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Thread: Link-1 positioning critical.

  1. #1
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    Default Link-1 positioning critical.

    Using a Tall 1H 0T signal. One train. The first two pictures show Link-1 positions that will produce a constant red signal. The AI train off to the left, and out of the picture, will ignore it and proceed to its destination. It is programmed to return to its starting position which does not set the signal to green.

    The third position shows the Link-1 placed to allow the signal to operate properly Here the signal starts off green and goes red as the train passes to ite destination. Upon its return it once again returns to green when the train passes beyond the signal.

    This illustrates one of the pitfalls of the signaling system in Rail Works. It is not, in this case that it does not work, it is a customer induced situation that simply causes false signaling. The best remedy for this, and similar signaling processes, is for the program to report a bad signal placement instead of allowing the scenario to proceed leaving the customer wondering what in the ____ is going on.


    Not reported

    A question arises from the first two pictures - do any real railroads place sensors in these positions?
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    Regards - Dick
    i5 2500K$ 4.2ghz, GTX 750 2gb, 8gb of SkillFULL memory, A 700 watt power thingy, lots of cables
    Program to take screenie weenys from da puter. Bro, Dude, Man operator Murysville,Pa.



  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by boleyd View Post
    Using a Tall 1H 0T signal.
    I don't think the signal listed has a link 1 so you must have used a different signal, maybe Tall 1H 1T?

    You are on your way to understanding quite a few of the issues (not errors) with signaling in RW/RS. Placement of the links. If you are not perfect in your placement, you will not get the correct indications.

    Just understand that placments of the links depends on what you are trying to accomplish. It may be different for different junctions or sets of junctions. Also, the signal may not have been created to cover your particular circumstance.

    That is part of the "charm" with these types of simulators. They are open so you can create your own signals. That also means they might not include something you want or need so you have to create it yourself or wait for someone else to create it for you.

    You take the good with the bad I'm afraid. They get to say, it will work, nobody has created the goods yet to do it and we aren't really interested in creating those goods. It is up to individual developers.

    If there is an error you have to prove to them that there is an error. It is with forums like this one where we can discover based on other people's experiences how to accomplish a task. If not, it is up to us to discover how to do it with a few guidelines from the publisher.

    I'm afraid you have read/listened to many of the others who have posted similar issues and blamed it totally on the stupidity of the developer. First, that is never going to get a great response from the developer, and second, it just isn't true.

    I have just as many frustrations as anyone when trying to get a scenario to run correctly or get a signal to give the proper indications. I try adjusting things and usually I can eventually get it to work correctly. I have hundreds of hours into it, just like I'm sure you do and many others do. My focus has been on the signaling aspect because I cannot draw a square. Me creating a route is out of the question. I could lay the track and signal it but that would be the end for me. Maybe a few trees or existing assets but even getting the ground level is tough for me to do. I just don't have the knack.

    I believe you can see in my scenarios that there is the possibility of much more AI interaction than people would lead you to believe. But that takes hours of signaling in order for the AI trains to work. Don't want to do that? Then you need to not have the AI trains.

    As delivered the software routes do not provide the signaling necessary. It provides for very limited AI interaction with players. If you want more, you will have to signal.

    As I mentioned before, placing a junction and a signal and then putting trains on the track will never give you the results you want. You are frustrating yourself trying to figure it out that way.

    Place your layout and then signal every bit of it the way you think it should be signaled before you place a single train. Use manual junctions to start with so you can throw the switches back and forth on each junction until you get the correct aspects showing. If you can't get that at a minimum, there is no way you will get multiple trains to move properly.

    Even with every junction signaled properly, that is not necessarily good signaling as it may not stop collisions. This is especially important on single track sections. You may have to change your signals to cover not only the junction but the track beyond until the next junction/signal because you never want to allow more than 1 train on that section. You might even want to cover multiple junctions. Each of these situation will require a specific signal created for that purpose and it may already exist in the assets provided or it may not.

    Just because the assest is not currently provided does not mean the signaling is wrong or does not work. Most of the simple junctions are covered for dual track signaling. Single track signaling is not covered very well and although you can get it to work, you won't really get the correct aspects showing as you would in the "real world" because nobody has created those signals yet. Signaling is no different than any other asset. No different than an engine or any scenery object. If it does not exist you have to create what you want or modify what someone else has created to fit your needs.

