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Tomix New Operation Control System (TNOS)

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For a loop layout with 8 blocks and things all running in one direction, 4 trams is the ideal number. In theory, if they are all perfectly synchronized, every tram clears its block (hits the sensor) just as the tram 2 blocks behind needs the block cleared in order to keep moving when it hits its sensor. They all run under a "yellow signal" condition. In reality, the distances between the 8 sensors are not perfectly equal and the trams don't all run at the exact same speed, so all but the slowest tram tend to have to stop briefly. They don't all stop at every block, but neither do most real trams that stop only when someone wants to get off or someone is waiting to get on at the stop ahead (unlike most trains). The traffic "friction" creates enough stops for my liking. In fact, in the Operating Parameter Sets I customized for different brands of model trams, I minimize the restarting time delay setting and the minimum stop duration setting to help keep things moving. I also set the "yellow signal" running speed to the reasonable speed I want for general operation, and I set the "green signal" running speed just a little higher than the yellow to give a slow tram an unnoticeable speed boost to catch up.


If you run less than 4 trams with 8 blocks, eventually they all catch up to the slowest tram, which ends up with a long gap in front of it. If you run more than 4 trams, 1 or more of them is always stopped for at least the time it takes to travel the length of a block. The worst case is if you have 7 trams and 8 blocks; then only 1 tram can move 1 block at a time.


By the way, it was Layout Plan 8 that convinced me to buy a TNOS system and play with it. I also held out hope that the TNOS system would let me design and program my own layouts, too, but that hasn't happened (yet). I don't know the reason that Tomix does not make this possible, although I can foresee that purchasers not designing carefully and logically might drive Customer Support crazy. However, if a community of good designers creating layout plans and operating sequences and sharing them on a central website could be generated (something like github), TNOS would be a much more satisfying and popular purchase, and Tomix would sell more systems.


Rich K.

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Thank you @brill27mcbfor your very detailed answer! I was watching Youtube's videos of layout 8 and also layout 11 with various modes. It did look like with 4 trams they pretty much stop at each block most of the time, which looked realistic. I think there is a mode (#12?) where you can force a stop every second block, I guess that could be like required major stops vs. other optional minor stops. Layout 11 can be operated similarly but you can have two tracks at the end of the line (or both ends of the line). It has 12 blocks and based on videos it seems like it would operate well with 6 or even 7 trams (when there is an extra track at the other end of the loop).


I agree it would be great if Tomix released ability to add layouts. I am not optimistic as when they released TCL, they called that functionality for "advanced users", they probably think it would take a PhD to use full functionality (in a way, it would). Great many things in Japan that you can buy are set in pre-packaged "plans" with the view toward convenience of customers (and frankly vendors too). Most of the time they are very convenient but not when you are trying to get something unique. I also suspect the programming algorithms for layouts within Tomix are very crude and hard to do and completely not automated (as they have trained engineers working on them and never had a need to make them user-friendly)... so probably a major effort to get it into a customer-friendly interface and work out all the bugs. They may think this incremental effort may not pay off in incremental sales.

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Reading this forum and the various posts and blog entries by Richard Kerr on the TNOS SD files etc.
It's intriguing, I wonder how much of the multi train operation is hard coded vs. configured.

Has anyone had a try at reverse engineering the various layout (tlf), timetable (ttf) files?
I got as far as all those '0xC3' '0xCn' delimiters - Hopefully it's some sort of config and not compiled down to bytecode.

If its config there should be common repeating bytes/nybles/bits of sensor/point/feed/ND box selectors.

Might even be a traditional train timetable graph (if the button icon is clue) encoded in the ttf files - i.e. not the time element - but sensors(stops) on the vertical axis, and nodes/wait points for trains defined such that the TNOS 'engine' can interpret it and wait trains in the right place etc.
There seem to be 3-4 very similar oval type setups built in which might provide enough information with config file differencing to work out what is going on.

My ideal layout would be some sort of automated mainline with manual sidings to arrange trains/shunt goods etc between the automatic mainline timetable operations.

Edited by RichardL
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