NEXT ZOOM MEETING - All welcome - The next Templot Club Zoom meeting is on Wednesday 12th April 2023 at 8pm UK time (20:00 BST - 19:00 UTC). How to take part: click here.

TEMPLOT 3D PLUG TRACK - To get up to speed with this project click here.

  • The Plug Track functions are experimental and still being developed. Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.

    For an updated overview of this project see this post.   For some practical modelling aspects of using Plug Track see The Book of Plug Track.

    The assumption is that you have your own machines on which to experiment, or helpful friends with machines. Please do not send Templot files to commercial laser cutting or 3D printing firms while this project is still experimental, because the results are unpredictable and possibly wasteful.

    Some pages of this and other topics include contributions from members who are creating and posting their own CAD designs for 3D printing and laser-cutting. Do not confuse them with Templot's own exported CAD files. All files derived from Templot are © Martin Wynne.

Changes in Templot version 227

Quick reply >

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

1.
print pages dialog:

Printing can now be started and restarted on any page by clicking in the next page list:

printing_227a.png


The existing buttons continue to work as before, but this will make it easier to print selected pages from a large track plan.

The same option is available for the PDF export if a file is wanted containing only a few selected pages.

Notice also the new tickbox option to control the inclusion of the new symbols (feed droppers and isolation gaps) in the print output.

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1500

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

2. tools > make Y-turnout:

make_y_turnout1.png


Video* showing this function in use:

https://flashbackconnect.com/Movie.aspx?id=dNJO8HaY3G73Z2URE_7xQw2

I'm in two minds about this. It's in the "anything for a quiet life" category. I get asked for symmetrical Y-turnouts so very often, far more often than they appear on the prototype.

This function improvises a symmetrical turnout using an irregular half-diamond. It's not strictly prototypical, but not far off if you are not fussy about which prototype.

A proper prototypical split-deflection turnout can be created using multiple partial templates, but far more of them than the two templates here. I might look at an automated function for that one day.

Some users have been waiting for a proper implementation of split-deflection switches for a quarter of a century. I'm sorry to disappoint them, but since it would require a complete rewrite of the template generator starting from a blank sheet, it just isn't going to happen. Or at least not by me -- maybe those working on T3 might like to have a go?

At present the "more information online" links don't go anywhere, I will do something about that soon.

*video 6 months old, I'm sorry it has taken so long to get 227b released. A change of server and a 3D printer didn't help. :(

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1501

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

3. library viewer:

library_viewer.png


There is a new library viewer function. If your storage box contains any library templates, they can be shown in a scrollable viewer which remains on the screen as you work. Clicking one of them copies it into the control template and places it at the centre of the screen. This differs from copying directly from the storage box, where templates are placed in the location they were originally stored from.

This viewer will therefore be very handy when working across a large track plan, making re-use of stored library templates much more convenient. The viewer can be dragged around and re-sized to whatever is suitable on your screen. If any new library templates are stored (or deleted), it updates accordingly.

Any template can be stored as a library template (perhaps in addition to being a background template). It is then easy to re-use when needed for some custom setting, such as a specific crossing-angle or radius, or changes to the check rails say. If the templates are given names, the name will show in the viewer.

For those who prefer the shift & join method of track planning, a box file of standard templates as library templates could be created. If named start.box it will be loaded automatically when Templot starts up, and the templates would be immediately available for use in the viewer.

@Justme Igor Thanks to Igor for this suggestion. :)

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1503

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

4.
adjustable rail joints at V-crossing exit:

omit_rails.png


exit_joints.png


Previously there was only the one vee rail length setting, which controlled all the exit rail-joints, and the exit peg positions.

It is now possible to switch the stock rail joint marks on and off individually, and the position of all 4 joints can be adjusted independently.

Select the required rail, slide the new locator device to the required position, and click the button to set the rail joint there.

Brief video clip showing this: https://85a.uk/templot/club/index.php?media/video-227a-taster.216/

A few points to note:

1. the locator moves along the rail centre, and unlike the peg (which moves along the gauge-face) it is purely an indicator. It plays no part in the template geometry. It is also used to position the new symbols (droppers and gaps) functions. For the locator the rails are numbered 1..4 across from the main-road stock rail. This means the numbers swap over for the vee rails.

2. moving the splice rail joint (turnout-side vee rail) also sets the CTRL-6 TVJP peg position, which in turn controls the make branch track function.

3. moving the point rail joint (main-side vee rail) also sets the CTRL-8 MVJP peg position, which in turn controls the split exit track function.

4. moving the joints has no effect on the exit timbering, which is set from the existing vee rail length setting. Over to you to change that setting or shove the timbers as necessary to provide the closed-up timber spacing adjacent to the rail joints. Whole books could be written about the positioning of vee rail joints in complex formations.

