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Author Previous Topic: The Depot (at Carendt) Topic Next Topic: a little touch of spring
Page: of 19

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 10/02/2016 :  3:59:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone.

This is a long post - I sort of need to get stuff of my chest. Hopefully you'll stay with me. I have alot to say about Templot and track design.

So I've spent the last six weeks trying to learn Templot (http://templot.com/). I came across the software about five years ago and quickly realised that there was no better software tool to help modelers create templates for handlaid track. It is not a great layout designing tool - I believe modelers are better served by the numerous design tools such as CADRail, AnyRail or 3rd Planit. However to create a curved turnout with surrounding eased track designed to your exact specifications Templot can't be beat.

Because of my use of curves and easements all over the layout the turnouts are nearly all curved in some way that can't be reproduced simply by downloading a number 6 turnout diagram from the net. Templot allows you to put curves close together and then will generate a turnout that connects the two. Not only turnouts, but crossovers too and (with a little work and more experience) a number of other track combinations such as double and single slips, ladders, return curves etc.

Therefore Templot is the only tool I can use if I want to build turnouts on my desk on top of a printed template.



ok that's the easy part. Now for the hard part.

It's nightmare to learn!!

You'll send yourself to the psych ward if you download it and just start clicking buttons. It is not intuitive at all. It has commands with obscure names such as 'blank up to peg' or 'snap to mxp clearance'. It has popup windows that look like they were designed for an early version of Windows. It's design methodology does not use traditional snap together trackwork (actually it does but you have to jump through a bunch of conceptual hoops before you can use the feature effectively).

But that's not the worst of it. The worst thing is that the documentation is a complete mess.

At first glance there is no clear pathway through the software for beginners, no starting point, no next steps, no easily found examples that teach the basics. Now that I have some experience with it I can see where all this information is located. And yes it exists but it very obscured and hard to find.

And another thing, the documentation is out-of-date. Some of it seems to refer to an earlier versions and no notes exist for the new version. Martin Webb, the programmer, created a new site for the new documentation but seemed to have given up. He has links saying 'click here for notes on the new version' but then has nothing on the page!!


Nevertheless this was the third time I've tried to learn Templot and I was determined to not give up.

I created list of things I wanted to do and then went searching round the software to see how it could do those things.

  1. Import my diagram

  2. Design trackwork on top of diagram

  3. Print out template


The next thing I did was to create my own webpage with links to all the documentation where it could be found. This included tutorials, videos and other important information and I'm continually updating it as I find more and more information scattered about.

That page is here: http://www.kumardesai.com/Templot/index.html Feel free to refer to it if you are thinking of poking around Templot.

Then I was able to find the first set of tutorials that walked me through the software - it took nearly three weeks of sitting every morning before work reading and trying it out before things started to click.

Eventually I was able to complete my first draft:



After that I was able to create a full size pdf (72 inches by 18 inches) which took the local printers. They print architectural plans and have printers wide enough to print this out on a single piece of paper:


I then placed the plan onto the layout:


and finally with the cover on I have a good view of where I am heading:



I have several options now:

  1. I can build the track on top of the plan by sticking it down to the board.

  2. I can print out sections and build them on my work bench and then move them to the board and slot them into place.

  3. I can do a combination of both: build turnouts and crossovers on the desk and the rest on the board.


Here's a copy of one of the turnouts printed separately. It's an exact copy of the one on the plan. I can go away and build it and then come back and drop it in place:


The software will print out the necessary guides to assist you when cutting up and filing down ties and rails. It also has a range of specs that you can change such as tie lengths and widths, and will draw track to UK vs US vs European tracks standards in any model gauge such as UK OO or US HO or O scale (or S or N scale).


Now I can see where I need to make changes to the plan, I can check clearances and see where things are not working. There are several areas that need attention and I will modify my Templot diagram and do another print next week. I can of course print the whole plan on a series of A4 paper diagrams which I can stick together. I may do that for certain smaller areas.



Anyway I have plenty more to say on the topic but will hold there for time being. I'll have the final draft done next week and then I can start tracklaying.


http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 10/02/2016 6:15:16 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 396 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 10/02/2016 :  4:12:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Kumar,

I give you very big kudos for sticking to it! The outdated documentation was enough to drive me insane when I tried it, and the GUI was just as bad. I am glad you made it thru it, the print-out looks fantastic.

Take care,
Rob.




Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Edited by - robchant on 10/02/2016 4:26:05 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 875 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 10/02/2016 :  4:50:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your perseverance has paid off, Kumard. You can see the utility of the track plan you created.

I've wrestled with Templot off and on over the last few years, but never stuck with it enough to accomplish anything. Thanks for creating the webpage. I plan to spend some time there.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 14070 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 10/02/2016 :  7:19:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You sure do get creative with your switching modules. Interesting design once again.


Country: USA | Posts: 3981 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 10/03/2016 :  04:41:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great flow to the trackwork!

Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12475 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 10/03/2016 :  07:57:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kumar,

Your track has a nice smooth, prototype look even with all the complexity.

