Really Whelen? This is rediculous...........


Up to recently I have been an avid Whelen fan. During the last month two of our Whelen 295 switch boxes have failed. Both of them had the sirens stop working and the lights still work. One of them is the soft touch version and the other is the older model with the black push buttons. To date, I believe we have had four of these units fail.

My boss is livid and talking about swapping one of the current broken ones with an ancient federal signals siren box and separate panel for lights.

What in the world is going on with these?

Almost all of our LEDs have worked fine.

Is it just time to switch to SoundOff??

Pete L.

Silver Supporter
I'm going to side with your boss.
The Federal Signal PA300/SW300 combo is as dependable
as it gets, if you have room for them in your vehicles :)


Out of curiosity, Approximately how old are the units that have had the siren fail? Within the five year HDP warranty thru Whelen? I know it sucks to have front line vehicles down from equipment failures, but no matter what brand you use there will always be failures, even on brand new stuff sometimes, just my past experiences.


Registered Member
I'm going to side with your boss.
The Federal Signal PA300/SW300 combo is as dependable
as it gets, if you have room for them in your vehicles :)
I have to say, I prefer the PA640, but to each their own. SoundOff I've never really gotten into for some reason. Honestly, if it ain't Whelen, it should be Federal Signal, because the other brands I just... they don't do much for me.


Ancient siren? Is is a FS Interceptor or Director? If so, I'll buy it.

The most reliable setup I've ever had was a Federal Signal Interceptor & one dash mounted toggle switch.

Neither failed, & there were never any driver distractions from the apparatus operator screwing around with blinky-buttons!


Senior Member
I've had problems like that with all manufacturers. However, it is amazing when you open up the siren box and see what's been spilled on/in it. Not saying this is the case because I have no idea how they are mounted, but just my $.02.


Love the PA640 as well, mine was nos, works mint to this day, but has never has a coffee bath in its life either. ;)

to the OP, is there a mechanic/shop that handles repairs for your vehicles, or an officer in house that would be responsible for wiring something in now to restore audible warning?


I think it's the pa200. I will check when I go back to work tomorrow.

I'm pretty sure three of the 295s were the older ones with black push buttons. I know one was the new soft touch. After having so many issues, my boss decided to have a local buddy of his work on two cars.

To answer the question about the "in house officer" that could work on them, that would be me. I've worked on almost every install up until a few years ago when fleet was taken away from me. Not for a bad reason, my boss decided to do all purchasing himself. Unfortunately, the 295s were swapped from vehicle to new vehicle and I was the one who purchased them originally.

On a side note, we have two 2012 impalas that have given us nothing but problems. Again, these were the last vehicles I purchased. Had I know we would have had so many problems, I would have gotten chargers. Only thing that kept me from doing this was they were rear wheel drive up until a few years ago. And we have a lot of snow here.

Back to the fed sig units, I am going to make the recommendation this week to go back through all of our extra lights, sirens, switch boxes. Etc. I found a spare liberty light bar, and a BUNCH of LEDs. Dual talons, singles, TIR6s. Arrow sticks. We should have about $4000 worth of stuff I could sell. We will have to see what he says. Thanks for the replies. I will keep updating.


Veteran Member
Of the old or 'ancient' Federal electronic sirens, the best one ever made is the PA200. The siren is built like a tank and the circuit board is a plug-in type for ease of maintenance. It will run at 200 watts with two 100 watt speakers.

I have one of the newer Whelen sirens (an Alpha 12S) and it feels kind of toy like compared to my PA200. The Whelen sirens from the 1970s and 1980s were more solidly built.

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