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Diesel horns

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2021 2:03 pm
by Geochurchi
Hi All, looking for suggestions on which horns to use, right now we are using a couple of car horns, although loud they are not railroad sounds, need something that is not going to overpower the scale of the locomotive , if that makes sense.
Geo 🇺🇸

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2021 3:36 pm
by ccvstmr
George...try shopping for truck or marine horns air horns. Ebay comes to mind. You're not looking for sound level as much as you want as low a note as possible. The longer the horn bell, the lower note. Of course, if you're looking to hide the horn under a hood...space might be a problem. Some web sites have a sound "test" button you can press with a key stroke. Carl B.

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2021 4:49 pm
by Geochurchi
Thanks for the reply, space is definitely an issue, hence the car horns.
Geo 🇺🇸

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 1:38 am
by BigDumbDinosaur
Geochurchi wrote:
Fri Dec 17, 2021 4:49 pm
Thanks for the reply, space is definitely an issue, hence the car horns.
Geo 🇺🇸

Depending on the horn and how the tube was fabricated, you might be able to use a precision tubing bender to fold it back on itself like a trombone and cut down on the length.

As Carl notes, you need to shoot for a relatively low pitch if you want a reasonably realistic sound. The Leslie A200-156 “honkers” that were used on the early Diesels, e.g. EMD E- and F-units, as well as some Alco and Baldwin units, were tuned to approximately E3 on the musical scale, which is about 150 Hz. Some truck air horns are close to this pitch.

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:25 pm
by 0351
If you’re wanting to hide the horns, and have a big locomotive sound, you might look at the
Mega Blast PVC horns.
https://www.facebook.com/NSSCOTTEAGUE/

https://youtu.be/4cojRtDWNM4

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:09 am
by BigDumbDinosaur
0351 wrote:
Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:25 pm
If you’re wanting to hide the horns, and have a big locomotive sound, you might look at the
Mega Blast PVC horns.
https://www.facebook.com/NSSCOTTEAGUE/

Fakebook links are kind of useless if one doesn't do social media. You have to have a Fakebook account to see that horn.


I don't think that one is loud enough. :D

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:46 am
by steamingon
You do not have tp have a Facebook account to see those horns.
Look here; http://twproductionsvideos.com/horns.shtml
A sound clip of K3LA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJGKqfXSobE

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:40 pm
by 0351
I don't think that one is loud enough. :D
I’m not sure who would be more annoyed, my wife or the neighbors! :mrgreen:

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:33 am
by BigDumbDinosaur
0351 wrote:
Sun Dec 19, 2021 11:40 pm
I don't think that one is loud enough. :D
I’m not sure who would be more annoyed, my wife or the neighbors! :mrgreen:

...not to mention everyone else in town.

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:53 pm
by rkcarguy
I've been through quite a bit of research for the same thing. The tone of the car horns is too high and too loud. For something for the novelty of having a horn and not irritating the neighbors, I'm thinking it's going to end up being a horn sound module for model trains ($45), and I will run its speaker output to a small amplifier and a larger speaker than what came with it. The single "chime" on the Baldwin S-12 I'm modeling was only 180Hz, and it's a lower tone than even todays diesels and nearly impossible to find anything off the shelf even close to the right tone.
Most car and truck electric horns are 280-450Hz.

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:20 pm
by Geochurchi
Good luck with it, we have a Dallee sound card in our SD45, locomotive RPMs ,bells ,spitters all sound good, it had a selection of whistles but they are recorded sounds, and do not play well for our application, let me know what you use and how it sounds.

Re: Diesel horns

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:51 pm
by Bill Shields
There is a not too fine line between being realistic sounding and outright annoying when operating in a club environment.

Having a full size diesel air horn on your model may seem cool...until you frighten or distract someone and the end result is not what is desired.

I can tell you from personal experience that being up close and personal with a full size steam whistle and or air horn can be very detrimental to human hearing and / or psyche.

You want to get people's attention not cause them to soul underwear or seek ENT attention in the ER or become shocked and fall off a riding car.

As much as I hate to admit it...these electronic boxes that can imitate sounds desired at CONTROLLED decibel levels have a lot going for them.