Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Air pressure to operate a bell

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    • #11602

      I recently bought a EMD style bell in the steel housingcradle. It has the clapper and an old air line coming off of the top. Can anyone tell me the air pressure it takes to operate a bell like this. The clapper moves in one direction only so I assume it would need a blast of air to ring, let off and another blast of air to ring again. Also, what type of a valve was used to operate it?

      Thanks for your time.

    • #16050
      Willie B. Herd

      I’m not sure of the exact amount, but you could hook it up to an air-compressor; start low and gradually increase pressure. There are many types of air valves that were used. With a stored compressed air source, a simple on/off valve will do. Good luck. W

    • #16051

      Hello Stonebrokeus,

      I enquired of a locomotive engineer friend who says that he thinks the bells operate on what is called “Main Reservoir pressure”, 110 psi (pounds per square inch). He is not aware of a reducing valve, providing a reduced pressure at the bell mechanism. The ringing of the bell is automatic – the engineer opens the valve in the cab and the ringer actuates automatically. The activating switch in the cab provides a special function, to drop air pressure immediately when turned off, allowing the ringing of the bell to stop immediately, rather than tapering off.
      Anyway, it may work quite satisfactorily at pressure well below the 110 psi, but at a slower pace. The best bet is perhaps to connect to an air tank and start the compressor. Try it as pressure is built up, to see what effect there is.
      We look forward to your further posting after trying it out.


    • #16052

      Thank you for the reply.

      I tried the air compressor as noted and it did not actuate the ringer. There was some leaking of air around fitting that I need to seal up and will try it again.

      Thank you again for your time.

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