Train Whistle (12)

28th April 2018OffByRiseNews

This train Whistle (12) shows how to create a simple whistle out of 1″ diameter PVC pipe. The general design used here is not my own, as I have relied on many sources from the internet and elsewhere. This is just my particular implementation of this simple whistle design.

I have included more detail on the construction and performance from my own experience in building it. I have also included some optional features of my design, such as an attachement for use with an air compressor, and a moveable slide that allows the pitch can be changed. By adjusting the length from the opening to end of the pipe, the pitch can be increased or decreased. The pitch produced depends on the speed of sound and the length of the whistle from the notch to the capped end.


4″ the wavelength of the sound produced. The speed of sound is approximately 1100 feet per second. The exact length is determined by the desired pitch. About 10″   is a good length to start with. Two cuts must be made into the PVC pipe to make a notch, as shown. The first cut is perpendicular to the axis of the pipe. The second is at a 45 degree angle.

Make the first cut about 1″ to 1. 5″ from the end of the pipe, as shown. The insert fits into the end of the pipe with the notch. It can be made from a wooden dowel or any other round stock. I made this one out of a hardwood dowel. One side of the dowel must be removed as shown in the pictures below. 4″ from the edge as shown in the diagram.

The insert should fit fairly tightly into the PVC pipe. Push the insert into the pipe so that one end of it is even with the perpenicular cut of the notch in the pipe. Refer to the note included with the pictures below for additional construction details. The mouthpiece is a fitting the attached to the notch end of the tube. This is the part that you will blow into once the whistle is completed. This one is made from 3 parts. 2″ PVC pipe that fits into the adapter.

Train Whistle (12)

This is an optional attachement that can be used in place of the mouthpiece fitting from the earlier step. It allows the whistle to be connected to an air compressor, so that you don’t have to blow into it. The whistle can be pretty load when driven with compressed air. The construction is very similar to that of the regular mouthpiece. If you want the whistle to produce a fixed pitch, you can just experiment with the length of the pipe, starting with a longer pipe and trimming the far end until you have the tone you want. At this point you would just attach the cap to the far end and the whistle is complete. You can make an adjustable pitch whistle by makeing a plunger that slides in and out of the tube, effectively changing the inside dimensions that determine the fundamental pitch.

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The plunger must fit tightly enough that air doesn’t escape past it, yet loose enought that it can be moved in and out without appling excessive force. The end cap will not fit down the 1″ PVC pipe off the shelf, so the end cap will have to modified. I used a lathe to turn down the diameter of the cap until it fit well. If you do not have a lathe, a belt sander could be used but it would be less precise and also it would be difficult to keep a round shape that would seal well in the pipe. The plunger could be made of any solid material, like a wooden dowel, so long as it has a good fit as described earlier. The whistle pictured on the first step in this instructable is made from an 11″ length of pipe. The length from the notch to the far end is about 9.

The adjustable stop was not used for this test. The end was capped by a 1″ diameter PVC cap. The graph below is the spectrum of the sound produced by the whistle. You can see the fundamental frequency, the first spike, is approximately 350 Hz. You can also see that there are odd numbered harmonics. The third harmonic is at approximately 1050Hz, and the fifth harmonic is at approximately 1750 Hz.

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4 the wavelength of the sound produced, and that the speed of sound is approximately 1100 feet per second. 5″ whistle should produce a sound with a fundamental frequency of approximately 347Hz. This calculated result agrees well with the frequency on the graph below. I’ve attached a wave file of the sound produced by this whistle. We have a be nice policy. I have calculated all of my lengths, but I am a little confused. Is the length supposed to be from the base of the pipe to the end, or from the notch to the end of the pipe?

Train Whistle (12)

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Would it still work if you didn’t make the mouthpiece and blew directly onto the wood? My dad asked me to help him find an air horn he had seen on a link I shared on facebook. I found the one he wanted that uses an air mattress pump as an air source but then I saw your 4 chime version and followed the link here to my favorite site ! This is routinely done on organ pipes to extend the lower register without additional length. One octave lower, would require a pipe 34 ft long, so rather than make a 34 ft pipe, they use a 17 ft pipe with a stop. This is a bit of an oversimplification, and other factors come into play.

Train Whistle (12)

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But as you mentioned, the sound does actually emerge from the slanted opening. So the one end does not get capped? I thought that any whistle only allowed the air to exit through the hole by the mouth piece. I would love to make this! Thank you for an interesting and useful Instructable.

Train Whistle (12)

I hope to clear my “to do” list enough to try this before long. Instructables will help you learn how to make anything! Why do I have to complete a CAPTCHA? Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. What can I do to prevent this in the future?

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If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. Check out the browser extension in the Firefox Add-ons Store. This article needs additional citations for verification. A whistle stop or whistle-stop tour is a style of political campaigning where the politician makes a series of brief appearances or speeches at a number of small towns over a short period of time. The definition of the term derives from the practice of a small, occasionally used railway station signaling a train so the engineer will know to stop.

Train Whistle (12)

Trains inbound to a “whistle stop” station would signal their approach with a blast of the train’s steam whistle which would alert the train depot attendant to their arrival. One usage of the term in the political context, by Robert A. He accused then-President Harry S Truman of “blackguarding Congress at whistle stops across the country”. Use of the term has spread to cover any travel done very quickly and with only brief pauses. It is common to hear this expression in the United States, where the term originated, as well as the United Kingdom. In the 19th century, when travel by railroad was the most common means of traveling long distances over the vast expanses of land as in the United States, politicians would charter tour trains which would travel from town to town. At each stop, the candidate would make a speech from the train, but might rarely set foot on the ground.

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One of the most famous railroad cars to be used in the U. Ferdinand Magellan, the only car custom built for the President of the United States in the 20th century. Originally built in 1928 by the Pullman Company and officially the “U. Prince Charles of the United Kingdom started a five-day whistle-stop tour of the United Kingdom on Monday 6 September 2010 with a speech in Glasgow.

Train Whistle (12)

The green campaigning tour is a part of the Prince’s Start initiative that aims to build public awareness of sustainable activities. President Ronald Reagan goes on a whistle-stop tour through Ohio in 1984. President-Elect Barack Obama on whistle-stop tour en route to his inauguration. This page was last edited on 9 April 2018, at 16:27.

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