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Old 07-13-2018, 09:46 AM   #1
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Air Horn Compressor

I知 finishing our punch list before we start on the northern loop. I知 not sure how long the air horn compressor needs to run to fill the small tank on the flybridge. It seems to run nonstop and I知 wondering if there痴 a safety release valve I知 not seeing?

Additionally, a ground wire gets noticeably warm while the compressor is endlessly running, so I won稚 be using this until that gets sorted out.

In fact, I知 thinking of chucking the whole thing and going electric傭ut until I do, this will need to work. Does anyone have experience with electric horns that sound as deep and strong as an air horn?
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:26 AM   #2
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I chucked my direct / electric in favor of compressor - tank. I could never get / find a direct compressor to deliver the air needed on demand, so I built my own. In your case, there needs to be a pressure switch on the tank, I suggest +/- : on @ 80 off @ 120 The other is a mechanical pressure relief safety valve in event that the electric press. switch is stuck ON ( closed ) I respectfully suggest that you drive the air compressor via a pilot relay because the contacts on the usual press. switches will not handle the motor current as the motor loads up .... my .02 CAD f
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:49 AM   #3
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Sounds to me as though you have a leak!
Our very small compressor (12V) maintained a 1-gallon pressure vessel at 100psi with minor effort. The tank/compressor were in the lazarette feeding through a 35ft airline to the pilothouse twin air horns. Those Buells made an incredible noise (think, very large ship). Nothing electric can touch that sound.
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Old 07-13-2018, 12:20 PM   #4
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I use a pancake 120Vac compressor in the engine room and air horn operates off a valve like a road tractor horn. In fact it is a road tractor horn ($30 off ebay!). I have the regulator set at 40psi and it is plenty loud.

Find out what setting the compressor pressure switch is set to. If set too high or if switch is stuck, comp will run continuous. You can get a well pressure switch from hardware store for cheap and it will work and be adjustable.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:04 PM   #5
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If you build a system from scratch, make sure you buy a pressure switch with the unloader valve. Also required is a check valve with an unloader port sized to fit the pressure vessel. The check valve goes between the pressure vessel and the pump. This allows the compressor pump to start with no load (no air pressure in the pump discharge hose).
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:15 PM   #6
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I plumped mine to a very small (13 cuft.) scuba tank with an adjustable pressure 1st stage. Works great! Was worried about getting the tank refilled while on the Great loop. Haven't refilled it in 3 years despite using it a number of times.

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Old 07-13-2018, 01:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpoling View Post
If you build a system from scratch, make sure you buy a pressure switch with the unloader valve. Also required is a check valve with an unloader port sized to fit the pressure vessel. The check valve goes between the pressure vessel and the pump. This allows the compressor pump to start with no load (no air pressure in the pump discharge hose).
If he is running the DC compressor the p-switch with the unloader might not be needed. The dc motor usually has enough startup torque to start under a load. Key word here is "might".
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:07 PM   #8
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Thanks all. There is definitely pressure in the tank. The horn sounds like it would bring down the walls of Jericho. I値l keep looking for the manuals that are around here somewhere.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:16 PM   #9
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The compressor for my Kahlenberg air horn runs for 4-5 minutes to pressurize after not being used for months.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:01 PM   #10
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Kahlenberg horns are the gold standard.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:15 PM   #11
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The compressor for my Kahlenberg air horn runs for 4-5 minutes to pressurize after not being used for months.
How big is your air tank? I may try again but I知 leery of that wire heating up.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:47 PM   #12
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While you池e at it add a quick connect fitting off a T. Get a Harbor Freight air hose and nozzle. Great for cleaning parts.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:59 PM   #13
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Does anyone have experience with electric horns that sound as deep and strong as an air horn?
I use a ship's air horn bought on ebay from a scrapper in India. Sounds like a ship. Nice in the fog. Boats stay away.
Air compressor systems have a switch to adjust start and stop pressure. Better systems have a bleed valve to relieve the pressure in the line between the compressor and tank. The tank has a check valve. That way the compressor starts without a pressure load and doesn't draw as many amps, saving the contacts and motor. The one shown is less than $20, inc. shipping, on ebay. I have one like it on a 5 hp.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:08 PM   #14
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The compressor for my Kahlenberg air horn runs for 4-5 minutes to pressurize after not being used for months.
I will turn the compressor on tomorrow, hit the button and see if the horn sounds immediately. Seems like that would indicate the tank and hose between the compressor aren’t leaking if they’re still holding air from the last compression.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:09 PM   #15
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...

In fact, I知 thinking of chucking the whole thing and going electric傭ut until I do, this will need to work. Does anyone have experience with electric horns that sound as deep and strong as an air horn?
No way! Air horns have a much superior sound, particularly if one has more than one horn broadcasting more than one frequency. My Kahlenberg horns are backed up with an air cylinder about 10 inches in diameter and two feet in length, supplied by an air compressor.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:22 PM   #16
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I bought these at a salvage place after my old electric/air horns crapped out this week. Now I’ll have to figure out how to power them, assuming the diaphrams are still good. I like the way OCdiver has his set up.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:44 PM   #17
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Our boat came with triple Buells powered by a 20 pound CO2 cylinder. No compressor. Very, very loud. Loudest boat horn I have ever heard.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:48 PM   #18
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Our boat came with triple Buells powered by a 20 pound CO2 cylinder. No compressor. Very, very loud. Loudest boat horn I have ever heard.
How many blasts/sounds the CO2 cylinders make at the rate of four seconds every 2 minutes?
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:57 PM   #19
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Surely not everyone's cup of tea but....


For those of you that may want to avoid any electrical and pressure switches there is another way that I discovered when I got to know Libra's set up.


If there is an unused accessory drive with a cover over it on either your main engine or generator, you could install a mechanical air compressor there, add an unloading valve that is spec'ed at the pressure of your choice and run that air to a tank that will always stay pressured up as long as the engine in spinning.


Examples in pictures below:

First on the black (genny) engine you will see in the center of lower third of the picture a small compressor running on an accessory drive that grabs filtered air from the engine intake and puts out compressed air thru the unloading valve then up to the tank.

Second is a larger compressor on the main. It also grabs fresh air off the intake manifold, coolant from the water jacket, and runs air to the unloading valve and then to tank and coolant back to the water jacket.


Third picture is the unloading valve that serves both compressors and this one is a 7 BAR valve. After the tank there is an inline regulator that sends 5 BAR to the air horn.


This boat also has a larger 220V electric compressor but it is only used for working in the shop when the boat is not running.


Overkill I am sure, but also very simple in some respects. That is quintessential Libra. This boat used to have many air operated relays for start up and shutdowns demanded by the murphy switches. I have eliminated most of these relays in the interest of simplicity and gone to audio alarms.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Our boat came with triple Buells powered by a 20 pound CO2 cylinder. No compressor. Very, very loud. Loudest boat horn I have ever heard.
Never heard of a separate co2 tank for horns. Dumb question and I realize it痴 based on use but how often do you fill?
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