Fast clock for running to a timetable

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b308
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby b308 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:10 pm

I didn't realise you were an expert on the subject. I was only going by what Denny said in his articles, but obviously you know better and are always right. i shall leave you to it, I've explained why people do it but you still try to read other things into it. there's no persuading some people!

With hindsight that was a bit blunt. But you have to realise that everyone is different and back in Denny's day many people enjoyed working their model railways like the real thing, whether that was by full mechanical interlocking, full signalling, bells and tokens (Sherwood Section for those who remember it!)... Or by working to a real/realistic timetable... All had certain compromises which were accepted by the people involved, for those who ran their model railway to a strict timetable speeding up time was an accepted way of doing it so they could get through a whole day in a reasonable operating time.

It's obvious that you don't agree with it, that's your prerogative. I model narrow gauge and can't understand why people would want to model standard gauge, but I accept that people have different likes and dislikes. Instead of poo-poo-ing other people's interests and trying to come up with long lists of reasons why they shouldn't do what they do I suggest that you just accept that we are all different and just let them get in with it.

I'd never consider running my model railway to a timetable, speeded up clock or otherwise, but I would never consider denigrating those who want to run their trains that way

gppsoftware
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby gppsoftware » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:56 pm

Peter Denny implemented a version of fast clocks which met the commonly accepted objectives he was trying to achieve at the time.
You need to understand that his method and reasoning isn't the ONLY way of doing it and different people have different objectives. All are relevant today, just as much as they were in Denny's day.

I first became involved in fast clocks back in 1997 when my customers were requesting such features in my SSI Model Railway Control System software (http://www.gppsoftware.com/ViewProd.aspx?P=41582C2324262825). I use this software on my layout to this day (but using its sequencing feature, not fast clocks): http://www.mrol.com.au/Pages/Vu/AshpringtonRoad (scroll halfway down for the computer screen image)

When you make a commercial product and your customers make requests for functionality, in order to be able to implement software solutions to their requests, you have to go into great detail to understand what they are trying to achieve. During that process, you become very aware of the different ways different people are trying to do things and for different reasons.

In order to deliver outcomes for customers, you have to actually set the software up and run a layout to a 'fast clock' in order to test it.
When you do this, you find out that there are only a limited number of 'time scalings' which are actually workable, for example, if you get the scaling wrong, you can end up with insufficient time between a train arriving and when it is expected at the next location. Some people try to solve this by flicking between fast and real clocks, changing the fast clock speed, stopping it, pushing it forward etc rather than addressing the cause of the problem: the fact that the scaling is wrong.
You also become aware of the different problems different people are trying to solve and you quickly work out that what appears to be very simple on the surface, is actually a 'dogs breakfast'! Denny was solving problems to meet his needs. I do it to meet multiple people's needs. Big difference!

As an example, several of my customers operate very large layouts to fast clocks. They had several workstations running our software, each workstation running a 'district'. And for some reason, they wanted each workstation to work as a fast clock, but with an adjusted time base to remove the 'delays' it took for trains to move from one part of a large layout to another. Had they operated a sequence, they wouldn't have this complexity.
On the opposite extreme, most of my customers operated a single workstation, some to fast clocks.

My comments are based on practical experience and feedback/requests from customers. They aren't my choice, but I still do them because I respect that that's what customers want.

And by the way, my software can do full electronic interlocking, signalling (both done on my layout) and bells, complemented with 'free for all', 'sequence' or 'fast clock' timetable operation.

Yep, I don't agree with 'fast clocks'. I think they cause more problems than they solve. I think that sequences give a better, more workable solution without the problems.
After working on this for 23 years across many layouts, I would suggest that I know something about the subject!

Why make things unnecessarily complicated ? Keep things simple, have fun and enjoy the hobby!

b308
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby b308 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:01 am

For people who want to run a 24 hour timetable in a 2/3 hour operating session they are essential. It's nothing to do with electronics, the early versions were mechanical. That was (and is, for those who still use them) their purpose, to get rid of the "dead time" in the timetable so they could operate a proper timetable within a reasonable period of time. Please accept that and stop making long posts which repeat what you said in your previous ones, we know you don't like the idea (I'm not a fan either!) but they do a job and do it well for people who do like to operate their model railway in that way! Let's leave it there?

gppsoftware
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby gppsoftware » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:48 am

b308 wrote:For people who want to run a 24 hour timetable in a 2/3 hour operating session they are essential. It's nothing to do with electronics, the early versions were mechanical. That was (and is, for those who still use them) their purpose, to get rid of the "dead time" in the timetable so they could operate a proper timetable within a reasonable period of time. Please accept that and stop making long posts which repeat what you said in your previous ones, we know you don't like the idea (I'm not a fan either!) but they do a job and do it well for people who do like to operate their model railway in that way! Let's leave it there?


