Priority vs Two tone

RL1

Member
May 20, 2010
1,643
Ga
Does anyone know when priority/phaser/ etc started to come out, replacing two tone? Also, does anyone in the US still use two-tone and find it effective?
 

Squad-6

Member
May 21, 2010
1,322
N. GA
If you are referring to HiLo then yes I still use it. Whenever I run calls in the state park in my area I use it. It works well at 200watts for grabbing the attention of the pedestrians & golf carts driving around. I also like to sound different than the DNR LEOs running around.
 

cory y

Member
May 21, 2010
1,614
i set up the dallas area rapid transit PD's car's 295hfslsa6 with priority as the first tone on TONE3 and the override as HiLo. Officers that ive talked to have all commented on it that its very effective when trying to get people to move. IMO it pierces the interior of vehicles much better than anything else
 

C17LVFD

Member
May 21, 2010
1,425
Harrisburg, PA
Hi lo to me gets old fast... It does move traffic well as it's not heard often... I really like the ultra hilo on the Unitrols...
 

chono

Member
Jun 5, 2010
496
Midwest
I don't hear hi lo much but every time I hear it being used it seems very effective at grabbing the attention of others.
 

Wailer

Member
May 24, 2010
2,250
Canada
The first sirens I heard with a 'phaser' tone were Carson / Southern VP electronic sirens in the early to mid 1980s. They were the old SA400 series with the low-pitched tones.


The first siren I heard with the 'air horn' tone was a Code 3 model (similar to V-CON but without light controls) back in 1981.
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
Wailer said:
The first sirens I heard with a 'phaser' tone were Carson / Southern VP electronic sirens in the early to mid 1980s. They were the old SA400 series with the low-pitched tones."
+1


I recall SVP sirens in our area were the first with Phaser tones. Many of our State agencies still use a Federal PA300 with High/Low. I also think it is better when responding through crowds than Manual Wail, Yelp or an Air Horn. In my observations, using Yelp, crowds seem to scatter all over the place, some into your direction of intended travel. With the air horn, they turn around and look with an expression like - you honking at ME? High/Low - they know it is an emergency vehicle, and seem to part pathways. Now if you also had a true air horn, like a Fiamm or a Grover, you could move recalcitrant persons, and expedite the bowel functions of some.


A research article published in (Montreal or Toronto?) Canada also showed that where Hi/Low was used, vehicle operators and dispatchers could better understand each other in radio communications. The tones cut through voice communications less than some other siren tones. Two dollars of microchips installed in the mobile radio microphones could cut out pure tone Hi/Low so the dispatchers couldn't even hear the siren in the background.


However, some states (California and others) do not recognize High/Low as a siren. IMO - It still has a use.
 

RL1

Member
May 20, 2010
1,643
Ga
Thanks for all the input. My car came with a PA300 with hi/low (I still use 'two tone' bc I got used to saying 'blues and twos' when across the pond) but I switched it for my Whelen 295 with programmable tones. I currently have t1-whoop/worble, t2-cal wail and y249, and t3- phaser/air horn but was thinking of changing some of the stuff around and now think I'll change t3 alt to air horn hi/low. I don't really run code all that often, but when I do, it seems I'm coming from half way across town and people pay more attention to a 'hot now' sign at krispy kream (man I wish we were a big enough town to have one of those, screw stereotypes) than blue and red lights.
 

RolnCode3

Member
May 21, 2010
322
Sacramento, CA
tnems7 said:
However, some states (California and others) do not recognize High/Low as a siren. IMO - It still has a use.
CA doesn't recognize Priority as a siren tone either (not to derail the discussion since we've discussed it before).
 

Wailer

Member
May 24, 2010
2,250
Canada
RolnCode3 said:
CA doesn't recognize Priority as a siren tone either (not to derail the discussion since we've discussed it before).

I've read up a little on the California Highway Patrol, and they seem to be particularly fond of the wail tone. Some of their tanks had PA20As and PA1000s with wail only and no other siren tones.
 

WhiteLite03

Member
Oct 7, 2010
398
Middle Tennessee
Two of our fire units have PA300's with Hi-Lo in them, we use it occasionally, never tried it as an alternate method of moving the old lady or the competition stereo owner out of the way though. I'll see how it works next time I'm in those units on a call.
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
10,620
Northwest Ohio
The trucks I run in have pa300s with hi-lo. It works fine... I am not a fan of piercer.... I use yelp at intersections.. and of course good ole' buell or grover airhorns
 

dustymedic

Member
May 21, 2010
633
Columbus,OH
RolnCode3 said:
CA doesn't recognize Priority as a siren tone either (not to derail the discussion since we've discussed it before).

Aren't they allowed as secondary tones, as long as wail or yelp are operating as well??
 

