Kent's Siren Repair Shop

Discussion in 'Services Available' started by MtnMan, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. MtnMan

    MtnMan Senior Member

    Kent's (MtnMan's) Siren Repair Shop is open for business!

    Got a croaking, squawking, buzzing, fuse-blowing, or just plain dead siren? Want to
    hear it wail and yelp again in all its full-power glory?

    I've been doing repair and restoration of electronic sirens for ELB members by request, and it seems like time to offer my services more widely. I have experience working on many current and vintage sirens, including:

    • Carson SA, SC series
    • Code 3 V-Con, MasterCom, Undercover
    • Federal Signal PA 15, PA 20, PA 150, PA 200, PA 300, e-Q2B
    • Galls branded sirens
    • North American Signal Siren Master
    • Scientific Protoypes Mark series
    • Star SVP SS series
    • Unitrol 80K, Omega, Touchmaster, Touchmaster Delta
    • Whelen 295, Alpha
    The most common component failures encountered on electronic sirens are output transistors (no sound at all), control switches (some modes don't work), and PA mic wiring and switches (no PA or scratchy sound). Older analog sirens are also prone to out-of-spec capacitors, producing tones that just don't sound right.

    All of these issues, and more, can be fixed. I offer component-level troubleshooting, and I have sourced replacements for many discontinued and hard-to-find parts, including Germanium power transistors, mics, knobs, switches, fuse holders, connectors and wiring harnesses. Defective output transistors will be replaced with gain-matched pairs, which is important for long-term durability.


    Basic repairs start at $60 flat rate, plus actual cost of parts and return shipping. Any additional costs are subject to the customer's approval. If my evaluation indicates that repairs are not feasible, I can return the unit as-is (customer pays return shipping), or I may be able to make a cash offer for parts value.

    If you're interested in services, please PM me with details of your siren and its condition for an up-front estimate and further details.

    Thanks!
    Kent
     
    BADSR, NVFD612, Skulldigger and 4 others like this.
  2. CHIEFOPS

    CHIEFOPS Senior Member

    Kudos.
    If you had a web page I'm sure many of us would save it as a favorite place for future reference.
     
    MtnMan likes this.
  3. DalmatProd

    DalmatProd Premium Member

    I've used Kent's service several times for sirens I've purchased here on ELB. His work is excellent, as is the speed by which he repairs them. On one, he even spent some time on the phone with me to help diagnose a problem. His fees are more than reasonable and he's a great guy, to boot! If you have a siren problem, Kent is the guy to turn to!
     
    MtnMan likes this.
  4. CVFD25

    CVFD25 Newbie

    I also have had great dealings with Kent. I had an antique Fyr Fyter Penetrator siren from my own 1966 Firetruck that has a lot of sentimental value. I was very nervous about sending it off to someone I didn't know but he fixed it right and for a good price. The siren is now back in my truck and sounds brand new. Plus he did a great cleaning job on it. I would highly recommend him.
     
    Skip Goulet and MtnMan like this.
  5. kerry4951

    kerry4951 Junior Member

    This is good to know. Im running off a copy of your post for future reference. Thanks for offering this service.
     
    MtnMan likes this.
  6. Skip Goulet

    Skip Goulet Forum Guru

    Glad to know that you're doing that, Kent. My late friend Harold had a couple of North Americans that needed repair but he never found anyone to work on them. He did a lot of work himself but couldn't ever find a schematic for them and N.A. wouldn't send him one, either. As you may remember, his daughter sold off all of his sirens while he was hospitalized, including some of mine that he had been "tinkering" on. Never have been able to find out where they went.
     
    MtnMan likes this.
  7. joeyd

    joeyd Member

    This is great because my Alpha 22m and 12q are dead dead. Will contact you later.
     
  8. MtnMan

    MtnMan Senior Member

    Here's an update on some recent repair work:

    I'd like to thank two members for entrusting me with a pair of very uncommon and interesting sirens to repair, giving me a nostalgic blast from the past, and for their patience when the projects turned out to be more extensive than expected.

