Vehicle: Car: Horn
proportional honking   (+21, -2)  [vote for, against]
Car horn volume is sometimes too high

The volume of a car honking in response to a remote locking mechanism (if at all) should be proportional to the distance between car and opener.

Additional opinions about general horn usage (summarizing the annotations here) seem to diverge. There are people who like them and want to add features:

- multiple horns: a very quiet one for use on pedestrians, a distinctive one for greeting friends, and one to wake up the driver who has fallen asleep in front of you [monica, mab]

- doppler-corrected horn [tenhand]

and people who don't and want to limit their use:

- a very loud horn that stays on until you pull over [mab])

- a horn quota of 4 per hour [visionik]

- a registration (H on license plate) for horns [StarChaser]

- a horn that, after some amount of abuse, "clocks you in the back of the head, unless an accelerometer senses that you're hitting the brakes hard." [StarChaser]
-- jutta, May 27 1997

Another distinctive horn should sound automatically during heavy braking, or if the ABS system engages. Perhaps a standard stacatto heavy braking horn, several short, sharp blasts in quick succession.
-- jimfl, Jan 31 2000

There was a woman, I forgot her name, who built a fantastic organ out of car horns. She scavenged junkyards for 24 horns tuned in half-step intervals, then hooked them up to a keyboard. I have a recording of "The Stars and Stripes Forever" that is guaranteed to wake up sleepyheads. I want a keyboard in my car, so I can play "hah-hah hah-hah haaah-hah" or the Funeral March.
-- rmutt, Mar 03 2000

How about a horn that allows you to record and then "honk" your own messages? Have one button for "Hey! Get out of my way!" and another for "Ahem. The light is green."
-- juke, Mar 04 2000

A couple decades ago, we had a neighbor (in a rural area) who had a musical car horn. It had a few hundred standard songs, and you could (painfully) program a few more ``custom'' ones.

He would always play the same song for us driving by our house, if it looked like we were home. It was his way of saying ``howdy''.

How come I never have neighbors like that any more? Oh yeah, because I live in the city, and they'd get lynched.
-- egnor, Mar 04 2000

Along with doppler-correcting horn, a doppler-simulating horn.
-- syost, Mar 05 2000

I don't use a horn. I keep a baseball bat in MY car
-- AfroAssault, Sep 14 2000

The fact that all car horns are approximately equally too loud makes it possible for those who hear them to roughly guess the distance to the honking car without looking around.
Much rather: Put a loudspeaker in every car to allow drivers to exchange greetings (and curses) without abusing the horn as a safety instrument. Also "talking traffic" would be much more fun!
-- mar, Sep 27 2000

Please, I beg of you...Don't let any L.A. Armenians find out about all the horn options. It's a cultural thing to honk at anything,everything and everybody. Even at 2:30 or 6:00 a.m. in a driveway with the person they're honking at to say hello or goodbye to a few feet away from the car! AARRGH!. Used to live next door to some. Never again. Thanks Governor Deukmejian, Great cooks though.
-- thumbwax, Sep 28 2000

I have a theory - forget the horn, well except maybe for pedestrians, anyways, it goes like this - cars should all have device - I'll call it the "shocker" - installed in the driver's seat. And all cars would have an activation switch, say on the column or steering wheel. Instead of sounding an audible signal to the driver in front of you, you would activate a mild shock (or maybe larger) to them. To control this, you would of course have to be within a certain distance or have a sufficiently large speed differential. ( Conditions and factors could be debated for hours ... )

To take this further, say its not the driver in front of you - its the driver in front of them - the "shock" could pass through the non-offending car and driver on to where the jolt is really needed. Image being able to shock the moron 30 cars in front of you who drove into the back of someone else. You may not get home in time but you would have the gratifying thought that s/he paid for it.

Lets just say I've spent too much of my live sitting in traffic...
-- -marsh, Oct 06 2000

I was about to bake the following when I saw that a horn omnibus already existed. So here's my addition.

How 'bout a horn that honks louder at higher speeds? The average honk volume isn't loud enough to get anyone's attention at highway speeds. Need a horn that will attract the attention of someone blocking the passing lane. It has to be loud enough to overcome the oblivious recipient's wind/stereo noise and further loud enough to compensate for the extra following distance that separates cars at high speed.
-- luxlucet, Dec 27 2005

How about having the volume directly proportional to how hard you whack the steering wheel?
-- Aq_Bi, Dec 27 2005

[luxlucet], your addition makes a lot of sense to me. Perhaps with a way to listen to the ambient environment and adjust for the actual noise conditions?
-- bristolz, Dec 27 2005

I also want Canada Geese fitted with these, so I can hear a flock coming from farther away.
-- phundug, Dec 27 2005

Why is it that this ancient idea is dated 1997, but the annos start in 2000? Did it languish unannoed for 3 years? Or did previous annotators delete their accounts in premillenial fits of pique?
-- bungston, Dec 27 2005

(note: [bungston], you used the phrase "languish unannoed" once before, on August 11, 2004 :)
-- phundug, Dec 27 2005

I think Languish Unannoed was one of the bounty hunters in Star Wars.
-- luxlucet, Dec 28 2005

I laughed out loud at the Star Wars thing. [phundug], I am surprised that I used that before, but more surprised that you knew.
-- bungston, Dec 28 2005

I had such a feeling of deja vu when I saw it, [bungston], I almost thought you deleted all the previous annos just so you could repost that "languish unannoed" thing again.
-- phundug, Dec 28 2005

After going half deaf amongst car horns today in rainy rush hour traffic, I came home to post the idea of a variable volume horn and found this already posted. Why would anyone be against such an idea?
-- Sunstone, Sep 17 2009

How about tuneful sequential honking:

Each horn 'listens' to the previous honk and emits a sound which either harmonises (if the previous honk is still sounding) or is picked at random from the notes which relate to the previous honk (I can't remember the musical terminology, but for each note there's a number of others that sound 'right').

Honking would be less of an earache and more of a performance.
-- Twizz, Sep 18 2009

So could you do sound canceling horns to apply against the other guy's honking?
-- normzone, Sep 18 2009

This would be pretty easy to bake. Just incorporate a Languitian anode into the keyfob.
-- egbert, Sep 18 2009

We've had these for years in England.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 18 2009

this is the 3rd oldest post on the HB.
-- FlyingToaster, Sep 18 2009

random, halfbakery