The Siren Board

Discussion of Outdoor Warning Systems
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:20 am 
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Should a situation arrise where there is a high chance of a war/attack, will it be worthwhile and practical for "sirenless" cities (NYC, LA, DC, etc) to deploy temporary mobile sirens as an extra measure to warn citizens of a possible attack? And should the threat be subsided they can just stow them away until if needed again.

Do you ya'll think that this is going to be effective and a good option? Or something that won't make a difference and is a waste of money?

Let me know of your thoughts!

I'm referring to sirens like these:

[ img ]

[ img ]

[ img ]


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:36 am 
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I thought Washington DC had some whelen 2X01's around the Pentagon. When I went to the Pentagon 911 memorial for a scout trip to DC I saw at least 2. Were they taken down?

The answer is plausible. Of course they'd probably save a couple of bucks first by trying some BS text alert app.

But I do know Federal Signal had some trailer mounted modulators for that purpose, as well as for use as a temporary substitute or as a demo siren. one's on eBay.

I know most cities with papermills or other factories with whistles used those in place of sirens. In case of a fire in Lockland Ohio, the papermill's whistle would blast a location code and the firefighters would to that location (size of a couple blocks) and start looking for smoke.

Before Leslie controls moved to Florida, apparently they sounded the plants airwhistle (similar to a train horn) for snow days.

So if a siren less city was pushed for mass notification, I'd bet they'd try apps first, then whatever existing systems there are (factory whistles, fire dept sirens, church bells) and then sirens.

Now if internet & phones went down all bets are off. They'd have no choice but for sirens.

Of course they might spend some money for their citizens safety. After all NY,DC and LA are totally known for looking after their citizens.

Sarcasm aside it would probably take a terrorist attack, tornado or mass wildfire to get some sirens up.

It wasn't until after the 1974 super outbreak (The day of the killer tornados) that my area started taking public safety seriously. Looking at the damage those tornadoes did, we almost wished it were bombs.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:11 am 
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thekek wrote: *
Should a situation arrise where there is a high chance of a war/attack, will it be worthwhile and practical for "sirenless" cities (NYC, LA, DC, etc) to deploy temporary mobile sirens as an extra measure to warn citizens of a possible attack? And should the threat be subsided they can just stow them away until if needed again.

Do you ya'll think that this is going to be effective and a good option? Or something that won't make a difference and is a waste of money?

Let me know of your thoughts!

I'm referring to sirens like these:

[ img ]

[ img ]

[ img ]
Those are some interesting pictures. I think ones missing, all it says is [ img ] .

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:07 pm 
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thekek wrote: *
Should a situation arrise where there is a high chance of a war/attack, will it be worthwhile and practical for "sirenless" cities (NYC, LA, DC, etc) to deploy temporary mobile sirens as an extra measure to warn citizens of a possible attack? And should the threat be subsided they can just stow them away until if needed again.

Do you ya'll think that this is going to be effective and a good option? Or something that won't make a difference and is a waste of money?

Let me know of your thoughts!

I'm referring to sirens like these:

*images removed*
It wouldn't be practical for a few reasons. Mobile sirens are mainly used to deploy in areas where the main pole mounted sirens was taken out by an act of god or some other kind of man made accident or in areas like a large park that would be converted into an amusement park or something of that nature to provide temporary coverage. Most times you'll never see them installed as permanent installations.

