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Old 10-19-2021, 10:06 AM   #1
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Adding an air horn

All,
Thinking about adding an air horn to the boat and need advise.


First, what is a good reliable brand?


When hooked up, assume you wire the horn switch that goes to a solenoid that triggers the air switch, correct? So once wired, I don't have to run a special like to the lower helm?


And are there any volume adjustments that one could make, perhaps less for backing out of a Marina than on the open water?


And can I assume that these are generally more reliable than the electric ones, that just aren't loud enough.


Thx for the help!
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Old 10-19-2021, 10:16 AM   #2
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Do you already have compressed air on your boat?

We added a Kahlenburg to a 45' aluminum work boat a few recent years ago, no regrets there, built like the idiomatic brick lavatory. But this vessel already had a compressor and air tank. I may poke around and see if I can find the model. No tweaking the volume on that one though lol.

As I understand it they make various ones generating their own air even with wireless controllers. Check them out.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:04 AM   #3
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Most recreational air horns have their own mini compressor, about the same size as a beer can, and use the same power feed as the existing elec horn. The wires go to the compressor instead of the elec horn. You would need to add a small hole for the air tube.

Now Kahlenburgs are AIR HORNS! Suitable for small coaster tanker or locomotive. If you have existing compressed air then yes, a simple solenoid would work.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:07 AM   #4
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We removed the old electric horn that had been reduced by time and repeated water infiltration to sounding very much like a lowing calf locked in a closet and then installed the model S-OA single horn and plumbed it to the existing compressed air system with a valve kit and a controller for timed fog signal. I believe we reused the existing toggle switch for normal horn use. Even the single horn (vs dual or triple) was plenty, plenty loud for our application cruising amid islands on Lake Superior.

Here's the page showing complete air-driven kits for vessels under 65 feet. https://www.kahlenberg.com/products/...cht-horns.html

I can say without reservation that this (dual horn) is what I would install if I was at all unhappy with the existing horn on my vessel. For my plans I would probably go with the fog signal controller too unless I was already happy with my loud hailer.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:18 AM   #5
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2 and 3 tone horns aren't necessarily louder than a single, but they're much more distinctive sounding and IMO, they just sound better. It's tough to beat the melody of a good 3+ tone horn.
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
2 and 3 tone horns aren't necessarily louder than a single, but they're much more distinctive sounding and IMO, they just sound better. It's tough to beat the melody of a good 3+ tone horn.
Yep.

Their dual horn for yachts: https://www.kahlenberg.com/pub/media.../-/d-0ae_2.mp3

Their triple: https://www.kahlenberg.com/pub/media.../-/t-0ae_1.mp3

Or, if you want to be really fancy:

https://www.kahlenberg.com/pub/media...l-air-horn.mp3

https://www.kahlenberg.com/model-02m...-air-horn.html
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Old 10-19-2021, 11:25 AM   #7
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Our boat came with a 3-horn Beueler horn system. I say system because it is designed to operate on compressed CO2, no compressor nexessary. It is VERY loud. We got the boat seven years ago, have cruised extensively, and have not consumed the whole of a gas bottle. The bottle is in a mount undern3ath the upper helm.
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:20 PM   #8
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Wow, lots of good ideas.....


And love the Kahlenberg one for $28,000, everyone should have one.
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:31 PM   #9
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I fabricated one on a boat using the propane tank that was up on deck. I used this solenoid. The pressure needs to circumvent your pressure regulator. Even still, the pressure in a propane tank varies quite a bit depending on temperature. It will be louder on hot days (just like people).
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Old 10-19-2021, 12:55 PM   #10
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Another question....
What's available to have these air horns work as a fog horn that honk automatically?
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:00 PM   #11
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Seevee, the horns on the stbd side of my flybridge are already air horns, installed by the factory. The air compressor is behind the seat.
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by porman View Post
Seevee, the horns on the stbd side of my flybridge are already air horns, installed by the factory. The air compressor is behind the seat.

Sounds good. I've got electric ones there and they are poor at best. Could easily add a compressor.



Does yours have a fog horn option... so it will sound automatically?
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:11 PM   #13
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As long as the horns are triggered by an electric solenoid, a Fogmate or the Kahlenberg controller (or anything else that can electrically trigger horns on a timer) will work for a fog signal.
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:13 PM   #14
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Or for the truely over the top:

https://youtu.be/2VZCRWKgh1E
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:14 PM   #15
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My boat has an older dual tone air horn, I don't remember the brand. The compressor was originally an A/C powered unit that was in poor condition. I removed it and put a 12V compressor with an integrated tank and pressure switch, hooked it up to the same line as the old A/C one.

Amazon- VIAIR Compressor

It powers the air horn just fine, the original solenoid actuates the horn, and the same DC circuit that powers the solenoid also now powers the compressor.
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:24 PM   #16
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Adding an air horn

Kahlenberg sells a simple twin toggle switch timer controller where you select off, underway, not underway (and sail or power.) I imagine this unit would work for any application not just their own, the electronic principle is fairly simple (other than choosing 12v or 24 volt model.) On one of my express cruisers I installed a simple fog signal controller underneath my panel in-line with the horn switch that was controlled by pressing that existing horn switch in a couple of simple predetermined patterns that would activate or then deactivate the automatic underway signal. This was nice since I didnít need to mount any new switches etc.

Edit: that was the Fogmate unit previously mentioned above.
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Old 10-19-2021, 02:04 PM   #17
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Seevee, my air horns don't have the fog horn option, but my VHF radio does. It's a little anemic though.
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Old 10-19-2021, 02:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catalinajack View Post
Our boat came with a 3-horn Beueler horn system. I say system because it is designed to operate on compressed CO2, no compressor nexessary.

I like that idea of running off a compressed bottle. However it would be really cool if you hooked it up to a propane bottle instead, with a tiny piezo starter.

Send us some photos when youíre done, Jack!
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Old 10-19-2021, 03:01 PM   #19
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Thought about replacing our electric strangled duck horn with something better but, reality is we have only used it 3 times in 5+ years of every day boating.

Not high on our priority list.

But if I did, it would be one of the numerous under $50 air horns on eBay
Worked fine in vehicles I have had, see no reason they won't on a boat.
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Old 10-19-2021, 04:23 PM   #20
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Blue Sky came with a single horn Kahlenberg, presumably installed in 1995 when she was built. About four years ago we replaced the compressor as it was only capable by then of producing a strange and grotesque sound. The new compressor made a world of difference. (Blue Sky has the complete system, solenoid, compressor, horn). It is a good system and 12V.
The only thing I would change is to go for at least dual horns if not triple horns. They make a huge improvement to the sound.
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