human powered fog horns

looking for sources opinions and ideas.

I have had canister horns rust and mysteriously empty too many times to go that route again if I don’t have to.

Thanks for the help!


Safety horn

I have no experience with this, but someone(bnystrom?) posted about this a while back and said he was impressed with it.

Don’t get it!!!
Beware this horn. It works fine from a motor boat where it does NOT get wet. But I tried this one, and once it gets submerged the membrane will not vibrate and it takes quite awhile to dry out again.

Beware this!

what works?
I’m in the same boat, so to speak.

I’ve tried the audible signalling devices that use compressed gas canisters. I think the “reed” freezes if wet at all because of the cooling of the expanding gas as it’s released from the compressed gas canister.

The human powered kind (as above) have regularly malfunctioned for me as well.

I’m not sure what the solution is except to not paddle in the fog which is probably a reasonable idea anyway. Or, keep your marine radio on Ch 16 and hope that the boat your hear approaching your position is listening to the same channel.

What do other folks do for audible signalling devices, besides whistles of course?

It’ll get wet and freeze too, then it cracks into several pieces, at least mine did.

have never seen problems with
the pygmy horn Seen nystroms work after water play.

also there is a pump powered foghorn that might be nice. Rei was sellling them i think in the bike department.

Try this one, Hand Held Horn

Award-winning Hand-held Horn is great onboard for emergency signaling or just sending a message and for camping, hunting, hiking or sporting events. This 9V horn uses Piezo-Electric technology and has no limited shelf-life so you don’t have the cost of timely replacements or leaky replacement cans.

Meets USCG requirements by producing a four-second blast audible up to 1/2 mile away

Contains no CFCs

Includes universal mounting bracket

This won’t help but…
When I was growing up my folks had a brass two belled lung powered horn they said came from a great grandfathers yacht. It was about two feet long and must have weighed 5 lbs.

They used it to call us home for diner.

Safety at sea horn
Not sure the entire line will work:

if no, go to and search for horn

All you have to do…

– Last Updated: May-19-05 7:53 AM EST – to blow the water off the diaphram and it works just fine. I've had one in my PFD for years and the original diaphram is still good, despite getting soaked on every outing. I use it a handful of times per year and used it just a few weeks ago, so I know it's still working.

I’ve had one for about 5 years, always in my pfd, and still works great with the original diaphragm in it.

I agree with Brian, if you shake or blow the water out of it, it works great (A little rough on my ears, but effective).


Hard to blow water out
when it is solid. (water freezes at 32F ) :slight_smile:

Safety at Sea Horn
I’ve been using this little ACME horn since the late seventies. It’s simple, it’s LOUD! , and fits in my pfd pocket. Great little tool!

Absolutely right!
Yep, great horn here is a url

searunner and MintJulep,
How well does this horn work when it gets wet?

Horn vs. Whistle?
Just wondering what the advantages of a horn are over a whistle. Does the horn carry better through the fog? I’ve forgotten much of what I knew about sound freqencies and such.

They’re louder to begin with…
…and the lower frequency sound carries farther than a high frequency whistle.

Human Powered vs. Compressed Air?
So are the small human-powered horns much louder than whistles? I’m trying to imagine hearing a bugle on the lake :slight_smile: and compare that to a loud whistle. Seems like air horns are much louder than either when I’ve heard them at sporting events.

Acme horn
Hi jmden, the horn is all brass, water won’t bother it, just shake or blow it out. Like most horns the harder you blow it the louder it is.

yep the horn from ppygmy is much

– Last Updated: May-21-05 7:29 AM EST –

louder that even a double chambered storm whistle.

Anything works on a pond but when it's loud and breaking or you are fogged in and want the lobster boat to hear you nothing works. Still, you want the best you can carry.