Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

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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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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby diburning » Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:39 pm

Is it similar to the delay announcements on the subway? Does it sound like the automated announcements on the commuter rail?
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:21 pm

I don't care what the voice sounds like, so long as you can actually understand it. The acoustics in North Station are brutal.
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Re: Solari board replacement at South Station and Back Bay

Postby diburning » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:30 pm

After finally hearing it for myself, I can tell that it's the same "Crystal" voice as the PTIS systems on the train (and the delay messages on the subway). I suppose the higher pitch might help intelligibility since the old "Rich" voice was quite monotone and low pitched, so it reverberated in undesirable ways. The MBTA also uses the "Mike" voice, but that voice is sub-par in pronunciation.
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