Some members of the Railroad Friend
Society have built interesting layouts,
Some members of the Railroad Friend Society
have prepared interesting articles
Here is one of it wretten bu Aleksandar Vukalovic.
Serious Railroad Modelling
A. Play with sense – look into the future
First subtitle part of this story, take on from one old issue German model railroad journal, Eisenbahn, provoke me around twenty years ago, to try to attempt at analytic and critic way, come over to think of model railroad layout’s, particularly and plan it and create it.
B. Elementary determination
1. Visually, exist usual difference between European and Americans layouts, according color dominant hue, which to notice at first sight. Shortly, European are "green" and Americans are "beige". In my own vocabulary I name it "spring" and "fall" layouts. I have to emphasize that falls hues, was always far attractive for me. Of course, we do not discuss about taste. Disregarding straighten of impression, even if this based on prototype common landscape of this two regions areas, anyway I think that, if the layout is smaller the landscape beige hue make it more real, of course, reverse is not contrary!
2. Incredible huge is the impression difference between two layout state, when everything stands still on layout and when trains moves. When everything stand still, observer is in position to enjoy on it, depends of maker skill to make landscape, vegetation, architecture, railroad infrastructure, which of course depends of materials selection and modelling skill. Mainly of previous stated is possible to adjust later on, even to change many. When layouts is in "work" state, disregarding previous, impression may lay between big disappointment and some sort of "shock" which many observers forced to start with this hobby. "Shock" although, commonly originate from cause which to not be aware from many great modelers. Cause is that what we call game, in essence human whish and desire for play. Reasons are in game nature, that is uncertainty and monotony absence.
C. Rules of layout planning (and play or using)
1. In pre planning, necessary is to define number of stations on layout, define hidden station and one or more virtual stations, which function is to enable more complexity of traffic and timetable on layout.
2. Route of tracks should be to plan in such a way, that every station have own independed connection with any other layout station, including hidden and virtual station(s), which connections should not be independed if they are not visible, like tunnels. Then, hidden station is key point, thru which passing all connections.
3. Exclude terminal stations, connections should be plan in that manner, that every train which to live particular station in one direction (side), to be able to come back to this station from same directions (side), no matter is the railroad with one or two track (directions).
4. Virtual(s) station take significance during time table making, they are placed in hidden station, distance between them and exist model station and between them self’s, to feign with train stopping time in hidden station.
5. Hidden station should have track as much as possible (every one should be vacation track), and ideal quantity is equal to wish number of trains, then hidden station become garage or functional pantry, when layout is out of work.
6. Hidden station construction, frequently produced unequal track length, which has to be in mind during traffic planning, and train recognition during drive in sense of assign hidden station track according particular train length.
Shortly, for any kind of automatic, user, have to bear in mind, at list, next:
1.Above everything is time or fast clock.
2.Defining timetable and every timetable train hierarchy level.
3.Defining priority or exclusivity of each timetable train to specific station track.
4.Defining prototype distance, between each real, imagine, visible or hide layout station or for specific "time extension" section.
5.Defining correlation between speed command dial knob position and prototype speed and make equalization table for all loco speed.
6.Defining and always declare to software, local station definition state for "specific train is completed and ready" and auto or manual next departure.
7.Station request for train departure to another station
8.Station approval for departure train from another station.
9.Station confirmation for entered train.
Also very important. All that, every modeler have to plan and defining, before finish layout plan. There is bigger modelers black hole then using or making train movement automatic.
D. To cast a glance – mechanic
In the future model producer have to implement:
1.Standard sensor connection for direct electronic reading rotation number of electric motor shaft or any loco main shaft, for what purpose optical reading is probably best one.