For one mobile trailer mounted sirens have to be deployed in mass making them somewhat cumbersome to deal with. Seabrook nuclear did this with Whelen WPS-4000II's and eventually ditched their truck mounted sirens for pole mounted ones. The battery situation would be a mess, since you can't let them sit without being put under load for extended periods. This shortens the lifespan and reduces the capacity of the batteries much like a car battery. Another is the shear size of the number of sirens to cover an area. Using Columbus, GA as an example our system currently uses 47 sirens to cover the area. 47 actually isn't enough to offer the populated areas overlapping overage as the city/county has grown over the years. We'd probably need to expand the system to over 50 to accomplish this. On its own that's already a lot of mobile sirens to maintain, and Columbus is a fraction of the size as larger cities without active sirens. Mobile sirens cost more compared to typical ones for permanent installation AFAIK. Cost is already the driving force for many cities causing them to avoid sirens altogether due not only to the upfront cost of installation but also the cascading costs of maintaining the batteries and/or the incoming electricity. With AC/DC systems and DC only systems with AC charging you have to pay for new batteries and the grid power. With solar systems you'll still have to replace the batteries, and AC only systems need the grid power. All of that along with the fact that this type of system would need to be rapidly deployed manually makes them a definite no for this type of warning. If we ever were in a situation like that where sirens were absolutely necessary I could see towns and cities probably hopping to do permanent installations with solar power. Dress the pole up, stick it in the hole, and throw some batteries and that sucker and on to the next one.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:00 am 
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Ohio_Man wrote: *
I thought Washington DC had some whelen 2X01's around the Pentagon. When I went to the Pentagon 911 memorial for a scout trip to DC I saw at least 2. Were they taken down?

The answer is plausible. Of course they'd probably save a couple of bucks first by trying some BS text alert app.

But I do know Federal Signal had some trailer mounted modulators for that purpose, as well as for use as a temporary substitute or as a demo siren. one's on eBay.

I know most cities with papermills or other factories with whistles used those in place of sirens. In case of a fire in Lockland Ohio, the papermill's whistle would blast a location code and the firefighters would to that location (size of a couple blocks) and start looking for smoke.

Before Leslie controls moved to Florida, apparently they sounded the plants airwhistle (similar to a train horn) for snow days.

So if a siren less city was pushed for mass notification, I'd bet they'd try apps first, then whatever existing systems there are (factory whistles, fire dept sirens, church bells) and then sirens.

Now if internet & phones went down all bets are off. They'd have no choice but for sirens.

Of course they might spend some money for their citizens safety. After all NY,DC and LA are totally known for looking after their citizens.

Sarcasm aside it would probably take a terrorist attack, tornado or mass wildfire to get some sirens up.

It wasn't until after the 1974 super outbreak (The day of the killer tornados) that my area started taking public safety seriously. Looking at the damage those tornadoes did, we almost wished it were bombs.
I did see the Whelens mounted on poles at the Pentagon and they looked to be permanent. It'd make no sense for them to be taking down. And I have recently discovered that there is a small siren network in LA county near a refinery. But indeed it will take tedious work and lots of money to deploy the sirens in a massive urban environment, we just currently don't have a big threat to our safety to justify the need for them it seems.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:51 am
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DJ2226 wrote: *
thekek wrote: *
Should a situation arrise where there is a high chance of a war/attack, will it be worthwhile and practical for "sirenless" cities (NYC, LA, DC, etc) to deploy temporary mobile sirens as an extra measure to warn citizens of a possible attack? And should the threat be subsided they can just stow them away until if needed again.

Do you ya'll think that this is going to be effective and a good option? Or something that won't make a difference and is a waste of money?

Let me know of your thoughts!

I'm referring to sirens like these:

*images removed*
It wouldn't be practical for a few reasons. Mobile sirens are mainly used to deploy in areas where the main pole mounted sirens was taken out by an act of god or some other kind of man made accident or in areas like a large park that would be converted into an amusement park or something of that nature to provide temporary coverage. Most times you'll never see them installed as permanent installations.

