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             Rating                            A beginner's guide for Templot version0.91c
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 4 Dec 2011 17:45
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from:
Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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I have felt for some time that there is a need for a beginner's guide to Templot. This guide is aimed squarely at the complete beginner and assumes no previous knowledge of how the program functions. The only assumption made is that you have obtained your Release Code, as you will not be able to run the program without it. These notes relate to version 0.91c, although they will soon be superseded, as a newer version of Templot is due for release shortly. Rather than fill the screen with pages of text, I have attached the notes to the bottom of this page in RTF format so that Mac users can also read them, for those of you running Templot under PC emulators.
I have attempted to cover the basic elements that a beginner needs to be aware of and hopefully avoid the ‘I wish I had realised that earlier’ syndrome.
It is text based with no fancy graphics. It is intended to be as step-by-step guide through the opening levels to give a basic grounding on which to build. It is not a comprehensive instruction manual.  It may be found useful to print the notes out to follow, rather than constantly switching between the two on screen. If you cannot do this because you do not have a printer, then you will most likely not be able to run this version of Templot as I note from the forum that it needs a printer driver installed in order to be able to run. Any printer driver will do even a PDF generator.
Sorry they are rather long but I hope they will prove useful.
Tony W.

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2nd message | this message only posted: 4 Dec 2011 20:53
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from:
Glen Suckling
Oswego, New York USA

 

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Nice job Tony!
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3rd message | this message only posted: 6 Dec 2011 07:24
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from:
LSWRArt
Antibes, France

 

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Tony - Many thanks for all your work in putting this together.  I am waiting for the new version of Templot to come out so that I can download it, but in the meantime I can print and study your notes.  Best wishes Art

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4th message | this message only posted: 6 Dec 2011 09:23
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from:
gsmorris
 

 

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this is realy good and much load of MArtin
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5th message | this message only posted: 9 Dec 2011 01:52
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Paul
Sydney, Australia

 

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That is excellent stuff Tony clear simple and well defined I have a much better understanding of where I am going. I don't have a problem with the "drawing" method as I could never really get around cad and tend to more often draw shapes and stretch, scale, copy, cut and paste. My basic problem with a new subject has always been nomenclature, terminology and definition, so at the risk of further ridicule do I dare ask what is meant by REA?

Many thanks again for that Paul :thumb:
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6th message | this message only posted: 9 Dec 2011 07:23
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
Paul wrote: so at the risk of further ridicule do I dare ask what is meant by REA?Hi Paul,

Railway Engineering Association

A body set up by the railway companies in the UK after the grouping in 1923 to create some common designs out of the assortment of different ideas inherited from the old pre-grouping companies.

The REA bullhead track designs were in the main adopted by the LNER, LMS, SR and LPTB (London Underground), each with a few individual details of their own, and lasted until the end of the steam era.

The GWR refused to join the party, considering their own existing designs to be superior -- which in many ways they were -- and produced a new range of flexible switches in 1930. BR Western Region carried on with the GWR designs after nationalisation in 1948.

regards,

Martin.

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7th message | this message only posted: 9 Dec 2011 11:21
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from:
Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: Paul wrote: so at the risk of further ridicule do I dare ask what is meant by REA?Hi Paul,

Railway Engineering Association

Martin.
Thanks Martin.
That is one of the great unexplained mysteries of the Permanent Way Handbook (the British railway track builders bible) and I have myself asked numerous people what REA stood for but not been enlightened. My guess was Railway Engineer's Association or something similar, so I am most grateful for the definative answer.

Knowledge is a gift, the greater gift is the ability to share it.

Tony W.


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8th message | this message only posted: 9 Dec 2011 11:40
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Tony W wrote:My guess was Railway Engineer's Association or something similar, so I am most grateful for the definitive answer.Hi Tony,

It would be unwise to take my words as definitive. :)

I have also seen your version in print -- in David Smith's GWR track book for example.

Much better known is AREA -- the American Railway Engineering Association (now AREMA).

regards,

Martin.

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9th message | this message only posted: 11 Dec 2011 17:59
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from:
r_wilton
Bangor, United Kingdom

 

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Hi Tony.

Great stuff. Just the kick-start a beginner like me needs.

Ray.
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10th message | this message only posted: 11 Dec 2011 18:56
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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r_wilton wrote: Great stuff. Just the kick-start a beginner like me needs.Hi Ray,

Glad to know you are getting started in Templot. :)

What Tony didn't mention is F7 snapping which is primarily intended for beginners. Templates can be just snapped together. You don't really need to know about the peg and notch functions until you are well into Templot. Here's a bit of animation to explain F7 snapping :



More info at: http://www.templot.com/martweb/f7_snap_demo.htm

Also, Allan Ferguson wrote a beginners tutorial creating a small track plan, with lots of screenshots:

http://85a.co.uk/getting_started_with_templot_allan_ferguson/

regards,

Martin.

