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Tyfon Fog Signals

Forum to discuss all areas of lighthouse technology such as optics, fuels, fog signals, radiobeacons, daymarks, construction, etc.

Postby Terry_Pepper » Fri May 06, 2005 7:16 pm


"Tyfons" and "Super Tyfons" were listed as being installed at a number of fog signal stations on the western Great Lakes between 1931 and 1939.

I know only that they were a diaphragm horn and operated on compressed air, but have thus far been unable to come up with any specific infirmation on them such as manufacturer, operation, etc.

I have quite a bit on G's, F's and F2T's, but nothing specifically on the Tyfons.

Any information on these systems would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by Terry_Pepper on Mon May 09, 2005 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kevin vk2ce » Sat May 07, 2005 4:16 am


Here's a page on the Low Head fog horn in Tasmania. The lady who put the page together is a friend of mine.
Low Head Lighthouse is at the mouth of the Tamar River in the North of the island.

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~vk7jabvk ... 0Horn.html
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Postby island » Sat May 07, 2005 6:26 am


Kevin--- you have fog in Upside Downland? :)

Terry,

On futher investigation I have come to the conclusion that Typhon and Super Typhon are brand names for horns that were produced by the Leslie Air Horn Company (now Leslie Controls, Inc.). This company produced both air and steam horns for various uses including railroad locomatives. Several lightships were equipped either steam or air powered 17' Leslie Typhon horns for fog signals.

Further to this, I can find no mention of the word Typhon in the Aids to Navigation Manuals that I have which would not be the case if the Typhon was a unique design horn or the air horns in this manual are all Typhons. I could find no reference to the name of manufacture of the horns used for major fog signals. I did discover that there was a Type K diaphone included in a table displaying air consumption ratings for diaphone and diaphragm air horns.

The leads me to conclude the Type G (or perhaps Type K) is the Super-Typhon.

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Postby Terry_Pepper » Sun May 08, 2005 5:55 pm


David

Your supposition appears to have some possible validity.

I dug through my files to see if I could find any references to Type G's or Type K's in the Great Lakes during the same time period, and while I found numerous references to Type F's and Type F-2T's, I but could find no references to the G's or K's, and I remember Jeff Laser telling me one time that there were a number of G's around the Lakes.

As such, it appears circumstantially possible that the Tyfon could have been the name by which the Type G's or K's were known in the Great Lakes.

However, as I an sure you will understand, I will need to find some written documentation proving your hypothesis before I would feel conformable listing the Tyfons and Super Tyfons as such on the page on fog signals on which I am working on for Seeing The Light.
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Postby island » Mon May 09, 2005 5:41 am


I will need to find some written documentation proving your hypothesis


Likewise, Terry. To this end I have initated contact with the Leslie Company seeking information about horns produced for the LHS. I have also initiated conctact with Chris Moyer who has extensive knowledge on the subject of Leslie Tyfons, though not for fog signal use but for locomotives. Many sizes and designs of Tyfons were used for by railroads.

We will see where this leads.

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Postby Terry_Pepper » Mon May 09, 2005 6:12 pm


David,

Thank you for following up on this. It is greatly appreciated, and I look forward to seeing anything that you come up with.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Mon May 09, 2005 8:52 pm


David,

Your speculation that the Tyfons were manufactured by Leslie, and the connection to locomotives motivated me to do a little surfing this evening, and found your speculation to be right on the mark.

I found a website called TrainHorns.net with some super information on both the Tyfon and the Super Tyfon, even including sound clips of the horns themselves.

The Tyfon page can be found at:
http://trainhorns.net/leslie/tyfon.html

and the Super Tyfon page at:
http://trainhorns.net/leslie/supertyfon.html

Great stuff - thanks for the inspiration. I am still looking forward to anything else you may be able to come up with on these systems.
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Postby island » Tue May 10, 2005 5:01 am


Terry,

A number of questions remain to be answered. Were the types of horns posted earlier Leslie horns and Leslie type numbers? Did Leslie produce both diaphone and diaphragm horns? What was the type number for the super tyfon? What were the bell sizes for several horns types? Were horns from other manufactures used by the Service?

The train horns site is owned by Chis Moyers, the guy I mentioned emailing above. It would be neat for someone to create a fog signal page or pages similar to the train horn page(s). Locating or producing recordings of the sounds of some of the devices might be a challenge. One might also include buoys ( gong, whistle and bell).