RL1

Member
May 20, 2010
1,643
Ga
dustymedic said:
Aren't they allowed as secondary tones, as long as wail or yelp are operating as well??


I believe it's like a Q; can be used with wail or yelp as long as neither of the main tones is interrupted
 
May 25, 2010
129
Los Angeles, CA
Hi-Lo air horns, as opposed to an electronic hi-lo, are used by LAFD, and LACOFD. They have been used for over 35 years, and have been found to be very effective at clearing intersections. See:


Hi-Lo air horns can be used in California as supplemental warning, but it cannot be siren generated.
 

Station 3

Member
May 21, 2010
3,395
Edinburg Texas
Haha i think my Fire Station is the only one who uses it out of my entire department. We usually use it just to piss off the chief or any other person who dosent like us using it. :lol: Hey if they insist in ordering the same siren time after time (FED SIG PA 300) with that outdated tone then were gonna use it ;)
 

Station 3

Member
May 21, 2010
3,395
Edinburg Texas
Dr. Dennis Stouffer said:
Hi-Lo air horns, as opposed to an electronic hi-lo, are used by LAFD, and LACOFD. They have been used for over 35 years, and have been found to be very effective at clearing intersections. See:



Dang that was a good video really gives a good look into how they run a scene. :cool: And they have those Euro two tone sound cool
 

DaCityPolice

Member
May 23, 2010
44
Washington, DC
I actually had a car the other night with HiLo instead of Priority. I used the HiLo as my primary siren and used Yelp in the intersections. It seemed to get people to pull over when I was coming up from behind but was useless at intersections without switching to Yelp.
 

RolnCode3

Member
May 21, 2010
322
Sacramento, CA
dustymedic said:
Aren't they allowed as secondary tones, as long as wail or yelp are operating as well??
Nope. They're not even allowed to be written on the faceplate for the siren. T13 basically only allows wail and yelp (which are both very clearly defined in T13), everything else is forbidden - even if wail and yelp are also activated.
 
May 25, 2010
129
Los Angeles, CA
RoinCode3 is correct: No siren tone other than wail or yelp is permitted under Calif. code to be used, operable, or part of the electronic siren. The CHP can demand the removal from an EV of any siren that has any other


tones. This is one reason, but not all, that true Hi-Lo air horns are used by LAFD and LACOFD, along with Grovers.
 

167

Member
May 27, 2010
298
Memphis, TN
Dr. Dennis Stouffer said:
RoinCode3 is correct: No siren tone other than wail or yelp is permitted under Calif. code to be used, operable, or part of the electronic siren. The CHP can demand the removal from an EV of any siren that has any other
tones. This is one reason, but not all, that true Hi-Lo air horns are used by LAFD and LACOFD, along with Grovers.
well thats pretty dumb. Are CHP officers actually prickish enough to care what kind of siren fire departments are using?
 

Newberry13

Member
May 21, 2010
613
SC, USA
They weren't around me in Siskiyou County. All the ambos and fire trucks I was on had other tones on them. Some people also refused to obide by the wail and yelp only rule.
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
10,620
Northwest Ohio
I never found piercer to be that effective anyway. I think HI-LO works just from the stand point that people aren't used to it. Wail, yelp and a real airhorn are plenty... a nice mechanical siren doesn't hurt either. I have always wondered how LAFD gets away with the dual horns... is it counted as an irhorn and not a siren???
 

RL1

Member
May 20, 2010
1,643
Ga
chono said:
For some reason whenever I hear a hi lo siren it just gives me the sense that SHTF. That happen to anyone else?

Not really...
 
May 25, 2010
129
Los Angeles, CA
Answer to JohnMarcson: Under Cal. law the Hi-Lo horn is an air horn, just like a Grover except that two alternating tones are produced. These are legal


to use only with a siren (wail or yelp only), and they are generally used at intersections or when approaching congested traffic.
 
May 25, 2010
129
Los Angeles, CA
Answer to chono: You probably never heard a real Hi-Lo horn, only a Hi-Lo siren. They do not sound the same. It's like a Q2 vs an electronic. Both are sirens, but they sure don't sound the same. I say this, because I know the distributors, and the Fiamm/Stebel/Poli horns are mostly used in Southern California.
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
10,620
Northwest Ohio
Dr. Dennis Stouffer said:
Answer to JohnMarcson: Under Cal. law the Hi-Lo horn is an air horn, just like a Grover except that two alternating tones are produced. These are legal
to use only with a siren (wail or yelp only), and they are generally used at intersections or when approaching congested traffic.


That's what I figured, seems like splitting hairs to begin with anyway... but that's what CA is all about I guess. I'd love to throw a set of martin horns or similar on the truck I drive....
 

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