Jump to content
Acela150

Solari Board at PHL

Recommended Posts

Surprised they haven't thought of "saving money" and having passenger's look up the "board" on some new phone app....never mind...sorry I even suggested it... :wacko:

Honestly, while it is nice to have a big physical departure board, I really wouldn't care if I had to just do it on my phone. Penn Station's main departure board is digital and unimpressive, so I personally wouldn't be missing out on much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Departure boards are still necessary for those who don't have smartphones, their data connection is spotty, they don't know where/how to get the information on their smartphone quickly, etc. It's also a good way to get some emergency/last minute announcements communicated quickly and efficiently.

 

Physical departure boards aren't going away anytime soon, even in the era of smartphones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The smaller boards spotted around the station actually are pretty useful.

I remember back when the auxiliary arrival/departure boards at Hoboken Terminal were black-and-white TV monitors showing the feed from a camera aimed at the main board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The "newer" new technology systems can be equipped with dynamic brightness and contrast control, reading the ambient light conditions and adjusting accordingly. That makes a big difference when properly implemented.

 

Stadium video displays based off of LEDs are extremely good these days. They're perfectly visible - even in full sunlight.

 

However, some places still use flip-matrix boards. That kind of bridges the gap between modern LED/LCD dot matrix signs and split-flaps that have dozens of positions. They only require two positions - black and the primary color.

 

 

I still see these types of signs used for road signs (such as construction zone). The advantage is that they can be programmed and then left that way, although often they often have problems with not having enough ambient light unless they're somehow lit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flip dots and similar sign types are extremely common in transit destination signs, especially buses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flip dots and similar sign types are extremely common in transit destination signs, especially buses.

 

I think a lot of them gradually flip the dots for effect,. There could be an issue with overloading the power supply with too much simultaneous flips. But of course the big benefit is that they can be shut down, and unlike LED/LCD displays they'll stay right where they are.

 

I've heard of some that claim they can achieve 14 frames per second to do animation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Oner of the down sides of digital monitor screens is that they become difficult to read in adverse light conditions, for examle when the sun is shining in at an awkward angle..

Depends on what kind of display. Certain LED and OLED screens are still very easy to read, regardless of the lighting and angle of it. I wonder if anyone has every looked into an e-ink departure board, though...

 

Not a arrival/departure board, but at an airport as an art display.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, CHamilton said:

 

I don't get the claim that it's one of the last ones of its kind still being used.  Solari is still making these types of boards, and there are others such as the company in the Philly suburbs I found.  They've got one at the Ferry Building in San Francisco for ferry departures, and that was installed in 2013.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2018 at 3:14 PM, jebr said:

Departure boards are still necessary for those who don't have smartphones, their data connection is spotty, they don't know where/how to get the information on their smartphone quickly, etc. It's also a good way to get some emergency/last minute announcements communicated quickly and efficiently.

 

Physical departure boards aren't going away anytime soon, even in the era of smartphones.

I hope you're right. Give me a video screen or even a Solari board to look at while I'm in the station! 

 

I'm so over every business imaginable expecting us to go to a website or a cell phone app and "do it yourself." 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, BCL said:

 

I don't get the claim that it's one of the last ones of its kind still being used.  Solari is still making these types of boards, and there are others such as the company in the Philly suburbs I found.  They've got one at the Ferry Building in San Francisco for ferry departures, and that was installed in 2013.

It's the last in the Amtrak system. 

http://www2.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/amtrak-solari-board-30th-street-station-philadelphia-20181130.html

http://www2.philly.com/transportation/th-street-station-flipboard-history-photos-20181130.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Modern Departure and Arrival Boards with full stoppage information for each departing train and complete ETA information for arriving trains looks like this one taken at London Kings Cross last week:

IMG_4492.thumb.JPG.fde6471178dda49bf2e1cd85132fa93c.JPG

There are two identical banks of these - one bank right above the entry gates to the platform, and another bank at the other end of the concourse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Egads...what's that horrid looking "blimp hangar" marring the classic station architecture?   Sorta reminds me of what they did to Denver...:o

Edited by railiner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually moving the main concourse under this new covered area between the old Kings Cross building and St. Pancras is the best thing that happened to Kings Cross in a long time. The old concourse was completely inadequate and cramped. The new one is spacious and airy with very high ceiling.

Euston is about to be rebuilt, and there they are actually going to tear down the old headhouse and replace it completely, rather than build outside of it, preserving the basic structure like they did at Kings Cross.

