Feniex Storm 100 W remote siren

MtnMan

Senior Member
#1
In a prior thread (http://elightbars.org/forums/f14/feniex-storm-questions-55076/), I had some questions about the Feniex Storm siren. I recently bought one from psebids.com, and below is my candid review of this new product's pros and cons. I'm happy to answer any questions and interested to hear responses from Feniex, dealers, or other users.


DESCRIPTION


The Feniex Storm is a remote-mount, 100 Watt siren module with five tones and PA. The siren is packaged as a black box with a 10-pin connector, three-pin microphone jack, and no external or internal controls. A 10', color coded wiring harness and a mic with extended cord are provided, as well as a six-position switch panel with illuminated on/off rocker switches, plus two additional momentary rockers.


The siren enclosure appears to be a solid, quality piece with integral heat sinks in the aluminum end caps. It's bulky, however, measuring 4.9 x 8.2 x 2.5" (published specs differ, but those are my actual measurements, including the non-removable mounting flanges). That's as big as full featured sirens with 200 W output, built-in controls, and auxiliary switching. With more attention to compact design, Feniex could have shrunk the Storm to half its size (although probably at increased cost). The PA microphone is a visual clone of the ubiquitous noise cancelling design used by other manufacturers, but has an insubstantial feel and flaws in the molded plastic.


Surprisingly, no installation or technical documentation was included, other than a label on the siren (and here: https://www.feniex.com/literature/storm%20labelweb1146353853.jpg), which shows an inaccurate drawing of the siren, the wiring color code, and a brief description of functions. I was able to figure out operation on my own, but parameters like current requirements and input/output protection are undocumented. [Note to Feniex: I'm available for freelance technical writing if you need it].


OPERATION


The red and black wires connect to 12 VDC, via a supplied 15 A inline fuse. Standby current draw is about 10 mA by my measurement. Siren tones (Wail, Yelp, Phaser, or Mechanical) are activated by applying +12 V to the corresponding function wire. If a tone is already sounding, activating another tone cancels the previous tone; reactivating the previous tone requires removing and reapplying +12 V to its function wire.


This mode of operation means that if you use the supplied on/off rocker switches to control the siren tones, you'll be doing a lot of unnecessary switch flipping. A simple rotary selector would make much more sense.


Applying +12 V to the Manual wire activate the either Horn tone, or Yelp or Phaser overrides, as described on the label. What isn't described on the label is that in Wail mode, the Manual wire is a toggle between Wail and Yelp; in Yelp mode, Manual is a momentary override to the Phaser tone.


The blue Hands Free wire enables HF mode, in which the siren is silent at first. Activating the Manual wire cycles though Wail, Yelp, Phaser, and back to Wail. There is no apparent way to silence the siren, other than removing +12 V from the blue wire. There is no provision for connecting the Manual input to a negative switched horn ring.


Pressing the mic PTT button overrides all other functions. There is no PA volume control.


In summary, the Storm offers versatile options for operation, but comes in a less than ideal configuration. For those seeking the simplest installation, I would suggest using a center-off SPDT switch to select Wail and Yelp modes, plus a momentary switch for horn/override. To take full advantage of all of the functions, you'll want to use a rotary selector or a controller such as the Feniex 4200.


SOUND


Sound clips of the siren tones are here: Police lights, Emergency led lights, public work lights, Feniex industries, Warning vehicle lights and sirens, lightbars. The standard Wail -is a 700-1,500 Hz sweep and is similar to current Carson sirens. Mechanical is a nice slow wail, without sounding "overly simulated." Yelp has a larger sweep (650-1,650 Hz) than most. Phaser is a fairly standard, medium pitch. The horn is a basic beep at a 700 Hz fundamental. All tones are instant on and off, with no wind down.


COMPETITIVE EVALUATION


In comparison to competitive products, such as the Carson SA-361 and Star SS651, the Feniex Storm adds mechanical siren tone and PA at an aggressive price point. I expect its versatility will make it a popular item in the experienced installer's "bag of tricks." For example, the Storm could be installed to add mechanical dual tone functionality to an existing siren. For volunteer responders, it can be used as a horn/PA setup, with the option to add siren tones in the future. On the downside, its operational quirks, lack of documentation, and the sub-optimal choice of included switches may be a deterrent to the casual DIYer.
 

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