I respectfully suggest that you need to accept that there are several reasons why people do this, not just the one you suggest.

When you have been actually implementing fast clock solutions for a customer base for as long as I have and have had to take on board all the different ways and reasons that people put behind this topic, then I'll consider what you say.

Until then, please don't tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about.

Let's leave it there.

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Jim S-W
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby Jim S-W » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:31 am

b308 wrote:Take two examples, if you modelled New Street then you wouldn't need to compress time as there is always movement somewhere and if you tried to compress it you would quickly end up in a mess.


The truth is that unless I have a massive operating team (dozens of people) there’s very little chance of keeping up with the timetable in real time anyway. My plan is to work out the real movements for an hour and jus5 follow the sequence but not stick to the time.

Cheers

Jim

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glencairn
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby glencairn » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:17 am

Jim S-W wrote:
The truth is that unless I have a massive operating team (dozens of people) there’s very little chance of keeping up with the timetable in real time anyway. My plan is to work out the real movements for an hour and jus5 follow the sequence but not stick to the time.

Cheers

Jim


Like you, Jim, when I am by myself I also follow a sequence when running trains. I find that time runs just as fast. :D

Glencairn
To the world you are someone. To someone you are their world.
I Cannot Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought

b308
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby b308 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:16 pm

Deleted...
Last edited by b308 on Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

b308
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby b308 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:17 pm

gppsoftware wrote:Until then, please don't tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about.


You questioned why people did it at all, I gave an example of one person and why they did it and that it worked well for them, that's all, so could you please accept that for some people it is an acceptable way to operate their model railway and stop saying it is wrong and a waste of time.

I'll leave it there... Live and let live.

gppsoftware
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby gppsoftware » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:42 pm

b308 wrote:
gppsoftware wrote:Until then, please don't tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about.


You questioned why people did it at all, I gave an example of one person and why they did it and that it worked well for them, that's all, so could you please accept that for some people it is an acceptable way to operate their model railway and stop saying it is wrong and a waste of time.

I'll leave it there... Live and let live.


Not quite! I pointed out that people operate 'fast clocks' for a variety of reasons. You told me that I didn't know what I was talking about and persisted in telling me that Denny's way is the only way and his reasons are the only reasons. I pointed out that there are actually multiple reasons behind why people operate 'fast clocks' and multiple objectives that they try to achieve with them.

If I didn't accept that some people find 'fast clocks' an acceptable way, then why would I have been providing such functionality in my software for the last 23 years ?

You obviously know more about what my customers tell me than I do. I'm not interested in having the last word with you, so I will now gracefully bow out and let you 'win'.

gppsoftware
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby gppsoftware » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:45 pm

Jim S-W wrote:The truth is that unless I have a massive operating team (dozens of people) there’s very little chance of keeping up with the timetable in real time anyway. My plan is to work out the real movements for an hour and jus5 follow the sequence but not stick to the time.

Cheers

Jim


This is exactly right. One of the many problems of fast clocks is that unless you have enough operators (Denny did), then they don't scale up with the size of the layout. This is then why some people start using my software to automate those other trains.

b308
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby b308 » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:32 am

To the OP, I am sorry that G and I fell out over this. that just goes to prove that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. As G says there are "computerised" ways of doing it (I suggest you contact him if you want to go down that route) and there are also mechanical (old fashioned!) ways of doing it. For the latter you can modify an old clock, usually by setting a certain amount of "real time" per "model" hour so the clock shows the change (for instance 20 minutes real time for every one hour model times, whatever suits the timetable you have). TBH if G can supply a simple electric clock modified in that way it's probably the easiest. but to find out how to do it to a mechanical clock you'd have to try and find copies of RM where Denny described it! Whatever method you use always have a "stop" button for when things go wrong, or, more importantly, you need a loo break!!

Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

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alex3410
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Re: Fast clock for running to a timetable

Postby alex3410 » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:10 am

Admin note: thread is being watched, please keep it friendly.

The topic is interesting so please keep on top of it while you help OP, myself & others find out more.


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