1. #1
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    Default Train Buffs......'little help?

    I have exhausted myself searching for a K, P or M series horn in restorable condition, or useable for that matter.

    It's not that I can't find them but I was hoping to aquire one without a second mortgage on my home.

    Any help out there?

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    http://www.groverairhorns.com/

    Have you seen this site?

    I assume you regularly browse ebay as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610
    http://www.groverairhorns.com/

    Have you seen this site?

    I assume you regularly browse ebay as well?
    I purchased a Grover Stuttertone air horn kit from them a few years ago and installed it on my Chevy dually.
    I am very, very pleased with the products, pricing and customer service they offer.




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    Sorry LT,

    As en ex Air Force person I know what a BUFF is....

    B-52 Bomber = BUFF "Big Ugly Fat F&*k"

    Now when you ask for help training a BUFF well the mind just wanders into "What the heck is he doing??????"
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    Loo: I'll ask a buddy of mine, who used to work in a repair yard/shop down in Falls Twp, Pa. where a lot of big stuff painted blue with white lettering was repaired. Also, have you tried Rescue 3 or E72/Sattellite 2?

    From trainhorns.net, one of my favorite sites:

    "The K series of horns was introduced in 1954, one year after the P series was first unveiled. However, the K series was a much more refined horn. The K stands for "kettle drum", which is what these horns were adapted from. Unlike the P series, these horns use a two-disk diaphragm with a layer of silocone along the edge, making a sealed air chamber between the diaphragm disks. Robert Swanson's idea behind this was to make a horn sound as close to a steam engine as possible, including the typical raise in pitch as more air is applied. Swanson hoped the kettle drum idea would provide this effect, though it did not. It did, however, virtually eliminate the pitch drop present in nearly every other horn, a significant feat on its own.

    K horns were offered in a three and five chime configuration since their inception, both tuned to the government mandated D# minor chord. It wasn't until 1977 that the K horn line would see any significant change. Deane Ellsworth, working for Amtrak, worked with Robert Swanson in 1975 to change the tuning of his K5 horn. He had wanted to make a horn that sounded like the old M5 for use on Amtraks new locomotives. By boring out the 3 and 4 bells, it turns out that the K5 was transformed into a horn playing the D# major 6th chord, only one step higher than the M5's C# major 6th. However, the first prototype K5LA, as the new horn became known, was actually used on the Chessie system in 1976. This horn unfortunately disappeared after only a short time.

    At this same time, AirChime purchased a die-casting machine, and die-cast K5LAs started appearing in 1977. The first die-cast K5LA was presented to Deane Ellsworth for use on Amtrak, and today is saved in a private collection. Aside from the prototype K5LA, which was sand-cast, all K5LAs, and all K horns produced after 1976, are die-cast horns. The sand cast horns tend to have a more mellow tone to them, but thankfully the die cast horns remain true to Swanson's specs; unlike the P series horns, the chords of K series horns have remained unchanged throughout their lives. Since the introduction of the K5LA and die-cast K horns, no significant changes have occurred to the K horn since.

    Construction
    K horns, like P horns, have a single-piece bell/diaphragm housing unit. The back cap then bolts onto the back of this unit, and the entire piece bolts to a manifold. The bells are smaller than P horn bells, but have a wider throat and larger diaphragm housing. Also, the flare of the bell is basically an exponential flare starting early on in the bell's length. The only external marks on a K horn are the bell numbers, and a couple markings on the back cap. Sand-cast K horns have "AirChime" and "Made in Canada" cast into the back cap, whereas die-cast horns have "AirChime" and "30109" cast into the cap.

    Inside, the K horns have a double-disk diaphragm separated by a silicone ring. This, a principle of a kettle drum, forms a sealed air chamber between the two diaphragms, and provides a more even vibration against the nozzle. It also virtually eliminates the typical drop in pitch as more air is applied to most horns, like the M horn. Also unlike the P horn, there is a diffuser ring used to more evenly distribute the incoming air stream around the inside chamber of the K horn. There are no rubber gaskets, either, and so the stainless diaphragm vibrates directly against a cast-in aluminum seat. Because of this, it is possible (though very uncommon) for a K horn to wear away to the point where machining will be necessary to restore the horn to proper spec before it can be used.

