Cab Radio Systems, easy to use, easy to maintain

Christian Ruque / Alain Thevenon & Nicolas Mallet

Responding to rapid technology advances, including new train control techniques, French National Railways (SNCF) has decided to revamp its entire cab radio operation in collaboration with HARTING. The cooperation focuses on back panel connectors.

Cab Radio Systems, easy to use, easy to maintain

Train-borne communication functions are generating increasing interest throughout the railway community since they extend the possibilities of embedded information systems and offer a seamless and reliable link to the ground.

In terms of implementation, the combination of the railway-specific version of the global system for mobile communications (GSM-R) and the global positioning system (GPS) offers high value added to systems builders designing reliable radio communications between trains and the ground. Moreover, it also enables precision positioning.

SNCF decided in 2000 to upgrade its cab radio fleet, encompassing several dozen different types of trains. Alstom Transport Information Solutions provided its Agate onboard electronics platform, which includes a complete range of cab radio products.

AN EXTENSIVE PRODUCT RANGE

ALSTOM’s Cab Radio solutions cover client requirements from the basic GSM-R radio through to the full ERTMS-ready, voice and data communication system including analogue radio compatibility.

This diversity is enabled by the given product architecture. In fact, all products are based on a TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) internal communication bus allowing fast data and voice transfer between the modules, and total freedom in terms of configuration design.

TYPICAL HARDWARE ARCHITECTURE

The mechanical design offers the same level of flexibility. The product housings range from tiny mobile units to complex configurations enclosed in a 6U21 rack. Moreover, all boards have the same standard format of 3U x 160 mm.

TYPICAL HARDWARE ARCHITECTURE

MECHANICAL INTEGRATION

Agate Cab Radio mechanical design is based on Alstom’s extensive experience in embedded electronics for rolling stock and the particularly harsh environments involved. Since a number of years, the patented EasyPlug™ racking technology has established itself as a proven standard thanks to its unique feature: the HARTING connectors (located on the rear) can be plugged and unplugged in one move. As connectors are not handled during maintenance operations, the reliability is dramatically enhanced.

MECHANICAL INTEGRATION

A HIGHLY MAINTENANCE FRIENDLY PRODUCT

  • 10 minutes max. are required for in line unit replacement thanks to the EasyPlug with HARTING specific connectors.
  • Maintenance data are available on the train network thanks to the Cab Radio network connection

MAJOR REFERENCES:

SNCF (France) SBB (Switzerland) CD / Pendolino (Czech Republic) Euro AVE / HSL (Spain) West Coast Main Line (UK)

THE HARTING DIN MH 21+4 CONNECTORS

Based on the MH 21+5, a specific female body has been designed to mixed 21 power contacts with 4 coax contacts.

Contacts have to be designed to make up for an axial residual play of the contacts of ± 0.25 mm when floating housing plugged with centring pegs.

A piece of Zamac is ensuring the centring of the floating position.

Both power and coax contacts needed 3,3 mm mating security minimum, through contact’s resistance measure.

The right angled coax contact is mounted by force on the male body to exclude any potential mismatching.

Christian Ruque

Alstom Packaging Manager


Alain Thevenon

Alstom Product Manager


Nicolas Mallet
HARTING France

Sales engineer – Electronic division



Nicolas Mallet