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Please read!! tell me if this is possible. =]

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  • Please read!! tell me if this is possible. =]

    I hope I don't offend anyone with my complete lack of knowledge. Forgive me but I want t l learn . Bach on the pipe organ gives me goosebumps. The pipe organ fascinates me. My husband drives a semi I co pilot . We have 3 train horns currently and everytime i hear him use the horn, I can't help but think how cool if it were 3 organ pipes instead. Is this possible? I know there are so many different sets of notes and pipes but putting that aside for a moment. My husband is very handy and can build , make about anything . I am excited to hear what you all think . Thank you for taking the time to read this and reply .
    Your friend,

  • #2
    Sure, flue type organ pipes are glorified whistles.

    Here's a small scale whistle showing the principle:


    Hammond M-102 #21000.
    Leslie 147 #F7453.
    Hammond S-6 #72421


    • #3
      Well he could always do an air horn organ.

      "It's almost music, but not quite."

      Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.


      • aeolian pat
        aeolian pat commented
        Editing a comment
        Is this a portative from an English Cathedral?

    • #4
      Anything is possible, but not necessarily practical. I see a couple of problems.
      First, the truck's air horns work off of a small volume of high pressure compressed air. Organ pipes use a high volume of low pressure air.
      Second, organ pipes are BIG, especially if you want them loud enough to be heard over road noise.
      Third, you need a lot of them. A single loud note can easily consist of a dozen or more pipes playing. A couple of pipes will not give that big, full organ sound.
      Finally, pipes don't like temperature changes, rain, or bugs in them.
      Ed Kennedy
      Current Organ - Conn 645 Theater


      • #5
        Originally posted by edkennedy View Post
        First, the truck's air horns work off of a small volume of high pressure compressed air. Organ pipes use a high volume of low pressure air.
        That's something that is easy to forget. Even the "high pressure" reeds in the Boardwalk Hall organ do not use a high pressure in day to day terms outside the organ world. 100" water column pressure is not even 4 psi, if I've done the conversion correctly.

        My instrument: Allen MDS-65 with a New Century Zimbelstern
        Former instruments (RIP): Allen ADC 420; Conn Minuet 542


        • #6
          I would look at how the pipes on a Calliope are made. They are much more rugged than organ pipes and if made of copper, would look really nifty. A group of three playing a chord would sound very impressive. Normally run off steam, you might be able to operate them off compressed air if you throttled the pressure back a bit. We want to see pictures.


          • Admin
            Admin commented
            Editing a comment
            I have a Tangley Calliaphone. The pipes are brass and run on 1 psi air

          • secretclown biz
            secretclown biz commented
            Editing a comment
            I had to look up what a Calliope is . How cool would that be! I have the send in the clowns as my ringtone. I never really thought about what instrument it was . I then watched a YouTube and at the very beginning . You see the guy pull the air horn . Do you know what size pipes I would need to make this ? Again forgive my complete lack of the basics

        • #7
          secretclown biz , As the others have said, the difference between the air pressure on the trucks air system and the pressure organ pipes use is immense. There is no practical way to regulate the trucks nominal 120 PSI air system down to mere inches of water column pressure needed to make organ pipes function. Truck air systems are high pressure, low(ish) volume set-ups, and pipe organs use pretty much the opposite type of system. Organ pipes in the open air would not be very loud anyhow.

          Being a retired trucker myself, as well as an organ guy, I can understand the desire to get some good sounding air horns on the truck. What you can do to improve the sound pretty much depends on the truck you own though. With all the aerodynamic style tractors on the road today, there is not much room on them for large diameter bell, long, air horns, like there was in the old days when there was a nice big roof to plant them on. However I have seen large air horns mounted very creatively along the frame rails, or hung under them.

          What I used on one of my trucks, and also put a set on my boat, was the Grover Dual-Connected Organtone horns. It is one unit made up of two long horns, and fed by one air inlet. The long horn is 37.5" and the shorter one is 34". The bells on them are 7". Those things have a DEEP tone, and were very commanding ! Train horns may be good, but these really outclass them by far.

          If you should want to check these out, the only problem you will have is actually finding a set, because I'm not sure Grover is still around anymore, and if they are, that they still make these really big ones. After a bit Googling, I did find this site, and it looks like the part # for the set is AL 1056. :

          Regards, Larry

          At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.


          • #8
            Just bringing up one consideration: Are you going to use the horn(s) stationary or while moving? Don't forget about the Doppler Effect. You may also consider the mode of generation of tone: Air, steam, electric, or gas. Currently, there is a flaming pipe organ for sale on eBay.

            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
            • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos


            • Larrytow
              Larrytow commented
              Editing a comment
              If one is going to do a project to install really commanding horns on a truck, they WILL get used both while driving, and when stationary. The whole idea of having big sounding horns is mainly to use them to to warn nearby drivers, when they are attempting to, or actually in the act of, doing Stupid Moves near my truck. The secondary reason of course is that they just sound Cool !

          • #9
            secretclown biz , So after thinking overnight about these Grover horns I used to have ( they got sold with the vehicles mentioned - was a selling point too ), I find myself wondering where and how I would install them on a modern tractor. And even perhaps a set on my current 1 ton plow truck !

            There are a number of kinda retired drivers on this forum ( trucks and organs seem like an odd combination of interests, but they obviously go together ), and I think we would all like to know the make, model, and more details about your current rig. Photos would be nice too.

            My other thought is that a set of big Grovers like I mentioned could probably be installed on the back side of a sleeper pretty nicely. I'd probably want to put them on a 45 degree down angle facing the drivers side of the truck. They would be plenty loud that way.

            If you pursue this idea, I'd be interested to know if you manage to locate a set, where, how much they are, and so on. And if Grover is still in biz. If I recall correctly, only Grover made those big ones; Hadley did not have anything comparable. It was the early / mid 80s when I did mine, and I think a set was about 300 back then. If they are still available, I'd bet you are looking at 1K these days. Also, if I put an expensive idea in your mind, I don't want to be blamed for it ! LOL
            Regards, Larry

            At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.


            • secretclown biz
              secretclown biz commented
              Editing a comment
              Thank you so much for your insight and considerations. Its a 2013 Columbia freightliner . How cool would it be to have an earlier Peterbuilt though. I love that look, who needs aero dynamics .

          • #10
            One self taught organ builder was driving down the interstate with a lode of 8 foot opens strapped to his roof. It was not BEAUTIFUL.


            • #11
              Here in Georgia we had a phase where truck owners thought it was cool to play "Dixie" on their jacked up pickup trucks. Now they just "blow coal." I with my 03 diesel puffer Dodge (Chrysler Benz) just laugh at the waste of these smoke jockeys.

              Anyway, some of these Dixie trucks had real or mock air horns topside, but I don't know if they were the sound source or if it was a speaker under the hood.

              My dad was a trucker. He retired from Trinity Steel, the folks that make guard rails, among other things.
              -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic -- 1899 Kimball, Rodgers W5000C, Conn 643, Hammond M3, L-102 - "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." (Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest​ -) ​Paracelsus