    Ok, I'm done. Sorry if I got carried away here but I really see a lot of bad information floating about. I don't for one minute think it is purposely meant to mislead anyone. I just think a lot of it is out of frustration at not being given enough information or assets to make the signaling work for all situations. I think the information provided could be much better although you will never be able to cover all the different possibilities with signaling. This is because the signal scripts can be written by anyone who wants to write them. How do you write instructions to cover that? They can only provide the basics of how the signals they provided work and hope that others follow that same guideline when creating and placing their own signals.

    P.S. I am not defending anyone. I am stating what I believe so that others will create new and exciting routes, scenarios and assets so that I can enjoy this game more. Yup, I'm selfish but realize I can't be selfish without others.
    Last edited by pikehkr; 08-21-2009 at 03:15 PM.

  3. #3
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    Your philosophy is quite broad and accommodating of both the possible and the impossible. From what you say all is good and that which is not will be managed with the correct(ed) tools. A rather pacific view. It places no direct burden on the vendor and implies that a communal sharing of the challenges will achieve the needs of the populace. This is probably the mode we are currently in but without a specific commitment from the vendor to contribute their share.

    My view is more harsh. I looked at the idea of making custom signals and put that aside for two reasons. The time needed to understand the language and compilation processes. The other is that I have absolutely no idea what the proper procedures are for railroad signaling and diddling signals would probably do more harm than good.

    I will not tie myself to structured scenarios that can be blindly run over and over with the same results. Somewhat like the definition of insanity. I am spoiled by flight simulators that have the variables of weather, air traffic, and mechanical issues. Each of these has sufficient depth to make an otherwise rote and boring flight "interesting". I do not see that here. Carefully constructed scenarios that avoid almost all semblance of random interaction are the only product. Start mixing AI and player and you have problems. Here we rejoin hands. It seems that a carefully structured scenario could run a long time with all kinds of trains whizzing about, disappearing into portals and popping out. Stopping, diverting to sidings, loading and unloading. You now have a statically conditioned replica of a very nice model railroad.

    We have excellent examples of simulators that account for a range of variables. Flight simulation today alters the environment of the simulated flight using the actual real weather (wind, precipitation, clouds, temperature) of the area you are flying through. These simulators provide real air traffic control situations based upon the hundreds of concurrent participants linked together on special computer systems world wide. Mechanical issues are produced to account for wear since the last overhaul or the errant pilot that did not check the oil level. These are all occurring in a fluid manner to provide a very close to reality simulation of flight. These are real-time changes!

    People here discuss routes, rail shapes, cab controls, physics etc. They are attempting to replicate as much as possible a prototypical railroad. But the result is a snapshot in time, or at its best a recorded loop. Unfortunately, this is not reality. THINGS CHANGE. Rail Works has no way to accommodate change.

    Doors won't close so a train is stuck for an hour until a mechanic can fix it. A customer walks into the freight office and wants two tankers of alcohol delivered to an industry. The scenario you spend days tuning to work is now unable to accept the exact changes that make a functional prototypical railroad.

    The point is that by extensive tuning of a complex scenario to make it work, you are stuck with it. The slightest alteration may take many hours to re-tune. Railroads run on schedules. Even the more random world of freight is scheduled. But the schedules are not the same every day and every hour. Passenger trains loose cars on the weekends and skip some stations on Sundays. Freight deliveries are a massive and variable every day. When someone figures out how to accommodate this large set of variables then we are on our way!
    Regards - Dick
    i5 2500K$ 4.2ghz, GTX 750 2gb, 8gb of SkillFULL memory, A 700 watt power thingy, lots of cables
    Program to take screenie weenys from da puter. Bro, Dude, Man operator Murysville,Pa.



  4. #4
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    All I can say is Huh? Way to change the whole conversation. We were talking about signals and now you want to decide which day of the week it is on the fly.

    I have nothing to add or take away from that other than it would be sweet to have that kind of simulator. Even in a flight simulator you have the ability to change direction, go up, go down, free fly around. I don't think you can compare the two. A train simulator is never going to be as exciting as all that. Since you can only go forwards and backwards... I mean really, how exciting can that ever be? Wow, today I think I'll go... um... wait for it... Forwards!!! Yay!!!

