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Old 11-07-07, 05:44 PM   #1
Zero_Enigma
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Best, smallest, and loudest eletronic horn

As the topic says that is what I'm looking for. I prefer a commerical product over a DIY setup but DIY's are welcome as well.

Please post links with your recommendations.

Was thinking of something that can wake up an inattentive cager short of a ghetto blaster on max and a car battery on the bike.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-07-07, 10:27 PM   #2
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Iis 115db good loud enough? I have tried it, but I am extremely tempted.

http://www.themaskedmerchant.com/sto...px?prdId=88952
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Old 11-07-07, 11:10 PM   #3
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Motorcycle aftermarket loud horns

Look at aftermarket motorcycle horns. There are both electrically powered small compressor air horns (probably too heavy, too big, and need too much currrent over time) and all electric ones.

Wollo is a common brand; their web site's all electric ones HERE. Using a model that is available in two frequencies and produce 115 - 120 dB should be particulaly noticable. For example a pair of model 310's: MODEL 310-2T LOW TONE / 115 Decibels-410Hz plus MODEL 315-2T HIGH TONE / 115 Decibels-510Hz. The two plastic horns of MODEL 200 / 118 Decibels-520/630 HZ might be a bit larger but lighter.

I did not see a weight for these on the site. It would be nice to know weights compared to the one in the previous post.

Last edited by Giro; 11-09-07 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Add another horn model
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Old 11-08-07, 04:27 AM   #4
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I know its not electric, but I got my kid one of these and it's really loud. It states in the description that it's 115db too...

http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Airzound...4517539&sr=8-1

I can hear him 3 blocks away outside.
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Old 11-08-07, 07:20 AM   #5
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Do a search on eBay for "Thunder Horn." It's similar to the one posted above, but a bit better looking. I got one a while back and used it for a little while. It emits a relatively high-pitched and very loud tone, distinct from any air horn or car horn. It works pretty well, and the 9V battery lasts a long time. Just be careful if you ride in the rain; you might want to waterproof it otherwise the innards will eventually get wet.
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Old 11-08-07, 12:12 PM   #6
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I know its not electric, but I got my kid one of these and it's really loud. It states in the description that it's 115db too...

http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Airzound...4517539&sr=8-1

I can hear him 3 blocks away outside.
I love my AZ! In winter, not so much. I can see wanting an electric horn when it's cold out.
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Old 11-08-07, 03:43 PM   #7
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The temperature is now dipping into the high 30's and low 40's here. My AZ now let's out of completely useless "psst.. psst.." instead of ear piercing truck horn like sound. I also have a 115 DB thunder horn. It is useless when used in traffic. The pitch of the sound is too high. Car drivers completely ignore it.
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Old 11-08-07, 03:45 PM   #8
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The temperature is now dipping into the high 30's and low 40's here. My AZ now let's out of completely useless "psst.. psst.." instead of ear piercing truck horn like sound. I also have a 115 DB thunder horn. It is useless when used in traffic. The pitch of the sound is too high. Car drivers completely ignore it.
Yeah, I suppose the thunder horn isn't so effective when everyone's windows are rolled up...
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Old 11-09-07, 03:11 AM   #9
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Corrected link to Wollo electric motorcycle horns. Of the available sound samples, their MODEL 225-2T / 115 Decibels-420/510 HZ sounds the best to me but it looks heavy (though maybe not compared to the battery that might be required).
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Old 11-09-07, 09:15 AM   #10
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Corrected link to Wollo electric motorcycle horns. Of the available sound samples, their MODEL 225-2T / 115 Decibels-420/510 HZ sounds the best to me but it looks heavy (though maybe not compared to the battery that might be required).
No kidding! The smallest horns draw 4A (!!) at 12V - better not use it too much!
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Old 11-09-07, 01:35 PM   #11
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I was thinking just the other day that an inexpensive honda or toyata horn from the parts store would make a decent 12v bike horn. For maybe ten bucks.

I scanned ebay for motorcycle horns, they were all too pricey compared to my memory of the cost of cheap car horns. I spent some time cruising "junk yards" in my youth, so my data may be skewed to the low side.

I was concerned about size and how i'd attach to bike (thinking to a bracket attached to fork's fender thru-hole - so it would ride in front of headtube and clear of brake and cables).

Also I didn't know the current draw. The few specs I found were surprisingly high - 7A?. But it is a very short duration draw.

