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page trail:  Templot Club > Forums > I wish it would... > Indicate gradients and elevations
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1st message | this message only posted: 11 Dec 2014 16:42
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from:
Godfrey Earnshaw
Crawley, United Kingdom

 

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Martin,
Templot software knows exactly where each point is, in particular, the peg positions.
How difficult would it be give each each template a starting elevation and a gradient and let Templot calculate and display the elevation at other peg positions, notably where they connect to the next template.
This would then set the start elevation for the next template and the gradient could be changed, etcetera.....
This would enable users to have instant access to elevations, slopes and clearances.
To me this seems like an easy task. However, I'm not the one who will have to code it.
Ignore the last Sentence, it's just barefaced cheek.
Cheers Godders
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2nd message | this message only posted: 11 Dec 2014 17:36
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email or PM.

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

I've looked at this a few times. But what seems to be simple is in fact a minefield. :(

I set out originally to create a 2-D track plan referenced to the rail top. This is essential if the templates are to be usable at full-size for track construction.

If you introduce a 3rd dimension that all changes -- the 2-D view becomes a projection onto the horizontal, which can no longer be used as a construction template. The track needed for an incline is longer than the horizontal distance between the two ends.

Railway inclines do not go straight up and down. There is a vertical curve at each end, of variable length, and sometimes the gradient changes mid-way.

Although it might be possible to do something for plain track, it is much more difficult for the diverging track of a turnout laid on an incline, especially a curved turnout.

The template boundaries do not always correspond to a pre-set peg position.

But the real difficulty is much more basic -- Templot does not know which is the next template. You can see clearly that template no.17 is next to template no.28, but Templot does not know this. It simply draws each one at its specified location and size on the trackpad. If template boundaries were always precise it could search through the storage box looking for the most likely next one. But often templates on the same alignment have slight gaps or overlaps at the boundaries, having been set manually by eye on the screen. This is of no consequence when building such track, but makes it difficult to create a true mathematical "path" through several templates.

And then there are the superimposed partial templates...

So before we could introduce elevations and gradients, we need a whole new chunk of user interface to define and create strings of templates, and functions to repair any gaps or overlaps between them. It's doable, but not in 5 minutes. So many users nowadays complain that the whole thing is far too complicated already, that I'm reluctant to add another layer of design functions.

At present the overall length of every template is shown in the info panel. So if you know the starting elevation and the gradient it is easy enough to calculate the elevation at the end of the template. I could add an option for Templot to perform this calculation for you? But linking it on to the next template is much more of a challenge.

regards,

Martin.

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3rd message | this message only posted: 11 Dec 2014 19:58
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from:
Godfrey Earnshaw
Crawley, United Kingdom

 

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Martin,

Thanks very much for just looking at this. The points you make become obvious when pointed out by someone who knows. May I say it is a pleasure to use your product and even better to talk to someone so knowledgeable. This is not meant as flattery, it is from someone to whom you have brought countless hours of pleasure.

Thank you

Godders
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