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Joe Rackov
10-12-2017, 03:19 PM
I just picked up one today at a garage sale. Can I use a 10 ohm speaker to test this with or is this too low?

Peter Grave
10-12-2017, 03:40 PM
I think 10 ohm OK for test. As always watch your connections a loose one can blow the output diodes.

Joe Rackov
10-12-2017, 03:46 PM
Thank you.

I think that this will be part of the Halloween decorations this year. Between the skeleton on the tricycle having it's shirt being pulled by a skeleton dog, some lighting and now the sound effects.

Or as a bonus, if anyone with an outstanding warrant is outside they might break and run.......;)

John ED Renstrom
10-12-2017, 11:26 PM
Check the search as we have discussed this before. That were fussy on the load for the drivers. Vary easy to burns one out.

Walter Suiter
10-13-2017, 03:05 AM
IF you plan to use only the PA mode and keep the volume low, you'll be fine with a low wattage speaker.

On the other hand the siren mode will destroy any speaker not capable of the full wattage the unit puts out.

Those units will blow up a 12 volt headlight bulb being used as a dummy load.
(don't ask)

John ED Renstrom
10-13-2017, 11:38 AM
watts and Ohms are two different measments. watts is power the other ohms is resistance. If the resistance of the speaker is off you can damage the siren. if the watts the siren puts out is greater then the speaker can handle you damage the speaker. The older ones put out 25 watts and if memory serves me right they require a 11 ohm speaker. But I get numbers tangled so best to check that.

Peter Grave
10-13-2017, 11:55 AM
10 or 11 is close enough BUT if the 10 is a China special it will fry with the output of the siren. Way to tell is if speaker is heavy (heavy magnet) chances are will be OK if its light its a no no.

Joe Rackov
10-13-2017, 04:16 PM
I have an outdoor Bose speaker, probably a twenty year old one but it's home and I can't check the model or ohm ratings at present as I am at work.

(Making Harley owners dreams come true, one bike at a time)

Russell Street
10-13-2017, 04:46 PM
IF you plan to use only the PA mode and keep the volume low, you'll be fine with a low wattage speaker.

On the other hand the siren mode will destroy any speaker not capable of the full wattage the unit puts out.

Those units will blow up a 12 volt headlight bulb being used as a dummy load.
(don't ask)

Dying of curiosity here, so......I'm askin'. :D:D:D Sounds like a real "guy thing".

Paul Steinberg
10-13-2017, 04:58 PM
IF you plan to use only the PA mode and keep the volume low, you'll be fine with a low wattage speaker.

On the other hand the siren mode will destroy any speaker not capable of the full wattage the unit puts out.

Those units will blow up a 12 volt headlight bulb being used as a dummy load.
(don't ask)


Blow up, as in shattering or exploding the bulb itself, or only blowing out the filament. :confused:

Walter Suiter
10-15-2017, 02:43 AM
Dying of curiosity here, so......I'm askin'. :D:D:D Sounds like a real "guy thing".

Would you believe?
Aw Hell.

Once upon a time, in a land called Downtown, the Police Department bought 100+ new Unitrol 800s for the fleet, and learned fairly quick that the switch in the 800 SUCKETHED.
They tried to pawn off replacing switches onto the City Radio shop and found the units back at the police garage, with a complementary jar of Vaseline and strong suggestion where the Unitrols should be installed.

Word quickly reached the Jr genius of a local Ambulance/hearse/fire extinguisher/dry ice/ice business that a need existed for siren repair, so naturally, he saw $$$$$$$ to put in his pocket. He already had a TV repair guy working part time, and worked a deal with him to play with his magic soldering iron, between calls. The TV guy figured sitting at a bench playing with his soldering iron beat hell out of bagging ice, so an electronic siren shop came to be.

