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  • Federal Q Siren Studies

    Our apparatus committee would like to spec a mechanical siren for our new fleet. We are trying to find justification for the Federal Q (or other similar mechanical) siren.

    If somebody has access to or knows where I can find information on advantages of mechanical sirens over electronic sirens, I would greatly appreciate it.

    I know that electrical draw on the mechanical sirens are higher, but this is not going to be a problem for the apparatus we are specifying.

    Thanks.
    What if the hokey pokey IS what it's all about?

    Apparatus Operator
    Salem Fire Department
    IAFF Local 314

  • #2
    I fire truck isnt a fire truck without a Q.

    Winding up the Q at 2am is somthing you dont want to do.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ledebuhr1

      Winding up the Q at 2am is somthing you dont want to do.

      But it is really fun to do , even if you get b!tched at by the neighbors!
      Do a little dance, make a little rum, Italian Ice! Italian Ice!

      Actual lyric: Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight.
      (KC & The Sunshine Band "Do A Little Dance")

      My thoughts are mine alone and do not represent the thoughts of any Organization to which I am affiliated.

      Comment


      • #4
        Mechanical sirens are louder and have more focused and penetrating sound waves than an electronic siren does (including the electronic version of the Q). Therefore, they are more effective especially in today's world of highly insulated and soundproofed cars with high wattage sound systems. There's good reason they're still around today even with the advent of all types of electronic sirens, and it's more than just a "tradition" thing. Air horns are in a similar category. I've heard people say many times that they can hear the Q and air horns, but never hear the electronic siren. Think about your own experiences of hearing fire trucks from a considerable distance that have both sirens going...more often than not, you hear the Q and horns but not the electronic, even if you know for sure it's operating.

        Read this page for a little more technical info.

        http://www.timberwolfsirens.com/sirenBasics.htm
        Last edited by Chauffer6; 09-10-2006, 12:42 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, no matter what I say here, someone is going to argue with me about this, but whatever.

          http://www.timberwolfsirens.com/sirenBasics.htm

          That explains it very well, and it is another brand of mechanical sirens.
          A siren like a Q is a huge difference from an electronic one. I have been driving down the road before and could see the engine coming the other way and never heard its e-Q2B, sure it does sound like a real Q but doesn’t work quite the same. A real Q or similar really penetrates a vehicle so the driver can hear it (read the link, it explains it, no need for me to) Also something to consider (maybe I am recalling this from my memory wrong) if you are responding on the highway and are going fast enough your electronic (ie. e-Q2B or similar) becomes useless because of the sound waves being compressed. Based on the way a mechanical siren works you wont run into those kind of problems, though I doubt most of the time you wont being going fast enough for that to be an issue.
          So, the e-Q2B, sure it sounds like a Q2b but sure doesn’t work like one, it just does not cut it IMO, not on a Engine, Truck, or larger rescue anyways. I could understand seeing it on Chiefs vehicle or something smaller like that.

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          • #6
            Ha Ha Chauffer6, you beat me to it

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Chauffer6
              Mechanical sirens are louder and have more focused and penetrating sound waves than an electronic siren does (including the electronic version of the Q). Therefore, they are more effective especially in today's word of highly insulated and soundproofed cars with high wattage sound systems. There's good reason they're still around today even with the advent of all types of electronic sirens, and it's more than just a "tradition" thing. Air horns are in a similar catagory. I've heard people say many times that they can hear the Q and air horns, but never hear the electronic siren. Think about your own experiences of hearing fire trucks from a considerable distance that have both sirens going...more often than not, you hear the Q and horns but not the electronic, even if you know for sure it's operating.

              Read this page for a little more technical info.

              http://www.timberwolfsirens.com/sirenBasics.htm
              What he said. I hate electronics. They just do not work. Some in my departments think that the electronic is the only way to go, even though all apparatus are equipped with the Q2B (except staff vehicles). Sure there is an electrical issue, but if your specifications call for it in the build there should not be a problem.
              K-9 hunt, the ultimate challange.
              EVERYONE GOES HOME
              IACOJ

              Comment


              • #8
                I think the electrical issues will decrease due to the addition of LED lighting. The Q is the only way to go on a piece of fire apparatus.
                IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
                  I think the electrical issues will decrease due to the addition of LED lighting. The Q is the only way to go on a piece of fire apparatus.
                  That's true also. Over the years, the amp draw has actually decreased as we've gone away from halogen bulbs and, even worse, those old sealed beams, to strobes and LEDs instead. Also, the alternators are higher amperage to begin with, the electrical systems are much better managed electronically and with load managers and the batteries are most likely bigger and better. Granted, there are quite a bit more electrical systems now than there were years ago, but on balance I'd say these trucks can better deal with the amp draw of a Q than they could years ago. I'm sure many of us have seen the draw so bad, that the lightbars have actually stopped rotating while the Q was being cranked up! Nowadays the headlights barely even flicker.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oldie but goodie (sorta)

                    Chauffer, we have a 1980 ALF Water Chief aerial. It is always a treat to see the headlights dim as the siren pedal is stepped on .
                    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We had a bad problem with our 1990 Pierce ladder, which had 8 sealed beam rotators (16 bulbs total) in the 4 lightbar pods that would literally stop rotating when the siren was cranked. We yanked them all out and replaced them with newer style halogen rotators (only 8 bulbs and lightweight plastic reflector modules) and the problem stopped. It's amazing how much draw a few seemingly insignificant bulbs really have, not to mention the motors to turn them all.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Anyone heard a truck with two Q's? I have seen pics of them, but never heard one. I cant imagine how loud it must be.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          At one time federal signal put out a monthly or quarterly newsletter kind of thing. One of them had a very extensive article put out by their engineering department that showed all of the acoustical benefits of a mechanical siren compared to an electronic one.

                          I checked out their website and do not see any of them archived. I will dig around my files. If I can find it, I will scan it an post or email.
                          RK
                          cell #901-494-9437

                          Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                          "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


                          Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mt Horeb WI has 2 rigs IIRC with 2 Q's on them one is on the back cover of FAJ this month.
                            IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                            Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                            ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                            RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                            LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                            I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                            "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                            http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Weruj1,

                              Do the operators need hearing protection for a truck like that?

                              Comment

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