Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Somewhere in Illinois
    Posts
    2,216

    Default Federal Q questions...

    Quick request for opinions:

    We're in the process of spec'ing a new unit, and the issue has come up regarding warning devices. I'm pulling hard for a true Federal Q, not for tradition, not because its the cool thing to do, but simply because I think people hear them better and move out of the way. Well, they move better than with conventional electronic sirens. Trust me - I'm the guy on the committee always looking to do something different, go against the flow and try new things. I tend not to win.

    Here's where it gets sticky. Our two newest units have the electronic Qs, and while I will be happy to agree that they're a vast improvement over the typical electronic siren/speaker combo, they aren't the real deal. Our apparatus guy likes the E-Qs due to the lower amp draw, and that was a genuine issue to worry about on the last two units. It will not be a problem on this latest purchase.

    So those in the know, tell me. Is there a substantial cost difference between the mechanical and electronic Qs? I believe that I've read that the decibel rating is virtually the same, but it just seems to me that the mechanical Q projects the sound further than anything a speaker can produce. There is some real world experience in this opinion, though nothing truly scientific in nature. I just always hear the mechanicals coming from further away than the electronics. For only 70 more amps than the E-Q, we could have a mechanical.

    Flame if you wish.


  2. #2
    Forum Member RxFire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    301

    Default

    I wonder if there's a difference in frequency width between the two? Maybe the real Q has a larger range of pitch that can be heard better? Just an idea/thought.
    IACOJ
    Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!
    http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa....
    Posts
    50

    Default

    When we began spec work on our last rig, our chief was dead set against having a mechanical siren. You know the "they don't work any better" or "it's just for looks" or "if they are so great, why dosn't everybody have them" lines. Crimson brought in a demo rig with a setup of the conventional 200 watt dual speak siren that we were using as well as the Q. We took it out to show him and fired up the electronic siren and actually stood in front of the truck at about 200 ft. With the electronic on yelp they fired up the Q and it quickly overpowered the electronic siren. The mechanical siren seems to be one of the only sirens that will really do a good job of penetrating the loud stereo, cell phone, soundproofing of the modern driving situation. Needless to say, we are getting a Q!!!


  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    IL
    Posts
    71

    Default

    As I recall the E-Q is about $500 more then the real Q2B. I never understood the logic behind that. I mean it is like paying more for a Cubit Zirconian (sp?) then a real diamond. We run both electric sirens and Q2B sirens on the same trucks. It works real nice to run the electronic on yelp and wail with the Q and still blast away with the studder tone air horns. As far as your comment on Decible level (Db) there is much more then sheer volume that come into play when trying to penetrate a vehicle such as tone, frequency, sound projection pattern. I will conceed there is a place for the lower current draw of the E-Q, but if I had my preference I would opt for a Q2B every time as long as the trucks electrical system can handle it.
    Last edited by GggFF3P; 07-18-2004 at 12:39 AM.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Smack dab in the middle of Central Illinois
    Posts
    209

    Default

    If you go to the Galls catalog, you can find the price of the EQ. I know the darley catalog carries a price for a REAL Q. They are both about the same price, which really makes no sense.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber Firefighter1219's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Concord, Havana, FL USA
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Question about Qs

    I am trying to convince my chief to put a Federal-Q on our new tanker that we put in a grant for. Does the Q work just work with a foot switch, or does it have a way of cycling itself like an electronic siren? I've never heard anyone talk about exactly how they work.
    TO/EMT CVFD (1219)
    EMT GEMS
    CPT/EMT MVFD
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Proud Member of IACOJ
    ---------------------------------------------------
    9-11-01 Never Forget FDNY 343

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    406

    Default

    Go for the good stuff, We have had a e-q on our squad, been through 3
    sets of speakers in less than 2 years, E-one can not find the problem and it does not clear traffic like a mechanical q. Just a suggestion but on our engine we hace a mechanical q and a regular electric siren, we only use the q for going through intersections and clearing traffic.Less wear and tear on the q.

  8. #8
    Forum Member SCOOBY14B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    356

    Default

    We have all three (Real Fed Q, EQ2, and Whelen). We have had better luck with the Whelen as far as service vs. problems over the EQ2. When I was at Luverne about three years ago we lined our truck (200 watt electronic, EQ2, and alternating airhorns) up against another truck with a real Q. We stood 100 feet away with a decible meter. I can't remember the numbers anymore, but the Real Q threw out about 25 more decibles at 100'. We did it many many times.

