Chrysler Air Raid Siren - Sound

Operating the Chrysler Air Raid Siren

David Stall is fortunate enough to own one of the three fully functioning Chrysler Air Raid Sirens that exist today.  He also has his siren located in rural Texas surrounded by lots of open space, which is very helpful since he loves to run the Hemi® and blow the siren.  The clear zone (minimum safe distance) extends 320 feet.  Even then, if you are in front of the siren it would be uncomfortable and prolonged exposure could damage your hearing. 

The Chrysler Siren is very directional and the majority of its sound force is directed out in front of the giant projector horns.  However, there is still lots of sound power to go around.  Just operating the siren from the side control panel requires a minimum hearing protection of 30dB. 



Recording of the BigRed™ Chrysler Air Raid Siren!

Sound Clip #3 - Start & Idle [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ] .WAV file - 22 seconds (480KB)

This is a recording of BigRed on May 23, 2003, the first time it was started and run in Texas. The propane tank was turned on, the ignition hotwired, and the starter cranked.  After cranking for only 3½ seconds and on the very first try, this giant Chrysler Siren roared to life.  The engine was loud, but the growl of the siren soon drowns out the engine noise with a jet engine like roar.

Sound Clip #4 - Rev & Stop [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ] .WAV file - 23 seconds (499KB)

This is a recording of David revving the Hemi engine of BigRed and shutting it down after the very first time it was started and run in Texas (May 23, 2003).  This was the siren's first test run.  If you listen carefully at the end of the clip you can hear the squeaky noise of the turntable drive pulleys.  Some additional work, including lubrication of the compressor bearings, will be performed before it is run up to full throttle. 

( Sound clips #3 & #4 were recorded by David Stall using a Marantz professional cassette recorder model PMD222 and an Electro-Voice dynamic microphone model 635A located six feet from the radiator end of the siren.  The automatic level control was used.  As a result, the recorded volume of the engine decreases significantly as the siren volume increases. )

Sound Clip #5 - Start [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ] .WAV file - 3 seconds (176KB)

This is a recording of BigRed on May 24, 2003, the second time it was started and run in Texas. This time it started instantly after cranking for only a second and on the very first try. 

( Sound Clip #5 was recorded by David Stall using a Marantz professional cassette recorder model PMD222 and an Electro-Voice dynamic microphone model 635A located six feet from the radiator end of the siren.  The recording level was manually set.  As a result, once the engine started growling the siren the volume of the siren over drove the input and caused distortion that rendered the remainder of the recording unusable. )

Sound Clip #6 - Start & Idle - No Siren [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ]
.WAV file - 45 seconds (986KB)

This is a recording of BigRed on May 25, 2003, the third time it was started and run in Texas. This time it we were testing the clutch and the engine was started and idled with the compressor clutch disengaged. 

Sound Clip #7 - Engaging the Siren Clutch at Idle Speed [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ]
.WAV file - 6 seconds (148KB)

This is a recording of BigRed on May 25, 2003, again during the third time it was run in Texas. Continuing the testing of the clutch.  In this clip you can hear the engine load when the clutch engages the compressor, then of course you can hear the siren at idle.

Sound Clip #8 - Full Run [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ]
.WAV file - 59 seconds (1.25MB)

This is a long recording of BigRed on May 25, 2003, during its entire fourth run in Texas. Again the engine is started with the clutch disengaged, idled, clutch engaged, and run up to about 3000 RPM, a hesitation while checking performance, then 4600 RPM - full throttle!  (Note: The clutch works great, in the future the engine will be usually started and stopped with the clutch in either engaged or disengaged position.)

Sound Clip #9 - Gunning the Big Hemi - No Siren [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ]
.WAV file - 8 seconds (176KB)

This is a brief recording of the Hemi engine that drives BigRed being gunned on May 26, 2003, during its sixth run in Texas. The clutch is disengaged and there is no siren sound.  If you're a Chrysler Hemi or big engine fan this clip is for you!  It's easy to see how these engines ended up in lots of hot rods during the 1970's. 

( Sound Clips #6, #7, #8 & #9 were recorded by David Stall using a Marantz professional cassette recorder model PMD222 and an Electro-Voice dynamic microphone model 635A located 40 feet away at the rear quadrant of the siren.  The automatic level control was used.  As a result, the recorded volume of the engine is the same as the siren, which of course is tremendously louder.  )

These are recordings of Harry Barry's Detroit, Michigan, Chrysler Air Raid Siren.

Sound Clip #1 - Start & Idle [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ] .WAV file - 12 seconds (269KB)

In this sound clip you can hear the big V-8 Chrysler engine start up and the impressive growl of the siren at normal idle speed (650 RPM). 

Sound Clip #2 - Winding Up [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ] .WAV file - 20 seconds (225KB)

Listen carefully and you can hear the big V-8 Chrysler engine rev up and the flutter of the siren rotor as it comes up to full speed (4600 RPM).

Sound Clip #10 - Warning Signal [ CLICK HERE FOR SOUND ] .WAV file - 24 sec.(256KB)

This is a recording of Harry Barry's Detroit siren as heard five miles away. Although the siren was pointed in Harry's direction, it was not visible over a ridge between the two distant points.  The siren was mounted on a trailer and not at optimum height for sound coverage.  At this distance it takes the siren sound about twenty-four seconds (same length of time as this clip) to travel from the siren to the listener.  The siren volume was estimated to be 55 to 58 dB at this distance!

( Sound Clip #1 was captured by David Stall off a videotape of Harry Barry's Detroit Siren.  Sound Clip #2 comes courtesy of Andy Stoy, and was captured by Mike Grogan off a videotape of Harry Barry's Detroit Siren.  Sound Clip #10 was captured by David Stall off a videotape Harry Barry recorded of his Detroit Siren in Pennsylvania on December 28, 2003. )




The Operating & Maintenance Manual gives this description of the
Chrysler Air Raid Siren warning signal.

WARNING SIGNAL

The Warning Signal consists of a variation in the sound tone of the Siren called "Warbling". This is produced by increasing the speed of the Siren Engine to 4600 R. P. M. then decreasing the speed of the Siren Engine, repeating the cycle in regular intervals for a Three minute period.

The required intervals can be regulated by using the second hand of an ordinary watch, a satisfactory fluctuating note will be obtained by Pressure on the Signal switch on an Eight second "ON" and Four second "OFF" cycle, repeating that sequence for the Three minute duration of the "Warning" Signal.

THE TIME PERIOD OF THE "WARNING" AND THE "ALL CLEAR" SIGNALS IS ESTABLISHED BY THE FEDERAL CIVIL DEFENSE ADMINISTRATION; THE PROCEDURE FOR PRODUCING THE SIGNAL HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY VARIOUS MUNICIPALITIES AND IS AT THIS TIME CONSIDERED UNIVERSAL THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, IT IS HOWEVER, SUBJECT TO GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS AND CHANGES.

[ Read more from the Operating & Maintenance Manual ]

[ How Loud is the Chrysler Air Raid Siren? ]

 

 

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