Using F&eIT Controller Modules in the Renovation of the Railway Museum 209 and 211 Series Simulators

ONGAKUKAN Co.,Ltd. used the Contec F&eIT controller module in the renovation of the Railway Museum's 209 (Keihin-Tohoku Line) and 211 (Takasaki Line) series train simulators. These simulators require precision and feature a wire-saving system that connects the equipment and computer by LAN cable while maintaining ample responsiveness.

  • Control unit
  • Transportation
  • Space saving

Creating a Virtual Experience with Actual High Definition Images and Audio

The Railway Museum (East Japan Railway Culture Foundation) opened in Omiya-ku, Saitama City on October 14, 2007 ("Railway Day") as a memorial project for the 20th anniversary of the founding of the East Japan Railway Company, and it has been phenomenally popular since its opening.  At the time of the opening, four train simulators that re-created the driving experience (Shinkansen 200 series, Yamanote Line 205 series, Keihin Tohoku Line 209 series, and Tokaido Line 211 series) were moved from the old transportation museum that closed in 2006.

When the 209 and 211 series train simulators were renovated in April 2009, they were equipped with the Contec F&eIT application system. The driver's view screen used to use computer graphic images, but after the renovation, it now creates a realistic look with three 60" screens that display actual high-definition images recorded along a 23.2-km stretch of the Keihin-Tohoku Line (for the 209 series) between Omiya and Tabata stations and along a 41-km stretch of the Takasaki Line (for the 211 series) between Omiya and Kagohara stations, from a position about 2 m from the driver's seat. Speakers have been added to create a further immersive experience. ONGAKUKAN created the D51 series steam locomotive simulator, the first simulator of its kind in Japan and ever-popular since it was installed at the time the museum was opened.

This uses the F&eIT system, and it is an example of the benefit of being able to connect the equipment and computer with a single LAN cable in a small space. In addition, it is also widely used for wide-area, multi-point monitoring using an ordinary LAN cable and hub and intranet/internet environment.

The Railway Museum driving simulator. F&eIT systems are used in both the 211 series Takasaki Line (left) and 209 series Keihin-Tohoku Line (right) simulators in the museum.

The 209 series simulator. Route images are displayed in high definition on a large screen. The driver's cab equipment, which was created using the actual specs, is connected to an F&eIT system.

Analog and Digital I/O Signals are Converted to a Ethernet Signal

The driving simulator comprises the driving equipment installed in the operation console of the train simulator, the control computer system, which re-creates the operation environment as close as possible to the actual train based on minute physical calculations, and the image display and audio equipment, which creates an immersive experience.

To create a realistic feel, the driving equipment employs actually used handles, pedals, speedometers, pressure gauges, and other instruments and display gauges. This equipment conforms to railway standards for safety and reliability. Each of the many electrical wires is thick and strong, and the wiring of the operation console and control computer is complex.

In addition, these signals have to be sent to the control computer as both analog and digital input and output. To accurately simulate the various elements that alter the train car's behavior, from car performance to the gradient, curve, and running resistance based on scientific and physical theory, the control computer requires stgiving priority to computer performance can restrict the expansion slots for I/O interface. Because specifications did not allow for use of expansion slots in the system designed at the end of 2008, a solution was needed, and it was decided to use the Contec F&eIT (Factory and eIT) systemrong computing ability and drawing ability. Therefore,.

The F&eIT system is an Ethernet-based wire-saving, remote I/O system which receives I/O signals from the driving equipment in the simulation train car using ultra-small I/O devices, and then converts those signals to an Ethernet signal using a compact CPU module.  In this way, it is possible to pass all I/O signals of the driving equipment to the control computer using a single Ethernet cable.  In addition, even when adding a swaying mechanism that shakes the train simulatorcar as it moves, the handling of the cables is simplified and installation is very easy.

Delivery of driving simulators using the F&eIT system started in 2009.  Eleven systems are already in operation, and two of those are installed in the Railway Museum.

The I/O control unit of the F&eIT system installed in the connection box at the rear of the operation console. Signals are converted to an Ethernet signal, and this is connected to the control computer.

209 series train simulator block diagram modal window

Customer Profile

Using Factory Automation Technology to Ensure Security and Reliability

CEO Minoru Mukaiya
Driving simulators using the Contec F&eIT system began delivery in 2009. In driving simulators, a responsiveness of 1/60 second or faster is required to pick up the signal of the notch when operating the steering wheel, and the horn must sound immediately when stepping on the horn pedal. The required response speed was not obtained with conventional wiring-saving systems, but the F&eIT system functions sufficiently and is active. In addition, because it was made for factory automation, we are satisfied with the performance and stability.

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