turns the Crosstraffic light to Yellow, then Red and the light on your street Green, just as usual except it breaks the normal rhythm. Also, the sensor on the Semaphore also has an indicator light to tell you that it has received the signal and is cycling the light to Green, letting you know it's safe to proceed. No way it'll cause an accident, it may inconvenience you and make you wait if your in the Crosstraffic...

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 10-06-2005 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Pants
This type of device is true. My city has it.

About 4 years ago I had a client who worked for the fire department. I noticed that some of our traffic lights had some type of sensor.

I thought back then it was for speed.

He drove his fire truck to my office and showed me a flashing strobe light on the front bumper, that changed the light to green. The traffic light has to have a sensor or the strobe light will do nothing.

The strobe light points up to the sky.
TP,

It's called OptiCom, made by 3M, my Dad worked on it. Have had it here in St. Paul for more than 20 years, as it was the Beta Test Site (which my dad arranged), 3M wired half the lights in the City, and half the emergency vehicles (ParaMedic, Police, Fire) for Free as long as the City agreed to do the rest, which they did. It works with either an Optical Light Pulse or an IR Pulse, coded for Frquency so as not to activate from False Alarms, the Setting Sun or simply someone shining a light toward the sensor.

There is a competing system out there as well, but it is inferior and has a very small piece of the Market. It essentially works identically to OptiCom...

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99
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Old 10-07-2005, 06:46 AM   #8
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I agree with spine911. I think those types of devices are dangerous and can lead to accidents. Sure, I don't doubt that the lights on the cross roads will change from green to red as your light changes from red to green. Problem is, what if you are at the cross light and yours suddenly changes from green to red, are you paying enough attention to adjust? I'm sure many of us drive the same route to work and have a pretty good idea about how long the lights are either green or red. Let's say you are alone and you approach the light and suddenly it starts changing -- are you really going to be able to stop? Will you get rearended or do the same to the person in front of you? Heck, how many of you (and others) use cell phones while driving -- no accidents? Please...

And if you are, do you think everyone else will? Before anyone tries to argue that the police and emergency vehicles do this and no one crashes, blah blah blah, keep in mind that these emergency vehicles also have flashing lights and sirens that will alert people and (hopefully) people move aside regardless of the color of the light. These items are/were in the news, off and on. We already deal with horrible drivers and hot-rod teens that street race, do we really need to promote these types of items or post about them? I don't know about you, but I'll freely admit that my life isn't that important that I need something like this. I can only imagine what happens (if the traffic lights respond) in California traffic or NYC traffic if someone gets ahold of these. It might be worse in NYC because you have so many people crossing streets on foot. You'd hope that the pedistrian signs would like wise change, wouldn't you? I've been to downtown MN and those blocks are pretty short to cross on foot. Many cities have wider blocks and these changes will likely affect them in addition to the people in cars.

Last edited by cfos; 10-07-2005 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 10-07-2005, 08:25 AM   #9
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@cfos,

You make several points, but again, this device just changes the cycle interval, not the cycle. The Signal interprets the signal from the device and hastens the cycle sufficiently that the light turns Green on your approach. This includes the pedestian cycle as well. And, there is a verification light which tells the Driver that the Signal acknowledges and is going to change.

In order for this device to work at all the Traffic Signal must have the OptiCom System installed on it or the device will do nothing - that alone eliminates tons of towns, cities and municipalities in which this device will even work - for instance I know that Chicago, Miami, San Fran., even Mpls. don't have the system. And, in any Municipality which does use the system, all they would need to do is recode the system's pulse frequency to neutralize the gadget.


So far as Manhattan or wherever, the same situation applies if the Lights were changed due to an emergency vehicle and last time I checked, the News wasn't splattered with loads of dead and dying pedestrians who got caught in the Crosswalk by an oncoming Cop Car or Fire Truck who altered the Signal's cycle with their Sender.
Finally, I am not proposing or promoting it's use. I don't have one... don't want one. I posted this merely in an amusing What'll They Think of Next... sort of way. RELAX!...

