I picked up a couple of horns last week. I need someone who actually knows something about Model T horns. The first one I thought looks like pictures that I've seen of magneto horns, but it doesn't say anything on it about anything. How can I tell the difference between a magneto horn and a battery horn? Can you hook up a magneto horn to a battery? I know that some motors and appliances from the teens and 20s would run on AC or DC.
Horn No. 2: When I cleaned it up it says Ford on it, but I don't know if it's battery or magneto.
All I know about horns is to squeeze the bulb or push the button.
(Message edited by adminchris on May 20, 2015)
Top two pictures are mag horns, bottom 2 pictures are of a FORD 6 volt battery horn
Not bad looking horns! Yes the top is a magneto horn and no you can't hook it up to a battery but you can hook it up to a door bell transformer and have a Model T house.
The lower is a battery horn (usually 26-27) and yours like most has the mounting bracket broken off, should be 2 mounting holes, not one.
Many years ago I ran all the swap meets with this other guy and we both liked battery horns. For a couple of years I would take the same horn with me in my shopping bag but would paint it black, then the next swap meet primer it, the next time no mounting bracket and green...changed each time and I would mark it $5, $2, $15...I just drove this guy nuts. He got so angry and asked where I was finding these horns and I told him I was just behind him but he missed them. I haven't admitted this much but it was really funny to me, just drove him crazy that I was buying all these horns he thought he walked by and bought them cheap.
Probably something wrong with me to do that but I thought it was really funny.
The magneto horn operates on AC voltage (between about 6 and 30 volt AC). The horn operates the diaphragm and creates the tone (of an angry duck) by the constant switching of polarity in the AC power.
The battery horn operates on DC power (generally 6 to 8 volt). The horn has its own internal power break system to activate the diaphragm and make the angry duck sound. The quick glance how to tell the difference between magneto and battery horns is generally the back of the horn. The cover/can generally is larger on battery horns, and smaller on magneto horns. Sometimes they have been changed and could fool you.
Tim M, Your nasty little tick reminds me of a few years ago at a swap meet, I looked into a box and found a neat tail-lamp, no name on it, but looks like a 1912ish Adlake combination kerosene and electric tail lamp. Painted an ugly color, but in very nice condition otherwise, it had the price of $20 written on it in big numbers. I asked the seller if the price was correct? He assured me that it was. So I bought it and carried it around the entire rest of the day. I must have had a dozen people ask me if that was what I paid for it! Several told me that they had seen it (that ugly paint) but elected to not ask the price. A few groaned when I told them that the price was already on it but was laying in the box with the writing on its underside. I wasn't trying to be mean. Really.
I will use it on one of my brass Ts so that the tail-light will be oil, and the brake lamp electric, in one authentic fixture.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I agree that the top pictures are of a magneto horn. If it has 2 power connections on it then it is the likely the early version which started in 1915 and ran up until just after Ford began using the twist turn type of combo light switch and horn button mounted on the steering column which I think is sometime in 1918 or so. There are other characteristics of the earliest horns such as a shorter bel, brass bel ...etc. If the magneto horn has one power connection then it can be used on just about any of the later T's starting with those that used the combo switch/button. If you look closely at the 2 different horns I think you will notice that the rim around the flange part (the part that the horn bel is welded into) is much deeper on the battery horn and the battery horn motor cover is a much larger OD at its outer rim area. The magneto horn motor cover is much smaller in diameter at its outer rim and the magneto horn motor cover will not fit over a battery horn because the battery horn motor is much larger in O.D. under that cover. The later 26/27 horn motor cover is fairly shallow and will not fit over the magneto winding I don't think. I may try to fit one up today to verify that. All battery horn motor covers are held on with just 2 perimeter screws while the magneto horn is held by all of the perimeter screws. The diaphragm for both motors is almost the same with the magneto diaphragm being about 1/16" smaller in diameter than the battery horn but the hole pattern in it is nearly the same. I make up extra diaphragms, bels, and mounting brackets and several guys have bought those and fitted them successfully to magneto horns. The original diaphragms were made from spring steel but often have pin holes rusted through them because water goes in the open front end rather easily. I make my new ones from stainless spring steel but otherwise are the same as factory. It really helps to do that if you can get a piece of the right stuff. The broken bracket on the 26/27 battery horn pictured can be replaced and are currently being reproduced in 2 versions - paper thin steel and full 1/8" cold rolled steel as original. Usually the bracket outlasts the horn so you might be able to salvage a bracket from a junk horn that is otherwise beyond hope. If you are restoring a horn and needing a part send me a PM and I might be able to point you in the right direction.
My Batttery horn sounds pretty weak, anything we can do to make them louder ? I tried touching 12 volts to it and it was much louder, but my t is stock electrics - not 12 volts
Another swap meet story. Of course I arrived early. There was a Model A Roadster door handle with a ding on it in a space for $5--I didn't need it. About a half-hour later, in a different stall was the SAME handle with $15 on it. About an hour later I spotted the SAME handle in another space with $25 on it!! Well, unless there's a bunch of handles with the same ding in it out there this handle was sold at least 3 times that day.
So, lesson: Don't haul stuff to the swap meet, just get your space, arrive really early and buy stuff you see, reprice it and put it in your space! Saves in storage and gas---unless you don't sell it that day!
David - That sounds like one of those pyramid schemes. The last guy holding the goods gets stuck.
Measure the current that the horn draws when you honk it using only your 6V battery? It should draw about 5 amps. If way less than that it might be louder if you can adjust it for more ON time versus OFF time when it buzzes but that is tricky. Don't apply 12V without reducing the current draw to half at 2.5 Amps by REDUCING the ON time and increasing the off time. Be careful since you can screw it up if you bend the points mechanism too much and have to go back and forth. It might break and then you are SOL.
You can run a magneto horn with DC 6 volts, it'll go thunk, once!
Joe, you might want to stick to the battery horn. The magneto horn can sound kind of weird as the tone changes with engine rpm. Worse yet, there is always the situation where some mindless driver is backing towards you when you're parked with the engine off. The mag horn won't work. The battery horn is ready at all times.
After hearing both magneto and battery horns, in an open car, I can yell louder! And I have, along with some choice words.
I will try that thanks John.
You might like to re-read your message to Tom. Your concluding three words might cause offense!!! LOL.
Seriously, I have a battery horn with a split diaphragm and one of your SS replacements would be great. Can you also supply the two pieces of the contacts. For some reason they have been removed from the clunker horn my son bought for me. The rest I can fix, but I need the points.
Allan from down under.