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  • Topic: User friendly ops software

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    • November 29, 2016 12:02 PM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      User friendly ops software

      I know there are several choices for ops software. I am asking for advice on a system that has lots of function but is user friendly for a neophyte. This isn't for me solely. A friend of mine is putting together an ops "club" on his private layout which is huge. He will be the owner of the layout but I have a feeling I will be in charge of ops sessions. We want a fully functional package that puts together waybills and keeps track of car locations. It needs to be very user friendly. At the very least, once I create a session each operator needs to have simple to understand waybill or set of directions.

       

      I don't want something that I have to have a programing degree to understand. I don't want to spend a lot of my time learning how to use the system. Also it needs to usable at least in part by others.

       

       

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    • November 29, 2016 2:52 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/24208/getting-started-with-jmri

      http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/19562/train-ops-to-jmri

      http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/19708/jmri-questions

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      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • November 29, 2016 3:11 PM EST
      • Your Host in Littleton, MA
         
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      >I don't want to spend a lot of my time learning how to use the system.

       

      You are going to have to spend a reasonable amount of time getting to know how any system works.  You'll have to understand how the program bits work together, and how to tweak various settings to get the traffic flow you want.   You will spend a considerable amount of time putting in all your cars, measuring all your sidings, putting in industry names and setting up what kind of traffic they generate.  Then you'll have to decide which industries are served by which trains.  

       

      Ops is a very complex problem, and computer programs do most of the legwork for you, but youll still have to devote a bunch of time to it.

      This post was edited by Bob McCown at November 29, 2016 4:42 PM EST
    • November 29, 2016 4:42 PM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Thanks Bob,

       

      I figured as much. I know I will have to invest the initial set up time into it, but once that is accomplished is there one that is easier for operators to use and understand. I know nothing about any of the systems. So really don't even know what to ask.

       

      Ken,

      thanks for the links to JMRI. I have looked into them before but lost interest for my own private use. But now I have been put in charge of at least exploring this for this make shift club. I will look again but JMRI looked to me at first glance to be complicated. Maybe no more than any others. I will give it another look.

       

      Others?

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    • November 29, 2016 5:25 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      RailOps is the only other one that I know of, but I heard that it's not being supported anymore. 

      Any operations program you use is going to need a considerable time to set up, but like Bob mentioned once it's set up they way you want it, it does all the leg work. We use it at Bob's during his Ops weekend, Bruce uses it when we operate at his place, I use it here and if I can set it up then anyone can. 

      Between me, Bob, Bruce and Jon, who also uses it, one of us will have an answer to any questions that may arise. 

      http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/25485/rainy-day-operations-on-the-j-amp-b

      http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/23773/switching-puzzle-train-2-at-jackson

      http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/22214/fall-operations-on-the-j-amp-b

      http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/19595/operations-on-the-rgs

      This post was edited by Ken Brunt at November 29, 2016 5:25 PM EST
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      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • November 29, 2016 6:10 PM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Well that is probably the best consideration of all is the support I would have here. I am actually hoping to talk him out of it. This guy changes his mind and layout like the weather changes and I am afraid I will have to be the one to try and keep up. This is highly exploratory at this point. He wants a report in a month. I will review the threads.

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    • November 29, 2016 8:44 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      A written report? In triplicate? With supporting references?

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      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • November 29, 2016 9:00 PM EST
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      On the surface JMRI looks overly complicated because of all the DCC functionality.  For just Operations features you can ignore all of the DCC stuff and it becomes far less complicated. I've seen RailOps being used in Canada at Fred's, but I only saw the output side. It seems to work well too, but if it's not being supported, that is a problem.

       

      I do like the how JMRI presents the train manifest...

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      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • November 29, 2016 9:37 PM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Thanks John,

       

      I think I am going to bite the bullet and at least download JMRI and play with the demo mode. One feature that I like is the ability to store more than one layout. If this "thing" takes off we will have at least two layouts in our club and mine could be a very humble third. I know I can manage it if I can keep my friend from changing his layout every other day.

