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TVMs overheating

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sheff1

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Hope this is in the right section.

On Saturday morning all the 'Collection Only' TVMs in the main concourse area at Sheffield were out of order. Notices on each machine advised that this was due to overheating and went on to state that passengers should board their booked train (sic) with their collection reference number which would act as authority to travel.

Yesterday, whilst standing in the queue for the machines (some of which were still out of order) I overheard a Parkeon (?) engineer talking to a member of staff from the booking office. The staff member said that as soon as the machines were rebooted, on Saturday and since, they had failed again. The engineer seemed to say that this problem had occurred at a number of stations during the recent hot weather. Has anyone else encountered this ? Is it only Parkeon machines ?

I ask the second question because the staff member said that serious thought was now being given to reinstating the collection facility on the other (larger) machines which were changed some time ago to only allow purchases. These machines seemed to be working normally on Saturday (as was the 'Collection Only' machine in the shaded Supertram entrance).
 
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howittpie

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I was told yesterday afternoon it was due to a software update. This was after spending 25 minutes to buy a simple day return ticket meaning I missed the train I intended to travel on.
 

SpacePhoenix

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If they were down due to a software update why don't the software updates get done during the middle of the night?
 

61653 HTAFC

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If they were down due to a software update why don't the software updates get done during the middle of the night?

I'd interpret that as a flaw/error/bug with the update itself, rather than with the update process. Even if the updates were/are done at night, a software error within the update would still cause the crash once the machine rebooted.
 

sheff1

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Well the notice quite clearly said the problem was overheating. The fact that the exact same type of Collection Only machine in the shade on the opposite side of the station was working perfectly does suggest that the sun was the problem, rather than any software upgrade.
 

setdown

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I suppose the overheating could be as a result of a software update, if the update was to something quite low-level like the BIOS (or the more modern UEFI equivalent), which controls fan speeds and temp sensors etc. I had a bios update on an old e-machines laptop that forced the fan to stay on all the time, in order to help with overheating issues.
 
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WatcherZero

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Also badly written code that causes the processor to work harder on wasteful or duplicated tasks can cause overheating.
 

sheff1

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So, it would appear a software upgrade can cause overheating - you learn something every day :).
 

najaB

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So, it would appear a software upgrade can cause overheating - you learn something every day :).
You used to be able to get certain Intel (I think?) CPU's to catch fire with badly (maliciously) written code.
 

talldave

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Well the notice quite clearly said the problem was overheating. The fact that the exact same type of Collection Only machine in the shade on the opposite side of the station was working perfectly does suggest that the sun was the problem, rather than any software upgrade.

And you believe every notice written by a TOC to be the absolute truth? In my experience TOCs don't have a clue about anything that involves a microprocessor and an operating system.
 

greaterwest

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And you believe every notice written by a TOC to be the absolute truth? In my experience TOCs don't have a clue about anything that involves a microprocessor and an operating system.

Overheating is a problem with the S&B machines in the South in hot weather.
 

jon0844

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Seeing inside some machines and how old some PCs are, it might just be a case of failing fans meaning they can't get rid of the heat.

I saw how slow it took for one old TVM to boot. It got to 9% while I watched and then I had to get my train. I know progress meters don't also go smoothly but I'd still guess it would have taken 10-15 minutes! And all the time the screen said 'fast' on it, on account of the software!
 

greaterwest

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I know I'll get shot for this but for me this is reason number I dont know why machines will never replace a booking office or collections/enquiries desk

I dont actually get your post, are you saying you don't know why machines won't replace a booking office, or are you saying this is why?

If the former;
Because people want to talk to people and not a machine.
Some elderly people don't know how to use machines.
I'm sure there are more reasons too.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Seeing inside some machines and how old some PCs are, it might just be a case of failing fans meaning they can't get rid of the heat.

I saw how slow it took for one old TVM to boot. It got to 9% while I watched and then I had to get my train. I know progress meters don't also go smoothly but I'd still guess it would have taken 10-15 minutes! And all the time the screen said 'fast' on it, on account of the software!

S&B machines can take upwards of 20 minutes to boot, I saw one take 40 minutes once in GWR land.
 
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D365

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The last time I was at Sheffield station on the 19th, collecting tickets, I went in and found one of the TVMs not working; by the time I was heading to my train, half of the machines were out of order!

Not sure if this was related to overheating, however. It might also intrigue you to know that there is a single TVM located at the Sheffield Students' Union, linked to the machines at the station.
 

route:oxford

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I know I'll get shot for this but for me this is reason number I dont know why machines will never replace a booking office or collections/enquiries desk

Standard desktops (and comms rooms) can overheat too.

I built a really complex Excel spreadsheet that took 3 hours to calculate on my old desktop. It always crashed when the office hit 28C.
 

talldave

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Standard desktops (and comms rooms) can overheat too.

I built a really complex Excel spreadsheet that took 3 hours to calculate on my old desktop. It always crashed when the office hit 28C.

My current desktop I built almost 4 years ago is fanless (the silence is bliss), and I spent the first few months obsessively monitoring CPU temps, but all is good. However, my spreadsheets are a lot less ambitious!! No fans means no dust build up clogging the fans. TVMs would have more than ample space for the large heatsink needed.
 

SpacePhoenix

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Are the TVMs in Sheffield next to a wall? If they are could some sort of enclosure be built around them with an extractor fan to extract hot hair from within the enclosure?
 

dgl

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Well if any of it runs on netburst architecture Pentiums/Celerons then excessive heat generation is normal with a lot of cooling required and is why the Pentium m, and core series intel chips (inc. Pentium/Celeron Dual Core) are based more on the Pentium III.
It's always interesting to see laptops based on the Pentium 4/4m as low TDP it not a design feature :)
 
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Philip Phlopp

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Well if any of it runs on netburst architecture Pentiums/Celerons then excessive heat generation is normal with a lot of cooling is required and is why the Pentium m, and core series intel chips (inc. Pentium/Celeron Dual Core) are based more on the Pentium III.
It's always interesting to see laptops based on the Pentium 4/4m as low TDP it not a design feature :)

Intel Atom N270 processor is fitted.
 

dgl

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Intel Atom N270 processor is fitted.

Overheating shouldn't be too much of a problem as they are netbook/tablet chips and are fairly low power when compared to the desktop counterparts, although, a sealed box on a hot day could get quite warm and these processors will probably be running flat out/near max most of the time.
 

D365

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Are the TVMs in Sheffield next to a wall? If they are could some sort of enclosure be built around them with an extractor fan to extract hot hair from within the enclosure?

They're set against a glass window in the station building looking out towards Sheaf Square.

https://www.transportxtra.com/files/10662-l.jpg

I'm not all too familiar with TVM systems at this time, but of they break down too frequently, surely a Raspberry Pi (or any similar SoC) would be enough?
 

SpacePhoenix

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Maybe a special coating could be added to the glass of the windows to stop or at least reduce the heat from the sun light passing through the windows
 

D365

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Maybe a special coating could be added to the glass of the windows to stop or at least reduce the heat from the sun light passing through the windows

That would probably cost more than just replacing or reconfiguring the TVMs, the concourse building itself is well ventilated and in my experience has never been excessively warm.
 

najaB

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I'm not all too familiar with TVM systems at this time, but of they break down too frequently, surely a Raspberry Pi (or any similar SoC) would be enough?
I'm sure the next generation of TVMs will use something similar, but my guess is that we're stuck with the current models for at least the next five years.
 
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