• EMD SD70 series official thread (EXCEPT for ACe version)

  • Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.
Discussion of Electro-Motive locomotive products and technology, past and present. Official web site can be found here: http://www.emdiesels.com/.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

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  by MEC407
 
crazy_nip wrote:oh, and just a hint, you wont be able to tell the type of horn by just the sound...

you can tune just about any horn to different chords
True, theoretically, but how many railroads would bother to change the tuning of their horns?

Also, there are other sonic characteristics that make a horn distinctive besides the tuning. For instance, Nathan M-series horns generally have a rather mellow sound. Their P-series horns are very brassy. Their K-series horns are brassier than the Ms but not as brassy as the Ps. And Leslies sound completely different.

  by MEC407
 
emd_SD_60 wrote:i'm thinking about doing some research on this, so that the next time I go railfanning i can tell what horn a locomotive has :wink:
Check out these sites:

http://www.rrlah.com/

http://trainweb.org/mdamtrak199/horns.html

http://www.trainweb.org/mdamtrak199/hornworks.htm

http://trainhorns.net/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TrainHorns/

  by crazy_nip
 
MEC407 wrote:
crazy_nip wrote:oh, and just a hint, you wont be able to tell the type of horn by just the sound...

you can tune just about any horn to different chords
True, theoretically, but how many railroads would bother to change the tuning of their horns?
they dont have to do much, they can just order them with a different chord

the canadian railroads for years ordered their horns with a specific (mandated by law) chordt that was different than most locomotives in the U.S.

IIRC Canadian law required all train horns to sound a "D minor"

where on american RR's it can be anything, mostly a D#, A, C, C#, F

  by Highball116
 
Yo Nip,

You're incorrect that you can't tell a horn by its sound. It can be difficult, but for a person who knows what a manifold sounds like with its different chords, it can be very easy to tell what the basic designation is. It's damn near impossible to pick out which bells might be on a five-chime, but you can at least know the basics. A K3 has a very different sound than a P3, and thus they are easy to tell apart. Ever heard an M3? Those are some of the hoarsest horns there are. On the CN ones, all the valves open at once and it just sounds like a sick duck. Not very attractive. Then there's the melodious sound of a K5H, which you might also know is quite different from a K5LA. How about those P5s that NS still has? Man, do some of them sound ugly.

It is very possible to train your ear to hear the differences. There's a website out there called the Airhorn Consultant's Guide, or something like that. Would only take a little Google searching to find it. They have a lot of recordings of horns and you can get a sense of what they sound like with different tunings. There are also pictures, so you can get an idea of what they look like, too. A helpful little guide.

- Toby

  by trainiac
 
Komachi,

That's where I got much of the info! It's a very useful site.

Nip,

You can tell a horn by its sound. You can't tune a single horn to produce different chords, because the pitch of each note depends on the length of each bell. You'd have to change several of the bells to make a new chord, which I've seen done rarely. Horns do go out of tune sometimes, but not enough to drastically change the chord or character.

The D#, A, C, C#, F chord you refer to doesn't correspond to any horn I know of, unless it's a way out-of-tune P5 (which they often are). Most older US locomotives have Leslie S3Ls (B, D#, A) and newer ones often have Nathan K3HAs (D#, F#, B). The K5LA is the same with 2 more notes--D#, F#, G#, B, D#. (In passing--the two D# notes, an octave apart, is what causes the "warble" in Nathan 5-chime horns)

The designation of the horn model depends on the tuning--eg, K3H and K5H horns with D# minor tuning for Canada are tuned to B# major in the US, where they are known as the K3HA and K5LA. There are only a few different horn types that can generally be told from each other--the hardest part is when they're slightly out-of-tune.

It's also possible to tell a horn by its shape. On the UP units, the P3s have two different-sized bells facing forward and one medium-sized on facing backwards, slightly higher than the other two. The K3HAs generally have the left-side bell reversed, and all three are on the same level. The K5LA has the classic arched shape. Five Chime Consultants can provide more info, including photos of different horns.

  by GM10-1975
 
Listen and compare

This is a really nice site if you would like to listen to the P and K series of
horns
Got your ears on??

http://www.trainweb.org/mdamtrak199/horns.html

  by GM10-1975
 
Trainiac,

EMD gave that press release several months ago. Infact I gave it to this site at that time.
It's good news.

  by trainiac
 
I saw the info on EMD's site, but I think many people thought the photo on the EMD page was a computer-retouched image of an SD70ACe. The photos in the link I posted were the first detail shots of the SD70M-2 I've seen. I love the paint scheme! :-) Much more flashy than the SD70ACe.

  by MR77100
 
The paint is nice, but i wish the name was SD70DCe to be more logical!

  by txbritt
 
I admit that I'm not up on newer equipment like the rivet-counters are, but I've got to ask. What in the world is up with that squared off nose? Locomotives today are starting to look like something my 3 year old son designed out of Lego's.

Having said that, I guess the first time the geep 7, and 9's rolled out people compared them to the F's, E's, and PA's, and said the same things.

TxBritt

  by trainiac
 
Cheaper to build than the older M cab, I guess, which had more bevels and angles. The notches permit better visibility.

  by emd_SD_60
 
I must admit, I love the sound of the K3LA horns on the Union Pacific SD70M's. :-D I also love the "baritone" (or you could say it) style K3H horns on the ex-CN/GCFX SD40-3's. :wink:

  by CN_Hogger
 
Lately it seems that almost every SD40 type IC unit has a P5, I've seen one or two with a K5LA. I've only seen one SD70 with a K5LA. all the others have P5's.
trainiac wrote:
Most IC SD40's have Nathan P3's and P5's, typical of IC. Some also have Leslie S5T's. The SD70's have Nathan P5's.
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