It would also be interesting to lean what methodology was used by the LH Service when conducting tests for comparison of sound signals.

Sound signals were a significant part of lighthouse history and received considerable attention by the Lighthouse Service (Light-House Service :) ) over many years.

There were also some interesting devices tested such as the Morse tide powered bell at Whitehead and a wave powered bell that was installed at Owls Head Light.

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Postby Terry_Pepper » Tue May 10, 2005 6:11 am


Most of the diaphones used on the Great Lakes were originally manufactured by a Canadian company known as the Diaphone Signal Company. When the company experienced financial problems in 1932, the blueprints and patterns were sold to Deck Brothers – Precision Machinists of Buffalo, New York, under contract for the USLHS.

Jeff Laser, likely the premier diaphone specialist in the US, and I corroborated to create a page in diaphone history and operation for my website Seeing The Light, which may be found at the following URL:
http://www.terrypepper.com/lights/close ... aphone.htm

It is my intent to create similar pages on all types of fig signal systems used in Western Great Lake lighthouses, and it is to this end that I was seeking additional information on the Tyfons and Super Tyfons.
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Postby island » Tue May 10, 2005 8:49 am


So this means Typhons were diaphgam horns, not diaphones? And the Type G and K horns were diaphones.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Tue May 10, 2005 9:23 am


I believe you are correct.

Tyfon's appear to have been diaphragms, while F's, F-2T's (two tone) G's, and K's were all diaphones, originally manufactured in Canada, and in Buffalo after 1932.

Since he lives in Buffalo, I wonder if Mike Vogel might be able to come up with any information on thye diaphone manufacturing at Deck Brothers. Are you out there Mike?
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Postby island » Tue May 10, 2005 9:36 am


The fog has lifted! Apparently I am afflicted with some sort of reading disability. I missed the the wording in the AToN manual that specifically states that the Types B through G and K are DIAPHONES and in Part 25-8 Diaphone.
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Postby mikev » Tue May 10, 2005 11:58 am


Deck Brothers went out of business sometime within the last 12 years or so -- I'll see if I can track down any of the former execs, and any company records.

South Buffalo Light, which marked the harbor entrance at the steel mill end of Buffalo Harbor, had the fog signal testing station. What's left is a completely stripped concrete building with a curved roof (asbestos shingles) and an 11-foot reflector.
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Postby Terry_Pepper » Tue May 10, 2005 12:07 pm


Mike - I assumed they had gone out of business, since all the links I found about them on the Web were no longer valid. Any information would be wonderful, and I'd love to see anything you can come up with.
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Postby Fred » Tue May 10, 2005 3:17 pm


A couple of extracts from "Lost Sounds" by Alan Renton

"The Swedish firm Kockums developed the tyfon fog horn from the 1920's.........

At Hyskier pressure in the main air pipe sealed the flow of air until pressure built up in a small counterbalancing tank,to the point where the force operated a small piston which tripped open the counterpressure valve to the supertyfons.

The supertyfon signal at Hyskier comprised two TA 150/255 horns mounted above the horn house on a metal framework....

The mouths of the horns were horizontally separated by about 120 degrees and the diameter of the mouth was 13 1/2 inches.The horns were 18 1/2 inches long.The design of this exponential resonator stabilised the frequency of the vibrations of the diaphragm by regulating the escaping air pressure waves.
There were two chambers inside the casing of the supertyfon.Compressed air supplied to both chambers held the diaphragm (a double one) sealed against the throat of the resonator.When the counterpressure in the rear of the horn was momentarily dropped,the higher pressure in the front chamber impinged on the diaphragm pushing it off the seating and allowing air to escape through the horn.Fluctuating pressure variations on both sides of the diaphragm then caused it to vibrate,acting as a valve,rapidly opening and closing the horn throat to release bursts of air and produce the sound waves in the horn.The air-operated timer in the horn house supplied the counterpressure air line,and the sounding air to the front chamber was supplied directly from the receivers."

The Calf of Man lighthouse had 12 tyfons before being replaced by an Electric Emitter on automation,I am due a routine visit in June and will try and get photographs,hopefully the instruction manual will still be somewhere on the station.
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