Video's on working with Traincontroller

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RudyB
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Traincontroller 44 - TC 9 New User Interface

Postby RudyB » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:31 pm

September 2017 version 9 of Traincontroller was released. Time for a few new video's about the new features that version 9 has to offer.

This first video is about the new User Interface.

Link to demo downloads, user manual, more info and the video.


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Traincontroller 45: Pins

Postby RudyB » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:36 pm

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.

Link to video.

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


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Traincontroller 46: Switchboards and Switchboard Windows

Postby RudyB » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:53 pm

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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Traincontroller 47: HTML in Text Fields

Postby RudyB » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:06 pm

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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Traincontroller 48: Use a Numerical Variable as a Counter

Postby RudyB » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:19 am

… 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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Traincontroller 49: Use HTML to Simulate an LCD Display

Postby RudyB » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:09 pm

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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Traincontroller 50: Change the Content of a Text Field With a Text Variable

Postby RudyB » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:45 pm

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 … 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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Traincontroller 51: New Switchboard Elements : Gates and Crossovers

Postby RudyB » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:30 pm

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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Traincontroller 52 – New Engine Functions: Operations List & Short Distance Move

Postby RudyB » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:31 am

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 … 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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Traincontroller 53 - Speed profiling an engine with an external measurement device

Postby RudyB » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:44 pm

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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Traincontroller 54 - Stations

Postby RudyB » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:31 am

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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