2. Standard loco parts to implement elements for energy autonomy.
E. To cast a glance – DCC and electronic (importunely, even Bluetooth, would not solve this problems)
In my opinion almost all shortage of DCC system to lie in defining demand, not in technique. Most of them, during creating DCC system, was made about this days analog system limitations and what is (in) possible whit it. Instead of examine of desire’s. At the end, regarding essence, which lay on the Digital Command Control title itself, majority space of this theme, actually engage in remote control system, which is casually just one technological relief, which is not obliged. Commanding and control should to enable:
1. Implementing timing (real and model time) of timetable and event sequence.
2. To came to life each layout part, with real reality simulation or special modeller demands.
3. Defining possibilities for automation or partnership between modeller (s) and central commanding unit) for layout operation (comfort by adoption or mix, manual, CTC, APB, ABS or AB).
4. Mobile decoder connection for direct reading of electric motor shaft rotation number (or any loco main shaft).
5. Successful and reliable monitoring of all feedbacks (ocupation sectiom and point position detector and loco recognition discriminator, as IC diode coded sender/reader by Mr. Bolton proposal for each car and loco, or pasive at car side, bar-code reader)
6. As for time, we have to make every layout standard for another data, the speed.
Speed measure have to have functions on few levels:
-display real speed value,
-display gauge speed value,
-display layout specific relation speed coefficient (it can be accept, for example, for shunting speed with shunt loco on layout station, on feeling method, just imagine and taste at specific layout. Then, if we say, shunting speed is 40 km/h, we have time for this speed. When we declare that, we have layout specific relation speed coefficient),
-time passing measure and compare with another locos or train to auto adjusted and make equal they same speed levels and auto adjusted and make equal they same speed dial knob position.
-display driving DC Level %, or DCC PWM %
7. Most demanding is posibility for manual or automatic solve of delay according some rules:
-defining priority or exclusivity of each timetable train to specific station track,
-defining prototype distance, between each real, imagine, visible or hide layout station or for specific "time extension" section,
-defining correlation between speed command dial knob position and prototype speed and make equalization table for all loco speed,
-defining and always declare to software, local station definition state for "specific train is completed and ready" and auto or manual next departure,
-station request for train departure to another station,
-station approval for departure train from another station,
-station confirmation for entered train.
and so on.
For that part of game, I think software have to split in few basic part:
software pre-determined data or/and rules:
-layout fast clock, calendar 1900-? with sunste/rise
-layout monitoring for manual control and layout feeback’s, as only software "above all" monitoring with only on screen posibility, with interventions only to non manual aspects,
-engine and car simulation of natural beheviours, power, weight, No, bar code and electronic recognition (engine or car IC code sender, RailCom, …..),
-equility engine decoders speed and throttle knob position,
-open track – between station’s, define every allowed connection line thru track sections, sections with direction depended +/- gradient ,
-list of commands with alternate manual-automatic selection, with macro for group selections,
-layout track diagram for define occupation+with train engine and car No, for starting moment-zero beginning position,
-timetable, delay rules, track lines and track routes with all data stated on E.7 description,
by real time possible manual control:
-layout fast clock, year, date, time, speed-ratio
-stations control rooms (every station separately), hardware (CTC panel) or/end software (screen command panels), hardware or/and screen display of tracks occupation+with train engine and car No
-engine hardware (hand held throtle) or/end software (screen throtle) command,
by software automatic supervising:
-read actual state of track occupation+with what train No and command with signal and points position/state,
One of biggest problems of existing systems is reliable in work. Probable decision manner is systematically implementing cheap local programmable logic (some hardware from RCI by OAK or Elektor EEDITS PRO, have some good approach). Possibly easiest way to attain this, is implementing two way serial communication with central processing unit. Interesting question is, are all creators of NMRA-DCC systems was technologically limited or very wise to not standardized tree command station communication lines, for handheld controllers, layout feedback and PC comunication.
Implementing those new hardware DCC units, make possible to relax data flow between central unit and PC, and central unit and layout feedback line. PC will be enormous relax in real time work and consequence reliable work regarding live local events executive and monitoring function to local logic. For modest demands regarding automatization, PC would not be necessary.
Special importance is loco energy autonomous, to exceed short lusing of suply. On today level of technology, probable is possible to make loco parts of plastic battery. That would be demand exchange and supplement on mobile decoders, as well as standardization mechanical loco parts
Beograd Aleksandar Vukalović