RR-CirKits, Inc.
Specializing in Affordable Electronics for Model Railroads

MER 2016 Signaling Your Layout

By Dick Bronson

This is the upgraded version for the 2016 MER convention in Raligh NC.

Signaling Your Layout presentation.

MER 2016 LCC (Intro to Layout Command Control)

By Dick Bronson

This is an LCC presentation for the MER 2016 in Raligh NC.

LCC presentation.

PDX 2015 Signaling Your Layout

By Dick Bronson

This is the upgraded version for the 2015 NMRA convention in Portland OR.

Signaling Your Layout presentation.


JMRI 2014 Control Panel Editor plus Warrants for the NMRA Cleveland convention

By Dick Bronson

This is the upgraded version for the July 2014 NMRA Convention in Cleveland.

Control Panel Editor presentation.
Signals, and Warrants presentation.
The clinic's panel file. 2014-Clinic.xml Save the .xml file in your JMRI 3.8 or later preferences directory.

JMRI 2013 Control Panel Editor

By Dick Bronson

JMRI is a free software suite for programming decoders, creating panels, and other operations. For more information and to download your own copy go to http://www.jmri.org.

Create a modern dispatch panel using Control Panel Editor

Protoypical modern dispatch panels may be created using Control Panel Editor. The basics of this are covered in the first clinic given in Atlanta. Control Panel Editor-A.pdf

JMRI 2013 Automatic train control using Warrants

JMRI Warrants allow you to automatically run trains on panels created with the Control Panel Editor and using Signal Masts for Aspect Based Signaling.

The basics of adding the required layout data are covered in the second clinic given in Atlanta. Control Panel Editor-B.pdf
The Panels file for these clinics may be downloaded at PE2013-Clinic.xml Run it using JMRI 3.4 or later, configured as LocoNet simulator. Occupancy may be simulated using the small icons under the track.

JMRI 2012 Aspect Signaling Clinics.

By Dick Bronson

JMRI is a free software suite for programming decoders, creating panels, and other operations. For more information and to download your own copy go to http://www.jmri.org.

Controling signals in a prototypical manner

Protoypical signal systems present "aspects" to the engineer to tell him how to run his train. The "Stop" aspect, for example, is pretty simple: Stop the train. The "Approach medium" aspect indicates something more complicated: "Proceed approaching next signal at medium speed". Each aspect has an associated "indication", which is normally codified in the railroad's rule book.

Different signals may show an aspect using different combinations of lights, semaphore positions, and/or placards; these are called "appearances". For example, the "stop" aspect will be a single red lamp on a signal mast with one head, red over red lamps for a signal mast with two heads, etc.

JMRI Support for Aspect Signaling

The original JMRI support for signals was via "Signal Heads", which could be set to specific appearances (colors). Signal heads could be controlled using SSL which codified basic ABS (Automatic Block System) rules. ABS was normally used on the prototype for double track with the current of traffic.

Starting with JMRI 2.9.1 (early 2010), JMRI added "Signal Mast" objects that each represent an entire signal, not just an individual head. A Signal Mast can operate one or more heads, as required to do full prototypical signaling based on aspects. When its "Aspect" is set to e.g. "Approach Medium", it handles all the layout operations needed to make the signals on the layout appear properly.

Signal Masts are configured through the Signal Mast Table. You add new ones with the "Add..." button on the table, which takes you to the "Add Signal Mast" window. To add a new signal mast, you specify what kind of signaling system it uses (see systems), the specific signal type like "double searchlight" or "double head dwarf", and what layout signal heads it's going to drive.

Signal Mast Logic

Starting with JMRI 2.11.7 (mid 2011), JMRI added a "Signal Mast Logic" tool, that allows the Signalling logic to be built up between Signal Masts on the layout. The signal mast logic uses the states of blocks, turnouts, sensors and other Signal Masts to determine what appearance a Signal Mast should be displaying out of those possible.

If the layout has been drawn up on the layout editor and the SignalMasts have been placed on the panel using its various tools, then it is possible for all the Signal Mast logic to be dynamically built, with little user interaction. Signal masts may also be easily added to panels created with Panel Editor or Control Panel Editor.

Signal Mast Rules

In JMRI 2.12 (July 2011) rules were added into the prebuilt signal system files. These rules allow the replacment of SSL and/or Logix that were previously required to do prototypical signaling. Warning! The available rules included in the 2.12 release are very incomplete and some are probably incorrect. Be sure to download the most recent test release of JMRI before working with Aspect Based Signals based on the provided signal sets.

