On-board computers of the EPIS 4.0x series

On-Board Computers of the EPIS 4.0X Series

Fig. 1: Board computer EPIS 4.0c with display.

Board computer EPIS 4.0c is a universal control and monitoring system for public transport vehicles. Its can control all information, fare collection, survelliance, communication or passenger counting systems. The board computer is a powerful unit, which now incorporates funstion of several previously independent units. Our board computers are PC based, having Intel Core i3 as its processor.

On-board computers of the EPIS 4.0x series – a new perspective on vehicle informatics

These on-board computers bring a new perspective on information, control, communication and checking systems of public transportation vehicles :

  • The original conception of a number of separate devices is replaced by one small efficient built-in computer based on PC computers.
  • A divided solution – the control unit, LCD terminal and antenna system are now three separable parts of the system which allows placing only a touchscreen on the dashboard and hiding the rest in the technological parts of the cabin and of the vehicle. Thanks to this, installation and connection to other systems is much simpler and the dashboard is better arranged. The terminal is connected to the computer with just one HDMI cable.
  • Instead of slow legacy buses (IBIS) we use Ethernet or our new TPoE (targeted switching on of vehicle devices) interface.
  • All information about the schedule and the route are shown on the display in a well arranged way. There is also a possibility of showing preview from vehicle cameras.
  • A new device for voice and data communication with dispatching is integrated. The on-board computer works as a radio communication adapter. Currently, several radio technologies can be used for communication, including TETRA.
  • The on-board computer also provides automatic throwing of switches (both tram and trolleybus), bidirectional communication with interseciton controllers for public transportation vehicle preference, direct communication with intelligent panels of the stops, tachograph reading, remote LCD passenger display recording, it also manages the checking system and has other functions as well.
  • Versatility of use – single trams, joined or bidirectional trams, trolleybuses, buses, trains.

How do EPIS 4.x on-board computers work? An example can be found in the following picture of our newly developed type with working title EPIS 4.0B which will be compatible with EPIS 4.0A. We are preparing further upgrades of some functions for this type.

Pic. no.1: A block installation scheme of the EPIS 4.X on-board computer.

Pic. no.1: A block installation scheme of the EPIS 4.X on-board computer.

Basic properties of EPIS 4.0X on-board computers

The basic properties of EPIS 4.0 and EPIS 4.0A on-board computers are:

  • The on-board computers are based on low-input power PCs.
  • They include a GPS position surveillance module with 2.5 m accuracy.
  • A triple independent digital annunciator unit with a digital acoustic switchboard (all voice signals are processed digitally).
  • An integrated power supply unit with input power of up to 41 A and many controlled outputs.
  • A high-speed data modem using the ISM band and the FHSS method (non-cancellable monofrequency of oscillation), which is used for communicating with intelligent stops and “waking up” in depots.
  • A radio modem combined with a radio communication adapter for communication with dispatching (both data and voice) and bidirectional communication with crossroads traffic distributors at a reserved frequency.
  • High-speed data communication via a WiFi net in depots (it is even possible to transfer a few gigabyte large files – EPIS 4.0A and higher, otherwise 300 Mbytes).
  • Rich communication equipment and communication protocols belonging to it – Ethernet interface (2x), RS 485 (2x), RS 485/RS 232 (1x), RS 485 isolated (1x), IBIS with high-speed data transfer for tableau recording, USB (3x), CAN (1x) – when requested, many one-bit inputs and outputs.
  • Additional SW applications – GPS position assessing, automatic throwing of switches, public transportation vehicle preference at crossroads, monitoring of passenger checking zones, etc…

Vehicles with EPIS 4.0x on-board computers

The standard version is meant for “solo” vehicles (buses, trolleybuses and single-side trams with one driver cabin). To satisfy vehicle requirements and especially tram requirements we also provide the following extensions with two driver cabins or joined tramcars. Altogether there are 3 other realizations and cabin equipments :

  1. Bidirectional trams with A and B cabin adapters
  2. Joined trams with full equipment in both tramcars
  3. Joined trams without full equipment – pulled tramcars with limited functions

Bidirectional trams with cabin A and B adapters

In bidirectional trams there is an installation with one control and communication center (there is only one radio station and one WiFi set and only one set of data is maintained), i.e. with an EPIS 4.0 or EPIS 4.0A on-board computer control unit, a TAIT radio station and a WiFi unit. The reason for this installation is unified control during round trips between the terminuses (cabin A for direction A and cabin B for direction B). Control and information parts of the system connected to the cabin – EPT 4.07 or EPT 4.08 driver control LCD terminals, microphones, listening speakers, GPS position receivers, selected buttons (the key radio station, throwing of switches, etc.) and receivers for people with impaired vision are placed in both driver cabins.

