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Thread: Helper Engines

  1. #1
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    Cool Helper Engines

    Has anyone studied how helper engines act in the player consist???

    I just started messin with Trainz 12 and I drove the "Mojave to Bakersfield" session all the way.

    As a Wild Willy would do, I wanted to substitute my favorite PO&N steamers for the diesels in the session. I managed to kind of get that done but, when I drove it, I got to a place where suddenly my wheels were slipping and I was not in a spot where the gradient was steepest, so far.

    I started to jump into the other two helpers and I was reminded of something I had seen before; It seemed that the throttle and reverser were not in the same position as the lead engine and the fire was down to 15% coal and the boiler pressure was very low. After making some adjustments the other engines did help again as they did in the beginning because I was able to continue up that grade.

    It seems to me that the individual engines have to be adjusted and fed seperately to make them work right which might be a cool thing for Multiplayer if one has a good crew. I have four desktops on my network but only two are good enough to run Trainz 12, "maybe" or, I would invite yinze over to play.

    I wanted to pose this question and then go back to the game and work on this some more. I think I'm correct in thinking that the lead engine, only, gets a driver and not each engine in a gang of helpers??? I guess I have to go back to the original session and try and study how they put it together.

    I'm so forgetfull. I know now that I had come to the conclusion before that I had to limit my steam consists to just what one engine could pull up the steepest hill but is there another answer??????

    Thanks

    Wild Willy the Wacko

  2. #2
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    Default

    One of the things I find annoying about Trainz is the lack of an automatic fireman - after starting I can adjust the feedwater injector so I don't have to fiddlefaddle with that, but I have to remember to hit the F9 HUD on to check the coal level so I can hit the spacebar as needed to shovel coal. Having a steam helper means I gotta do it for two engines. AI don't work right either because once you couple onto an AI train your engine is now under control of the AI driver.

    Experiments with multiplayer, you can get behind the other player's train and help shove, but you can't double head because the couplers on one player's train will not engage with the couplers on the other player's train.

  3. #3
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    Default Hi, Snipe

    Wow, this looks really strange to me!! I know squat about computer programing but doesn't this:

    "Experiments with multiplayer, you can get behind the other player's train and help shove, but you can't double head because the couplers on one player's train will not engage with the couplers on the other player's train."

    look like like a feature that someone had to think about and put special code in the game so as to PREVENT multiplayer from working in the kind of colabritive way that "helpers" would. Although, in the case of the Mojave Sub, I think I saw helper sidings and the way you discribe being able to push and then just back off might actually work better than trying to call up the decouple thingee to release yourself when not needed.

    Wild Willy the Wacko

  4. #4
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    One weird thing to try, chase up behind an AI train and couple onto it. Then uncouple your engine and try to control it, last time I tried that I couldn't get the controls working again. Possibly that's why they designed it that way, too complicated to figure out the fizzix when two different drivers are trying to control the same train. Tug-of-war anyone?

  5. #5
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    Hi Willy --

    "I think I'm correct in thinking that the lead engine, only, gets a driver and not each engine in a gang of helpers???"

    It replicates real life - with diesels they have a multiple unit connection, so the driver of the first controls the lot; in steam there is (as in real life) no multiple unit connection between locomotives so each one has to be driven individually. In both cases, though, a train brake application applies the brakes on all.

    Phil

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Yes, I noticed this!

    Quote Originally Posted by philskene View Post
    Hi Willy --

    "I think I'm correct in thinking that the lead engine, only, gets a driver and not each engine in a gang of helpers???"

    It replicates real life - with diesels they have a multiple unit connection, so the driver of the first controls the lot; in steam there is (as in real life) no multiple unit connection between locomotives so each one has to be driven individually. In both cases, though, a train brake application applies the brakes on all.

    Phil
    I guess I can't say that the independent brake works the same way. I guess I need to go back and test that. It might work OK if they were independent and I could set the brake on the rear helper and streach out the consist.

    I didn't have as much trouble going up the hill as going down.


    What would the proper reverser setting be for going down?


    I originally set them to 0 and even though I was on a 2%+ grade, my train would stay at about 5 mi./hr. When I tried to bring the speed up nearer to the track speed limit, is when I got into real trouble. I tried to set the reverser at 5 but would find it at 35 later after comming back from stoaking the other boilers. That happened in all three engines.

    Then, I would find my train going too fast and the lower half of the HUD would disappear along with the T-bar control pannel dowm in the lower right corner of the screen. At this time, the in-cab control levers would stop responding. It looked like when one jumps into an AI and one has no control and not even access to all info to study how the AI is running ( like how full does he keep his boiler and how much coal is in the fire box or does he set the injector or just blast in a bunch of water every once in a while)

    Usually, after fiddling with in cab controls, the HUD and control pannel would come back but by that time the train would be way out of control and I eventually broke couplers and the session ended.

    Thanks

    Wild Willy the Wacko
    Last edited by CWA13000; 02-01-2012 at 09:15 AM.

