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Location search / goto function

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Location search / goto function 30/09/2020 at 11:54 #132811
manadude2
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Especially on larger sims it can be quite difficult sometimes to find certain locations, especially level crossings.

I am suggesting a new feature activated by a hotkey (maybe Ctrl+F) to help find locations.

This feature would operate with an alphabetical drop down list of locations, which once selected and the user clicks "Find", scrolls the main window to that location. In an ideal world, it could also highlight the location in some way (maybe highlight the text of the location with a red background temporarily?) but this isn't absolutely required and depends on whether it's technically feasible anyway.

I feel this feature would be extremely useful. Your thoughts, suggestions and improvements to this idea are very welcome.

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Location search / goto function 30/09/2020 at 13:43 #132815
DonRiver
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This would be really useful, but isn't learning where everything is part of the joy of learning a new panel? ;)

I'd suggest an out-of-game tool of some kind - an alphabetical list of names, and which number key you need to press to jump to that location (0-9 will scroll the window for you), maybe some context notes. This could be a text file or a post-it note. I usually have the sim manual open in a browser window somewhere.

I was going to suggest opening the signal plan and using the Ctrl-F search in your PDF viewer of choice to find locations, but because it's signal numbers as text overlaid on a screenshot of the panel, Ctrl-F can find signal numbers but not locations. Actually I'm kicking myself for not using the signal plan this way to quickly find obscure signals…

Last edited: 30/09/2020 at 13:47 by DonRiver
Reason: Impeccable.

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Location search / goto function 30/09/2020 at 13:46 #132816
clive
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It would probably be possible to highlight the track circuits that correspond to a location if they're displayed (a siding location might well be un-track-circuited track where they aren't). Doing anything else would require changes to the sim data.

You should be aware that just about all text in a simulation, plus other stuff like platforms, roads, and the "hollow" track circuit symbols are not tied in any way to the object they appear to represent. There's just a long list of "put this piece of text there" instructions in the data. To a first approximation, if it doesn't change colour or sometimes disappear, it's just random text that isn't correlated to anything else. This even applies to things like the "R" seen by a repeater signal, the "LWR" button label on a level crossing, or the "F" and "R" indicators on a ground frame; the "A", "E", and "R" labels on signal buttons are an exception.

However, I'm not convinced of the value of this. Knowing where things are is part of learning your box.

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Location search / goto function 30/09/2020 at 15:49 #132818
bill_gensheet
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555 posts
Might this be more something to put in a standardised format in each sim manual if not already there ?
eg Crossings and locations have their screen hotkey noted with them.

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Location search / goto function 30/09/2020 at 21:30 #132822
manadude2
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184 posts
clive in post 132816 said:
However, I'm not convinced of the value of this. Knowing where things are is part of learning your box.
This crossed my mind when creating the post, and whilst it's a valid point for signalling as a job in the same box day-in day-out I feel in SimSig's case with its vast array of simulations that it's not possible to know each sim and the various locations within each one and be able to find a particular one right away.

If you're a regular player of a particular simulation and you know the locations, then of course you're not going to use the feature, but if you sim-hop or indeed are completely new to a simulation it would provide a useful starting point.

I sim-hop quite a bit and I must admit I do get locations mixed up and forget where things are. I spent a good 5 minutes trying to find Stockinbingal on the Moss Vale sim because I was just blind to the amount of things on screen in that particular area. A search function would have eliminated that entirely.

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Location search / goto function 30/09/2020 at 21:32 #132824
Steamer
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3310 posts
bill_gensheet in post 132818 said:
Might this be more something to put in a standardised format in each sim manual if not already there ?
eg Crossings and locations have their screen hotkey noted with them.
The manuals do, by and large, have this detailed already. There's also a standard template for user manuals which has been in play for new simulations since early 2019, and other manuals are being converted over to it steadily.

"Don't stress/ relax/ let life roll off your backs./ Except for death and paying taxes/ everything in life.../ is only for now." (Avenue Q)
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Location search / goto function 30/09/2020 at 22:08 #132826
TUT
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294 posts
manadude2 in post 132822 said:
clive in post 132816 said:
However, I'm not convinced of the value of this. Knowing where things are is part of learning your box.
This crossed my mind when creating the post, and whilst it's a valid point for signalling as a job in the same box day-in day-out I feel in SimSig's case with its vast array of simulations that it's not possible to know each sim and the various locations within each one and be able to find a particular one right away.

If you're a regular player of a particular simulation and you know the locations, then of course you're not going to use the feature, but if you sim-hop or indeed are completely new to a simulation it would provide a useful starting point.

