1. #1
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    Default New truck spec's

    Hello, I am a firefighter/EMT at a small department, we are a combination department. We run approx. 750 calls a year. We have a 24 hour station and an 8 hour day station. This gives us 10 full-time firefighters, not counting chief and asst. chief. And we have 10 or so volunteers. We are currently looking at putting a new truck out to bid to replace our 1996 custom smeal. It has been a good truck, however we want to make sure we do the next one right and not just of the fly buy the cheapest truck out there. To do this we have a truck commitee in which I am on. putting the specs together we have hit a block several want a federal Q. I am in favor and with others pushing for. I need help on finding material on the benifits of a federal Q. All the big cities around us them and the clear the intersections with greater ease than a electric siren. Several of the firefighters are concerned that a federal Q pulls to much amp's and is going to run and kill the electrical system. How do professionaly show the benifits and educate oneself on this subject? Any help would be much appreaciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by llieutard View Post
    Hello, I am a firefighter/EMT at a small department, we are a combination department. We run approx. 750 calls a year. We have a 24 hour station and an 8 hour day station. This gives us 10 full-time firefighters, not counting chief and asst. chief. And we have 10 or so volunteers. We are currently looking at putting a new truck out to bid to replace our 1996 custom smeal. It has been a good truck, however we want to make sure we do the next one right and not just of the fly buy the cheapest truck out there. To do this we have a truck commitee in which I am on. putting the specs together we have hit a block several want a federal Q. I am in favor and with others pushing for. I need help on finding material on the benifits of a federal Q. All the big cities around us them and the clear the intersections with greater ease than a electric siren. Several of the firefighters are concerned that a federal Q pulls to much amp's and is going to run and kill the electrical system. How do professionaly show the benifits and educate oneself on this subject? Any help would be much appreaciated.
    Do a search on the forums and you will probably find lots of info for your questions.

    As for a Federal Model Q, they do have a serious amp draw, but the new NFPA 1901 standards pretty much make sure you are getting enough alternator to deal with the intended load you are specifiying. With enough Group 31 (If I remember correct) batteries and a big alternator you can get (2) Q's if you wanted. (Some have.... )

    Make sure the committee has a list of what you must have, want and would be nice.

    Have fun...

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    Blasphemy about to be written:

    Or you can simply get an eQ2b. The sound is very similar, in my opinion anyways, the amperage draw is way less, and you can do more than have the standard one siren sound.

    We have one on our newest engine and no one has said a bad word about it.


    I am fully aware that the purists will pound me for such comments. Fire away.
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    Q2b, does the b stand for "buff" for "buff siren"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Blasphemy about to be written:

    Or you can simply get an eQ2b. The sound is very similar, in my opinion anyways, the amperage draw is way less, and you can do more than have the standard one siren sound.

    We have one on our newest engine and no one has said a bad word about it.


    I am fully aware that the purists will pound me for such comments. Fire away.
    'Cept it sounds like you are trying to strangle a cat when you use the siren brake. I'd have rather gotten a Carson, etc and saved the $2000+ we spent on the eQ and put it towards other stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffp20 View Post
    Q2b, does the b stand for "buff" for "buff siren"?
    Q2b. You got Top Shelf and you got B's(bottom shelf).To run a Q2 I recommend at LEAT a 320 amp alternator and six(6) group 31 batteries. Use a little discretion using the Q(keep it rolling and don't peak it ALL the time,you'll have no issues. We've been running them since 1972 and they are STANDAD spec on our apparatus. NOTHING else clears traffic like a Q and that is the way it is. The EQ2b is close but no weeyo. You REALLY wanna wake 'em up add a Powercall in with the Q2. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 09-24-2010 at 01:47 PM.

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    Most of the new deliveries come thru with LED warning lights in place of incandescent, halogen and motorized warning lights..etc. All used to be big amp draw items. As mentioned before, make sure you spec and get the upgraded battery package.

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    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Ya missed the 2 in there COT. The Q or the Q2B. the E-q is ELECTRONIC not a wind up. T.c.

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    The Q is a very beneficial tool - well worth the expense.
    If you are having Sutphen bid it, they can put it in the grille nicely too

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    The "B" in the part number stands for brake. The brake is an option.

    The Q2B draws approximately 100 amps. 270 amp alternators are available on most commercial chassis. Customs offer much more.

    Since the siren will not be running full time, a single 270 amp alternator should be sufficient. If you cannot get at least that big of an alternator due to an off brand chassis then additional battery reserve can make up for it.

    I have seen Q's on the old F800 and F8000 chassis with no more than a 190 amp alternator but four group 31 batteries and they never had a problem caused by the siren. (Take away the two additional batteries and the sucker probably would have killed the engine.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Ya missed the 2 in there COT. The Q or the Q2B. the E-q is ELECTRONIC not a wind up. T.c.