Anyone tried a cheap car horn? I think the nicer sounding 2 horn arrangement (i think nearly all cars have dual tone, 2 horn arrangement) is too big to try to fit on a bike.
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Old 11-09-07, 01:53 PM   #12
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The beauty of the piezo is that it's actually a low amp speaker of sorts and doesn't use a lot of power to make a lot of noise. They're kind of like LED's of the speaker world. To get the same output out of a regular horn takes quite a bit of juice to get any volume out of them. And as for a lot of the horns listed in the thread so far, a few are air horns with an attached compressor on them. When you hit the button it actually runs the compressor which will probably use more juice than a regular horn.

I think the piezo is going to be the best option for power consumption. Unless you want to carry a 12V motorcycle battery too.

I didn't realize the air horns didn't make noise when it got cold. It doesn't get that cold down here in FL very often.
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Old 11-09-07, 03:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovrrdrive View Post
The beauty of the piezo is that it's actually a low amp speaker of sorts and doesn't use a lot of power to make a lot of noise. They're kind of like LED's of the speaker world. To get the same output out of a regular horn takes quite a bit of juice to get any volume out of them. And as for a lot of the horns listed in the thread so far, a few are air horns with an attached compressor on them. When you hit the button it actually runs the compressor which will probably use more juice than a regular horn.

I think the piezo is going to be the best option for power consumption. Unless you want to carry a 12V motorcycle battery too.

I didn't realize the air horns didn't make noise when it got cold. It doesn't get that cold down here in FL very often.
1- If you're looking for a car or motorcycle horn, consider the extra loud Stebel TM-80. I have one on my motorcycle and it is loud. I picked it up at the local auto parts store; it cost less than $18. I believe its 127 db. I would not put a horn this loud on a bicycle for two reasons: first, current draw; second, you may damage your ears unless you wear hearing protection.

2- I use the AZ air horn for the past year. My coldest ride was a 13 mile early morning commute last week; it was 25 F. My AZ worked just fine (it seems I use it at least 1x every ride). I'm not sure what others are talking about; operator error, maybe? There are two things to consider with the AZ: first, make sure the air bottle is up to pressure (80 psi). I inflate mine before every ride. Second, after I honk, I flip up the actuation lever. When I first got it, I didn't do this and it would remain slightly engaged, thereby letting the air pressure out. Flipping up the actuation lever is a simple solution to this little annoyance. I have honked at colleagues as they've passed me by going to work and even with the windows rolled up they say it's loud and clear in the cab. I've caught many people's attention with the AZ and won't commute without it. I believe it's 115 db.
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Old 11-09-07, 10:38 PM   #14
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Thanks.
Stebel lowest amps electric horn specs of interest to bicyclists:

TM80-1 500 or 410 Hz, 133dB, 225 g, 2.5 amps, 82 mm (3.15")
TM80-2 500 & 410 Hz, 136dB, 450 g, 5.0 amps, 82 mm X 2

A small 12 V low internal resistance battery such as a lead acid or nicad might be enough; anyone care to check the specs on some?
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Old 11-10-07, 08:30 AM   #15
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2- I use the AZ air horn for the past year. My coldest ride was a 13 mile early morning commute last week; it was 25 F. My AZ worked just fine (it seems I use it at least 1x every ride). I'm not sure what others are talking about; operator error, maybe? There are two things to consider with the AZ: first, make sure the air bottle is up to pressure (80 psi). I inflate mine before every ride. Second, after I honk, I flip up the actuation lever. When I first got it, I didn't do this and it would remain slightly engaged, thereby letting the air pressure out. Flipping up the actuation lever is a simple solution to this little annoyance. I have honked at colleagues as they've passed me by going to work and even with the windows rolled up they say it's loud and clear in the cab. I've caught many people's attention with the AZ and won't commute without it. I believe it's 115 db.
hmm.. regarding the AZ, I might have a defective one. I usually pump mine up outside to make sure there's enough air pressure in the bottle under the temperature the horn operates in. Still, it makes only "psst.. psst.." noise in the cold. It works fine once it warms up inside.

