(OT) How did those old gas station bells work?

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Back in the 60s, when I was a kid, I remember that most gas stations had
a rubber hose (about the same size as an air compressor hose), that laid
across the driveway, by the gas pumps.  

When a car pulled up to the pump, and drove over that hose, a bell would
ring inside the station. This was back when the station attendant would
come outside and fill your tank. Also when many stations were also auto
repair shops. Thus, if the attendant was working on a car, he needed
that bell to alert him that there was a customer.

What I remember, is that those hoses were plugged on the end, (where it
laid on the driveway). I also recall seeing that bell inside at least a
few gas stations.  

What I dont know, is how it worked.  

I recently was in a small rural town, and saw an old gas station, which
appeared to have been closed for years. In that lot, laid that old
rubber hose. That brought back memories as well as leaving me with a
question.... How did they work?

I considered googling them, but I dont know what they were called, so I
decided to post this question here. I'm assuming the bell was powered by
electric, unless it ran off compressed air.  

I can only guess that driving over the hose in the lot would cause the
air inside the hose to trigger some sort of switch, maybe by a some sort
of sensitive diaphram.  

Does anyone have more information about these? As a kid, I thought they
were fascinating, and now I'd like to know how they worked. It's a thing
no longer used, but the memory lives on.... As well as the memory of gas
station attendants who not only filled your tank, but would check your
oil, wash your windows, and even handed you some S&H Greenstamps based
on the amount of gas you bought.



Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
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It is just a firm hose (that will go back to its original shape after
a car has driven over it) closed at one end and with a pressure activated
switch on the other end.  When a car drives over the hose, the air in the
hose is compressed and the switch activates.
The switch closes a circuit wired to the bell and a power supply.

Such pressure sensitive switches are used for other purposes as well,
e.g. to control the inlet of water in a washing machine.  They are
commonly available.

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:45:31 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@tubes.com wrote:

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The air pressure spike probably rang the bell directly, no electricity
required. It was no doubt mechanically clever.

Traffic monitors are similar, but they are electronic.


--  

John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc
picosecond timing   precision measurement  

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Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On 9/21/2017 2:10 PM, John Larkin wrote:
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I examined them when I was a kid and the ones I saw had no electricity,  
just a plunger that struck the bell when a vehicle squashed the hose.
That's not to say that some did not use electricity but the ones I saw  
did not. What got me looking at it was when the power was off in the  
whole town and the bell still rang.

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
wrote:

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  Had to have a fat hose.

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On 9/21/2017 9:55 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:
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Not really.

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
Tom Biasi wrote on 9/21/2017 9:21 PM:
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Might have run off the air compressor which remains pressurized for some  
time after a power failure.  It's hard to imagine such a small change in  
volume producing enough work to ring a bell.

--  

Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms,
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Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On 9/22/2017 2:16 AM, rickman wrote:
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In the 4 stations I worked at as a gopher in the late '60s, NONE of
them had electric bells.

And NO, the hose wasn't full of air. It was full of oil.

The striker would hit the bell going up when someone rolled over the
hose, and again on the way down when they rolled off the hose.

Hence the da-ding every time.




--  
Jeff-1.0
wa6fwi
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Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
wrote:

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 Hydraulic bells may have been common somewhere, and I can see how
they would work - but they were unheared of here. As often as we
replaced the air hoses, the oilw ould have been all over the apron.

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:10:54 -0700, John Larkin

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  Every service bell I've run into, at every shop I've worked at, was
an electric bell switched by the "air pulse" from the squeazed hose.
Most were "miltons" -a few "tru-flates",.
Every one of them had to be plugged in to the electrical supply - we
unplugged them at night to prevent them from triggering the alarm
system if someone drove over them after hours.

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
Den torsdag den 21. september 2017 kl. 19.46.50 UTC+2 skrev snipped-for-privacy@tubes.com:
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Mrpete222 aka tubalcain youtubes favorite granddad and shop teacher will tell you

https://youtu.be/mjVz-72r44g

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
Lasse Langwadt Christensen wrote on 9/21/2017 2:17 PM:
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It has to have electrical power because the pressure change of a tire  
compressing a few inches of a hose that many feet long would be pretty  
small.  The work produced would be far too small to ring the bell hard  
enough to hear it.

--  

Rick C

Viewed the eclipse at Wintercrest Farms,
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Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On 21/09/17 22:25, rickman wrote:
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Oh that's funny! No one seems able to conceive that something might
work without electricity. A car passing over the hose displaces plenty
of air to launch a little piston against the bell. No switches required.

Jeroen Belleman (really!)

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
Den torsdag den 21. september 2017 kl. 23.59.13 UTC+2 skrev Jeroen Belleman:
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they obviously did it with electricity because doing it with air would just  
work too good ;)



Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:59:08 +0200, Jeroen Belleman

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While it's possible that some worked without electricity, I had
mentioned this to a friend who used to work as a mechanic in several
service stations. He's about 15 years younger than I am, but he said
that he worked at one station that still had one of those bells in the
late 70s or early 80s. He said it quit working, so his boss told him to
try to fix it. After checking the hose, he opened it, and found a bell
with a transformer, which he said looks like a common home type doorbell
transformer.  

At the end of the hose inlet, he said there was a diaphram connected to
an electrical switch. The diaphram was torn, so his boss ordered a
replacement and that fixed it.  

I'm guessing that the transformer is either 16V or 24V like most
household doorbells.  

He also told me that the hose they used on the lot, was just a standard
air compressor hose with the outside end plugged.


Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 5:59:13 PM UTC-4, Jeroen Belleman wrote:
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Actually some of the earliest patents going back to 1892 Electrical Hose Signaling Apparatus used a battery for power. Were there even gas stations in 1892? I'm pretty sure there weren't many, it must have been used for something else at the time.

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:17:18 -0700 (PDT), Lasse Langwadt Christensen

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His videos are interesting, I'm not a machinist but he explains thing
very well.

Cheers

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
Den fredag den 22. september 2017 kl. 00.22.59 UTC+2 skrev Martin Riddle:
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he has a life time of experience as a shop teacher ;)


Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 2:17:27 PM UTC-4, Lasse Langwadt Christensen wrote:
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Maybe ask the NASA tranny...that old fool takes 10 minutes to explain 5 seconds of material.

Re: (OT) How did those old gas station bells work?
On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:45:31 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@tubes.com wrote:

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 A simple air pressure switch. stem on the hose, or drive over it, and
the volume of the hose is reduced, so the pressure increases, closing
the switch that powered the "clapper" on the bell.  Dirt simple.
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  You got it right

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