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Bill_G wrote:That is a Type F head. It's part of a transportation management system (TMS) sold by Orbital Sciences / Raytheon in the early 90's. Essentially, it is a SCADA system with voice capability for buses.
The head is a modified point of sale machine (credit card box). It has a three line by twelve character LCD display, 6x4 keypad with menu tree (ie - keys bring up a menu of control functions or outbound canned messages to select and send; for example the red EMERG button brings up MEDICAL REQUESTED , POLICE REQUESTED, MENACING PERSON), and a card slot on the left side to insert a PCMCIA mem card with route and schedule information and trip event collection that is put in by each driver.
The head and radio are connected to a CPU box (also under the seat but not visible in the photos). The CPU communicates with a server in dispatch over the air via a 2400 baud FSK polled TDM protocol in a 10 channel 6 site non-simulcast UHF conventional trunking system. The doors, wheelchair lift, silent alarm button, passenger counter, and several other vehicle functions are also connected to the CPU. Depending on the vehicle type and vintage, there can be upwards of forty different connections for control and monitoring.
The CPU has an integrated GPS with differential correction info received as part of the overhead word on the control channel. As the bus progresses, its route and schedule adherence is tracked, recorded, and reported OTA. Events such as button presses, doors, lift deployed, or alarms are recorded. Depending on the severity, they may be sent to dispatch for display on their CAD. Emergencies are sent in immediately, but fare evasion is simply recorded. The CPU controls the signs and displays the appropriate route. It controls the automated stop announcements, the passenger counter, the DVR, and the traffic signal of the approaching intersection.
Each night the cards are uploaded, a report is generated, archived, and sent to the appropriate managers. They can look at overall on time performance and passenger on/off counts. Trip planners can determine the effects of road construction on schedules. They also know when and where ADA passengers get on and off so they can adjust for the increased dwell times. Security knows where fare evasion and abusive persons occur so they can deploy their personnel. Cleaning crews know where dirty shelters are observed. Maintenance can monitor the integrity of a bus. Over time they can capture trends which justify increasing or decreasing service on different routes at different times. It has reduced fuel consumption, fleet increases, and labor costs.
Not bad for a system based on a chip set similar to an old Atari game console.
Bill_G wrote:The type F was originally dev'd as a point of sale device by QSI in Salt Lake. However, it is nothing more than a serial terminal based on a Hitachi chipset with a card reader. Orbital bolted it to their box to be used as the user interface. The fareboxes Trimet uses do not have any comm ports, and Trimet does not have the either the front end or the back end to process credit and debit cards, or electronic passes. It's on the wish list.
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