    Tony (tsquale) sent me his beautiful Signal Stat Mark VII (http://elightbars.org/forums/threads/signal-stat-stat-vii-siren.76001/). I have an NYPD spec Mark VII, but I've never seen the full-featured version, with the modified tone switch.

    The neat thing about this siren is that it's all off-the-shelf discrete logic and analog components, circa 1980, which is what I learned on as a teenager. You could have walked into any Radio Shack back then and bought almost every part to build this siren (and at checkout time, the sales guy would have tried to upsell you a CB, instead of a cell phone).

    I had a scan of the original service manual to work from, but the details of the circuit diagram were blurry and there were some undocumented revisions, so I ended up redrawing the entire schematic (I'll contribute it to the old manuals thread). The Mark VII has a complicated and rather overprotective protection circuit, which was shutting down the tone and output sections. I located the fault, replaced a switching transistor and flip-flop IC, and the siren was back to perfect working order, complete with the funky Mod tones. With Tony's approval, I also did the (easily reversible) modification for the NYPD-style momentary yelp that every New Yorker from the 1970s - 1980s remembers. Check his updated thread for a video of the final result.

    Turning back the retro dial a few more notches was the Federal Signal PA-1 received from another member. That's right, not a PA-10, or a PA-5... a PA-ONE. The Original Federal Electronic Siren, from around 1952.

    This siren was a real time capsule. The circuitry is all transistorized, which was advanced for the time, but the construction is hand-wired, point-to-point, a technique going back to the early days of tube equipment.

    I didn't have any information at all on the circuitry, but fortunately it was basic enough that I was able to trace it out and draft a diagram (to be posted as well). As received, the siren just produced a feeble, monotone squeak. The basic fix was predictable: replacing some dried-out electrolytic capacitors in the oscillator section, which restored the original, rich wail tone.

    The siren also showed evidence of some more-expedient-than-expert repair work over the decades (remember, this piece dates to the era when every town had a local radio repair shop). A power resistor had been replaced with a kludged substitute and the output transistors were a mix of mismatched components. I found some NOS transistors on eBay, returned everything to spec, and was very pleased to hear the old siren putting out a solid 50 Watts.

    To the member whose PA-15 is on my bench right now, I promise I haven't forgotten! It will be receiving a selector switch transplant first thing next week.

    Keep those old sirens coming!
     
  9. FEVER

    FEVER Platinum Level Member

    I will say this, i've never once used Kent but his knowledge is very obvious. I've always enjoyed his post. Never heard a bad thing about his services so if I ever have a need I'll be reaching out.
     
  10. wfdstation42

    wfdstation42 Member

    I can speak for Kent having used his service. It was my PA-1 that he referenced working on in the above post. He was extremely professional every step of the way, kept me up to date with what he did and if he felt something else needed to be looked at because it wasn't quite up to spec he got my permission before doing it. The repair was timely and VERY affordable and the siren sounds AWESOME!! I would not hesitate to use his service again.
     
  11. CHIEFOPS

    CHIEFOPS Senior Member

    Kent, is that something you can build from scratch today?
     
  12. Hello Sir!

    I have a like new Code 3 V-Con 3672L4. I sold it to some one who burned it up during installation. He returned it saying I had prior knowledge knowing it was bad (UH HUH). The siren box smells awful and when I power it up and slide the light switch over all 3 lights blink on n off once hardly able to see them and nothing after. When I depress the white buttons the Red Light activates and shuts off. The siren tones don't work at all. I opened it up and you can see a burn mark on the left side of the green circuit board. What do you think? Please email me @ aofindustries55@gmail.com. You can text me @ (708) 915-9788, thank you!

    Bill
    Chicago
     
  13. MtnMan

    MtnMan Senior Member

    Bill, email sent.
     
