Cooper Wheelock

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Cooper Wheelock logo

Cooper Wheelock is a Long Branch, New Jersey, company founded in 1922[1] specializing in fire alarm and general signaling products. The company is known as an industry leader in fire and industrial signals.[2] Cooper Wheelock products are often used by other companies (such as Honeywell) to complement their products.

Corporate history[edit]

Wheelock, Inc. historic logo, prior to acquisition by Cooper Industries

In March, 2006, Wheelock, Inc was acquired by Cooper Menvier of the United Kingdom, a division of Cooper Industries.[3] Cooper Industries in turn was acquired by Eaton Corporation in 2012.

Product history[edit]

A much older Wheelock 7002 horn/strobe
A 34t mechanical horn

Some of the earliest signals produced by Wheelock were the A-1 series of AC-powered, dual-projector electromechanical horns. In the early 1970s, Wheelock introduced the 31 (AC-powered) and 34 (DC-powered) series of electromechanical horns. Around 1976, Wheelock created the 7001 (2-wire, flush-mount DC), 7002 (2-wire, surface-mount DC), 34+WS (4-wire, surface-mount DC), and 7004 (2-wire, surface-mount AC) electromechanical horn/strobes. These were the first fire alarm signals to use xenon strobes instead of incandescent lights. The horn and strobe on the 7001 and 7002 models are wired in series, causing the horn to produce a distinctive "skipping" sound when the strobe flashes. In 1985, Wheelock redesigned the horn's grilles, making them vandal resistant. This product line became extremely popular among third-party security companies, such as Honeywell, Ademco, and Cerberus Pyrotronics (now part of Siemens AG). In 1994, Wheelock discontinued this series, because their low-intensity strobes did not meet the new light distribution requirements of the ADA. The 31T is still in production today for general signaling purposes. (The red 31T 115 does fit all the requirements for a Fire Alarm signal however, and can be placed on a strobe plate without issue.)

The Series MT (Multi-tone) was introduced in 1993. It features eight different tones including Continuous Horn, Code-3 Horn, March Time Horn, Code-3 Tone, Siren, Slow Whoop, Hi-Lo, and Bell. These could be set using DIP switches on the back of the horn. However, most of the tones did not grab the attention of bystanders. The most commonly used tones were Continuous Horn, Code-3 Horn, and March Time Horn. The MT has seen different strobe types over time, including translucent vertical strobes, transparent vertical strobes, and transparent horizontal strobes. The transparent horizontal strobe design was introduced in 2002, and is still used to this day.

A Wheelock MT horn/strobe with a vertical (LSM) strobe.

In 1995, Wheelock introduced the AS, a combination horn and strobe. The AS was first created with a vertical position strobe on the right side of the horn. In 1998 when the NS was introduced, the strobe was moved above the horn horizontally, like most other current Wheelock strobes for better light output. As of 2010 the AS is still being manufactured for weatherproof applications.

In 1998, Wheelock released the NS series. The NS is similar to the AS, except the design is much less boxy, and the piezoelectric speaker disc is slightly visible through the grill which also has an updated horn. It uses a strobe similar to the RSS line. The NS was discontinued in 2010, but it can still be found on sites like eBay and Amazon.

The RSS strobe replaced the vertical LSM, RS and Syncable SR strobe series, since a horizontal strobe allows for greater coverage. They also introduced the RSSP, a retrofit plate which allows the easy addition of a strobe to older electromechanical horns and bells. Cooper Wheelock also produces several bells as well as speakers, synchronization modules, Chimes and voice evacuation products. Cooper Wheelock does not manufacture fire alarm control panels, smoke detectors, or heat detectors. Many fire alarm control panels are compatible with Cooper Wheelock's line of notification appliances and other products.

A Wheelock AS horn/strobe

In 2006, Wheelock introduced the ZNS and the ZRS horn/strobes and remote strobes. The ZNS has the same horn circuitry as the NS. The ZNS and ZRS features a "snap-on" mounting system, which allows the base to be installed before the horn is attached. As of 2016 the ZNS and ZRS is still being produced exclusively for Siemens AG.

In 2010 Wheelock introduced the Exceder line of horn/strobes, remote strobes, and remote horns. This product line is essentially a style update of the ZNS. This alarm also features the same "snap-on" mounting system as the ZNS.

As of March 31, 2010, the AS (non-weatherproof), NS, ZNS, and ZRS products have been discontinued and replaced by the Exceder series, although the same sound can be found in the MT series. The AS series is still being produced for outdoor applications.[4]

The Wheelock Exceder LED horn/strobe

In 2012, Wheelock updated their Exceder LED series by introducing the industry's first LED notification appliances.[5] This alarm is a compact (single gang) design. However it does not feature a "snap-on" mounting system because of the small size of the device. The horn has the same circuitry as the original Exceder. Then in 2013 Wheelock made Exceder LED speaker strobes and the Exceder LED ceiling mount version.[6]

Distribution partners[edit]

The Mircom Group of Companies[7] is Cooper Wheelock's privately owned distribution partner.


  1. ^ Wheelock main page
  2. ^ Fire Alarm Equipment - A Global Strategic Business Report Archived 2009-03-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Cooper Menvier main page
  4. ^ Wheelock Exceder Cross Reference Guide
  5. ^ plc, Cooper Industries. "Cooper Notification Introduces Industry's First LED Notification Appliances". Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  6. ^ Wheelock Series Exceder LED Horn Strobes
  7. ^ The Mircom Group of Companies

External links[edit]