You are a very patient fellow.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 2753 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 10/03/2016 :  12:51:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Rob >> I give you very big kudos for sticking to it! The outdated documentation was enough to drive me insane when I tried it, and the GUI was just as bad. I am glad you made it thru it, the print-out looks fantastic. >> Thanks Rob. Yes early on I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown (and this is coming from someone who has to learn and design software for a living!). The Templot Assistant (http://www.kumardesai.com/Templot/index.html) was big help - and is based on the 'cheat sheet' concept where you can do quick look-ups for info. I've reorganized it this morning so take another look. I will keep adding to it and sorting it out as the weeks go by. I've created a 'Start Here' section for anyone wanting to 'have a go'.

George >> Your perseverance has paid off, Kumard. You can see the utility of the track plan you created. I've wrestled with Templot off and on over the last few years, but never stuck with it enough to accomplish anything. Thanks for creating the webpage. I plan to spend some time there. >> Thanks George. I reorganized the Templot Assistant and have created a 'Start Here' section. The reason I wanted to use Templot was simply that I didn't want to build turnouts on the layout surface. Instead I wanted to build them accurately and carefully on my workbench and move them over to the layout when done. Templot allows me to do this with non-standard turnouts.

Frank, Mike, Mike, >> Thanks all.

More later this week. I'm making adjustments to the plan and will print and post on it again next week.




http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 10/03/2016 1:28:32 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 396 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 10/30/2016 :  11:15:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone.

After a couple of weeks relaxing away from the Town I decided to finish off the plan in Templot. I didn't have the stamina for any redesign and made only minor changes (marked in red).

Here it is:


Later this week I'll add the structures to the plan. I'm ordering track supplies this week and then want to do a quick study of real track and track beds. I may also build a few test tracks/dummy runs to figure out tracklaying methods and materials. I'll post more on that another time.

The other news is that I decided to build my cabinet to store the three modules. It was planned for February but then a friend called saying he had a couple of days free and needed the work (and money) so I suggested he build the cabinet for me. Since he is a carpenter by trade he had both the experience and knowledge to figure out where the problems were and how to fix them. He was able to calculate weights and stresses on the frame and figure out the size of the wood and other things that I just don't want to waste my time with.

Here's the original plan:


It was clear that the vertical and horizontal beams were too flimsy so we made them thicker. However with the extra size beams we had to lose the drawers in the bottom (and even then it became a tight fit). I'll figure storage another time.

Here are some pictures of construction:



The cost of materials was around $200 and it took eight hours to construct.


The middle layout is at thigh level while the upper one is at eye level. I'm not yet sure of the practicalities of operating across modules. We'll see once the bottom layout is finished.

In the meantime I stained the wood and now have very tidy lower level with the layouts neatly stored on shelves. Needless to say my wife is very happy with events.


Here are the layouts stored on and turned on:


The planning and benchwork is now complete and I can begin tracklaying. This is the fun part of the project for me and I'm looking forward starting. More on that in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks all!


http://thedepotonline.com/

Country: USA | Posts: 396 Go to Top of Page

robchant
Crew Chief

Posted - 10/31/2016 :  05:36:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Kumar,

The cabinet looks very good and will be a great showcase for your modules.

Take care,
Rob.




Free Layout Design Help / Some Design Ideas (All Scales)

Country: Canada | Posts: 875 Go to Top of Page

brownbr
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 10/31/2016 :  06:30:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice display

Bryan

Country: USA | Posts: 1457 Go to Top of Page

Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 10/31/2016 :  08:26:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kumar, what a great way to show off your modeling!







Bruce

Modeling the railroads of the Jersey Highlands in HO and the logging railroads of Pennsylvania in HOn3

Country: USA | Posts: 30061 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 10/31/2016 :  1:15:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kumar,

Very nice looking set of shelves. I don't think you will miss that drawer. We own a large armoire with a drawer at the bottom and frankly, I forget it's there. It is so low. Plus, no handles; you have to use small recesses along the edges. Handles would be a real ankle-buster.

Looks like a fine piece of furniture.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 2753 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 10/31/2016 :  2:02:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks all.

Things are much neater in my den and in the evening, when the module lights are turned on, it is a very comfortable place to work in.



I took the old shop light from The Depot and strung it over my work table and bought (from Craigslist) tables and storage. The workspace is really nice now and I look forward to working on different projects in this very pleasant environment.

Michael >> I don't think you will miss that drawer. >> Michael, I think you are right. I'll probably build a narrow shelf unit at a comfortable height to store the cassettes. I'm not sure how the bottom unit will eventually work out. I can use it to store the third module but whether I can operate it is another matter: I would have to sit on the floor!


http://thedepotonline.com/

Country: USA | Posts: 396 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 11/06/2016 :  6:00:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kumar. the design of your cabinet and modules is very innovative and look great especially when they are lighted like your last picture shows.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 14070 Go to Top of Page

kumard
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/06/2016 :  10:54:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit kumard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks George.

They will look even better when the last module is in place though at the rate I'm going it's going to be a while.

Yesterday I had my first 'disaster' when my cat finally found the layout in its new shelf unit and decided to investigate. I caught it stomping around the layout like a furry Godzilla. If I had just left it alone it would have jumped down with no damage. However I panicked and then the cat panicked and bang! the telegraph wire were snapped. So I have to redo the lines and then figure out a way to protect the modules from our cat and dog and child and her friends!

I'm waiting for track supplies right now and in the meantime doing a bunch of weathering on The Depot (nothing to show yet).




http://thedepotonline.com/

Edited by - kumard on 11/28/2016 12:25:11 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 396 Go to Top of Page
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