Apart from the automobile motor, battery, and other vital components of the vehicle, there are also less noticeable details, one of which is the klaxon. However, its role should not be underestimated, because, in some situations, the timely supply of an audio signal can save the driver from a collision with another car or pedestrian. How did modern machines learn to “talk”? We will talk about this now.

A brief history

Most motorists will probably guess what a klaxon or a vehicle horn is in a car for, but few know about its history. First of all, we note that the horn is usually called the device with which the vehicle gives an audio signal, or the signal itself. The appearance of this concept is associated with the manufacturer of this device – the company “Klaxon Signals Ltd,” which has been producing horn since 1908. I must say that the history of this invention began long before the appearance of the first cars. Then only the coachman, who controlled the horse-drawn carriage, could touch it, and the role of the signal was played by such a horn, in which it was necessary to blow strongly. Since this method was not very pleasant for a person and required individual efforts, the horn was quickly supplemented with a rubber bulb. Subsequently, such devices began to be used not only on horse-drawn vehicles but also on the first cars being created. By the way, if you search for the term “horn” in dictionaries, you will find out that its roots come from the ancient Greek word, which in translation corresponds to the definition of the word “howl.” The first samples of the klaxon, which were made for bicycles and cars, were presented in the form of mechanical devices, the design of which included a spring plate with an elastic plate in the middle. This plate, in contact with the rotating gear, made a specific sound, and to strengthen and direct it, the plate was equipped with a unique horn. A little later, Rhys Miller and Thomas Edison patented an electric gear horn. After the popularization of klaxons with the electromechanical principle of operation, pneumatic and electronic versions of such devices began to be produced. Many companies were engaged in their production, including the carmakers themselves.

What kinds of klaxons exist and how do they work?

The modern market can offer motorists a reasonably wide selection of a wide variety of sound signals, which are divided into types depending on the principle of their action.

Electronic klaxon

 The work of this type of ha klaxon is based on the use of a particular electronic circuit that allows you to produce the desired frequency. Also, an essential role in their work is played by an electric sound generator and an electrodynamic loudspeaker. The volume of the signals produced by the device reaches 110 dB, and due to the different sound frequency and operating voltage, such products are perfectly combined with a variety of types of vehicles. Electronic signals can operate on 12V and 24V, so car batteries are well suited for charging them, and the dimensions of the car do not matter. Nowadays, you can find very fashionable electronic klaxon in the form of a snail that resembles a horn. These products are useful decorative elements. 

Pneumatic klaxon

According to the principle of operation, pneumatic klaxon resembles in many respects its ancestors, which were installed on the first vehicles and mechanical carts. In this case, an audio signal is generated by transferring airflows from the compressor to the klaxon pipe, where an audio signal is caused due to air vibration. That is, to extract the desired sound, airflows are emitted from the compressor, which is the source of resonant sound in the pipe. Pneumatic klaxon units differ from each other in the number of pipes used their shape, as well as the power of the sound system. At the same time, the total power of such sound signals reaches 120dB, and the frequency range of the device can cover several sound zones. For these purposes, up to 4 pipes are used, generating an audio signal up to 400-800 Hz. To ensure the operation of such a polyklaxon, it is necessary to have a sufficiently powerful compressor that can give out pressure from 6 to 10 atmospheres. Using pneumatic klaxon, you can get not just a mono signal, but also a whole melody for this you will have to install a controlled relay.

Electromagnetic klaxon

The work of electromagnetic klaxon is based on the principle of action of the electromagnet, which acts as its main constituent element. This element is connected to the membrane, and the core winding is connected to the car battery using a breaker. In turn, the signal button located on the steering wheel is connected to the mass of the vehicle. When pressed, the core begins to oscillate, thereby shifting the klaxon membrane. Depending on the type of sound emitter, all electromagnetic klaxon is divided into three types:

Disk. All such devices can be presented in the form of both collapsible and non-collapsible structures installed in the engine compartment or a conspicuous place. Traditional car audio signals have a similar structure, so the installation of a new klaxon of this type should not cause any difficulties.

Using electromagnetic klaxon, you can combine high frequency and low-frequency sound signals, which will provide two-tone operation of the device.

“Snail.” The bell of this type of klaxon has a curved shape, and its front end should be directed forward. As for the power characteristics, the reproduced signals can reach 120 dB, at a frequency of 250 Hz. Such “snails” are supplemented by two windings of an electromagnet and are suitable for working in two-tone mode. Besides, the presence of a particular relay, which alternately supplies voltage to each of the windings, allows you to play whole melodies with a signal. 

“Horn.” The main distinguishing feature of this type from the previous version is a straightened bell, which significantly facilitates the installation of the device in the engine compartment, but at the same time slightly affects the quality of the reproduced sound.

The use of automobile klaxon

Different countries have different approaches to using the klaxon for cars. For example, in the busy places of India, the cacophony of automobile, moped, and motorcycle signals sounds almost uninterrupted, which is a kind of communication between drivers. Sound signals are given when performing any maneuvers, which helps to warn other road users about the intentions of a particular driver. Such norms of behavior on roads are also characteristic of the countries of Southeast Asia, some countries of the Middle East and Africa. That is, it is easy to notice that in economically developed countries, the signal is much less. Stricter traffic control and a high level of training for local drivers explain this fact.

About the author

In spite of being a girl, Melisa Marzett is fond of cars and history. Working as a writer makes it to where she reads a lot, watches documentaries and as a former journalist, has interviews with different well-informed people. Currently traveling a lot and writing for http://smartessayrewriter.com, she gains experience and shares this experience through her articles.