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Title Document type Published
Advanced Motorway Indicator

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Advanced Motorway Indicators (AMIs) are primarily designed for installations crossing motorway gantries and slip road entry sites, for the display of variable speed restriction and lane control aspects. The display comprises a central dual colour LED matrix and surrounding red ring, both of which may be equipped with full optical and electrical monitoring for use with associated speed enforcement equipment. Four dual colour LED lanterns are fitted as standard to all AMI. The sign has a status indicator window at the side giving a quick glance view of power, data (send and receive) and fault indication enabling maintainers basic fault diagnosis from the ground. The slim and light-weight design of the enclosure, coupled with a quick release mounting bracket design, ensures that the time required for installation and removal of an AMI is kept to the absolute minimum. Communication and control electronics for up to 16 AMIs are housed within a 19” rackmount roadside controller fitted with integral display. This is known as an RCV2 (Roadside Controller version 2). By keeping all of the 'intelligence' within the RCV2, installation and maintenance engineers may carry out the majority of system commissioning, upgrades and fault finding processes without the need for high level access. Additionally the RCV2 allows the sign to be interrogated over IP. Further information on the RCV2 is available.

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Intelligent Display Systems

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Colas IDS are market leaders in the manufacture, supply, installation and maintenance support of Variable Message Signs. With over 20 years experience Colas can provide bespoke solutions to meet industry requirements as well as being able to offer solutions from our tried and tested product range. Currently a supplier to the UK Highways Agency under their framework 1/179 contract, Colas products are rigorously tested to ensure compliance with the latest standards. All of our HA products are “type approved” for use on the motorway network and have proven to be best in class for reliability in the field. As well as the manufacture of signalling equipment, Colas are able to offer a first class, fully flexible installation and commissioning service to suit our clients’ works programme. All of our products come with a 12 month warranty from the date of installation, and full product maintenance support and training is offered for end users / maintainers.

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Motorway Signal Mark 1

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The revised MS1 is a lightweight sign with a front face design based on the same principle as the MS4, aimed at reducing the reflective effect of the front surface. This transparent surface (the only reflecting part) is only 21% of the entire area. The sign is made of an 11x13 pixel matrix of red and amber LEDs, with a 50mm pitch. Four red lanterns and four amber lanterns can be added on the X-frame and arranged to flash in pairs. In order to minimise its weight the MS1 enclosure is constructed out of composite material. The enclosure has a nonreflective finish, and an anticondensation heater for the matrix display. Maintenance access is via the front face and there is no need to remove any connectors for access. The fixings for the display board make the PCB fixing and alignment with the front face apertures simple. The MS1 includes a single board computer which communicates via the HA NMCS2 RS485 or NRTS IP network. The single board computer controls all hardware via a parallel port interface and a field programmable gate array (FPGA). This provides access to various inputs and outputs including the I2C address plug, analogue to digital converter and temperature and humidity sensors. The I2C address plug contains a small non-volatile memory device which is read by the single board computer via the FPGA using an industry standard two wire I2C interface. The address plug is pre programmed with MS1 identification and set-up information and is used by the software to configure the MS1 indicator operation, such as the sign address which allows the software to identify which packets of information it needs to respond to.

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Motorway Signal 2x12 V2

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Used for displating tactile messages.

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Motorway Signal Mark 4

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The MS4 is a 4m wide x 3m high dual colour matrix sign, capable of displaying both text and pictograms. Each matrix is made up of over 24,500 pixels, with each 20mm pixel pitch made up from one red and one yellow LED. This allows detailed images to be displayed, providing clear and concise driver information. Hence the system has the capability of displaying virtually any text message or pictogram. This LED panels are overlaid with a matt black aluminium panel, perforated by slits at the LED locations. The LEDs are positioned at the end of matt black conduits, behind the front panel, to minimise reflections from the sun and to define the viewing angle of the display. The sign is suspended by a post and cantilever arrangement and is designed to present a high contrast highly visible display of text and pictogram messages in amber and/or red colours respectively. In addition, amber “virtual lanterns” may be embedded anywhere in the display, thus replicating the existing lantern warning signalling already familiar to the motorist in other signs. The MS4 can also display such warnings simultaneously with appropriate text messages, thus providing the motorist with more information about driving conditions than was previously possible. The main communication and control system for the sign is housed in a 19" rackmounted roadside cabinet, fitted with integral display. This provides user-friendly diagnostics; fault finding and system upgrade capability, without the need for high level access to the sign. Formatting the sign setting data received from a 2-wire NMCS2 (RS485) communications link allows the messages and pictograms to be set.

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Roadside Controller V2

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The Roadside Controller Version 2 (RCV2) has been designed as a generic sign controller and is able to control MS2x12, MS4 or AMI equipment. Therefore no hardware modification is required to control specific signs. The choice of which software to run will depend upon the address plug configuration. The major benefit being RCV2s can be purchased, stocked and then deployed for a variety of signs, rather than requiring controllers specifically designed for each sign type. This approach makes it possible for a controller to be used on an AMI v2, then with a simple software change and an address plug swap, on an MS 2x12 v2. The LCD display shows status and diagnostic information. This display has an active viewable area of 99.40 mm x 132.50 mm and operates at 640x480 (VGA) resolution. Adjustment of the display brightness is possible and a screen saver operates after a set period of inactivity to preserve screen life and to reduce power consumption. A full function mini-keyboard is located in a sliding tray built into the RCV2. This is used to access the onboard engineer's diagnostics menus. When not in use it is possible to secure the keyboard tray in the stowed position. The RCV2 features three RS485 channels: ! one for the NMCS2 input ! two for controlling up to 16 AMI signs; two MS 2x12 and two MS4 The RCV2 has an IP interface and an IP address plug for the connected signs. For each communications channel there is a dual colour red/green status LED. If no faults are present then the LED is green, should any faults be present then the LED displays red. Designed for 19” rack-mount fixing; the whole unit is 4U high. It incorporates an integral keyboard on a sliding tray for ease of accessing engineering functions.

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