Model Railway Forum banner
41 - 60 of 65 Posts

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Traincontroller 32: Start Schedules With Start-Destination Switches

In some cases it can be nice to start schedules by operating a switch at the start block, followed by a second switch at the destination block.

This can be accomplished via Autotrain, or when using our own defined Schedules.

The video shows how to set up both options.

Link to video Traincontroller 32: Start Schedules With Start-Destination Switches

 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Traincontroller 33: Physical Signals on the Layout

In can be nice to enhance a layout with physical signals, either just for some 'eye candy', or to get closer to a possible ideal to create a prototypical model railway.

The blocks in Traincontroller have 'internal' signals by default. These are used by TC to control train traffic. Physical signals on the layout do not have any function with regard to train control, they are merely there for the visuals.

The signals on the layout require some hardware. The lights, in my case, are red and green LED's. They are switched by a DCC function decoder. Via a DCC address the signal is switched form red to green, and back, by Traincontroller.

On my layout I use Arduino microcomputers as DCC decoders. One Arduino, which can be had for as little as $4,- , can control 16 signals, which makes it a very money efficient solution. The Arduino DCC function decoder software that is used can be downloaded from the blog, just follow the video link. The schematics for the LED's and for the optocoupler circuit can be found on the blog as well.

Two things are needed to get a signal that we placed on the switchboard working:
1: We need to tell TC to what DCC address the signal is connected on the physical layout.
2: The signal needs to be coupled to the internal block signal.

The video shows how this is achieved.

Link to video Traincontroller 33: Physical Signals on the Layout


..
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Traincontroller 34: Internal versus External Signals

In the previous video we controlled a physical signal on the layout, using a signal symbol on the switchboard and connect it to a DCC address to control the hardware as well as connect it to an internal block signal for the switch logic.

If following the internal signals is all the 'eye candy' you need there could have been an easier way. Internal block signals can be connected to a DCC address themselves, there's no need to add additional signal symbols in that case.

But if you want to have a bit more control on the logic of when a signal changes aspect, then adding an additional signal is the way to go, because they have a Trigger tab as well as a Conditions tab, where logic functions can be built to control the signal's aspects.

The video shows both examples.

Link to video 34 Traincontroller 34: Internal versus External Signals



..
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
TC file including graphics available for download

To those who may have been following the TC video's and who might be interested in the graphics used with icons, extended accessories, control panel background and LCD screen ... the current status of the TC-Gold file including all the graphics is available for download over here:

Link to TC Gold file download.



..
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Traincontroller 35: Fast Train Overtakes Slow Train

A quite common situation is that there's a slow train at a station that wants to go on the move, but that an Intercity is approaching and you want to give this faster train priority to leave the station first.

The trick here is to use a condition in the Route of the slow train that says the Block of the intercity train must be not reserved. That way the slow train's Schedule or Schedule successor will start, if there's no condition preventing that and when the Rules are set to 'Train may stay in start block'. The train will only start driving though when the condition for the Route is met … the intercity Block is not reserved.

The video shows how this can be accomplished.

Link to video Traincontroller 35: Fast Train Overtakes Slow Train.


..
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Traincontroller 36: Block Occupancy with Momentary Sensors

The block 'occupied' status and the corresponding highlight colour only appears as long as the block occupancy sensor is triggered. When working with momentary sensors, like I do with reed switches and magnets, the occupied status flickers as many times as the sensor triggers. Just because one reed often switches two times when a magnet passes over it and also bacause I have multiple magnets under my trains, used for driving backwards.

Page 138 of the user manual warns against potential problems when sensors are triggered multiple times by the same train. Although with me TC never got confused and traffic flow was error free, the messages window showed warnings of sensors being triggered when not expected.

Well ... I can't avoid multiple triggers with my sensors ... but there are ways to trigger the block occupancy indicator just once, like is advised. This is done by not using the sensor directly inside the block, but by using a Flagman in the block.

On page 292 of the manual a method is described using 2 detectors and a Flagman with its memory on 'toggle'. This method wont work for me, since I have only one sensor per block! Also my sensors are triggered more than once, which means this flagman will get toggled multiple times. This is not going to work .. I need to find another solution.

