For New York subway riders, customer assistance is just a push button away at the new wireless Help Point two-way communication panels.
The Help Points, being installed on columns or walls inside stations allow passengers to communicate with the station booth for information and the transit system’s control centre for emergencies. The centre can identify the station where the call originates and address each Help Point individually. All stations will have Help Points by 2019, a deployment of over 6.000 units, replacing an old, unreliable analogue intercom with poor voice quality.
The vertical Help Point is a state-of-the art technology, including the flexibility and durability of HARTING’s PushPull connector lineup. Distributing electrical signals within the narrow Help Point enclosure required a connector slim enough (< 20 cm) for that space yet rugged enough for the challenging transit environment. The Help Point’s manufacturer,Boyce Technologies, had used Han 3 A connectors in previous transit communications projects, but their external bail made them a difficult fit here. Instead, Boyce found the desired fit and connectivity in Variant 4 PushPull connectors with their internal locking mechanism.
Boyce swaged the cast PushPull RJ45 insert into a custom chassis it had created for the Motorola access point that provides dual band WiFi and VoIP. PushPull models like an RJ45 cable assembly, 7-pin Hybrid and 10-pin Signal are being employed in various variants. “We were able to use PushPull connectors for every single thing we wanted to do, whether it was controlling gates, or fans, whether it was Gigabit Ethernet, Power over Ethernet, fiber, AC or DC power. We were able to come up with a use for every single Variant 4 and every single pin,” says Boyce president Charles Boyce. Their durability has surprised subway officials who had doubted they would stand up to the rigors of the transit environment. In fact, says Boyce, “there has not been a single failure of any PushPull cable assembly, any connector, any pin, anything at all.”