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Old 12-11-2019, 01:30 PM   #1
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Automated Horn Controller

A long overdue maintenance issue is attending to my unreliable horn situation. Sometimes it works and oftentimes it doesnít. So Iím looking at air horn replacement options. Another part of this is automating control of the horn. I have found this device.

FogMate Automated Horn Controller:

http://www.fogmate.com/FogMate%20Spe...0-%20water.pdf

Has anyone any experience with it and can comment?

Jim
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:19 PM   #2
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That looks like a neat idea. My VHF radio has an automatic fog horn feature that works through the hailer horn. I wish it was louder. This might be a better idea by using the air horn.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:21 PM   #3
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I have installed FogMate on both my boats. Worked as advertised. This Pilot came with a wimpy electric horn. Now it has a respectable air horn. Fogmate does not care as long as the actuation is electrical.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:34 PM   #4
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I have a FogMate, and love it. It's the one thing I un-installed and moved from my last boat to the current one. At the time they were off-line or out of business or something, otherwise I'd have bought a second one.

Boating in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, we use it a LOT. It's part of the standard routine when we hit fog. FogMate, lights and the radar go on. At least one extra set of eyes on watch. And then we just keep going. If you waited out fog around here, you'd never get anywhere.

As a back-up, my VHF will also run fog signals through the loud hailer, but that's a poor substitute for a real fog horn.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:57 PM   #5
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Automated Horn Controller

Okay. Sounds like a good unit. Iíll pick one up. Weíve had several occasions travelling in fog and Iíve been blowing the horn manually. With everything else on the go whilst navigating in the fog, itís one less thing to focus on if there is a way to automate the situation.

Iíve been flipping through the installation PDF. Why does it show connections to the navigation lights? Why not just flip on the lights as part of the fog procedure?

Jim
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:10 PM   #6
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I think FM was smart enough to want to avoid requiring another switch some place as well as being aware the nav lights have to be on in reduced viz; so why not activate FM that way. Brilliant, no?
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:25 PM   #7
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You might want to check out Kahlenberg very high quality and reliable. I've used them for years.
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:32 PM   #8
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Automated Horn Controller

Do Kahlenberg sell directly to the public or do I have to go through a retailer?

It also looks like a good option.

Jim
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:35 PM   #9
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Bought my Kahlenberg direct from the manufacturer.
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
You might want to check out Kahlenberg very high quality and reliable. I've used them for years.
The control module on that link looks exactly like my FogMate. I think the connectors are the same, and the functionality described is exactly the same. I don't have those switches, just a regular toggle switch on my switch panel.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:17 PM   #11
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I got a quote from Kahlenberg. $200 for the 12VDC unit and the same price for the 24 VDC unit.

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Old 12-11-2019, 06:44 PM   #12
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FogMate Automated Horn Controller:.......Has anyone any experience with it and can comment?
I believe that Flywright who is on this forum has one. Look him up!
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:56 PM   #13
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The back ends may be similar, but the Kahlenberg control method is much more user friendly and intuitive. Take a look at the manuals and specs.
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:41 AM   #14
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I had the same intermittent problem with my electric horn that turned out to be minor corrosion on the "points" that open & close the circuit to move the diaphragm on electric horns. Remove the back cover, a few strokes with a nail file and the horns work every time.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:16 AM   #15
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The back ends may be similar, but the Kahlenberg control method is much more user friendly and intuitive. Take a look at the manuals and specs.
Right, it's the "back end" (brain) I'm talking about. You could hook the FogMate up to any two rocker switches, label them the same, and get the same result. I chose to just use an unused opening in an existing switch panel. I found that better than cutting a hole for a new switch panel.

But whatever brand name it's marketed under, to me this is a must-have for any serious cruiser.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:34 AM   #16
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I believe that Flywright who is on this forum has one. Look him up!
I installed the FogMate in Jan 2010 so it's been about 10 years of regular use in the CA Delta and SF Bay. I just used it again last week in fog with about 1/4 mile visibility. It has worked flawlessly for me and I find it very intuitive.

When I want the fog horn, I flip on my nav lights (that are supposed to be on during low vis ops) and toot the horn once. The unit gives me a confirming toot, then begins its randomized 2 minute cycle.

My FogMate is connected to my Kahlenberg horns and the pair provides a reliable and loud alert to others.

I'm so satisfied with it that if it failed today, I'd buy another one tomorrow.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:17 AM   #17
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That looks like a neat idea. My VHF radio has an automatic fog horn feature that works through the hailer horn. I wish it was louder. This might be a better idea by using the air horn.
My iCom 506 has several programs for horn use that are played through the hailer. Volume is controlled by the VHF's volume knob and when all the way up....it's damn loud!
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:32 PM   #18
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My iCom 506 has several programs for horn use that are played through the hailer. Volume is controlled by the VHF's volume knob and when all the way up....it's damn loud!
My VHF is a Raymarine. I'll look and see if I can turn the volume up.
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:38 PM   #19
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I believe either the USCG or another agency tested loudhailer horns after an incident and found the majority of installs to not meet the COLREGs.


Not saying they cant...just be aware if you are in an incident, your horn may be evaluated.
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