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Lennyg

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  07:31:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am probably going to order the card order system from micro mark. How complicated is it to set up and use? I am not going to have formal operating sessions. More likely I will go down to the basement and run the layout a little while and then continue another time, but I want to operate it as realistic as possible. Is this a good system?

Country: | Posts: 63

midwestrailroader

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  08:13:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you have Microsoft Access, you can download Dave Hussmans Car Cards program for free from the Yahoo Car Cards group .. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CarCards/files/CCGv7/

You need to join the group, but the price is right ..



Salt

Country: USA | Posts: 623 Go to Top of Page

Rossford Yard

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  09:05:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Certainly no harder than loading your car data in Rail Ops or another computer program. And, in truth, using that as a reason to complete a car inventory is never a bad idea, either. You might be surprised at how many cars you have, and what type, and whether they fit your industries or not.

Jeff

GM of the Indiana Harbor Belt - The "Expanding Belt Line"


Country: USA | Posts: 3470 Go to Top of Page

GTIRR

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  09:13:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anybody use a "Switch list" to operate your RR?
I have used the Micro Mark system in the past, as well as
car cards that I have made using plain index cards with a pocket
for the waybill.
Right now I'm just switching cars as they end up in the yard.
Last car in the yard is the last car to come out. I have 2 tracks
and the cars just rotate from the back of # 2 track to the front of
# 1 track.
But I do know people who use a switch list and like it. Any thoughts?
Thanks, gtirr



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Rossford Yard

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  09:24:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
GTIRR,

I actually use a switch list I made up in Excel, rather than buy rail ops, or use cards. I use the random generator function to generate locations for the cars, at least for when they return from industries and are supposedly being sent north, south, east or west. You may have to download it free as an extra accessory from the MS site.

Again, no matter what system you use, you will need to generate a list of industries and rolling stock (both in general and what type will go to each location)

I should mention that I only look for car types to go to industies, rather than actual numbers and for the most part use a one for one exchange (although you can copy each switch list and make minor changes - I have the same basic switch list, with minor changes for each of 6 days a week)

I have also used color coding on that switch list, but am considering taking it out. New users don't seem to understand my system, like Brown for the Branch Line, etc., and it doesn't look very railroady.

I find that I would need to restage the layout if I ever have a big session. For my after dinner one man, partial sessions, and for probably any small layout, I think you can do whatever you want with your Excel program. Send me a note with your email and I will send you what I have if you would like it.


Jeff

GM of the Indiana Harbor Belt - The "Expanding Belt Line"


Country: USA | Posts: 3470 Go to Top of Page

dkruse

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  09:30:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit dkruse's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I use a switch list that is generated by a QBASIC program I wrote. For the computer types out there the program can be downloaded from my blog. Just keep in mind that I am a self taught, amateur programmer.


http://genevasub.blogspot.com

http://home.comcast.net/~dpkruse

Country: USA | Posts: 585 Go to Top of Page

dkruse

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  09:42:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit dkruse's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I thought I had it on my blog. Anyway, here it is.

http://www.stpaulrochelle.org/post/GENSUB3.BAS

Daryl


http://genevasub.blogspot.com

http://home.comcast.net/~dpkruse

Country: USA | Posts: 585 Go to Top of Page

sdodge

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  10:55:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I started with car cards from Old Line Graphics and they disappeared so Micro Mark is the only place to buy them now that I know of. I now use a free computer generated inventory and car card system from the Yahoo Car Cards
Group as Salt mentioned. The program is a different one, setupCC.exe in the files section. It was developed by a programmer and he was considering putting it on the market but has not yet. You have to enter data in the inventory section and once in there car cards can be printed from that. A very good system in my opinion. I will post some pictures of the output if I get a chance today.

EDIT - You do not have to have Microsoft Access to download this program.



Edited by - sdodge on 2010 September 06 10:59:13 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 1443 Go to Top of Page

MichaelWinicki

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  11:00:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use RailOp and I couldn't be happier with it.


Country: USA | Posts: 1773 Go to Top of Page

drs_rr

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  11:19:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit drs_rr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've operated my old layout with both switchlist and Car Cards, the new layout just car cards. I've used the free software that Salt mentions from Dave Husman, it is really good all you have to have is Microsoft Access to run it.

I got away from the switchlist as the one I was using you had to fill out by hand. Some think it is more realistic using a switchlist versus carrying a packet of car cards, but I've found as a layout owner it is much easier for me to restage the layout for an op session, I can have the whole layout ready to go in about an hour.

