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Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:43 am

My interest in sirens was sparked in early 2018, and I've since tried muddling through the internet for more information on this object of fascination, which is, as I'd expect users of this forum board to be familiar with, a very unusual fascination to have. It's been two years and I'm not necessarily starting from the ground up in terms of knowledge, I'd still consider myself quite a novice to this community. Frankly, the information on sirens is broad, not very easy to find, and pretty intimidating for someone at entry level.

So, hello, my name is Fiona. I live in southern Louisiana. I'm studying mechanical engineering. I REALLY like tornadoes and out door warning sirens. And I want advice on how to find reliable information on this massive and seemingly kind of underground interest.

p.s. how in the world do you people find tornado sirens? do you drive around and just look at roof tops and poles? do you sneak around on Google street view? I found out only from this forum that I've been driving past an inactive Model ...5? all the time when I went to BRCC, but never noticed it because I was driving, and it looks like something that's just part of the roof! I would have never known it was there if I hadn't learned it from someone else.

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Re: Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:39 am

Hello! Welcome to the board!

We tend to look around google maps for sirens, once we find them we tend to mark them onto maps so we have a record of all the sirens in one place. Considering you are from Louisiana, you would be looking at this map: ... 000001&z=8

If you are more interested in finding out about specific models, opposed to just finding locations, then please look through this whole forum. There is absolutely heaps of knowledge that has been shared around on here, so It's probably a great starting point. If you have any questions or want to know about something, DM me, and I will help you the best I can!
Last edited by HX56 on Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Siren Enthusiast from Australia since 2012. Designer of the KEYTROL-K4 Siren Controller.

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Re: Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:00 am

Welcome to the board!

I have been interested in sirens for maybe 4 years, and interested in severe weather for longer. After so much time, I’ve collected more and more knowledge. I am by no means an expert, but you bet I’ve made progress. For finding sirens, there’s no easy way to learn besides practice. You may start by going into street view and saying, for example, “hey, that’s a Whelen Vortex.” The. You could look on aerial to find it, so if you see something similar on aerial, you could label it and check it in street view.

There’s lots of very specific information on here, more than most people need. That being said, the search feature is quite helpful.

If there’s anything you want to know, feel free to DM me or ask if you cannot find it through search.
Sentry rules, ATI's are for fools.

Living in Central Ohio, the Whelen capital of the country.

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Re: Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:19 am

1) Be prepared to answer questions.

I was photographing an old sterling M10 and the mayor of Deer Park himself asked me what I was doing (he was on his way to a meeting across the street from the old fire station). He seemed nice. Once I explained to him what I was doing he was like "Oh ok cool."

To be fair I was wearing a (fake) leather jacket and photographing into public property.

2) DO not put DTMF tones in your Youtube videos.

For legal reasons these could be misused, so you should at least pitch shift them.

3) Patience pays off.

I was trying to get the rare sirex model 15 in Hamilton Ohio. When I heard the thunderbolts go off I assumed it was a failure and went to pack it in. Before I turned my phone off but after I looked away from the sirex it wound up. Apparently Thunderbolts go first then the sirex.

And finally, look listen and live.

Look for sirens on satellite images and old maps.

Listen during regular tests for sirens that sound different. I found a 2001 hidden in Sharonville near the General mills grain elevator. for some reason that one sometimes goes for 2 minutes longer.

Live in the moment.
Welcome aboard. Its like bird watching but louder and more fun.

Personally I can relate to tornado sirens because I also scream when doing my job.
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Re: Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:37 pm

Hi there!

As an old time member here, welcome. It's interesting to see that there's a number of others with interests in outdoor sirens.

Finding sirens: Noticing them when driving around is one way to find them. Some enthusiasts, and, some localities, have maps online of sirens in their area. Google Earth can find some, but, it can be hard to see some sirens in satellite view.

-Mike H.

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Re: Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:52 pm

You have to have a good eye to find sirens. I think it was maybe 4th grade when I got into sirens, and I spent time learning all the models. Now I can identify most sirens, and I've even found some hidden ones.

Amateur HVAC, Siren, Car, Plane, and security and fire alarm enthusiast

My profile photo is not mine. It belongs to the creator of the California siren map.

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Re: Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:27 pm

I was able to find a lot of sirens and hear tests and warnings sounding due to the nature of my job as a truck driver. Found a lot in SE KS and across MO and some in Illinois. I'd always look at city halls, fire stations and police departments. Found a lot using that method. Spread out from there and you'll usually find more at about 1/2 to 1 mile intervals. Always be conscious of your surroundings and safety. And you might have to answer a few questions from local police if they see you photographing or filming a piece of emergency equipment.

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Re: Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:01 pm

Biggest single piece of advice is remember that no matter how much interest in sirens you may have, others probably will not. Meaning that if you happen to see someone working on sirens, don't be bothersome to them. If you ask a question or two, that's typically ok. But don't try having long winded conversations about what they are doing, if they know of any other sirens that are 'available' and the worst one is asking for free stuff. Or asking to buy things without having any money. That one is just as bad as asking for free stuff.

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Re: Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:44 pm

This topic has a lot of good information and is very helpful. Thanks to all who have contributed and will.

I'm going to promote this to a sticky

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Re: Advice For Newer Enthusiasts?

Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:41 am

I think that in lite of some recent events that something else should be mentioned here.
If you are new to sirens (or anything else for that matter) and are wanting to learn about the topic listen to what others have to say. And if you are unsure of something, ask.

One of those famous astrophysicists that is on TV all the time made a statement about the most dangerous piece of information you can have is the one that you are certain is correct, but in truth is false. Or maybe I just made that up... But it's true regardless.

To that end, unless you know from first hand experience about something, and someone else has a differing opinion on the subject, LISTEN to what the other person is saying. Ask HOW they know about what they are saying, and be willing to compare your source with his/ hers and ultimately be willing to change your mind on that topic. Because they actually may know more about the topic than you do at that point in time. This is how we learn and grow with knowledge. I personally am 48 yrs old as of writing this. I learn new things all the time. And I learn that things I THOUGHT I knew as being facts, weren't from time to time as well. And when it comes to that, finding out what you thought you knew, wasn't the truth, it can sometimes be a tough pill to swallow.

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