Crew Alert

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Overview - Crew Alert

Crew Alert is sometimes known as a Dead Man's Switch and is a safety feature on modern locomotives. In real life, while a locomotive is moving, the engineer must press a button, change notches, or press a pedal every so often to ensure that the engineer has not fallen asleep, lost consciousness, died, or having a medical emergency. If the engineer fails to do so after a set amount of time an alarm and flashing light will activate. If no action is taken within a short window of time, the train goes into emergency stop, and other PTC (Positive Train Control) systems may activate.

In the WOWSound Diesel decoder, Crew Alert is implemented by monitoring for speed changes or function presses. When Crew Alert is active, the decoder will start an internal timer, and wait for the next command (button press, speed change, etc.) If the timer expires without any user input, an alarm will begin to sound, and begin increasing in volume. After a short amount of time if no further input is received to turn off the alarm, the train will enter emergency stop, putting on the brakes and stopping the train. In the case of the Bachmann Charger decoder, the brake sound is accompanied by the emergency brake air dump sound.

Crew Alert is not a feature of WOWSound Steam decoders.

Crew Alert Timer

The amount of time allowed to pass before the Crew Alert sound and/or light comes on can be configured via the "Crew Alert Timer" option.

Details on configuring the Crew Alert Timer be found in the Complete Programming Guide for WOWDiesel Version 4

Crew Alert Light Function

In addition to the sound function, a light output can be assigned to come on while Crew Alert is in progress. This light could be installed inside the cab, for example. The light output which activates will use whatever the currently-assigning lighting effect is for that output. TCS recommends setting the lighting output to be a "Flashing Light" lighting effect. This lighting output must then be assigned to be the "Crew Alert Light Function" so that a light will flash as the alarm sounds. By default, the Crew Alert Light Function is unmapped/disabled and will not activate any lighting output.

As an example, the Bachmann Charger decoder features a strobe light effect which comes on when the Crew Alert feature expires and the locomotive goes into emergency.

Details on configuring the Crew Alert Light Function can be found in the Complete Programming Guide for WOWDiesel Version 4

Enabling/Disabling Crew Alert

By default on production WOWDiesel decoders, the Crew Alert feature is controlled by toggling Function 16 on your controller. The method by which you can access F16 will depend on your command station. When you toggle F16, you will either hear a 'tweedle' or will hear nothing. If you hear a 'tweedle' when you press F16, Crew Alert is enabled. If you toggle F16 and you do not hear any sound, Crew Alert is disabled.

For OEM decoders, refer to your Quick Start Guide for function mapping information and locations for features such as Crew Alert.

Note for Advanced Users: The active state of Crew Alert can also be read out from the decoder and/or adjusted manually via the "Automatic Sounds" CV.

Crew Alert is considered to be a sound function, and can thusly be remapped or disabled outright via the Sound Remapping menu of Audio Assist. You can also manually overwrite or move this feature using CV programming.

WARNING: If you disable the Crew Alert sound via Audio Assist, or overwrite/un-map the Crew Alert sound while it is turned on, there will be no way to turn it off without manually programming the "Automatic Sounds" CV as previously mentioned.