What I like about car cards is that when you have to leave or quit you turn everything off, leave the car card packet with the train(s) and when you come back you pickup and resume where you were. Or if you having guest over like I did the other night and after about 3.5 hours they have to go, they leave the car cards with the packets and then I've gone back out over the last couple of days when I had a few minutes and picked up one of the trains and continued switching those cars out, kind of gives me the layout owner some operating too. Plus with car cards they are very forgiving, if a car gets spotted in the wrong spot you can put the card with car and leave it for the industry that was originally selected and it gets moved and spotted next session or the waybill gets flipped over and the card placed where the car is currently sitting and away you go.

With a computer generated switchlist if the car got spotted in the wrong place when the person goes to pick it up it won't be there and the Easter Egg hunt begins. Depending on how you do handwritten switchlist you could have the same problem if you create your next list based off the last one, if you just walk around and write out then the miss spotted car isn't as big a deal.

I did put together a presentation for our division meet a couple of years back on following a car on the layout using car cards, here is a link to that presentation:

http://www.tulsanmra.org/resources/DRS_CardCards.pdf

There is no write or wrong method, and each method has its own variations that can be used or modified by the layout owner to make it do what they want.

The easiest to get started is a switchlist, you can download templates or just create one real quick print them out and handwrite the stuff in, you can be operating in a short while. I don't have experience with a computer generated switchlist or a system like Rail op, but they will take longer to set up just like car cards as you have to enter all your car data, and then you have to come up with some logical destinations for your cars and create the waybills that go into the car card pocket. The nice thing though once you've made that commitment of time in setting up car cards your done except when you add new equipment, the layout is ready to operate all the time and rather quickly.

My suggestion....start operating with what ever method you decide.



Dave Salamon
N Scale - Deep River Southern
www.picturetrail.com/salamon

Country: USA | Posts: 167 Go to Top of Page

Rossford Yard

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  11:36:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave,

Your presentation is great. But, it points out one possible downside of using car cards on an existing layout - we have built our aisles too narrow to waste even two more inches for car card boxes. At least without going on a diet, but that ain't happening!


Jeff

GM of the Indiana Harbor Belt - The "Expanding Belt Line"


Country: USA | Posts: 3470 Go to Top of Page

drs_rr

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  12:30:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit drs_rr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jeff,

I agree with you on isle space (and on the diet too!) I thought about recessing my car card boxes but then finally elected not too. When I get the upper level build though I will more than likely do the recessed pockets. When I lived in Northern California I got to visit the layout of Rick Fortin (if ever in the bay area and want to see a fantastic layout, they operate a lot of trains!) he recessed his car card boxes and has provided link on his web page:

http://sites.google.com/site/layoutbuilders/tipsandideas

He's got some other great tips on that page to for those that don't want to eat up any isle space or to make improvements for your operators.



Dave Salamon
N Scale - Deep River Southern
www.picturetrail.com/salamon

Country: USA | Posts: 167 Go to Top of Page

GTIRR

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  1:14:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys for all the information!!!
Jeff I have sent you an e-mail.
gtirr



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sdodge

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  2:29:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is a pic of the car cards generated from the free program I mentioned above:




Country: USA | Posts: 1443 Go to Top of Page

MichiganRailFan

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  6:16:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdodge

Here is a pic of the car cards generated from the free program I mentioned above:





I started with this program a few years ago. Its a great program once you get the hang of it. It prints out car cards and waybills, all for free! All is needed is some heavy paper in different colors from the office supply store.

I end up switching to Shenware for waybills and kept this program for car cards. I like the way the Shenware prints out the 4 sided waybills. That was the only reason I stopped using this progam for waybills.

E. Williams
www.mscrailroad.com



Country: USA | Posts: 57 Go to Top of Page

Rossford Yard

Posted - 2010 September 06 :  6:55:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have always liked the idea of color coding, as unprotypical as it may be. In my switch lists, I use Blue for ATSF west (darkness) and yellow for ATSF east (sunrise) as a cue to what track the cars go on. Various colors are used for different areas of the layout. While not prototypical, if you are leaving the yard for some ATSF location east of your modeled area, and all your cards are yellow, then you can be pretty sure you don't have any stray cars!

Jeff

GM of the Indiana Harbor Belt - The "Expanding Belt Line"


Country: USA | Posts: 3470 Go to Top of Page
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