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Old 04-17-2020, 11:06 PM   #1
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signal horns

Do you prefer multiple horns over singles for their sound. Do you prefer having horn(s) making minimally-required sound or something louder/

I prefer the sound of multiple horns, and those four-times louder than required to double their range. Find minimal-sounding horns don't catch many peoples' attention. .... Air horns are "sweet."
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Old 04-17-2020, 11:18 PM   #2
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I dream to have a rail locomotive horn, the ones that can dry your hair or dry your clothes when shouting 5 or more trumpets but, while not impossible, the setup would not be realistic tor my boat.

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Old 04-17-2020, 11:56 PM   #3
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Go to the Kahlenberg website and you can hear their horns. Here is a link to one of them. Click “Hear It”.
https://www.kahlenberg.com/model-t-0a-complete-kit.html
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Old 04-18-2020, 06:07 AM   #4
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I have a Kahlenberg S-0A single horn. It's loud and gets everyone's attention, which is what it's supposed to do. Can't say as I find multiple horns melodious. I prefer quite boats to noisy ones (not enough to own a sailboat).

I would like to have a whistle for my boat as a friendly greeting, but they require a substantial amount of air volume.

Ted
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:00 AM   #5
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I find the people I need them for the most, ignore them the most.
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:54 AM   #6
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Single air horn. I have had several electric horns both single and dual trumpets but the longevity and reliability of electric horns IMO is poor.
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
I prefer the sound of multiple horns, and those four-times louder than required to double their range.
Me too!
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:11 AM   #8
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I prefer multi-tone and loud enough that it's not readily ignored. I'd love to do air horns at some point, but that's a definite cost investment and running the air line to replace the current horn wiring would be a pain without ripping down my cabin headliner.

My original (1986 vintage) electric trumpet horns are starting to die (1 trumpet has gotten weak, chrome is failing, etc.), so I'm putting together a 3 tone set to replace them. The existing circuit has plenty of headroom to run 3x 4 amp horn trumpets, so plenty of power available to make it a bit louder and more distinctive than most.

Unfortunately, the new set will be a little higher pitched, as nobody makes electric trumpets as big or long as my old ones (old ones are 21 and 18" long, 5" mouth, new ones are 18.5, 16.5 and 13.5 inches long with a 4 inch mouth on the big ones, 3.5 on the small one).
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:19 AM   #9
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I have the multiple train horns on mine, and am going to add more. The down side is it takes awhile to pump up the air tank when first turned on (about 5-7 minutes). They use so much air, you must have a tank. I use an old propane tank for mine. Have another set I am going to install on the other side of the bridge just for entertainment. That one has a smaller tank, but bigger pump. These ones came with the boat. To me, they are a silly investment if I had to actually go buy a set. But pretty damned cool.
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:32 AM   #10
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As another note, I do occasionally lust after that (very expensive) set of triple Kahlenbergs that HopCar linked to.
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:35 AM   #11
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I have a set from an 18 wheeler. Most of the horns are behind the F.B. facade with just the final three or four inches of the trumpet exposed. A small air compressor and tank complete the setup.

Very loud. I rarely sound off at the marina. It is so loud it really startles people but for bridges and showing off at inlets it is great.

pete
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Meisinger View Post
I have a set from an 18 wheeler. Most of the horns are behind the F.B. facade with just the final three or four inches of the trumpet exposed. A small air compressor and tank complete the setup.

Very loud. I rarely sound off at the marina. It is so loud it really startles people but for bridges and showing off at inlets it is great.

pete
If you want to reduce the volume, put an air pressure regulator between the air tank and the horn valve. Reducing the air pressure reduces the volume.

Ted
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
As another note, I do occasionally lust after that (very expensive) set of triple Kahlenbergs that HopCar linked to.
I replaced my Grover air horns last year as the old ones (13 years old) Were very corroded and the tank leaked. I bought some of grover's more expensive horns but they have many models at lower cost too! My 6071s & a 1291 install kit were $710.00 (Installed)

Caution: If you value your existing marina slip, don't blow these when leaving!

https://airhornsbygrover.com/product/6071/
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:03 AM   #14
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I have dual air horns on Beachcomber. They're loud enough to get someone's attention but not obnoxiously loud.
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:08 AM   #15
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signal horns

I just installed Fiamm air horns. A significant improvement on what I have. The installation instructions are non-existent! I still haven’t been able to get a Fogmate automatic controller for it. I phoned and they didn’t return my call. I will wait until the border opens up.

Jim
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:30 AM   #16
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Got tired of replacing whimpy-sounding electric horns once a year when the saltwater/air got to them.

Bought a single trumpet air horn, with the most plastic parts possible, on Amazon for a whopping $35. I actually bought two ----- to have one as a spare.

I can't believe how loud it is compared to my last 12V ongaro electric horn was. I think the length of the trumpet matters a bunch.....

Mounted the little compressor in the helm console - it is a bit loud when running, but so is the horn at that time, so no matter!!

I'll update (if I remember) how long it lasts.........

Full project writeup here: Air Horn Install
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:13 PM   #17
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Coot's air compressor and partial view of air tank:
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:11 PM   #18
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Installed my new horns today. Definitely louder than the old ones, although a bit higher pitched (as expected unfortunately). It's a very sharp, distinct sound, so I think it'll be plenty to get someone's attention. It's definitely louder then the requirements for my size boat, but I'm sure it's still noticeably quieter than Mark's horns. They do look a hair small compared to the old ones, but the 3rd horn sits on top nicely, so it looks good enough. And they're stainless rather than chrome, so easier to keep them shiny.
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:34 AM   #19
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A good source for big truck orbtrain style horns is

www.iowa80.com/‎
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Old 04-20-2020, 11:52 AM   #20
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I love the harmonics of a multi-tone horn, and I want to be well heard; but on the other hand I don't want to sound (nor do I want another boat to sound) like "something else." For example, if I'm on the Columbia River or Lake Pepin, and I hear a train horn, I'm not going to worry because there are rail lines right alongside the waterway so it's normal to hear train horns and they are trains. If it's foggy and your boat horn is a "train" horn...?

Or say I have a conversation with a very large vessel and then I hear "his" horn but it's making a different signal than we just discussed (but it's someone in a runabout who decided to get a big-ship horn)...?

Granted, it's my responsibility to keep track of everyone, and I'm not saying smaller boats need to have wimpy/tiny horns just to match, but why make things needlessly confusing.

So I am changing my stock tiny, wimpy horn to something a bit larger (Ongaro premium dual electric trumpets), but would never get, say, a train horn (neither would I run with their signature triangle of three white headlights, because even though I would surely be seen it would be needlessly confusing to other boaters).
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