I imagine these functions will mostly be used with partial templates when building up complex formations.

@Julian Roberts Thanks to Julian for suggesting these functions.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1530

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

5.
timbering breakdown totals:

You can now get a full breakdown of timbering requirements for a track plan. This might be useful if you are ordering plastic timbers or individual laser-cut timbers.

total_timbering1.png


total_timbering3.png


There are options to print, PDF, and copy the list if you right-click on it.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1540

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

6.
background maps:

There are a lot of changes to this function.

The bad news is that Templot can no longer capture and scale the NLS Map Finder / Find by Place individual map sheets. The NLS have changed their web site, which now no longer works properly for those maps in the Windows embedded browser. They can still be captured manually in your own browser and used in Templot of course.

The NLS georeferenced slippy maps are not affected by this and can still be automatically captured and scaled as screenshot maps.

But you may no longer want to do that because the good news is that the NLS 25" maps now cover most of the country, and can now be loaded as tiled maps. Likewise some of the larger 50" maps.

Which means the scaling is much more accurate without any browser getting in on the act, and the map can be any size you like regardless of your screen size.

I need to write a proper companion topic and video on all this, or maybe do a live demo. But here's a very brief run through the tiled maps:

new_maps1.png


0. set your model scale/gauge. All bets are off if you don't do this first. It's easy to forget.

1. enter a name for the map. It can be anything you like.

2. choose a map series. For a typical country branch line it will probably be available only in the 25" County Series.

3. enter the location. The easy way to find it is to click the blue NLS maps link.

Which will open the 1950s 25K map which covers the country, and shows the entire rail network pre-Beeching:

new_maps7.png


Drag and zoom to where you want to be, then

1. click the Add Marker button at the bottom of the page.
2. click on the map at the desired location.
3. copy the entire URL from the address bar.

then back to

4. paste it into the box in Templot.

5. for the 25" County Series you now need to help Templot find the tiles by selecting the relevant county. These are the traditional steam-era counties, so you may need to refer back to the 25K map to know. You can enter a neighbouring county too if it's not clear exactly where the old boundaries run.

6. and finally click the button to load the tiled map.

But first Templot needs to know how many tiles to load and where to put them on the trackpad:

new_maps2.png



Don't start too large, the map can be easily extended later. These are the model sizes -- in 4mm/ft scale the 25" tiles scale to roughly 1200mm/4ft square.

This is the result, 6 tiles loaded (exceeding your specified area):

new_maps3.png


Please note that these maps are copyright © National Library of Scotland. Creative Commons permission for personal non-commercial use only, see: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/ No commercial use or use for financial gain without an agreement with NLS. See: https://maps.nls.uk/copyright.html

These are 6 ordinary picture shapes, but it's important you don't edit the name which Templot has given them. You can choose whether to have the borders round each one, and all the other usual settings in the background shapes dialog.

Now you can extend the map by clicking the buttons to add further rows and columns of tiles on all 4 sides. This way you can build a map as large as you like. Here I have added one row at the bottom and 2 columns on the right:

new_maps4.png



Zooming in you can see that the image is blocky and confusing in places. There are some new functions to help with this, click the improve map clarity... button:

new_maps5.png


with this result:

new_maps6.png


which makes it much easier to align templates over the map. You can choose any colours you like, but using the same colours as the trackpad is a good option. There are several settings in the map clarity dialog for experiments with specific maps.

Having got all the tiles you need, you can if you wish use the crop/combine function to convert the map to a single picture shape (which could then be rotated (twisted) if desired).

More about all this in due course.

And if you don't want to do any of that, the automated screenshot map option still works exactly as before.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1548

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

7. bold timbers
:

The option to have the last template stored showing with bold timbers is a Marmite thing. Very useful for beginners to see that something happens when they do store & background / insert. And a handy reminder of where you had got to if you are distracted from Templot for a while. But quite irritating to more experienced users. It was easy enough to go into the menu to turn it off, but a nuisance to have to do it. Or at least, I found it so:

bold_timbers_shortcut.png


I'm pleased to say I have found a convenient shortcut key for this now in 227b. The NOT key ( , top-left below ESC ) is easily placed to dab and toggle the bolding on and off. It was previously used for something else, although I doubt very often.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1551

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

8. find intersection
:

This one is for experienced Templot users. :)

You may have noticed that in 227b I have marked the put notch on intersection function as deprecated:

find_intersection2.png


It still works, and can be used if you prefer. But it's less than ideal for several reasons. It can apply only to plain track or the main road of turnouts, it can apply only to constant-radius curves (no transitions or slews), and it is awkward to use with straight track. It's a geometrical calculation, so you get 2 possible intersections and Templot asks you which one you want.

