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Questions Concerning Master Controllers and Drum Switches


Rutgers Tube

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Greetings -

 

This is my first post on this forum, so I have a little bit of threadfright. I'm curious as to how the master controllers in both the pre-NTT and NTT trains compare. Is there a higher incidence in carpal tunnel with constant usage of either controller? I realize the NTT trains might be too new to have feedback established. I've seen pictures but have not been able to make out what the controllers actually read. For example, do the older style controllers have clear markings for series, switching and multiple speeds? What do the controllers on the NTT trains read? During CBTC operations, does the controller remain idle, and if so, would "manually shifting" (for lack of a better phrase) or operating override the computer? How do the operators who have used both like the NTT controllers as opposed to the notching relay style with a separate brake valve?

 

Also, a phrase I've run into often while studying for both the conductor and operator exams is "drum switch." I'm assuming that a drum switch controls the doors. How many are there per car or train, how are they set, and is there a formula to figure out how to set them?

 

Any information/feedback that anyone could provide is greatly appreciated.

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...do the older style controllers have clear markings for series, switching and multiple speeds? What do the controllers on the NTT trains read?

 

Some do; most don't - there is a detent in the range of motion for series and switching (multiple is end of range).

 

From top to bottom -

 

MAXimum POWER

MINimum POWER

COAST

MINimum Brake

Full Service BRaKe

EMERgency

 

During CBTC operations, does the controller remain idle, and if so, would "manually shifting" (for lack of a better phrase) or operating override the computer?

 

During CBTC operations, you are, in all likelihood, moving the Master Controller manually. In ATO mode, the Controller sits idle in the FS BRK position. Moving the Controller while in ATO will restore operation to the T/O until the next station stop, when ATO will once again be available.

 

How do the operators who have used both like the NTT controllers as opposed to the notching relay style with a separate brake valve?

 

Personally, I prefer the NTT Controller.

 

Also, a phrase I've run into often while studying for both the conductor and operator exams is "drum switch." I'm assuming that a drum switch controls the doors. How many are there per car or train, how are they set, and is there a formula to figure out how to set them?

 

On R38 and below, Drum Switches were used to set up the door controls system. There is one in each cab, set to either ON, OFF or THRU.

 

On R142 and up, drum switches are used to position 11 of the pins on the coupler electric portion.

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Greetings -

 

This is my first post on this forum, so I have a little bit of threadfright. I'm curious as to how the master controllers in both the pre-NTT and NTT trains compare. Is there a higher incidence in carpal tunnel with constant usage of either controller? I realize the NTT trains might be too new to have feedback established.

 

Current T/O's could probably answer that better than I can as far as actual incidence of carpal tunnel but T/O's who worked the (L) when there was that under river tube work restricting speed to 10 MPH did NOT like that in R143/R160. The R142/A controllers are better because they are located in the middle which allows the T/O to change hands.

 

I've seen pictures but have not been able to make out what the controllers actually read. For example, do the older style controllers have clear markings for series, switching and multiple speeds? What do the controllers on the NTT trains read?

 

Some of the older controllers have lines that indicate the notches, they line up exactly opposite where the controller handle points so that a T/O can "see" if he chooses. On controllers that have this, switching series and parallel are not marked clearly as each respectively, there is a line for each but it's not explained which one it is, T/O's are expected to know their points. The one difference is switching...the line marking it is shorter than the others to indicate a resistance notch and that the T/O should not run in that notch for extended amounts of time (otherwise he will burn out the grid resistors).

 

Controllers on the NTT's read something along the lines of emergency, max brake, min brake, coast, min power, max power.

 

During CBTC operations, does the controller remain idle, and if so, would "manually shifting" (for lack of a better phrase) or operating override the computer?

 

I'm assuming you're referring to ATO (Automatic Train Operation) not CBTC. CBTC is a signal system where signals are delivered direct to the T/O's cab on the TOD screens. I am not familiar with how the ATO works so a T/O would have to answer that for you.

 

How do the operators who have used both like the NTT controllers as opposed to the notching relay style with a separate brake valve?

 

Like anything, there are people who prefer both

 

Also, a phrase I've run into often while studying for both the conductor and operator exams is "drum switch." I'm assuming that a drum switch controls the doors. How many are there per car or train, how are they set, and is there a formula to figure out how to set them?

 

Any information/feedback that anyone could provide is greatly appreciated.

 

The drum switch doesn't control the doors, the drum switch establishes a circuit running along the trainline that sets up a conductor's position so that the doors are controlled from there. There is one drum switch in each cab. I think that this only applies to the oldest SMEES though as newer trains zone automatically (they have a zone relay that zones the train when the conductor puts his key in)

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