  7. #7
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    All the testing I did was with diesels, for those the power, dynamics, and independent brakes all work correctly as per the prototype. Steam is a different kettle (sorry, couldn't resist), only thing I tested was doubleheading to drag a long heavy train up a short steep grade, one engine stalls two engines make it to the top. I didn't do any extensive testing or try resistive steam braking on a downgrade, nor did I try anything except the C-41 2-8-0 locos since those are the only ones that work with Raildriver.

  8. #8
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    Unhappy A little off topic

    I don't want to offend anyone involved with the C41 engines! I love the crap out of these things, especially the PO&N rustoleum model! That shiney new one, I use for my AIs.

    I used to like to play the train sim games sometimes from the prospective of just what the engineer, fireman, and or conductor could see from their positions in the cab. I used to like particular engines because of extra camera views like the RS11 in MSTS that had a right and a left head-out view and I had some steamers that had similar views.

    I can't seem to find head-out views in Trainz.

    With the PO&N C41s, if you switch to the cab view and then try to zoom out, you end up looking streight at the throttle handle beside the window. If you want to then look out the window you have to turn your head (camera view ) to the right which now puts you in the situation where you are actually looking away towards the right side of the right of way instead of down the side of the boiler and streight down the tracks ahead.

    Here is the question:

    Can I go to a place in the files for the engine and change a variable that would move the camera over to the right as far as possible to the side window so that when I look streight ahead that I will be looking through the winsow and down the tracks?? If so where is the variable located in the engine files??

    I guess that if this is possible then I would have to do something to keep the DLS from repairing such a deviation??

    Thanks

    Wild Willy the Wacko

  9. #9
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    Cool Correction; work with YOURr Raildriver!

    Quote Originally Posted by sniper297 View Post
    All the testing I did was with diesels, for those the power, dynamics, and independent brakes all work correctly as per the prototype. Steam is a different kettle (sorry, couldn't resist), only thing I tested was doubleheading to drag a long heavy train up a short steep grade, one engine stalls two engines make it to the top. I didn't do any extensive testing or try resistive steam braking on a downgrade, nor did I try anything except the C-41 2-8-0 locos since those are the only ones that work with Raildriver.


    I'm still not using Raildriver with steam. It would not work right in Trainz 2010EE for me. I guess, to be fair, I need to plug it into my 12 machine and test it there but things move slow for me. You had encouraged me to try it with 2010 and I got the same old radical swings in opperation as with MSTS. Maybe I have always had a defective Raildriver. I thought that by getting some high end power supplys on my new machines, maybe the voltages would be more stable and smooth out the Raildriver opperation but that did not pan out with 2010.

    BUT, back to steam and helpers on the Mojave. Over the last two days I've had many broken couplers. It seems there is no way to jump back and forth between three engines to keep the train in control if one lets the the train get above 20 mph. Setting the reversers at 0 seems to make the engine act like it has engine breaks applied.

    I am close to the end of the session and I've been running at 5- 12 mph. I do this by setting the independent at about the halfway point and when the speed gets up around 9 mph I give the train breaks an initial setting till the speed drops back to 4-5 mph. Both the train and independent brakes work on all three engines at the same time but without going this slow and being gentle with the breaks I get broken couplers.

    When I get to a grade that is a little less steep, I pull a little with the lead engine and back off but it is taking forever to get down this hill. Now that I am at a spot that the grade is around -1 and less, I have bumped the other two engines up to reverser notch 3% with no throttle. I am back in the lead engine and when the grade is close to level I have to bump the reverser and throttle up a bit while backing off at the slightest rise in speed.

    Again, a couple times, I have gone to check the boilers on the two helpers and have discovered that some gremlin has placed all reversers in 35%. If I can't quickly reset these to 0%, the train will run-away every time, especially since it seems that when the speed indicator turns RED indicating over the limit, the controls will stop responding and the HUD will revert to that of an AI engine for varying lengths of time. If I manage to make a heavy train break application upon seeing RED, the train will usually come to a dead stop and give me control back. If not, then it's broken couplers every time. Of course, this is no way to drive a train!!!!!

    Willy
    Last edited by CWA13000; 02-06-2012 at 01:14 PM.

  10. #10
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    First thing is don't try to be 3 engineers, that TS12 session with the helpers is designed for masochists in the first place and using steam instead of diesels only enhances the agony. Second thing, go into the TS2010 or TS12 folder, run the RDcalibration.exe file, and at the end make sure you don't skip the last step of resetting all the controls to the default positions before clicking "Finish". If you have Windows explorer set to show Date Modified;

    http://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showthr...er-for-dummies

    You can see which files have been modified by today's date, so copy the appropriate TS2010 subfolders to the TS12 folder, then you only have to calibrate once.



    Run this type of search and I see three files modified by the calibration, one goes in the root folder of TS2009, TS2010, or TS12, the other two are the only files in the \controller subfolder, so I copy the RailDriver.def file and the \controller folder into all my other Trainz installations and have them all freshly calibrated. Only real problem I have with steam is the reverser response is really slow, yank it from full forward to full aft and it takes several seconds for the HUD display to catch up.

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