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Turnout Routes

Routes are a way to set groups of turnouts to establish a specific track route with a single command or button press. Routes are useful any time you have complex track arrangements with multiple turnouts and multiple potential pathways.

LCOS builds routes at individual Client nodes. Each node configured to run turnouts can have up to 16 Local Routes, each of which can set some or all of the local turnouts handled by the node. A Local Route cannot include turnouts on a different Node.

Global Routes, routes that span two or more nodes on the layout, are a composite of multiple Local Routes that work together to create the desired track route. This is accomplished by associating Local Routes with Global Routes.

Lets look at the Local Routes tool for some context before looking at some examples.

Local Routes Tool #

Navigate to the Client node you wish to configure, then in the Main Window click the Routes button to invoke the Turnout Routes tool.

The Routes Tool in its default state with no Routes defined.

The Routes Tool determines how many turnouts you have defined on this node and sets itself up accordingly.

The Routes Tools enables turnout control on installed local turnouts only. Remote turnouts are not included in local routes. Use Global Routes to set routes spanning multiple Nodes.

To create a route, click the Add Route Button. A new route object will be created and loaded into the edit area for further editing.

Lets assume that our two turnout example above applies to a node that contains the following track fragment:

This node controls these two turnouts. The middle track is the mainline, so we need a mainline route.
Turnout options for a Route.

In our example, we want both turnouts set to MAIN (aka CLOSED) for the mainline route through these turnouts. Accordingly, the fully edited route looks like this:

A first route.

As always, your configuration is not saved automatically! Click the Save Routes button to save your Local Routes.

To complete the change, the node must rebooted. On the Main Window, click reboot button to reboot and load the new configuration.

The Global Routes Check boxes #

The example Node is part of a larger, multi-node layout that has a mainline with two possible routes for continuous running. We are designating those routes Global Route 0 and Global Route 1. In either case, we want the two turnouts on this node set to MAIN/CLOSED, so we want this route to be part of both Global Routes. Accordingly, by selecting the Global Route 0 and 1 check boxes as shown above, this Local Route will automatically participate in both Global Routes.

Participate? #

That’s the concept that’s new here: Global Routes consist of local routes that elect to participate. When a Global Route is invoked, a message is broadcast asking participants to set the route. This may seem odd to people used to defining routes from the top down by creating, for example, a table of turnouts and positions that are then applied as a route.

Think of the LCOS configuration system as analogous to “training” independent Nodes to respond to specific conditions or commands.

When you define a Local Route and select Global Route check boxes, you are training the Node in two ways: 1) you are embedding instructions for how to create a particular route using turnouts it controls, and 2) you are training it to respond to specific “Global Route Calls” by implementing the Local Route. Note: more than one Local Route can respond to the same Global Route call!

One Client Layouts #

On small layouts with a single CLIENT, any Local Route becomes a Global Route by selecting a Global Route checkbox. Local routes you want to be called by the MASTER should be mapped to a Global Route.

Although a Global Route could still consist of multiple Local Routes, in most cases you’ll want to define a single Local Route to set all turnouts necessary to respond to a Global Route call.

Multi-Client Layout Example #

Lets consider the following example HO layout:

This example layout is used in the LCOS Layout Planning Guide

This layout has been divided into five zones, each with a Client Node having the ID shown in the illustration. One of the features of this particular layout is two track loops that intersect at the main yard in the North Central Quadrant. That plus the large yard will call for multiple Routes.

Lets look at the first two Global Routes you might want to create: a mainline continuous running route for each loop. Since the Eastern Mainline (Node 05) has no turnouts, lets zoom in on the affected nodes (Nodes 01 – 04, top left to bottom right):

Global Route 0 is in Green on the inner loop. Global Route 1 is in Red on the outer loop.

Lets assign the inner loop route to Global Route 0 and the outer loop route to Global Route 1; the colored lines in the illustration show the affected turnouts and how they have to be aligned.

Global Route 0 #

The turnouts required for Global Route 0 (green lines) are located in Nodes 02 and 04, so we configure the component Local Routes on those Nodes.

Node 02 has seven turnouts, with ids 0 to 6 from left to right, so Global Route 0 needs a route through turnouts 5 and 6.

Local Route 0 on Node 02, linked to Global Route 0

Node 04 has three turnouts, numbered 0 to 2 from left to right. Global Route 0 requires turnout 2 be set MAIN/CLOSED.

Local Route 0 on Node 04, linked to Global Route 0

At this point, Global Route 0 will trigger linked Local Routes on Nodes 02 and 04, resulting in a continuous inner loop.

Global Route 1 #

This route spans all four Nodes, so it will need a Local Route linked to it on each Node. Here are the settings for each Node, in address order:

Node 01, Local Route 0. Turnouts are numbered 0 to 7 from top to bottom (see illustration)
Node 02, Local Route 1
Node 03, Local Route 0
Node 04, Local Route 1

Invoking Routes #

Routes are invoked through Control Objects.

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