NMRA GR2012 Aspect Signaling Clinics:

GR clinic number one covers the adding of masts to a panel and setting up the signal pairs and logic. Once you have downloaded and opened the file, these PDF files may be run as an animated full screen presentation by pressing <F5>.
GR-2012-Aspect.pdf (3,059Kbytes)

NMRA GR2012 Automatic Stopping Clinics:

GR clinic number two covers the use of JMRI Aspects and the LNCP hardware to automatically stop trains in front of a 'Stop' aspect. Once you have downloaded and opened the file, these PDF files may be run as an animated full screen presentation by pressing <F5>.
GR-2012-Stopping.pdf (483 Kbytes)

This is the panel file used to run the demo layout.
GR2012-Clinic-2.xml (125Kbytes)

NMRA X2011 Aspect Signaling Clinics:

Clinic number one covers the adding of masts to a panel and setting up the signal pairs and logic. Once you have downloaded and opened the file, these PDF files may be run as an animated full screen presentation by pressing <F5>.
X2011-1-intro.pdf (3,051Kbytes)

Clinic number two covers the internals of adding your own set of signal images and rules to follow your prototype.
X2011-2-internals.pdf (1,827Kbytes)

This is the panel file used to run the demo layout.
CP-X2011-Clinic.xml (159Kbytes)




NMRA 2009 PanelPro Clinics

Due to the many new features available in the latest version of JMRI the clinics for 2009 have been completely redone from the beginning. Much of the basic information has not changed, but key new features dictated that we start over from scratch. During this process I was working closely with the developers, and actually overshot the official 2.6.1 official release. This means that there are some features covered in these clinics that were not publicly available until the JMRI 2.7.4 test release. If you see a feature that you like, and it is not in the version you are using, then consider upgrading to a newer version. As I told the folks at my clinics, If you see a test release that has been out for more than a week or so without a newer one replacing it, then feel confident that it will not cause you problems. However, and always, be aware that files created and/or updated with newer versions of PanelPro will probably not work 100% right with any older versions. Always make a backup of any panel files in case you need to return to an older version for any reason.

I created this new series of clinics using OpenOffice.org Impress running on Ubuntu Linux and then saved them in both .ppt (Power Point) and .pdf (Adobe) formats. The .ppt files will allow you to step through them as a slide show. The .pdf format is more compact in file size, and is easier to print out in dead tree (hardcopy) format.

Like previous presentations (see below) these presentation files are large and have been broken up into smaller sections for easier downloads. There is a matching set of PanelPro files in .xml format to go along with each presentation. Download these and save them to your local JMRI folder on your own machine, do NOT try to open them with IE or MS Word, they will show up as blank files. You can edit or view them with a simple text editor or else an XML editor such as XML Marker from Symbolclick. Do not be tempted to use the Microsoft XML editor because it saves the files with a format error that prevents any further use by PanelPro.

These panel files expect that you are running JMRI 2.7.4 or later in order to load and run properly. They use the LocoNet Simulator, but also will interface with a LocoNet layout using actual sensors and turnouts. If your LocoNet layout has different items attached at the addresses used by this demo it may behave strangely while running the demo files. Simply switch into simulator mode to prevent this.

Intro to PanelPro. Covers the basics of how to build a simple classic CTC panel image and use it to control turnouts using Active Images.

Intro 09-1 PP.pdf (1,537 Kb)
Intro 09-1 PP.ppt (4,080 Kb)
2009Clinic1.xml (6 Kb)

Intro 09-2 PP.pdf (1,505 Kb)
Intro 09-2 PP.ppt (3,184 Kb)
2009Clinic2.xml (19 Kb)

Intro to Logix. Indirect layout control. Covers how to use the JMRI graphical logic tools known as Logix to add some simple interlocking rules.
Intro 09-3 Logix.pdf (2,134 Kb)
Intro 09-3 Logix.ppt (3,802 Kb)
2009Clinic3.xml (22 Kb)

Intro to Edit. Covers new copy and editing features that allow easy changes to panels and Logix.
Intro 09-4 Edit.pdf (680 Kb)
Intro 09-4 Edit.ppt (1,216 Kb)
2009Clinic4.xml (32 Kb)

Intro to SSL. Covers how to add ABS signals to your layout using PanelPro SSL. This could include a panel controlling your turnouts, or simply be running on a dedicated machine under the layout doing your signal logic.
Intro 09-5 SSL.pdf (1,616 Kb)
Intro 09-5 SSL.ppt (856 Kb)
2009Clinic5.xml (57 Kb)

