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                 Exporting a track plan to create a mimic panel
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1st message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 08:59
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from:
Gordon S
 

 

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Hi Martin/Fellow Templotters
I've decided to build a mimic panel for Eastwood Town as I'm struggling to mentally convert the schematic diagram within my ECoS controller to the totally curved shape of my own layout. I now have the required amount of LED's and controllers from DCC Concepts, so thought I'd make a start on creating the track plan.

My first thought was to use Sketchboard, but once I started to enlarge the panel, the track edges became jagged. The final mimic panel is going to be something like 800mm long by 400mm deep. I can't say the exact size as it's going to be governed by the need to place LED's within the track lines. The bezels of the LED's are 7mm diameter. In total there will be at least 72 LED's on the panel showing the turnout detection of 36 turnouts.

What is the best way of accomplishing this? Ideally I would like to add six platform faces and text to show lines to the MPD and hidden storage traverser.

All ideas grateful accepted......

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2nd message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 11:47
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Gordon,

From memory your roundy-roundy layout is squarish, about 15ft/4500mm square?

A panel 800mm x 400mm isn't the least bit squarish, so I'm wondering what you have in mind. Is the whole layout going on one panel? Or several panels?

With 7mm dia LEDs, the closest track spacing to keep things looking clear is probably at 5mm centres. If your layout track spacing is 50mm, that means the scale of the mimic diagram is 1:10. So that would mean a diagram 450mm square. Which 800x400 isn't?

Templot has a function to draw the track centre-lines only, at any width, irrespective of the gauge of the rails (and in the marker colours), which may help you make a panel.

Can you post a screenshot of what you mean by jagged track edges? That may just be your screen resolution, it would print smooth.

Traditionally a steam-era railway would be controlled from a signal box diagram and a row of levers. :)

Templot and sketchboard can produce some very nice-looking signal box diagrams. But not from an existing track plan, it needs to be re-drawn as a signal box diagram all in plain track templates, something like this:



cheers,

Martin.

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3rd message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 12:43
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from:
Gordon S
 

 

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Thanks Martin. ET is 18' x 14', but I plan to cut off the bottom end of the plan as that is just plain track. Looking at the drawing I have in front of me the aspect ratio is probably 3:2.

The dimensions were off the top of my head, so probably 600 x 400.

In terms of jagged edges, I was looking at an enlarged .png print on my screen which is set at 1920 x 1080 resolution. I'm not a computer/graphics expert, so there may be a better file type to export.

Here's a pic from my screen showing what I meant.




The problem I have is mentally transferring a straight line schematic as per block diagrams, into the curved layout of my own track work. Remember it is spread over three sides and some of the turnouts may be 10' away from the control point and I have no chance of seeing if I have operated the correct one, even if they do show on the ECoS plan.

To give you an idea of what I'm looking at on the ECoS, this is one end...




To overcome this, I will use a large mimic panel as the first stage and continue to switch via the ECoS diagram. Hopefully, the mimic diagram which will replicate the actual track layout will at least allow me to check things before accidents happen.

If that doesn't work, then I'll go the whole hog and incorporate DCC Concepts Alpha toggle switches into the mimic panel and not use the ECoS diagram at all.

If I were to use a signal box type layout (and it might be better on one plan, versus the ECoS on two) then the length would possibly have to double to bring in both approaches as the plan is opened out.

I would then need to forget the actual layout of the track work completely and just focus on the diagram. That may be easier once all the LED's are in place as then I can see the route settings easily, rather than trying to make sense of the ECoS plan.

I hope that makes sense..... 

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4th message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 13:21
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Gordon,

I'm afraid we are on different planets. :(

What is an ECoS? What is an Alpha toggle switch? Clearly I need to spend some time on Google before I can write a sensible reply.

Regarding the jaggies, a PNG is a bitmap file, so to get a smoother zoomed result you would need to increase the image size. Increase these width dots, maybe double or treble these figures:



or from the sketchboard:



However, it would be much better to export a vector file rather than a bitmap. That means an EMF metafile or a PDF file. Those can be zoomed smoothly to any size. But they can't physically be displayed smoother than the resolution of the display device (screen or printer). Your printer is likely to have a much higher resolution than your screen, especially if you use the photo printing option on glossy paper.

