Inexpensive Bell ideas

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Inexpensive Bell ideas

Post by mojojerry » Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:43 pm

Hello newbee here! I don't know much about trains, but I do have an associate of science Degree in Electronics. I though I would give you my 2 cents worth. If you really like the sound of the bell at work. You could get one of the inverters that the other guy spoke of earlier in this blog. An inverter takes 12 volts from a battery and converts it to 120 volts at 60 cycle per second just like the electricity in your house. In this case the bell at work if connected to an inverter run off of a 12 vdc battery would sound just like it did at work. Not accounting for the loss of accoustics differentcies at work and on your train. You could get an inverter for 30 to 100 bucks more maybe depending on the size you need. You need to look at the wattage on the bell at work and get an inverter with an output 10 to 20% higher than it needs. This will probally cost more than just getting a 12volt horn and pushing the button when you want it to ring. Good luck mojojerry

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Post by tsph6500 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:44 pm

A fellow in our club has a bell rung with a simple 12v automobile signal relay. I think he has a school bell but you can also use a tank from a hand-held propane torch. Just empty it before cutting the bottom off :shock:

They have a nice ring to them, are compact and narrow, cost nothing and have a thread at the top so you can easily mount it to a bulkhead, bracket or frame.
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Post by Oilcan » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:24 am

Nice idea! I never thought of using a signal relay. That could work out just dandy. Thanks, Jim.

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Post by Benjamin Maggi » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:07 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I will look into that. A propane tank, hum..
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Re: Inexpensive Bell ideas

Post by Mr Ron » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:17 pm

Benjamin Maggi wrote:My critter chassis is nearly done, and over the winter I might build up a quick boxcab structure to use until I build a proper Davenport switcher body shell. I want a bell and a horn for my train, but will probably hide them in the riding car because my engine is small. If I build a flatcar or a gondola holding "crates" that can be ridden on, then there will be plenty of room inside for a 12v battery and a horn and a bell circuit. I am not talking about the type that might be on the hood of an engine. I am thinking of more like a trolley bell/gong sound that I can use when I want to warn people at crossings, or backing up, etc.

I see Cannonball offers a bell unit that is around $170 and runs off of a 12v battery.
It seems really nice but a bit too expensive for me right now. I am NOT looking for a simulated bell sound via some electronic board or sound card. Anyone have any frugal ways to create a bell-ringing unit? I was thinking in a pinch I could always purchase a counter bell ringer like near the cash-registers and hit it with my foot in time!

Get the bell from an old dial telephone. The electrical parts can also be adapted. They can be pretty loud.

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Post by Benjamin Maggi » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:43 pm

In talking with one of my friends (who happens to be an electrician), he went wandering around in his basement workshop and came out with THREE different bells! Each had a different pitch. I had no idea how to wire them up but I showed him this thread, and he worked out the circuit using the car flasher circuit. He said something about "putting in a dummy load" or whatever... I am not really sure what he was talking about. BUT, we/he did get it worked out and when I visit him again next month I will finish my riding car and pick up the bell circuit.

Then, it (along with a 12v battery) will be hidden in some crates that will fit inside the "riding" car to sit on.
"One cannot learn to swim without getting his feet wet." - Benjamin Maggi
- Building: 7.25" gauge "Sweet Pea" named "Catherine"

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