    Look at the links I provided.

    One is for a Q2B - the other is for a EQ2B


    Yes the B does stand for Brake.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Brake? We don't need no stinking brake,hehe T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Brake? We don't need no stinking brake,hehe T.C.
    They certainly do take away the fun of the wind down. A well broken in Q2 can take several minutes to wind down and I can listen to it to the very end. On older trucks a well worn Q will start to howl at 45 mph. I love the low growl.

    It's only anecdotal, not scientific, but every firefighter I know on a department, with units Q equipped and not Q equipped, says a real Q is the best weapon in the arsenal.

    To me, I always know its a fire vehicle when I hear the Q. Police cars haven't run mechanical sirens since the 1960's (and they were lower power whiney little things). And, most of the areas I have lived in have not had Q equipped meat wagons. The sound of the Q means fire apparatus to me.

    Q sirens.

    Red trucks.

    Black hat. (Sorry, officers.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    NOTHING else clears traffic like a Q and that is the way it is. The EQ2b is close but no weeyo. You REALLY wanna wake 'em up add a Powercall in with the Q2. T.C.
    And that's about all there is to it. AMEN.

    The Q is the only real fire apparatus siren, the rest are for medic rigs and blue canaries.
    Just a guy...

    Lieutenant - Woodbury, MN FD (Retired)
    Road Captain - Red Knights MC, MN4

    Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed above are mine, and mine alone, and are not intended to represent the views of any company I have ever worked for, past or present.

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    I've got rigs with either the electronic or mechanical Q's. There is a huge difference in sound quality, and traffic clearing. To pick the best, would be the mechanical Q. It sounds better, and is louder than the electronic. As well, you can manually control the output of a mechanical Q, over an electronic one.

    As for power consumption between the two, it is easier on the electrical system to use the Electronic one. But if the rig is spec'ed right for a mechanical, you shouldn't have any problems. No matter who builds it.

    A cautionary note you should know. Federal has problems with the EQ2B (electronic sirens). No matter whether you have an "A" or "B" series red box, they do go bad, and are not cheap to replace. Expect replacement whenever it wants to die. Usually every year or so.
    For the mechanical sirens, they last at least 5 years, or more, before needing the drive/starter motor rebuilt. And cheaper, as well.

    If you can't read between the lines, I hate the EQ2B's. They are never mounted in a friendly mechanics place. And they still sound horrible.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    ya gotta have a large enough solenoid too, or else it'll stick stick on ya and it wont shut down. We looked like idiots one day rolling in with the Q going fully wound up cuz the noid stuck.

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    i have heard of departments putting in a swich along the wires to the q to switch it off if it sticks. it is benificial, i had to stretch out over a hot motor at 3 am while on a fire alarm to undo the wires.... (couldn't find the fuse). thank God for my ear plugs
    Originally Posted by madden01
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    My department currently is using Federal Q Sirens on our front line apparatus (1998 Freightliner FL-80, 2003 Freightliner FL-80, and a 2008 HME 1871 Custom Cab). I would never spec another large apparatus with out a Q and a set of Grover Stutter Horns.

    If the Q's are properly used they are one of the best warning device out there (my opinion). Great for intersections and getting the attention of drivers that are not paying attention and or got the windows up and radio on.

    Also if you finally decide to put one on your apparatus I will make a recommendation. Our Federal Q Sirens are controlled by a foot switch on the floor board (drivers and officers sides) which works ok for us but we do have a few "BIG FOOTED" individuals that occasionally rest there feet on the foot switch (on our '98 and '03 Freightliners). On our '08 HME we wised up and had them switch it with the master warning switch so the Q is only operational when the warning lights are "ON"; I think on our next apparatus that gets a Q I will probably push to have it switched and only functioning when we are in the Requesting the Right-of-Way modes.

    Good Luck getting the Q!

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    From what I've been told, mechanical Q's are more effective because they actually move the air. Electric sirens lose warning distance significantly as you pick up speed... so the theory is, by the siren moving air, it is going to be effective over longer distances.

    As others have said, alternators are plenty big enough now, and a solid bank of batterys will be more than enough to keep you going... especially is LED lighting is being spec'd.

    Good luck on the new spec!
    TruckCommittee.com

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    Default To Q2B, or Not, to Q2B

    Comparision of Q2B on the engines vs. a 100 watt electronic siren speaker on the Am'blances.
    With the windows up, the A/C full blast and the radio turned up I can hear the meat wagon about a half to one block behind me.
    With Q2B, I can hear the engine about three blocks away. No comparision.
    We have a Q2B on every engine.

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