    Designations
    When Swanson first introduced the K series horns in 1954, he offered two different combinations. The first was the K3H, which uses bells 1, 2, and 3. This horn plays D#, F#, and A# - D# minor - in line with Canadian regulations. The K3H was offered on two different three-chime bases. One mounts all three horns in a horizontal line, next to each other. The second, like the early three-chime P base, mounts one horn in the middle, with on on each side, rotated 90 degrees. The second was the K5H, which uses bells 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. This horn plays D# minor 6th (D#, F#, A#, C, D#) and is on a high-profile manifold. The manifold has three bells in a row on the "top", and two bells below, rotated 90 degrees.

    Early AirChime literature shows some additional bells beyond bells 1-5, as well as alternate tuning for the 5 bell. Originally, the 5 bell played D, not D#. The other bells were 3L, 2L, and 1L bells, which played D# (155Hz), G# (208Hz), and C (261Hz) respectively. These bells help explain why the original K5 and K3 had an "H" postfix. Unlike horns produced after 1976, this is not because of a "high-profile manifold", since there was only one manifold style! Instead, the H represented "high-pitch". A straight K5 used bells 1L, 1, 2, 3, and 4 (C D# F# A# C), while a K5L (low tuning) used bells 2L, 1L, 1, 2, and 3 (G# C D# F# A# - G# major 7th), and a K5LL (extra low tuning) used bells 3L, 2L, 1L, 1, and 2 (D# G# C D# F# - G# major 7th second inversion). Also, the K3 used bells 1L, 1, and 2 (C D# F#), the K3L (extra low tuning) used bells 2L, 1L, and 1 (G# C D# - G# major), and the K3LL (extra low tuning) used bells 3L, 2L, and 1L (D# G# C - G# major second inversion). I'm not aware of any 3L, 2L, or 1L bells to have actually been produced during this timeframe, though. Supposedly, all these alternate models, along with the 5 bell tuned to D, were no longer available around the 1955-1956 timeframe.

    In 1956, AirChime introduced the MK5H and MK3H, which use an M-like screw-on back cap so that the railroads that wanted to adjust their horns would be able to. These MK-style horns use a 1 1/2" socket to adjust the tension on the diaphragm, and have "Made in Canada" cast into the back cap. MK horns are extremely rare, and I know of only one of these, thankfully saved in a private collection. Just one year later, the MK design was dropped in favor of a newer design of adjustable back caps. These, on the K5H and K3H, use a 3/4" wrench to adjust diaphragm tension. These caps were made in both Canada and England, and so it's possible to have "Made in Canada" or "Made in England" cast into the back cap. Finally, in 1969, AirChime stopped offering the adjustable caps. Both of these two adjustable styles used a bolt-on ring which attaches to any standard K bell. The inside of the ring is threaded to accept the screw-on cap.

    In 1976, AirChime unveiled the K5LA and low-profile manifold, though sales didn't start until 1977. The low-profile manifold is basically the same as a three-chime manifold, but with a port on the ends of the manifold for the remaining two bells, turned 90 degrees from the first three ports. With these product introductions, there are now three postfixes that can be applied to a K5 or K3. First, horns with the older, high-profile manifold have an H postfix (no longer stands for "high tuning"), whereas horns with the newer, low-profile manifold have an L postfix (no longer stands for "low tuning"). (A low-profile three-chime base was also introduced around this time.) Also, horns with the new, bored out 3 and 4 bells have an A postfix.

    The 3A and 4A bells, as they became known as, were constructed by boring out the inside of the throat just enough to lower the pitch of the 3 bell one step, and the 4 bell a half step. Horns with these bells are said to be American-tuned, hence the A postfix. The K5LA uses bells 1, 2, 3A, 4A, and 5, tuned to D#, F#, G#, B, D# - B major 6th. The K3LA uses bells 1, 2, and 4A, and plays D#, F#, and B - B major triad. Also, though the K5LA, K5H, K3LA, and K3H are the common configurations, it is also possible to have A K5H, K5L, K3HA, and K3L.