As an alternative there is a new find intersection function. This works by searching the templates instead. Consequently it can work for any road or rail, it can work on transition curves and slews, and it returns only one result. The downside is that the templates must actually intersect within their length, in other words the intersect location must be visible on the trackpad. In practice that is no great hardship.

Here is a transition curve cutting across a turnout. The result needs to be 2 diamond-crossings interwoven. Starting with the diamond on the turnout road, select the appropriate rails:

find_intersection3.png

and the result is:

find_intersection4.png



The intersection is found, and there are some options. A V-crossing is needed at that intersection, so click that option, and:

find_intersection5.png


Not at first sight very helpful. But we have a V-crossing of the required angle, in the right place, and aligned with the original track. So it just needs a few clicks to re-arrange things and get what we want:

1. geometry > shift rotate > rotate 180 degrees to get it facing the other way.

2. template > mirror left/right hand (not the usual swap hand) to get the required hand.

3. F10 mouse action to adjust the K-crossing angle until the K-knuckle marks align with the other intersections:

find_intersection6.png


and we have made a good start.

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1563

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

9. construction symbols
:

There is a new function to add construction symbols to a printed template:
template_symbols3.png


template_symbols.png


The present symbols available are electrical feed droppers, isolation gaps, and stickers.

It's very useful to have the droppers marked on the template at construction time. Especially if you want to prepare for them, for example by drilling holes through the rail web to receive the feed wires. It's 100 times easier to do that before the rail is fixed in place! It's also easier to leave neat narrow isolation gaps if you remember to make them during construction rather than cutting them afterwards.

Most folks would mark up the printed templates with felt-tip pen, but having them planned in advance means you can print duplicate copies of the template if needed, and create circuit diagrams on-screen. Another handy idea would be to print a mirror-image template which can be attached to the underside of the baseboard to aid identification of the wiring connections.

The symbols are added by

1. selecting the required rail 1..4.

2. click the slide locator button.

3. slide the blue locator mark along the rail by mouse action.

4. make your settings for the symbol.

5. click the add symbol at locator button to add the desired symbol at that location:

template_symbols1.png


There is an option to put a dropper on an adjacent check rail if desired (improves pickup if using plastic chairs):

index.php


Symbols can be any desired colour. It's likely that you would want to choose a colour for the droppers to match the connecting wires. Each dropper can be given an ID label to reference your circuit diagram. The dropper symbol resembles a solder tag below the rail.

Gaps don't need an ID or any special colour. No doubt they would usually be red or similar, but can be any colour. The gap symbol resembles the H-section locking plastic fishplates available from C&L, Exactoscale and others.

In addition there are sticker symbols which can be attached to the template (max 12 characters). A sticker is very similar to a background label shape, but is attached to the template rather than the background, and can be in a variety of different colours. You can have as many stickers as you wish. I imagine the most frequent use would be to number the templates if building a batch of turnouts off-site.

Each symbol can be in any of 4 sizes as preferred.

To edit an existing symbol, select it by clicking on it, or by clicking its entry in the list. It will turn white and the locator will be positioned over it. Change the settings as required, and then click the modify symbol button. Likewise to delete a symbol.

To move a symbol: select it, delete it, move the locator, add it again.

In addition to being useful on the printed templates, these symbols can be used on the sketchboard to prepare colourful circuit diagrams, by linking the droppers with coloured lines.

The dropper symbols can of course be used to mean anything you like. For example if placed directly over a timber in some designated colour, the symbol could indicate the position of L1 bridge chairs, as a reminder when threading the chairs. If placed on an imaginary check rail inside the switch blades, small-size droppers could indicate the position of the stretcher bars or drive rodding:

index.php


@Ikcdab Thanks to Ian for the original suggestion: https://85a.uk/templot/archive/topics/topic_3704.php

Sorry it took so long to be released. :)

cheers,

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 1566

Martin Wynne

Admin
Thread starter
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
.
Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
227 changes

10. sketchboard reference item
:

Returning to this topic because I forgot to mention a new feature on the sketchboard.

I have shoehorned an extra tickbox into the sketchboard control panel:

2_050953_140000000.png


Any geometric item can be set as a reference item by ticking the above box (only one item at any time).

Then other item(s) can be selected, and you can modify them to match the reference item, for dimensions and/or colours:

2_050954_520000000.png


The reference item can be an existing item, or one created for the purpose and afterwards deleted.

This function is useful if you have added several copies of an item, or several similar items, and you want to change them all in one go. Change the first one, then use it as a reference to change all the others.

(To select multiple items, hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on them.)

Martin.
 
_______________
message ref: 2160
Top