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The Three Panes

Messages Window

The messages window is the top pane of ATCS Monitor. It is not labeled "Messages". The messages window shows the contents of the packets received according to the ruleset configured in Configure->Rules, and in the format configured Configure->Options->Windows tab->MessagesWindow.

Active MCP Window

The Active MCP Window shows a list of received addresses and their names, along with various statistics, in the format configured in Configure->Options->Windows tab->ActiveMCPWindow.

Packet Display

The Packet Display window shows individual packet detail, for those interested in in-depth packet analysis, in the format configured in Configure->Options->Windows tab->PacketDisplay.


File Menu

  • Load Profile - Open a previously saved monitoring profile (.ini file).
  • Save Profile - Save monitoring profile to the current .ini file
  • Save Profile As - Save monitoring profile to an alternate .ini file
  • Capture To File - Capture each message to a .log file for later replay.
  • Capture To Printer - Print each message as it appears. (Sounds like fun...yikes!)
  • Stop Capturing - Stop capturing to the .log file.
  • Snapshot Capture - Capture currently displayed messages window to a .log file for replay.
  • Replay Capture File - Play back a previously captured data session. Select a .log file (or a .wav sound file, rarely used).
  • Print Setup - Select a printer, font, etc., to use for the Capture->To Printer option
  • Exit - Something you'll have trouble doing, once hooked.

Edit Menu

  • Copy From Packet Window - Copy selected text from Packet Display pane
  • Select All Packet Window Contents - Select all text in the Packet Display pane
  • Copy from Message Window - Copy selected message(s) from Message (top) Pane
  • Select All Message Window Contents - select all message(s) from Message (top) Pane
  • Clear All Windows - Yeah, pretty much what it sounds like

View Menu

  • Raw Data Window - Displays high and low values for packets that are unable to be decoded. The low value should be about 125 to 130 and the high value should be in the 140's. These can be adjusted using the volume control in Analyse Signal
  • Dispatcher Display - Toggles the Dispatcher Display (layout) on and off
  • Layout Information - Shows the information configured by the layout(display) author via Track Builder
  • Connections Window - Toggles the Connections Window, showing inbound or outbound internet server connections
  • Message Type Details - Contains a listing of all ATCS message types and there descriptors. Left clicking a message will display a sample message of that type.
  • EOT Details - Opens a per EOT status detail window
  • Server Log - If logging connections to ATCS Monitor in server mode, show the log contents
  • Toolbar - Toggle the toolbar on/off
  • Status Bar - Toggle the information line at the bottom of the application.
  • Night Mode - Messes with the display to increase the readability in darkness and reduce blinding
  • Splash Screen - In case you missed the pretty picture when the application started
  • Analyze Signal - Graphically displays the signal heard on the top versus the signal interpreted on the bottom. The grid in the background represents the baud rate you have that protocol set for. If your signal does not match the grid pattern, you have chosen the wrong baud rate. The interpreted signal should have full scale verticle lines and the horizontal portions of the square wave should just have a hint of wiggle in them. Use the volume control to adjust levels. When your levels are correct, you error rate will be at it's minimum.

Actions Menu

  • Add MCP Information - Provides a blank MCP record form if for some reason you need to fill one in.
  • Hold MCP Display - Continue to receive data but stop the messages from scrolling by
  • Monitor MCPs - Check to begin monitoring the internet or sound card data (same as toolbar "play" icon)
  • Enable FEC - Turn on Forward Error Correction, you'll never want this off
  • Stop Dispatcher Display - Actually closes out the display, you'll probably rather use View->Dispatcher display toggle
  • Restart Dispatcher Display - Restarts the display and immediately repopulates it with the most current data received. Good for cleaning up train and signal fragments.
  • Restart Dispatcher Display (no refresh) - Restarts the display but repopulates only as new data is received
  • Compress ATCSdb Database - Remove bloat from the database, not normally required. Won't work if multiple instances of ATCS Monitor are open.

Configure Menu

  • Options - Brings up the main configuration options window
  • Rules - Brings up the Rules configuration window
  • Railroad Information - A database of railroad reporting marks and AAR accounting numbers. These can be sorted clicking on the column headings.
  • MCP Information - View/change information about various MCPs, import and export selected MCPs, etc

Help Menu

  • ATCS Monitor Homepage - Opens in the default browser
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Opens this Wiki in the default browser
  • Release History - This connects you to the web page that contains the release history. The release history explains the changes that have taken place in this edition since the last edition.
  • About ATCS Monitor - Vital stats about the application and what it is running on. Copy this information when reporting bugs.

Tool Bar

  • Load Profile
  • Save Profile
  • Network Connections
  • Start Monitoring
  • Hold Packet Display
  • FEC
  • Clear All Windows
  • Replay File
  • Restart Dispatcher Display
  • Configure Data Sources
  • Analyze Signal