“Please stand back”: When passengers on Berlin’s S-Bahn light rail system hear announcements, communication technology from pei tel Communications GmbH is at work. The company, which is based in Teltow, Brandenburg, began equipping the company’s trademark red-and-yellow trains with hand microphones back in 2005. More than a thousand units have already been installed. The new 483/484 series, which is manufactured by a consortium between Stadler and Siemens and went into service at the start of this year, also uses microphone technology from pei tel.
“With all our products and developments, we really emphasize outstanding acoustic properties and superior workmanship. This is how we make certain they can be used without disruptions at any time, even under tougher environmental conditions like those found in public transit,” says Thomas Martin, CEO of pei tel. The company supplies DD113 and TM110 hand microphones to S-Bahn Berlin GmbH. Both models feature a dynamic microphone capsule with unidirectional noise canceling, three buttons, an especially rugged housing, and a durable spiral cable. The DD113 models are also rated IP6K7, so they are dustproof and waterproof.
In addition to PA announcements, the hand microphones are also used when the train doors open and close. To make the devices as easy as possible to operate, the buttons are color-coded, with the green button standing for “open door” and the orange one for “close door.” The black button can be used to make announcements. Each S-Bahn train equipped with hand microphones receives two units per operator’s compartment. One model each is installed next to the left and right windows of the compartments at the start and end of the train.
Communication technology used in public transit applications has to meet especially stringent requirements for aspects such as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Trains are home to a large number of electrical and electronic components, including components of the train itself and drive systems, air conditioning, and information technology equipment. Passengers also bring devices of their own with them, such as laptops or mobile phones. To keep these devices from interfering with each other, the technology used in the train cannot be installed until extensive testing is completed. “All of our products undergo detailed tests and feature outstanding properties, in some cases far beyond the legal requirements,” Martin explains.
Maiden voyage on New Year’s Day
The new 483/484 series trains received approval from the German Federal Railway Authority in October 2020, following extensive testing that racked up about 150,000 kilometers of travel in all. The maiden voyage took place on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2021. The new S-Bahn operated as line S47, carrying passengers from the Schöneweide station toward Spindlersfeld. Two more trains from the new series were added later in the day, serving the route between Spindlersfeld und Hermannstrasse. Passenger amenities include a more spacious interior, large panoramic windows, air conditioning, cameras in all cars, and modern passenger information.
In addition to microphones like those now used in Berlin’s S-Bahn system, pei tel Communications GmbH also produces various handsets, speakers, and desktop microphones. Beyond that, pei tel offers broadband solutions for installation in vehicles and systems as well as portable PTToC (Push-to-Talk over Cellular) devices such as rugged smartphones and tablets equipped with LTE/4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, VoLTE, NFC, and GPS technologies. Broadband solutions from pei tel combine essential voice and group communications, multimedia data transmission, and position location services in a single ecosystem. “No matter what the field of application, our broad range of products and the possibility of individual customer adjustments mean that we find the right solution for any application,” says Martin.