Intro 09-6 SSL-Adv.pdf (733 Kb)
Intro 09-6 SSL-Adv.ppt (2,075 Kb)
2009Clinic6.xml (73 Kb)

Intro to CTC. Covers how to add CTC to your panel. Include sounds and delays.As those who attended the CTC clinic already know, the Intro 09-8 CTC-Logix.ppt and 2009Clinic8.xml files mentioned in the presentation do not yet exist in completed form.
Intro 09-7 CTC.pdf (2,182 Kb)
Intro 09-7 CTC.ppt (3,722 Kb)
2009Clinic7.xml (97 Kb)

Intro 09-8 CTC-Logix.ppt (384 Kb)
2009Clinic8.xml (114 Kb)

 


2009Clinic7.xml (0 Kb)

The following images show the all the default sensor values used in these clinics. Note: this feature is not yet available in PanelPro.

Left Turnout Right Turnout Left Crossover Right Crossover


NMRA 2008 PanelPro Clinics

I created this new series of clinics using OpenOffice.org Impress running on Ubuntu Linux and then saved them in both .ppt (Power Point) and .pdf (Adobe) formats. The .ppt files will allow you to step through them as a slide show. The .pdf format is more compact in file size, and is easier to print out in dead tree (hardcopy) format.

Like previous presentations (see below) these presentation files are large and have been broken up into smaller sections for easier downloads. There is a set of PanelPro files in .xml format to go along with each presentation. Download these and save them to your local JMRI folder on your own machine, do NOT try to open them with IE or MS Word, they will show up as blank files. You can edit or view them with a simple text editor or else an XML editor such as XML Marker from Symbolclick. Do not be tempted to use the Microsoft XML editor because it saves the files with a format error that prevents any further use by PanelPro.

These panel files expect that you are running JMRI 2.2 or later in order to load and run properly. They use the LocoNet Simulator, but also will interface with a LocoNet layout using actual sensors and turnouts. If your LocoNet layout has different items attached at the addresses used by this demo it may behave strangely while running the demo files. Simply switch into simulator mode to prevent this.

Intro to PanelPro. Covers the basics of how to build a simple classic CTC panel image and use it to control turnouts.

Intro to PP-1.pdf (1,380 Kb)
Intro to PP-1.ppt (2,817 Kb)
PanelEditorClinic1.xml (6 Kb)

Intro to PP-2.pdf (1,834 Kb)
Intro to PP-2.ppt (3,235 Kb)
PanelEditorClinic2.xml (19 Kb)

Intro to PP-3.pdf (2,319 Kb)
Intro to PP-3.ppt (3,559 Kb)
PanelEditorClinic3.xml (22 Kb)

Intro to SSL. Covers how to add ABS signals to your layout using PanelPro SSL. This could include a panel controlling your turnouts, or simply be running on a dedicated machine under the layout doing your signal logic.
Intro to SSL-1.pdf (586 Kb)
Intro to SSL-1.ppt (856 Kb)
SSLClinic1.xml (28 Kb)

Intro to SSL-2.pdf (1,430 Kb)
Intro to SSL-2.ppt (2,075 Kb)
SSLClinic2.xml (58 Kb)

Intro to CTC. Covers how to add CTC to your panel. The first panel shows all the underlying controls used for the signals and interlocking. The second version of the panel strips out all the extra information and presents the panel more like an operator half a century ago would see it. Both versions include sounds and delays.
Intro to CTC-1.pdf (1,939 Kb)
Intro to CTC-1.ppt (3,350 Kb)
CTCClinic1.xml (256 Kb)

Intro to CTC-2.pdf (751 Kb)
Intro to CTC-2.ppt (1,118 Kb)
CTCClinic2.xml (234 Kb)

NMRA 2007 PanelPro Clinics

The older clinic series is presented in the form of a series of Macromedia Flash files. These files are very large, so I have split them into shorter segments for more reasonable download times. I have also noted their sizes for your information. To get your free copy of the Macromedia Flash player follow the above link. The EXE versions available for some of the older files may run with better resolution for Windows only. However the scroll bar does not work.

To proceed from one page to the next after reading the appropriate text click on the "Next" button located near the lower right side of each frame. The "back" button returns you to the previous section. You may also control the presentation with the button and time bar at the bottom of the screen. You may pause or resume a presentation at any point with the Pause/Play button at the left end of the time bar. Dragging the slider along the time bar allows you to easily skip ahead or back any amount.

