Building the railway communication exhibition – part 4

In mid-2016 we started building the main framework for the Siemens exchange. Before that it took as a couple of months to complete the required conceptual planning. The first sketch of the exchange layout was made back in 2013 and had to be revisited to take into account following conditions:

  1. the size of the exhibition room,
  2. the need to use the normalized size of the framework,
  3. to use all recovered racks (21 in total).

The last point was especially vital, as any part not used now, will be doomed for storage for many years or maybe even forever. Elementary school geometry was enough to solve the first two conditions. Available space allowed only for the set of three frames, each 4 metres long. This gave a total of 1176cm of free space (if you count out the vertical beams) to accommodate the racks of various width, starting from 65 cm (initial selectors), 55 cm (line selectors) 47 cm (translations and subsidiary modules) down to 40 cm (group selectors). A 145 cm of space had to be reserved for the intermediary switchboard.

odc-4-a odc-4-b

Racks could not be distributed randomly – the group selectors, for instance, have to be placed right next to corresponding line selectors. The location of intermediary switchboard determined the total length of cables required. It was also important to keep on sight the most important elements so that the visitors can follow the connection process. Additionally, some racks were already complete with connection cables and some will require time-consuming soldering of new connections using the rare and currently unobtainable triple-pair cables. After trail and error simulation of the layout using nothing but pencil, paper and Excel spreadsheet, we managed to find the optimal solution.

odc-4-c odc-4-d

The plan was the basis for purchase of appropriate amount of material. At last we could start some metal working – after a month of a work, the last beam was bolted to the wall resulting in a sturdy construction.


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