The system electronics, consisting of a chassis assembly and a Controller Module, contain all the surge suppression and interconnection hardware to fill the requirements of a full-featured defect detection system.
Once alarm conditions are detected, they are clearly announced on a preselected VHF radio channel to alert train crews to the presence of dangerous conditions. Defects are identified by axle number and position in real-time. The Controller Module can provide remote data reporting over an IP network.
Updated Controller Module
We designed the NG² Controller Module utilizing dual-microprocessor architecture with one processor dedicated to train-scanning functions, and the other used to manage data storage and communications. The MicroC/OS real-time operating system is the core of the system software providing for management of analog and digital I/O, the OLED display & keypad, serial communications, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity. The secure Wi-Fi and Ethernet serve up a web page to the browser of your portable wireless device or laptop to view and update system setup parameters, access train data and event logs, calibrate scanners, and update system software. No special apps required.
The OLED Display & Keypad provide convenient access to most often used features, such as System Health, Radio Test and Auto Calibration for the scanners. New features to the NG² include the Network Menu, Volume Menu and the Input Menu that displays the status of the Auxiliary Inputs to aid in troubleshooting. LEDs provide the state of COP-A (Computer Operating Properly Processor A), COP-B, Wheel Sensors, PTT (Push-To-Talk) and System Warning. Located in the lower right-hand corner is the System Reset pushbutton.
The ability to upload software updates to the NG² via an IP network connection provides a convenient, reliable and cost-effective method for revising system software. The system architecture also provides for the inclusion of the Rail Logic Velocity Module for use in transmitting data to a remote host system and for generating S-9203A and S-9003B formatted reports.
The Model 2300 NG² system is modular by design, allowing custom configuration for specific environments. The basic system is delivered as a Hot Bearing Detector. Additional capabilities can be added by attaching input devices, such as wheel scanners, a dragging equipment detector, high/wide load detectors, and the TransCore® MPRR - RFID Module Assembly. The system software of the NG² already contains support for each of these options — merely adding the hardware required for the desired function and activating it in the software enables these capabilities.
The chassis assembly accommodates the Ritron DTX-160 VHF radio. Optionally, an external communication interface connector provides all the signals necessary to connect an external mobile radio transceiver equipped with similar connections.
Digital Radio Ready
In addition to the standard external communication interface connector, the NG² provides for RS-232 digital communications to NXDN® (Next Generation Digital Narrowband) equipped radios that are capable of transmitting and receiving both text and voice messages. In this mode, the NG² sends two announcements representing the same content. First, the digital text message is transmitted utilizing RS-232 communications to an NXDN equipped radio located in the bungalow. This message is captured, decoded, error checked and displayed for viewing on a compatible radio located inside the locomotive. The NG² broadcasts the verbal announcement to be heard by the train crew after it sends the digital text message. Typically the entire text message requires less than one second to be received, which can be beneficial for servicing very long trains operating in geographically challenging terrains that interfere with radio propagation — possibly precluding parts of the verbal message from being received.