These frames were created at a resolution of 800x600 so you may need to maximize your browsers viewing area to see them clearly. It is recommended that you download the files and run them locally from your own machine.

NMRA 2007 PanelPro Clinics

These clinics are linked from one to another. You can start at any point and move backward or forward from there. There are also "skip ahead" points to pass repeat information that you already understand well.

To run off-line, copy both the .htm and .swf files to a disk, and run them from there. The first (.htm) links force your browsers image window to the correct size. The second (.swf) files are the actual Flash presentations.

1. Getting started. - PP-07-Clinic-1.swf (5.1 Mb)
2. Turnout Feedback. - PP-07-Clinic-2.swf (948 Kb)
3. Sensors. - PP-07-Clinic-3.swf (2.5 Mb)
4. Signal Heads. - PP-07-Clinic-4.swf (3.2 Mb)
5. Simple Signal Logic (ABS). - PP-07-Clinic-5.swf (2.4 Mb)
6. Basic Logix for Code Buttons & OS Interlocking. - PP-07-Clinic-6.swf (4.6 Mb)
7. Intro to Multi-Sensor Icons & Sensor Groups. - PP-07-Clinic-7.swf (3.7 Mb)
8. Intermediate Logix for CTC. - PP-07-Clinic-8.swf (5.5 Mb)
9. Advanced Logix details of the full CTC implementation. - there are no flash files available for Clinics 9-11. The .xml files may be loaded and include easy to follow user names for each item.

Here are the Panel Pro files for each step. Copy and save them to your own machine, do NOT try to open them with IE. They expect that you are running JMRI 1.8 or later. For the final panels (PP-07-Clinic-9.xml) and above. you will also need to add some image and sound files to your resources folders to properly run the example. (see below)

A special thanks to Mike Burgett and Mike Weber of Control Train Components http://www.ctcparts.com/ for all their patience in explaining just exactly how a mid century USS CTC system works. The changes between the simplistic system shown in session 8 and the full system presented in session 9 reflect their input.

PP-07-Clinic-1.xml
PP-07-Clinic-2.xml
PP-07-Clinic-3.xml
PP-07-Clinic-4.xml
PP-07-Clinic-5.xml
PP-07-Clinic-6.xml
PP-07-Clinic-7.xml
PP-07-Clinic-7a.xml
PP-07-Clinic-7b.xml
PP-07-Clinic-8.xml
PP-07-Clinic-9.xml
PP-07-Clinic-10.xml This is the prototypical (no animation) panel.
PP-07-Clinic-11.xml This is the fully animated version including each traffic direction indication, including the passing sidings. The extra indicators are included to assist in understanding the operation.
The traffic direction arrow graphic goes in the "JMRI/resources/icons/USS/plate/base-plates/misc/" folder. traffic.gif (double ended white arrow)
The sounds go in the "JMRI/resources/sounds/" folder. Download temporary sounds. JMRI latest versions (2.0 or later) include the required sound and image files.

Old Clinics

1. Getting started with Decoder Pro and Panel Pro by setting up your hardware interface. JMRI-Preferences (2.71MB) EXE

2. Decoder Pro Roster (not yet completed)

3. Decoder Pro Programming Decoders (not yet completed)

4. Panel Pro graphics. The basics of loading a background and adding some text and graphics. Panel Pro Graphics (5.13MB) IJ2006 PP-Clinic-1 (6.51MB) EXE

5. Turnout Feedback. IJ2006 PP-Clinic-2 (1.18MB) EXE

6. Panel Pro sensors. This takes you through the steps of adding sensors to your panel. Panel Pro Sensors (2.05MB) IJ2006 PP-Clinic-3 (3,52MB) EXE

7. Panel Pro Signals. This step adds some signal heads. Panel Pro Signals (4.99MB) IJ2006 PP-Clinic-4 (5.28MB) EXE

8. Simple Signal Logic. IJ2006 PP-Clinic-5 (3.26MB) EXE

9. Code button controlled turnouts using Route Table. IJ2006 PP-Clinic-6 (4.53MB) EXE

10. Basic Scripting. (not yet completed)

PanelPro control files for the above:

PP-Clinic-1
PP-Clinic-2
PP-Clinic-3
PP-Clinic-4
PP-Clinic-5
PP-Clinic-6
TC-64-Test.xml

 

9-January-15 İRR-CirKits please ask permission to use these files in public presentations. There are versions available that will run faster for clinic presentation use.