Autronic Eye

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Remember the Eye? It switched your headlight beams in the fifties. What happened to it? Was it some sort of safety hazard? Of all the fancy stuff stuff on todays cars,
that would be one accessory I would like to have! I had it on my 1959 Olds 98 Holiday...what a car! It worked great........memories!!! Andy
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It might not of worked out properly and was discontinued......
Here is a paragraph from a 1960 Buick Chassis Manual ;
Guide- Matic Power Headlight Control
a, Operation
The Guide-Matic consists of a phototube unit, amplifier unit and a combination over ride and dimmer switch.
The phototube unit picks up light from an approaching car and sends it to the amplifier unit. The amplifier unit, in response to a signal from the phototube unit, operates the power relay which switches the headlamps from high to low beam. It also applies voltage to the phototube unit.
The phototube unit has a sensitivity control knob which allows the driver a limited amount of control of the sensitivity of the phototube unit. The knob has "Far " and " Near" at the extreme ends of the adjustment range and a detent position midway in the range for the normal setting. Adjustment toward the FAR setting increases the sensitivity of the unit. Adjustment toward the NEAR position decreases the sensitivity of the unit.
The courtesy salute section of the Guide-Matic is an added feature which switches the headlamps from upper to lower beams in a two step action. When The headlamps are switched to lower beam, the upper beam will remain on at a reduced candlepower for approximately one second, which indicates the car is equipped with a Guide-Matic.
There are 6 pages covering the Guide-Matic. It seemed like a complex option. The test unit was a Kent - Moore J-8465
Verticle Aim and Intensity control were two of the adjustments that could be made.
The Amplifier was monuted to the Left hand side of the kick panel, just above the height of the lower door hinge.
IMPORTANT; Phototube & Amplifier assembly must be maintained as a matched set at assembly & are identified by identical serial numbers.
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 3800 V6 ( C ), Black/Slate Grey _~_~_~_~277, 300 miles_~_~_ ~_~_
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I remember a couple of my grandfather's early '60's vintage Cadillacs had this feature. I don't remember him saying much about it working or not.
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James wrote:

But then, that is the same thing that he said about you!
---Bob Gross---
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| James wrote: | >I remember a couple of my grandfather's early '60's vintage Cadillacs had this | >feature. I don't remember him saying much about it working or not. | | But then, that is the same thing that he said about you! | | ---Bob Gross---
What ever that means.
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They did not work too well in practice although the theory was good. Many times they dimmed too soon (or from streetlights) or dimmed too late. I had a 1979 Eldorado with one and it was turned off most the time. I think the option fell out of favor and people stopped ordering it so it was dropped. Roy

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Actually I think the reason they disappeared was the fact that they did NOT work all that well as a rule. They had a nasty habit of dimming when seeing an approaching car with its brights on, then when he dims the eye decides to hit the brights. With today's road rage this may not be a wise idea.
Of course the old ones used some rather old technology, and used tubes for switching, but the problem was not in the tubes -- it was the inability to position the sensor in such a way as to be reliable all the time.
-- Gary E. Tayman/Tayman Electrical Sound Solutions For Classic Cars http://www.taymanelectrical.com
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See what I meant in my reply to your post? Apparently even the guys that should have know better, didn't understand how the system worked.
mike hunt
"Gary E. Tayman" wrote:

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The problem was owners did not understand how the system worked which lead to too many complaints. The dimmer needed to be set on 'high' and when the photo sell detected light it would switch to 'low.' When one adjusted the setting many owners believed they were adjusting the intensity of light at which the switching took place. Actually they were merely setting the time in which the system would stay on low, hence the confusion and the complaints that my automatic dimmer doesn't work..
mike hunt
Andy & Carol wrote:

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I beg to differ with this--the owners manual stated the setting changed the sensitivity of the photocell, therefore dimming sooner or later. As long as it sensed light, headlights would stay dimmed. Roy

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Like I said, confusion as to HOW the system worked. The photo cell simply turns 'off and on' when subjected to a light source and it removal. The headlamps need to be turn 'on' and in the 'high' beam position. The automatic setting held the 'high' beam circuit 'on' What one was adjusting was the delay time in which it did so, sort of like delay wipers in principle.. I.E. one is driving and a vehicle approaches at 500 feet as the PC detects light it switches 'on' to switch the high beam circuit 'off'. Depending on where the setting is that can be instantaneous or a delay. If indeed it were set to the amount of light when a string of vehicle approached the lights would switch up an down with every passing vehicle rather than be held on low by the delay feature until they all passed by. If set to minimum the lights will switch to low at once, if on a delay they will switch in say two seconds or when the vehicle is now at say 300 feet. The problem was the delay worked in reverse at the same delay time. When the light source was gone the photo cell would switch back to 'off,' meaning the lights would not come back to high for the same time delay. Drives wanted the light to come on sooner would reset the the setting which only resulting in faster switching. Each detend setting resulted in a longer delay time between switching, not the sensitivity to light. That was what cause the confusion when owners attempt to adjust to the 'amount' of light at which it would switch. We would hear all the time, 'my high beam switching is not working right.' When we checked the delay time for each setting they would be spot on. Because of all the complaints the manufactures discontinued offering the feature, leaving only the feature that turns the headlamp on and off which also is merely time delayed to go off, as well.
mike hunt
"Roy G. Bragg" wrote:

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I lived in Montana at the time, in 1962, where there was not that traffic as you have today. It never flashed oncoming vehicles, and it seemed to work very well. The whole circuit can probably be compressed into one intergrated circuit, with all the undesired operations eliminated. It can be built into the headlight switch! Andy

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| | I lived in Montana at the time, in 1962, where there was not that traffic | as you have today. It never flashed oncoming vehicles, and it seemed | to work very well. The whole circuit can probably be compressed into | one intergrated circuit, with all the undesired operations eliminated. It | can be | built into the headlight switch! | Andy |
My bet is that if your assertion were true, GM (Gimmicky Motors) would be jumping all over like flies on dung and marketing it as yet another unnecessary/useless "convenience feature". Leave me with a regular user-controlled hi-beam switch, thank-you very much.
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we have the Auto Dimmer in our 92 Lincoln Contienintal. It works great. Once you sit the sinsitivy str8, its all good. Have seen it on 87 models Cadillac D' elgance.. The rear wheel drive modle.
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| Remember the Eye? It switched your headlight beams | in the fifties. What happened to it? Was it some sort of | safety hazard? Of all the fancy stuff stuff on todays cars, | that would be one accessory I would like to have! | I had it on my 1959 Olds 98 Holiday...what a car! | It worked great........memories!!! | Andy | |
Since there are so many different intensity levels of headlights out on the roads these days (HID's etc.), it may make it difficult, if not impossible, to make a good calibrated system to account for those differences. The world is much more "lit up" (in a general sense) these days as well compared to the '50s and '60's, which may also make proper calibration difficult. Maybe dirt/salt/cinder accumulation on the sensor rendered them ineffective? Maintenance problems with them? Or, a cost-cutting measure? Maybe customers in general didn't like the feature? Just some thoughts.
My grandfather bought a new Cadillac ever couple of years when I was a kid...some of them (maybe all) had this function, I remember. That was early-mid 60's.
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I doubt that, as part of my old car collection I own a 1983 Lincoln Continental Mark VI Signature with the autolamp feature. It automatic dimming feature functions quite well when approaching any of today's lighting systems.
mike hunt
"James C. Reeves" wrote:

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Hmmm...interesting. Still don't want it! ;-)
Was the 83 Mark VI the "down sized" model. Seems to me I remember that the Town Car came out around that time which became the "large" Lincoln with the Mark getting a trim-down. Is my memory right on that one?
| > | Remember the Eye? It switched your headlight beams | > | in the fifties. What happened to it? Was it some sort of | > | safety hazard? Of all the fancy stuff stuff on todays cars, | > | that would be one accessory I would like to have! | > | I had it on my 1959 Olds 98 Holiday...what a car! | > | It worked great........memories!!! | > | Andy | > | | > | | > | > Since there are so many different intensity levels of headlights out on the | > roads these days (HID's etc.), it may make it difficult, if not impossible, to | > make a good calibrated system to account for those differences. The world is | > much more "lit up" (in a general sense) these days as well compared to the '50s | > and '60's, which may also make proper calibration difficult. Maybe | > dirt/salt/cinder accumulation on the sensor rendered them ineffective? | > Maintenance problems with them? Or, a cost-cutting measure? Maybe customers | > in general didn't like the feature? Just some thoughts. | > | > My grandfather bought a new Cadillac ever couple of years when I was a | > kid...some of them (maybe all) had this function, I remember. That was | > early-mid 60's.
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The other way around, the Continental was the top of the line Lincoln and eventually became the Town Car.
mike hunt
"James C. Reeves" wrote:

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A friend of mine had either a late 80's or early 90's ford thunderbird with a feature like that. But white road signs would make it change.

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I wonder if road signs today are more "reflective" than those of the 50's-60's. I hadn't thought about light feedback from signs. Interesting. The real world throws all kinds of curve balls at systems like these, doesn't it? My guess is that situation would/could cause a "cycle" effect. Brights on=bright sign reflection causing turning brights off=low reflection causing brights back on again. Repeat..repeat...repeat.
| A friend of mine had either a late 80's or early 90's ford thunderbird with | a feature like that. But white road signs would make it change.
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