    On a side note, the alternating airhorns scored higher on the meter.

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wilmington, Vt.
    Posts
    62

    Thumbs up

    NPFD801, We've had Federal Q-2's since 1966. Yes they do draw about 80 amps but, if your truck is spec'd correctly, it'll handle it. In the 38 years that we have had them, not one problem has arisen because of them. (Except for dimming the headlights on the 66 Maxim!!!)
    They WILL MOVE TRAFFIC better than the whoop-de-whoops. We looked at he E-Q for our last engine and decided that for the money, the Q-2 was still our choice.
    If you have any doubts, find a dept. that has one and test it out against the electronic. The Q will win every time.
    Good Luck!!
    P.S. It works great with the ait horns.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Question about Qs

    Originally posted by Firefighter1219
    Does the Q work just work with a foot switch, or does it have a way of cycling itself like an electronic siren? I've never heard anyone talk about exactly how they work.
    Here is how ours is setup we have the Q and airhorns on foot switches one on the drivers and one on the officers side.


  11. #11
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,201

    Default Re: Question about Qs

    Originally posted by Firefighter1219
    I am trying to convince my chief to put a Federal-Q on our new tanker that we put in a grant for. Does the Q work just work with a foot switch, or does it have a way of cycling itself like an electronic siren? I've never heard anyone talk about exactly how they work.

    As the photos shows it can operate by using a foot switch on the officer and driver side on the floor board or by have it wired in the horn button on the steering wheel. The driver shouldn't be operating sirens, airhorns or even the radio while the apparatus is in motion. This is a job for the officer or the member riding in the right front seat of the apparatus.

    As Scooby14B indicated, the mechanical Q Siren will drown out any electronic siren. In fact try the road test. Get your apparatus with all the types of sirens you want to test out on the highway or street and operate the electronic sirens are various vehicle speeds. 35 - 45 -55 -65 mph and while you are ahead of the apparatus listen to the sound of the electronic siren, at these speeds, measure them for the decibels and then appaly the mechanical Q to its fullest wind up. You will get a higher reading plus you will not be able to hear the electronics.

    I was on the street last week and an ambulance was approching. I saw it warning lights but never did hear its siren until it was about 200 feet out in front of me. I had the window down. I was traveling at 45 mph and I would guess that the bus was going at least that approching me. Electronic sirens tend to go backwards at higher speeds. In other words, the apparatus will out run its siren.

    My vote is for the old Q which was louder and the coaster was longer than the new ones.

    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Somewhere in Illinois
    Posts
    2,216

    Default

    The best part about this whole deal is that the last engine purchased has a real Q. We know it works, and we've never had electrical problems on that unit. Yes, the E-Q's are loud, and are a fine alterenative on units where amp draw is a concern (I think that they work great on our F-550 rescues). A large (150,000+) city nearby just recently started installing real Q's on their new units, and they do NOTHING to their trucks that does not have a valid reason for being there. (In other words, they're frugal).

    Our truck committee is supposed to be a "by vote" decision process, so hopefully I'll push my agenda through. Everyone else agrees that the real Q is superior, no one else will stand up and admit it though. If I recall the specs correctly we'll have something like a 290 amp alternator. If this sounds out of line, I could go get my copy of the specs out of the truck. With an LED light package, I don't think amp draw will be a huge issue.

    The foot switch picture leads to another issue I have - the specs call for the airhorns to be on a lanyard type setup hanging off the roof. Not so sure about that one.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    421

    Default

    We have the Federal Q2B on every piece of apparatus we have except Car 1 and Car 2. Car 2 has an eQ2B. There is a little bit of a difference, but you have to have been around the things for some time, like me, to tell the difference. The price, as previously stated by someone else, is about the same, around $3000.

    Recently, Code 3 came out with their Screaming Eagle brand of mechanical siren. They are trying to take away Federal's mechanical siren sales. They claim that it draws less amperage then the "Q," and it costs less. But this last weekend, Custom Fire Apparatus of Osceola, WI, had their little open house and seminar, and we put the Screaming Eagle to the test. They got the Eagle wound up to speed, and then kicked in the Q. You couldn't really hear that POS Code 3.
    -Bozz

    Air Force Medic

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Somewhere in Illinois
    Posts
    2,216

    Default

    Black Truck Man-

    You guys are selling the rescue, right? So I would assume something new is in the works? Will you guys have it at Monroe this year?

    I always enjoy seeing your guy's stuff. Now doesn't your department have something with twin Q's?

