Category Archives: Specialty Warning & Detection

Specialty Warning & Detection Category for Eltec

Flood Detection-Sirens Alert Residents (IMSA May-June ’17)

ELTEC’s Flood Detection with Sirens Warns Residents

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When a flash flood hits the West Bayou Oak subdivision in Houston, residents have only minutes to remove their vehicles from the parking area. In the past 10 years, the townhomes have had several vehicles totaled or severely damaged plus numerous repairs. In South Texas and Louisiana, spring ’16 had severe flooding. Curtiss Beinhorn, a resident, reports that “approximately 70 cars were totaled in the April 18, 2016 flood. “Insurance claims and rates are out the roof.” Turkey Creek is a tributary that comes off some major rivers. Houston’s weather pattern ‘sandwiches’ the area from two directions: San Antonio Hill Country (north) and from the gulf (south). Flooding has always occurred at night; residents only have minutes to move their cars. Curtiss decided to explore various flood systems. Working with ELTEC, it was determined that a pressure sensor (creek debris could wash it away) or cell modem (overkill) was not the best solution. “We needed a real time alarm system in the form of a siren.” The two pole system is solar powered: sensor unit with power accessories and sirens, wired to a second pole on higher ground containing a toggle switch inside a secured cabinet allowing a resident to disable the sirens. ELTEC’s unique water sensor (immune to trash and debris) is mounted on a pole placed at the lower end of the parking area. The creek’s rising waters triggers the sirens alerting residents 24/7. The sirens are ON for 10 seconds, OFF for 10 seconds, until someone flips the toggle switch to turn OFF. Every ELTEC flood detection system is customized. Between customer service and product technology, the residence now have an effective flood warning system. Contact ELTEC to work with you on a flood system quote.

Why Did The Horse Cross The Road (IMSA March-April ’15)

Image_001Because it could and do so safely now; both horse and rider. It sounds like an old joke, but with ELTEC’s focus on specific customer needs, system design helps to keep a precious horse (many valued over $250,000) safe and traffic moving.

From November to May, several communities in Florida become “horse country”; 1000’s or more from around the world winter there. Several communities are “horse focused.” Ancillary businesses thrive in this sector. A McDonald’s has a corral to “park” horses, and has a separate “drive-up window” exclusively for those on horseback.

A Florida community once “trail territory” is now spotted with developments. Riders are leery when a trail crosses a road. In Wellington, Florida ELTEC’s pedestrian crossing system was customized to serve both riders and pedestrians. The horse/ pedestrian crossing includes two sets of push buttons; one at 72-inches allowing the rider to activate the system without dismounting; one at 36-inches for pedestrians and a dismounted rider.

The road is a T configuration. When activated, drivers turning right at the top of the T, do not intersect the horse/pedestrian crossing. But drivers turning left, turn into the crossing, but aren’t able to see the signals on the main road. To ensure a motorist does not turn into a horse and rider or pedestrian, a left turn flashing red arrow alerts the driver to stop before proceeding.

In Loxahatchee, ELTEC’s customized “horse and rider” caution system warns drivers 300 feet before the street is shared with the car. Again the system has the two pedestrian push buttons at different heights. When activated, it flashes for an extended period giving ample time for the horse and rider to clear the 600 foot section of shared roadway.

Discuss your unique safety needs with ELTEC or your local ELTEC Dealer. Call 800.227.1745; email or visit ELTECCORP.

Reprinted with permission from IMSA.

Traffic Control/Work Zone (IMSA Mar-Apr ’09)

Solar Powered Work Zone Speed System Developed

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In a highway construction zone when a lower speed limit is posted but no workers are present or visible impairment is evident, the lower speed limit looses credibility. Drivers perceive no good reason for slowing down and tend to maintain their speed.

Highway 59 in East Texas is a long term construction project and re-quires a source of reliable information. ELTEC (Electrotechnics Corp) along with the TxDOT office in Atlanta (TX), A-T Communications and the Texas Transportation Institute, developed a solar powered Work Zone Speed System which displays selected speed limits for the appropriate conditions.

When workers are present or hazardous conditions exist, the lighted speed display sign is manually changed by responsible personnel to display the lower speed. It can also be changed by wireless radio. When it’s safe for motorists to drive the normal speed (70 MPH), the sign indicates accordingly. In Texas speeds are reduced at night, so at dusk the system automatically switches to the lower speed of 65 MPH unless the ‘construction zone’ switch is activated and overrides the day/night speed displaying the lower construction speed. The work zone speed is adjustable and set prior to deployment.

