ATCS Coverage

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Greg46m
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ATCS Coverage

Post by Greg46m » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:13 pm

Everyone,

Today I moved the equipment running the radio and ATCS feeds to the roof of the hotel that it lives at. It was previously housed in the 3rd floor electrical closet with coax running from there up to the 14th floor roof. Since the cable run is now much shorter there is less signal loss from the rediculously long cable. There doesn't appear to be much difference in the audio that is received but I am getting more, and clearer, data for ATCS. The CSX Garrett Sub now appears in it's entirety on the layout from Ripley- Sherwood. NS reception has increased somewhat as well as it now picks up east and west New Haven on a more frequent basis than before.
atcsscreenshot.jpg
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Chaser
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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by Chaser » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:32 pm

Can I get this on my home computer?? Guess I'm Confused :oops:

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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by Greg46m » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:55 pm

Chad & anyone else thats in the dark,

First you have to get the software program that does this. It's called ATCS Monitor and can be found here: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/ATCS_Monitor/
You'll have to join the yahoo group to be able to get the program and other files that you'll need.

Once in the yahoo group, navigate to the "files" section, and select Application files. There you will find the appropriate ATCSMon full release that can be downloaded and installed.

Now that you have the program you'll need to download individual files to be able to view different track diagrams. Most of these files are in the files section under the MCP Data folder. For the Ft Wayne files, click this link http://www.fwarailfan.net/files/ft_wayn ... t%2013.zip
For the rest of the instructions, visit this page and skip step #2.http://www.fwarailfan.net/atcs2.htm
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Chaser
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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by Chaser » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:24 pm

Ok I joined the yahoo group and installed the program got it to run but I can't see a display like you show above greg....What am I doing wrong??

Chad
:cry:

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Chaser
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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by Chaser » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:36 pm

OK after playing a little bit I THINK I got it. some locations are in grey however......
Chad :?: :?

Red.....Occupied
Green.. Available
Right??

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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by Greg46m » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:46 am

Which ones are gray Chad? Bluffton, Montpelier and Royerton should be gray, the rest should be white or red.

The signal aspects are just like in the field, red means nothing is lined, green signals/track mean that the block is lined for a train. Red track means that there is a train in that block. Sounds like you got it.
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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by alcochaser » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:49 pm

Did you perchance do some Antenna improvement today.

I noticed the Antenna only getting Mike and Piqua today, and then after that, Coverage is MUCH better..

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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by Greg46m » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:36 pm

You beat me too it Shawn. Yes, I did do some work on it today. When you saw it only collecting Mike and Piqua was while it had no antenna attached to it (Mike is about 1/4 mile from my site, and the antenna is visible from my antenna.)

I wanted to fiddle with a UHF yagi that I had sitting around from a previous TV distribution system. I have no idea how the yagi is tuned but evidently it's tuned closer to 900mhz than my advertised 900mhz omni I've been using. I put the yagi up on the pole and pointed it a few different ways. Either you or Mark had mentioned trying to pickup the Cromwell BCP but I believe that directly between me and Cromwell on Fort Wayne's north west side is the locally known "land of towers". This part of town, about a 5 square mile area, has about 8 high power TV transmitting towers which I have a feeling are building a wall between me and Cromwell. I wonder if this problem will go away after February 19, 2009 though.

Anyway, I pointed it due north then finally settled on a N-NE direction which affords me the Avilla and Hicksville BCP's very well. The other side of the antenna therefore points S-SW and gives me a little bit better coverage of E Roanoke and Winters Rd.

As soon as I have the tools I'm going to split the radio's apart from their antenna and use the yagi for CSX and use the omni solely for NS. When I don't have the antenna split into 2 radio's I can pickup more on NS and sometimes get Grabil.
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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by alcochaser » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:13 am

Cromwell BCP may just be too far of a haul for line of sight...

E Roanoke I swear has to be dropping power level at night... it comes in all day at a low 9% error rate and then disappears all night only to reappear next morning. That or it is frequency hopping.

Running two feed lines with a Yagi for the CSX would help things. Splitters are really to be avoided at all costs...especially on 900mhz.....The only thing that worries me about the TV yagi is the impedance. 75ohms.
But I bet it would be easy enough to find a surplussed 900mhz panel or yagi.

Keep tinkering with it. Your getting there, and it is looking good. Unlike VHF, 900mhz can be bloody unforgiving.

Don't worry about loosing CSX St Joe so much. I don't know what it is with that interlocking but it likes to hop between the CSX BCPs a LOT. It's even hard to monitor in the field.

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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by Greg46m » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:44 am

Just for a slight update I tinkered some more this morning. I got the appropriate connectors to be able to split the feed lines. The NS feed is currently running over RG-6 to the yagi and the CSX is running over LMR-400 to the omni. This is purely a personal preference as I like to watch NS more than I do CSX so I put the better antenna on the NS feed. Coverage is now picking up E Dunfee, E&W New Haven, E&W Dawkins, Ossian and Kingsland.

The current list of things to do includes:
-Shortening the two pieces of LMR-400 for the VHF feed and the 900mhz feed, from 150ft down to 50 feet or less.
-Using leftover LMR-400 from shortening to replace temporary RG-6 for NS MCP radio.
-Replace omni antenna with yagi style antenna for CSX BCP radio.
-Add a second yagi to try pointing due west to pickup Chicago District.

If & when Mike M is able to get broadband access at his house in Butler I'm hoping to get another MDS from Mark, point a yagi from W Butler straight towards New Haven and pickup as much as possible along the way.
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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by alcochaser » Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:55 pm

Now it is working GREAT. Now I need to decode Ossian and Kingsland, and upload them.

Great Job by the way!

Greg if you want, you can probably remove Bluffton IN, southward from your layout. They are not online yet and just make a dialog box come up. You can then redo Ossian and Kingsland with the new layout and add them to your layout.

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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by dominique » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:07 pm

I just recently signed up to the yahoo group and got the atcs program. I have the display up, but I'm not sure that it is receiving anything. All the location show up in white except for two (Ossian & Kingsland), which are grey, but nothing else is happening.

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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by Rob » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:22 pm

from what you describe, you may only need to click the "run" arrow on the top left side of toolbar, since display shows, but nothing is there bu gray and white, the button on toolbar looks like a play button arrow on a cd player sort of. you need some red stations and most likely green signals and red track segments.
Rob

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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by dominique » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:42 pm

Thats what I was thinking, but I hit the play button and nothing happens. It says not monitoring at the bottom left hand corner of the screen. I'm wondering if I missed a step somewhere when I installed the progam. I was in Ft Wayne for a little while this afternoon (just got home a little while ago), but before I left, I noticed quite a bit of action around E. Wayne yard including an eastbound sitting on the Fostoria District just outside of Ft Wayne, so naturally I tried to check it out on the atcs to see where it was, but nothing showed up on the display.

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Re: ATCS Coverage

Post by Rob » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:55 pm

ok, if you selected the ftwayne layout from display in options, you may not have used the .ini file, in file on top left, choose load profile and look for ftwayne.ini if you have not used that method yet!
Heeh, this is fun trying to help.

Oh! once you do get it, and if you will mainly use the ftwayne setup, choose yes when you close and it asks if you want to save current profile. then it should go right at it next time you open ATCS mon.
Also, you can look at http://www.atcsmonwiki.org if it returns, not heard a reason why its down, but still not able to connect to it from here.
Rob

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