I assumed to print your mimic panel you would export a PDF from the sketchboard, and take it to your local sign printer to print on laminate?

cheers,

Martin.

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5th message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 14:18
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from:
Gordon S
 

 

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Apologies....
An ECoS is dual control DCC system made by ESU in Germany.



It will allow you drive up to 10 trains at once (if you're completely bonkers). I've yet to do it, but you can upload graphics of each loco, which makes it easy to visually identify locos. You can hold a hundred or so locos in the memory and just keep moving them to the front display as you need them. You can programme all CV's etc and all your turnouts, signals and other accessories through the two DCC bus wires.

Part of the system is the track control page, shown here.



....and this is what I'm struggling with.

DCC Concepts supply a whole raft of products and have possibly realised there is an opening for DCC control via conventional switches. (For guys like me, whose eyesight maybe less than 100% or who are not computer literate, but enjoy all the advantages of DCC control).

I have been talking to them and they sent me this pdf file attached. It shows a mimic panel, ECoS and toggle switches. PDF attachment below.

I hope that all makes sense.....

"I assumed to print your mimic panel you would export a PDF from the sketchboard, and take it to your local sign printer to print on laminate?"

Possibly, once I know what is needed and then worked on the drawing to add all the notes I require. Platforms and text boxes would be a starting point plus a station totem 'Eastwood Town'. I want to do all that and be 100% happy with the design before contacting a printer.

I could print the sheets off here, carefully align them and then cover it with a perspex sheet, before drilling all the holes etc for the LED's and switches.

I will play around with the Sketchboard signal diagram and see if that makes sense. Can you give me some clues where to start.....:D

I can't see anything in the Sketchboard menu, but then I don't know what I'm looking for.

Thanks for your time and reply. Much appreciated.

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Attachment: ECoS and Toggle Switches with Mimic option.pdf (Downloaded 51 times)
 
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6th message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 14:51
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Gordon,

Thanks for the explanations and PDF.

If I understand it, you want to use a toggle switch, via some electronics, to control a point motor through the DCC bus?

Would it not be 10 times simpler to connect the toggle switch directly to the point motor? :?

Also it seems to be duplication to have a toggle switch AND indicator LEDs?

Why not use rotary switches with a pointer knob in the traditional model railway fashion? The pointer then shows which way the points are set, and you don't need anything else?

These from RS, but no doubt cheaper/smaller elsewhere:

 https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/potentiometer-knobs/4672384/

 https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/rotary-switches/0316800A/

That's a 2-pole rotary switch, so you could use one pole to control the motor, and the other to inform the ECoS system which way it is set.

However, none of that is relevant to your actual question, which is about creating the sketchboard output for a mimic panel from your Templot plan. If you post a relevant bit of .box file here, i.e. the part of it that you would want on a mimic panel (group > save group), I will see what to suggest. The graphics, platforms and text stuff is easy -- you could have an entire Word file on the sketchboard if you wanted:



cheers,

Martin.

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7th message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 15:29
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from:
Gordon S
 

 

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Martin Wynne wrote: Hi Gordon,

Thanks for the explanations and PDF.

If I understand it, you want to use a toggle switch, via some electronics, to control a point motor through the DCC bus?

Would it not be 10 times simpler to connect the toggle switch directly to the point motor? :?

Also it seems to be duplication to have a toggle switch AND indicator LEDs?

Why not use rotary switches with a pointer knob in the traditional model railway fashion? The pointer then shows which way the points are set, and you don't need anything else?

These from RS, but no doubt cheaper/smaller elsewhere:

 https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/potentiometer-knobs/4672384/

 https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/rotary-switches/0316800A/

That's a 2-pole rotary switch, so you could use one pole to control the motor, and the other to inform the ECoS system which way it is set.

However, none of that is relevant to your actual question, which is about creating the sketchboard output for a mimic panel from your Templot plan. If you post a relevant bit of .box file here, i.e. the part of it that you would want on a mimic panel (group > save group), I will see what to suggest. The graphics, platforms and text stuff is easy -- you could have an entire Word file on the sketchboard if you wanted.

cheers,

Martin.

