Whistle advice?

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

User avatar
PRR5406
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:12 pm
Location: Eastern Maine

Whistle advice?

Post by PRR5406 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:00 pm

My Reading A5a usually steams at about 80 psi, although she's capable of 100 pounds before both safeties pop. Great little steamer and no complaints to speak of but...I would like to replace her whistle with something "throatier", a lower tone, and something that responds well at the 80 pound mark. Recommendations or advice? I do have a peanut whistle which reminds me of Chico Marx in "Duck Soup", and is about as inspiring.
"Always stopping my train, and risking my ankles, with American made, New Balance sneakers."

User avatar
10KPete
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:29 pm
Location: Nordland, WA, USA

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by 10KPete » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:34 pm

With steam whistles, longer makes a lower note, bigger diameter makes more volume.

Pete
Just tryin'

User avatar
SteveM
Posts: 6535
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 6:18 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by SteveM » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:43 pm

Here's the best whistle advice ever.
Attachments
Whistle.gif

User avatar
NP317
Posts: 1354
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:57 pm
Location: Northern Oregon

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by NP317 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:10 am

I also install a small 90 degree ball valve between the boiler outlet and the whistle valve.
Then I can "tune" the whistle for the best pressure and flow, for the best sound.
~RN

User avatar
Fred_V
Posts: 4185
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2003 3:26 pm

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by Fred_V » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:03 am

hmmm, good idea. i never thought about doing that.
Fred V
Pensacola, Fl.

User avatar
PRR5406
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:12 pm
Location: Eastern Maine

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by PRR5406 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:48 am

Lauren Bacall was a live steamer? Never knew that!
"Always stopping my train, and risking my ankles, with American made, New Balance sneakers."

Eugene Crowner
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:05 pm
Location: Claremont, CA

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by Eugene Crowner » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:36 pm

Long ago I bought a Mintz 5 chime mouth-powered whistle. Mintz still shows on the computer.

Years later I machined a whistle from Cole's of Ventura whistle castings. I used the lengths of the 4 shortest tubes - highest notes - of the 5 chime whistle to make a nice sounding whistle for my locomotive. This also permits a shorter whistle, if length is a consideration.

Cole's of Ventura is no longer in existence. I don't know if anyone still sells the whistle castings.

Eugene Crowner

User avatar
PRR5406
Posts: 600
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:12 pm
Location: Eastern Maine

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by PRR5406 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:57 pm

I decided to give the Mintz whistle a try. Seems to have a nice sound and works on less pressure. We shall see!
"Always stopping my train, and risking my ankles, with American made, New Balance sneakers."

User avatar
Marty_Knox
Posts: 1318
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 6:50 pm
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by Marty_Knox » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:13 pm

Aren't the Mintz whistles aluminum? It may not last in steam service.

Bob D.
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:43 pm
Location: Saco, ME. USA

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by Bob D. » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:28 pm

I've been running a Mintz whistle the past 4 years on my steamer and it works well. Added some brass sheet slides to a few of the chambers so that it is easy to change the tone. They can be ordered with either a mouth piece or NPT thread. The big thing to remember is these are designed to operate on only a few psi. If I remember right I ended up with a .030" orifice in the fitting at the whistle for a steam passage. This prevents overblowing and lets you toot your whistle all you want without denting your boiler pressure.

Bob
3/4" Juliet II 0-4-0
3/4" Purinton Mogul "Pogo"
3/4" Hall Class 10 wheeler
3/4" Evans Caribou/Buffalo 2-8-0
3/4" Sweet Violet 0-4-0
3/4" Hunslet 4-6-0
3/4" Kozo A3. Delayed construction project

1 1/2" A5 Camelback 0-4-0

jscarmozza
Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:09 pm

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by jscarmozza » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:38 am

I went to the Mintz site...these things have a great sound!
Bob, since you have one in service, do you think it would be appropriate for 1" scale? If so, I would try to disguise it as an air tank, do you think that would ruin the sound?
Thanks, John

Bob D.
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:43 pm
Location: Saco, ME. USA

Re: Whistle advice?

Post by Bob D. » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:03 am

John,
The whistle is fairly large. I have it on an 1.5" 0-4-0 Camelback. Didn't disguise it and hung under the cab/walkway. Thought about a curved standoff cover for it to make it a large tank but never did. Putting it in an open ended can may work. Whats nice about the whistle is it works well blowing by mouth so you can experiment easily. Painting it black would help hide it but I really don't mind the looks of it. I think tone will suffer unless there is plenty of room around the chamber ports. I think for 1" scale your best option is to try and get it under the tender. In the photo foreground is a 3/4" Caribou tender for size reference.
The brass bands you see on the whistle chambers are the friction slides to block off ports to alter the tone. Works slick to change things up. The whistle comes with a chart for different loco voices using your fingers to block the ports.
It takes some toying to get the steam port size right. It isn't very big. I filled the first fitting with silver solder and drilled the steam port there so there is some room for the high pressure steam to expand in volume and drop pressure. My copper boiler safeties are at 95 psi but the whistle still works well at 35 psi.

Bob
Attachments
image1.jpeg
3/4" Juliet II 0-4-0
3/4" Purinton Mogul "Pogo"
3/4" Hall Class 10 wheeler
3/4" Evans Caribou/Buffalo 2-8-0
3/4" Sweet Violet 0-4-0
3/4" Hunslet 4-6-0
3/4" Kozo A3. Delayed construction project

1 1/2" A5 Camelback 0-4-0

Post Reply