    Somewhere along the line, after 1956 and the discontinuation of the 3L, 2L, and 1L bells, a new 1L and 3L bell, and a 5H bell, were introduced. The new 1L bell blows a B below middle C (247Hz), the 3L bell blows A above middle C (440Hz), and the 5H supposedly blows high E (660Hz). The 5H bell is only used in Africa, though the 1L and 3L bells are used elsewhere. 1L bells are all sand cast, and of two-piece construction - the only K bell to ever be two-piece construction that I'm aware of. The diaphragm housing and foot are cast as one piece, and the bell is a second piece. The earliest 1L bells were cast by Hyson-AirChime, sold by Sydney, Smith, Dennis (now out of business) and were welded together. Newer 1L bells are bolted together, with a rubber gasket in-between. Horns with either the 1L or 3L bell will have at least one extra "L" beyond the manifold designation (either H or L). Some combinations are K5LLA, used on the LIRR (1L, 1, 2, 3A, 4A), K5LLLA (1L, 1, 2, 3L, 4A), and K5LAM (1, 2, 3L, 4A, 5). The M is not an official designation, since the horn is not a marketed product, but added to signify a "modified" configuration (the 3L bell in this case).
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default Wow!!.....................

    Incredible. To borrow from a TV Show, "How'd he do that?" One question. Is Nathan still in business??
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    Incredible. To borrow from a TV Show, "How'd he do that?" One question. Is Nathan still in business??
    Chief, I just cut-and-pasted from one of my favorite websites, trainhorns.net
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Thumbs up Ok...............

    I See..... Good Job. I kinda have a liking for the older Nathan 5 Chime model that graced the early Alco Hood Units. But then, I'm an Alco Fan anyway......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Will all the Train Spotters and there pet Anoraks please report to Platform 4.

    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E229Lt
    I have exhausted myself searching for a K, P or M series horn in restorable condition, or useable for that matter.

    It's not that I can't find them but I was hoping to aquire one without a second mortgage on my home.

    Any help out there?
    Artie......I know you want your Engine to be heard...but isn't the train horn a little overkill?

    You may have to climb up on one of those old locos one night...and grab one yerself!
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    History and Background

    As diesel locomotives began to replace steam on North American railroads, it was realized that the new locomotives were unable to utilize the steam whistles then in use.

    Early locomotives were initially fitted with truck horns, but these were found to be unsuitable. And so the air horn design was modified for railroad use.

    Operation

    Train horns are operated by compressed air, typically 130-145 psi, and fed from a locomotive main air reservoir. On locomotives built prior to the early 1990s, they are actuated by a manual lever/pull-cord. Locomotives built today make use of pushbutton controls.

    The basic operation of a train horn, or most any air horn for that matter, is that the air flow throughout the horn causes oscillation, producing sound waves. Oscillation in a train horn is via a diaphragm. When air is applied to the horn, the diaphragm begins to vibrate. Since the position of the diaphragm at any given moment during the vibration will allow more or less air through the horn, the constant oscillation of the diaphragm causes "waves" of air which in turn produce audible sound.

    The configuration and dimensions of the bell ("bell" being the correct term for the trumpet) determine the frequency produced (measured in hertz), and hence, the fundamental.

    Many early train horns (1950s-era) were designed to play basic musical chords.

    Manufacturers

    There have been six major manufacturers of air horns for railroad use in North America. Of these, only Airchime, Ltd. and Leslie Controls, Inc. remain today:

    Gustin Bacon Mfg. Co.
    The Gustin Bacon Mfg. Co. of Kansas City, MO offered airhorns for use on railroad equipment prior to the Second World War.

    The American Strombos Co.
    The American Strombos Co. of Philadelphia, PA (later known as Buell) sold modified truck horns for rail use. They were often installed on small locomotives, as well as rapid transit equipment such as PCC cars.

    Westinghouse Air Brake Co.
    Westinghouse (under their WABCO subsidiary) was the first to offer airhorns specifically for railroad equipment, going as far back as the 1910s. Their model E2 was known by many for the deep, commanding tone it produced. Overshadowed later on by their postwar competitors, WABCO no longer produces horns for the North American market.

    The Leslie Co.

