EOWS Series

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EOWS series
Company Federal Signal Corporation
Produced 1980-2001, 612 available on special order up to 2007
Type Electronic
Sound output 115-132 dBc at 100 feet
Frequency 850/1020 Hz
Succeeded by Modulator
Documentation
Product sheet

The EOWS series (Electronic Outdoor Warning Siren) was a line of electronic sirens produced by Federal Signal Corporation.

Early Production

The EOWS series came to light in 1980 when Federal Signal won a bid for an electronic siren system to be installed at the now defunct Zimmer nuclear plant. Federal Signal however did not have an electronic siren line, so this led to a new development they called SiraTone. Federal Signal produced around 30 prototype model EOWS*1212 sirens for the plant system. You may notice that these sirens look identical to the 115, but they are in fact 1212s as stated by the identification tags attached to them. The original system of prototype 1212s were later absorbed into surrounding communities after the Zimmer nuclear plant fell through. A few can be found today still in service, however most are on newer controllers.

Further Expansion

After Federal Signal created this new product, they worked out some kinks with the SiraTone controller and expanded upon their electronic line with the introduction of the models 408, 812, and M*12. The 408 and 812 were rotating beam sirens made for better sound concentration and projection, while the M*12 was simply a mobile vehicular siren aimed for public events and such. Despite these new additions, the 1212 was still available as the only omni-directional model they offered. However, they changed the name from 1212 to 115. The reasoning behind the name change is unknown, however many believe that it was simply named after it's actual output rating of 115dBc @ 100'.

A few years passed and Federal Signal introduced 2 new EOWS products, the 1212 and 612. Model 1212 was simply the 115 with the 408 and 812's spun aluminum projectors replacing the original rectangular fiberglass ones on the 115, for the sake of being uniform with the rest of the product line and performance. Model 612 was a combination of the 408 and 812. It managed to pull off the 812's performance while staying relatively compact like the 408. It also used less materials than the 812. With the introduction of said models, came the discontinuation of the 115, 408, and 812. Discontinuation of the M*12 is unknown.

Late Production and Discontinuation

Federal Signal continued production of model 1212 and 612 for a few years, then things started to change in the early '90s. Federal Signal created a new omni-directional siren named the Modulator. This led to the demise of the EOWS*1212. However, Federal Signal kept the 612 in production, likely because it was their only rotating electronic siren and it was a great performer. They kept it up to date as well, modernizing it with their latest MC controller at the time. The EOWS*612 stuck around for many years into the future. However, Federal Signal removed it from their public websites in 2001 and only offered it as a special order model from 2001 up into 2006, with sales ending completely in 2007. The 612 still received upgrades from Federal Signal with their newer MCP controller, and later their UV controller. Federal Signal still supports EOWS*612 too. The UltraVoice controller openly states it's compatibility with the 612 in its documentation. However, it isn't limited to only the 612. Any model EOWS siren is fully compatible with the UV. A few 408 units in Massachusetts were fitted with UltraVoice controllers in the early 2000s. Unfortunately these units were replaced by Modulator 5020s in the mid-2000s.

Modern Use

All EOWS units are fairly simplistic electronic sirens, and are easy to update with modern hardware. Many units still in service are on the latest UltraVoice controller from Federal Signal. Many are on older Federal controllers, like the MC and MCP. Some units are even on third party controllers like ones by American Signal Corporation as well as Whelen Engineering. The units were originally manufactured with simple common components, meaning they were easy to repair in the past, and still are today.

Models

There were a total of 6 mainstream models in the series:

Model Image Output Drivers Notes
EOWS*115 EOWS*115 Official.jpeg 119 dBc 12 (1 per horn)
The earliest model in the series. Uncommon. Sound output is likely inaccurate regardless of documented rating. Actual output rating is likely 115 dBc.
EOWS*408 EOWS*408 Official.jpeg 128 dBc 8 (2 per horn)
The smallest rotating siren in the series. Rather uncommon. Sound output rating is inaccurate in documentation. Actual output rating is likely 118-120dBc.
EOWS*612 EOWS*612 Official.jpeg 124 dBc 12 (2 per horn)
The most popular model. Many active examples can still be found today.
EOWS*812 EOWS*812 Official.jpeg 132 dBc 12 (2 per horn for bottom 4 horns, and 1 per horn for top 4 horns)
The largest siren in the series. Rather uncommon. Sound output is likely inaccurate regardless of documented rating. Actual output rating is likely 124dBc.
EOWS*1212 EOWS*1212 Official.jpeg 115 dBc 12 (1 per horn)
The successor to the 115.
EOWS*M12 EOWS*M12 Official.jpeg 123 dBc 4 (1 per horn)
Vehicular model. Decibel rating was measured at ten feet.[1]

Example Videos

References