Pzb In-game Training/assistance

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by FeralKitty, Sep 2, 2021.

  1. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    While I've watched Matt's German Signals and PZB tutorial a few times, I still feel intimidated enough by PZB to have never turned it on.

    While Matt's video tutorials are definitely helpful, one issue is that I have to take notes outside the game (usually on a phone or tablet), then try to quickly refer back to specific notes while driving.

    I'd find it more helpful to have some sort of in-game training and/or assistance to help make the experience more hands-on and practical.

    A few possibilities I was thinking of were:
    • A PZB Journey which would take us past specific signals and magnets that we would have to react to*.
      • The Journey should have a loco-specific tutorial showing us how to enable PZB for that loco, as well as how to reset from an emergency stop.
      • The Journey should explain what the different illuminated (or flashing) dashboard indicators (and associated HUD safety elements) mean.
    • A HUD element that would show distance to upcoming magnets (including frequency of magnet).
    • A HUD floating marker showing the location of the magnet.
    In-game training could obviously be expanded beyond PZB to include LZB, AFB, and other non-German systems.

    Hopefully the training could also incorporate the relevant keyboard or controller shortcuts, so we don't have to search for manuals or google how to use a particular system when not using the mouse. (This is a generally common issue for me where I remember the location of a particular dashboard button or handle, but don't remember the associated shortcut. I'd love a configurable setting which showed the corresponding key or keys in the tooltip for the dashboard control.)

    I know other in-game approaches have been suggested over the years (such as popup checklists for cold starts), and I think they're all viable as we each have different learning styles that we benefit from. Having any type of help available in-game saves a lot of time, especially for players who only have one monitor, and can't keep diagrams or manuals or cheat sheets readily accessible on a second screen while playing.

    * In tonight's stream, there were some occurrences where the train came to a stop, without any information that a PZB novice would have need to know (to press a certain key and/or slow to a certain speed). It's difficult to learn or understand a complex system like PZB without some form of in-game assistance explaining what happened.
     
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  2. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    Personally I always find it difficult to learn from videos, as they can only show you certain instances but you don’t learn why it is doing what it is doing. Nevertheless, as you say, everybody has its own learning style.

    I would encourage you to have a look at this Page (it has been linked to many times in this forum, as it has lots of Infos on all sorts of german train system specialities). Even though it’s in German, google translates it fairly well.

    http://www.tf-ausbildung.de/BahnInfo/pzb90.htm
     
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  3. Hiro Protagonist

    Hiro Protagonist Active Member

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    Systems like PZB really make me wish that TSW has an "Academy" mode like TS Classis does...
     
  4. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    (According to Wikipedia,) TS came out in 2009, Academy in 2014.

    TSW came out in 2018, so we should get its "Academy" by 2023? (Hopefully sooner!)
     
  5. doublefine7

    doublefine7 Well-Known Member

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    Since we witnessed some PZB Befehl situations today on the preview stream for Dresden-Riesa, it might be cool to make a tutorial covering the PZB Befehl 40 button and when you have to use it. Because most of the players dont even know anything about it.
     
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  6. delucadomenico2009

    delucadomenico2009 Active Member

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    I can say yes, but with a huge BUT. If there will be a training for pzb/lzb it needs to be perfect or it will be just like all guides that you can find with a little research. As a driver i learned how use pzb expetially with practice, and i need to be honest, it is very easy if you understand the base features. Just for exemple, American signal system is 10 times much hard to lear for all various approach mode, the restricted, the signal sequence, the acses with the brake suppression ecc ecc. As i said on other threads i can help if someone has problem with it. Also i suggest a run on the MSB for a bit of training or SKA regio services too, but here it is just a bit complicated
     
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  7. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    Not much to cover there. It is only used for passing a red signal.
     
  8. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    Careful, though, dont go above 40km/h while doing that;) It has the name for a reason...
     
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  9. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    True :D
    I do love the simplicity of that button‘s name. It does exactly what it says on the box :)
     
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  10. doublefine7

    doublefine7 Well-Known Member

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    Normally you need a written order before using Befehl 40. Thats why its called Befehl 40.
     
  11. Winzarten

    Winzarten Well-Known Member

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    What would be great if they would add optional text in cases of "Zwangsbremsung". So you get to know what you actually did wrong
    i.e. "exceeded 40kph during monitoring", or "2000hz magnet speed check"...

    Then have a section in manual explaining these violations in depth.
     
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  12. tbaac

    tbaac Active Member

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    One thing that might be useful: An option for the HUD to (instead of showing red, orange or green for the next signal) to show, perhaps in addition to the colour, the name of the aspect, and an indicator for PZB of whether or not it needed acknowledging, as a training aid. (Actually PZB probably relates more to distant signals which won't appear on the HUD but you hopefully get my point. Also for speed limit change warnings which need acknowledging).
    Thanks.
     
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  13. jklimentowski

    jklimentowski Member

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    PZB is pretty simple and fun to use.

    You have three keys:
    A - Acknowledge (used most often)
    F - Free (used sometimes)
    O - Override (used rarely)

    And there are three magnets:
    1000 Mhz - the one at advance signal which requires most attention
    500 Mhz - it's placed 250m before the signal and usualy you don't care about it
    2000 Mhz - placed at the signal, last resort if you miss the red light, you rarely care about it

    So basically there are two buttons and one magnet which are important.