I really hope that is all tongue in cheek.....:D

I have gone down the full DCC route for a dozen reasons, not least of which is route setting and possible full computer control to run trains whilst I'm pottering around in the goods yard or engine shed.

Conventional DC control as you describe, is what I had originally had and to go forwards, meant going back a couple of steps first. All the turnouts have Tortoise motors controlled by DCC decoders. With 60 turnouts over such a large area, the amount of wiring alone was huge, so decision made and no going back....:D

I want LED's as I can't see lines or pointers on rotary switches.....and I want simple visual mapping where you can see at a glance which incoming line is going to which platform and where it will leave, hence they are my preferred choice. I fully accept it doesn't suit everyone, but decision made....:D

The box file is attached. The back of the layout is simply four lines, so I plan to move the odd bits of the pointwork towards ET station and not show the back loops on the mimic panel, hence my 3:2 ratio. As the overall length is 5.3m, it should fit on a 600 x 400 sheet if your 1:10 scaling is correct.

I've just printed off a PDF and that looks fine. 

I have a few questions re platforms and would appreciate some guidance. 

How do you infill the platform shape as a colour and I'm a bit confused with island or dual faced platforms. 

If I understand correctly, you open a piece of track and then choose main side or turnout side. There is a measurement from the platform edge to the track, but as far as I can see that relates to the track you are working from. How do you select the gap the other side of the platform, so that it remains a constant width from the rail edge? I can see the width could do that if both tracks were parallel, but with non parallel tracks, the platform line on one side, wouldn't remain a constant width with the track on the other side of the platform. Does that make sense?

How do I deal with bay platforms as in ET? The central platform has bays each end and a solid middle section. Do I have to build that up as separate blocks?

Sorry for so many questions today, but if you only run Templot two or three times a year, it's easy to forget how you did things.




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Attachment: ET Mimic Plan.box (Downloaded 46 times)
 
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8th message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 16:15
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from:
Ian Allen
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

 

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Gordon,

You may be slightly circumspect with the chosen dimensions for you control panel. The one I've included below is 740mm x 220mm, and covers only a small portion (one station) on the SR7mm Group layout. You certainly have more trackwork to include on your plan so it may well be a tight squeeze.
However, to give you an idea of how we overcame a few things, there is a mixture of both circular and rectangular LED's and toggle switches. In this instance though, the toggle switches are only there to isolate sections (DC Layout). We did use smaller circular LED's to indicate whether points were normal or reversed. For any particular point there are typically two LED's on the main (normal) route, and one on the reversed route. The first LED, at the toe of the point is bi-colour white/red. The second LED is white, with the LED on the reversed route being red. Therefore, for a normal route setting, all LED's show white. When a point or crossover is reversed, the LED's indicate red. For our group, the larger LED's indicate which particular controller will be in use for any given route, based on route selection.
The rectangular LED's are used as Train In Section indicators.

All the panels we have had so far to this design, have been manufactured for us by Parc Signs in Cornwall, who also made a panel for the Bluebell Railway. All the white circles and rectangles on the panel are printed through as clear, as we have mounted the LED's at the rear on a separate sheet, and this works very well.

The design work was carried out by myself using Microsoft Publisher and exported to Parc Signs as a .pdf.  


As Martin has pointed out, if you utilise rotary switches for your points, you can also add LED's to indicate N (Normal) and R (Reversed). The image below, shows another one of our control panels doing just that.




I hope the above is of some use to you.

Regards,

Ian

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9th message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 16:27
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Gordon,

Yes, a little bit tongue-in-cheek. :)

Sorry if I touched a raw nerve there, but for me the real pleasure of a steam-era model would be in the polished brass handles, varnished wood, shiny levers, the hiss of a signal wire in anticipation of the next train...

Back to reality.

The idea for an island platform is that it is two platforms, one along each of the tracks on either side. They don't need to be parallel or straight. Using the controls on the dialog you set the width at each end so that they overlap all along somewhere down the middle, then switch off the rear and/or end edges so that when output they appear to be a single platform, like this:





The platform colour can be changed to whatever you want.

