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20/09/2018

Best possible signal transmission with 30% space savings

Space-saving design for modern trains

The mobility behaviour of commuters in Germany is changing in step with digitisation. In addition to comfort and individuality, passengers expect to be able to put their time to good use with smartphones, iPads, laptops and more. The fact that Deutsche Bahn has taken up this challenge and is developing the “Idea Train” also proves that data volumes on board trains are continuously trending upwards. Space-saving design is required here as well.

When DB Regio presented the Idea Train, it was already foreseeable that space for the extensive wiring in this innovative product and service concept would be in short supply. The spectrum of interior furnishings ranges from reservable sports cabins with a digital fitness trainer, to a public viewing area with news and sports broadcasts, through to bistro benches and tables for a pleasant work environment and comfortable dining. Seats that adapt to the shape of the body are designed to make the ride more comfortable, while travellers will also find information and entertainment on in-seat screens. Consequently, data rates will continually rise, driven by on-board and entertainment technology. As a result, it is imperative that designers focus on space-saving solutions. In this context, HARTING is offering the railway technology segment  the world's first M12 socket with integrated transmitter. By integrating the component from the printed circuit board into the connector socket, 30% space savings can be achieved on the printed circuit board per connection. The socket already integrates the transmitter necessary for Ethernet networks from the printed circuit board into the socket.

M12
M12 socket with integrated transmitter

Simplifying trace routing

Transmitters are a necessary component in any type of Ethernet network that, technically seen, works like a transformer. Here, however, the focus is not on the transmission of power, but rather on the best possible signal transmission with simultaneous electrical isolation of transmission line and device. This protects the sensitive electronics in switches and other devices. Due to differences in potential over large transmission distances, the risk of voltage peaks and damage to Ethernet receivers could otherwise easily be present. In order to simplify trace routing for railway designers and to make efficient use of the limited space available, HARTING integrates the transmitter in the M12 socket. M12 Magnetics facilitates more space in confined spaces.

Ethernet is now used extensively in rail vehicles.

Besides being used at the passenger information and infotainment level, it is now also used in the command and control level. Following the definition of the Train Communication Network (TCN) in accordance with the IEC61375-2-5 and IEC61375-3-4 standards, the so-called Ethernet Train Backbone (ETB) replaces the soon-to-be-obsolete WTB train bus, while the Ethernet Consist Network (ECN) will replace the familiar MVB or CAN fieldbus networks. The communication protocol between bus users is implemented by way of the Train Real Time Data Protocol (TRDP). This network protocol is IP-based and, thanks to the new structure, enables direct communication between all network participants. The implementation requires managed Ethernet switches that, in addition to the familiar features found in industrial automation, must also meet the requirements of the railway industry.

The Train Real Time Data Protocol (TRDP) is a network protocol for communication over IP-based networks in trains and is part of the TCN (Train Communication Network). It relies on UDP and optionally on TCP and enables the exchange of process data (PD) and message data (MD) between devices such as door controls, displays, air conditioners, etc. TRDP is a connection-less, frame-oriented protocol and forms the basis for communication in future trains.

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