Automobiles are often designed in such a manner that their horns do not make much disturbing noise because of public sensitivity. As a matter of fact, blowing horns is considered as a serious disrespect to the fellow citizens in some countries and then there are countries that count blowing horns as a sign of harassment. Some people came up with a slogan “Horn NOT OK please” back in 2014 as a protest to ban the horns in vehicles on the road.
It is a known fact that blowing horns can cause impairment in our sound perception and audibility but, putting a ban to horns is not a very wise solution. In a country like India, where traffic is denser than the total number of clauses mentioned under the traffic rules booklet, horns are very essential. To steer clear, to alarm a careless vendor, to shoot a stray animal; anything and everything requires a horn in your vehicle. So, isn’t it a fair statement to make that horns indeed are a vehicle’s language (Indian traffic’s love language, if you may)
Car horns and bike horns, however, need to be kept under a check so that the frequency of the horn and the decibel level of the sound does not exceed the permissible limit. If this happens then we could have to face some serious repercussions.
Structure and Functioning of a Horn
A horn is a very basic, structural component of the car that makes use of electric and magnetic fields to emit noise for the car or motorbike in order to alarm any pedestrian of the arrival of the vehicle. The basic structure of all horns is pretty much similar, the details are what create the difference.
Let us take look at the structure of a car horn
A car horn consists of a few basic components such as
- A spring steel
- Coiled wire
- A switch
- A megaphone
- A flexible metallic diaphragm
Scientifically speaking, the entire functioning of a horn depends on the famous Hooke’s Law in physics. According to this law, “the length of coiled wire is directly related to the load that is applied but only if the limit of proportionality does not exceed.”
In simple wording, it means that if the horn is designed in a proper manner, the diaphragm oscillates back and forth repeatedly as long as the current is being applied. This movement produces the desired sound in a vehicle.
These horns are manufactured with an electrical contact that is attached to the flexible metallic diaphragm. A strong electromagnet is also attached to this flexible metallic diaphragm. When the current is supplied to the electromagnet, the complete structure starts to move to its mechanical limit in such a manner that it disconnects with the power source for a moment. Once, the complete armature relaxes and winds back to the initial point, electrical power is supplied again as the contact is made one more time and the armature begins with the same procedure all over again.
In actual situation, upon pressing the horn electrical contact is made and it permits the current to flow down to the relay. Relay further supplies high current to the electromagnet of the horn. This action pulls the diaphragm and it stretches to its maximum limit. This will cause the power supply to cut off as the contact is lost and the current ceases to flow in the electromagnetic unit. The diaphragm soon relaxes so that it can move back to its original position which completes the circuit one more time. This sets up an even and uniform oscillation in the diaphragm.
What Makes Car Horns Any Different From Bike Horns?
The vast varieties in the horns available in the market is no joke. But the question arises that how are these different horns made when all the basic structural components are similar. The answer is really simple, any variety of a horn is determined by modifying any one of the following factors:
- Flexibility of diaphragm
- The size of diaphragm
- The power of electromagnet
- The mass of the diaphragm
- Mechanical arrangement of the switch contact
- Dimensions of the case of horn
So, this is pretty much everything you need to know about your car horns or bike horns. I hope you have understood the basic differences between car horns and motorbike horns through this detailed description of the structure of an automobile horn. These structural differences are what makes your car horn and your bike horn sound different.
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