Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Swanee Whistlevator

Elevator pitch.
  [vote for,

If my fellow halfbakers are as familiar with the structure of a swanee whistle as I think they are, this idea needs no additional explanation.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 17 2010

As opposed to... http://www.youtube....watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw
Piano Stairs [Jinbish, May 17 2010]

I also had to look it up http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Slide_whistle
So now I bunned [zeno, May 17 2010]

As [RayfordSteele] notes, should be very low-pitched. http://www.plimsoll...alHistory/19430.asp
[mouseposture, May 18 2010]

Erasmus Darwin's speaking machine http://www.haskins....ULACRA/edarwin.html
[mouseposture, May 18 2010]

Water Hammer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_hammer
For [zen_tom] [Jinbish, May 19 2010]

Edge Tone http://hyperphysics...ase/music/edge.html
Also for [zen_tom] [pocmloc, May 19 2010]


       We are.   

wagster, May 17 2010

       I'd like an explanation, for the first ' l '.

       {Go ahead and delete this, [MB], and no-one will *ever* know...}
Jinbish, May 17 2010

       It whistles (or to be more accurate, throbs subsonically), whilst you ascend and descend?
pocmloc, May 17 2010

       I'm reasonably familiar with the swanee whistle - but where do the people get on and off? There's only one access hole in the whistle, say on floor seven - so someone could get on at 7, ride all the way down accompanied by a descending tone, and then ride all the way back up again to get off at seven, accompanied by an ascending tone. Or is the whistle aspect separate to the getting on and off function of the lift, providing just the noise? Going horizontal for a moment, could this same concept be used for the tube?
zen_tom, May 17 2010

       Slupernumery "l" deleted.   

       The elevator car (or, to be correct, lift carriage) acts as the stopper in the whistle (or, to use the old English sheep-farming term, whilstle).   

       The whistle part itself is housed at one end or the other of the shaft, powered either by compressed air or by prevailing wind.   

       If you really want me to fill in all the details, I will have to increase my fee.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 17 2010

       ah, so not calling an elevator by whistling an Old American Folk Tune then... very subsonic.
FlyingToaster, May 17 2010

       Thumbs go... phweeeeeeeeep up [+]
Jinbish, May 17 2010

       I'm thinking more sub-sonic bass pipe organ note than whistle.
RayfordSteele, May 17 2010

       Strange. I'm thinking more helium than air.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 17 2010

       Cold air, or hot air ... ?
8th of 7, May 17 2010

       You could have a basket of swanee whistles by each door, and a swanee-whistle-blowing lift attendant; each passenger would be obliged to indicate their desired destination by whistling the appropriate pitches. The attendant would whistle the current floor. Anyone trying to cheat by speaking or not whistling would be pushed out at the boiler-room level.
pocmloc, May 17 2010

       I had to look up swanee whistle.   

       <hangs head in shame>   

       // I had to look up swanee whistle. //   

       Drop your pants and assume the position ...
8th of 7, May 17 2010

       Yes! [+]
Should be *nearly* subsonic like a very large ship's whistle. <link>
mouseposture, May 17 2010

       "Thank you SIR, may I please have another SIR"   

       Come on. Middle C (approx 264hz) is produced by a closed organ pipe one foot long   

       The lower audible limit is suggested to be about 20hz, which would be not quite 4 octaves lower, produced by a closed pipe 16 feet long   

       The Queen Mary fog horn appears to be about 68hz, about 2 octaves below middle C. (i.e. produced by a 4 foot closed pipe, though I imagine the actual horn is more likely to be an 8 foot open pipe)   

       Either your building is not very tall or your pitches are going to be well below the auditory threshold. I'm thinking a 1 or 2 Hz "whump...whump...whump..."   

       You could of course raise the overall pitch of the whilstle one octave if you made the top or bottom end of the shaft open to the air, and installed the fipple on the lift car itself.
pocmloc, May 18 2010

       Could it be designed to have higher harmonics?
mouseposture, May 18 2010

       It could, if it were a lift for bees.
zen_tom, May 18 2010

       [pocmloc] tell me if this works:   

       The elevator/lift shaft functions not as an organ *pipe* but as an organ *chest* -- that is, 1) it supplies compressed air to the pipes and 2) it's a resonating chamber.   

       Mount a bank of organ pipes on the roof. They must be multiple, and their pitches separated by intervals that are small (probably) and nonstandard (certainly).   

       As the car ascends, it drives air through the pipes. They resonate with the shaft-space between the roof pipes and the top of the car, which, of course, changes its length. As it changes, different pipes come into and out of resonance.   

       As the car moves, the pitch is constant, but the timbre changes.
Other details are left as an exercise for the reader.

       It would be a technical challenge to design & build this so it sounded at least interesting. It would require an outstanding artist-engineer to build it so it sounded *good*
mouseposture, May 18 2010

       An alternative alternative would be to have two shafts: the main lift shaft, and a parallel shaft of small diameter.   

       In the small shaft, place a steel plunger; attach a powerful magnet to the lift car itself, so that the two of them move in synch, in their respective shafts. Then, indeed, the lift car in its shaft can provide the air-pumping for the swanee mechanism, whilst the plunger in the small parallel shaft will determine the [elevator]-pitch.   

       Obviously, there is also the alternative route of constructing a 20-storey accordion, with the floor-selector buttons determining the notes. But the main problem with that would be the accordion-like noise it might make.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 18 2010

       //A little more dev and you have the talking floor indicator.//   

       Listen, MaxCo is more of a concept-origination outfit than an engineering department....
MaxwellBuchanan, May 18 2010

       //Wonder why kind of voice you can synthesize without electronics ?// <link>
mouseposture, May 18 2010


But what will provide the accompanying kazoo sound, without which the Whistlevator would be like chalk without cheese? Could alternate lift shafts be Whistlevators and Kazoovators?
hippo, May 19 2010

       Perhaps adjacent office blocks could have whistlevators and kazoovators. Inter-company cooperation could then be encouraged as a means to outer, as well as inner, harmony.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 19 2010

       "But wait. This elevator doesn't have any buttons to indicate hwat floor I want to go to!?"
"That's because you have to whistle."
"Yep. If you want the first floor then it's a low pitch... <phuuuu>; if you want the top then it's a high pitch <pheeeeeeeeee>. This corresponds to the whistle made by the elevator."
"You know how to whistle, don't you?" etc.
Jinbish, May 19 2010

       [mousey], I am not an expert but I suspect the resonant properties of the wind chest changing size will provide a much less pronounced effect than the rise and fall in pressure as the lift ascends and descends. I doubt that it would correlate sensibly and artistically with the lift height to be useful in this idea.   

       High harmonics might be possible but I would suspect in practice that they would be impossible to sound due the the wide bore of the lift shaft and the clutter of the mechanism.
pocmloc, May 19 2010

       Here's a question about whistles/flutes in general - what is it about the position/shape/size of the _V___ hole that creates the standing wave necessary to produce the sound? i.e. what stops the air in the system from leaving the system nice and cleanly?   

       In a trumpet (and some jazz-flautist styles) the reverberations are "seeded" by generating a "brrr" noise with the lips - and in reeded instruments, I guess Bernoulli forces cause the reed to oscillate in a seeding manner - but what about in the static holes in whistles - there's no macroscopic oscillation in the structure of the instrument itself - so where does the wave come from?
zen_tom, May 19 2010

       [+] - Wants to know what the sub-sub-sub basement sounds like.   

       [zen_tom] Fourier's in there somewhere, too. (Seeding - fautists/trumpet players hum to get some effects )
Dub, May 19 2010

       //Fourier's in there somewhere, too//   

       He's hiding in the kitchen Sinc.
Jinbish, May 19 2010

       //kitchen sinc// - which reminds me of another oscillation-in-tube situation, when old plumbing "bangs" when turning the tap, or as liquid flows through the radiators - same process as a whistle (i.e. a standing wave generated somehow in the pipes) just at a much lower frequency?
zen_tom, May 19 2010

       I don't think so. The whistle noise comes from the act of the air escaping the vessel (??), but the water banging (Water Hammer link) is the vibration caused by the shockwave of the sudden acceleration of the water *within* the pipe system.
Jinbish, May 19 2010

       + cute....
xandram, May 19 2010

       [bigsleep] Cheers. And I still have unlimited access to all the chemical suppliers known to mankind. It's going to be a good year.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 19 2010

       // what is it about the position/shape/size of the _V___ hole that creates the standing wave necessary to produce the sound? //   

       I think it's caused by a series of vortices. The air hits the far edge of the hole, and can either go above or below it. It forms vortices which alternately go above and below the edge (ie, outside and inside the flute), and each vortex leads to a "pulse" in air pressure.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 19 2010


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