What I did is to use switches (one for every block, two for every 2-directional block) on the switchboard as an intermediate. It is switched on by the sensor, which is now an 'external;' sensor, it does not reside inside the block anymore. A flagman is used inside the block that in turn is triggered by the switch and that now determines the 'occupied' status.

The advantages are:
- The switch is switched on only once, no matter how often the sensor is triggered
- the flagman therefore is triggered only once ... absolutely no more multiple occupancy triggers
- the switch can be put off at any occurrence which we can choose ourselves. I chose to do it when the train reaches the stop marker of the block, that way I also can see if a train is driving (occupied is on) or stands still (occupied is off).

Combined with the block release Rule put on 'smart and upon entry' this gives nice early release of blocks and a nice flow of trains on the layout.

But switching the 'occupancy' switch off can be done via any other sensor on the layout or via an 'action marker' in any block, at exactly the point that is right for your situation.

Link to video Traincontroller 36: Block Occupancy with Momentary Sensors


 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Traincontroller 37: Block Occupancy and Release Rules

In the previous video we had a look at how to create flicker free block occupancy with momentary sensors. I used the stop marker as the point where the occupancy was taken away again. This has two advantages:

1. It is possible to see if a train is still running in the block (occupied = on) or when it stands still at the stop marker (occupied = off).
2. Use of the Schedule Rule for release of blocks and routes 'Smart or upon Entry' can be used to gain a high throughput of trains traffic.

In this video shows the difference between a few Schedule Rules for release of blocks and routes with some live footage of trains running.

Link to video Traincontroller 37: Block Occupancy and Release Rules



..
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Traincontroller 38 - Control a Gated Crossing

This video shows several options to close and open a railroad crossing, both for a single track and for multiple tracks, and for the situation where the crossing is immediate behind a railway station where trains stand still.

Link to the video.



..
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Traincontroller 39: Guide Trains to Specific Blocks

Often we would like trains to enter a station at a certain track, for instance passenger trains always to track 1, cargo trains always to track 2. We could use a multitude of Schedules, one for every train (group) ... but we could also use just one schedule and add some conditions in the blocks.

This video shows three scenarios that all use just one schedule that has multiple destination blocks.

1. Trains drive into the station always at lane 1 first, then 2, then 3, etc.
2. Specific trains drive into specific lanes.
3. Passenger trains always drive into lane 1 and go to lane 2 only if 1 is occupied. Cargo trains the other way around.

Link to the video



..
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Traincontroller 40 -Timetables

It is quite easy to create automated train traffic in Traincontroller, by having trains run on cycle- or shuttle schedules and by using the option that a schedule can start one or more successors at it's finish.

Another way of automating traffic would be the use of timetables. Both ways can also be used intermingled.

A timetable is merely a list of schedules and macro's that are going to be executed at their given date / time. The ability to use the date makes it possible to create 365 different timetables. Which one is run, is selected by the date field in the timetable window. This date is your layout's 'fake' date ... it is entirely separate from the current real world date.

Link to video Traincontroller 40 - Timetables

 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Traincontroller 41 - Loading Wagons Based on a Timer

Some model railways (like to) simulate the loading or unloading of bulk goods. The task at hand is to stop the train with the first wagon accurately under the silo, wait a few seconds, then advance the train exactly one wagon length ... and so on until all wagons have had their turn.

Often a hardware sensor is used to detect the gap between wagons. Its signal is used to stop the train when it is advancing. If the following criteria are met, there's no need for a sensor, we can simply advance the train with a given speed for a given time.
1: the engine runs smooth and stable at low speed.
2: the number of wagons in a train does not change during a session.

This video shows this time based solution. With the tests I performed this proved more than accurate enough. The next video will show the solution with an additional wagon sensor.

This video shows this way of working based on a timer The next video will show how to do it with a wagon sensor.

Link to video Traincontroller 41 - Loading Wagons Based on a Timer

 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Traincontroller 42 - Loading Wagons Using a Sensor

In the previous video we simulated wagon loading by advancing the train one wagon at a time, using a fixed speed during a certain amount of ms. This is accurate enough if the engine runs stable at low speeds and if the number of wagons in a train does not change throughout a driving session.

