Video's on working with Traincontroller

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RudyB
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Traincontroller 31: Extended Accessories - Switches

Postby RudyB » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:45 pm

In the previous video we had a first look at Extended Accessories. We used it as sort of a multi-status flagman, to show different graphics based on different statuses, via which we were able to simulate a counter.

In this video we'll again have a look at Extended Accessories, this times used as switches. We can have multiple switches inside one EA. Every switch can have its own properties, and Operations and also Triggers, which at the same time make it act as a Flagman. This is shown with the 8 fold toggle switch array.

We can use the trigger for instance to 'arm' a button, we make it switch 'on' based on certain conditions. Then, clicking it with the mouse switches it off again, at the same time performing a series of operations.

This is shown in the video for a combined 'Schedule Stop' and 'Schedules Terminate' pushbutton. That is to say ... the graphics looks like a pushbutton, but it is an EA with two switches inside.

Link to video Traincontroller 31: Extended Accessories - Switches


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RudyB
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Traincontroller 32: Start Schedules With Start-Destination S

Postby RudyB » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:27 pm

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


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Traincontroller 33: Physical Signals on the Layout

Postby RudyB » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:39 pm

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


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RudyB
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Traincontroller 34: Internal versus External Signals

Postby RudyB » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:47 pm

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


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RudyB
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TC file including graphics available for download

Postby RudyB » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:41 pm

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.


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RudyB
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Traincontroller 35: Fast Train Overtakes Slow Train

Postby RudyB » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:54 pm

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.


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jenniferloop
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Re: Video's on working with Traincontroller

Postby jenniferloop » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:06 am

One option is to use a web based editor like e.g. https://pixlr.com
i just discovered http://toolpic.com which is better than pixlr,; Hope it help user
Thanks.

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RudyB
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Traincontroller 36: Block Occupancy with Momentary Sensors

Postby RudyB » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:02 pm

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


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Traincontroller 37: Block Occupancy and Release Rules

Postby RudyB » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:04 pm

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


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RudyB
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Traincontroller 38 – Control a Gated Crossing

Postby RudyB » Mon May 02, 2016 1:36 pm

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.


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RudyB
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Traincontroller 39: Guide Trains to Specific Blocks

Postby RudyB » Sat May 07, 2016 12:17 pm

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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Traincontroller 40 -Timetables

Postby RudyB » Fri May 20, 2016 5:36 pm

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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Traincontroller 41 - Loading Wagons Based on a Timer

Postby RudyB » Sun May 22, 2016 9:48 am

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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Traincontroller 42 - Loading Wagons Using a Sensor

Postby RudyB » Sun May 29, 2016 9:10 am

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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Traincontroller 43 - Kadee Couplers

Postby RudyB » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:44 pm

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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