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Thread: Sirens

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    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    Question Sirens

    I know this topic has probably been discused before, but I am currently unable to do any searching of the forums, so here it goes...

    Is there any noticable benefit, with price playing a factor, in running a 200 watt siren with two, 100 watt speakers over 100 watt siren with one, 100 watt speaker (speakers being flat mount behind-the-grill speakers)?

    Our ambulance currently has a 200 watt setup with the low mount, high dollar whelen setup, but we don't run siren on it enough to know if there is any difference , but everything else is currently running 100W setup.


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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Just put a Federal 2B mechanical siren on the thing and forget about the electronic type siren. Most of the electronic's can't be heard in a closed vehicle 500 feet in front of the emergency unit. The Q2B will be heard. Keep it in the front of the vehicle and used the front of the body to push the sould forward.

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    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    We're pushing to move to Q2Bs but they won't fit too well behind the grill in our brush truck.... lol... so thats why we're trying to find the best siren combo.

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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    I would say go with the 200 W if you have a driver that will put it out......
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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    As a permanent member of my departments apparatus spec group (as the electrical guru), this is something I've debated in my mind for years. I used to think that yes, 200 x2 is better. But then I read a study that was done on just this subject. It was a sound study and without going into all the details, it said that while 200 x 2 may be louder for a very short distance, long range power is about the same.

    The report also said that sirens operate in many types of frequencies and cycles, which alters the effective distance. For example, a Code 3 operates at a much higher frequency then does a Federal. The Federal has a shorter cycle.

    Another report I read said that if you do decide to go with 200 X 2, be careful too read the specs on both the siren and speakers. A siren/speaker may say 200 watts, but that may not be correct. You have to match speakers with sirens. If brand "x" siren says 200 watts with two brand "x" speakers you better get the brand "x" speakers since that's what the siren was tested with.

    Unless your going to use a true, dual tone siren (SVP441 Magnum is the only one I know of) I would go with either the E-Q2B, or use a 100 x 1 set up and use the money saved on the second speaker to help buy a set of air horns. Our new county ambulances have a slick set up with two air horns cut into the bottom of the front bumper. The small air pump is in one of the side compartments. They are LOUD!!! Not quite equal to the Grovers we have on our engines, but VERY effective.

    Dave

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    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    HFRH28


    who says the Q2B has to be mounted behind the grill? if theres a will theres a way! seen alot of the old ones right on center hood, but i suppose there is an NFPA/ State regulation that says that is a no no. if you extend the bumper out it would fit nice on there then with an extended bumper you might as well put a winch on there.

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    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    As far as i know we are going with either a whelen siren/galls speaker, or galls siren/galls speaker combo (current siren died, and the speaker doesnt project too much facing downards. It has an extended front bumper, which i'll try to post a picture of, with a winch tray (no winch yet) but if we get a Q2B, it won't be going on the brush truck, until everything else has one!

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    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    I saw something a few years back to the effect that dual speaker units actually create large quite zones at 45 degrees to either side, right where you'd want them to be loud for intesections. Something about where the two speakers sounds combine out of phase to cancel each other out. Any one else ever see this? I googled it a little and did not come up with any results.
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    We got the SVP Magnum Dual Tone siren on our ambulance a little while back. I pushed for it because the ambulance manufacturer didnt want to deal with the air horns, so he talke chief out of em. Anyways, some similar rigs to ours came with the code 3 sirens. I hate em with a passion. My personnal opinion is that you shouldnt be able to hold a conversation standing in front of the ambulance while the siren is going (within 3-5'). I can with the code 3's. The Magnum on the other hand is really loud, and tends to get out better. Having the capability for the wail and yelp at the same time seems to help get peoples attention more often, albeit not as much as a Federal Q and pair of Grovers will. Having Two speakers gives you a little insurance in case one dies on ya while going to a call. Granted, you shouldnt run too long that way, but at least you have a siren to finish the call.

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    I too am very impressed with the Magnum and it's dual tone feature.

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    The Magnum's are perfect for small aparatus that dont have the electrical system to support a "Q" or other brand mechanical siren.

    Dave

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    I too remember something about the two speakers possibly causing areas where they cancel each other out. The best way to verify that would be to call your state university and talk to a physics prof..

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    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    We have the SVP Magnum in 2 of our squads, but on both of them, the Magnum feature no longer works. Both speakers still work, and the switch still works, but the individual tones out of each speaker does not. Don't know if it's just the older models or what.......

    Whelen also makes a siren with the dual tone feature. Not sure which model, but the neighboring counties' Life Squads have them in there.......

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Federal DOT-KKK Ambulance Code requires the 200 watt dual speaker sirens. It doesn't add a whole lot, certainly nothing close to double, but at least you have redundency if one speaker bites the farm. Most of Whelen's sirens can drive two speakers so it isn't a big deal to setup. You can get the Dual-Amplifier thing and have 4 speakers (400 watts) and an electronic Q (EQ2B) and have 600 watts of Lexus Busting power. Just remember you need to be able to hear inside the truck too.
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    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    I appreciate the input from everybody. A galls siren/speaker combo has been ordered. We decided to save the money and go with the 100watt setup. But still nothing compares to the Q2B/Grover combination!

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    I'm going to warn you now (I should have said something before). "Gall's Brand" sirens are total junk not worth installing on a 10-Speed bicycle. I've had nothing but grief from them and am replacing them with a *real* ones whenever the opportunity arrises.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    The deal with Galls sirens is that when the manufacturer of the siren (used to be Federal and now they use SVP sirens) sells the ones that don't meet the specs to Galls. Then Galls "repairs" them to get them working and then sells them for a discounted price. The old slimline sirens they sold were Federals with 2 switches, and Galls just put a sticker on the front to cover up the Federal faceplate

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    We run a Whelen 200 watt 2 speaker system on 2 of our rigs. It's definantly loud, when it worked. We've replaced drivers numerous times, as well as the control head.

  19. #19
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    You shouldn't have to be replacing the drivers like that. What is causing them to fail? If it is water damage, something is wrong with the way they are mounted. We have speakers older than me that still work. Are you by chance in a climate with heavy exposure to salt water and stuff??
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  20. #20
    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    I got the siren and speaker mounted (we went with 200W siren and a 100W speaker) and it works good, for now. it is LOUD! The siren is one of the nicer ones galls sells... if it goes out, it will find its way back to galls. Again, thanks for the input from everybody. Also, while we're on the topic, have any of yall came across any good Air horn setups for vehicles that do not have their own air supply?

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