The dotted lines show which edges have been switched off and won't print, the solid lines show the final visible outline of the platform:



I need to make a video about all this. And the sketchboard is still waiting for some instructions... :(

Thanks for the .box file. I will have a look and see what it might look like on a mimic panel.

cheers,

Martin.

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10th message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 17:51
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from:
Gordon S
 

 

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Thanks for taking the time, Ian, to show me your mimic panel. I will take a look at a straight line diagram, as in one piece rather than the two on the ECoS it will be easier to read. There will be four lines coming in, that widen to seven in the centre and four going out. I have ordered and received the DCC Concepts Mimic packs with green LED's and just want to see a nice line of green LED's running right across the whole board. I was tempted to have the up lines in green and the down in blue or red, but just leave the 'closed' lines switched off with no colour.

Likewise, thanks Martin, I understand where you are coming from, but having made a decision (a fairly expensive one at that), I've still ended up with something that falls short for me. Nothing wrong with the product at all, the problems are all mine and age related.....:-)

I'm constantly reminded of the traveller going through Ireland who was lost and decided to ask a local the best way to Dublin. Of course the answer was 'I wouldn't start from here..."

I could also say, I have all the right bits, but not necessarily in the right order....

I am where I am and I need to see this through, so really appreciate your input in making the journey as least stressful as possible....:D

With any luck I'll take another look at platforms again tonight. What you have said makes sense. I was continually trying to get the various lines to line up and not overlap. No wonder I needed a beer at 5pm....



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11th message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 19:23
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from:
Martin Wynne
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Hi Gordon,

As you know, Templot includes functions for straightening and wrapping images. As a first stab I tried straightening an exported image from the top section of your plan, and then stretching it a bit deeper:




The bottom section of your plan could go below it on the mimic panel.

It's 9000 x 1800 dots, so should print smoothly up to about 30" wide. At that size it would be quite smooth, like this:



This is just a first stab, we could change the colours for different lines, etc., to whatever you want. I think I can also improve the sweep of the tracks with some trial and error in the straightener.

Is this the sort of thing you had in mind, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

cheers,

Martin.

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12th message | this message only posted: 13 May 2020 20:41
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from:
Gordon S
 

 

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Hi Martin, only just seen your post. I’m not a late night person, so will take a look at it tomorrow. Interestingly enough, I’m coming round to a single straight line plan, as long as it is all in one piece and not split into two.
Four into seven and then back to four could work. Part of the problem I now realise is that the schematic in the ECoS is based on a grid system and is split in two. I said earlier that I could probably cope looking at the mimic and ignoring the layout. The ECoS doesn’t show platforms or any text and it doesn’t really cope with positions of turnouts relative to each other. Providing I can see an in, through and out on one diagram and lit accordingly, it may well be an option.

I would prefer either a replica of the actual track plan or a single straight line schematic. I know it’s early days, but the ‘straightened’ version of ET in your post is quite confusing in its own way. I’m not ruling it out, but want to explore both options tomorrow and then I can give a better view.

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13th message | this message only posted: 14 May 2020 12:59
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Gordon S
 

 

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Right, spent most of the morning in creating another plan using Templot itself, as I don't really know how to draw the plan in Sketchboard and it wasn't that obvious.
I now have one end of ET complete in diagram form. I'm sure it wasn't the best way of doing it, but quicker for me than learning a whole new process. 

I'm happy the way it is looking, but this is only half and measures something like 16' on Templot which probably means 10m. I was thinking that's bigger than the existing ET, but of course this includes the whole of one side plus half the station...:D

What concerns me is that at 1:50, it could make the panel 2m long, unless we reduce it further. Is it possible to widen the track sections, so that once reduced 7mm LED's would still fit?

I guess there may be ways of compressing things a little more, but the relationship of one turnout to the other is very important.

Over to you for suggestions....



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14th message | this message only posted: 14 May 2020 13:35
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from:
Martin Wynne
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Hi Gordon,

I wanted to suggest that re-drawing it on the straight in Templot was the only way to get what you want, but I thought it would be too much work.

