AirChime K Bases (Manifolds)
Single Chime (old)
The old style single chime base has two 3/8" air inlets on the sides perpendicular to the bell. Also of note is the support ribbing in line with the bell. When compared to the new style single base, these are slightly taller. The one pictured is actually a Hyson/Sydney Smith Dennis base. The main difference between these and an AirChime base is the aluminum savings in the foot, as shown in the last photo. These also had a SSD serial number plate attached to the foot. These bases were introduced in 1955. The AirChime part number is 30117.
Single Chime (new)
The later style single chime base started appearing in the late 1980's. They appear more robust than the old style single chime bases. The one photoed is from an Edwards AirChime KS-1, which were painted red from the factory. Note that the foot is fully filled in with aluminum compared to the Hyson/SSD version. The AirChime part number is 39117.
Dual Chime (old)
Photos to come soon!
The original dual chime manifold was an old style three chime base with a block off plate on the top port. These manifolds were introduced mid 1954, the same as a three chime old style base.
Dual Chime (new)
The new dual chime base is widely used in the industrial horn sector. Edwards AirChime / Kahlenberg / Nathan AirChime markets these as industrial warning horns. Usually paired with bells 2 and 5, or 1 and 2, they useful for alert tones. These bases were introduced around 1955. The AirChime part number is 30124.
Three Chime (old)
Often confused with the J3 Snowplow Whistle base, the earliest K3 bases were 2+1 manifolds. The only external difference between these and J3 base is the existence of a second air inlet port on the left side of the manifold. Internally, there is no cast in air restrictor, but 3/8" threads for the user to put one in. These manifolds were used on the earliest K3's, as well as two chime horns with a blanking plate. They were also used on the three chime KB series of marine whistles. These bases were introduced in mid 1954. The AirChime part number is 30116.
Three Chime (Snowplow)
The J3 snowplow base is very similar to the old style K3 base. The only external difference is the lack of a second 3/8" air inlet port on the left side of the manifold. Internally, there is a cast in air restriction between the 3/8" inlet and the bells. These bases were introduced in 1954. The AirChime part number is 30116-J.
Three Chime (low)
There are actually three types of low three chime bases. This is an AirChime version. Nathan Manufacturing has two other versions. This base was introduced in the mid 1970's, about when the low K5 base was introduced. The Nathan part number is 30126L.
I am still looking for photos of the other versions, if you have some well lit photos of a Nathan three chime base, please use the "Contact Us" form on the website.
Three Chime (high)
The three chime high base is used on horns such as the K3H, and the K3HL. It's a base with higher clearance than the three chime low base. There are two 3/8" alternate air inlets perpendicular to the bells near the foot. This manifold resembles a five chime high base without the lower bell mounts. This base was introduced in 1957 while the early three chime base was discontinued for railroad use. The AirChime part number is 30126.
One of the rarest AirChime manifolds, the four chime manifold was never designed for railroad use. Resembling two 2 chime manifolds stacked on top of one another, this horn is marketed as an industrial warning horn. The one pictured is a K12R12, manufactured by Edwards AirChime. These were also available as a K25R25, for a more alarming tone. They were introduced in the late 1970's for industrial use. The AirChime part number is 30128.
Five Chime (low)
The five chime low base manifold was introduced in 1977 with the K5LA. The earliest bases had big patent pending tags between the one and two bell mounting spots. The manifold pictured is a 1978 model, with an inked "Big Tag." The 1977 models had a screen printed big tag, with a brownish background instead of black. The AirChime part number is upright on the rear of the manifold- 30115L. Later manifolds (around 1980) had part numbers that were cast upside down.
Five Chime (high)
The five chime high base manifold was part of the original four manifolds offered by AirChime. These manifolds resemble a high three chime base but with two extra bell mounting points under the three upper ones. The two 3/8" alternate air inlets move from a perpendicular location to a parallel location to the bells. Later Nathan AirChime manifolds include a "GEVO-notch" to properly align the horn when mounting to a GE Evolution series locomotive, such as an ES44DC. These bases were introduced in 1954. The AirChime part number is 30115.