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Author Topic: Train Alerts!!!  (Read 4167 times)
John316
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« on: April 28, 2009, 05:48:53 AM »

We are looking for a train horn. I don't have a problem installing another tank, but I didn't know if electric was better. Just in the looking stage I found some Wolo's http://www.wolo-mfg.com/truck.htm.

Some of the horns on that page looked kind of interesting. What do you all think, and which one?

Thanks,

God bless,

John
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 06:47:50 AM »

 John,

    My air horn is plumbed to the tank under the drivers seat. It doesn't use to much air
 as long as I am not just tooting constantly Smiley. The little air compressors are slow I
 have one that is 24v and am not real impressed with it.

   They all look nice but it sounds better to me if there are multiple horns  Shocked

  Good luck
   Skip
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 07:17:12 AM »

John316, I have a diesel electric horn mounted under the driver area plumbed like the previous post.  It is so loud that even for a biker it is annoying!  It terrifies My Ratty and the wife hates it.  However it does have some valid uses.  Idiots that like to  pull out before looking quickly respond to a short blast.  I would much rather have horns mounted on the roof.  Have a great day,John.
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 07:36:59 AM »

John,try train horns.com

http://trainhorns.com/
  Van
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 09:13:43 AM »

Sorry bud,wrong link,here's the right link.Had these in our dodge hemi,Home owners assc made me promise to never blow them in our development LOL Grin.
http://trainhornkits.com/
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 09:32:45 AM »

John,

None of those horns (the Wolos or the ones Van linked) is a true train horn, known in the industry as "diesel chimes."

If all you want is something with a similar set of notes, then one of these will probably deliver, but if you want the same volume (without which, frankly, you will not have the same sound), prepare to spend over $1,000 for real ones.

One way to tell you are not getting real chimes is air line size -- a real locomotive horn requires at least 3/4".  You're not going to get much sound at all from diesel chimes plumbed with 1/4" line.

We discussed much of this in another thread:
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=7419.0

Note my caution there about legality (or lack thereof) of real chimes, and my suggestion that you install them out of sight if you ever intend to sound them.

Real chimes are available from a variety of sources, even brand new.  Used take-offs often appear on eBay and even CraigsList, if you know how to search for them.

FWIW.

-Sean
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 09:52:07 AM »


   Sean,

    I'll check tonight but I think I am running 3/8 line.  Mine are supposed to be old switch engine horns which are different than main line horns Smiley

   "Graham-White's 353 Series of manual horn valves allow an engineer great control over signaling a locomotive's horn that electronic solenoid valves cannot provide.  Several metering options are available in the 353 Series: 12 SCFM, 24 SCFM, and 30 SCFM.   We can provide you with a valve that best suits your horn, as different series and models of locomotive horns react uniquely to various air flows.  A 70 SCFM non-metering valve is also available.  The 353 Series uses a common body and operating lever that allows for easy maintenance.  " Product blurb.....

 YTMV where T = tooting

 Skip
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 09:57:23 AM »

Absolutly,Sean,I see the nathans on e-bay from time to time,nothing like the real thing to make the hair stand on end.Just a quick note before I get flammed ,I do not condone harassing the public with any train horns as was depicted on the previous web site .these horns could possibly cause a serious accident,thanks.

van

check these out;
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 10:28:25 AM »

    I'll check tonight but I think I am running 3/8 line.  Mine are supposed to be old switch engine horns which are different than main line horns Smiley

... 12 SCFM, 24 SCFM, and 30 SCFM.   ...  A 70 SCFM non-metering valve is also available.


Sorry, Skip, I should have been more clear about the air line requirements.

Yes, different horns require different amounts of air, and, of course, differing amounts of air on the same horn will result in different volume (and possibly tonality).  And a lot also depends on the pressure in your tank and the ability of your compressor to deliver air.

On a real locomotive, air pressure runs at 150psi and the amount of SCFMs the compressor(s) is capable of delivering is staggering.  Also, the chimes are plumbed perhaps 15'-20' from the compressor and accessory tank.  Consequently, many locomotives use 1/2" plumbing to the chimes -- at 150psi, the required SCFM are easily delivered.

Note also that the SCFM requirements vary due to the number of bells.  A three-chime horn uses a lot less air than a seven-chime horn, naturally.

Lastly, on real trains, the horns must be capable of several sustained blasts in a row.  The most commonly used signal in all of railroading is the grade crossing, and that requires three long blasts and one short (not in that order), a good six or seven seconds of sustained blast.  Some grade crossings are so close together, there is no recovery time at all between signals.  While you might be able to get 10-20 SCFM from a 3- or 4-gallon tank through 3/4" line for a couple of seconds, you'd never be able to "imitate" a real train with one of these setups.