The Work Zone Traffic Speed System can be trailer mounted for portability. If the shoulder is too narrow/steep or a more permanent system is required/desired it can be pad mounted as with the four TxDOT units.

For more information contact ELTEC at 800-227-1734 or

CDOT Sharp Curves Warning (IMSA Mar-April ’11)

CDOT’s “TIGHT CURVES” System Reduces Accidents

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States with mountainous terrain frequently have ‘dead man curves’. US Hwy 50 in Colorado has two such curves paral-leling the Arkansas River. In the past, the canyon corridor between mile markers 230-231 averaged three truck rollovers annually. Spillage from the truck’s fuel combined with hazardous cargo took weeks or months to clean up. Cars consistently damaged the guardrail and replacement was frequent. In one area the drop-off is 80 feet. Colorado DOT installed stronger 3-rib, more deeply anchored guardrails, but the hazard still existed.

The issue is speed. CDOT corrected the issue with the instal-lation of a radar monitoring system. Any vehicle approach-ing a curve traveling over 35 MPH activates the blank-out sign to light up with “TIGHT CURVES” followed by flashing “SLOW DOWN”. The sign stays on for 30 seconds. The CDOT Region 5 Traffic Engineer says that since the system was installed in the spring of ’09, only one truck rollover has occurred. Guardrail damage has declined.

On both curves from either direction, the speeding vehicle detection system is installed on each side of the road. East bound the system is solar powered; traveling west it’s tied in to an electrical service. CDOT’s project engineer contacted Chris Mustoe with AM Signal, who provided consultation. AM Signal supplied all the system components.

ELTEC did the solar system sizing to ensure sufficient power for the radar detector and blank-out sign with 10 days of autonomy (fully functional for 10 days without solar charging output).

CDOT will be adding a radar unit to confirm the effectiveness of the system to the FHWA. The additional radar unit will collect the vehicle’s approaching speed (at 1200 ft) and entry speed into the curve (at 200 ft) measuring the vehicle’s deceleration. The data gathered will determined the effectiveness of the warning sign.

For more information contact ELTEC: 800-227-1734/ or Contact AM Signal at 720-348-6925 or your local ELTEC dealer.

Solar Powered Security Lightning (IMSA Sept-Oct ’10)

ELTEC’s Solar Powered Area Lighting Brightens Oregon Nights

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Acr38522693595560-9525ELTEC, in business for over 40 years, is known for programma-ble time clocks (NTC-17E). Over 10 years ago, ELTEC entered into solar powered systems support-ing the traffic industry. As appli-cations for solar power grew so has ELTEC’s product offering.

Some solar powered pedestrian crossings required supplemental lighting. One of ELTEC’s electrical engineers (PE) with experience in lighting applications worked with a major lighting manufacturer and designed a super bright 24 LED solar-powered fixture.

The Charleston Shipyard in Coos Bay, Oregon has “gone green”. For security reasons the shipyard needed a (solar pow-ered) light for the drive through/walk through gate entrances. Aaron Simons, Marine Facilities Manager/Harbor Master asked ODOT (Oregon Department of Transportation) to recommend a company. Aaron discussed the Shipyard’s requirements; ELTEC created the system and submitted a solar sizing report ensuring the system’s reliability. The area light-ing runs from dusk to dawn.Acr38522693595560-1577

The super bright 24 LED light fixture operates at the same frequency as the human eye. The result: ‘real life’, true color clarity. A car’s color appears as it truly is; license plates are more easily read. The long life, low amperage light fixture is rated for 80,000 hours.

All ELTEC solar powered systems are backed by a sizing report. Systems are never over sized (more expensive) or under sized, so systems won’t go dark. Coos Bay is located on the Oregon coast, which is challenging due to the number of cloudy, rainy days as well as its northern geographical location.

When asked what he liked best about the project, Aaron says it was “ELTEC’s service”. He was extremely impressed with ELTEC’s customer support and the reliable, maintenance free area lighting system.

For more information contact ELTEC at 800-227-1734 or Visit ELTEC’s web site at: or contact your local ELTEC dealer.

Solar Powered Light Brightens City Park Pavilions (Marshall News Messenger 9/23/2011)

Let there be light Marshall High School student builds solar panels to bring night lighting to City Park

Hannah DeClerk | Posted: Friday, September 23, 2011 8:00 am

Marshall residents can now enjoy the Marshall City Park after dark thanks to a 17-year-old student who decided to give back to the community by installing solar lighting in the pavilions.

