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RudyB
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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



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RudyB
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245 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

 

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RudyB
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245 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

 

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RudyB
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245 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


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RudyB
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245 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



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RudyB
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245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #54 ·

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RudyB
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245 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.

 

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RudyB
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245 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



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RudyB
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245 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



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RudyB
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245 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.



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RudyB
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245 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.

 

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RudyB
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245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Traincontroller 50: Change the Content of a Text Field With a Text Variable

Text in a text field can be dynamically updated, triggered by events that take place somewhere on the layout. We use a text-variable to accomplish this.

1. Create a global variable: Menu Windows > Explorer Window > Variables > right click > New Object > Variable
2. Create a text field on the switchboard and add the variable to it: type %V &#8230; TC will add [?]. Double click %V[?] and select the variable you want to display from the list.
3. In any element that can contain Operations (push button, switch, flagman, sensor, signal, schedule start or -finish) add: Control Flow Operations > Access to Variable > change > select your variable > =(Assignment) > type the text you want to display.

TRAIN NAMES
If we'd want to display a train name, we can not use the train names that were given when the trains were created, these can not be accessed or be allocated to a variable. The video shows 2 options how we can work around this.

Link to the video.



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RudyB
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245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Traincontroller 51: New Switchboard Elements : Gates and Crossovers

Version 9 has a few new switchboard items available:

A: The space saving crossover. Formerly, to enable trains to switch between two parallel tracks, it took 4 junctions. With the new 'crossover' track elements it takes half the space. Each crossover has 2 decoder addresses to control the 2 turnouts inside it.

B: Gates. This element is used to control e.g. garage doors when combined with a DCC servo decoder. The element is placed on a route. It switches open automatic as soon as the route becomes active and closes again when the route is released.

C: Crossing gates. These elements are used to create a road crossing with automatic beams. The element is placed on a route. It can be dragged / enlarged to span multiple parallel tracks. The beams close fully automatic as soon as the route becomes active. They open again when all the tracks between the gates are free.

The control of the elements can further be enhanced by conditions or by operations inside other elements.

Link to the video

 

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RudyB
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245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Traincontroller 52 - New Engine Functions: Operations List & Short Distance Move

In the 'Functions' tab of the properties window of an engine we can define the functions that the digital decoder that is built into the engine supports. Often these are things like headlight, cabin light, shunt speed, or, in case of a sound decoder also several sounds that can be triggered independently.

With TC 9 it is possible to not only add decoder functions &#8230; also a list of operations can be created that will execute once the function button is pressed. The operations are similar to the ones we can use in the Operations tab of elements like switches, signals, flagman, etc.

One of the many possibilities this new option gives us is to play a sound that is stored on our computer. This way a sound decoder can be simulated, as far as horns and whistles and speaker messages are concerned.

Another new option in TC 9 is a Train Operation called Short Distance Move. With this operation a number of cm / inches can be specified and when activated the train will drive that distance at crawl speed. This can be handy for instance to move an engine just enough to couple onto wagons, or to move to a decoupler position on the track.

Link to the video.

 

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RudyB
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245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Traincontroller 53 - Speed profiling an engine with an external measurement device

TC9 has this new option to use a third party speed measurement device to do the measurements during the engine speed calibration process.

This way the time it takes to profile an engine is dramatically reduced. And besides that ... it is also fun.

If you do not own a speed measurement device, and if you do not intend to buy one ... it is rather easy to build your own. Instructions are included. Parts needed are just around € 6,-.

Follow this link to see the video and for a step by step instruction how you can build your own speed measurement device.



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RudyB
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245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Traincontroller 54 - Stations

Traincontroller 9 has the option to work with Stations. A Station is a collection of blocks that we allocate to it. Once Stations are defined several new options are available. The video shows three:
- A local Spontaneous-Run: the train will never run further away than one block from the station.
- Autotrain-by-Drag-and-Drop now has Station Icons: a random train will leave from the Departure Station and will drive to a random lane in the Destination Station.
- The number of trains in the Station is available for use in a Variable.

There is more that can be done, please refer to the chapter about Stations in the Traincontroller 9 User Manual.

Link to the video.



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