The Clap For Carers DIY Air Horn
A few weeks into the “Clap for Carers” event, which happens at 8pm each Thursday evening, I noticed that the neighbours had moved on from clapping alone and were bringing pots and pans and other implements out with which they created a racket, to show their appreciation.
I thought it would be good to be different, the ideal “tool” for the job for me was an air horn. However, with none available, how could I re-create that kind of sound?
Solving problems is what engineers do best, so I searched the web for ideas and found some designs that gave me the idea for my hack, so I can’t claim the rights to the entire design!
The problem was that I didn’t have any of the parts from which other designs had been made.
However, all was not lost. With some creative thinking and a rummage around the garage and recycling bin, my makeshift air horn was created from:
- 1 metre length of 20mm PVC conduit
- A 1 litre foam bath bottle
- 1 nitrile rubber glove
- A roll of self-amalgamating insulation tape
- A couple of elastic bands
- Thread seal tape
- A quick-connect air-line fitting with an adaptor to secure to a surface
The idea, once assembled, was to drive it from an air compressor connected to a tyre inflator which would clip onto the airline fitting.
How to assemble:
- Drill a 20mm hole in the lid of the foam bath bottle
- Cut off the bottom 5mm of the bottle so that it is open-ended
- Drill a hole to suit in the side of the bottle to allow for fixing of the quick connect and adaptor
- Fit the adaptor to the bottle securing with thread seal tape
- Stretch the rubber glove over the bottom of the bottle and secure in place with elastic bands tucking the fingers under the bands to secure
- Push the 20mm conduit through the hole in the lid of the bottle until it makes contact with the glove stretched over the open end, add 5mm so the glove material is tight against the conduit.
- Secure the conduit in position with tape wrapped around the cap of the bottle to hold in place and prevent leakage
The air horn is now ready to go!
In operation extending the conduit and adding a funnel change the volume and tone, as does varying the air supply from the compressor.
It is quite effective simply blowing into the device, but the compressor takes it to another level!
Waving the tube at the same time creates a “doppler effect” where the output tone appears to vary.
There is plenty more that can be done to develop this further with whatever you have to hand, I have some 1mm neoprene sheet which might make a good substitute for the glove when I get around to trying it!