For one mobile trailer mounted sirens have to be deployed in mass making them somewhat cumbersome to deal with. Seabrook nuclear did this with Whelen WPS-4000II's and eventually ditched their truck mounted sirens for pole mounted ones. The battery situation would be a mess, since you can't let them sit without being put under load for extended periods. This shortens the lifespan and reduces the capacity of the batteries much like a car battery. Another is the shear size of the number of sirens to cover an area. Using Columbus, GA as an example our system currently uses 47 sirens to cover the area. 47 actually isn't enough to offer the populated areas overlapping overage as the city/county has grown over the years. We'd probably need to expand the system to over 50 to accomplish this. On its own that's already a lot of mobile sirens to maintain, and Columbus is a fraction of the size as larger cities without active sirens. Mobile sirens cost more compared to typical ones for permanent installation AFAIK. Cost is already the driving force for many cities causing them to avoid sirens altogether due not only to the upfront cost of installation but also the cascading costs of maintaining the batteries and/or the incoming electricity. With AC/DC systems and DC only systems with AC charging you have to pay for new batteries and the grid power. With solar systems you'll still have to replace the batteries, and AC only systems need the grid power. All of that along with the fact that this type of system would need to be rapidly deployed manually makes them a definite no for this type of warning. If we ever were in a situation like that where sirens were absolutely necessary I could see towns and cities probably hopping to do permanent installations with solar power. Dress the pole up, stick it in the hole, and throw some batteries and that sucker and on to the next one.
I'd assume that they would be just be gas powered since there are many models that rely on a gas generator. And I also think that in a hypothetical scenario like I describe, the sirens won't be there for THAT long. But then also depends on just what kind of situation it is. If it's something like a high chance of an earthquake followed by a tsunami or during fire season, then I will expect for them to be present for just a couple weeks or a month. But if it's like a WW3 scenario which may last for years then they may as well put up permanent ones. That's a realistic scenario I've got in mind.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:51 am
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ObritSeven wrote: *
thekek wrote: *
Should a situation arrise where there is a high chance of a war/attack, will it be worthwhile and practical for "sirenless" cities (NYC, LA, DC, etc) to deploy temporary mobile sirens as an extra measure to warn citizens of a possible attack? And should the threat be subsided they can just stow them away until if needed again.

Do you ya'll think that this is going to be effective and a good option? Or something that won't make a difference and is a waste of money?

Let me know of your thoughts!

I'm referring to sirens like these:

[ img ]

[ img ]

[ img ]
Those are some interesting pictures. I think ones missing, all it says is [ img ] .
Tried to re upload it but couldn’t, it showed the same thing. It’s supposed to be a Whelen mounted on a trailer pole.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:47 pm 
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thekek wrote: *
ObritSeven wrote: *
thekek wrote: *
Should a situation arrise where there is a high chance of a war/attack, will it be worthwhile and practical for "sirenless" cities (NYC, LA, DC, etc) to deploy temporary mobile sirens as an extra measure to warn citizens of a possible attack? And should the threat be subsided they can just stow them away until if needed again.

Do you ya'll think that this is going to be effective and a good option? Or something that won't make a difference and is a waste of money?

Let me know of your thoughts!

I'm referring to sirens like these:

[ img ]

[ img ]

[ img ]
Those are some interesting pictures. I think ones missing, all it says is [ img ] .
Tried to re upload it but couldn’t, it showed the same thing. It’s supposed to be a Whelen mounted on a trailer pole.
Ok, sounds cool! Whelen WPS 4008s?

_________________
I own a FS 302GCX Selectone & a FS Model 2-120.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBpWCn ... subscriber


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:30 am 
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Just for an idea of the size of such a system needed for the 3 cities/major metropolitan areas you mentioned (NYC/LA/DC), all of three had cold war era siren systems comprised of hundreds of sirens. NYC had more than 700 sirens, LA County had close to 500 and Washington DC/WAWAS had 466. Most of these systems were mostly comprised of large, rotating 3/4 mile or greater coverage sirens mounted on 50ft poles or buildings for optimal performance. A mobile system would be totally impractical for covering all but a small area of these cities. On top of that, most of these areas have grown a massive amount since the last time those old systems were updated so one could expect there to be many, many more sirens needed for good coverage of urban and suburban areas.

There aren't many of these mobile sirens around-I'd venture to guess under 200 in the US and the majority of them aren't very large sirens-they're generally electronic and omnidirectional with a few exceptions. Sirens in a large metropolitan area like that are going to be a very hard sell considering that there are newer, arguably more efficient and significantly cheaper means to warn the public available.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 4:12 pm 
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Due to the higher popularity of mobile and radio notifications, there's a low chance that people will go with the older tried and true system instead of the high tech more reliable system. What I'm saying is sirens might not be able to cover the entire vicinity while mobile notifications can. It's entirely possible cities can do that, but sirens can also be a public disturbance... and with all of the tall buildings where will these sirens go?

If we did end up doing that in NYC I would recommend ATI just because of their remarkable voice intelligibility.

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