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EC5 AUTOMATICALLY ADJUSTABLE RECEIVE REFERENCE

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237793D
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-11
Document File: 5 page(s) / 87K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention proposes a technique for automatic adjustment of receive reference to allow EC5 track circuit to adjust itself through changing ballast conditions. Dynamic adjustment is implemented separately for vital and non-vital codes with a dual reference feature. Generally, EC5 is set up with a receive current in the range of 1000-2000 milli-ampere (mA). In the present invention, the receive reference is set to one third of the receive current with a minimum 500 mA. Codes are lost when the current is about 200 mA of the receive reference. Code 5 is distorted and lost first when low and high ends are approached. With the single adjustable reference feature, four additional parameters are added to track configuration. One of them includes auto reference, which enables or disables the track configuration. Another parameter includes auto reference current which is set to receive current level to lock on and allow automatic receive reference tracking. One other parameter includes adjusted reference that represents the adjusted receive reference value to track +/- 250mA in 50mA increments after lock on. Adjustments allowed once per minute based on receive current. Highest stable or lowest stable current records the value of the highest and lowest stable receive current.

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EC5 AUTOMATICALLY ADJUSTABLE RECEIVE REFERENCE

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates generally to a circuit and more particularly to a technique to automatically adjust receives reference level in the circuit.

The predominant maintenance issues with ElectroCode track circuits that railroads have to address are track circuits dropping out due to changing ballast conditions. EC5 is superior to EC4 but there are maintenance issues with dropping codes.

A conventional technique includes EC4 system with an external piece of hardware to acquire resistance in or out of the track circuit to adjust into changing condition. However, the conventional technique is not utilized by industry due to maintenance issues.


It would be desirable to have an efficient technique to allow automatic adjustment of receive reference to address changing ballast conditions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIGURE 1 depicts modified CDU user interface for changing ballast condition.

DETAIL DESCRIPTION

The present invention proposes a technique for automatic adjustment of receive reference to allow EC5 track circuit to adjust itself through changing ballast conditions. Dynamic adjustment is implemented separately for vital and non-vital codes with a dual reference feature. Generally, EC5 is set up with a receive current in the range of 1000-2000 milli-ampere (mA). In the present invention, the receive reference is set to one third of the receive current with a minimum 500 mA. Codes are lost when the current is about 200 mA of the receive reference. Code 5 is distorted and lost first when low and high ends are approached. With the single adjustable reference feature, four additional parameters are added to track configuration.

One of them includes auto reference, which enables or disables the track configuration. Another parameter includes auto reference current which is set to receive current level to lock on and allow automatic receive reference tracking. Settable references are described in below parameters. One other parameter includes adjusted reference which represents adjusted receive reference value to track +/- 250mA in 50mA increments after lock on. Adjustments are allowed once per minute based on receive current. Highest stable or lowest stable current records the value of the highest and lowest stable receive current.

Auto reference current setting is set for the lock on current value, which is beneficial for multiple reasons. When initial ballast conditions for the EC5 are not normal, utilizing a lock on value allows the current to drift up or down with changing ballast before the current lock on and begins auto adjusting. This also allows a maintainer to track the highest and the lowest current reading to intuitively set the lock on value for best performance. Minimum annual repairs contract (ARC) allowed is 250 mA which is above the receive reference. The value is based on the fact code that is lost when within 100-200 mA of the reference. The maximum ARC al...