I sim-hop quite a bit and I must admit I do get locations mixed up and forget where things are. I spent a good 5 minutes trying to find Stockinbingal on the Moss Vale sim because I was just blind to the amount of things on screen in that particular area. A search function would have eliminated that entirely.
Yeah but when you do signalling as a job in the same box day-in day-out you don't usually have a pause time feature...

It's certainly part of the fun and part of the challenge and goes with the Sim part of the name.

I know one could easily respond 'well if you don't want to use it, you don't have to' and there are examples of sims being provided with TORR and even ARS where the weren't/aren't provided in the real boxes, but I think it's right that SimSig won't do everything for you. Chess would certainly be a lot easier to get into as a beginner if all your pieces could move like the queen if you wanted them to, but it would definitely lose some of its pull.

However, I definitely agree lists of level crossings are a very welcome feature of sim manuals and many do have them, but I admit not all.

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Location search / goto function 30/09/2020 at 22:20 #132827
DonRiver
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Given how many hours I've spent in NEScot you'd think I'd have memorised the locations of all the crossings in that sim... but no.

I think I will be writing out a list of all the crossing locations by hand and sticking them to the edge of the monitor!

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Location search / goto function 01/10/2020 at 09:05 #132832
kbarber
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1513 posts
manadude2 in post 132822 said:
clive in post 132816 said:
However, I'm not convinced of the value of this. Knowing where things are is part of learning your box.
This crossed my mind when creating the post, and whilst it's a valid point for signalling as a job in the same box day-in day-out I feel in SimSig's case with its vast array of simulations that it's not possible to know each sim and the various locations within each one and be able to find a particular one right away.

If you're a regular player of a particular simulation and you know the locations, then of course you're not going to use the feature, but if you sim-hop or indeed are completely new to a simulation it would provide a useful starting point.

I sim-hop quite a bit and I must admit I do get locations mixed up and forget where things are. I spent a good 5 minutes trying to find Stockinbingal on the Moss Vale sim because I was just blind to the amount of things on screen in that particular area. A search function would have eliminated that entirely.

Back in the day, relief signalmen might cover a very significant number of boxes. Even when powerboxes came in, it was common for GPR men to cover more than one (at least on the Southern WCML). They'd usually keep their box knowledge for a good number of mechanical boxes too. Nice little job for a Euston man (Grade F rate of pay) to cop a long Sunday at North Pole or Latchmere (3 trains in the whole shift, plus a whole lot of travelling time, including walking time from Willesden Junction at 20 minutes per mile). Their knowledge would have to include multiple methods of working too, including the truly weird form of TCB used on the DC Lines (now Wembley Sub, with standard TCB) if they covered Willesden New Station or Harrow No. 2.

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Location search / goto function 01/10/2020 at 16:49 #132841
headshot119
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3792 posts
kbarber in post 132832 said:
manadude2 in post 132822 said:
clive in post 132816 said:
However, I'm not convinced of the value of this. Knowing where things are is part of learning your box.
This crossed my mind when creating the post, and whilst it's a valid point for signalling as a job in the same box day-in day-out I feel in SimSig's case with its vast array of simulations that it's not possible to know each sim and the various locations within each one and be able to find a particular one right away.

If you're a regular player of a particular simulation and you know the locations, then of course you're not going to use the feature, but if you sim-hop or indeed are completely new to a simulation it would provide a useful starting point.

I sim-hop quite a bit and I must admit I do get locations mixed up and forget where things are. I spent a good 5 minutes trying to find Stockinbingal on the Moss Vale sim because I was just blind to the amount of things on screen in that particular area. A search function would have eliminated that entirely.

Back in the day, relief signalmen might cover a very significant number of boxes. Even when powerboxes came in, it was common for GPR men to cover more than one (at least on the Southern WCML). They'd usually keep their box knowledge for a good number of mechanical boxes too. Nice little job for a Euston man (Grade F rate of pay) to cop a long Sunday at North Pole or Latchmere (3 trains in the whole shift, plus a whole lot of travelling time, including walking time from Willesden Junction at 20 minutes per mile). Their knowledge would have to include multiple methods of working too, including the truly weird form of TCB used on the DC Lines (now Wembley Sub, with standard TCB) if they covered Willesden New Station or Harrow No. 2.
Now when is the book coming out?

Even now there are still some fantastic GPR jobs left in terms of coverage. Jobs based at Beeston Castle and Tarporley that cover all the Crewe boxes, Chester PSB, Greenbank PSB, and the smaller boxes out towards Warrington.

