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001.0 Introduction to RR&Co Computor control - RR & Co Tutorial and FAQs - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Sep 27th, 2010 10:18 pm
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John Dew
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This is the first part of which is being transferred from the original thread at http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=5707&forum_id=151. The original is one long message and it is difficult to use as a quick reference source hence the new approach of separate messages for individual topics. The downside of course is that the tutorial is best read in sequence ie by reading the oldest message first.......To do that all you have to do is reverse the sub forum message sort order  

If you have any comments or questions please post them in the general RR&Co Forum



The tutorial is designed to take the reader in easy stages from a blank screen to a layout where a train will enter a branch station, the engine will uncouple and run around the carriages, couple up and return to the terminus station. On the way it stops at an intermediate halt. At the terminus the engine uncouples at the buffers,a light engine leaves a loco spur and couples up.....the train departs, the loco that arrived moves to the loco spur ready for the next sequence.........this is all done automatically and activated by a single key stroke.

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is a movie of Max's shunting puzzle complete with sound and lights all controlled by RR&Co. The Movie was shot less than 6 months after Max started with the software  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1h7EdKL7lA



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The original Tutorial was, with a couple of exceptions, written by myself. This edited version is still based largely on my own personal experience but now benefits from the collective experience of the YMR RR&Co group. Each edited post is checked by the group and their suggestions incorporated in the revised version. There are also a number of individual contributions in areas that I didnt cover originally.  


GENERAL INTRODUCTION


Computor control is not for everyone. Quite apart from the cost not everyone takes to the idea of a computor controlling their trains. You can actually run trains with a quite a nice throttle on the screen, showing speed and direction, but if thats all you want to its kind of expensive. Make no mistake it is costly. In addition to the cost of the software itself you have to have a compatible DCC system. It has to be a full DCC system with point control and the track sectioned off with occupancy detectors. This not only adds to the cost but also to the complexity of the wiring.

Having given the statutory warning I have to say I am a total devotee. It was undoubtedly, for me, the best purchase (investment?) I have ever made on the railway. It has added a totally new dimension to my hobby. Those of you who have read my layout thread know that it is only 40% complete but I have already been able to use the system to automatically change locos in the storage section, run around trains in the branch and my latest project shunt the goods yard. It has enormous potential for running multiple trains on the roundy roundy part of the layout while shuffling trains in the storage roads.

This tutorial is focussed on RR&Co. You can find a very good summary on alternative systems at

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=3060&forum_id=10

 RR&Co is generally judged to be both the best system and the most expensive. The software has been developed over a number of years......I suspect the developer was involved with designing systems for the mega German Layout that you can find at http://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/.

The current version is 7.0 E2 and there are three different options :

Bronze  99E  This was launched for the first time with 7.0. I believe it is a very basic entry level 

Silver   299E  Is essentially an updated and improved version of 5.8

Gold     449E  Silver with a whole raft of bells and whistles.....some of which are really cool

You can find out all about the system and the differences between the levels here: http://www.freiwald.com/  .

 You can also download the manuals in PDF formatt at no charge and perhaps most important of all you can download a demo version for free as well

The big plus of the demo is you can use it for as long as you like in Demo Mode ie you  can put it on your computor at home or the office:shock: and play around to your hearts content. Its actually quite a neat way of planning a layout. It has a simulator which enables you to test whether your points,signals and schedules will actually work.

 Once you hook it up to the layout you can only operate it for 15 minutes at a time.....I dont think it is a one shot 15 minutes but the time lapse is long enough to prevent it becoming a permanent solution ie eventually you have to step up and pay your money.

This is exactly what I did..........I downloaded 5.8 and played with it for about 18 months. Its amazing how much you can do in front of the TV......while I was doing this I took part in a signalling tutorial on RM Web which was both fun and informative. When I bit the bullet in January 2009 and bought the Gold Version (I needed the cool Bells) I was already up and running.....well climbing is perhaps a better description......there is a very steep learning curve:brickwall

If anyone is remotely interested in going down the computor route I would strongly recommend downloading the demo software from RR&Co (incidentally usual disclaimer no connection etc). It costs  nothing and the only risk is that like me you will get hooked:lol:


DOWNLOADING THE DEMO VERSION

Go to    http://www.freiwald.com/pages/download.htm





  If you are downloading I suggest you download the Gold version because that is the version that most of us at YMR have. If you already have Silver or feel that is a more cost effective system.......no problem....... We will try and point out the differences and alternative solutions where appropriate in the Tutorial or in the FAQ section

You should download the manual which is also free. A word of warning.......the manual can be a little overwhelming......we are hoping that for the initial stages this tutorial will be sufficient. Having said that the tutorial is not all embracing and tends to focus on one particular approach rather than listing every possible option.  



The downloading is very straightforward when you boot up you get this screen




Select [Continue in Demo] mode




This is the RR&Co demo layout which is used in the manual.


We want something simpler so select the very top tab [RAILROAD]




This menu gives you an insight into the principal major controls. Most of the selections are repeated on the Switchboard Tool Bar

Select [New]

 




So now we have a completely clean canvas on which to start

There are all manner of ways you can customise the look and feel of both the entire programme and individual screens.......one of the more obvious being the grid lines..........I like them but they can be easily removed.

This is probably a good time to explore the various menus and play around a little before laying track which will be covered in the next post






____________________
John
Granby III
Lenz DCC,RR&Co Gold V9 B1 Windows 10
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