    Pike

  5. #5
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    Cool If an AI train derails in the wilderness and the player don't see it...

    Does it end the game? Trainsimmer's ZEN.

    Well Dick, first two pics no, and that ain't a 1H0T since the 1H0T has only one track trip. Idea with the trips is they're supposed to be able to trace a path, and if the switch is thrown against them it breaks the link causing the signal to go red. Another item is the speed limit, if it's 15mph or less you'll get a least restrictive of flashing red, you'll never see a yellow or green unless the track speed is 20mph or higher.

    I haven't poked around enough to figure out what all this stuff is, for example I have no clue what the E signals are for. Once I determined the AI had no actual intelligence in it I pretty much gave up investigating it further, the AI trains were designed to run from A to B on their own isolated track and all the signals and destination markers and stop at instructions are merely an attempt to kludge around the problem instead of fixing it. For the basic setup tho, I've been using the 1H0T signals as pure intervals on tracks the AI spawns into, since an AI trying to spawn from a portal into an occupied block would crash the game. On a route with no signals I added two AI trains to a portal 10 minutes apart, AI 1 spawned at 10:00, ran the path and disappeared into the end portal at 10:05. At 10:10 AI 2 tried to spawn and crashed the game because the block was still "occupied" by the memory of AI1, since AI 1 hadn't passed any signals to clear the block. Obviously that's not how it's supposed to work, but that's what we have so I add 1H0T signals on the portal tracks.

    For basic switch signaling, a 2 head at the facing point end and a 1H1T on each of the trailing point ends are all you need.



    Trip zero always goes next to the base of the signal, trip 1 beyond the switch, done this way the signal will be red unless it can trace a path from trip zero to trip 1.



    Facing point "home" signal, 2H2T, link zero by the signal, link 1 on the straight track past the switch, link 2 on the curve past the switch. Save and exit back to the menu to allow the route to think about it for a while and get used to the idea, then restart the route;



    Switch straight the facing point end you have green over red, trailing point straight sees an unbroken trace to trip 1 and shows green, curved track signal can't find trip 1 since the trace is blocked by the switch points and shows red.



    Bend the iron so the switch is curved, red over green and looking from the other side a green for the curve, red for the straight.

    Won't help with the AI traffic but that's the basic way to set it up.
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  6. #6
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    Default 1h1t

    Yes I had the wrong designator in the text. I was only illustrating a possible common set of errors and their results from a customer using signals. If each signal, or family of signals, had detailed explanations of their purpose, how TO use them and how NOT to use them customers would be more encouraged to signal their own self-made routes. Over on the the UK forum TheOldTrainSpotter mentioned that he gets good results with the first 4 or so signals in the list. Someone else mentioned that the more exotic were probably more to accommodate the oddities in AI.

    The understanding of signals, or lack of it, was evident from the documentation that had one small section on how to use signals and several on how to make them. They seemed to hope some customer would step forward and finish KUJU's work. Now we at least see information in the Wiki from some text that sets the baseline as to what we can expect each signal should do. If I were Rail simulation I would not try to go any further on the the "how they should work" but back track to the basic ones and write detailed, and illustrated, instructions HOW to use them and HOW NOT to use them. A proper set of instructions for the simple signals can then be used when they get into the more esoteric stuff. In the meantime the majority of signals are properly placed and thus problems reports have a RATIONAL basis!
    Regards - Dick
    i5 2500K$ 4.2ghz, GTX 750 2gb, 8gb of SkillFULL memory, A 700 watt power thingy, lots of cables
    Program to take screenie weenys from da puter. Bro, Dude, Man operator Murysville,Pa.



  7. #7
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    Hey, Jim,

    I just took a good look at the signalling sections of the RW Wiki (is that one of those torches that are good for covering up the smell of burning meat?). First observation: only the section related to British light signals shows any sign of completion. Second observation: there are a lot of empty boxes marked "Image goes here" or something of that sort. Since RW has yet to fill those boxes, wonder if they would object to users putting together a HikiWiki that would include text clips from the actual Wiki plus screen shots supplied by users? This would have to be heavily content-controlled, perhaps by one of your famous 3 blind mice. I'm inspired to suggest this by the material you've posted in this thread, which could be the basis of a section of the HikiWiki (love those grass skirts!).

    Tom Pallen

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