Version 1.1.11 of SigScribe4 marks the introduction of a significant forward step in MODRATEC's interlocking design software in that conditional locking may now be included.
SigScribe4 - Documentation - Version 1.1.11+
SigScribe4 version 1.1.11 is a step towards SigScribe10. SigScribe10 is being developed as a bigger-and-better interlocking design tool and simulator. It will offer greater versatility in terms of interlocking options including conditional locking. SigScribe4 version 1.1.11 borrows the locking algorithms of SigScribe10 to enable users to specify conditional locking.
The release of version 1.1.11 corresponds to the ability of MODRATEC to supply Lever Frame Kits that can implement conditional locking.
Conditional locking is important where it is desirable to maintain maximum operational flexibility when signals may be cleared for one of a number of routes. This finds particular application in Speed Signalling. Consequently it is particularly appealing to modellers of railways using american-style signal principles. It is also relevant to modellers of british-style systems where shunt signals often apply to multiple routes.
The following changes have been made:
SigScribe4 does not have the ability to visually define multiple signal routes. Consequently, in order to define conditional and other complex interlocking, a text file needs to be created. (Note that SigScribe10 will allow full visual definition of multiple routes.)
An Interlocking Table File (itf) can be created using your computer's default text editor (not a word processor unless it can save as plain text). The file must be saved with the extension .itf . It will be best to save the file in the same folder/directory as the corresponding .ss4 file defining the layout and lever order. If defining interlocking by using an itf file, then there is no need to define any routes within SigScribe4, in fact, any such definitions are ignored when interlocking from a table. Please refer to A TEXT-BASED CODING SCHEME TO DEFINE INTERLOCKING for detailed information. You can download a PDF version for printing here.
When you start SigScribe4 version 1.1.11, it will add two files to your signal diagrams folder/directory. (These files are included with the Linux distribution although not loaded into any specific location.) One file is Conditio.ss4 and contains the signal diagram and frame layout for a conditional interlocking example. There are no route definitions within this file. The second file is Conditio.itf and contains the interlocking table corresponding to Conditio.ss4. You can use these as a way of becoming familiar with how to use text-based interlocking definitions.
You can open Conditio.ss4 in SigScribe4 in the normal manner. Then select Interlock from Table... from the Interlocking menu. Select Conditio.itf. Once the process of interlocking design is complete, click OK on the information panel to enable the simulation. Of particular note is the conditional locking between levers 2 and 7. These two levers can be operated independently except when lever 4 is reversed (this requires lever 3 to be pulled first). When 4 is pulled you will find that either 2 or 7 may be pulled but not both at the same time.
To see the contents of the itf file, you can open it in your chosen text editor. The default text editor for Windows machines is Notepad, and for Mac computers it is TextEdit.
The following basic principles will be helpful when creating an interlocking table. It is not intended as an exhaustive list but will suffice in most model situations.
When SigScribe4 processes an itf file, it rationalises the locking in order to eliminate redundancy. In some cases this may mean that even though conditional locks have been specified, they may be eliminated as redundant. Check the slots number to see whether or not a C is shown.
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