Thread: Sirens

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    Default Sirens

    Our department is researching a new platform and some members want both a manual siren and an electronic siren on the apparatus while some just want an electronic one can anyone tell me advantages and disadvantages to both setups because at this time all our trucks have electronic sirens.

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    Well, this isn't necessarily an unbiased source as it is a siren manufacturer, but this is a scientifically sound comparison of electronic vs. electromechanical:

    http://timberwolfsirens.com/sirenBasics.htm

    Obviously, the most common electromechanical is the infamous Federal Q, but there are a couple of alternatives.

    I would strongly suggest to anyone considering a Q to also look at the line of sirens by B&M- they have the same basic volume output, but a lower and more "throaty" sound:

    http://www.siro-driftsirens.com/

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    Electronics are adequate for rural/suburban settings where a manual is overkill, get two if you want and set them to different patterns if you think one isn't enough.

    Manuals are more "directional" and better in dense and urban settings where electronics tend to echo off of buildings and confuse drivers who can't tell where it is coming from.

    If you truly work in both environments, sure, get both. To be honest I always preferred having both and usually ran them at the same time. Having the ability to use just one or the other at proper discretion isn't a bad luxury.
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    I do believe that NFPA 1901 for apparatus requires it be equipped with a PA. So chances are any apparatus manufacturer is going put an electronic one in regardless of there being a Q or not.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    It ain't a fire truck unless it got a "Q".
    IACOJ - Senior Jake

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    Do a search. I believe this has been discussed before. Not sure if there has been any scientific proof of a Q2 being better but it doesn't take long going on a call to see that it is far superior to the electric siren. See if you can find a dept around you that has gone to the Q2 and see if they have some comments.
    Chris
    FF/Lic-Paramedic
    Galveston FD "The Big House"
    IAFF Local 571
    www.galvestonfiredept.org

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    Smile Sirens

    We have two trucks currently using 100 Watt Electronic Sirens along with the Federal "Q" and Airhorns with a third truck being ordered with the same sirens.

    I have found that in todays world with the more sound proof they make cars that the Q and a good set of air horns are very important at alerting people on the road. The electronic is great as a back up. We usually use the "Q" as needed and we set the electronic to yelp.

    Both types of sirens have advantages and disadvantages. I have heard the Timber Wolf and it in my opinion doesnt compare to the Federal "Q".

    Granted this is my opinion and we know how opinions are!

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    I feal its important to change up your sound when entering a intersection with the flip of a switch. Its lets everyone know you are there.

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    This has been discussed before, do a search it could be interesting to see the other discussions..... but a couple thoughts....

    Q2B = FIRE TRUCK Other Emergency Vehicles can't handle the AMP draw, you can get big alternators and batteries that will handle it. Especially if you go with LED lights, reducing your requirements for lighting.

    Attention Little fuel sipping high MPG vehicle being driven by a distracted driver talking on a cell phone You are officially warned you are about to dodo in your shorts! The vehicle about to pass you is 40-70,000 lbs of metal. Your 1500 lbs of plastic will loose if you pull in front of it.

    Add Grover Studder-tones for a audio slap in the face

    Dogs, cats little kids, people walking down the street: Please plug your ears physical pain may be felt as this noise has to be loud for the distracted driver talking on a cell phone can't hear us....

    Also be advised that the young person with more money in their stereo system than what the car is worth has ruined their hearing by having the stereo up so loud it is louder than the sirens we have. We have also had to account for this and the vehicle is now looking like the space ship in 2001 a Space Odyssey....

    You can spend a lot of money and they still will not get out of your way.

    We do an electronic, Q2B and Grovers.... intersections/high traffic gets the full noise treatment, down the street with possible people pulling out electronic....nothing in sight and middle of the night no body around.... lights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireFghtr17 View Post
    Our department is researching a new platform and some members want both a manual siren and an electronic siren on the apparatus while some just want an electronic one can anyone tell me advantages and disadvantages to both setups because at this time all our trucks have electronic sirens.
    Get both, a electronic siren and a Q, then all of your trucks will be the same except the new truck wil have a Q also.