    When you first depart you will often be in restricted mode. PZB lights will be flashing and you can't go faster than 45 km/h (sometimes 25 km/h). All you have to do is to press Free when you see aspect other than red. That's all. Sometimes it doesn't work from the start, sometimes you need to pass a green light, not sure what it depends on but that's the idea of Free. It frees you from restrictions.

    When you are driving on a route and see a restriction that is at 80 km/h or below, you will probably need to acknowledge it. This restriction can be on a distant signal or a speed limit warning sign. If unsure check if you see the 1000Hz magnet on the track. So after you pass this place you have 4 seconds to acknowledge.

    If successfull you will see yellow 1000Hz magnet sign and 85 flashing (if you are in 85 passenger mode, freight trains use slower modes 70 and 55). Now you have 23 seconds to slow down to the indicated speed (usualy 85 unless driving freight in which case the times also differ). That's all. If you are at 100 km/h you can do it slowly, but when driving at 160 km/h you will have to brake pretty hard.

    After you've slowed down to 85 you will still need to further reduce your speed to pass the main signal or speed limit sign at a given restriction, but that's natural and not really much philosophy in it. There is a 500 Hz magnet placed 250 meters before the signal which will check that, but if you are doing it with common sense, you will have no problem. We are almost done about PZB.

    When you are expecting a red aspect (yellow distant signal) things go the same way, so you acknowledge, slow down to idicated speed (85 for passenger) but then you will have to pay attention to the 500 Hz magnet. It's 250 meters before the signal so you should be already reduced quite well. Just don't pass it over 45 km/h and after passing it (it will be indicated with red 500 Mhz sign) continue to reduce speed below 25 km/h and to stop. That's pretty much it.

    What do you do if the aspect changes to green while you are already under PZB restritction? Just press Free and you are free to accelerate again. Just don't do it while the signal is restrictive because it will cause emergency braking when passing next magnet. Also you can't get free once you are after 500 Mhz magnet, you will have to pass the signal at 25 km/h and then free.

    What is Override used for? It's used to pass the red signal when you have permission to do it by the signaler. When approaching the red signal do it at maximum 40 km/h constantly having Override button pressed until you've passed the red signal. That's basically all of PZB.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2021
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  14. doublefine7

    doublefine7 Well-Known Member

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    The correct override procedure is stopping ahead of the red signal, contact the dispatcher and get the permission, then pass the red signal with Override pressed.
     
  15. jeff.engle

    jeff.engle Member

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    I’ve read several documents listed here in the forums the manuals and watched videos until my eyes were crossed and it all boiled down to 2 things for me.
    1. Don’t sweat the mistakes (emergency stops). Figure out what you did wrong (if you can) and move on. Especially with TSW2 not much penalty for an emergency stop.
    2. Practice, practice, practice.
    my rule of thumb (from my flight sim time) is 10 runs with each engine on the same route so I learn the train, the route and safety systems. With Timetables it is easy to get plenty of variation. It did sink in for me finally. I make fewer mistakes now
     
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  16. tbaac

    tbaac Active Member

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    It would be great if there was a feature where it showed why you were stopped (ideally some words and a camera focusing on the signal as it was when you passed it). It is easy on youtube videos to skip back and try to guess why, but harder when you're driving. Or, if TSW had an "Instant replay mode" then you could watch yourself passing the signal :)
     
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  17. FeralKitty

    FeralKitty Well-Known Member

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    Two suggestions to explain why via the pause menu:
    • Show the reason for the emergency stop in the message log, and/or
    • show the safety system’s braking curve on the train speed profile (so we could see where and how much we were supposed to slow down).
     
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  18. cwf.green

    cwf.green Well-Known Member

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    PZB isn't very complex and I think you are sort of psyching yourself out/making it more intimidating than it has to be.
    Just turn it on and run with it, yes you'll get some penalty brake applications, but so what? Save a lot and pay attention to the signals and acknowledge signs/signals more than less (the Railway police won't catch you if you spam the Q-key at every signal that is flashing or has a yellow light and any "Morpeth board"/Lf6-sign) and you'll learn from your mistakes quickly.

    The upside is that when you get some experience you'll (imho) enjoy driving German trains much more since PZB is actually a lot of fun.
     
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  19. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    It very much depends on the situation. In the example from above (hp0 with sh1) you would not need a written order. You don’t even need to stop ahead of the signal, however, max speed for shunting is 25kmh (40kmh only with permission).

    A written order is necessary if appropriate signaling for a situation is not possible or it is necessary to deviate from normal operation in some other way.
     
  20. Fitz

    Fitz Well-Known Member

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    The problem I'm having lately when driving the ICE 3 with PZB, LZB and AFB on. When I'm leaving a LZB area I must be doing something wrong in taking back control as I keep getting an emergency brake application. I disable AFB and turn it back on but it still happens.

    Should I be using PZB free or acknowledge?
     
  21. JealousSheep768

    JealousSheep768 Well-Known Member

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    Pzb free
     
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  22. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    When the yellow Ende starts blinking, you need to acknowledge it using PZB free. The reasoning for this is that you are freeing yourself from LZB supervision. In real life, even though LZB ist still working at that point, you are driving according to the track-side signals again.

    As far as AFB is concerned, once the LZB instruments have turned off and the PZB equipment is lit up, you need to put the AFB lever to zero and then back up where you want it to go. This will slam on the brakes since this part of the LZB end process is incorrectly modeled in TSW. Alternatively, you can also turn AFB off and on again to avoid this (be sure to follow the correct procedure for enabling AFB on the move though).
     
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