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11th message | this message only posted: 11 Dec 2011 20:45
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from:
Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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Hi Martin.
There are several things I haven't covered. As you say the F7 snapping function for one, this is mainly because I overlooked it due to having it turned off having grown up with Templot pre function, but I admit that beginners would certainly find it useful. I also have not covered the other crossing vee options or the shove timbers function to mention a few. I had wanted to post the information so it was easier to find. I had already amended and expanded it several times, but you always think of ways it could have been done better afterwards. The problem is when does it cease to become a beginner's guide and start to become more advanced? I hope to rectify these shortcomings when I update it for the new version, but will obviously need a little time to get used to it when it is launched.
 It was a good idea to highlight Allan Ferguson's contribution as over time items like this get buried in the depths of the forum and become lost. I for one was unaware of it. This presents the information in a different way and is very helpful.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have responded so positively to my contribution to the Templot knowledge pool. It makes the effort involved worthwhile.
Tony W.

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12th message | this message only posted: 11 Dec 2011 23:00
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Tony,

Your beginners guide is great, but from experience I think most users need some screenshots and diagrams to illustrate the text.

However, if you put images in RTF format the file size will be massive and unsuitable for downloading. It would probably be better to print it all to a PDF file using a PDF generator virtual printer. 

Also, you don't have to write out an explanation of everything -- much stuff is already in the Templot Companion somewhere, and can simply be linked to.

The snag there of course is that it will all be migrating soon to the new Templot Companion at:

 http://www.templot.com/companion

so the links will change.

My experience is that there are two different types of beginner, and it really needs a completely different starting guide for each:

1. Users who want immediately to create and print a variety of construction templates, and start building track on them. These tend to be the more experienced modellers.

2. Users who want to do layout planning and create flowing track plans. Many of these have yet to have a go at making handbuilt track.

Then there are those who have arrived fresh from the Peco catalogue and really need a primer in prototype track before Templot can make any sense at all.

It's no easy task to write something that will get everyone started without getting bogged down in a lot of ifs and buts and on the other hands. I have made several abortive attempts over the years. :(

So many thanks for taking this on. :)

regards,

Martin.

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13th message | this message only posted: 12 Dec 2011 10:15
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from:
Paul
Sydney, Australia

 

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Thanks for the info Martin, I now know where to use REA, as I am most likely to be modeling early colonial steam that configuration may well suit me. I thought it may have been short for "REAL" which got me wondering what the others were which just goes to show where a little misunderstanding can lead.

Cheers Paul
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14th message | this message only posted: 13 Dec 2011 13:16
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add helpful replies.
Hi Tony,

I have now added your Beginner's Guide to the new Templot Companion site. Also Allan's tutorial. See:

 http://templot.com/companion/

Click the Explore tab top left and then Users Own Topics.

Or these direct links:

 http://templot.com/companion/index.html?beginners_guide_tony_wilkins.htm

 http://templot.com/companion/index.html?getting_started_allan_ferguson.htm

Thanks again for taking the trouble to write and share these. :thumb:

As it's relevant for beginners I have also updated the existing "Utterly Baffled" page as an indexed topic:

 http://templot.com/companion/index.html?gs_baffled.htm

All the old Templot Companion pages and tutorials have also been imported to the new site, although not yet revised or indexed. Click the Explore tab top left and then Old Templot Companion to see them.

I need to get the new site at least presentable, as it's linked from TDV. There is still a long way to go.

regards,

Martin.

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15th message | this message only posted: 14 Dec 2011 22:06
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from:
Tony W
North Notts., United Kingdom

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: Hi Tony,

I have now added your Beginner's Guide to the new Templot Companion site. Also Allan's tutorial.
Hi Martin.
Thank you for the above. I meant to reply to your earlier missive, but have been rather busy with other things recently.
I agree very much with your comments, a picture and a thousand words. I thought quite a lot about what format I should use and was aware how large files can get once pictures are inserted. It was mainly this consideration that led me to the decision I made to go for the text only option. Alan's approach was quite different and in many ways is complementary to mine.
I was very aware that I was duplicating much of what you have already covered in the Templot Companion hence my numerous nudges in the direction of the help files etc. My main aim was to try to collate as much useful basic information for a new user in one place as I could, rather than having to search for it. Hopefully short circuiting some of the commonly asked questions before they appeared on the forum yet again. (There will always be those that will not read help pages of course but you can only try.) I also wanted to provide some background as to why some of the features of Templot work the way they do. Although such understand may not be necessary to be able to use it, some people like to know.
Much of what I have covered has come from the collective questions that I have been asked at Templot and track building demos I have done over the years and from the questions that recur both at those events and on the forum. As a user looking in, the view is often rather different from the programmer looking out.

You make a very valid point about the amazing flexibility designed into Templot. This is both its strength and to some extent its weakness. There are usually several different ways of achieving the same thing and just about everything is cabable of being adjusted to suit the users special needs with the customised options. However, this can make documenting things a potential nightmare, as you have obviously discovered. Don't get me wrong, I would not have it any other way, but even after 4 years of using version 0.78e I was still discovering features I did not know about. Since that came out of course the more recent versions include many more.
For me the greatest strength of Templot is that it can be used at several different levels, from the most basic, being that for which it was originally intended, of just printing individual templates in almost infinite variety, to the multi layered, most complex piece of trackwork you can imagine using partial templates. The more I have used it and come to appreciate its cababilities, the more impressed I become with it. The basic concept has stood the test of time and grown into something far beyond what I suspect you originally intended. The many compliments voiced here recently testify to that.
To be able to make a small contribution to that is my privilege.
Tony.



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