If one of these conditions is not met, we can use a sensor to detect the wagons. This could be a light beam sensor that triggers if it sees the gap between the wagons, or a reed switch on the track combined with a magnet under every wagon, or a very short stretch (1/2 ") of current detection and a resistor on an axle of every wagon. The end of the train is assumed if no new wagon is detected after a given number of seconds.

Link to video Traincontroller 42 - Loading Wagons Using a Sensor


..
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Traincontroller 43 - Kadee Couplers

The past few days I've been tinkering some with Kadee couplers. They work reliable with some small Neomybium magnets alongside the track. It's not at all difficult to automate the necessary loco movement in Traincontroller, it's just a lil sequence of timed events that can be written in a macro. The macro can be called from e.g. a push button for manual control or from Schedule 'finish operations' for fully automatic control.

Link to video Kadee Couplers with Neomybium Magnets

Link to video Traincontroller 43 Kadee Couplers



…
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #54 ·

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Traincontroller 45: Pins

One of the new features of TC9 are the Pins that can be shown on the switchboard. There are three categories:

1: Dr. Railroad pins. Dr. Railroad is the diagnostic tool that scans your layout for issues. In stead if presenting them in a list, they now also can be shown on the switchboard as pins. They quickly pinpoint you to the location on your layout where something is wrong or is missing.

2: System pins. These come in handy when debugging Schedules. In red and yellow they highlight places where the Schedule is restricted. Green pins show all the spots where the Schedule makes reservations.

3: User pins. These are used as 'sticky notes'. You can attach User pins to items on your layout and write text in them. Handy if you like to remember why you did certain things the way you did them, or if you are in the process of building a new layout and you like to have a couple of To Do memo's for the next time you will be able to work on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blI20Gr1XBc...player_embedded" target="_blank">Link to video.</a>

Sound issues should be solved ... somehow I lost 12dB last time.

 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Traincontroller 46: Switchboards and Switchboard Windows

In TC9 Switchboard Windows are introduced. Unfortunately they have given some confusion. It may help when you think of switchboards and switchboard windows in a similar way as engines and engine windows.

You can create multiple engines and you can create one or more engine windows, each of which will show the engine you select from a drop down list. The new Switchboard Windows work exactly the same ... you can create multiple switchboards and you can create one or more switchboard windows, each of which will show the switchboard you select from a drop down list.

The video shows how to:
- create multiple switchboards
- rename switchboards
- open and close switchboard windows
- delete a switchboard for ever

Link to the video



...
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Traincontroller 47: HTML in Text Fields

In TC9 we can use HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) inside text fields. This makes that we can use styling, like different font sizes, (background) colors, borders and more, in one and the same text field.

HTML is the language that is used on the WWW to render web pages. Luckily it is easy to experiment and to learn with the help of this wonderful website w3schools.

If you prefer to use a code editor ... notepad++ is free and it is a very nice one.

Link to the video



...
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Traincontroller 48: Use a Numerical Variable as a Counter

Variables are one of the great additions to TC 9. A variable is a named memory location where we can store information, like a text or a number. We can access and change the contents of a variable via any item on our switchboard that has an Operations tab. We can use variables to change the flow of Operations and we can add them to Text Fields to display their contents.

This video shows how we can use a numerical variable to create a counter. Three things are needed to get this working:
1: Create a variable of the type numerical.
2: Increment / decrement the value of the variable in the Operations Tab of an item on the switchboard.
3: Display the contents of the variable in a text field.

Link to the video.



&#8230;
 

·
RudyB
Joined
·
244 Posts
Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Traincontroller 49: Use HTML to Simulate an LCD Display

Since it is possible in TC9 to use HTML code inside text elements we can simulate all kinds of graphics using 'style' commands. Let's see how we can turn the counter we made in the previous video into something that looks like an LCD display.

First we'll need an LCD type of font. Just Google for free lcd font and you'll find plenty. Download one that you like and install it. You'll then be able to select it via the font selector in the TC9 text element.

Next we have to create some HTML code. The video shows how. The tags and styles are rather self explaining once you know the syntax, which is easily found on w3schools.

Link to the video.

 
41 - 60 of 65 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top