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 Post subject: Inside a Type F Diaphone fog horn
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:17 am 
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Site Admin with his Tyfon 425

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A visitor to my shiphorns site, Canadian Coast Guard Lightkeeper Chris Mills, shared these extraordinary photos with me. Interior horn photos by Tony Holland, the rest by Chris Mills. Diaphone is the Type F at Lennard Island, BC., Canada. This is the first time I have ever seen the insides of a Type F diaphone. I have a book that has a very small B&W photo of the insides of a Type G diaphone, but these photos are much nicer and in full color.

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Notice the backs of AirChime KM ship's horns in the upper left. Those are the new horns.
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 Post subject: Re: Inside a Type F Diaphone fog horn
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:34 am
Posts: 1146
Location: Hither (and Yon)
I still consider these to be among the most powerful sound signals in the world...just under the Chrysler V8 siren. I have read over and over again Eric Larson's tale of his F diaphone encounters in his youth, especially the part where they blew them and the echoes NEVER decayed in the 45 second interval between blows...So I went to upstate New York and experienced Harry's big type-F diaphone. Its sound absolutely freaked me out! It was the largest, most powerful sound I ever heard...even his fully restored Chrysler siren didn't impress me like that diaphone. Hell, you all know the story where I walked right up to the horns of the siren at full blast, peared into them, stuck my hand into them, blocked them with my body and shut them up...I would [i]not[i]do that with his diaphone.
I have recordings made by my friend, the late Don Tead, of type-F dia's in service. Their sound is wonderful. In those same recordings, between blows of the diaphones, are the wonderful sounds of a busy harbor. I have identified a 12" Star Brass chime, 8" Crosby chimes, and the strange, but beautiful sound of the Powell 8" chimes in that same recording. I tried recording Harry's, dia but that wasn't gonna happen...no matter how far I got from it, it distorted so badly it was worthless. Of course back in those daze, the recorders were far more primitive than todaze modern units. I am a bi fan of type-F diaphones. Adam, do you have recordings of this one in the photos above?

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Horns owned: None, no, nil, nigh, zero, ziltch
Whistles owned: 1-1/2" 3-chime British Bobby whistle off a UP Big Boy!!


Last edited by José on Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total

 
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 Post subject: Re: Inside a Type F Diaphone fog horn
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:34 am
Posts: 1146
Location: Hither (and Yon)
Hey, in the photo of the air tanks, is that a "Swanson KM diaphone" on the left?

_________________
Squid tentacles for everyone!!
Horns owned: None, no, nil, nigh, zero, ziltch
Whistles owned: 1-1/2" 3-chime British Bobby whistle off a UP Big Boy!!


 
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 Post subject: Re: Inside a Type F Diaphone fog horn
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:28 am 
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Site Admin with his Tyfon 425

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:46 am
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It is! And Chris Mills was nice enough to send a long a sound clip of the KM-110/KM-85 "diaphone" as well!

http://www.shiphorns.com/posts/airchime_km_foghorn.mp3

and the diaphone above, as recorded by Tony Holland:

http://www.shiphorns.com/posts/lennard_diaphone.mp3


 
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 Post subject: Re: Inside a Type F Diaphone fog horn
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:37 pm
Posts: 217
@Adam: Could you explain how a diaphone works, please? And are they really as loud as Jose describes? Louder than a modern air tyfon?


 
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 Post subject: Re: Inside a Type F Diaphone fog horn
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:07 am
Posts: 410
Location: Paducah, KY
You have some very nice pictures of the inner workings of a diaphone. It sort of reminds me of the inner workings of a Wyle Laboratories WAS 3000 modulated air loudspeaker. Both use a moving slotted cylinder next to fixed slots, thus modulating the air flow to a horn. The main difference is that the slotted cylinder in the diaphone is an extension of an air driven piston and that of the loudspeaker is an extension of an electromagnetically driven voice coil.

[quote="adam"]A visitor to my shiphorns site, Canadian Coast Guard Lightkeeper Chris Mills, shared these extraordinary photos with me.

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 Post subject: Re: Inside a Type F Diaphone fog horn
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:47 pm 
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Indeed, the WAS3000 definitely has diaphone ancestry, as does the Army Labs "MOAS" they helped build (photo attached)
Attachment:
File comment: Army Labs MOAS horn
05-bighorn3.jpg
05-bighorn3.jpg [ 15.08 KB | Viewed 249 times ]


 
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 Post subject: Re: Inside a Type F Diaphone fog horn
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:07 am
Posts: 410
Location: Paducah, KY
I have a picture of that huge truck mounted horn myself! I figured it may have been driven by a WAS 3000. I believe the Army Research Lab uses it to simulate the sound of ordnance during training exercises. I wonder if they use any in nearby Fort Campbell?

Were you aware modulated air loudspeakers have been around since the 1920s? I have my Dad's 1920s something issue of Radio News that shows a very large horn mounted on a soundproofed truck. It also showed one mounted on a boat for use during regattas. The article about it goes on to say that the speaker in fact makes use of modulated air rather than a conventional dynamic driver unit, which at the time was new technology itself. It was said to have a usable range of up to 4 miles. I guess it was stuff like this that first got me interested in large scale sound production.

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