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The Control Panel Enthusiast Thread


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This thread gets better and better. Gatekeepers panel is VERY sexy! I would love to see LL:DoD's panel and possibly S:EFK. There's more on my wish list but those 2 would make my day.

Pretty bad photo but it's the only one I have of S:EFK:

uploadfromtaptalk1391710557188.jpg[/attachment]

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Here is the beginning of Lightning Run's control panel and remote panels:

 

 

 

I'll post more to here and our facebook page as the build progresses this month.

 

-Brian

 

Who decides whether to use Siemens push buttons or Allen-Bradley? Manufacturer or programmer?

I did notice that Siemens seems to be the choice on most coasters in European & Asian countries.

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Comet at Waldameer Park.

1616099218_cometcontrols.jpg.b46dc311f01b2cab77cd75cacea35933.jpg

Surprisingly, it is oftentimes more challenging to learn this one compared to Steel Dragon or Ravine Flyer II. The confusing part is how the load and unload train positioning buttons and lap bar switches are placed. New operators commonly try to use the unload switches and buttons for the load section, because the loading section of the station is to the left of the control booth and vice versa. As confusing at it initially can be, the designer of the ride system said it was decided to be set up that way because humans read and process left to right. Which means the station process starts by bringing the train into the station then unloading it, then move right to the next task of loading the train with new riders and dispatching it. I do not know which way of thinking is better as either way its been pounded into my head to operate the coaster as it's currently set up to.

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Fun looking at some of these control panels, some of them are familiar, some makes me really wish to operate them.

 

Think my least favorite are the Custom Coaster control panels. Not exactly sure why they did that, but they put the E-stop at the bottom of the control panel, meaning you have to reach over it to use the rest of the controls. I've seen it on a couple of their coasters, including Twisted Twins, Shivering Timbers, and Rampage. When I went to Indiana Beach this past year, noticed they actually moved theirs from that awkward position.

 

I can tell you the Thunderhawk control panel doesn't even look like that anymore. When they moved it to MiAd, they installed a new PLC with a brand new control panel. The old Geauga Lake control panel had seen better days.

 

Also did not know that IOE was based in Ann Arbor, MI! There are not that many, if any, companies in Michigan that deal with amusement parks, so seeing you guys here makes me happy to know that the "brains" of some of these new coasters have been built up here!

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Fun looking at some of these control panels, some of them are familiar, some makes me really wish to operate them.

 

Same here. Really like the Gatekeeper one.

 

Think my least favorite are the Custom Coaster control panels. Not exactly sure why they did that, but they put the E-stop at the bottom of the control panel, meaning you have to reach over it to use the rest of the controls. I've seen it on a couple of their coasters, including Twisted Twins, Shivering Timbers, and Rampage. When I went to Indiana Beach this past year, noticed they actually moved theirs from that awkward position.

 

Tell me about it. Not only do you have to reach over it, it's in a perfect spot for your belt buckle to hit it if you lean forward too far. And speaking of accidental E-Stops, the unfortunate placement is definitely a contributing factor. My first day, on my first ride, on my first cycle, on the first day of the season, I accidentally E-Stoped Timber Terror as the train was going up the lift hill. And we can't start the lift hill without calling maintenance down. Awesome...

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My view on E-Stops is that they should be "safely located in a convenient place." Top righthand corner is always a good spot because most of us are right handed, it's and easy motion to make quickly, your body doesn't usually get near it too often in normal operations, and the top corner is an easy place to spot it. I do like how I saw on some control panels that the E-Stop has a small guard that goes across the diameter of the button which limits accidently pressing. I also noticed on my time at Gatekeeper that the E-stop buttons at the back of the station had a metal guard around the perimeter of the button which only allowed the button to be pressed intentionally which I thought was nifty. You might say that limiting the potential for an emergency button to be pressed could be dangerous, but when you take into account the typical amount of fumbling and constant activity that goes on behind a control panel, you need some protection against operators accidents that can put a ride down for a long time. However, I never condone parks who place plastic flip covers over E-stops because that gives an operator the impression you should never press it at all.

 

A park should never punish an employee for hitting an E-stop if they felt that it was their only option in a perceived emergency. If they did make an error and could have performed another function such as ride stop or lift stop, I will go forward and demonstrate the proper action to be taken the next time such a situation occurs. Of course, constant gaps in knowing the right course of action in a situation would not be treated the same way.

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My view on E-Stops is that they should be "safely located in a convenient place." Top righthand corner is always a good spot because most of us are right handed, it's and easy motion to make quickly, your body doesn't usually get near it too often in normal operations, and the top corner is an easy place to spot it. I do like how I saw on some control panels that the E-Stop has a small guard that goes across the diameter of the button which limits accidently pressing. I also noticed on my time at Gatekeeper that the E-stop buttons at the back of the station had a metal guard around the perimeter of the button which only allowed the button to be pressed intentionally which I thought was nifty. You might say that limiting the potential for an emergency button to be pressed could be dangerous, but when you take into account the typical amount of fumbling and constant activity that goes on behind a control panel, you need some protection against operators accidents that can put a ride down for a long time. However, I never condone parks who place plastic flip covers over E-stops because that gives an operator the impression you should never press it at all.

 

A park should never punish an employee for hitting an E-stop if they felt that it was their only option in a perceived emergency. If they did make an error and could have performed another function such as ride stop or lift stop, I will go forward and demonstrate the proper action to be taken the next time such a situation occurs. Of course, constant gaps in knowing the right course of action in a situation would not be treated the same way.

