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002.0 Track Laying and Points - RR & Co Tutorial and FAQs - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Sep 28th, 2010 12:40 am
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John Dew
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If you have any comments or questions please post them in the general RR&Co Forum


 
TRACK LAYING 


On the main railroad menu select   [Tools]  and then [Tracks]




Alternatively you can select the straight track icon on the tool bar of the Switchboard Menu




Its worth pointing out that the main Railroad menu that we have been using up to now stays on the screen all the time unless you opt to have one of the working windows like Switchboard  Full Screen

We will be using a number of windows that can be minimised or maximised or re positioned as is standard with Windows applications.

 You may have noticed that while we are now working on the switchboard window the engines and trains window is up at the bottom of the screen.........it could have been minimised

Whichever method you have decided upon (I always use the tool bar its quicker) :

Select [straight]

The mouse pointer will change to a spanner
Move the pointer towards the upper left hand side of the screen and LEFT CLICK and voila we have laid our first piece of track




You can now continue clicking to the right of the this piece and each time you click another piece of track will be laid.

A quicker way of laying track is to select the pencil symbol on the tool bar and just drag it along...that way you can do diagonals etc




You will have noticed that TC automatically filled in a buffer for use on the right hand side when you have finished drawing

Its worth remembering that as long as the mouse pointer shows a spanner it will insert the last type of selected track whenever you click. To revert to edit mode either from insert or draw RIGHT CLICK


POINTS

So now we want to insert a point. To do this we need to create a space by deleting a section of track.

In edit mode move the pointer to the piece of track where you want to insert the point....LEFT CLICK and then RIGHT CLICK and select [Delete]

Tthen either go to the Tools menu in Railroad or the points icon on the switchboard and select the type of turnout you want to insert

When laying straight track you can leave spaces for points.....I just find its quicker to draw lines and then delete spaces




Select a Right  Hand Turnout and move it to the space that has been created and LEFT CLICK.  It might not be facing exactly the way you want but pressing [Control] [L] or [R] will move it around.....the next shot shows the point in location and then below it the various positions


 

Now we have to configure the point..........in edit mode centre the mouse pointer on the point and RIGHT CLICK.......select [PROPERTIES]

All elements in TC have a properties window with a number of Tabs. Conveniently it displays with the tab last used for the particular element.

At this stage we are only interested in 2 tabs.........select [CONNECTION]

 



 





Enter the Digital System you are using ("no connection" is fine for simulation). TC automatically assigns an address.....in real life make sure the address matches the one assigned in your digital system

There are a couple of interesting features on this tab

Circled in Red......Position Control

If you have a switch available that is attached to your point motor you can wire this to a decoder and TC will track whether the switch blade actually moves. Without this TC  and DCC for that matter merely record that a command ie pulse has been sent to the motor......not that the motor actually obeyed the signal.

I only have one switch on most of my motors (to change frog polarity) but I can see the advantages particularly in hidden sidings

Circled in Blue....Decoder configuration

If you move the mouse pointer to the turnout image next to test it will change to  a symbol like this




This is the operations icon.....click and you will see the point on the switchboard move. (drag the properties window to one side if you cant see the the switchboard) This is really useful when you are live......if the point isnt in sync with the computor rather than change wires you just click on the output configuration to synchronise....easy peasy:lol: 

You will have seen Double Slips in the point menu.......configuring double motor turnouts is more complex and the subject of a separate section



This is a good time to discuss the two different modes in TC  [Edit] and [Operations]....the edit icon looks like this


 

Understandably TC doesnt like you to edit when it is operating and vice versa.....initially I found it really frustrating when great swathes of menu options were grayed out.........then I realised I was trying to Edit and TC thought I was trying to operate:roll:

Ok so back to properties.....select the [GENERAL] Tab




TC automatically assigns a connection number but not a name. I have a convention to help me recognise the point by using the connection number and a location......I have decided to call the branch Eastham (thats the way the laptop is positioned) and actually I meant to add Loco Release.....because we are shortly going to insert two more points.

Below the name is a hot key window.....you can assign a key on the keyboard to activate the point

The signal and speed limits are quite cool.....you can specify a max speed and a restricted speed. Then by requesting "Yellow Aspect" for a particular turnout position you can ensure that the restricted speed applies to that turnout position only.

This will be the end of the branch so I have set a 10 mph max. There are other ways of applying max speed which you can learn about later

Speed control is one of the most impressive features of TC. The first time I tried it my train went rattling over the points at a scale 40mph and promptly derailed:cry: I went into the properties of the points in question put in limits of 20 mph and all was smooth as silk:lol:  

Click OK to clear the properties window

Move the pointer to the OPERATIONS icon...........move the pointer, which should now reflect the shape of the icon, to the newly installed point and click......the point will move on the screen..........and if we were hooked up you would hear the satisfying click of the peco motor or the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz of the tortoise............great stuff

Now for some practice we need to add two more points and some track to create a relief loop and loco spur..........it should finish up like this.




I left the gap to show the menu and my selection of a curved element to complete the loop. You will see I have also added a buffer on the right hand side where the terminus (would you believe Weston) will be.

By all means develop your own layout plans as well but I would encourage you to copy this layout on screen exactly, right down to the naming and numbering

The layout will form the basis of a number of "how to" scenarios and it makes problem solving much easier if we all have the same base.



LABELLING........TEXT ELEMENTS 

 





This is the text window from the ABC icon on the switchboard tol bar. Pretty standard windows....you can select Font,Size,Style,colour etc. The default size is 8 which is a bit small. You type your description into the text box then place the pointer on the cell where you want to insert it.

You have to fiddle a bit with the mouse pointer on the cell where you inserted the Text to display it properly.




So there is our finished plan (later we will add some more track at the terminus end) ready to set up in blocks


SAVING..................................SAVE OFTEN



First we need to save.....and its worth rememembering there is no auto save.....I have lost a load of work by not saving, going to bed and then finding Mr Gates has installed an update that involves an automatic re boot:twisted:

Select [RAILROAD] in the main menu and then [SAVE AS]

 




In blue at the bottom are the other TC switchboards I have.....the Demo, my own layout Granby and a dummy I used to show the trackplan on my layout thread. When you boot up TC automatically starts the last layout you you had up 



Enter the name of the switchboard (Layout) and save as a *.YRR file.

When you install TC there is a default directory for YRR files which is separate from the main programme files...........you can change this but in any event it is a good idea to know exactly where both sets of files are stored on your computor.

 




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