  14. Mark1122

    Mark1122 New Member

    Hi, I have a used Federal signal touchmasterdelta PA/siren system I got and the guy said it worked. I hooked it up and can't get any siren sounds. The horn and PA work fine, so I know the speaker/ siren is hooked up right. Any ideas on why or what could be the problem. You can email me @ markmoreno007@Gmail.Com.

    Thanks
    Mark
     

    Attached Files:

  15. octoberguy77

    octoberguy77 Member

    Hi Kent, can you work on Federal Signal PA640?
     
  16. shues

    shues Gold Level Member

    What happens when you use the TEST button?
     
  17. Mark1122

    Mark1122 New Member

    Nothing, red light on slide bar comes on, but no sound. Not her the less, I'm returning it
     
  18. chief1562

    chief1562 Silver Level Member

    Hey Kent,
    Can you repair a Code3 Arrowsik controller?
    I didn't realize that the circuit boards for the lights were bad before I fried it.
    Major fubar on my part.
    Know it's screwed got replacement lights and different controller it all works. But this one is done.
     
  19. Adam 12

    Adam 12 Junior Member

    Sent a PM last week still waiting to hear back.
     
  20. eastbarren36

    eastbarren36 Member

    hey kent, kinda of a odd question maybe but i am looking for all the wiring for a federal signal EQ2B series A siren, can you get one or shoot me into the direction i need to go on one.
     
  21. I too have some Federal Signal SignalMaster controllers - that have a segment stuck ON. Emailed Skinner but he is very backlogged with work - curious as to the possibility of repair.
     
  22. ryan

    ryan Premium Member Gold Level Member

    I have a newer Whelen 295slsa1 siren. Out of warranty. You fix those as well? Shoot me an address and off it will go to you.
     
  23. mjs3025

    mjs3025 New Member

    Hi Kent - I've got a push button Fyr Fyter Penetrator that "works" but the tones are definitely suffering. "ALT" (yelp) is way too fast and "WAIL" does not rise and fall like it should. Both are a little more high-pitched than they should be as I'm sure the old caps and transistors have about had it. If you can help me out here, please email me at mjs3025@aol.com or let me know how to get it touch with you.

    Thanks in advance, Mike
     
  24. MEVS06

    MEVS06 Site Regular

    I have a couple of Unitrol Omega U90 amps I'd like to get repaired. When the time comes I know who is getting my business.
     
  25. woop

    woop New Member

    I need to get a SP MK VII repaired
    Any help ?
    Thanks
     
  26. beaconray-174

    beaconray-174 Member

    Kent, I have a federal pa-20 that the hilo function just steady tones and is very scratchy in the wail and yelp modes also. Is this something you would like to look at for me?
     
  27. HCR1990

    HCR1990 Junior Member

    PM sent in January and still no reply, resent today
     
  28. Steve Davis

    Steve Davis New Member

    Hi Kent,

    I have a Unitrol Touchmaster that needs a switch replaced. I also need a few of the slide switch thumb knobs. Email is olanchamedic@aol.com. Thanks,
     
  29. BADSR

    BADSR New Member

    Hello Kent,
    I have a Federal Interceptor PA20-E that is rumbling and grumbling. My email address is bdonewar@gmail.com.

    Thanks
    Barry
     
  30. BADSR

    BADSR New Member

    Hello Kent!

    I have three PA20's and one Director that needs cleaning and a bumper-to-bumper evaluation. I have some issues with all but one of the PA20's, but that one should also be looked at.

    Please email me at: bdonewar@gmail.com so I can get this shipped off with payment. I really do appreciate your time and all that you do.

    Thanks!

    Barry Donewar
     
  31. CAnderson

    CAnderson New Member

    Kent,

    I have a Unitrol Touchmaster Delta that has started blending tones together at times. Sometimes the tone just make a odd noise nothing like what it should be. Other times it runs just fine. If the tones and sweep feature are acting up the air horn and manual continue to work properly. Ever seen anything like this before and is it something your could repair?
    Thanks for your time,
    Clay Anderson
     
  32. Omegaman78

    Omegaman78 Lurking Newbie

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