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MTI-80 Radios and operations

 
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jpachl



Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 62
Location: Braunschweig, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:24 pm    Post subject: MTI-80 Radios and operations Reply with quote

In the article on the Iota layout in MTI-80, on p209 the author promotes the use of radios in operations without going into details. I do not yet understand how radio communication can be used to operate a small shunting layout. Or was this just a general statement, which is not related to that specific layout?

Joern
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Jim Thompson



Joined: 16 Jun 2008
Posts: 50
Location: Cape Coral, Florida, US

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joern,

Well! Your question required me to go back and re-read the article, which I thought I had read thoroughly before Laughing Cool ! I actually can see your confusion, and perhaps Andrew can chime in with some views of radio communication on a shunting layout. Confused

The experience I have is only as a spectator at a large modular layout, where the 'engineers' were separated by some distance from the main control area, and had "walk around" controls for the train they were operating. I am, of course, very new to the whole idea of anything beyond analogue locomotives and hand thrown points! Laughing My thought would be that the 2 operators (engineer + conductor) would be in each others' way on a small layout, but perhaps I am overlooking some very crucial item!

Peace,

Jim
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iandrewmartin



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Ballarat, Victoria Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:40 am    Post subject: Radios used in operation Reply with quote

Joern;

4 years late, but finally an answer for you. First an apology as I do not always cruise into the forums and read through every post, today I simply had some time and went back in time to see what could be answered.

In using two person crews for operations I hoped to do two things:
Engage more than one person in the operation of a layout
More closely replicate the "real" railroad experience for operators unused to operating on a real railroad.

A note here - I am not and never have been on a railroad as a crew member. I did however grow up with an uncle who was an engineer (in Australia a driver) and so got to see lots of operations first hand mainly under steam and early diesel in Sydney's outer western suburbs from the late 1960s through the mid 1970s.

What I noted was that the crew acted as a team. Driver and fireman worked the engine, but that's all they did, while the brakeman or conductor (in Australia the Guard) did the work of actually directing the train in its operation.

Using this same mode of operation on a small layout is no different to real life. The driver drives, and the conductor controls the switching moves, aligns switches, and so on, and guides the driver to his destination.

If you listen to any real comms during switching you'll see a lot of back and forth talk between the driver and the guard. All the time. How many cars before you're clear of the next switch, how many cars until you are ready to couple up to the next car, how many cars until you are at the door you need to drop the car at.

And this teamwork is going on all the time as the crew talk about all of there moves, and so on. Remember that often the driver cannot see the end of the train, the spur he or she is pushing into, or what is ahead. That is the conductors job. THat is why he or she is riding the end of the train, hanging on the side of the car and being the eyes for the driver a couple of hundred feet away.

Extrapolating this to the model world:
- Having your driver not be able to see where he is going, and using radios to assist the gaurd in giving the driver the vision of where he is means that you can almost entirely reproduce the environment
- As a by-product you slow down the switching operation speed to proper track speed. In yard service or during sewitcvhing we are talking about less than 5 miles per hour (about 8 km/h)

All this leads to more bacng for the buck from the smaller layout. Because it takes the right amount of time to complete the work that you are trying to do. Sure you can rush it, but isn't it better to do things right once, and enjoy yourself, rahter than try and rush it and mess the whole thing up?

Hope that this gives you an idea of what I was alluding to.
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Andrew Martin
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jpachl



Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 62
Location: Braunschweig, Germany

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios used in operation Reply with quote

iandrewmartin wrote:

Extrapolating this to the model world:
- Having your driver not be able to see where he is going, and using radios to assist the gaurd in giving the driver the vision of where he is means that you can almost entirely reproduce the environment

Does this mean that the driver cannot see the layout at all, maybe by sitting in a separate room?

Joern
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iandrewmartin



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Ballarat, Victoria Australia

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joern;

Too right it does. In real life this is what happens. For example in a narrow alley between buildings the driver has to have trust in the conductor, and what he is telling him when reversing (have a look for switching or industrial switching on youtube) to see what I mean.

Now I advocate while in training that the driver can see what is going on. That way as you learn to work with your partner you'll get a feel for what they are seeing and how they react when they do.

Once they are comfortable then back the distance off until you as the driver can no longer see the switchman's end of the cut of cars, and then throw all of the responsibility on the switchman to guide the driver.

If nothing else it will make for some interesting conversations. This is where the use of radios comes into play. Sometimes it is not real clear what is going on. So less is more.

It makes more sense to say "Engine 375 push back", to begin the push into the siding, rahter than "right-o John you are ready to push back into the siding".

Similarly if the condustor/switchman counts down cars to go until he needs you to stop, it makes more sense than saying "almost there" or something similar. If you watch a lot of the switching videos on Youtube you'll see what I mean. The switchman/conductor simply counts down cars until the dirver stops. "5....., 3....., 1....., stop...."

Thanks for your patience Joern. I hope that this has made some sense for you. I believe that radios make the most sense of all of the real world technologies we are trying to bring to the model world. They give us the most bang for our proto-operations buck.

All the best and have a great weekend.
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Andrew Martin
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