To give a comparison, even the wimpiest diesel chimes require something like 10 SCFM continuously, and 30 SCFM is not atypical for a 5-chime Nathan or Leslie on a road locomotive.  By contrast,  the Bendix compressors on most of our buses are rated at 25 SCFM at peak rpm, and most of us have brake treadles (the largest air valve on the coach) rated around 9 SCFM.

So, I am sure your chimes work fine on 3/8" line, but I would guess that you'd see a significant drop in output after two or three seconds on the horn.  (Of course, three seconds is an eternity if you are listening to diesel chimes ten feet away!)  Not a problem for a "show" horn, but if this is your primary safety horn, and you end up with a runaway coming down Donner Pass, you might wish for something with a little more stamina, even if it has lower initial volume.  FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 10:40:54 AM »

Lay into those style horns coming down Donner, you'll self-inflict a run-away!!!

oh the fun you can have mixing and matching....!

Where on the ol' DD can we mount the second compressor for "Chime Tank" duty?

Or, there's those 4 cylinder ones used on the bulk trucks....

just think of the possibilities!

happy coaching!
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 10:49:18 AM »

Lay into those style horns coming down Donner, you'll self-inflict a run-away!!!

My thoughts exactly.  When I'm coming down Donner I'm hanging off the Jakes and preserving the air for emergencies.  If the civilians need warning they'll have to listen for the sound of my electric horn, which is pretty loud in its own right.  My air horn is for wildlife and assholes in convertibles.
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2009, 10:55:15 AM »

Not trying to ruin your'e horns, but seems like I heard somewhere (could very well be wrong) that the train sound is illegal on everything but a train.

Ray D
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Van
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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2009, 10:55:51 AM »

Ok,now I don't care who ya are these are just plane cool!Never realized how many train horn nuts were out there.
This is pretty impressive ,must be trailing an air hose out the back of this rig
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2009, 11:27:49 AM »

I never could afford those BIG train horns.  Fortunately, I only wanted to make cars that were "herding" me into the fast lane and not allowing me to turn off the freeway TO YIELD SOME RIGHT OF WAY.  There are some idiots that think they are in a race and after you pass they hang in your right hand blind spot for miles.  Poor driving habit and I think many are just napping.  I have a rather rude electric horn up front and it usually works fine.  Had some tough situations so I improvised.....I installed those plastic "triple horns' that come with their own little compressor.  Had those on all my sports cars and they were magic at inspiring those Blue Hairs to stay in their own lane....forever!  Not BAD enuf for my RV so I plumbed them into my 90 psi and put a regulator in the line.  I blew them and turned up the air to 60 PSI.  HORRIFIC!  Put three horns under the mid coach and pointing out the side and three more pointing out the front.    I had those things installed and I demoed them to maybe 10 people max.  All said "you are going to hurt someone with those, man" except one 19 year old.  He wanted all the info.  I learned that the diaphragms blow out the front of the horn at 70 PSI.  They were plumbed with 3/8th tubing.  These were Hillbilly el cheapo air horns that were also considered a WEAPON.  Used sparingly but never ever ignored by any car in the right lane.  Mucho brake mucho quick.  Sean would have given me a ticket after arresting me.  The 150 psi rated air valve cost more than the horns.  Careful with that regulator.

Just some thoughts there.

John
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2009, 12:58:52 PM »

My thoughts exactly.  When I'm coming down Donner I'm hanging off the Jakes and preserving the air for emergencies.  If the civilians need warning they'll have to listen for the sound of my electric horn, which is pretty loud in its own right.


Just to be clear, I said you'd need the air horn IF you already had a runaway.

If you have a runaway, it doesn't matter how much air you have available for the brakes -- you are already beyond that point.  The drum diameter has already increased to a point where there is not enough pushrod left to apply the brakes, or they have already cammed over.  By this time, you will have already tried the spring brakes (if so equipped) to no avail.  Now all you can do is hope and pray you can make the runaway ramp before you plow into some unsuspecting soccer mom with a van load of kids.  And now, you'll want the loudest darn horn you can muster.

In this situation, "preserving air" will not be on your list.

FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2009, 01:15:10 PM »


 Now for the rest of the story LOL.

