Question about Siemens

Sorry if it seems like I ask a lot of question, but I was wondering about Siemens who discontinued their horns in 2007 because Wheelock accused them of stealing their horns. Can Siemens ever make their own horns again or are they stuck using Wheelock horns?

I don’t think that I would really call it stealing. Patent infringing sounds more appropriate.

Well we’ll see what happens in 2016. I wonder if they will still use the old 9219 horns?

They’re probably working on brand new designs. Electromechanicals are no longer used in fire alarm installations due to their high current draw.

Yeah and that is depressing since I hate horns that don’t have different pitches. Electronic horns are so boring.

Most are though. Is it futile to think that electromechanical horns could make a comeback in the future?

Yes, along with incandescent lights and bells. I think Xenon strobes are dying as well.

They’re still a lot cheaper to make than LED strobes. I’d say at this point, I’m neutral on that. They may or may not have much life left.

Is there any reason for companies to even keep electromechanical horns?

Edwards still has them for general signalling, most scoreboards here use Adaptahorns.

Well there is Federal Signal which still makes the 450D which is relabeled at the 9806. Or at least it was. Mechanical horns may be gone, but maybe someday electromechanical horns will rise again. Like people said, some electromechanical horns are still made.

I highly doubt that electromechanical horns will come back. Electronic horns are cheaper to produce, easier to make, more consistent with each other, and probably more dependable. It would be pretty cool if electromechanical horns did come back, but once again, it’s highly unlikely.

As for electromechanical horns that are still being made, I don’t think any of them are being used for fire protection. All of them are probably just used for general signaling purposes. For example, Wheelock still produces 31T horns, but when was the last time you saw one used in a new fire installation?

So then, does that mean that all electromechanical horns will forever be extinct and all of them that are installed now will be replaced?

The electromechanical horn has unfortunantly gone the way of the Dodo bird. But, old fire alarm systems and devices can last for a long time especially if the building use doesn’t change or become remodeled. So you might still find a few here and there, but for the most part you are going to see electronic horns everywhere, especially because that is all that is made now. I have personally installed probably more than 5000 System Sensor horn/strobe and strobe devices during my short 4 year career as an installer, and have been in many more buildings that have them, so they are everywhere. But, admittedly I like the look of those later rectangular simplex horn strobes from the late 90s. Simplex was the last holdout for bulky, obtrusive notification devices (unless you count their current TrueAlert speakers I guess). I guess System Sensor is sort of the modern version of the bulky, obtrusive device and Wheelock is the sleek elegant version.


I bet that we will still see electromechanical horns still used for general signaling. They seem more durable than electronic signals to me.

Also, electromechanical horns cause vibrations that can cause wires to come loose, and can interfere with data wires, including SLC loops, and annunciator loops.

I mostly prefer electro-mechanical or mechanical horn-strobes, usually because they are a little less annoying than electronic horn-strobes (to me). I can’t really say they are quieter (though some of them are). However, there are some exceptions. I like the multi-tone electronic horn-strobes, especially the MASS. Some electronic horn-strobes are better than others, in my opinion. Unfortunately for me, mechanical horn-strobes are slowly being phased out because of the whole moving part durability/reliability thing. :frowning:

Actually I saw some in a high school that was built in 2007! But even though they are red and say “FIRE ALARM DEVICE - DO NOT PAINT” on them, I doubt they are part of the main fire alarm system (EST-3 voice-evacuation system.) Either they are meant to be a backup fire alarm signal (if the main system fails), or they are for some other purpose (like a fire suppression system.)

What is the System Sensor 5000, are those the SpectrAlert Advanced?