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 10-08-2005 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:18 AM   #10
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I can surmise that you have (at least) read a few of the words I posted, but I have no idea if you read them in order or just picked a few "key words" and formed your own sentences based upon my post. I didn't pretend to be an authority about the pedestrian cycles, and it appears from your post that those are included. I do understand the concept of cycling.

Sure, you don't see the news splattered with emergency vehicles caught in the act of Death Race 2000, BECAUSE they have sirens and flashing lights(!) Do people who use these devices, likewise, have sirens and flashing lights that would alert a pedestrian? I think not. Do pedestrians, when crossing a street, always keep their eyes firmly on the crosswalk sign until they reach curb? Do all drivers pay close attention while driving? Feel free to answer these questions if you can.

Likewise, I didn't make claims that I know which cities operate with these systems. I just thought of a relatively large city and a state that has many traffic problems with (or without devices). I guess these cities are "safe"...?

Personally, I don't pretend that I know the mindset of posters. So when people post, as you started this thread, with comments regarding holiday gifts and post a website, it does "sound" like an endorsement or a promotion. Likewise, you make a claim about it, "No way will it cause an accident." which elicited my post of a possible scenario. I will agree to relax when posts, such as this, discontinue.

Please do read all of the posts. I'm doing my best to read all of the post (and the sentences as written) before I reply.

Last edited by cfos; 10-07-2005 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:18 AM   #11
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@cfos

Hi,

Once again, the logic of your argument escapes me. Emergency vehicles are equipped with Lights and Sirens, this is true. But often, at least in my Municipality, Police Cars and Ambulances respond silently. One often sees the Traffic light sensor light and turn to Yellow, then Red and a Police Car will cruise through the crosstraffic with nothing but the signal strobe going, the same is true of Ambulances and Fire Trucks (especially when returning from a Call). Also, if these were so important, why do we not see Deaf and Blind people (that's Hearing and Visually Impaired people for those of you born after '68) lying in the Crosswalks?

According to the CDC, 5,000 Pedestrians are killed every year and 77,000 injured in events involving Motor Vehicles : http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/research_agenda/06_transportation.htm . Now, they do not distinguish between those crossing at Signal lights from those at an uncontrolled corner, nor do they distinguish between those who may not be sober, underage, chasing a ball between parked cars, etc. But, since most intersections in this country are uncontrolled, the number of pedestrians involved in a controlled corner incident will be much lower, lowering the potential victims of this device substantially. It is no argument to argue that something may happen if the likelyhood of it happening is near nill and you haven't demonstated otherwise.

Another thing you totally discount is Personal Responsibility, both on the part of the Pedestrian and the Driver. I was always taught to "Stop, Look and Listen" when crossing the Street, in fact, it was even printed on the inside of the Slicker I wore to school. Many of those Pedestrians who do not take Personal Responsibility for they interaction with Cars are going to eventually get hit no matter what. The same goes for the Drivers, those who do not drive at reasonable speed or constantly scan for Pedestrians are going to eventually have a problem, again whether the use this device or not.

So far as my endorsing the product, this is something you fabricated. I added a cliche' (the Perfect Christmas Gift) into my post to inject some levity exactly so people would know it's purpose was to amuse. You took it literally, which isn't how it reads or my intent. Not once did I say to Buy It, or recommend it, so I fail to see any endorsable effect of my writing. If I say HandGun am I endorsing their purchase or use? To you perhaps. Well I am not urging their purchase or use, just to set the record straight.

I have already stated that I would not buy one. Not for any Public Safety concerns, but because I am no better than anyone else. I have no special priviledge which allows me to ignore the Public Safety regulations imposed by my elected officials nor am I above having to wait my turn like everyone else, to cooperate with that effort to have Traffic flow smoothly, safely and with the minimum inconvenience to everyone. You just took everything way to much out of context. PEACE!

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:24 AM   #12
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A local TV station here in Houston did a report on these devices as Houston has the sensors on most every stop light in town.

The broadcaster went with the fire chief in the fire chief's car through a couple of intersections with his *authorized* strobe box, which turned his lights green quickly.