Junior learned he could buy switches from Unitrol, and speaker voice coils from Atlas in quantity and they arrived to sit under lock and key in the office, because Junior trusted nobody. A maximum of 2 switches and 2 coils were allowed to be in the siren shop, in another locked cabinet.

All was peace, love and joy UNTIL Mr TV relocated 2 speakers above the ceiling of the shop because everything else he tried including a box of insulation blew his ear drums out. That stunt damn near caused Mr TV to cease breathing when he blasted 2 crews out of the bunk room 20 feet away, because he failed to understand the space above the ceiling was the plenum for the air conditioning.

The oft referenced Plan Q was called for, and Mr TV learned the term Dummy load. Carbon resisters such as were often used for that purpose cost money, and given the presumed peak output power of a siren, a large pile of resisters would be needed. Plan Q.2 was called up. What's in stock in the barn that should have the ability to absorb power in the Audio range and dissipate that power without making noise.

Light bulbs of course.
It didn't take long to understand 4 120 volt 100 watt lightbulbs wired together in parallel became 4 flashbulbs when Yelp was hit. Mayhaps 12 volt bulbs would do better. Grab a headlight, it sucks a lot of watts and it looks sturdy. Again, Flashbulb with cracked glass. Maybe multiple bulbs. Well at least the glass didn't crack. Put the bulbs back in the boxes, glue the box back shut and stick them back in inventory, and nobody tell the mechanic.

Further experimentation continued. Plan Q.22 involved using a speaker driver screwed into a piece of pipe sticking in a bucket of water. It killed 90% of the sound, but also required mopping the floor. Elementary Physics tells us energy can neither be created or destroyed, and that bucket of water proved it.

Naturally, when word starts getting around the barn what a siren will do to a light bulb, the well known "Yer $#!^^!ng me" effect comes into play, and many people need to see it for themselves. It didn't take long for multiple different sirens to be "tested" to prove what they'd do. The problem became finding a lightbulb in the barn that wasn't already blown up.

When the mechanic dragged a laundry cart full of blown "new" headlights into Junior's office and announced every damn one was junk, Junior got on the phone with the supplier and demanded free replacements. The salesman who brought them was smart enough to know new headlights don't leave the factory sealed with chewing gum, and refused.

So

The moral of this story is if you're going to play with your siren, pretty much regardless of manufacture, go to an electronics surplus dealer who still has inventory of the ancient ceramic resistors the size of a stair railing, and buy 9 100 watt 1 ohm resistors and wire them in series. Then spread the resistors out in a thick walled drywall mud bucket and fill the bucket with transformer oil to dissipate the heat. That will survive siren testing for durations of 10 seconds without problem as long as you let the bucket cool between tests.
It's kind of a rework of the beloved Heathkit Cantenna sold by the thousands to Ham Radio operators back in the 70s.

Moral #2, if you absolutely insist on metering the voltage to a siren speaker, put your meter on the highest range and cross your fingers.

PS: if you need used Unitrol 800 units, I can stuff some in a USPS 1 rate box and ship them to you real cheap at least till snow flys here.

Joe Rackov
10-15-2017, 06:12 PM
So you are saying this is the repair shop version of Hey, hold my beer and watch this".........right?

Walter Suiter
10-16-2017, 02:56 AM
So you are saying this is the repair shop version of Hey, hold my beer and watch this".........right?

It certainly got to that level, although the original intent, making money, began with pomp & purity. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

The only thing I'll accept blame er I mean credit for was the pipe stuck into a can of water. I remembered reading that Sonalerts were used in Hospital OR settings to alert staff of low blood level in some machine by using a tube sticking into the blood. I figured if it worked there, why not try it.

I cut my teeth in the old barn on Exchange St, where the public rarely saw what happened behind the wall, and really, little changed after the move to the palace. As long as the overhead door was closed, it was teenage boys playing with big toys.

It's my as yet unconfirmed understanding the Palace was demolished this Summer after AMR took over and moved everything out to the old General Railway Signal property. The GRS site is more out of sight, and probably one hell of a lot safer than the combat zone where the Palace was.
I've lived long, and things have changed much.