The above mentioned conception of using cabin A and B adapters allows for identical use of driver touchscreen LCD terminals in both cabins. Video signals for the cabin B driver LCD display are transferred across a bidirectional tram with the help of the FTP CAT6 cable using LVDS signals. This solution is appropriate mainly for economic reasons when there is no need for two on-board computers, two radio stations and two combined EPW-58 antenna units in one tramcar and two data maintenance services. The bidirectional tram conception can be seen in the following picture:

Pic. no.2: EPIS 4.0x system installation schema for a bidirectional tram using cabin adapters.

Pic. no.2: EPIS 4.0x system installation schema for a bidirectional tram using cabin adapters.

We designed and realized a solution using special adapters for cabins A and B to ensure good functioning of the system and to prevent the necessity of making a new “special” computer with special SW for bidirectional trams. The adapters including EPT 4.0x LCD terminals can be reprogrammed remotely without having to assign and configure the features. The system does it automatically. The cabin A and B adapters for bidirectional trams solve the following problems:

  • Division of video signal for two driver LCD terminals.
  • Strengthening of and transporting video signal from the cabin A to the cabin B over the distance of up to 70 m (the standard distance between the cabins is 40 to 50 m).
  • Bidirectional transfer of acoustic signals between cabins A and B (speakers and microphones) including a solution of the priority of calls and announcements.
  • Directed distribution of outer announcements for up to 6 outer pressure speakers (see picture 3). The cabin A adapter contains a relay matrix for switching on of acoustic outputs with automatic solution of choosing sides and speakers above specific doors.
  • Correct usage of control buttons – the system can thus independently process input button signals (throwing of switches, etc.) and ascribe priority according to which cabin is active.
  • GPS signal transmission – when the cabin B is active, the cabin B adapter provides data about the position of the vehicle for the system. The dispatcher can thus accurately determine the position of the active cabin on a detailed map (for example in the event of derailing). (see e.g. our dispatching information and control system SPRINTER)
  • Communication with intelligent stops can (but does not have to) work in a similar way.
  • The Adapters can also manage the activity of the relevant EPNEV 304 command receiver.
  • The adapters can also manage the activity of a relevant  automatic transmitter BSV for throwing of switches. The linking conductors of the adapters also transmit control signals of the BSV system.
Pic. no.3: Bidirectional tramcar installation schema - component layout.

Pic. no.3: Bidirectional tramcar installation schema – component layout.

We also supply single as well as double UTP interconnectors for the purposes of installations in the area of tramcar joints to ensure easy installations or disconnections of tramcars at joints and simple replacement of data cables between the cabin adapters.

The cabin A and B adapters cannot be used outside the EPIS 4.0x on-board computers. They can be adjusted to other solutions (moving some buttons from one cabin to the other, moving the microphone signal).

Order code Product name PRICE
72125.AK_A_10 AK_A_10 – Cabin A adapter of the EPIS 4.0 system at a request
72125.AK_B_10 AK_B_10 – Cabin B adapter of the EPIS 4.0 system at a request

Joined trams with full information system equipment

There are two different installations for joined trams i.e. when both trams have full vehicle equipment including information systems i.e. including on-board computers, or when the second and following tramcars are pulled (see below). In the case of full equipment of both trams the “ACTIVITY” input must be installed which then decides which tram is the primary one. In this case there is a so called “train busbar” between individual trams via which commands are transmitted. Device addresses are translated for the inner distribution system in such a way that they are addressed in the same way in both trams (also in the case of the IBIS busbar). Without this translation, an identical selective address (tableau, markers, command receivers) would damage answers at the answer line in different tramcars during operation and also recording and reprogramming of vehicle units.  Then it would not be possible to check their functionality and correctness. In this case the “ACTIVITY” input determines which is the control computer while the other one serves as an address translator or performs other activities (for example checking for unauthorized opening of doors (forced entry) in the cabin of the tram B).

Pic. no.6: Joined trams installation- both trams have full equipment.

Pic. no.6: Joined trams installation- both trams have full equipment.

Joined trams without full equipment – pulled tramcars

In the case of pulled tramcars without full equipment it is necessary to equip the rear tramcar with a special designed RS 485 / IBIS converter which will be able to translate data from one protocol (train busbar) to the IBIS protocol or recording protocols of other companies. The converter must contain a control processor for the purposes of its identification and communication with other peripherals – it will behave as a data switchboard capable of addressing individual vehicle busbars.

Pic. no.7: Solution of joined trams without full equipment – pulled tramcars.

Pic. no.7: Solution of joined trams without full equipment – pulled tramcars.

EPIS 4.0x on-board computer installation in public transportation vehicles

An example of an EPIS 4.0x on-board computer installation in public transportation vehicles in the case when it contains basic information system components and other systems are connected to it.

Pic. no.8: Example of a public transportation vehicle installation with an EPIS 4.0x on-board computer.

Pic. no.8: Example of a public transportation vehicle installation with an EPIS 4.0x on-board computer.