Edited by jis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually moving the main concourse under this new covered area between the old Kings Cross building and St. Pancras is the best thing that happened to Kings Cross in a long time. The old concourse was completely inadequate and cramped. The new one is spacious and airy with very high ceiling.
Given the number of departures from Kings Cross, I'm not surprised by the type of board used. It bothers me a little that Amtrak didn't look for less costly alternatives as per the Inquirer article.

Just another vanished reminder of my youth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2018 at 2:14 PM, jebr said:

Departure boards are still necessary for those who don't have smartphones, their data connection is spotty, they don't know where/how to get the information on their smartphone quickly, etc. It's also a good way to get some emergency/last minute announcements communicated quickly and efficiently.

 

Physical departure boards aren't going away anytime soon, even in the era of smartphones.

I am a Smartphone Luddite and I would seriously object to "Oh, get the app, it will cover it" instead of any kind of actual notice board.

 

Also I am SURE there are folks using Amtrak who can't afford a smartphone (part of the reason I won't have one is that the plans are more expensive than my dumbphone, and I'd rather budget that money elsewhere: I can afford a smartphone but then I couldn't afford something else). Forcing people onto an app privileges those who have smartphones, and then there's also the issue of compatability; sometimes apps don't work well (or aren't developed) for different systems. (And I don't know but: would international travelers have problems?)

 

Also, the online "updates" are only as good as the "updaters." I have seen some online information systems that wind up hours or days out of date (or even longer) because the person tasked with updating them wasn't doing it.

Edited by fillyjonk
wanting to add stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good IT system for managing status data would feed the same information to the displays and the Smartphone Apps. So in a well designed system "updates" would be equally good or bad all across the board. If the online system requires a person to update it rather than getting fed automatically from the status data, then it is not part of a well designed 21st century system, and is better to avoid unless absolutely necessary. ^_^ Admittedly in some backward places that is all one has.

In some cases international travelers may have problem in carrying out activities that require an authenticated registration. Those who have used the Indian Railways IRCTC system before this year know how hard it was to get an authenticated registration and login on the system. The authentication is intimately tied to your mobile phone number, and in the past they could not handle numbers that were not within the +91 country code area. Basically without that the only other way to buy a ticket or get a reservation is at a ticket window, which is even harder when you are trying to get a reservation while sitting in a different country.

So far, I am not aware of any Status App that requires that kind of authentication. If you can download and install the App on your platform you are good to go. If your platform is other than Android or iOS, heaven help you. Some apps are now available only on Android, but AFACT always there is a mobile web interface to fall back on.

Week before last, when I was in the UK, I exclusively used the very useful National Rail App for planning and actually making connections etc. some of them 3-4 minute connections, which would have been completely impossible if I was only depending on station boards. OTOH, when at a station I preferred the station boards since they gave me a much broader view of the state of the world at that station in a single glance.

So both have their uses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Solari in Philly....it's so....small.

Somehow, I had always imagined something more impressive up high on a wall.

Glad I got to see it, even though I didn't witness it spinning.

 

20181003_122844.jpg

20181003_122931.jpg

20181003_122726.jpg

Edited by NorthShore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/7/2018 at 10:35 AM, jis said:

If you can download and install the App on your platform you are good to go. If your platform is other than Android or iOS, heaven help you. Some apps are now available only on Android, but AFACT always there is a mobile web interface to fall back on.

International travel sometimes requires maintaining multiple app store accounts in order to install applications with limited publishing.  There is also the matter of regional standards and modified implementations, such as Sony's FeliCa NFC.  On the plus side Google Maps has gotten a lot better with handling more advanced public transportation over the years.  In Japan it was able to accurately identify (but not filter) several levels of local and limited express trains along with the correct tracks, platforms, and train lengths (used for confirming car location and boarding position).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/7/2018 at 8:18 AM, jis said:

Actually moving the main concourse under this new covered area between the old Kings Cross building and St. Pancras is the best thing that happened to Kings Cross in a long time. The old concourse was completely inadequate and cramped. The new one is spacious and airy with very high ceiling.

Euston is about to be rebuilt, and there they are actually going to tear down the old headhouse and replace it completely, rather than build outside of it, preserving the basic structure like they did at Kings Cross.

I won't disagree with practical utility.  That doesn't mean the resulting structure doesn't look awful;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, NorthShore said:

The Solari in Philly....it's so....small.

Somehow, I had always imagined something more impressive up high on a wall.

Glad I got to see it, even though I didn't witness it spinning.

 

20181003_122844.jpg

20181003_122931.jpg

20181003_122726.jpg

What do you mean when you say you “didn’t get to witness it spinning”? Was it broken or there were there just no updates happening you were there or what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×