       

      I like the manifest. That is exactly the sort of thing I think we can have fun with.

      ____________________________________
    • December 3, 2016 8:16 AM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Just remember to ask for help if you get stuck!   Once you use it, it seems pretty straight forward...but getting to that point can take awhile.  

      If you have a color printer, you CAN print out the switch lists with color coding...

      For setup, you can print out rosters by location or by car number.   This one shows the cars by number...very helpful when pulling the cars out of storage to help figure out where they should be.   I also print one out by location;  I use that one to verify setup once all the cars are in place.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • December 3, 2016 10:59 AM EST
      • Lancaster , Ohio
         
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      Just out of curiosity do you enter the car length and weight with every car as you enter them ? While it may add to the realism I personally could care less about the theoretical weight and length of the departing train, just telling me how many cars is all I want to know.

    • December 3, 2016 11:11 AM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      The length of the car helps when determining how many cars you can fit in a siding and how many cars you want on the train. I try to limit the train to 6 cars so train length is about 200'. The weight is a factor in determining which locomotive to use for that train. Since I don't list my engines in the Locomotive roster I don't really care about the weight issue either. I just think it's neat that it adds the tonnage to the manifest. 

      This post was edited by Ken Brunt at December 3, 2016 11:15 AM EST
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      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • December 3, 2016 11:48 AM EST
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      I agree with Ken on the length. It's critical for set up, as is acurate measurements of your sidings. If you key this data in correctly it will never try and overload a siding.

       

      I don't have locos in the system either and I never set weights other than the default. It might be fun to some day put in correct weights (per the car markings) and then try to figure out the maximum weight for each loco on the ruling grade.  But then I have much more important stuff to do - like find room for more indoor track

      This post was edited by Daktah John at December 3, 2016 11:48 AM EST
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    • December 3, 2016 1:26 PM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      You don't have to worry about the weight.   There's an "auto" function that will calculate some value;  it doesn't really matter as I have never used it.

      Like the others, I also did not enter my locomotives or cabooses - I just get out the ones I want to use that day.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • December 3, 2016 1:38 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Well yea, certain brakeman will only use certain cabeese. And my lead engineer gets to take whatever locomotive he wants for the day. And Smokey will not, ever, never ever, not never ever, take out one of them newfangled, cantankerous, unproven, Diesel-lectric things. No way!

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      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • December 3, 2016 7:13 PM EST
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Is length calculated coupler to coupler, or some other distance?  LOA, DWL, etc.

      This post was edited by Steve Featherkile at December 3, 2016 7:14 PM EST
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    • December 3, 2016 7:34 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      I just use the length of the car minus the coupler. A siding is usually a couple feet longer than the max cars it can hold anyway, so coupler length don't matter. 

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • December 4, 2016 12:06 AM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Bruce thanks not only for the manifest but also the location list. That would be very helpful. Especially when we will only be operating once  month at most. The owner will likely fuss with stuff and I can give him a list like that well before we operate and he ca get everything set to where it should be. I really like that aspect of it.

      ____________________________________
    • December 4, 2016 8:45 AM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Steve Featherkile said:

      Is length calculated coupler to coupler, or some other distance?  LOA, DWL, etc.

      From the help file:

       

      When entering the length of a car, enter the length of the body and not the total length. For example, a forty foot boxcar has a length of 40 feet. The program when calculating lengths will add two feet to each end of a car for the couplers. Therefore when you place a forty foot car at a spur, it will consume 44 feet of track.

       

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • December 4, 2016 8:46 AM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Devon Sinsley said:

      Bruce thanks not only for the manifest but also the location list. That would be very helpful. Especially when we will only be operating once  month at most. The owner will likely fuss with stuff and I can give him a list like that well before we operate and he ca get everything set to where it should be. I really like that aspect of it.

      Devon,

      Yeah, that's one reason I really like this.  I store all of my cars between sessions and may advance the program a few "days" before the next ops session.   This helps me know what goes where.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

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