 

I completely agree. Near the top of the console as well. We aren't always standing behind the console and I'd like it to be readily accessible. And we don't really have any "punishment" for accidental E-Stops, regardless of what maintenance would like to think. There are a few situations where an E-Stop can actually cause more damage to the ride or cause problems unloading where it isn't the desired course of action.

 

Two of our E-Stops have little glass covers for the secondary E-stops that say "Break Glass to Engage". Has anyone on here ever had to break the glass on a button like that?

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Who decides whether to use Siemens push buttons or Allen-Bradley? Manufacturer or programmer?

I did notice that Siemens seems to be the choice on most coasters in European & Asian countries.

 

Typically the decision is left to the controls company, but there have been a few times the park requested otherwise. Air was an example where they wanted us to use the smaller 22mm pushbuttons instead of the standard 30mm you usually see. Right now as far as controls equipment, Allen Bradley has the US market cornered while everyone in Europe uses Siemens. Asia is still up for grabs by both companies. We prefer AB over Siemens but will work with either provider depending on park requests.

 

And yes, we are proud to be a Michigan company. We try to order as much equipment as possible locally and we use a panel shop located in Plymouth, Michigan.

 

-Brian

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That's great to hear Brian! As a Michigander myself, makes me happy seeing this kind of stuff being done here, especially when you can source it locally!

 

Two of our E-Stops have little glass covers for the secondary E-stops that say "Break Glass to Engage". Has anyone on here ever had to break the glass on a button like that?

 

That's interesting. Never seen an E-stop like that before. That must be one of those super-emergency stop buttons that cuts all power to everything on the ride, like in the event of a fire or something to that extreme. Or it could be one of those that if it gets used, it can actually cause damage to the ride to safely stop it.

 

Was seeing if I had any pictures of control panels floating around, but guess I don't. May have to change this summer.

 

My favorite to operate would be Wolverine Wildcat since it's still electronic manual braking. Used to have the lever and skid brake system (had a bit of a tight budget in 1988!) with buzz bars until around 2000-ish when it was updated to fin brakes and a new PTC train. Something about stopping a 3-ton PTC train coming in at about 35mph, it's just something that many modern coasters have lost with automation.

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Who decides whether to use Siemens push buttons or Allen-Bradley? Manufacturer or programmer?

I did notice that Siemens seems to be the choice on most coasters in European & Asian countries.

 

Typically the decision is left to the controls company, but there have been a few times the park requested otherwise. Air was an example where they wanted us to use the smaller 22mm pushbuttons instead of the standard 30mm you usually see. Right now as far as controls equipment, Allen Bradley has the US market cornered while everyone in Europe uses Siemens. Asia is still up for grabs by both companies. We prefer AB over Siemens but will work with either provider depending on park requests.

 

And yes, we are proud to be a Michigan company. We try to order as much equipment as possible locally and we use a panel shop located in Plymouth, Michigan.

 

-Brian

 

Siemens is a European company so that makes sense. Thanks for your time as usual.

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Hello all, thought I would post a few from Knoebels. As a ride op going on 12 years I find panels interesting, not just in the course of my job but also in the technical aspect and comparison to other parks and how their sop's differ from ours. Here are a few I have off hand at the moment..... Sorry about the photo quality I only had my crappy Kodak point and shoot, and the dreary winter weather didn't help either.

100_1832.thumb.JPG.1243fbf651089df794cffa32a41ffe8b.JPG

Black Diamond Panel

This is the mail panel...

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Ride scenery control

Located to the right of the main panel.

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Exit Panel

Located at the end of the station.

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Twister Main Panel

Like the Phoenix, the Twister also uses manual braking.

5466043077_16e78b7f9f_o.thumb.jpg.13ffeadae0d994b97c1c023eb85a026f.jpg

Phoenix Main Panel

Very simple controls, no non-sense skilled operations at it's finest..

5466637736_0520138ea5_o.thumb.jpg.a82db94e655021d75800a40f2f07fe92.jpg

Phoenix Life Panel

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That's pretty cool that Phoenix and Twister are electronic manual braking, with skid brakes too! Phoenix control panel looks bare with the lift start/stop buttons on a separate panel. Really wish I can make it to Knoebels someday. If there are big plans coming for 2015, that might be my year!

 

Heh, yeah, I wish Wildcat could get a second train, but it would need an upgraded PLC. A newer one was installed last year, but it would require a much bigger one to have a second train and all of the sensors and switches for a proper 2-train block system. Maybe with the recent work IOE has done and them being in Michigan, if the upgrade ever happens, I hope the park calls you guys.

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^Bring it on! We would love to take a shot at fixing up Wildcat.

You guys aren't currently hiring interns, are you?

 

Not at this time but keep an eye on our facebook page. If we decide to change that in the future, we'll talk about it on our page.

 

Brian

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[quote="Seddy"

Pretty bad photo but it's the only one I have of S:EFK:

uploadfromtaptalk1391710557188.jpg[/attachment]

 

My day (well night) has been made!!! I see S:EFK has panels for each side. I figured it would use one single panel like B&M Flyers with a dual station. So my next question is does one operator control both panels or are there 2 ops? Thanks for the photos BTW!!!

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[quote="Seddy"

Pretty bad photo but it's the only one I have of S:EFK:

uploadfromtaptalk1391710557188.jpg[/attachment]

 

My day (well night) has been made!!! I see S:EFK has panels for each side. I figured it would use one single panel like B&M Flyers with a dual station. So my next question is does one operator control both panels or are there 2 ops? Thanks for the photos BTW!!!

 

One for each side.

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