The Siren Board

Discussion of Outdoor Warning Systems
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 6:09 pm 
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So I'm getting a thunderbolt soon and I have a choice between a 1000 and a 1000T, can anyone tell me the pros and cons of the 1000 vs. the 1000T? also what are some frequent repairs/things you have to do with it? Also can anyone send me a thunderbolt owners manual/any documentation on it by federal?


Any help is greatly appreciated.

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 7:57 pm 
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Real Name: Christian Long
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They’re heavy. I recommend getting a stand up dolly and taking the Horn off because the rotator weighs a lot and the low center of gravity makes it best with a stand up dolly or at least for me anyway.

The chopper preference hasn’t been a work factor for me. I prefer the single tone for its tone. But that’s it. As far as maintenance goes it hasn’t been the maintenance disaster I’ve heard about. If my chopper sits for a while without running I can hear it rub a little but... I mean these things are built pretty tough. I’ve seen a guy break a rust seal that was on the chopper and run it and it ran decently fine. And you can pretty much replace any non structure specific part.

Make sure to watch your fingers too and watch all your other extremities especially if you get the blower. And also watch the electricity part of it too. I’ve learned that the voltage, frequency, and amperage have to match otherwise you could blow some stuff and hurt some things.

Keep your head on straight and do your research and she’ll treat you well.

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Own and love a Thunderbolt 1000 and a Model 5.

I have many hobbies and interests. And I love them all.

Christian, Lima, Oscah, November, Golf.


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 11:22 pm 
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Real Name: Josh Reed
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I have a Thunderbolt 1000T and I think it's pretty cool. They're easy to take apart and work on (well except when there's rusty bolts) and it's a neat process. Yes they are very heavy. A dolly will definitely help with moving it. Especially the compressor/blower. The actual horn/rotator itself isn't extremely heavy, but that blower... HEAVY. As far as maintenance... one thing you might want to check on is the oil in the rotator gear mechanism and the grease/oil in the blower compressor. I'm not sure if you can change it out or not but you'll at least want to make sure there's plenty in there. To be honest it's a massive undertaking to do a restore on one of these if you don't have the proper equipment/tools. I'd love to have a sandblaster to make the paint removal easier, but those can cost a lot of money. It can be backbreaking and dangerous to do the paint removal by hand without the proper clothing and masks. When I first got the siren I had access to a large shop to where I could work on it. Since then I've moved a couple times and now it's in the barn disassembled with some of it repainted. It's been hard to work on it since the outside conditions aren't usually favorable for working on it. I've had it since 2012 and it's still not done. Obviously this is just my case, but they are a huge undertaking to restore. I would like to finish it at some point, but I'm going to college this fall and I have a job and I'm just plain busy. Hope this helps!

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Josh Reed
18 Years Old and a Southwest Ohio Native


Proud owner of a Thunderbolt 1000BT and a Model A.


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:20 am 
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Location: Coon Rapids, MN
AWESOME for you!!! Whatever you choose. You can't loose!!

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 10:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:56 pm
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Real Name: Keith Foor
Location: Johnstown, Ohio
As far as maintenance, you have to remember that these were all owned by the government. People that typically don't take care of things. And they were used infrequently. You will find that as infrequently as they used them.... You will use it even less. Unless of course you really hate your neighbors and like being told by police that they will arrest you for inducing panic if you go running the thing all the time. Sirens are fun don't get me wrong... but you can't use the thing as a door bell or run it at the top of every hour from sun up to sun down.
Keep it clean and oiled. Run the chopper once a week and run the blower once a month to keep things freed up.
You should change the oil in the blower, but only once a year.
But in truth, any preventive maintenance you do would be more than the previous owner typically did.


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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:43 pm
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Thanks for the very helpful advice everyone! I'm just getting the siren head, I have no room for a full and complete unit, so if anybody can tell me how to hook up rotation, a good and safe way to connect the chopper assembly to power, or anything else I really should know before I get it, that would be great. Thanks again. Also, does anyone know if west shore services sells controls with their thunderbolts or if they have them available?

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:00 pm 
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Real Name: Nik
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Would you happen to know where said thunderbolt(s) are from?

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 2:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:43 pm
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Phone goat,

I'm getting mine from west shore services, I'll find out if they know where it's from when I go down there to get it.

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 4:22 am 
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Real Name: Josh Reed
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Tboltguy wrote: *
Thanks for the very helpful advice everyone! I'm just getting the siren head, I have no room for a full and complete unit, so if anybody can tell me how to hook up rotation, a good and safe way to connect the chopper assembly to power, or anything else I really should know before I get it, that would be great. Thanks again. Also, does anyone know if west shore services sells controls with their thunderbolts or if they have them available?
You need to get a single phase model or else (assuming you don’t have access to three phase power) you will not be able to run it. You can run the chopper and rotator motors on 110 or 120 volts, but I believe they are meant to be run on 220 or 240 volts. The safest way to hook them up would be to obtain an RCM panel (but those are hard to come by) or buy some wire and wire an outlet plug to the extra wire then shrink wrap or nut together the wires coming from the rotator motor to the extra wire. You can do the same with the chopper motor wires. Or the better alternative would be to wire it into a switch assembly. You should be able to run it at that point. You should probably pull the chopper assembly apart to check the condition of the motor before running it to make sure it’s not bound or frozen. Be VERY careful as you can hurt yourself badly with that piece of machinery.

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Josh Reed
18 Years Old and a Southwest Ohio Native


Proud owner of a Thunderbolt 1000BT and a Model A.


My YouTube Channel


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 10:27 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 3:56 pm
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Real Name: Keith Foor
Location: Johnstown, Ohio
I am thinking that there was a multitap transformer in the control cabinet that was used to set the tone (chopper speed) of the chopper. I wouldn't just wire it up to power and hope for the best. I know there is a siren manual section on here. I would look at that first and get some idea of what goes on in that control box with regards to the chopper motor. If not I have a paper manual that I can consult to see whats going on it there. So let me know if you don't find anything in the manuals section


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