   1. My brother-inlaws dad is deaf in one ear......30 + yrs as a train engineer. 150 db at 100 feet is enough to make one deaf
       especially when you are only a few feet away.
   2. 2005 db level max was lowered to 110db on all trains easy fix was to run lower SCFMs at the control.
   3. The advent of quiet zones (per bunch of conditions) is being tracked for statistics on safety. (so if a train doesn't toot he may
       or may not be in compliance) (something I'll have to help put together next year) (new system will be coming on board)
   4. A working horn at required specs is required in every state. (my add on is just for fun unless I can meet the specs Smiley )
   
  FWIW
 Skip
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2009, 01:18:09 PM »

Yes, I'd bet there'd be no air preserved in the evacuation process occurring concurrently in the driver's seat...

happy coaching!
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« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2009, 03:05:23 PM »

 Cool Dual Train Horns baby. Cool
>
>
1/2" air line Shocked
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« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2009, 03:10:16 PM »

Now we're talking ,Have you shot them puppies yet?Bet they'll love you in the tunnels

Just tootin away

   Van
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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2009, 03:24:02 PM »

Quote
I would much rather have horns mounted on the roof.


I think air horns might look good on the roof but they are more effective at ground level at the distances we need them. On the roof the horns will definitely be heard but the most intense part of the sound pressure will travel over heads or over car roof tops. Since I have fixed my horns I have witnessed several underware fillings when inattentive drivers have crossed my line. I know I shouldn't get as much pleasure out of it as I do, but I'm still working on perfection.



My old horn story from this old link on horns:

(I removed/changed words that I wished I had never used, I am learning to set a better example for my children and others. Talk the talk, and walk the walk.)

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=6373.0

Air horns are so worth it! I rank them up there higher than Jakes. My trip out this spring I had a (inconciderate person) pull in front of me and did a quick stop. All I had was my electric horn to blow because my air horns where still sitting in the bay where the PO had left them. I decided then I needed to change that. I hooked my compressor to the horns and not much. Well that explains why they where disconnected. I took them apart, cleaned them, and gave them a tune up. Boy are they loud! On the GM they are mounted forward the drivers steer tire up in a small cavity. I thought that it was a odd place for them until I tried them. In their mount they blast at an angle toward the ground only to have the blast bounce up off the pavement right at the perfect height for cars (No joke, they will hurt your ears). My second trip out (now with the air horns working) it was dark and I was on an unfamiliar busy street. I was traveling down the far right side of the road when I found out that I had one block to be two lanes over in the far left. First lane change went OK, but as I was starting my second, a lady in a convertible top down Saab decided to ignore my turn signals and dash in beside me. What a (not a nice lady)!  Well I couldn’t make my turn and we both were stopped parallel at the light, so I lay onto my beautiful air horns that were right beside her head. I think she saw Jesus. I’m still LMAO at the thought of the “stink” she must have left on the seat of her car. Priceless!
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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2009, 03:32:47 PM »

   I prefer the sound of the old steam locomotives.  I got this 4 note brass train whistle from Richard Bowyer a couple years before he passed away. It is plumbed with 1/2" tubing and controlled with a 1/2" ball valve.  This allows you to "play" the whistle.  We also have 2 pair of air horns and a pair of loud electric horns. Each pair is controlled by a separate switch. However, the OEM horn buttons on the steering wheel are labeld EMERGENCY ONLY. It you hit this switch you get 4 air horns and 2 electric horns. If I use my left thumb on that switch and my right hand on the ball valve, well, let's just say "they will hear me".  Jack

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« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2009, 05:05:04 PM »

Went to take a picture of mine...and this is what I got


Turns out mine is just like jacks but not as shiney  Embarrassed

Skip
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« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2009, 05:19:42 PM »

   2. 2005 db level max was lowered to 110db on all trains easy fix was to run lower SCFMs at the control.


I think as long as Skip has mentioned the newer FRA limit, it bears mentioning that locomotive chimes are measured at a distance of 100 feet, so that number is 110dB at 100 feet away.  By contrast, automotive horns are measured at 6 feet (and many aftermarket models tout sound levels measured at a mere four inches away), which is why you will see an awful lot of truck horns rated at 139 dB or even more.  These numbers are not at all comparable -- the inverse square law means that, at ten times the distance, the audible intensity drops by a factor of 100.

To use an extreme example, the Wolo horns cited earlier, 152 dB at four inches, would measure just 127 dB at about 5 feet, and at 100 feet, they would measure about 102 dB.  That is only about 1/5th the sound pressure (energy) of a 110 dB locomotive chime.  "Loudness," of course, is a more subjective measurement, so you can't really say the locomotive is "five times" as loud, but, believe me, you will sure notice the difference.

