Author Topic: Another idea, this time function mapping  (Read 192 times)


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Another idea, this time function mapping
« on: June 26, 2020, 01:00:47 PM »
Yes, another idea. I'm a lost cause I know  :(

While doing some work on my UI idea's I found myself staring at the HC screen for about 20 minutes as I was pondering what to change the Next Page button text on the Control Locomotive screen to because it's misleading, at least to me, to something not so vague in meaning when I had a thought.

RailPro is seriously falling behind the industry in the number of functions available with most DCC systems now allowing control of nearly 30 functions. Some have had this capability for a very long time now. RailPro can control only 16 functions.

So my idea was this. What if, if we had 32 functions (4 pages worth) available, we could as an option:
  • Split the 32 functions down the middle (2 pages each) and have each set of functions be relative to the direction of the locomotive, and,
  • Be able to map function buttons to other function buttons.
This setup could be beneficial for bi-directional locomotives. Take a GP-9 for example, you could quite easily be driving that either short hood leading or long hood leading down the line. With the idea you could set the function pages something like this:

Page 1 (FN 1 - 8 ) for the main driving functions, and has the lighting functions for going forward, ie
BTN 1: Front Light On
BTN 2: Front Light Dim
BTH 3: Dynamic
BTN 4: Notch up
BTN 5: Horn
BTN 6: Bell
BTN 7: Brake
BTN 8: Notch Down

Page 2 (FN 9 - 16) for other forward functions like ditch lights on/off if fitted and other sounds you might have.

Page 3 (FN 17 - 24) would be for driving in reverse and has the functions for doing that, ie
BTN 1: Rear Light On
BTN 2: Rear Light Dim
BTH 3: Dynamic - Mapped to Button 3 (FN3) on Page 1
BTN 4: Notch up - Mapped to Button 4 (FN4) on Page 1
BTN 5: Horn - Mapped to Button 5 (FN5) on Page 1
BTN 6: Bell - Mapped to Button 6 (FN6) on Page 1
BTN 7: Brake - Mapped to Button 7 (FN7) on Page 1
BTN 8: Notch Down - Mapped to Button 8 (FN8) on Page 1

Page 4 (FN 25 - 32) would be for other reverse functions, ie reverse ditch lights etc, sounds mapped to page 3 functions.

The premise of the idea anyway is that when you change direction the controller would go automatically to the first page of functions for that direction so you have the lighting functions for that direction available straight away and you wouldn't have to go page hopping so much, and being able to map function buttons to other function buttons would save having to set effects on buttons more than the initial time.

I get that for modern stuff this really isn't a thing for, I know your not going to be driving an SD70Ace or a dash 9 with the locomotive running long hood leading on a train but for older stuff where running a train either end leading was fair game, or locomotives with a full cab at either end like we have down here it could be a handy set up.

Well, that's the idea. Does anyone else see any value in it or am I just dreaming up solutions to non existent problems (remember, thinking of 4 pages of function buttons)?

- Tim


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Re: Another idea, this time function mapping
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 03:56:57 PM »
Sound seems to be the need for lots of buttons. There are sufficient number of buttons for us non-sound folks.

I know this would require more than software but what I would like to see is a button/LM output that the user can configure the ON state to be Vcc or ground. The equivalent of tri-state logic devices. Would be very handy with bi-color LEDs. I have a fleet of FM H16-44 that came with classification lights I cannot make prototypical functional because of the LMs dedicated open drain outputs.

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro


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Re: Another idea, this time function mapping
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2020, 12:34:54 AM »
On another front, a shrink wrap sted of a hard case for modules would aid installation especially in modern locos with scant space.