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                                       Exactoscale P4 Company turnout bases
     
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1st message | this message only posted: 17 Apr 2017 10:00
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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I have a question about the Exactoscale P4 Company pre-formed turnout bases, I understand that  when designing these bases they are for P4 turnouts but I am thinking of using them for EM gauge, I have printed off a standard turnout template from Templot and have found there are a couple of subtle differences. One which is easy to overcome on an A5 turnout, is that at the heal end it is a Timber short. Another is that as the base has the same number of sleepers but as you would expect the length is 5 mm longer, which I believe is easy to overcome. 
One issue which may not be as easy to overcome is the length of some timbers, from the toe end

Plan      Base
4 6 Goes into the next timber length by 2 timbers
4 4 Problem continues as above
4 3 Only one timber out of register
2 1 Problem solved

There are 5 timbers potentially too short, I could remove 2 timbers and replace them, but this would negate a little the benefit of using the base and put the registry of the webbing out of sequence, possibly making it more visible.

Any ideas if Len used a non standard design. The same issue is also with the Templot P4 templates

Thanks in advance

John  


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2nd message | this message only posted: 17 Apr 2017 10:40
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi John,

EM templates are shorter than P4 templates. That's just basic geometry, resulting from the narrower track gauge. So in EM there may be fewer timbers and they may be different lengths.

There isn't actually an REA spec for the number of closure timbers between the heel of the switch and the crossing, it is down to each company to specify their own designs. Also the lead length might be shortened if necessary for a particular site by increasing the crossing entry straight. You can't have a fixed timber spacing across all sizes because of course there has to be a whole number of timbers accommodated within the available closure length.

I'm a bit puzzled how you are going to use the P4 bases for EM because they have pips locating the chairs at P4 gauge? :?

Note that some of the Exactoscale bases have an intentional error in the position of the wing rail joint and the corresponding closed-up timber space. Len and Andrew said they did that for production reasons in assembling the crossings. The Templot templates have that joint in the more usual REA position for the standard wing rail lengths.

Changing the position of that joint obviously changes the spacings within the closure length.

regards,

Martin.

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3rd message | this message only posted: 17 Apr 2017 13:13
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from:
Hayfield
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Martin
Thank you yet again, yes I am aware that the length disparity between EM and P4 turnouts and crossings, we had a chat some years ago when a Timbertrack fret for a diamond crossing was (and think still are) titled P4/EM size, I had to alter the fret (from memory) either in 2 or 4 places. It was thought that turnouts could be built with little alteration. Thanks also for the information regarding the wing rails

As for the pips, a sharp number 10 scalpel blade will sort these (34) out. My thought process is that using the bases will be stronger than individual timbers, plus a bit quicker than cutting timbers from their frets and to length if needed.

My only concern is the difference in timber length on the 6 timbers and the missing end one on the heal (which is easily resolved). Just wondered if Len and Jol were using a specific prototypical design

Looking at the plan, I could achieve the alterations by removing 2 x 32mm Timbers and add in a 36mm and 40 mm timbers without affecting the strength of the unit too much, one of the cuts would be needed for the electrical bonding between stock and switch rails. Though I initially may just use the fret as it is plus the last heal timber for the first attempt.

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4th message | this message only posted: 18 Apr 2017 10:04
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from:
Hayfield
United Kingdom

 

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To illustrate what I am trying to explain a P4 base on a P4 template

This is the toe end where the main size differential of timbers are




The whole base against a standard Templot template, differing sleeper spacing, sizes and missing the last heal timber 

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5th message | this message only posted: 18 Apr 2017 11:15
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi John,

Bear in mind that Templot templates are not a fixed design. You get what you enter in the settings.

In order to get an exact match to prototype REA bullhead design you need to set:

1. P4 gauge, or preferably EXACT scale (in the gauge/scale dialog).

2. Change to CLM crossing angle (instead of the default RAM).

3. Set a generic type V-crossing.

(Or if a crossing entry straight is shown in the REA tables, set a regular type V-crossing and adjust the entry straight to match)

The "natural" turnout sizes will then match the REA bullhead designs quite well (bearing in mind that there are small differences between the railway companies). Here for example is a Templot curved B-8 crossover laid over the Exactoscale templates:



More about that here:

 http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=2271&forum_id=1

The "natural" sizes are A-7, B-8, C-10, etc.

What size is that turnout in your photo?

If you let me know I will prepare a Templot template for you to match the Exactoscale template.

regards,

Martin.

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6th message | this message only posted: 18 Apr 2017 11:54
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from:
Hayfield
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Martin

Sorry for leaving it out, but its an A5

I think when we had a chat re the confusion of Timbertracks being EM/P4 gauges, the conclusion was the differences with the turnouts could be smoothed out between the Vee and the switch rail tips where as the fret for the diamond had to be set accurately for either EM or P4 gauges
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7th message | this message only posted: 18 Apr 2017 12:08
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from:
Hayfield
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Martin

Thanks I have tried altering the plan as per the suggestions, the timber spacing is a bit nearer, but the longest timber (heal end) is still missing and the same timbers at the toe end are still too short

As I said I will try and put one together (the P4 company kits will suffer the same issue) in EM to see how it works
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8th message | this message only posted: 18 Apr 2017 12:29
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hayfield wrote: I think when we had a chat re the confusion of Timbertracks being EM/P4 gauges, the conclusion was the differences with the turnouts could be smoothed out between the Vee and the switch rail tips where as the fret for the diamond had to be set accurately for either EM or P4 gaugesHi John,

What I meant there is that yes, for a simple turnout, you can fudge a working turnout by building it on an EM template using P4 gauges, or building it on a P4 template using EM gauges.

But obviously the timbering won't match and the lead length will be a bit out, so it's not an ideal result.

But as you say, this won't work for diamond-crossings and slips, because the distance between the vee tips is calculated from the track gauge. If you use a different gauge to build it, the rails won't align.

I'm still a bit puzzled by what you are trying to achieve by building EM on a P4 plastic base? If you want a fixed base, you could stick plastic timbers on a suitable sheet, say thin ply, or even plastic card.

regards,

Martin.

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9th message | this message only posted: 18 Apr 2017 13:48
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from:
Hayfield
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Martin Wynne wrote: Hayfield wrote: Hi John, I'm still a bit puzzled by what you are trying to achieve by building EM on a P4 plastic base? If you want a fixed base, you could stick plastic timbers on a suitable sheet, say thin ply, or even plastic card.

regards,

Martin.
Martin
Thanks again, what I am trying to achieve is a stronger and simpler way of building a turnout in EM gauge

It is much easier and quicker to use an existing fret than having to cut timbers from sprues and in some cases cut them to length, then attach them to some form of carrier (I use tracing paper) especially as there is little grip from slide chairs

The Exactoscale turnout frets are nice and strong units allowing them to be laid directly to the track bed, far superior in strength to the plywood turnout frets.

It is a great pity these are not available in both EM and 00 gauges, as EM gauge uses the same length timbers there is no real issue other than a slight difference in length

As for the shorter timbers on Templot, timber lengths are the same in EM as P4 just the spacing that alters, my question is  "why"

John

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10th message | this message only posted: 18 Apr 2017 14:35
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hayfield wrote:As for the shorter timbers on Templot, timber lengths are the same in EM as P4 just the spacing that alters, my question is  "why" Hi John,

There is no prototype timber length for bullhead turnouts. Each railway company had their own standards, which they didn't always stick to.

Templot has its own internal algorithm for deciding the timber lengths, based on its best guess of a typical size. If the result is not what you want, that's what the shove timber functions are there for. One click on the lengthen or shorten buttons will change each timber to match your timber base.

I will make you an EM A-5 template which matches the Exactoscale A-5 base.

regards,

Martin.

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11th message | this message only posted: 18 Apr 2017 14:41
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from:
Hayfield
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Martin

Thank you
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12th message | this message only posted: 19 Apr 2017 23:28
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi John,

Well that was, er, interesting. :)

I don't have an Exactoscale A-5 plastic base, so I worked from the Exactoscale template. I don't know how well the base matches their template.

As I explained, an EM A-5 is shorter than a P4 A-5, so something had to give.

In order to stretch the lead length in EM to match the prototype lead length, I made some adjustments:

1. I created a custom switch, using GWR 12ft geometry on the REA "A" timber spacings and rail joint positions.

2. Then to get the exact lead length (LNER 47ft-1.75in, 188.58mm), I modified the crossing angle by a fraction to 1:4.96 RAM, 1:5.01 CLM.

3. The lead length and timber positions then matched the template, but I needed to lengthen a few of the timbers to match. Some of them now look a bit too long to me, an effect made more noticeable by the reduced EM gauge.

4. The extra timber on the end appears to be an error on the Exactoscale template, so I haven't included it on this template. The vee point rail for an REA 1:5 crossing should be 11ft-4in long (45.33mm), as shown on the Templot templates.

5. I set 13ft long (5-chair) check rails. The Templot default for 1:5 crossings is 10ft-6in (4-chair) check rails. Prototypes vary.

Here is the result:



You can see the match is good. Obviously the rails (in blue) don't quite align, because of the reduced EM gauge and increased flangeway gaps:






The .box file is attached below. If you print the templates you should hopefully find that the plastic bases are a good match (apart from the extra timber, which you could cut off).

Sorry I can't post the .bgs file with the picture shape, for copyright reasons.

regards,

Martin.

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13th message | this message only posted: 20 Apr 2017 10:09
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from:
Hayfield
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Martin



Thank you for the template, as you can see from the photo I have made the left hand one an A6
 
A5

For the photo I have incorrectly places the fret one timber too far to the right, timber lengths seem to be quite different though. I can alter them easily enough to suite


A6

Timber lengths again slightly out but easily altered. Strangely though the heal end timber has been included but the toe end is one timber short !!

Still good enough to make models

The info about LNER design may tie up with the benefactors interests, thank you again

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14th message | this message only posted: 20 Apr 2017 10:28
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi John,

I'm sorry, I just didn't understand a word of that. :?

No part of the .box file I posted is an A-6 and there is no way an A-6 turnout will match it. You asked for an A-5 template, I provided LH and RH versions of that.

Because it has been customized for EM to match the Exactoscale P4 template, changing it to a 1:6 turnout won't work. Each size must be individually customized.

As I explained, the final long timber on the Exactoscale A-5 template is an error. It is not prototypical and should not be on there*. I suggest that you cut it off the base, if it is also on the plastic base. You should then find that the base matches the template I posted very well.

Assuming of course, that the base you have there is in fact an A-5 and that it matches the Exactoscale A-5 template? I confess to being utterly confused by your pictures.

*for REA 1:5 crossings. The REA bullhead designs were used for renewals by all companies except the GWR from about 1925 onwards.

regards,

Martin.

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15th message | this message only posted: 20 Apr 2017 10:56
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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p.s. John,

I'm so confused by your photos that I'm going to risk copyright infringement and post my copy of the Exactoscale P4 A-5 template. Is this the same as yours, and does your plastic base (assuming it is in fact an A-5) match it with regard to the number of long timbers at the exit?



The final long timber on the right is an error and should not be there. It is possible Exactoscale realised this and modified later versions of the template, or modified the plastic bases, or both.

regards,

Martin.

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16th message | this message only posted: 20 Apr 2017 13:47
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from:
Hayfield
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Martin

Thanks

I have the Exactoscale plans and the frets obviously are a direct copy of them. Its just they differ quite a lot from the Templot default style.

It was more of a question why they differ from the Templot default plan was the main query, which you answered earlier.

I think by going off on a tangent I am confusing everyone

The A5 EM gauge build is coming on nicely, will post a photo once I have completed it

Many thanks again
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17th message | this message only posted: 20 Apr 2017 14:50
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi John,

Thanks.

This is not the first time recently that I have been unable to make head nor tail of what I'm being asked. :(

I think I'm losing the plot -- maybe it is time to think of drawing the Templot project to a close? It has been 38 years now.

If your original question had been:

"I want to build an EM turnout on the Exactoscale P4 A-5 plastic base, what is the best way of doing that?"

I would have answered:

1. discard the Exactoscale template.

2. print a bog-standard default Templot EM A-5 template with regular V-crossing.

3. cut the first timber off the plastic base.

4. also cut the last timber off the plastic base (it is an error on the Exactoscale A-5 design).

5. stick the plastic base over the Templot template, aligning the timber ends along the straight edge, and aligning the timber spacings at the V-crossing (frog) end. Ignore the timber spacings at the switch end, they will be close but not exact.

6. also ignore where the timber lengths do not match exactly, prototypes vary on this.

7. build the turnout, aligning to the printed rails and ignoring the plastic webs.

There is no way on earth an EM turnout can be an exact scale model of 4ft-8.5in gauge track, so the slight timbering mismatches can be ignored.

p.s. thanks for your email, best wishes with your project. :)

regards,

Martin.

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18th message | this message only posted: 30 Apr 2017 19:59
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dave turner
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Martin

I hope that that was a joke! What could possibly replace Templot? I hope that you have a plan in place to allow its continuation, even in a frozen state, should you 'retire' from developing it further.

regards

Dave
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19th message | this message only posted: 30 Apr 2017 20:56
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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dave turner wrote: I hope that that was a joke! What could possibly replace Templot? I hope that you have a plan in place to allow its continuation, even in a frozen state, should you 'retire' from developing it further.Hi Dave,

Not a joke, but not a serious intent either, at least for now.

There is a plan, but it was set up when Templot was a paid-for product (more than 5 years ago now), so it does need updating.

It's true that I have been giving some thought to the future of Templot recently. The program itself isn't crying out for any major development, although that is the thing which I enjoy doing. I have got several ideas on the go, such as the chairing experiments which I started for Andy, and adding the vertical FB switches.

But what is desperately needed is more, or any, update work on the Templot Companion, docs, videos, help files, tutorials. There is weeks, months, years, of work needed there. I'm constantly apologising for its failings. But I hate doing it and just don't have the motivation for it these days. It also means spending more hours at the computer than is good for my health nowadays -- I would rather be coding in what computer time I have available.

I don't know the answer to this. Dave Bullis made XTrackCad open source when it ceased to be paid-for, but then left it entirely to others to take it forward. I don't think that would be feasible with Templot, I can imagine being swamped with email requests for explanation if I made the Templot code open source. :(

What I always hoped is that someone else, a lot younger than me, would come up with their own "son of Templot" program going forward into present-day NR60 trackwork. So leaving Templot, and me, to rust quietly away in a bullhead backwater. But with Peco recently introducing bullhead track, there is now going to be resurgence of interest in bullhead at the eleventh hour, and modellers coming new to it often with very limited knowledge of the prototype.

The modelling demographic has changed. When I first released Templot I was confident that everyone reading the web site knew the difference between an A-7 and a B-8, what a Brook-Smith rivet looked like, and which way up was top on bullhead rail. But now, nearly 20 years later?

Martin.

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20th message | this message only posted: 30 Apr 2017 22:36
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dave turner
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Martin,
I was one of those who bought Templot and considered it a bargain. Sadly due to a fried laptop and backup system that earlier version is no longer available to me.
Perhaps you might decide to remove the need to be logged on to the internet in a last update to Templot as a legacy to the community should you decide to 'retire'.
Whether or not you release the source code is your prerogative. The Open Source community may help with that.
Regards
Dave
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21st message | this message only posted: 1 May 2017 09:34
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from:
Hayfield
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Owing to extensive building work on the house, both time and space has been an issue. To keep my hand in, the above idea is just about workable on an extremely restricted space that's available to me.
The idea is to have an EM gauge turnout to the detail provided by the Exactoscale P4 company kits.

I used the P4 plastic track bases, and the range of Exactoscale chairs, using HiNi rail instead of steel, the Vee is soldered together, the common crossing is held in place with a combination of common crossing chairs and check rail chair parts. A far easier and quicker build method. 

The only deviations to the Exactoscale instructions, were the normal 2PL chair fix, 1 size less in the central parts of the block chairs (PL3 & 4  positions) and the additions of some inner and outer check rail chair parts in the Common crossing positions X,A & B , plus the usual work around of the 0.8 check chairs

Bonding wires still to be fitted from switch to stock rails and one across the Vee and wing rails 

I will replace the 3rd timber from the left with the copperclad timber, the base plates from 2 slide chairs will be soldered to these, with the switch rail tips being soldered to them. The outer parts of the slide chairs will be soldered to the stock rails (not the timber). This makes a strong but unobtrusive switch mechanism. 





A6 turnout above, A5 turnout below , works fine and the trackbase differs slightly from the Templot norm, this could be altered quite easily if required by swapping the odd timber from the Exactoscale track base pack if required

    

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22nd message | this message only posted: 1 May 2017 09:45
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Ariels Girdle
 

 

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Martin,

At least you (hopefully) have the satisfaction of seeing some really fine layouts completed or under construction. Without Templot many of these would have been difficult or impossible to design.
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23rd message | this message only posted: 1 May 2017 11:19
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Phil O
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Hi Martin

I am also one of those that bought Templot in it's earlier incarnation of a paid for version and what a splendid piece of software it has turned out to be. I would be saddened by its loss, as I have spent many a happy hour Temploting.

I would consider myself to be a little better than a novice and still sometimes have to refer to the videos to refresh my memory and ask the odd question on here from time to time usually as I have over looked something or made a stupid mistake, but I would be a long way up the creek if you withdrew Templot if you decided to retire.

As long as the forum remained intact and we were still able to access Templot, I'm sure that we could help each other and "Newbies" out, we may not necessarily use the methods that you do, but as long as we can eventually produce our required templates, that is all that is required.

Obviously there would probably need some form of small subscription to maintain the web presence and server space in your absence.

Phil
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24th message | this message only posted: 1 May 2017 12:07
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Martin Wynne
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Thanks for the kind words.

There is no question of withdrawing the Templot program, and I would very likely go on developing it. Perhaps with others chipping in if I make it open source and they don't need constant explanations of how it works.

What I don't know the future of is the Templot Companion:

 http://templot.com/companion/

It's little better than just started at present, the previous version is an utter shambles and much of it out of date.

If I could assume everyone reading it had a reasonable grasp of prototype UK track and the basics of Templot, I think I could make some progress with the Companion and even enjoy explaining some of the finer points. But as it is I find myself answering the same beginners questions on RMweb and here, over and over again, and I don't know how long I can go on doing that. The user base has changed significantly since the early days.

Any offers to write the next page here? It is now nearly 12 months since I wrote this one:

 http://templot.com/companion/4_where_do_i_start.html

regards,

Martin.


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25th message | this message only posted: 1 May 2017 17:18
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from:
Phil O
Plymouth, United Kingdom



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Martin, I have looked at your link and I would say that swapping hand and swapping end would be the next two items on the list of top to do's followed by converting to plain track after which inserting a turnout in plain track. To my mind these are the very necessary basics to be able to do anything in Templot. It took me quite a while to find out how to do these things when I first download Templot. I hope these pointers are useful to you. I think it would also be important to point out how useful it is to download and print the "F" chart and have a play with that, once they have got past the first couple of hurdles. Phil.
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from:
Trevor Walling
United Kingdom

 

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Hello Martin,
                   Perhaps you might consider adopting the approach something like the creator of PCLinuxOS does. He created the version of linux some time ago but whilst still retaining the overall say of his creation allows a group of followers to provide help and advice to other users. Any member is allowed to make a contribution if they can help someone else and many members have. The forum provides a place for users to help each other and those that are more capable help "Texstar" Mr Reynolds with some of the more technical stuff with what could be called a rolling release of linux. "Texstar" takes more of a backseat than he used to and spends his time doing more of the stuff he enjoys as far as I understand. The distribution appears to go from strength to strength with constant improvements and additions over time. The forum members seem to manage assisting each other and "Texstar" only contributes if it is something really only within his control or something that interests him.
People can also make a voluntary financial contribution if they wish to help with the continued development and running cost.  I think what you have provided railway modellers is unsurpassed in capability and technical brilliance and enables those that are prepared to learn a great tool .
I for one do not mind having to trawl through all the information in order to achieve a specific outcome if necessary. I do believe that is part of Templots attraction that it just grows like topsy and there is often something new to spark ones interest.
Best wishes.:)

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