Just FYI.

-Sean
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« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2009, 06:56:57 PM »

And that's what counts Grin.
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2009, 06:58:55 PM »

Thanks so much guys!!! I will write more later. This gives me mucho foodo for thoughtso (now I am going to go down to Mexico and see if I can round up some swine flu Grin Shocked Grin).

Thanks a lot guys.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2009, 07:23:54 PM »

http://www.airhornsoftexas.com/Train_Air_Horns.html

This is the guy I've been talking to...  Several different types of horns, reman'd.  I'm looking at a Nathan K5LA (5-chime), which will be facing forward attached to a separate 25 gallon tank and driven by a brake relay valve (actuated by a solenoid pilot hooked into the existing "beep-beep" electric horn).  The tank will be filled by a 100psi cracking pressure valve after a check valve (to ensure that the horn gets serviced last, and won't kill the brake reservoirs...) plumbed via the aux tank.

I like the idea of attaching a secondary horn to the left side of the rig (back/down firing) - perhaps attached to the turn signal circuit just to remind those who miss the "<-- passing side, suicide -->" sticker on the back of the bus.

-T
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« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2009, 07:25:43 PM »

Good hunting down south, John.  Write often....don't visit till the incubation period has passed without event. Huh Grin

John
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« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2009, 10:38:23 PM »

On both my big rig and my bus I am using the 4 chime Buell train horn kit for trucks.  Go to buell.com and notice how much bigger in diameter the horn throat is by the base reed end of the horn.  These horns really get out and have a distinct tone to them (purposely toned differently then any available train horn so not to be mistaken for a train).  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #28 on: April 29, 2009, 06:08:18 PM »


If you have a runaway, it doesn't matter how much air you have available for the brakes -- you are already beyond that point.  The drum diameter has already increased to a point where there is not enough pushrod left to apply the brakes, or they have already cammed over.  By this time, you will have already tried the spring brakes (if so equipped) to no avail.  Now all you can do is hope and pray you can make the runaway ramp before you plow into some unsuspecting soccer mom with a van load of kids.  And now, you'll want the loudest darn horn you can muster.

In this situation, "preserving air" will not be on your list.

In that situation, I would be more concerned about the probability of TAKING TO the air . . !
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« Reply #29 on: April 29, 2009, 06:11:07 PM »

   I prefer the sound of the old steam locomotives.  I got this 4 note brass train whistle from Richard Bowyer a couple years before he passed away. It is plumbed with 1/2" tubing and controlled with a 1/2" ball valve.  This allows you to "play" the whistle.  We also have 2 pair of air horns and a pair of loud electric horns. Each pair is controlled by a separate switch. However, the OEM horn buttons on the steering wheel are labeld EMERGENCY ONLY. It you hit this switch you get 4 air horns and 2 electric horns. If I use my left thumb on that switch and my right hand on the ball valve, well, let's just say "they will hear me".  Jack




Whistles are illegal in most states, specifically banned in the law.  This is because they can be mistaken for emergency vehicle sirens.
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« Reply #30 on: April 29, 2009, 06:16:15 PM »

We are looking for a train horn. I don't have a problem installing another tank, but I didn't know if electric was better. Just in the looking stage I found some Wolo's http://www.wolo-mfg.com/truck.htm.

Some of the horns on that page looked kind of interesting. What do you all think, and which one?


I'm going to be installing one like "The Chief" with a lanyard -- I'm also trying to find one like the early Disneyland Monorails had (for routine use off the floor switch) and use the horn button for the electric.  That will give me my choice as needed.
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« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2009, 09:12:38 PM »

On both my big rig and my bus I am using the 4 chime Buell train horn kit for trucks.  Go to buell.com and notice how much bigger in diameter the horn throat is by the base reed end of the horn.  These horns really get out and have a distinct tone to them (purposely toned differently then any available train horn so not to be mistaken for a train).  Good Luck, TomC


Tom, it's http://www.buellairhorns.com  The other site gives you motorcycles, which is kinda related. Perhaps we can do a "Mythbusters" type of experiment to see if we can blast a Buell motorcycle off the road with a Buell airhorn?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2009, 10:17:58 AM »

Doug, thanks for the link. I sure couldn't find where the air horns were on the original site, but I didn't want to post and say I couldn't find it. I figured then somebody would say that it was right in front of my nose the whole time, and I would again be an idiot Grin Wink Grin.

Thanks,

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
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