This was just to insure the signal switching was working.

Then the broadcaster took the *unauthorized, illegal-to-use unit* he bought off the internet and put it on the dash and the fire chief turned off his own unit off.

They both worked identically.

The reporter asked the fire chief and an HPD officer if they were legal to use and safe and this is what these city officials told him:
1) Their use is illegal in Houston (and probably most everywhere else) and if a peace officer of any branch discovers you are using one you'll be arrested for interfering with traffic flow, blocking an intersection, etc. Suspicion of the use of this device warrants a search and seizure.
2) Private use of these units can cause accidents. The emergency vehicle's lights and siren are not present, and the signal lights are changing in what appears to be erradic fashion.

I think I'll sit patiently at the stop lights, wait for it to turn green, count to five so the most eager driver can get into the intersection first, and then take off. I always let others enter the intersection first because they're always the ones being Tboned by the idiot running a red light just a second after it's changed from yellow.
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:57 AM   #13
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When I was vacationing in Pureto Rico in some not-so-city-like towns red lights at night were completely ignored. They acted more as stop signs. And the police never hassled anyone.
That was a three week break when I got home I felt silly waiting in the middle of the night by myself for a red light to change. ANd in some areas up here in NYC/NJ(newark!) you are better off not waiting around.
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Old 10-07-2005, 12:57 PM   #14
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Hi, it is you that is missing the point.

Was it just me or was everyone else waiting for MNB to quote some statistic or link...? From a study conducted in 1999?

"In 1999 (the latest year for which fatality data are available)..."

Glad you are up-to-date. I imagine that nothing has changed in 6 years... I remember seeing a ball game at Enron Field 6 years ago before parking (verrry close) at the airport (Hobby or Intercontinental) and zipping through airport security while getting on a US Airways flight for a meeting at World Comm ... (This is an example of me expressing levity, albeit sarcastically, if you need an example).

Here is an interesting read:

http://www.dps.state.mn.us/OTS/crashdata/crash_facts.asp

If you read the article (I clicked on all crashes for 2004) you will find that there were 91,274 crashes in MN in 2004. I wonder how many CRASHES (not necessarilly fatalities) occur in the US as a whole...? Among the reasons cited for these crashes in MN are "driver inattention"... economic loss to MN $1.8 billion... There is also a nice little blip about "failure to yield right of way"...

Wow. Hopefully, the CDC is dead on at conducting research or you get better at finding links about "newer" research... I wonder what the "Powers" that be at JD Powers think of your research (surveying) abilities, am I right (more levity)? Can't you find something more recent? Even so, you should read up on the websites, if you scrolled down, you would have seen (your CDC website):

"Research should include interventions that focus not only on pedestrians, but also on drivers and the driving environment, such as strengthening enforcement strategies for speed limits, yield-to-pedestrian laws, and school zones. Changes in pedestrian and driver behaviors and modifications in roadway environments, including traffic-calming measures, may provide the strongest mix of prevention strategies."

To me, a device that would potentially modify roadway environments could be considered dangerous.


Because, I read your link and you don't appear to comprehend what you hade cited, I could just leave it at that. But, I'll continue.

Perhaps, my logic escapes you because you are not accustomed to thinking in terms of a valid arguement.

You talk of personal responsibility? Well, perhaps you should have been taught not to publicize something potentially detrimental and (according to RN) illegal in OTHER...Municipalities (you forgot to mention whether fire engines also run silently in your Municipality).

Perhaps if you read your report that you cited you would have put 2 and 2 together (the answer is 4, by the way) and realized that this is a potentially dangerous thing. Instead, you go into more and more detail and pull off a link.

By the by, who are you to say that everyone else maintains this personal responsibility...? If you think that everyone, "crosses on the green and not in between", you are mistaken.

If you want to mention guns, then do so -- I have no problem with them ( I own 8, responsibly) and unless you are at a Texas gun show (I'm being sarcastic), there are yellow sheets that you need to fill out before purchasing unless you have a cac permit. Is there a background check for your internet site (Im being sarcastic, but I'm sure you will post back with another poorly read/understood link)? If not, it isn't a relevant (or should I say valid?) comparison.