Jewel Ross-Gatson, a senior at Marshall High School, worked for the majority of the summer to get local businesses on board to help her build solar panels in three pavilions at the Marshall City Park.

The project was designed in order to gain her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a girl scout can receive.

“Choosing the project was extremely challenging because it had to be something I loved to do, I had to give 110 percent, it had to involve the community, and it had to be beneficial for me and them, and it had to use science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Miss Ross-Gatson.

She said her idea to install solar panels at the park came from a first-hand experience when she and a friend decided to visit the park close to nightfall, and could barely see in front of them.

“The pavilions are beautiful and safe to play around during the day,” she said. “But during the late hours when they get off, it is unsafe for the kids to see.”
She said the idea of installing solar panels was generated by her interest in preserving the planet.

“I wanted to come up with a project to preserve the world for future generations so they can have it like we have. I want us to have clean air for your children and grandchildren,” she said.

She explained solar energy, which is gaining rapid popularity, is created by the sun hitting a solar panel, which creates an energy charge that can trigger either DC or AC power.

She said the solar panels are charged throughout the day, and automatically switch on to produce an LED spotlight when it gets dark.

“The sun energy output is, one hour absorbed by the sun energy rays is equivalent to a yearly energy consumption by the entire planet,” she said. “It is just that strong. One of those that is not burning up. There is a lot of energy out there.”

She said after visiting with city commissioners, police officers, and park directors, she found out the lack of lighting was leading to the recent vandalism in the park.
“They said the security cameras there but there is not enough lighting to see anything,” she said.

She said after getting city officials on board, she needed to present her idea to local businesses in order to receive funding.
“Bill Marshall, owner of ELTEC traffic and solar productions, donated solar panels to us,” she said.

She said after receiving the panels about three weeks ago, she worked with a couple of volunteers to build the solar panels, which she said was not as easy as it seemed.
“There is more to building it than meets the eye,” she said.

She said Jim Putnam, ELTEC employee, walked her through the building process, even providing a diagram.

After the battery and the charging system she and volunteers set up the poles on the south side of each pavilion.

“I placed the poles for the solar panels on the south side of each one because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so we wanted the solar panels to get the most sun light,” she said. “And it was a very very heavy pole, and I could not have done it on my own.”

She said the poles blend perfectly to the side of the pavilion, and are not noticeable unless one looks for it.

“The first time I saw them lit up, I was very excited. The end results, I loved it, and it was bigger than I expected,” she said. “Now families can now stay longer, activities that are held you can stay longer at the park longer so now it is being used for its full potential.”

Solar Lightning Valero (IMSA Sept-Oct ’09)

ELTEC ‘lights the way’ for Valero employees

Published in the Sept-Oct 2009 IMSA journal

A Valero Refinery in Texas has high pedestrian traffic during shift changes. Because of the size of the facility, there is constant traffic with motorized vehicles. Lack of clearly marked pedestrian crosswalks exacerbated during dark hours endangered employees.

IMSA Sept-Oct '09 Solar lighting Valero-3To improve safety, Valero undertook a multi- prong approach. First, they established multiple pedestrian crosswalks. Second, they erected 24 hour flashing beacons at each crossing. The third element was to make pedestrians more visible during the dark hours by illuminating the crosswalks.
Valero is committed to supporting ‘green’ solutions. In support of this they chose ELTEC’s solar powered system to supply the outdoor lighting in conjunction with 24 hour flashing beacons.
IMSA Sept-Oct '09 Solar lighting Valero-8

ELTEC designed the solar power source to ensure no loss of load under all operating conditions. The beacons flash 24 hours; the solar outdoor lights operate from dusk to dawn.
Valero has been extremely pleased with the system’s operation and safety performance. They are now considering additional solar lighting along the road to further illuminate the pedestrians as well as speed feedback signs to advise motorists of their speed.

ELTEC is currently installing solar outdoor lighting at Charleston Marina in Coos Bay, Oregon. This lighting will be used at the entrance gate.

ELTEC’s solar outdoor lighting system provides sustainable solutions at affordable prices. For further information on solar outdoor lighting and solar solutions, contact or call 800-227-1734.

ITS Wavetronix (IMSA Nov-Dec ’09)

ELTEC, Mid American Signal, Telvent, and KDOT Collaborate on ITS Project

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Acr38522693595560-5102Most ITS devices are powered by the com-mercial power grid. KDOT in Wichita, Kansas used photovoltaic power for 17 temporary traffic detector installations throughout Sedgwick County. All were erected in the fall of 2008.

