How To Install A Siren On A Police Or First Responder Vehicle

Sirens are essential components for police cars and emergency vehicles, providing piercing audio and alerting motorists to clear the way. And there is no shortage of sirens to choose from, as several manufacturers fuel this market. Among them are major brands like Tomar and D&R Electronics, but a manufacturer that deserves closer attention is Sound Off Signal, which places much of its design and development focus on sirens. 

The nERGY 400 series is among its most respected and utilized products, and offers a full complement of features. It comes with eight auxiliary buttons and a three-position switch, complete with one-touch programming and easy switching to standard warning modes. The button console version also comes with a button switch. Further, the nERGY 400 series is designed with a buzzer alert that lets users know that auxiliary buttons or the level have been switched on. Horn ring functionality is standard, allowing users to change the tone by lightly tapping the horn. Finally, the nERGY 400 series is built with nine 10 amp and three 20 amp outputs, ideal for running solenoids or delivering power to various peripherals, like a printer or GPS.

Installing the hardware is easy enough with the nERGY 400 series. Getting the console itself into the vehicle will only require light effort and light technical expertise, but this is where the easy part ends. Siren consoles require extensive wiring to function properly, given their frequent interaction with the vehicle’s other components and technologies. Wiring something like a siren should never be attempted by a novice. It’s not safe for the installer and it’s not safe for other motorists, as the siren may not function properly if not wired correctly.

How to install a siren system

Every siren requires a different wiring layout, though there are some significant similarities from one to the next. In the case of the nERGY 400 series, there are some important safety measures to take prior to jumping into installation. For example, it is essential to disconnect any high current interconnects, as poor crimping can result in high levels of heat and pose a fire risk. Also, do not install the siren or its wiring in the air bag deployment zone, as this can both damage the siren and put the vehicle’s occupants in immediate danger. Finally, do not disconnect the brake lights, headlights or any other safety equipment while installing the nERGY 400 siren.

That said, here is how to wire the siren:

1.       Wiring the park kill input – The park kill feature allows the user to activate or deactivate the siren using the transmission park neutral safety switch. The nERGY 400’s park kill input is represented by a yellow wire. The input is typically connected to the transmission neutral safety switch. If installing the park kill feature, the technician must determine if the signal wire is coming from the neutral safety switch is switching the ground side of the circuit or not. The park kill input wire should be run to the siren amplifier with a 22-guage wire, at the minimum.  

2.       Wiring the ignition input – The ignition input wire is orange and black and can be used with a remote ignition feature. To wire it, find the wire in the vehicle that provides positive voltage when the ignition switch is turned on. Tap the ignition input wire into the vehicle ignition wire, and extend it as needed.

3.       Wiring the auxiliary input – This is an optional input feature that will remotely activate the siren when the auxiliary input wire is connected to ground. If required, connect the violet auxiliary input wire to a switch that provides a ground connection when activated.

4.       Wiring the radio rebroadcast input – This pair of blue wires allows the vehicle’s two-way radio to broadcast through the siren’s speaker. While this is optional, it is extremely useful and is usually activated in emergency and law enforcement vehicles. To set it up, find the two wires that connect the external speaker to the two-way radio. Tap one of the wires into one of the external speaker’s wires, and tap the other radio rebroadcast wire into the other external speaker wire. Adjust the volume before operating the vehicle and set the volume of the two-way radio to normal operating levels.

5.       Wiring the horn ring input – The horn ring input, delivered with a white and black wire, allows users to switch siren function by pressing the vehicle’s horn ring. If needed, the installer needs to know if the signal coming from the horn ring is switching to ground side or not. Extend the wire to the horn ring switch with at least 18-gauge wire.

6.       Wiring the siren speaker output – There is a good bit of wiring with this one, and it includes the orange, orange/black, green and green/black wires. To set it up, run the orange and orange/black wires from the four position connector to the siren speaker. Connect the orange wire to the primary speaker high wire, and the orange/black wire to the primary speaker low wire. If needed, the green and green/black wires are connected to the secondary speaker high wire and low wire, respectively.

7.       Wiring the backlight input – This gray wire will switch on the control panel’s backlighting when positive voltage is applied to it. Route siren amplifier backlight input wire to the vehicle’s marker light wiring, and extend it as needed. Tap it to the vehicle’s market light positive voltage wire.

While the basics of putting the siren in are simple enough, the wiring should be handled by someone with experience. But with the proper expertise, setting up the nERGY 400 series shouldn’t pose major difficulties.