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Highway dynamic message signs

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:56 am
by 1337Delta764
I would like to know, in your area, what are the various styles of dynamic message signs installed on highways? Are they bulb matrix, flip-dot, fiber optic, or LED? Monochrome or full color? Fixed character matrix, line matrix, or full matrix?

Here in the Phoenix area, there are three different types of dynamic message signs installed. The oldest and most common are the Fiber Display Systems SYLVIA fiber optic fixed character matrix signs, installed before 2007. Many of these have been refurbished with SES America's LED retrofit package, which essentially installs new LED panels inside the existing SYLVIA housings.

The second generation of DMS installed by ADOT were the Daktronics fixed character matrix amber LED signs, installed from 2007 to 2012 (with one installed in the Tucson area in 2014 due to project delays). These were the first LED signs to be installed by ADOT, as well as the first to use walk-in cabinets where maintenance is performed from inside the sign, thus eliminating the need of a lane closure.

The newest DMS installed by ADOT in the Phoenix area are the Skyline Products full matrix amber LED signs, installed since 2012. These signs use a full matrix display, where the entire sign is one large dot matrix display instead of being divided per character. As with the prior Daktronics signs, these also have walk-in cabinets. Several of these have gone up in the past week on the Loop 202 SanTan Freeway.

ADOT's contract with Skyline Products is expiring next year, and is currently up for bid. As with the current signs, the next contract will also use full matrix displays. I know Daktronics and Adaptive Micro Systems have submitted bids, not sure if Skyline did as well.

Re: Highway dynamic message signs

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:00 am
by bgm
The ones in my area are bright pink and they look terrible.

Re: Highway dynamic message signs

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:41 am
by PacificBeach88
bgm wrote:
The ones in my area are bright pink and they look terrible.


Those are called T-Mobile ads. :P

Re: Highway dynamic message signs

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:58 pm
by 1337Delta764
[*]
PacificBeach88 wrote:
bgm wrote:
The ones in my area are bright pink and they look terrible.


Those are called T-Mobile ads. :P


Interestingly, even though pink is my favorite color, I am actually with AT&T. However I do have a pink case for my Note 5.

Back to the topic, ADOT's contract with Skyline does actually include provisions for full color models, however, I have yet to see any installed.

Re: Highway dynamic message signs

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:16 pm
by garpd
Not that it matters much, but here in the UK we use dot matrix style boards generally with an orange/yellow colour to the dots of light. Important messages and emphasised with flashing orange halogen lights on each corner of the board that flash in a top-bottom-top pattern.

Image

Re: Highway dynamic message signs

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:20 pm
by 1337Delta764
garpd wrote:
Not that it matters much, but here in the UK we use dot matrix style boards generally with an orange/yellow colour to the dots of light. Important messages and emphasised with flashing orange halogen lights on each corner of the board that flash in a top-bottom-top pattern.

Image


That appears to be a fixed character matrix amber LED sign. Not sure about the manufacturer.

Re: Highway dynamic message signs

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:33 pm
by einsteinboricua
bgm wrote:
The ones in my area are bright pink and they look terrible.

Don't forget that they also have a feminine appearance.

Re: Highway dynamic message signs

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:59 pm
by 1337Delta764
einsteinboricua wrote:
bgm wrote:
The ones in my area are bright pink and they look terrible.

Don't forget that they also have a feminine appearance.


Well, they would somewhat if a full matrix sign is displaying text in the Clearview font.

Re: Highway dynamic message signs

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:43 pm
by 1337Delta764
Looking at the UK example again on a larger screen, it appears that sign might actually not be LED, but fiber optic. ADOT has a lot of SYLVIA fiber optic DMS by Fiber Display Systems (which were installed prior to 2007), however, many of them have been retrofitted with LED technology using the existing housings.

The way a fiber optic display works is that each pixel contains an electromagnetically controlled shutter that either blocks or allows the passage of light funneled through fiber-optic strands sent to each pixel via an internal light source. These use less energy than bulb matrix (aka eggcrate) displays since they require fewer bulbs, but more energy than LED displays.