"Passengers for New Lane, should be seated in the rear coach of the train " - Opinions are my own and not those of my employer
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Location search / goto function 01/10/2020 at 16:54 #132842
GeoffM
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headshot119 in post 132841 said:
Now when is the book coming out?
Seconded!

headshot119 in post 132841 said:
Even now there are still some fantastic GPR jobs left in terms of coverage. Jobs based at Beeston Castle and Tarporley that cover all the Crewe boxes, Chester PSB, Greenbank PSB, and the smaller boxes out towards Warrington.
Some of us know a certain PSB (no, not a signalbox) who worked many of the signalboxes covering the area from Paddington to Exeter, mechanical to PSB (of the signalbox variety), to IECC. I believe he's now slowly conquering the north east instead.

SimSig Boss
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Location search / goto function 01/10/2020 at 19:57 #132843
Steamer
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headshot119 in post 132841 said:

Even now there are still some fantastic GPR jobs left in terms of coverage. Jobs based at Beeston Castle and Tarporley that cover all the Crewe boxes, Chester PSB, Greenbank PSB, and the smaller boxes out towards Warrington.
Wow. How long would it take someone to pass out on all that lot? (And as a corollary, do they start as a relief for a smaller area and then apply for a promotion to the bigger role?)

"Don't stress/ relax/ let life roll off your backs./ Except for death and paying taxes/ everything in life.../ is only for now." (Avenue Q)
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Location search / goto function 02/10/2020 at 08:49 #132844
kbarber
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1513 posts
Steamer in post 132843 said:
headshot119 in post 132841 said:

Even now there are still some fantastic GPR jobs left in terms of coverage. Jobs based at Beeston Castle and Tarporley that cover all the Crewe boxes, Chester PSB, Greenbank PSB, and the smaller boxes out towards Warrington.
Wow. How long would it take someone to pass out on all that lot? (And as a corollary, do they start as a relief for a smaller area and then apply for a promotion to the bigger role?)
Don't know what happens these days. Back in the dinosaur days when I was little more than an egg, a RDR man would have a specific patch with a roster for covering the various rest days. But in practice anyone who was in a RDR job was used as GPR (I should say that was my experience in the old Euston Division, it might've been different elsewhere). A GPR would have a nominal patch to cover (Kensington Olympia did Latchmere Jc to North Pole or Mitre Bridge), but the roster clerk would sometimes ask us to learn a box or two off our own patch (so I signed Acton Wells - though I never did get around to learning Chelsea or Mitre Bridge). But the roster clerk and the admin would be only too amenable if one were to book 4 hours overtime learning an off-area box (bunce for the bobby, more resources for covering at difficult times for the roster clerk/Control). I never strayed far, but there were some who knew great chunks of the Midland (before West Hampstead was commissioned), the whole of the Great Central (such as was left by then) and all around the North London as well.

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Location search / goto function 02/10/2020 at 09:01 #132845
kbarber
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Steamer in post 132843 said:
headshot119 in post 132841 said:

Even now there are still some fantastic GPR jobs left in terms of coverage. Jobs based at Beeston Castle and Tarporley that cover all the Crewe boxes, Chester PSB, Greenbank PSB, and the smaller boxes out towards Warrington.
Wow. How long would it take someone to pass out on all that lot? (And as a corollary, do they start as a relief for a smaller area and then apply for a promotion to the bigger role?)
Sorry, I should've said. You could start being used as soon as you passed out for your first box. So after leaving Junction Road, I was sent learning Latchmere on early turn. Got the frame under my belt in a couple of hours, the traffic was dead simple and it was slow enough that there was always time to look in the simplifier or the WTT. So I was passed out on the Friday morning. Following week learning Kensington South Main on earlies. There was a bit more fun to be had there... Permissive Block, Reg 31, Reg 32, special bell codes for shunting between the boxes... I did enjoy covering Kensington. So it took me a couple of days to get the hang of the frame and the working. Traffic was the same as Latchmere, so I passed out for South Main on the Friday morning and the following week was sent learning North Main on earlies. That's when I found out why it was always earlies for learning. Someone went sick that night. Control shifted other reliefmen around to leave Latchmere free, then called me out 22:00 - 06:00. Tuesday I was back at North Main late turn, then Wednesday back on earlies. Didn't stop me passing out on the Friday morning (again). That happened several times while I was learning. Once I'd signed North Pole & Acton Wells the only learning I did was on overtime (when I wasn't booked 12hr anyway) because they had me pretty much fully untilised.

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