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Old 08-04-2009, 2:42 PM
linkinpark9812's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Munster, Indiana
Posts: 98
Question Suggestion with Motorola Spectra Siren/PA

Ok, I have been searching these forums and others and found a great deal of information, so I can actual ask this question clearly.

I have a Spectra VHF 110W Radio with an A9 head and 1 DEK. Everything works, no errors, programming fine, perfect working order.

Now I want to get the Siren/PA. I am only going to use the PA and Ex. Rad, as well as the air horn. (Programming the siren functions would be illegal for me to do).

Now I have read you have to enable the Siren and PA to get the airhorn to work. I also will add the SIREN and MAN button to the DEK that comes with the Siren/PA module I am going to get. The Module is a HLN1185E with Motorola Astro Spectra printed on it. This is because I found out that people were saying stuff defaulted to WAIL. However some say that doesn't effect the Spectra, because I checked and there is an option in RSS about what to do after loss of power. You can select "Last State" or "Off", so i will select off. I am still going to add those buttons just as a fail safe. Some also said you MUST have the Siren button to use the Air horn anyways.

Ok, now here is my question lol

I know there are selections for power output, such as 65, 75 and 100 Watts (as well as 135 if you have two speakers).
Now some people were saying about the quality of Dynamax speakers blowing and stuff, as well as saying they don't. So I have decided to narrow it down to two models that people were not having much trouble with. This would be the Federal BP100 and the Whelen SA314. They are both 11 ohms and 100 Watts.

Now on OnFreq, they were saying about how a hi line (or sumtin like that) where the spectra Siren/PA could get up to ~16 Volts of power, increasing the Power Watts by up to a 30% increase and that the speaker better have a power rating of that increase.

So the problem is, is that the speaker is rated at 100W, and the default for the Siren is 100W. Now obviously if I wanted to be safe I could put it to 75W, and i checked even with a 30% increase, it would be just under the rated 100W.

But OnFreq said that the cable had to be modified and you had to move a pin (the big square connector that goes to the Siren/PA). They said you needed a special tool or a home made one, so maybe someone could tell me about a home made one? Also, he says when you open it there is some membrane that you almost always break when opening it. I don't think he means the cable won't work after that, but the seal will never be the same again or sumtin. Also, is it worth this much trouble if the Siren/PA is already set to 100W? Will it be a problem about the voltage spike if it happened? I also heard that the Spectra Siren likes to spit out extra watts sometimes? Hopefully, since the one I am getting is the latest revision, these problems are fixed.

Also, any other Speaker suggestions? (used) Do Dynamax's have that bad of failure rate with the Spectra Siren/PA? I also heard that CPI is a good brand as well?
As of now, I am ONLY looking at good brand sirens (that are also cheap used), such as Federal, Whelen, and CPI. Maybe Code 3 as well. Just wondering on what you think I should do. I am hoping someone had to do this before (change the watts). Someone said you change it inside the Siren/PA with a jumper, but like I said, someone else says it is the pins, so I am not sure which one to believe (or if both are true!).

To anyone who replies, thanks for all the help! I really appreciate it!


P.S. I posted this to the batboard as well, since they focus on this type of stuff, but I know there are some here on RR that know this stuff too!

Thanks again!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2009, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 37

Well, part of my job is building Squad cars and most of them have spectras w/ motorola 100w sirens, and we use "Show-me" siren Speakers and haven't had one blow yet that I know of. We have had Dynamax speakers blow however. I think they're reasonably cheap.

SHO-ME Speakers and Speaker Brackets
heres the link....hope it helps.
Bearcat 210XLT
Motorola Astro Spectra
Motorola Minitor 5 SV
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Old 08-05-2009, 1:10 PM
rcvmo's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Romulus, Mi.
Posts: 439

We have had Dynamax speakers blow however.
Yep, they don't last long. My greatest concern was where the spekaer wires exit the siren casing right where the bracket assembles. You can attempt to take it aprt and modify it, but why waste the time and effort.

A TS 100 under the hood does better justice.
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Old 08-05-2009, 6:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 2,376

Dynamax for some reason have impedance issues with Motorola sirens. Id use a CPI or Whelen the True best is an atlas D60 but those arent very small to mount anywhere..
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Old 08-06-2009, 2:53 PM
linkinpark9812's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Munster, Indiana
Posts: 98

Well, so far I am looking to get either the Federal Signal BP100 or a Whelen SA314. I like the Whelen better due to size and their quality products.

Would those two models be alright with the Spectra?

I still wonder if I should try to reduce the Power with the Siren/PA Module. But If you guys have had fine results with the Siren/PA running 100W into a 100W rated speaker, then I guess it is alright.

Any other models to be on the look out for?

Thanks for all of the replies and suggestions!
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Old 08-06-2009, 5:06 PM
linkinpark9812's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Munster, Indiana
Posts: 98

Btw, How about Code 3 Sirens? Are the quality of those up to par of Whelens? Just wondering on different brands to consider.

(Weird, I can't edit my posts in this thread.)
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9000, motorola, qestion, siren, spectra

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