Intercom System Offers Clear and Customized Wireless Communication Over Long Distances for the Amtrak T-SAVe Operation
Clear-Com® is pleased to announce that its HME DX210 2.4 GHz digital wireless intercom has improved crew communications aboard Amtrak’s T-SAVe (Track Structure Assessment Vehicle) inspection car. The DX210’s audio clarity, increased channel count and large coverage area promote clear communication and augment teamwork during critical operations by ensuring that all directives are heard loud and clear.
Amtrak employs the self-propelled T-SAVe car to inspect the tracks, roadbeds and overall quality of its rail lines. Its crew members must communicate with each other both while inside the car and while working behind, along the sides and underneath the car. Depending on their location, the operators might be anywhere from 10 to 75 feet away from the other crew members, sometimes working in noisy environments. This separation proved to be a challenge to the Survey Director and crew members, requiring one or more individuals to loudly repeat the vital information until it was heard on the other end. With the DX210’s ability to provide sufficient wireless coverage across those distances, this issue has now been resolved.
“Although a combination of experience and good judgment are important, they are not enough to ensure safety when operating Amtrak’s T-SAVe car,” says John Kowalski, Director of Sales for Broadcast Networks, Clear-Com. “Clear-Com’s HME DX210 intercom increased safety in that work environment by allowing clear communication and better coordination among the entire team.”
Amtrak acquired a two-channel HME DX210 system. The Amtrak employees use the DX210 base station that is located in the first third of the T-SAVe car, in a combination with the compatible BP-200 wireless beltpacks. Crew members wear comfortably-fitted HS-16 lightweight and HS-15D noise-canceling headsets over or under their hardhats. When crew members go outside the car, they can flip their microphone back and be able to easily communicate with those not on the intercom.
The DX210 system’s Spectrum-Friendly™ Technology and Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) Technology allows for interference-free communication between the crew members. These features, combined with the DX210’s ability to provide point-to-point and direct communications was an improvement from the company’s previous system. Prior to using Clear-Com, the Survey Director could only give instructions to one fixed location through a direct microphone. Now, with the DX210’s grouping function, everyone can hear directives simultaneously on the same intercom channel. The system can also be programmed to exclude those that do not require instructions from the Survey Director.
The DX210 has also improved Amtrak pilots’ communications with crew members. The pilot, who is responsible for informing the team about the railroad on which the T-SAVe will travel, used to have to repeat what the front driver said to each crew member. Using the DX210 system has saved time since the crew members can now hear directly from the pilot, eliminating the information repeating step. This has added tremendous efficiency to the overall communications process.
Amtrak purchased the HME DX210 system from Dale Pro Audio, a leading supplier of professional audio equipment in New York and a Clear-Com dealer.
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