I'm trying to recall the name of a Supersiren Junior bought a couple of to test back around 70. The manufacturer guaranteed it could and would be heard in an air conditioned car with an 8 track player. They got bolted onto cars for testing. At the time, Junior was on a command kick, and dictated no more would both men go into a restaurant. 1 man remained in the car and monitored the radio, and if the car had to come off lunch, burp the siren for the man eating to get back to work.
One approved 24 hour restaurant was the Princess on Lake Ave, owned by a Greek named Dino. It had a total glass front, and for some reason, Dino had dictated cars had to be pulled in with the grill facing the window. That might have been because a fellow named "Tag" was backed to the door one evening telling people coming in the ambulance was waiting for the next customer to go face down in his soup.

With the speaker about 10 feet from the commercial glass window, a job came in and the Supersiren burped. Fortunately nobody was sitting in a booth next to the window when the glass let go. Driver slid his meal into a foam container & walked out calmly to drive away. The Supersirens came off and went back in their boxes the next morning, and Junior & Dino argued over the siren busting the window. Junior even sent a car down to the Princess to prove the siren couldn't break glass.

Joe Rackov
10-16-2017, 11:00 PM
Well tonight I was gifted a 100 watt Federal speaker. Tomorrow afternoon will be Zero Hour................

Peter Grave
10-16-2017, 11:44 PM
Now your talking go for it.

Walter Suiter
10-17-2017, 02:04 AM
Well tonight I was gifted a 100 watt Federal speaker. Tomorrow afternoon will be Zero Hour................

You could pipe it into the pumpkin with 1 PVC pipe.

Joe Rackov
10-21-2017, 09:36 PM
Well, as we say on some other forums, range report.

We powered it up, manual control first worked. Then went to wail and yelp. All positions reporting able and well. My S-I-L's neighbors, don't know if they appreciated it but living near him they must have a sense of humor.

S-I-L asked to borrow it for the next day at work. He is a golf cart technician, a large distributor with statewide contracts.

Anyway, he was in pursuit of another cart inside their warehouse, set the siren up and covered it with his jacket. Once the race was on, so was the Director! Worked flawlessly and was the hit of the day so he says.

Now he's trying to talk me out of it, fat chance! Halloween is coming soon!

Paul Steinberg
10-21-2017, 10:39 PM
Tell him that I had asked first, so if it is going to go anywhere, I hope that it will be to me in CT..... and I am willing to wait till after Halloween. thanks

Joe Rackov
10-21-2017, 11:20 PM
Paul, I'm still trying to get a line on someone who can repair yours.

Walter Suiter
10-22-2017, 02:10 AM
Golf cart tech you say, HMMMMMM I just might be able to work a deal with him.
Actually a Unitrol 800 with photocopy of the original manual would be better for a golf cart.

I'm a bit occupied at the moment retrofitting a pumpkin to use Co2 rather than propane to blow it's openings out. Propane was spectacular with the afterburn inside the pumpkin, but the fake cobwebs damn near ignited the surroundings.

Joe Rackov
10-22-2017, 12:36 PM
Blowing stuff up, I like it!

Walter Suiter
10-23-2017, 01:27 AM
Self carving pumpkin, probably not good around small children.

Carve lid, eyes, mouth with a cheap air saw or sawzall employing slight taper to cutouts.
Remove seeds & guts.
Add hole at rear of pumpkin for fuel/air tube.
Add spark device with long wires or garage door opener control.
Insert cutouts back into pumpkin.
Add fuel/air charge as victim approaches pumpkin.
WAIT
When victim is perfectly position, fire spark using BBQ Grill piezio device.

You can generally reinsert the cutouts a dozen times unless you go nuts with the charge.

Female adults may wet themselves when the nice pumpkin self carves.