    Leslie model S5T, widely regarded by aficionados as the 'king of horns'. This specimen is painted in the gray scheme of the Seaboard System Railroad.The Leslie Co. originally began horn production by obtaining the rights to manufacture Kockum Sonic's line of Tyfon brand airhorns, marketing these for railroad use in the early 1930s. Their model A200 series graced the rooftops of countless locomotives, such as the legendary Pennsylvania Railroad GG1, as well as thousands of EMD E and F-units. Leslie would later develop their own line of multi-note airhorns, known as the SuperTyfon series, in direct competition with Nathan-AirChime. Until recently, SuperTyfon horns were the mainstay of almost all railroad motive power in the United States.

    Nathan-AirChime, Ltd.

    AirChime model K3L, shown here in a wonderful Auburn University paint scheme.
    An early Nathan-AirChime model P5 locomotive air horn, later versions are used by such railroads as the Norfolk Southern.Nathan-AirChime, Ltd. got their start in train horn production through the work of Robert Swanson in 1949. Prior to the early 1950s, locomotives were equipped with airhorns that sounded but a single note. Swanson set out to change this by developing a horn which could almost mimic the sound of a classic steam whistle. Using ancient Chinese musical theory, Swanson produced the six-note model H6. However pleasant the horn may have sounded, this was impractical for railroad use due to its immense size (over two feet tall), and weight (almost 100 pounds in the initial cast iron version). Since railroad equipment operates in areas restricted by physical clearance, the difference of only a few inches may prohibit that equipment from operating on the line in question. Swanson would later refine the design into the H5. As the model number indicates, this horn sounded a five-note, adjustable chord. Nathan-AirChime has since gone on to perfect their horn design with the M (1950), P (1953), and K (1954) series, respectively.

    Prime Manufacturing, Inc.
    Prime Manufacturing, Inc. had produced locomotive appliances for many years prior to their entry into the horn market in the early 1970s. Basically a derivative of the Leslie SuperTyfon design (due to a Leslie patent expiration), though the Prime versions employed heavier castings and sounded a somewhat richer tone as a result. Sales were brisk (Union Pacific was a notable customer), and unable to keep up with offerings from Leslie and Nathan-AirChime, as well as ever-stringent government regulation, Prime left the horn market in 1999.

    For some nice samples in wav files visit:
    http://www.answers.com/topic/train-horn
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    Here's a great site to hear various types of train horns

    http://atsf.railfan.net/airhorns/
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    So what all does it take to install one of these bad boys on a road going vehicle without the advantage of a factory airbrake system?
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  14. #14
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    Remember this????
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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    called squadzilla...
    http://www.shrewsburyfire.com/Rescue...Squadzilla.htm

    also,
    great video with train horn, stutter horn, q, and powercall

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=voukMh6AcV0

    both PA departments i think, i forget the video's department

  16. #16
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    Overkill, anyone?
    These are my opinions, not those of my career department, my volunteer company, or my affiliates. And by the way, I'm not a Junior.

    Buy me a drink, sing me a song, take me as I come 'cause I can't stay long.

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    Default i'd hafta agree

    you think the people in that neigborhood were happy? i couldnt imagine riding in that thing...a train horn? and the dual rotorays on that quantum...

  18. #18
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    If that doesn't get someone's attention, I don't know what would.
    Tom Warshaw
    Station 13 (Bethel)
    Sumter Fire Department

    "Scientists believe that the world is composed mainly of hydrogen because in their opinion, it is the most abundant element. I however, feel the earth is composed mainly of stupidity, because it is more abundant than hydrogen." - Frank Zappa

    September 11, 2001. We Must Never Forget.

    In memory of Thomas Sabella, L-13, FDNY


    All opinions stated are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my department or any organization I may belong to.

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    Default Overkill is only an Understatement!

    Wow, all I can say is that must be obnoxious. Talk about unessassary use of the warning devices available to us...Lets think now, do we honestly need to blast 3 types of sirens, train horn, the Q and the regular air horns in what seems to be a quiet residential neighborhood with NO traffic at night? Sure it is important to respond safely but what the heck is that?


    And now for something completely different:

    Many years ago, Ladder 120 in Brooklyn didnt have an air horn. There was a point where the city was not providing them. The Sanitation Dept. did however have air horns on the garbage trucks. Somehow, one of them wound up on 120 shortly afterwards!!! Rescue 2 also obtained a horn, this one from Amtrak at some point and rigged it up so that a full bottle could power it.

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    sorry brother, I collect steam whistles.

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