I'm looking for a portable electronic solution as well. Anything less than the sound of a car horn is useless here in the city. Any suggestions for a small battery (under $100) that packs enough juice to power a car horn?
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Old 11-10-07, 01:17 PM   #16
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Megahorn

I've been using the 9V megahorns for years. It is loud but people don't know what to make of it and often think it is a bird. These people are obviously not very perceptive but I get that comment on the bike path all the time from trail hogs who finally quit blocking the entire path when I say "bike on your left" from two feet away after sounding the megahorn repeatedly. They even look up in the trees. The horn is relatively light and inexpensive and is quite loud. The 105 db claim is exaggerated, according to my tests with a decibel meter at work but it definitely puts out at least 95. The main problems with it are weather related. The switch fails when it gets wet and the rubber mounting hardware oxidizes within a few months. I've found workarounds for the mounting hardware using a heavy duty rubber band to hold the horn unit to the bars and velcro for mounting the switch. I've used silicone sealant on the switch but water always works its way in anyway and the switch fails after a few rainy rides. I haven't tried this yet but a diy switch would be a fairly easy hack. I've bought at least 6 of these and always keep spare parts megahorns and am usually able to get a horn working with the spare parts when it fails.

http://www.abikestore.com/Merchant2/...Code=mega-horn
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Old 11-11-07, 12:46 AM   #17
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Small lead acid (or probably NiCad) battery should make horn feasible.

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... A small 12 V low internal resistance battery such as a lead acid or nicad might be enough; anyone care to check the specs on some?
A small lead acid battery with the Stebel horns looks feasible. Examples of small lead acid batteries that might be suitable are MK batteries at LINK.

For example, the specifications LINK for the lightest, the ES1.2-12, are weight 0.82 Lbs. (0.37 kg), max dimensions 3.78" X 2.44" X 0.98" and 30 second maximum discharge rate of 16 amps. You would need an appropriate charger. I am NOT a battery expert but extrapolating the specifications for higher discharge rates make me think it would be at least 0.25 amp/hours at 3 to 4 amps so that you would have at least 6 minutes total of typical honks for the single Stebel horn.

These are sealed gel lead acid batteries. Possibly other types of lead acid would be better or less expensive. Nickle cadmium batteries should also work, probably be lighter but more expensive.

You would need a weatherproof momentary on switch rated to handle the amps. Motorcycle starter switches that could easily be mounted on handlebars might be a possibility.

Would anyone giving this a try please post their results?

Last edited by Giro; 11-11-07 at 12:48 AM. Reason: fix typos & slight edit
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Old 11-14-07, 02:06 PM   #18
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I NEVER had a problem with my Air Zound working in 20s and 30s temperatures. It's not small, but it's very lightweight and VERY loud. I tried an eletronic horn first (this was years ago, sorry I don't remember which one) and found it not very effective due to the high pitch. The AZ gets you noticed, believe me.

FWIW, I haven't used any kind of horn for the last 2-3 years. My current routes have a very low incidence of bike-car conflict and it's not worth the trouble anymore.
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Old 11-15-07, 07:41 PM   #19
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You can try www.performancebike.com
They always have some good bike gadget and not expensive.
And there are also some other good deals and coupons on some deal sites, you can look at this one
http://www.dealstudio.com/searchdeals.php?deal_id=68430
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Old 11-24-07, 09:36 PM   #20
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Commuting to work Wednesday morning I tooted my AZ horn, fully charged, in front of a bank sign that read 25 deg F. It sounded as loud as any other time I toot when fully charged (double entendre intentional!).
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Old 12-03-07, 11:20 AM   #21
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The megahorn is a pretty good $20 horn, once you do a few mods to replace the cheezy mounting straps and weatherize it. It certainly is loud enough and a 9 volt battery lasts forever.
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Old 12-09-08, 05:59 PM   #22
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Old thread re-lived!

I just got a Megahorn and it sounds like a sports whistle blowing, but just super loud. If somebody doesn't scoot to the side with my incredibell... well, then... they get blasted with the horn.
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Old 12-09-08, 06:16 PM   #23
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Old thread re-lived!

I just got a Megahorn and it sounds like a sports whistle blowing, but just super loud. If somebody doesn't scoot to the side with my incredibell... well, then... they get blasted with the horn.
This is the one preferred by a lot of motorcyclists. I wouldn't want it on a bicycle though.
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Old 12-09-08, 08:56 PM   #24
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I have the airzound, it is loud as $#%^, you honk, cars look around everywhere and can't believe it came from a bike.

No batteries to charge, fill with pump
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Old 12-09-08, 08:59 PM   #25
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FWIW, I haven't used any kind of horn for the last 2-3 years. My current routes have a very low incidence of bike-car conflict and it's not worth the trouble anymore.
I agree with that, a good route and you won't need a horn. I used to ride against traffic and sidewalks before I got smart, I got tired of people pulling out in front of me.

Now when I ride in the road and the same direction of traffic i have nearly no issues. The horn not is gathering dust, but its to cool to get rid of.
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