Thursday, 24 November 2022

Software news

 I am busy resurrecting my "Car Cards" software that I used on my previous Kato round-roundy. I am making some changes to it to get a mobile phone view that is reminiscent of the development I did for the final project unit of my Open University course. This look like so (right click for a bigger version):

I don't have the software to make a true mobile phone app like the one shown so it will be a simple web page. There is also a back up web package that provides views of all of the relevant data.

This is how it goes.

Data is stored for the variety of information needed to decide on car routing. This includes trains, cars, locos and industries. Each loco is listed with its road name, running number, loco type (passenger, road or switcher) and DCC id. Cars are listed by their road, car type, AAR designation and an image address. Industries are listed by name, town, car type and allowed time on site. An industry entry is required for each car type at any specific industry so an industry might be listed multiple times. The intention is that this process should be fairly similar to the MicroMark car card package.

There is a single display which is the current train being processed. This lists all the relevant data for the train and all the cars as in this example.

Once you have moved all the cars as described, you click on the "Process Train" button. The database is updated with all the new locations and the next train is built and displayed.

Using a web browser will result in more information being available so you can not only create and process trains but you can also list each data list - trains, cars, locations, etc. 

Oh, I forgot to mention that it will also create unit trains - that is a train with one type of car - coal hoppers, container flats and so on.

It is a simple system as it only deals with a single yard fed from staging which is all I need at the moment. My original Open University project was for a much more sophisticated program that allowed for multiple databases and much for flexible layout design - end to end with three towns or something similar. However, this requires more work before it can be offered even for testing. The Open University project just required me to develop an outline program that produced some test results. I expect to offer that system - Old Bill's Switch List - sometime next year.

Once I am happy with the existing Car Cards system, I will offer it up for others to test but I need to make it multi-user first. Expect that sometime after Xmas as I would like to run some trains myself first.

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