Ugly junctions?

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Ugly junctions?

Postby jjasloot » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:19 pm

Something you get quite ugly junctions in TS20##, like this one:
1.jpg


Easy, fix, use the split tool on the centre (where the two pieces of track meet)
2.jpg


and then join everything again using the weld tool
3.jpg


This does get you a red triangle extra, but it looks a lot better.


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Re: Ugly junctions?

Postby JamesLit » Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:42 pm

How very handy! Thanks Jaap. I've got about 40-50 miles of track to go over and check for these, will be good to eliminate dodgy looking points. :D
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Re: Ugly junctions?

Postby Chris Baker » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:31 am

JamesLit wrote:How very handy! Thanks Jaap. I've got about 40-50 miles of track to go over and check for these, will be good to eliminate dodgy looking points. :D


This sometimes needs a bit of trail and error on complex junctions and point work. Make the split and see if it works. If not just undo and try somewhere else. Sometimes you my need to make the split off to the side or on adjoining peice of track.
But they will go you just need to find the right spot in some cases. When you have done it a lot you start to get an idea of where to split it.

Don't split slips in the center it destroys them, These normally need doing on the ends. Sometimes more then 1 split. Take your time and the undo button is your friend :)

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Re: Ugly junctions?

Postby AndiS » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:14 pm

First of all, I would say that saving and reloading is a better friend, in particular when you work at slips.
But it is true that clicking Undo immediately works fine most of the time.

One thing I noted in all these years is that while you can do quite some maths about it, a few rules of thumb help you lay your track in such a way that this splitting and joining works in RW.

1) Don't do stuff the prototype does not either. Minimum track distances:
Open route: 3.4 UK, 3.5 old routes on the Continent, 4.0 newer ones, 4.5 high speed.
Yards and stations (except for the pair of through tracks which often maintains the above distance): 4.6 UK, 4.5 Continent.

Track distance 3.14 is nuts but many got used to the look and the faulty track rules still float around, luring more people. You miss 0.26 track space which translates to 2 m or more in the spacing of the frogs. 2 m is the length of the guide rails so this difference does matter.

Minimum radius: 150 UK, 190 Germany (and neighbours), other countries are somewhere in between.
Radius 150 m is associated with 15 mph speed limit or less (for all I know). For 25 mph look at 190 m or thereabouts. It's about centrifugal force, so it is more or less the same everywhere. German switches are rated 25 mph (if the radius is 190 m).

1:7 is the most condensed crossover you should lay. That is a bit over 21 m curve length and a bit over 150 m radius in RW terms. 21.4 for 150 m, in case you need to know. This results in a straight of a bit under 4 m between curves, for 3.4 track distance. (See below for the straights.)

2) The smaller (more shallow) the angle of the switch, the longer the track of the crossover, the greater your chance at splitting and rejoining. A 1:7 crossover is much shorter, also between the frogs where you split and reweld, than a 1:9 crossover.

3) Don't get magically attracted by the minimum radius. You cannot create nice symmetrical crossovers using snap to track if the first curve uses the minimum radius. Use 10 more and try to the the second somewhere at +/- 5 (or 10) of the first radius.

A proper crossover has a piece of straight track in the middle. The minimum length requirement varies in the prototype. At least for condensed/harsh crossovers, you should note the difference when driving. But I might overdo this point in my own life.

One thing that catches your eye much easier is crossovers laid by two curves of quite different radius. You lay the first curve at 150, then you use snap-to-track and it adds a 250 m curve. Not prototypical. Just add a straight that is symmetrical, i.e., make the far corner of the yellow outline approach the outer rail just as much as the corner diagonally across lies near the near outer rail. Then try snap-to-track and you will find that the radii differ by a few metres.

The crossover tool gives you symmetric curves automatically, but if you try to get it to do what you want in terms of radius and intermediate straight, it sometimes generates graphical flaws that scare me. And I find it hard to control.

Practical hints from the nerd:
To draw precise curves, I first focus on the curve length alone, flying forward as required. Then, I move the mouse left and right to get the radius. If I manage not to move the mouse along the track, the length changes (almost) not at all. If you are very close, you may then adjust the length to compensate for deviations the occurred while you adjusted the radius.

Then, I focus on the near end of the yellow rectangle that drags up a straight as I move the mouse. The important bit is the outer rail on the near end of that straight. More precisely how the corner is placed relative to the rail, i.e., how many rail head widths it is inside or outside. By outer rail, I mean the left one if the switch curves to the right.

Then, I drag up the straight so that the far outer corner of the yellow rectangle looks just like the near one, in terms of distance to the rail. Just go by the visuals but try to get it good in terms of what you see. Like "1 rail width inside" - whatever you see as a rail width (foot, head, ...).

After clicking to place the straight, I press Ctrl to switch on snap-to-track without interrupting the track placement action. This is important for straight frogs, but generally quite advisable or else you get those red portals showing that you failed to create a proper switch.