Aside from that, how can you proclaim yourself to be a provider of levity? I mean, spine911 used emoticons with his post. So did PL... Yet, you took it upon yourself to "correct" spine911 and myself..? I'm not sure if s/he was expressing levity, but I just happen to agree with what spine911 said regardless, and you attempted to correct me with more information, yet you proclaim that you are not promoting the item? Just providing a neutral perspective (with levity)? I think it is you that is not using logic.

Here is an example of a logistic syllogism (modus tollens). I admit that that "safe" can be replaced by any other word, but the point is to demonstrate a valid, logical argument:

(i) If Item A were safe, it would be legal in the United States.
(ii) Item A is illegal in Houston (Read PL's post)
Item A is not safe (and I am too lazy to do an internet search).

Safe Motoring!

Last edited by cfos; 10-07-2005 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:51 PM   #15
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@cfos,

Hi,

Too Much! What's it like to be the Girl anyway..?? Think, say, write what you will. The fact is, the sale of the device is legal. If you don't want to buy it, then don't...


Happy Motoring!...Jim'99
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Old 10-07-2005, 08:47 PM   #16
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Cool CHill!!!!!

MN,

Rough day dude? IMO your last post was bul#@%#. Just because someone disagrees with you there is no need to insult them. I have always been grateful and enjoyed your expert advice on this forum, but you have disappointed with your attitude on this thread. Relax guys, we're here to enjoy the camaraderie of our common passion for Porsches and driving.
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:39 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mark986
MN,

Rough day dude? IMO your last post was bul#@%#. Just because someone disagrees with you there is no need to insult them. I have always been grateful and enjoyed your expert advice on this forum, but you have disappointed with your attitude on this thread. Relax guys, we're here to enjoy the camaraderie of our common passion for Porsches and driving.
Hi,

You may not have read cfos's most recent reply carefully. He argues like a Woman bringing off-point, non-relevant, out of context past remarks, and character assassinations into his reply in an attempt to bolster his arguement. I have NO problem if you disagree with me (that's how we all learn), just keep it within the context of the arguement, that's all.

I stand by my last post, but nonetheless regret if it offends you...

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 10-08-2005 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 10-08-2005, 12:45 PM   #18
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Perhaps, you should take your own advice and let this post drop and chalk it up to a disagreement rather than trying to convince me that (1) I am wrong (rather than disagreeing-- see your post about 77000) or (2) attempting to perform your own "character assassination" by questioning "my logic" and calling me a "girl"...? or (3) automatically assuming that people read your post as a "what will they think of next" when you entitled the thread "Here's something..." and post it as a potential "Christmas gift."

So you know, I am not a woman and it is a shame you don't appreciate the formation of a logical arguement. While logic may ultimately escape you, you will find that if you treat women with respect and listen to what they have to say, you will be treated with respect. Furthermore, you may develop a more positive attitude regarding them. Perhaps, you may even find one to share your life. Q.E.D.

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Old 10-08-2005, 01:50 PM   #19
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Hey guys I like a well informed arguement as much as the next person. It gives me a chance to see detailed opinions in regards to products, service, and personal preference in maintaining and customizing boxsters. It gives myself and many others the chance to see "both sides" of the fence. This helps many to make the best decision and form our own opinion. I for one would like to request that personal attacks and insults stay out of the forum. This has always seemed to be a more mature and informative boxster forum for enthusiasts to visit. I frequently visit several others daily but find myself coming here 5x's more often because I can count on more substance and less banter. Let's try to keep this site thriving w/ information and leave the petty feelings for other sites.
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Old 10-08-2005, 10:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cfos
So you know, I am not a woman Coulda' fooled me... ... you will find that if you treat women with respect and listen to what they have to say, you will be treated with respect...what is that self prophesizing..??. Perhaps, you may even find one to share your life.
What...? Are you kiddin' me..?? You don't even have a clue... what're you?? Sixteen...??

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99

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