QUAKER VALLEY Railroad - JMRI Panel Tutorial New CTC Panel  Updated July 2015

The Quaker Valley Railroad has been developing a CTC Panel using the Panel feature in Decoder Pro since 2003.  In the summer of 2006, I attended the NMRA Philadelphia Convention and sat in on all of the JMRI clinics.  From that experience I have taken up the challenge of preparing an online JMRI panel tutorial.  This will cover the development of a Layout Editor panel and a CTC panel using the JMRI Panel Editor.  When you are done with the tutorial, you will have two panels similar to those shown below. 

This interactive panel file will allow you to see the completed CTC panel editor and layout editor and how the turnouts, sensors, routes, Logix and Simple Signal Logic (SSL) are all included in one place.  The tutorial is developed in a Word document and published as pdf format files.  It is in three parts and is now complete.  The Layout Editor portion is in part 1.  Part 2 covers the US&S style CTC panel development in Panel Pro.   Part 3 covers signaling for both the layout and CTC panels.

Comments and corrections are welcome.

JMRI Panel Tutorial

The US&S style CTC Panel shown to the left was developed in Panel Pro.  The  layout diagram on the right was developed with the Layout Editor.  The CTC panel and the layout panel share the same internal sensors and turnouts and the Logix establishes the signals.  These two panels operate together.   Turnouts thrown on the CTC panel  are animated on the layout panel.

The set of three parts of the tutorial show you step by step how to construct these two panels and the Logix to control them. After completing the tutorial you should be equipped to develop similar panels for your own layout.

If you want to jump ahead and see how the panels work, just download the Part 3 xml file from the last link below.  Load this panel in JMRI using NCE simulation and you can check it out without having any layout hardware.

Knockout  Table of Contents

Part 1 - Focusing on the Layout Editor
  Click the title to view or right click to download the pdf file.
Page 1 Background
Page 3 Layout Editor
Page 5 Panel Editor
Page 8 Getting Started
Page 9 JMRI Tables
Page 9 Turnout Table
Page 12 Sensor Table
Page 16 Layout Editor Development
page 19 Adding Track

Part 2 - Developing a CTC Panel with Panel Editor  Click the title to view or right click to download the pdf file.
Page 1 Panel Editor Development
Page 6 Adding Turnout and Signal Plates
Page 7 Adding Turnout Levers and Code Buttons
Page 12 Adding Turnout Lever Logix
Page 16 Time to Automate the First Lever
Page 24 The CTC Panel Track Diagram
Page 31 Activating the Block Sensors
Page 44 Logix for the Interlocking Sensors
Page 52 Adding Block Detection to the Layout Panel
Page 56 Panel Startup Route
Page 58 CTC Panel Components
Page 59 Tutorial Part 2 Conclusion

Part 3 - Adding Signals and Simple Signal Logic  Click the title to view or right click to download the pdf file.
Page 1 Adding Signals to the Layout Panel
Page 8 Creating Simple Signal Logic
Page 12 Adding Signal lamps, Levers and Control Logix to the CTC panel
Page 20 Adding Signal Levers
Page 21 Logix
Page 32 Finishing Touches
Page 36 Panel Startup
Page 37 Tutorial Conclusion

The sample files referenced in part 1 are available for download.  You can download the sampleCTC.gif file here and the second sample You can download the Quaker Valley CTC track diagram QV_CTC.gif here
As indicated in the tutorial, these gif files are to be placed in a directory on your PC for use in the second tutorial.  The gif files can be viewed on most browsers, but need to be downloaded to be used with JMRI.

There are a set of three xml panel files corresponding with the end state of the three parts of the tutorial.  These files are not to be opened with your browser.  They are to be opened with JMRI and used to explore the panel features.  If you want to skip the tutorial entirely, or preview the finished product, just download the Part 3 xml file and load the panel in JMRI.  This last xml panel file can be used to explore the coordinated features of Panel Pro and the Layout Editor.

If using Firefox, right click on the link and select "Save Link As" and place it in a convenient directory to load from JMRI.

If using Internet Explorer, right click on the link and select "Save Target As" and place it in a convenient directory to load from JMRI.
If using Safari on a Mac, right click on the link and select "Download Linked File As..." as shown. Safari screen shotPlace it in a directory convenient to load from JMRI.

    You can download the Part 1 xml file here

    You can download the Part 2 xml file here

    You can download the Part 3 xml file here 

Special thanks to Dan Foltz for helping with the format of all three parts of the tutorial.

JMRI Panel Pro is still freeware.  Learn more about the JMRI project, Decoder Pro and Panel Pro at http://jmri.sourceforge.net/

Check out the newest Quaker Valley JMRI CTC panel at http://www.quaker-valley.com/CTC/QV_CTCnew.html

Updated July 25, 2015 - typo corrected in part 2

Bob Bucklew
Quaker Valley Software

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