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Statement from Ixion Model Railways Ltd
This announcement about A-Track, a free easy-to-use software application for NCE DCC systems, is posted with the generous permission of Joe Fugate, in the hope that some of the MRH community may find it useful. Any comments or queries are very welcome.
A-TRACK Version 4.4.1 has now been released – and is still FREE !
A-Track runs on any Windows desktop or notebook to complement and expand the capabilities of your NCE Power Cab, Smart Booster, DCC Twin, or Power Pro DCC system, and to assist you in running your roster of locomotives on your model railroad.
A-Track allows you to store full details of all of your locomotives and of any stationary (turnout) decoders, with all of their DCC configuration parameters, in a readily-accessible format on a personal computer – but without requiring you to be any kind of computer expert. A-Track’s back-up copy of all of the data held within each DCC decoder fitted in the locomotives which make up your roster, or which operate the turnouts on your layout, safeguards all the hours of effort put in by you (or your Club’s DCC expert) in programming and configuration.
The expanded facilities of the Version 1.65 Power Cab and Smart Booster, and the DCC Twin, now allow A-Track to backup all Command Station settings for these systems, including Cab allocations, Consists, and Macros, as previously only available with Power Pro systems.
Continuous monitoring of locomotive allocation, speed, direction and main functions is now available on-screen without interfering with other program functions, and this has been extended to continuous monitoring of turnout positions on the layout using NCE Auxiliary Input Units (AIUs) connected via the Cab Bus.
While turnouts and other accessories can still be operated via dedicated on-screen controllers, turnouts can now be switched via a mouse-click on Mimic diagrams which represent your layout on the screen, showing all open and closed routes, and reacting dynamically to any turnout monitoring through connected AIUs.
Mimics also allow you to specify a route across your layout by selecting start, mid and end points. A-Track will then find the best route (if available), involving fewest turnouts, and let you set that route with a single mouse-click. You can also save found routes as Macros if they are likely to be used frequently.
Editing and execution of the full set of 256 Macros has been made easier. All Macros can be run directly from A-Track or be transferred to or from a Power Pro system for execution from a handheld Cab, while any 16 Macros can be transferred to a Power Cab, Smart Booster or DCC Twin system, again for execution directly from a Cab.
Operation of locomotives from an on-screen controller has been greatly improved by use of the mousewheel.
An expanded range of Decoder Manufacturers is now supported - Bachmann, Broadway Limited (Paragon 2/3), DCC Concepts, Digitrax, ESU (LokSound), Hornby, Lenz, NCE, Model Rectifier, MTH, QSI (Quantum), SoundTraxx, Tam Valley Depot, Train Control Systems (TCS), Zimo, and ZTC – fully updated from the latest manufacturers’ data.
Please Note : To forestall the inevitable comments . . . A-Track is not trying to compete with JMRI Decoder Pro or Panel Pro software – it is simply available as an alternative for owners of NCE DCC systems with a Windows computer. As in all aspects of model railroading, there are lots of different ways of achieving the same results, using similar products from a range of sources.
It only costs you a little time to try A-Track – and you might even like it! But, at the end of the day, like all other tools or techniques, your choice of computer software to assist in your model railroading activities is down to your own personal preferences.
A-Track comes with an interactive Tutorial, allowing you to get to grips with the program’s operation and features straight away. All features and functions are fully documented and explained both as a downloadable Reference Manual and as a series of Help pages – just press the F1 key at any time when running A-Track, and the relevant Help topic will appear on-screen.
Further details from http://www.a-train-systems.co.uk/atrack.htm, with download options described at https://www.railpage.com.au/downloads?mode=download.view&id=1197
Support discussions can be found at: https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2139324.htm#2139324
Download your copy and give it a try !
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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