Don't worry about the aspect ratio, it's easy to stretch it to fit a panel. This is just a quick re-size:



With some teaking we can remove the fuzziness. The main thing is to get the .box files done. Use the shortest turnouts you can, say a 9ft straight switch with 1:4 throughout. And maybe 100mm track centres. That will reduce the amount of final distortion needed.

Is it possible to use this on the background of the ECoS panel? How big is it?

cheers,

Martin.

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15th message | this message only posted: 14 May 2020 13:55
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from:
Gordon S
 

 

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Thanks Martin. I'm using 1:5 regular crossings and they are fine. Having got this far, I don't want to go back and change them all and then realign all the track, so I'll carry on now with the other side and add platforms etc.

Once I get platforms on text added to the various bits, I'm sure it will be OK and is probably clearer than using an track layout replica.

I'll be back.....
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16th message | this message only posted: 14 May 2020 14:34
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from:
Martin Wynne
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Hi Gordon,

I've just remembered that Templot includes its own distortion functions. I haven't used them for 25 years, and I don't suppose anyone else has either. But it's all still in there and working.

It means the distorted diagram can be exported in EMF format, and zoom without any fuzziness:



If you get the box file finished, and the marker colours decided, we can take it from there.

Are you going to put the other end of the station in the same diagram? It would seem the neatest option, even if it makes the panel a bit longer than you intended. The middle part of the platforms could be cut out.

cheers,

Martin.

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17th message | this message only posted: 14 May 2020 14:54
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from:
Gordon S
 

 

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Yes, it has to be one long plan as swapping from one diagram to the other is part of the problem. I forgot to answer your question re the ECoS. I may be totally wrong, but believe the track screen is a simple matrix of small boxes, into which you can add a set of symbols to build up the plan.

It may be possible to set up my new track drawing within the limited number of squares on the ECoS screen using their symbols, but it doesn't gain me anything as I would still have to scroll down through the screens and it doesn't solve the problem of not be able to easily see which routes are set.

I think I'm going down the right route ('scuse the pun) with a large mimic screen and the option of adding switches if required at a later date.
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18th message | this message only posted: 14 May 2020 19:21
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Gordon S
 

 

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Decided to start again as I wasn't happy with what was evolving. Spaced the main tracks out to 100mm as they were too close and took your advice to use 1:4 turnouts. I was too far through the first version at the time, so kept going. At least I have two options now to consider.


That's enough for today, so I'm going to put my feet up and chill out for a while. If all is OK, I'll attack the other end tomorrow.

Are we going in the right direction and can we easily thicken up the track lines to take the 7mm LED's?

I'm trying to aim for a maximum panel size around 800mm.

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19th message | this message only posted: 14 May 2020 20:09
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Martin Wynne
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Gordon S wrote: Are we going in the right direction and can we easily thicken up the track lines to take the 7mm LED's?Hi Gordon,

That's looking very neat. :thumb:

The lines will getter wider anyway when we distort it to fit your panel. But do the LEDs need to fit within the line width? This looks OK to me:



If that is 400mm wide for half of the panel, those dots are about 7mm dia, and the lines are about 3mm wide.

How big are the toggle switches which I think you are also planning to fit?

To get much wider lines, we need to use centre-lines instead of diagram mode. If you post the box file I will show you what that would look like.

cheers,

Martin.

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20th message | this message only posted: 14 May 2020 20:46
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Gordon S
 

 

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Here's the box file as it stands....
I think the toggles are similar to these.

https://static.rapidonline.com/pdf/75-0157.pdf

I know they have a sprung centre off, but these are momentary whereas stall motors require to be on. They may have something in the electronics I'm not aware of, but these miniature toggles are all fairly standard.

I'm off to bed, so no doubt we'll talk tomorrow...
They could also be these....

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/toggle-switches/7347233/

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Attachment: Current Plan - Mimic Panel - 3.box (Downloaded 34 times)
 
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21st message | this message only posted: 14 May 2020 21:12
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Gordon,

Thanks for the file. This is what it might look like with thick centre-lines instead of diagram mode:



Those lines are about 9mm wide.

cheers,

Martin.

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22nd message | this message only posted: 15 May 2020 05:23
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Martin Wynne
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p.s. Gordon,

You are using a strange turnout size -- D-4. You would have more design flexibility using shorter turnouts, A-4 or a 9ft-4.

Martin.

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23rd message | this message only posted: 15 May 2020 06:53
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I just inserted a turnout and then used F5 to change it to 1:4 and regular crossing. If it’s five minute job to change, It probably started off as a D12. I’ll look at it later....

If it’s a complete realignment of everything, I’ll live with it for now until I’m convinced it’s the right way to go.

I’m interested how you created a solid line and then compressed the plan.

You know me well enough, that once I get the track correct, I will spend days tweaking the visual appearance until I’m 100% happy with what I see.

As always, I’m really grateful for your help, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to do that for me as the last 10% of tweaking could take days on it’s own. It’s just one of those things that has to be absolutely right. Visual appearance Is so subjective and we all have our own idea of what looks right.
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Martin Wynne
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Gordon S wrote: I’m interested how you created a solid line and then compressed the plan.

You know me well enough, that once I get the track correct, I will spend days tweaking the visual appearance until I’m 100% happy with what I see.

As always, I’m really grateful for your help, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to do that for me as the last 10% of tweaking could take days on it’s own. It’s just one of those things that has to be absolutely right. Visual appearance Is so subjective and we all have our own idea of what looks right.
Hi Gordon,

I'm happy to help (but a bit tired today after a long day on the computer yesterday -- and a walk to photograph a tree...  and with the frosts now behind us I have some gardening to get on with...)

I have made you a quick bit of scruff video showing how to get the thick lines, and distort the plan on the sketchboard to fit a mimic panel:

 https://flashbackconnect.com/Default.aspx?id=xI6N28PgRnAuLdoLrrVDog2

ask again if anything not clear,

cheers,

Martin.

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Martin Wynne
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p.s.

sorry Gordon, I missed a bit out of the video. After clicking the update button, you need to click the lock:



Unfortunately there is no way to update the distorted trackplan after making revisions on the trackpad, it will be necessary to repeat the process in the video each time. Probably a better option would be to use the manual options for the trackplan instead of auto update. I will make a proper video later, there are a lot of options and settings.

Martin.

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26th message | this message only posted: 15 May 2020 08:48
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When do you get some sleep?....:D
OK, changed all the turnouts to A4's on the bit that's done. 

Bit of feedback for you. 1:4 is not on the template menu. It stops at 1:4.5, so you then need to go back into F5 to select 1:4. No big deal, but you may wish to add 1:4 at next update.

Thanks for the video. That's perfect and I followed it no problem. I would never have been able to do that or find the commands without the video.

If my wife doesn't commandeer me for gardening duties, I'll try and get the other end done today.

Thanks....

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p.p.s. just realised that the thick centre-lines option excludes the platforms.

I will do a program mod to fix that. Anything else which needs to be included?

Martin.

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Other than the facility to add text etc, platforms will be fine. I had to make some further changes this morning as the bay platform was too far to the left, meaning the crossovers above would have been inside the platform area, whereas they are outside.

New file attached.

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Attachment: Current Plan - Mimic Panel - 4.box (Downloaded 27 times)
 
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Martin Wynne
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Hi Gordon,

There is a way to work directly in with the distorted track on the trackpad, like this:



I didn't mention it, because there is no finer way of doin' your 'ed in. :)

But it would make it easier to see directly the effect of your changes.

I can make a video showing how, if you want?

Your text is added directly on the sketchboard, not on the trackpad, like this:



Likewise any other graphics and symbols.

cheers,

Martin.

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OK, I've tweaked the plan again by widening the end diagonals out to 150mm and added the platforms which don't show in Sketchboard. Is that what you referring to earlier?
Latest file below.

I'm also talking to a good friend who lives round the corner and has his own graphics company, so I pinged the sample file over to him in PDF at 6000 dots and 1200 dpi for him to look at. All was fine other than a small bump on every turnout. Is this something I've done? Not the end of the world, but thought I'd flag it up....




It seems we're heading in the right direction.....:D

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Gordon S wrote:All was fine other than a small bump on every turnout. Is this something I've done? Not the end of the world, but thought I'd flag it up....HHi Gordon,

To get you properly started on this I would need to write a book. Which I don't mind doing, but not at the pace you work, it would take me a week or two. :)

The bump is because you are using "A" switches. The turnout-road centre-line is drawn starting from the heel of the switch. There is a gap between there and the centre-line of the main road:



To reduce the bump you need to use a shorter switch. I did suggest using a 9ft straight switch. The shortest available switch is the 1:24 model-only switch as above, which would reduce the bump to almost nothing.

To eliminate it entirely you would need to change to gaunt turnouts, with the gaunt offset set to zero.

Unfortunately there is no way to make these changes globally, you would need to change each turnout individually -- put the peg somewhere other than CTRL-0 first.

Or I can write some code to do it globally? Which is what I would do for my own projects. It might take me a day or two before I can get it released. I'm trying to fix Jim's diamond-crossing conundrum at the same time. :)

Anything is possible in Templot, but I don't always release it because the task of creating a user interface is just too much work, and writing the instructions beyond me.

cheers,

Martin.

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Don't worry Martin. I'll see what I can do here first. I've just opened up the four incoming tracks to 150mm as well and that looks much better. I have more than enough to do working on the other end.

I may have a play once that is done, but please carry on with your other work...
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Well that wasn't too much of a task and seems to have worked well. I think this is without the tracks being widened as it's straight off the PDF at 1600%......



Latest box file attached. Just in case you want to take a detailed look.

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Hi Gordon,

Am I right in thinking that the mimic blue track is in sketchboard? If so you could add filled rectangles to indicate platforms. I think that's the sort of thing that the signalling centre's mimics have to indicate platforms, but it's about 20 odd years ago since I was last in one.

Cheers

Phil
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Hi Phil,

I'm adding an option to include the platforms with the track centre-lines only output option in the next program update shortly.

cheers,

Martin.

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It's been a long day, but at least I now have the complete plan on file. The box file is attached. The PDF appears fine.



John has come back to me with two tiny aberrations. I've checked the track layout and can't see anything, but they are very small indeed.




It's been a good day and I've learned a lot, so very worthwhile. My bed awaits shortly.....



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Hi Gordon,



This is a known bug in the sketchboard. It's been on my do-something-about list for about 10 years.

For a reason which I don't understand, and have never got round to asking Nils to explain, the sketchboard output is recursively split into a series of tiles. It is probably simply to conserve resources on older machines, and could now be dispensed with.

In some circumstances there is a 1-bit shear along the tile boundaries. I have drawn a line above to show the tile boundary here. The effect is so slight that it mostly goes unnoticed. You could get round it by moving the plan slightly so that the shear line occurs inside one of your horizontal lines.

I will have another look at fixing this, but what I'm more concerned about is why this image is fuzzy? It's not the image gallery resampling, because it is the same on your original uploaded image. How did you create this image? It's important to be careful with metafiles on the sketchboard -- if you rotate them, even by the tiniest amount, the sketchboard will convert them to bitmaps, and there is no way back. Bitmaps go fuzzy when zoomed, metafiles don't.

I have now added this to the code, in all outputs:



Will be in a program update shortly. But I must get Jim's diamond-crossing bug fixed first, because it is a serious bug.

cheers,

Martin.

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Thanks Martin. The fuzzy image is probably down to a selective screenshot and nothing else as John said the rest was absolutely fine. 

Apologies for finding all these tiny bugs that have gone unnoticed all these years.....:D

I will have a play around again this morning, but please don’t give it any time right now as I have loads of things to do and it’s really not urgent at all. With my less than perfect eyesight, I probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway.

I shall do some more tweaking over the weekend as I want to look at improving the right hand end, but overall I’m pleased with the outcome so far.

Thanks for all your support....

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Just to complete the circle. This is the latest box file.

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.....and the PDF.
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