Thread: "Q" sirens

  1. #1
    engco2432 Guest

    Default "Q" sirens

    Can a Federal "Q" style siren be on a fire apparatus and still meet N.F.P.A. standards on "in cab noise levels." We would like to purchase them but we will not be allowed to if they don't meet this requirment. Any help in finding this info would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Dalmation90 Guest


    Yes they are!
    Check out then click on the button for has fed sig's compliant products off of it.

  3. #3
    e33 Guest


    Gotta have em! Nothing moves traffic and grabs attention like the "Q". Plus, they look nice too.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Roswell, GA, USA


    Nothing beats the "Q"!! How'd you like to be the person who invented it!?

    My engine uses only a "Q", no electronic siren. Does your apparatus have MORE THAN ADEQUATE warning lights? In today's traffic environment, emergency apparatus must be SEEN before it is HEARD in most circumstances. My personal opinion is up to 1/2 of lights should be white (clear). White gets attention, colors will identify you. Then, the siren will reinforce who you are.

  5. #5
    JohnM Guest


    I don't want to start a big debate about the different apparatus makers. However, I think if you contact some of the quality truck builders they will have this information at their fingertips.The amount and location of the insulation they use will make the difference. We have a few Pierce rigs, and I don't know the exact sound level in the cabs with the "Q" operating, but they are super quiet compared to the Macks we have. The guys in the cab can carry on a conversation while the air horns and siren are doing their thing. I think mounting the "Q" on or in the front bumper keeps the sound down in the cab compared to mounting in the grill. I have also seen magazine ads for a chrome housing that surrounds the siren and projects the sound forward. We tried one which worked well to lower the sound in the cab, but it looked a little wierd and the guys didn't like it. We have electronic sirens but don't use them, they can't even be heard when the "Q" is operating! Good luck.

  6. #6
    F02 Guest


    Hear a Q and you know whats coming.E may = MC2 but Q= FIRETRUCK.

  7. #7
    STA2 Guest


    I Agree 26DC but take one exception. White lights on more than half your warning lights is not NFPA compliant. There are certain areas where different colors are allowed and in two modes: Responding and Blocking Right of Way. In reference to white in particular it is only allowed to the front and sides while responding. Once that rig arrives on the scene it has to have the white lights shut off. At no times is white allowed to the rear. While white has advantages as far as visibilty, it also has a disadvantage in that it "blinds" motorists at night. Amber is very effective both day and night and does not have that effect. Just my thoughts on the matter. Be safe.

  8. #8
    grc063 Guest


    I truly believe in the Federal "Q" siren. However, we must be careful with the electrical system. A Federal Q, when activated, draws approximately 100 - 120 amps.. I have seen some f/f's wind out a Q so much that you can't hear yourself think. Let's just be mindful of the system. The battery cables were probably glowing while they were doing this. If amp. draw is a concern, check out the MARS
    siren. It draws approx. 75 - 85 amps and sounds pretty good.


  9. #9
    nbfd131 Guest


    Yes they can meet or exceed the rating. Our 1997 E-One platform has one as well as our other E-one ladder. I wish all of our engines had them, but these things really suck up the juice when you use them. That is the only downfall to the Q2Bs that I know of. I tell you that the sight of a big truck and the sound of a Q2B will get everyones attention, which is the reason we use them.....not. The real reason everyone loves them is the sound they make. Everyone getting out of the way is just a good second.

  10. #10
    Truckie from Missouri Guest


    I am a firm believer in the power of the Q2B! My department's apparatus has the woo-woo's (electronic siren imitator) and the Q's. We generally turn on the wail on the woo-woo, until we hit a clog on the road...then hit the Q for about 6 seconds and the glog clears!

    As for noise compliance, I suggest installing a headset intercom for the crew. This cuts noise to the point that you may ask if the motor is running! (Unless, like one of our pumpers, the motor (Cummins M-11) rattles your fillings when idling) It also makes it possible to talk instead of yell with the rest of the crew, and saves your hearing!

    Forget those sound focus devices. They're ugly and focus the sound to the front, reducing the effectiveness of the Q2B at an intersection, which is where they are BEST!

    Be safe.


  11. #11
    Truckie from Missouri Guest


    Oh, almost forgot...

    In reference to the power consumption concerns, I suggest contacting the Houston, Texas Fire Department. (I was on an ambulance spec committee and learned about this) They had similar concerns on their ambulances. They started in the early 80's buying ambulances (from a builder whose name I cannot recall) that puts generators in the module. The generators are 4.5 KW and produce 317A @ 13.8 VDC. The generator supplies power to the emergency warning system, the air conditioning in the back (a residential 1 ton unit, if memory serves) as well as all the ancillary equipment in the back. The alternator powers the OEM stuff (headlights, et al) and the radio. I spoke with the Deputy Chief of HFD (Again, memory fails me.) about their track record, and he went on and on about the HFD's experience. Very helpful, he was.

    Anyway, I wonder if perhaps we ought to put a generator on the apparatus to do the same thing (run the e-lights and sirens) and let the truck's alternator run the truck? Today's electronic engine components get real fickle if the voltage drops too much. This may be a decent compromise to what may be a serious problem in today's fire apparatus.

    Just my humble opinions.

    Be safe.


    [This message has been edited by Truckie from Missouri (edited July 21, 1999).]

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