If I did not get too near to the minimum radius of the track rule (which is also a question of precise straight length), I get a snap easily and the radius of the second curve warms my nerdy heart.
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Re: Ugly junctions?

Postby hertsbob » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:34 pm

Personally I'd say that saving is never your friend when you're experimenting with slips. :o ;) The red cross in the right hand corner of the window however... That's your friend. ;)

When I'm doing properly complicated layouts I tend to do trial welds as I'm going along just to make sure something isn't going to explode. Then I'll undo all the welds until I'm completely happy with the entire setup. It's massively time-consuming to have to rebuild a bunch of slips etc. if they've been welded prematurely and you subsequently find that there's something fundamentally wrong with the positioning, or that you've been copying a duff plan (which has happened to me several times!).

Going back to the original post. Sometimes when you're splitting your crossovers you'll find that part of the track will disappear. If this happens just delete the offending piece of track and then undo the delete, and it'll render correctly - it doesn't matter if you do this before or after you weld the new join.

An example is below, although more often than not I find that the missing section is longer than this.
Split-1.jpg


Split-2.jpg
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Re: Ugly junctions?

Postby AndiS » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:08 pm

hertsbob wrote:Personally I'd say that saving is never your friend when you're experimenting with slips. :o ;) The red cross in the right hand corner of the window however... That's your friend. ;)

Hehe, positive as always!

hertsbob wrote:Sometimes when you're splitting your crossovers you'll find that part of the track will disappear. If this happens just delete the offending piece of track and then undo the delete, and it'll render correctly - it doesn't matter if you do this before or after you weld the new join.

That might be a general time saver for me. I don't remember it so much in the context of this split and weld exercise. But from day 1, I was pestered with track pieces hiding (in half) after some weld (mostly) or some other action. I found that saving and reloading always produced the vanished bit, if you "were right", i.e., if it was a proven situation. Deleting and undoing the delete is much faster of course.
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Re: Ugly junctions?

Postby hertsbob » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:02 pm

The voice of (very) bitter experience talking, Andi. ;)

Some routes seem to be more prone to the vanishing track thing than others, for whatever reason, probably relating to the spacing as you've so usefully talked about before. But quite often I find myself fully in the routine - Split. Weld. Delete. Undo. Move point motor to the correct place. Save. Repeat ad infinitum. :roll:

Here's one for you that I only found out about a couple of weeks ago. I've not had the time nor inclination to investigate this, and to be honest I've no idea what any of it means (and I'm not altogether convinced that I care) - least of all the myriad of tick-boxes! It only seems to work where there's some kind of crossover involved - a straightforward point won't work...

Create your crossover and then Ctrl + Double Click the point motor/lever (this may take a few goes to get the sweet spot). Once you do, you get an exiting RH Flyout! Maybe this is common knowledge, but I doubt it. :?
RHF.jpg
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Re: Ugly junctions?

Postby bescotbeast » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:04 am

Never seen that flyout before Bob but I've picked a few new tips up between yourself and Andi
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Re: Ugly junctions?

Postby AndiS » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:25 am

Interesting fly-out there!
However, I am always a be reluctant at things that do look unofficial on the very first glance, and on the second, too.

The first two figures could be sideways offset (1.5 m from track centre) and vertical coordinate (10 cm where the rail top is 36 cm above the grass). The 0.25 below could only be the offset along the track, but the handle seems to align with the internal switch location. But then again, it is difficult to rate from the picture.

For the rest of the fields, I would enter something on a test route that contains exactly 1 switch and then see what I get in Tracks.bin. However, the N/A is not exactly encouraging. There must be cases where the N/A goes away- Messing with those would be more promising.

My only association with the number four would be four switches in a double slip. So there might be some track definition (Track + TrackRule and more advanced than TS2013) that allows you to put something near the ends of double slips. This may of course have to do with the matrix of four rows and four pairs of ticks for the eight values above. Maybe for each path through the double slip, you can enable something to show or - more likely - some of the eight values to be taken into account.

The thing to look out is better switch indicators at double slips. The original Kuju solution is a joke by Continental and most other standards. Covering the prototype for all countries is not easy. It could be that RSC or RSDL or whoever undertook some steps to satisfy international partners and did not get too far. Or the features are dormant like the Professional Signal features that crop up here and there in fragments.

On a side note, I recently discovered that the "graphics errors" that I found in properties boxes of junction signals with more than 5 numbered links are a scrollbar to show the remaining lines. :D I always thought that it would be yet another limitation to only see the first 5 lines there, and not even I wanted to enter values in more than 5 lines, but nice to know that they covered the case. Only the graphics designer needs to be oriented a bit more towards the mainstream. But then again, we know his preferences now, so no problem.
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Re: Ugly junctions?

Postby hertsbob » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:36 pm

It's as official as anything else is! ;)

The top three boxes can be used to adjust frog length and check-rail length and something else which I forget. So not as frightening as you might think. :)
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