Resource for vintage siren sound effects

Night Patrolman

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Jun 4, 2012
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OK, a few months ago, I was messing around, looking for information on Back to the Future, and I found a wiki dedicated to sound effects, not only cataloguing the sounds themselves, but also movies/TV shows/video games/whatever that the sounds were used in. Of course, among them are various siren sound effects, from vintage to modern. Here are a few examples:

https://soundeffects.fandom.com/wiki/Sound_Ideas,_SIREN,_POLICE_-_ELECTRONIC,_STEADY_02 - Federal Signal PA-15/PA-20 running in "Manual" mode, heard in many TV shows and movies from the 60s to the 80s.

https://soundeffects.fandom.com/wiki/Sound_Ideas,_SIREN,_EMERGENCY_-_YELPER_TYPE,_STEADY - Federal Signal PA-15A/PA-20A Series E running in "Yelp" mode.

https://soundeffects.fandom.com/wiki/Sound_Ideas,_SIREN_-_CONSTANT_WAILS_AND_YELPS - Unitrol 800 running in "Wail" and "Yelp" modes
 
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I have all the major variations of the Federal electronic sirens that sound similar to the sound effects in TV shows and movies.

On the left is a PA20 (low pitched tones, early to mid-1960s)
In the middle, a PA20A series 2D (low pitched tones, late 1960s - very early 1970s)
On the right, a PA20A series 2E (high pitched tones, early 1970s - very early 1980s)

Federal Interceptor siren circuits.JPG
 
I have all the major variations of the Federal electronic sirens that sound similar to the sound effects in TV shows and movies.

On the left is a PA20 (low pitched tones, early to mid-1960s)
In the middle, a PA20A series 2D (low pitched tones, late 1960s - very early 1970s)
On the right, a PA20A series 2E (high pitched tones, early 1970s - very early 1980s)

View attachment 251075
Yeah, I remember you had a website that not only showed off all the vintage Federal electronic sirens, but electronic sirens of other makes. That was partly how my interest in vintage emergency vehicle equipment blossomed. Someday, I hope to own stuff like this, especially since I love collecting military and emergency services gear, but until then, I'll just be lurking for the most part.
 

Federal Dealer tone demonstrator.. uncommonly has all its sound cards still in it.
 

Federal Dealer tone demonstrator.. uncommonly has all its sound cards still in it.
Fascinating! I never knew such a device existed! I'm wondering about the siren tones, though. I wanna say they're from a PA-15A/PA-20A Series E, but obviously, neither of those - nor any related sirens such as the PA-70/PA-100, PA-150/PA-200, etc... - had the weird tones such as "Stutter" or "Horn". I will admit, though, the "Horn" reminds me of the "Alert" tone from the original PA-15/PA-20.
 
Fascinating! I never knew such a device existed! I'm wondering about the siren tones, though. I wanna say they're from a PA-15A/PA-20A Series E, but obviously, neither of those - nor any related sirens such as the PA-70/PA-100, PA-150/PA-200, etc... - had the weird tones such as "Stutter" or "Horn". I will admit, though, the "Horn" reminds me of the "Alert" tone from the original PA-15/PA-20.
The 'slow whoop' effect sounds like the early PA15A and PA20A wail tone.
 
I have all the major variations of the Federal electronic sirens that sound similar to the sound effects in TV shows and movies.

On the left is a PA20 (low pitched tones, early to mid-1960s)
In the middle, a PA20A series 2D (low pitched tones, late 1960s - very early 1970s)
On the right, a PA20A series 2E (high pitched tones, early 1970s - very early 1980s)

View attachment 251075
So what is the purpose of the slide toggle switch on the Mainboards?
 

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