Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Spread sheet switching program

1062 views
5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2002
  • 7,127 posts
Spread sheet switching program
Posted by ndbprr on Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:25 PM

Put this here because pcs are electronic.  Anybody made a simple spreadsheet that picks industries for switching cars?  Alternately what is a good program to purchase.  Thank you.

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 16,173 posts
Posted by tstage on Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:36 PM

ndbprr,

I'm moving this over the General Discussion forum because 1) I think you'll get more traffic that way and 2) it's more appropriate for that forum.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
  • 4,370 posts
Posted by cuyama on Saturday, September 11, 2021 1:10 PM

Any spreadsheet on its own probably won't do what you want. There's a very significant learning curve associated with JMRI OperationsPro, but it's open-source (free).

Personally, I always come back to the self-correcting benefits of car-cards-and-waybills.

Byron

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • 13 posts
Posted by MrMe on Thursday, September 16, 2021 8:01 PM

cuyama

Any spreadsheet on its own probably won't do what you want. There's a very significant learning curve associated with JMRI OperationsPro, but it's open-source (free).

OperationsPro isn't hard to learn at all, if you stick to the basics until you get the hang of it. And I can't think of any of it's more advanced options that isn't "opt-in". IOW, you have to do something to invoke those options. They aren't "on" by default, so you don't HAVE to learn them.

Setting up and running a few basic trains is easy. Once you do that, you can try the more advanced stuff if you want. And it backs itself up so if you "break" it beyond repair, all you need to do is go to your last good backup. (The help makes that easy, too. Trust me, I know!)

The built-in help is excellent, there are lots of good tutorials linked to from the JMRI site and also on Youtube, etc, lots of experienced Ops users on the groups.io JMRIUSERS list, and the developer who writes most of the code hangs out there and answers questions, too.

Oh, and using Ops doesn't require DCC or a connection to the layout of any type. The computer doesn't even need to be near the layout (although that is usually more convenient...)

Give it a try! If you find that you don't like it, just stop using it. 

 

EDIT: Fixed punctuation.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: US
  • 42 posts
Posted by Hillyard on Friday, September 17, 2021 7:29 PM

ndbprr

 Anybody made a simple spreadsheet that picks industries for switching cars?  

 

 
Hello NDBPRR
 
 
I'll try to respond to your question. A little context or background would helpful.  
 
Is there a reason you are looking at software, as opposed to other ways of generating car demand?   Car cards and waybills seems to be popular.  You can also roll dice, or draw [modified playing cards to randomly generate demand.  
 
I am guessing you want to be able to print out a list, hence the software focus, am I right?
 
Some questionss come to mind:
What spreadsheet software do you use?
What aspects of it are you familiar with, functions, etc?
How many industries are you talking about, would they need different car types?
 
I used an excel spreadsheet as a car demand generator for quite a while. It was simple to use,  and I liked that the demand for cars/shipments came from "outside" instead of me. IIRC, it did require familiarity with random number generator, truncating, named ranges, and lookup functions.  I put it aside when I joined a yahoo group (later IO groups) where the group members request from, and ship to, the layouts of other members.  This solved the random generation issue for me.  Here's a link, if you are interested:
 
 
best,
Hillyard
 
  • Member since
    February 2005
  • 815 posts
Posted by davidmurray on Monday, September 20, 2021 9:33 AM

The biggest drawback to spread sheet, or any computer generated switchlist system that I have heard of is simple.  These systems assume that instructions will be followed exactly.  Eventually someone operating on your layout will misspot a car.  If it is the same area, it might be found, if in the wrong yard, it may never move again.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!