Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby CRail » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:20 pm

I've witnessed that before. They've also clapped for no reason ever since they were installed. Not constantly, but periodically when no changes are made to the board.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby sery2831 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:53 am

The board to left at North Station has been making non stop clicking noise for over 3 days now.

The boards are all linked(North, South, and Back Bay) I am told. And when one board is changing, they all click! Sort of odd if ask me, and I cannot confirm if it's true.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby boblothrope » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:44 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:Today the solari boards at North Station kept making the "number flip" sound over and over and over -- nonstop!


That fake flipping noise is annoying noise pollution. They should get rid of it. If there needs to be audio notification of an update besides the announcement itself, they can use a simple ding.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby The EGE » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:25 pm

The flipping noise is very popular - even with those not old enough to remember the real noises the boards made. When all three stations lack enough room during rush hour to actually stand and see the board, and the announcements sounds like the adults in Charlie Brown, the flipping noise is a lifesaver. It's unobtrusive compared to any other noise, and it's a neat hat tip to railroad history.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:42 pm

I agree with The Egg in all his hardboiled glory. In this day of cut-backs and no frills, it's nice to see a little whimsy, especially if the subject matter is historically railroad at a railroad station. It's got to be a minimum investment to provide and it gives the place just a bit more personality. Well worth it !
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:13 pm

Agree fully with Ege here. I just wish it would only make the number flip noise when the board actually changes.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby diburning » Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:04 pm

The problem is..... the flipping noise sounds NOTHING like the real Solari board! I remember what they sound like. The current boards sound like someone trying to start a truck.

The automated voice sounds a LOT like Frank Oglesby, but seeing how it mispronounces simple words like New Hampshire (Nuu hem-shah? is literally what it says with a somewhat surprised tone to it)

For the 12:10AM trains at North Station, those announcements are generally done by a person. I don't see why they can't simply record a person making the announcement, and then replay it. Heck, even Microsoft Sam would be an improvement over the current voice.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby sery2831 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:59 am

The 12:10s are announced by the system every night.

The boards make the clicking sounds randomly(reasoning explained in a post by me above)... They should only make the clicking sound when the information is being changed on the boards to bring attention to the changing information.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby diburning » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:43 am

Of the many times that I've taken an outbound train that leave at 12:10AM, I've noticed that when they board more than one train at a time, the announcement is usually (but not always) at least partially done by a person and not the automated system. (meaning the person will announce 2 trains while the automated system will announce the others)
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby sery2831 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:32 pm

The system calls all four. If the crew asks for the train to be boarded early or later than 10 minutes, the person in the booth will announce the train. Actually most trains at night and weekends are both manually announced and automatically. The system calls the trains at set times and not when the button is pressed.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby cpontani » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:49 pm

Help me understand how NY Penn replaced their Solari board years ago, and had no need for a fake clicking noise. Yet people still made their trains. Amazing! :P
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:22 pm

I was going to suggest that the reason that the clicking was cancelled was that Delaware residents got confused, thinking that it was duPont money heading south and trying to chase it...but I would not stoop to that level. hmm - I can't recall. Does the new board click at the time that a new entry is put on the board or is it just "elevator music" ? The reason that I ask is that, in all seriousness, (sorry cpontani, from what I understand, Delaware is a fine state. I'm looking forward to trying one of your famous crab cakes when I get down through there this Fall.) the clicking did serve an important function and that was to alert waiting passengers that an entry was coming up. Hundreds of eyes would suddenly be thrusted upwards when the clicking started, and the clicking was especially good for securing the seat that you wanted on your train before the deluge. There really was an art to it, and it was fun to watch various individuals use it. Some wouldn't need more than the first digit to tell them that their train was "now boarding" and off they would go.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby CRail » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:40 pm

Thank you Paul, your vivid description of the old Solari's properties and the culture which formed adapting an audible byproduct to a useful tool brought me back. I used to love watching people from elsewhere in awe when the last train on the first row had cleared, and the whole board shifted over. That thing was cool, it's a shame it was replaced.

The clicking sound in the new boards (although it doesn't work properly) was implemented due to feedback by nostalgic passengers who didn't want to miss the sound, or their train. No one claims that it is NEEDED, but it is wanted and it therefor exists.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby danib62 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:02 am

I think the issue is what passengers wanted in theory is not what we got. They either need to fix when the board sounds or turn it off entirely. Right now it is nothing more than noise pollution.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby Diverging Route » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:22 pm

Recently the automated voice supplementing the display board at South Station (and North Station too) has changed from a male voice to a female voice. It's still concatenated, and flat sounding. Computer-generated voices can be much better these days. Bring back Bob Brigham!
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