Air - improving station atmosphere

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AT86, 22nd Apr 2014.

  1. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Really wasn't sure where to post this and the only Air topic I could find was from 2012 so I hope it's OK to start a new topic.

    Quick question/observation regarding the Swarm at Thorpe and Air.

    I noticed on my visit to Thorpe Park that the staff checking restraints on Swarm wear ear pieces which I assume is so that the operator can communicate with them over the general noise and chaos in the station?

    I couldn't help but think this approach would make for a big improvement to the station atmosphere of Air, as the music/despatch sequence seem to always be interrupted by the operator reading out seat numbers that haven't locked over the tannoy.

    I know this isn't a massive issue, but to me it seems a relatively low cost solution that would improve the overall feel of the ride.

    What does everyone think?
     
    Posted 22nd Apr 2014
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  2. smudge

    smudge TowersStreet Member

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    That's a really good idea...

    I've never really noticed the earpieces on Swarm though, maybe I just don't pay that much attention, or maybe they don't use them on quiet day, anyway I digress.

    As much as it is a low-cost solution, unfortunately communicating over the annoy has no cost at all. Merlin seldom invest in old coasters/attractions, I know they put the LED's in the notorious tunnel but I can't imagine a 12+ y/o flyer getting any further money spent on it apart from maintenance & upkeep. The Swarm's station is outside too, perhaps that's why earpieces are deemed necessary?

    At least it nothing to do with H&S. Thorpe's H&S practices are very blasé compared to towers.

    I personally don't have an issue with the tannoy being used, although it would be beneficial with ear pieces for sure.
     
    Posted 22nd Apr 2014
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  3. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Good idea!

    Though, as Smudge says, doesnt really bother me, the announcements are usually uber quick anyway. If they were going to spend anything on Air i'd rather it be in the abysmal tunnel to the lift hill.
     
    Posted 22nd Apr 2014
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  4. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    you can get licence free radio quite cheep. Like the Motorola TLKR T6. The Quad Pack costs £98.39. 4 headsets would be £39.96, for loaders (2 per station) and £49.79 for twin pack for control room. (? a spare)
    total equipment cost £188.14 (excluding P&P)
     
    Posted 22nd Apr 2014
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  5. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    I don't know if it really disrupts atmosphere much to be honest... It's quite a noisy station anyway because of the dual loading and unloading.

    Once the dispatch sequence begins, the lights change and the music starts it's very rarely disrupted by PA announcements.

    Not sure if it would make that much difference.
     
    Posted 23rd Apr 2014
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  6. BigDave

    BigDave TowersStreet Member

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    The over use of the PA system drives me up the wall. There is no need for it. The station operator has all the information they need on the despatch panel and the use hand signals to communicate with each other. There is very little need to ever use the PA.
     
    Posted 24th Apr 2014
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  7. GAGrathea

    GAGrathea TS Founding Member

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    The station op does not have all the information they need, the operator is able to quickly and concisely provide this via the PA. This speeds up operations and does not 'affect the station atmosphere' at all! There's no reason the dispatch sequence would be talked over. :)
     
    Posted 24th Apr 2014
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  8. spinba11

    spinba11 TowersStreet Member

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    On newer flyers there is an LED above each persons head which works in the same way as the LEDs on the Smiler, when I've been on Manta I've never heard the PA being used
     
    Posted 24th Apr 2014
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  9. jdrowlands

    jdrowlands TowersStreet Member

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    This is done on pretty much all Universal rides and it works very well over there. A good suggestion but one I can't see happening for the reasons others have already mentioned.

    (Also, this is my first post since I joined in December 2012)
     
    Posted 24th Apr 2014
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  10. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    Giving the seat number as well as the row speeds up the process, especially towards the front of the train where the hosts can't see the station panel (which doesn't give seat numbers anyway, only the rows). Swarm style headsets could be used, but as they wouldn't offer any operational improvement compared with using the tannoy they're unlikely to be brought in.

    The only time the dispatch sequence is interrupted over the tannoy is if a restraint error arises during dispatch, in which case it's arguably more reassuring for guests to hear the operator than to have nothing.
     
  11. BigDave

    BigDave TowersStreet Member

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    The station operator has the row number and can see which row in unlocked. Its not rocket science to work out which seat it is. The PA booms out not over the dispatch audio, but over the ride audio, which adds to the whole theme of the ride.

    ..and as for throughputs... has the ride ever since got 52 crafts per hour since it opened? My point proven :p
     
  12. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    How is it not rocket science to work out the seat that's the problem? They hardly fly open do they, it makes more sense for the op to let the host know the seat to avoid faff (especially as the op can also say whether it's the harness or leg flaps that are the problem). Headsets would he fine I'm sure but there are bigger problems at Towers that need investment first.
     
  13. BigDave

    BigDave TowersStreet Member

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    Take one look down the row and see if a leg flap is sticking out or if a a seat is vibrating or if the locking mechanism on the front of the harness is in a different position to the others on that row. We managed fine for 3 years without needing to constantly blast down the PA. Yes use it is the station staff are having an hard time locating the fault, but don't automatically use it without giving the station staff the chance to solve it themselves, just as quick!
     
  14. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    For the first 3 years Air managed to spend more time down than functioning, Air bingo works, barely affects the atmosphere and is easy to do.

    The only time the station has any atmospheric audio is during the lift sequence anyway when no announcements happen. I can think of 50 things that are a bigger deal than this.
     
  15. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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  16. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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  17. Poisson

    Poisson TowersStreet Member

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    I was there yesterday and the PA did not affect the experience. I didn't play Air bingo however.
     
  18. coasternut

    coasternut TowersStreet Member

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    Excellent. To be incredibly pedantic, on Air the seats are numbered left to right from the operator's perspective. So S4 on the card would actually be S1...
     
  19. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. Coaster

    Coaster TowersStreet Member

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    The staff on The Swarm quite often talk over the tannoy, I've noticed it happening a lot more this year.
     

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