Need Help ID'ing Late 80's Siren

ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

Silver Supporter
For the life of me, I can't identify the siren in the attached picture. It looks a lot like a Whelen, but I don't think it is. I suspect that it may have been made by D&R Electronics. Love the control panel, though. Seems a bit clunky to have to turn on each of the emergency lights and the siren individually, though. I have no idea what the red cap connected to the chain is either...

OPP_Cruiser_Control Panel.jpg
 
OP
OP
ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

Silver Supporter
Thank you! I've heard of Carson, but never SVP. Were they only around for a while or were/are they a lesser-known manufacturer? What was the general quality of their equipment?
 

CHIEFOPS

Senior Member
Southern Vehicle Products, later Signal Vehicle Products was a mainstream siren & light company, Star Headlight Company acquired them about 15 years ago. IIRC, SVP was the company that introduced the "phaser" siren tone in place of the Hi-Lo tone.
The red doohicky may be a cigarette jack insert to prevent stuff from entering the jack when it's not in use.
 
OP
OP
ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

Silver Supporter
I just watched a couple of videos of the SVP-400. It's a beautiful-sounding siren, IMO. Hearing it took me back to the early 90s. They just don't make them like that any more.
 
OP
OP
ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

Silver Supporter
What's the light controller in the photo? Cool old school console.
I think it's from Canadian General Electric. This is the control panel of an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) patrol car from the late 80s. I'm in the same boat as you, I totally dig the panel.
 

MtnMan

Senior Member
Old ones are pretty easy to find. The current version is digital and doesn’t sound the same.
 
OP
OP
ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

Silver Supporter
Old ones are pretty easy to find. The current version is digital and doesn’t sound the same.
I watched some videos on YouTube and the current version really doesn't sound the same. It just doesn't have that distinct richness of an older siren. It reminds me of comparing a CD to a vinyl record. The CD may be cleaner-sounding, but it just doesn't have the warmth and depth of vinyl. Much like how vinyl records are popular again, the older styles of siren tones need to make a resurgence IMO.
 

NPS Ranger

Veteran Member
So I can learn something, what makes a "digital" siren sound different from an "analog" siren? I can see the switching/control of a siren being digital, but the siren sound is produced in an oscillator circuit the same as it always has been. I can certainly agree with older sirens sounding better in YouTube videos, but usually it's because they were also driving through older speakers, which had much better low frequency response and didn't sound as tinny and shrill as the cheap flat-type speakers sold today. I'm just curious what constitutes a digital siren.
 
OP
OP
ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

Silver Supporter
...but usually it's because they were also driving through older speakers, which had much better low frequency response and didn't sound as tinny and shrill as the cheap flat-type speakers sold today.
So true. I miss those old speakers. They sounded better, their sound carried further and they were built to last. Shame things like Title 13 in CA ruined a lot of those old "hear them 10 miles away" speakers.
 

CHIEFOPS

Senior Member
Today's compact siren speakers are factually not as loud as the older bell and cone speakers due to their physical design. If you can find a way to fit a traditional bell and cone speaker you'll dramatically improve your warning capability. A good candidate is the rectangular sugar scoop style speaker, there are still a few companies that make them, Able 2/Sho-Me for sure, I think Star Headlight and Code 3. Ebay always has some for sale, usually FedSig and Motorola.
 
OP
OP
ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

Silver Supporter
Motorola still makes siren speakers?! I never knew that. I'm still a newbie, but that's good to hear. Always had a soft spot for Motorola equipment, for several reasons. One of my grandfather's jobs was selling Motorola equipment to LE agencies. He was an electronics wizard and always said how from an electronic design/build category, Motorola made quality stuff. He had a bunch of surplus Motorola equipment that he used for components and parts for building other things. Some real classic stuff there. I remember as a kid having an old Motorola radio that he said was for use in patrol cars. IIRC, the mic was made out of Bakelite. I remember the mic cabling being at least 5/16" thick including the rubber casing. It was utterly indestructible.
 
Last edited:

MtnMan

Senior Member
So I can learn something, what makes a "digital" siren sound different from an "analog" siren? I can see the switching/control of a siren being digital, but the siren sound is produced in an oscillator circuit the same as it always has been.
Actually, many current sirens use digitally synthesized tones instead of an analog oscillator. That's how Whelen, for example, offers 20+ selectable tones in one box
 
OP
OP
ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

ProPatriaNeverPassAFault

Silver Supporter
Actually, many current sirens use digitally synthesized tones instead of an analog oscillator. That's how Whelen, for example, offers 20+ selectable tones in one box
The strange part is how different the tones sound when played in the programming software versus siren speakers. Like night and day.
 

Online statistics

Members online
15
Guests online
87
Total visitors
102

Forum statistics

Threads
47,029
Messages
418,681
Members
16,490
Latest member
Weoff8823
Top Bottom