Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 01:36AM
We have developed a method to dispatch via Internet.
To the left is a computer screen shot of the latest version (June 2006) of my CTC panel. This is taken from the operational CTC panel on my computer. Feedback occurs from Tortoises and we have the little side levers to allow DS to restrict turnout control by crews and ambitious yardmasters.
This is made for use with"Panel Pro", a part of Decoder Pro the JMRI computer interface that can interface with Digitrax and other DCC systems. I am using the Digitrax Signaling system with SE8C and BDL 162's which is quite simple to install.
The Panel itself is a .GIF made from exporting from the original MS Visio document. It was tricky to get the correct size for the LCD screen. The levers were morphed in Photoshop from some other levers There are actually 3 levers and which one shows up depends on the switch state as determined by the XML and show up based upon clicking. Same with Red and Yellow indicator "LED's. Switch numbers are odd and signal numbers even as per convention. We will add additional signal "LED"s soon.
The signal dept has wired up the Digitrax SE8C and BDL boards for CTT signaling. Signal wiring and mounting using magnetic strips and pin connectors with Terminal Mounting Strips (digitrax TMSK)
We use the Panel Pro server mode. The dispatcher has a copy of the panel and scripts installed on his computer and connects by IP address to my IP address. trick here is to negotiate through the firewall I have on my computer.
Since 2004 we have been using FRS radios for two-way communications between road crews and dispatcher. Since the dispatcher lives 600 miles north, I have figured out a way to transmit the voice over IP (VoIP) connection on hte internet so the road crew can talk with DS using FRS radios and headsets and the DS uses IM voice. We use Skype or MSN Messenger for computer to computer. The trick is to connect a VOX FRS radio mini-jack, to the computer sound board mic input and speaker output. it requires a special wire connection which may vary depending upon your FRS radio and computer jacks.