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    421

    Default

    Yes, we are selling the rescue. Something will be spec'd out as soon as we sell it. Since we don't have anything spec'd, it won't be in Monroe this year, but possibly next year if we sell the truck now.

    All three of the Pete's have dual Q's.

    Where abouts are you from, npfd801?
    -Bozz

    Air Force Medic

  16. #16
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    Maxim1,Let's not confuse the troops.The "real"Q takes between150-300 amps to get it rolling depending on the length of the power cable and the age of the unit.To keep it rolling or wailing will require,as you stated,in the neighborhood of 80-125 amps.Most apparatus builders require the addition of two more group 31 batteries and a minimum of a 270 amp alternator if they know you're speccing a Q.These figures are based on testing in my shop(we're vehicle electrical specialists)and not off a cheat sheet somewhere.Keep in mind that the motor that turns the Q is for all intents and purposes a Ford starter motor although they are not interchangeable.In over thirty years of using this product we've had one motor burn up and this was due to a bad ground/bad mounting decision by the Mfg(Not Federal Signal).A very nice product that will last the life of the apparatus with a little care.Used with a little discretion,you can use this unit without losing your mind on electrical/charging systems but if you're going to be laying right into it you'll need enough system to support it.We specced a 290 amp alt. on our new pump and the factory recommended 6 group 31's in the battery box.In my opinion NOTHING works better used in conjunction with air horns in moving traffic.T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 07-21-2004 at 01:10 PM.

  17. #17
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    Just make sure that it's a Q2B, although I'm not sure if they are still selling the other versions. We have a different (older)model of the Federal Q on our engine and it doesn't compare to the Q2B........

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Somewhere in Illinois
    Posts
    2,216

    Default

    Fdmhbozz-

    I'm from North Park Fire, just north of Rockford.

    Our ex-chief (still very active) is on the SWNIFRA board and we usually send an engine up for the classes. Even having been to FDIC and Fire College this year, I'm still looking forward to Monroe. Just too bad that the classes don't count for any sort of state certs, at least here in Illinois.

    Mount Horeb = Custom Fire
    North Park = Alexis

    Funny how some departments just find a builder and stick with them.

  19. #19
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    At the Helm
    Posts
    1,174

    Default Of music and rauchiness...

    The human ear is a funny thing. Listen to an orchestra play and you have a hard time picking out the clarinets over the violins, but let one clarinet be out of tune and even the most unmusical person will know. When a kid plays a piano and hits both the C & B or E & F keys at the same time (the first 6 notes of chopsticks) its almost painful to hear.

    The Federal Q and Grover air horns generate a tone that is distinctly unmusical. The Q adds a pulse to the musical note of the siren. The electric Q's simulate this by pulsing the tone on and off rapidly. You can simulate this if you talk into a fan, your voice gets pulsed.

    The traditional Grover dual airhorns are tuned very close to each other, off by about a 1/4 note (thatís why they are so similar in size where most truck horns such as Buell have a 2:3 size ratio). Block one horn and you end up with a more musical note instead of that nasty sound we associate with fire trucks.

    Any time two items are slightly out of tune you generate a pulse. You can tune a guitar using this pulse, and if you've ever been on a boat or prop driven airplane with twin engines that were off by 25rpm from each other the pulse can drive you crazy. Its this pulse that makes both the Q and the Grovers sound so "raunchy."

    Its my belief that its this unmusical quality of tone that makes the Q and Grovers it so effective. All other sirens have a musical quality to them, as do most truck air horns.

    Since we are usually competing with music in the car while responding, and music is easy to ignore (name the last 3 songs that played on the radio you're listening to right now), its easy to tune out the electrical (read musical) siren.

    There are some new sirens being introduced in Europe that have traditional electronic sound interrupted by white noise (static). It is believed that this interruption gets the driver's attention quicker than the pure siren would. This noise might be the future of siren sounds, walk into a store and say "psst," look how quick people react to it.

    Here's the report on the new siren
    http://www.soundalert.com/pdfs/impact.pdf
    Last edited by Fire304; 07-26-2004 at 10:59 AM.
    ______________________________ __________________
    If you are new to posting please CLICK HERE for an essential lesson
    ______________________________ __________________
    A bad day in the boat is better than a good day in the office. And in my case the office is a boat!

    IACOJ Fire Boat 1

  20. #20
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Could someone please tell me what "Buell" horns are and where i can find info on them? The only emergency horns I've seen are made by Grover.

    Thanks
    Dave

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts