Anatomy of a Rumbler Siren (original style)

May 22, 2010
233
Bauxite Arkansas
Had possession of a Federal Signal Rumbler a while back, and got to looking and really couldnt see where there was much to it... So I took one of the "speakers apart and this is what I've found.


Its made entirely of SCH40 PVC pipe that is painted. Its a short piece of 6" pipe, a flat cap, and a domed cap with some "vents" cut into them. Inside, a small 6" subwoofer/speaker is mounted. Its SIMPLE. Maybe 20 bucks worth of PVC material that is all painted black. Pics are below.


Up close of the flat cap middle


ai95.photobucket.com_albums_l128_firefighter_2000_Rumbler_100_2354.jpg


The rounded cap, inside:


ai95.photobucket.com_albums_l128_firefighter_2000_Rumbler_100_2358.jpg


With the rounded cap removed.


ai95.photobucket.com_albums_l128_firefighter_2000_Rumbler_100_2359.jpg


Speaker/Subwoofer removed


ai95.photobucket.com_albums_l128_firefighter_2000_Rumbler_100_2355.jpg


Top view. Notice the thickness & the holes drilled for the speaker/subwoofer


ai95.photobucket.com_albums_l128_firefighter_2000_Rumbler_100_2353.jpg


The speaker/subwoofer


ai95.photobucket.com_albums_l128_firefighter_2000_Rumbler_100_2357.jpg


ai95.photobucket.com_albums_l128_firefighter_2000_Rumbler_100_2356.jpg
 
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Reactions: Jtajk1995

cajunblitz

Member
May 20, 2010
1,217
Saint Martin Parish LA
Eman510 said:
WOW...THAT LOOKS CHEAP! I wonder what the whelen howler looks like!

The Whelen Howler speaker is exactly the same except the newest versions have a screen mounted over the vent holes at the bottom to prevent debris from entering and building up inside the unit.


Also, the newest Rumbler speaker is built different than the one shown in the OP. The new speaker housings are composite molded in 2 pieces and are smaller and lighter than the original. Whelen still uses the older original speaker housing.


[Broken External Image]:http://www.tactical-life.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/rumbler.gif[Broken External Image]:http://www.mhq.com/media/catalog/pr...quency-siren-amp-and-speakers-68900000-lg.jpg


Older version-------------------------------------------------------------------------Newest version
 

Eman510

Member
May 23, 2010
26
Yea idk if I would go with the fed sig. System. Looks cheap and lately they're products are very dissapointing. Ill stick to the howler, 2 speakers and amp..very simple to install.
 

cajunblitz

Member
May 20, 2010
1,217
Saint Martin Parish LA
Eman510 said:
Yea idk if I would go with the fed sig. System. Looks cheap and lately they're products are very dissapointing. Ill stick to the howler, 2 speakers and amp..very simple to install.

The Fedsig system is also 2 speakers and amp..no different than the Howler and no more difficult to install. As mentioned in my post above, the Rumbler speakers/housing have been improved but the Whelen Howler is still using the same "cheap" speakers as shown in the original post.


[Broken External Image]:http://www.fedsig.com/products/images/main/RumblerKit.jpg[Broken External Image]:http://www.fleetsafety.com/catalog/Howler_Siren_Speaker_System.jpg


I'm curious to know what FedSig products have been disappointing to you as of late? I've been dealing with FedSig for close to 10 years now, and I can tell you I started out disappointed with them trailing behind Whelen and other companies with their LED products, but I think right now FedSig is on top of their game, especially in the warning LED category.
 

TangoDown

Member
May 22, 2010
96
Montana
Kinda makes you wonder how easy/cheap it would be to build a rumbler system. The woofer driver and PVC could be had for fairly cheap. The concern I would have is the signal processor / amplifier for the sound output. You would have to wire something inline with the siren circuit that could evaluate and harmonize the tone to several octaves lower?? I think thats how the whole technology is supposed to work, anyway.
 

VolEms

Member
May 24, 2010
2,109
NY, USA
I dont think fed sig products last. I had a vision It had a stroke on me. Only half of the lights would turn on and somtimes none. I also have seen many ss2000 sirens that stoped working . I got the Howler for my car. I also think as far as LED's go Tomar , Whelen and Sound off are much brighter.
 

cajunblitz

Member
May 20, 2010
1,217
Saint Martin Parish LA
VolEms said:
I dont think fed sig products last. I had a vision It had a stroke on me. Only half of the lights would turn on and somtimes none. I also have seen many ss2000 sirens that stoped working . I got the Howler for my car. I also think as far as LED's go Tomar , Whelen and Sound off are much brighter.

I believe you're going to have failures with many different brands of warning products. I can't tell you how many power supplies and tubes I've changed on fairly new Whelen Edge light bars, and control boards in Whelen Patriot bars. Rotator motors on Code3 bars. Power supplies on Tomar bars. We've had our share of SS2000 failures as well, along with Code3 Mastercoms and Whelen 295s.


Failures are part of the life of a product designed to perform in all kinds of conditions, mostly volatile and unstable conditions. And it's an a electronic product. Think about what these products are put through on a daily basis, and you'll understand that sometimes you'll have failures and sometimes they'll just keep kicking for years.....it won't be a perfect situation all the time.


We are a FedSig, Tomar, SoundOff and Code3 dealer. If you haven't compared the Federal Signal Legend bar or the FedSig ViperEXT LEDs to some of those other brands and thought that they were extremely bright, sometimes brighter than some of those others, then I don't think you've given FedSig a fair chance at all. All of those companies make great products, some better than others, but out of those companies listed I don't think there is one whose entire offering is better than anyone else's.


The Howler is a great product, but in my opinion there is nothing about it that makes it any better than a Rumbler in any way other than more mounting applications. They perform the same to me.
 

MPD 818

Member
May 25, 2010
1,317
Murfreesboro TN
VolEms said:
I dont think fed sig products last. I had a vision It had a stroke on me. Only half of the lights would turn on and somtimes none. I also have seen many ss2000 sirens that stoped working . I got the Howler for my car. I also think as far as LED's go Tomar , Whelen and Sound off are much brighter.

Not knocking you, but I have seen a lot of product failures from improper install. I have seen my fair share of Federal Products have problems, but the same can be said for any emergency equipment providers. I personally like Federal because they are always coming out with new innovative products, and the quality has always been good.
 

Sigma Safety

Member
May 21, 2010
766
western Canada
MPD 818 said:
Not knocking you, but I have seen a lot of product failures from improper install. I have seen my fair share of Federal Products have problems, but the same can be said for any emergency equipment providers. I personally like Federal because they are always coming out with new innovative products, and the quality has always been good.

Just look how many PA300's are around, or Federal "Director" sirens - like, 20-30 yrs old! Streethawks too, etc.
 

VolEms

Member
May 24, 2010
2,109
NY, USA
I am doing a install for a 2011 Toyota Sienna . The person has a SS2000 in his current car , it stopped working so I am putting in a Whelen Duel Siren. I still think that Fed Sig over the past few years are being made cheap. Look at the NYPD for those of you that live in NY look how many V-Bars are not flashing all the lights. I have yet to see a Whelen Siren in an ambulance stop working . By the way I had 8 Dynamax speakers installed in various cars I think Im down to the last 2 still working. I had to replace almost all of them . Im not saying they dont make nice products, like the SS2000 who everyone wants in NY, but they dont last. I try to install now only Tomar and Whelen products. Agreed the PA300 is a workhorse. I have a Galls PA300 still working.
 

yellowsky

Member
Nov 11, 2010
15
usa/fl
my rumbler is falling apart.. they want 90 bucks for a new woofer.... figure they would have made it stand up 3 the elements..


wonder what just one would sound like?
 
Jan 20, 2011
1,264
Lake of the Ozarks
Okay, after reading this, I wanna make one and see what happens. Heres a question. Is the woofer a 100W and does it hook directly up to the siren amp just like a regular speaker? If I have a 200W siren, can I only hook up one 100W siren driver/speaker and one 100W woofer? I've never used, worked, or installed one so I don't have the slightest idea on how these thing hook up. Thanks!
 

FireGuru

Member
May 3, 2011
710
CENTRAL OHIO
calebsheltonmed23 said:
Okay, after reading this, I wanna make one and see what happens. Heres a question. Is the woofer a 100W and does it hook directly up to the siren amp just like a regular speaker? If I have a 200W siren, can I only hook up one 100W siren driver/speaker and one 100W woofer? I've never used, worked, or installed one so I don't have the slightest idea on how these thing hook up. Thanks!

I was just pondering the same question :undecided: and was about to run out to the shop, but football is on :popcorn: .... so I'll just wait and see what someone says ... hehehehe!!


:postcount:
 

smsales

Member
May 21, 2010
479
West Michigan
Will some please try and make one and advise us. It would be sweet to be able to make one. I wounder what just a 100watt sub would sound like on a siren amp? hummm.
 

FireGuru

Member
May 3, 2011
710
CENTRAL OHIO
smsales said:
Will some please try and make one and advise us. It would be sweet to be able to make one. I wounder what just a 100watt sub would sound like on a siren amp? hummm.

Just incase someone trys this before I do, protect your sub!! Put a high-pass filter on it so you don't blow a good speaker. :duh:
 

topflight

Member
May 22, 2010
370
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I just hooked up a STL siren (I know, I use it for projects because the PA knob also controls how loud the siren is and I can turn it down while the child is asleep) to a 10" subwoofer, all the tones are high pitched and not that deep tone like the rumbler, it sounds like it would hooked to a normal speaker. i didn't use the subwoofers amp either.
 

theroofable

Member
May 23, 2010
1,379
New Jersey
I think the rumbler amp takes the hz level down to a bass level. The siren is just going to put 100 watts through the woofer at the same frequency as the siren. Maybe if you could find a frequency reducer or something it could work? :undecided:
 

Solvarex

Member
Jun 2, 2010
561
Canada
This has got to be the dumbest stuff I've read here in a while. If hooking a woofer directly to a siren amp worked do you think FedSig and Whelen would include a special amp with their units? :rolleyes:
 
Jan 20, 2011
1,264
Lake of the Ozarks
@Solvarex: I can only speak for myself, but I've never even seen one in real life. Just pictures of them off of here mainly. I did'nt even know they came with an amp, and I'm assuming the others don't know either. But trial and error is sometimes the best way to figure something out.
 

JazzDad

Member
Aug 5, 2011
5,165
USA
TangoDown said:
Kinda makes you wonder how easy/cheap it would be to build a rumbler system. The woofer driver and PVC could be had for fairly cheap. The concern I would have is the signal processor / amplifier for the sound output. You would have to wire something inline with the siren circuit that could evaluate and harmonize the tone to several octaves lower?? I think thats how the whole technology is supposed to work, anyway.

Google
 

smsales

Member
May 21, 2010
479
West Michigan
topflight said:
I tried the high pass filter box between the siren and sub and no sound... Then all of a sudden I see smoke and smell burning... That didn't work either..... (high pass box)

oops. well i guess you dont know if you dont try.. i dont have any subs or i would try to make one. lets keep playing with this and see if we can make something work.
 

DaCityPolice

Member
May 23, 2010
44
Washington, DC
yellowsky said:
my rumbler is falling apart.. they want 90 bucks for a new woofer.... figure they would have made it stand up 3 the elements..

wonder what just one would sound like?

Crap. Our newer cars have Rumblers and get pushed hard (LOTS of code driving through busy city streets and intersections 24 hours a day). One of my regular pool cars has a broken rumbler (only took 80,000 miles) and the one speaker that still works sounds really weak and not effective.
 

rongstad

Member
Jul 28, 2011
93
Texas
topflight said:
I don't use the subs or anything so if I fry it or mess it up is doesn't bother me, I know the risk but I'm going to try a couple more things and try to make this thing work.

Subs only reproduce low frequency sound. I'd look into a low pass filter or coil. start here.


Crossover Component Selection Guide at Parts Express


I havent seen a schematic in ages, but i highly doubt regular siren amplifiers will reproduce or sound low frequencies.


here's a copy and paste


PA300 siren, Audio Frequency Range . . . . . . . . . . 300 to 10,000Hz


Rumbler Frequency range............182 to 400 Hz


good luck,


-od-
 

Solvarex

Member
Jun 2, 2010
561
Canada
Sorry. I typically assume everyone I meet has the same level of knowledge that I do and get surprised when I discover they don't. Not that I know everything but it's not exactly a reasonable expectation, I know.


A low pass filter won't work because it's exactly that - a filter. If there are no low frequencies being produced in the first place the speaker won't do anything.


The Rumbler amp takes the waveform of the siren tone and drops it down by several orders of magnitude so as to fit within the sub's frequency range. It is duplicating the siren tone in bass only. Without that ability you cannot achieve a DIY Rumbler.
 
Jan 20, 2011
1,264
Lake of the Ozarks
Solvarex said:
Sorry. I typically assume everyone I meet has the same level of knowledge that I do and get surprised when I discover they don't. Not that I know everything but it's not exactly a reasonable expectation, I know.

A low pass filter won't work because it's exactly that - a filter. If there are no low frequencies being produced in the first place the speaker won't do anything.


The Rumbler amp takes the waveform of the siren tone and drops it down by several orders of magnitude so as to fit within the sub's frequency range. It is duplicating the siren tone in bass only. Without that ability you cannot achieve a DIY Rumbler.

No offense taken! Just fillin' ya in on my part. If I had thin skin, I would be in this business very long! lol. Thanks for the info. I'm gonna head to the shack later in the week and check some stuff out.
 

Station 3

Member
May 21, 2010
3,395
Edinburg Texas
Why are we paying hundreds of dollars maybe even 1k for something made out of PVC pipe and spray paint???? that is the question.
 

C2Installs

Member
May 24, 2010
477
Tennessee
Station 3 said:
Why are we paying hundreds of dollars maybe even 1k for something made out of PVC pipe and spray paint???? that is the question.

Uhh, about four hundred-ish for LE agencies. How much can you make & market your version for? And regardless of the construction (which is much improved with the newer speakers), I think it is a fair price for the capability it offers. Anyone priced a single Whelen motorcycle speaker (only) lately?
 

acousticman

Member
Nov 5, 2011
27
US Salem,VA
I have been reading all of the notes. I have been in electronics for 35 years, mostly maintaing public safety communications. I will, as they say on "Mythbusters" add some science!


The Howler and Rumbler systems take the audio frequency of the main siren and divides it in half, 700 Hz becomes 350 Hz. This is then run through an amplifier to drive the subwoofers. Power does not have to be as high as human hearing


is more sensitive at lower frequencies. Probably only need 50 watts r.m.s.


Originally, when siren speakers were larger and could reproduce low frequencies without burning up the compression drivers, they went down to 300 Hz, the mellow sound of older units. Shortening the audio path makes the lowest frequency


reproducible go up. I am surprised more siren speakers do not burn up. The CPI are the worst, the audio path is only 3 inches! A TS100 is as short as I believe they should be made, shorter and the driver cannot couple to the air properly.


I am also surprised that they want you to mount a fiber coned speaker in the wheel wells when all kinds of waterous debris is found.
 
Jan 20, 2011
1,264
Lake of the Ozarks
acousticman said:
I have been reading all of the notes. I have been in electronics for 35 years, mostly maintaing public safety communications. I will, as they say on "Mythbusters" add some science!

The Howler and Rumbler systems take the audio frequency of the main siren and divides it in half, 700 Hz becomes 350 Hz. This is then run through an amplifier to drive the subwoofers. Power does not have to be as high as human hearing


is more sensitive at lower frequencies. Probably only need 50 watts r.m.s.


Originally, when siren speakers were larger and could reproduce low frequencies without burning up the compression drivers, they went down to 300 Hz, the mellow sound of older units. Shortening the audio path makes the lowest frequency


reproducible go up. I am surprised more siren speakers do not burn up. The CPI are the worst, the audio path is only 3 inches! A TS100 is as short as I believe they should be made, shorter and the driver cannot couple to the air properly.


I am also surprised that they want you to mount a fiber coned speaker in the wheel wells when all kinds of waterous debris is found.

Brilliant! Since your more knowledgeable (and radio shack sucks), you would use a capacitor to reduce frequency right?
 

JazzDad

Member
Aug 5, 2011
5,165
USA
A capacitor or coil can be used to filter out some of the spectrum (depending on what you want out; high or low). You need a frequency divider circuit to 'chop' the tone in half (or quarters, or eighths, etc).
 

acousticman

Member
Nov 5, 2011
27
US Salem,VA
Sorry about the delay, I have been out of town checking my old service, Henrico County Fire Department. They are buying Whelen sirens with warble, a.k.a. GE Power Call, sounds neat with a Q at the same time.


Now, putting a low pass speaker filter does no good. An electronic siren tone is a square wave. A square wave is a sine wave and all of its odd harmonics, that is 100 Hz, 300 Hz, 500 Hz... If you put a high pass filter on the siren output, you loose the "electronic siren" sound but do not lower the base frequency. The Rumbler amplifier takes the square wave and electronically divides it in half (actually, you can divide buy three or four if you wan to), a 700 Hz square wave remains square but is now 350 Hz. Being as it is harmonically related to the original 700 Hz, the Rumbler 350 Hz adds its effect and the tones track each other. I wish I could say it simpler, but I cannot. The circuit is not complex, a single flip-flop or a 555 timer chip can do it. You have to drop the 33.4 volt audio level to about 5 volts, run it through the divider, then amplify it again. They are really ripping people off for what they charge for these things. Concept is ok, execution sucks.


Thinking about it, do you realize that the little beryllium copper straps in a siren driver flex at 700 times per second at the 700 Hz frequency and goes up from there? I read that internal temperature of an electronic siren driver reaches 300 degrees F


on a regular run. Better ones, Federal Signal and Atlas Sound have ferro fluid that fills the gap in the magnet to help cool the voice coil. I think that is why they are more expensive, a Chinese one I opened was bone dry.


Also, remember to keep the driver weep hole down, water in a driver will cause early failure.
 

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