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    Chiefdog, I beg to differ on the fact that fire trucks are the only ones to handle a Q2. At my PT job all ambulances have 2(yes 2) Mechanical Q2B on them. And yet to have an alternator problem. F350 chassis. Over kill in my mind but other apparatus or cars can handle the Q. Chris


    Here is the link to a pic of the ambulances
    http://www.santafefire.org/M43.php
    http://www.santafefire.org/M42.php
    Chris
    FF/Lic-Paramedic
    Galveston FD "The Big House"
    IAFF Local 571
    www.galvestonfiredept.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by TC33FF View Post
    Chiefdog, I beg to differ on the fact that fire trucks are the only ones to handle a Q2. At my PT job all ambulances have 2(yes 2) Mechanical Q2B on them. And yet to have an alternator problem. F350 chassis. Over kill in my mind but other apparatus or cars can handle the Q. Chris


    Here is the link to a pic of the ambulances
    http://www.santafefire.org/M43.php
    http://www.santafefire.org/M42.php
    Most of my post was an attempt at humor.... You can make almost any vehicle handle the power hungry Q2B. The Ford ambulance prep package has dual alternators and with added batteries it can handle the load.

    It can handle it, however actual thought must be put into it BEFORE you install it. An electronic siren takes about 20 amps.... Q2B is fused for 300 amps with 4 AWG wire for power supply per the Federal Signal Installation manual on line.

    http://www.fedsig.com/products/docs/...l/256A768K.pdf

    I have yet to see a modern police package car have enough room to get extra batteries, other than standard police package alternators, and space about the size of a bread box to put the Q.

    There are exceptions to most rules, my post was a generalization that covers most but not all.....

    I still believe most people (civilians) think the sound of the Q2B is most likely a fire truck and they probably should think twice about cutting it off... that is if they have any clue about "the lug nut rule."

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    Both are best in my opinion for a couple of reasons. First, people don't hear the same. Some people hear high frequencies better, others low. The combination of the two will help everyone know you are coming.

    Second, mechanical sirens are omnidirectional whereas electronics are unidirectional. With the mechanical traffic on intersecting roads will be able to hear you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TC33FF View Post
    Chiefdog, I beg to differ on the fact that fire trucks are the only ones to handle a Q2. At my PT job all ambulances have 2(yes 2) Mechanical Q2B on them. And yet to have an alternator problem. F350 chassis. Over kill in my mind but other apparatus or cars can handle the Q. Chris


    Here is the link to a pic of the ambulances
    http://www.santafefire.org/M43.php
    http://www.santafefire.org/M42.php
    Are those Fraizer units ?> the way they are built I can see how you can get 2 Q's out of them. If they are someone elses...................hope you fry an alternator/voltage regulator.

    I see now that they are .............nice choice !
    Last edited by Weruj1; 05-26-2007 at 11:36 PM.
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    Weruj1, Yes they are Frazier built ambulances. They have a dual toggle switch on them Up controls one and down controls the other. SO you can never have both at peak level. Although 1 winding down and the other winding up does sound good. A bit of an overkkill but People do hear them coming. Unit 41 and 42 were sent back to Frazier to have them installed. 43 is new so it came with it originally. Never a problem with the alternator. A few fuses have been blown but that is all.

    And the Frazier thing is like most large cities. Houston uses them so most of the smaller cities around get them. Plus it helps that if you have a problem just take them 45 minutes up the road to get fixed. My wife works for another EMS around here that also uses Fraziers. They got T-boned on the driver side by a SUV doing 45 + on the box just infront of the rear wheel. SUV was a Severely damaged and the ambulance had minor box damage. It went to Frazier and was back in 2 weeks. Just welded a new panel and new paint to the area. So your right about the way they are built. Built for abuse and ment to last. Houston uses them exclusively(for a long time) and they just got a whole bunch of new squads built by them.

    For those who never heard of them here is their web site. http://www.frazerbilt.com/flash.php
    Chris
    FF/Lic-Paramedic
    Galveston FD "The Big House"
    IAFF Local 571
    www.galvestonfiredept.org

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