Telvent, who is overseeing the data collection for KDOT, will use the traffic data to establish a baseline before highway im-provements are implemented (alternative route; accident signs; 511 accident reporting, etc.) The impact can then be measured after traffic management upgrades.

KDOT used the existing infrastructure to minimize costs. Solar panels could not be mounted on existing poles due to wind loads. Mid American Signal came up with the ‘side-of-bridge’ solar panel mountings. Acr3852269359556023791

ELTEC sized the systems based on the load requirements guaranteeing sufficient power. The sophisticated sizing program accounts for power generated at that latitude as well as the number of sunny and cloudy days in the Wichita area. The system was not over sized or under sized. It has operated for a year without any incidences.

The data collection will last approxi-mately 18 months or until the new ITS project is completed, after which some of the self contained ITS solar powered systems will be integrated into the cen-trally controlled system and others will be moved and installed at new study areas using existing components.

For more information contact ELTEC at 800-227-1734 or or Mid American Signal at 913-432-5002 ext. 4 for Jordan Schwening or:

Cameras Monitoring in Corpus Christi (IMSA May-June ’09)

Solar Powered Camera Monitoring in Corpus Christi, Texas

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Acr3852269359556011746Border and port moni-toring is vital to Amer-ica’s security. In Sep-tember ’05 a Homeland Security Grant was is-sued to the TxDOT of-fice in Corpus Christi, Texas. The funding was used to increase port security by moni-toring all ferry and ve-hicular traffic traveling from the mainland to the City of Port Aran-sas/Mustang Island. Normally a 45 minute drive, the ferry ride is less than 10 minutes. Additionally, all cargo ships are observed to ensure that the “float-ing roadway” stays open/has no problems. This is critical with two naval bases close by.

Working with the lo-cal TxDOT represen-tative, Electrotechnics a.k.a ELTEC designed a 24/7 solar powered camera system. Out of 21 cameras 17 are solar powered (two are 24 VDC with the remain-ing cameras powered by 12VDC.) The pan-tilt-zoom cameras all have heaters to prevent condensation with cool weather as well as main-tain a minimum temperature when it becomes cold.

The cameras communicate several different ways to a central monitoring center: radio link to communicate across the channel via Ethernet, and fiber interface to a video switch.Acr3852269359556023688

Lightning strikes are a major problem in the area. The decision was made to use solar power for lightning immunity. No copper cable was used; thus eliminating any connection between the pole/device in the field and the switching equipment in the building. Also, the TxDOT office wanted to demonstrate that cameras could run without interruption on solar power. The system has not had a loss of load due to inadequate power confirming the system works with the camera load. This now allows remote regions without readily available AC power to utilize the proven system.

For more information, contact Susan Marshall at ELTEC: 800-227-1734 or

TxDOT Over-height Truck Detection (IMSA July-August ’11)

TxDOT Over-height Truck Detection

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TxDOT More Efficient With Wireless Overheight Truck Detection

Overheight Truck Detection The Yoakum District TxDOT Office was responsible for maintaining the “ding-a-ling” over height truck warning system in Columbus, TX, on Interstate 10 between San Antonio and Houston. When a truck’s trailer hit the 12” yellow & black striped tubing suspended on a cable across the road, the sound alerted the driver that their vehicle was too high for the 14’ 5” overpass. In theory, if you hit the tubes, you’ll hit the overpass. According to Randy Zimmerman, Traffic Shop Supervisor, the line “was always sagging, so a bucket truck was dispatched monthly to adjust the cable holding the ding-a-lings” to maintain the proper height. This work was in addition to re-hanging the cable if an over height load snagged the cable and tore the system down.

Acr38522693595560-20593ELTEC specializes in solar powered wireless systems and their integration into warning and caution system, including over height detection. The solution developed for Columbus & TxDOT provides accurate and reliable detection utilizing a red/infrared beam that initiates flashing beacons when broken, alerting the driver that the truck is over the allowed height. The detection device senses direction of travel, activating only for approaching vehicles and not those having exited the interstate and driving away from the overpass. There have been no functional problems or required maintenance since the ELTEC system was installed, saving time and money for TxDOT.

To discuss how to improve your traffic operation’s effectiveness and safety, contact ELTEC: 800-227-1734/Sales@ or peruse Or contact your local ELTEC dealer.