The Invention of Signal Scout
Years ago I ( Zack) noticed that I spent a lot of time pouring over stacks of plans, data logs, application program logic to find the root cause of signaling issues. I realized that there were many sources of information that needed to be combined in order to have a full understanding of what was going on, unnecessarily complicating the process and making it more prone to errors.
This is why I decided to find a way to simplify the troubleshooting process and improve the understanding of relay logic for others. I envisioned creating something that could be used in the classroom to teach as well as during live troubleshooting to create consistency for employees.
What started as an Excel macro many years ago, has grown into software that is now widely used to train new employees, to remotely and automatically download logs, to assist during cutovers and stay within the time window, to help define nomenclature and retain knowledge within the company, to review trouble calls with the whole team, and to find those pesky issues that would turn into repeat troubles if you didn’t use Signal Scout to find them the very first time they happened. I never envisioned it becoming so powerful and I am very grateful to all our customers who provided feedback on what they would like to see as new features.
I am excited to help simplify the troubleshooting process for many different companies and therefore reduce their downtime and save them money, but I am most happy knowing that I save the Signal Team so much frustration and contribute to their day-to-day being more successful and satisfying!
Zachary Taylor is the Chief Technology Officer for Semaphore Software, the company behind Signal Scout. With a background in Electrical and Computer Engineering, he has worked in the signal and train control world in numerous roles from front-line field supervision of construction and maintenance forces on freight and commuter railways, to project design, engineering, testing, and system integration, seeing many and varied aspects of what the signal world has to offer. This unique perspective, as well as a drive and desire to improve himself and help improve those around him, led him to found Semaphore Software and work on his passion project.
Zack is certified as a Professional Engineer (Electrical) and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado. He currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and sits on AREMA Committees 35 and 37.
Joanneke ( Jo) Matser
Jo Matser is the Sales and Marketing Director of Semaphore Software. After a career as Marriage and Family Therapist, she decided it was time for a change. Her Master's Degree in Therapy came in good use when she switched to the marketing and sales world. First working part-time while her kids were still young, she now finds that she has endless marketing ideas to put in place to make sure that Signal Scout gets in the hands of the people who need it most!