Welcome to the ATCS Monitor Wiki Documentation Project
NEW ATCS MONITOR USERS: Click here to get started!
This site is a collaboration by many users of ATCSMon to aid in providing documentation about the software, and its use. It is NOT where to download the software. In the spirit of Wiki, the documentation is allowed to be edited by anyone at anytime. Version control is maintained, so that changes can be rolled-back if necessary. Would you like to contribute to the ATCSMon documentation?
(Link to ATCS Monitor Groups.io group membership and login are required to download ATCS Monitor and related files.)
Frequently Asked Questions We get a lot of the same questions (over and over and over again) in the ATCSMon Yahoo Group. If you're a new user, take a look and see if your question is answered here before posting to the group.
1.0 Getting Started
NEW ATCS MONITOR USERS: Here are the links you'll want to check out first to get started monitoring internet feeds. Pick the method based on your PC skill level and start there...before giving up, check the other links. Not all content is duplicated between methods. After consulting each guide, if you are still stumped, please post a question to the Yahoo group message board, but please be very specific about what step of which guide you are having trouble with. If the problem paragraph has a number like 1.2.3, include that in your query.
If you want to read more, there's a comprehensive Beginners User Guide.pdf guide for beginners on the ATCS Monitor Groups.io site as a .pdf file. You'll be leaving this Wiki, so don't forget to come back for lots more information.
You'll also find a section of this Wiki that has Frequently Asked Questions that try to answer some of the common things members ask.
1.1 Quick Start Guide (PC Pros)
Quick Start Guide - Brief steps for getting it running, for those pretty comfortable with the PC and its file operations.
1.2 Overview Instructions (PC Amateurs)
Getting Started Overview - Overview installation instructions here on the Wiki site, for those with intermediate PC skills.
1.3 Detailed Instructions (PC Novices)
Go through all 3 documents, in the order shown, for those with novice PC skills.
- Installing ATCS Monitor step-by-step - Step-by-step download and install ATCS Monitor.
- Downloading Data Files step-by-step - Step-by-step data files download and manipulation.
- Configuring ATCS Monitor step-by-step - Step-by-step configuration instructions PDF.
1.4 Helpful Videos (for just about everyone)
Videos by Michael Phillips walk you through putting files in the right places, creating a .ini file, and setting up the MCP files and the dispatcher's display:
- Impact for the Hobbyist - How ATCS Monitor enhances the railfan hobby (TRAINS Magazine article)
- Railroads and Technology - Background information on Radio Code Line technology
- Monitoring Railroad RF Data - An overview on how we monitor
- About ATCS Monitor for Windows, its author and contributors
- Prior Knowledge - Things that will be helpful for you to know
3.0 User Guide
- Installing ATCSMon - Platform-specific special procedures beyond the Getting Started instructions
- Main Screen
- Other Windows
- Configuration Dialog Boxes
- Keyboard Shortcuts and Mouse Commands
- Understanding the Dispatcher Display - where are the trains?
- Release Notes - Read the current Release Notes for ATCS Monitor
- == 4.0 Field Monitoring by Radio ==
- Field Monitoring Basics - What you need to know to get started in the field
- Radios and Antenna Systems - Information on receivers, antennas, antenna cables, preamps and filters
- Computer Equipment - What kind of computing power you need
- Field Monitoring - You're getting data, and things look to be setup right, what else can you do?
- Decoding Mnemonics - How to decode a new control point
5.0 Layouts for Displays
- Existing Layouts - Using a pre-made layout
- Making Your Own
6.0 Running a Server
- ATCS Monitor Application - Topics related to ATCS Monitor operation
- TrackBuilder Application - Topics related to Track Builder versions 2 and 3 operation
- Radio Trouble - Topics related specifically to various radios used in conjunction with ATCS Monitor
- Computer Trouble - Hardware/Software issues related to ATCS Monitor operation, except the application
- Bug Reporting - When you've confirmed it's not operator error, this is how to properly report bugs to the author
- Is a Certain Server Serving ATCS Data? - Or could it be down?
- Feature Requests - How (and how not) to ask for a new feature in the program
8.0 Advanced ATCS Monitor Topics
- Using DDE - What is DDE and how is it used in ATCSMon?
- Aggregated Servers - How to combine multiple ATCS Monitor sources into one feed.
- Interfacing with External Programs
- Data Logging - Sift through logfiles or count train movements through a control point
9.0 Stupid Pet Tricks
- Other Programs - Other Programs you can use in conjunction with ATCSMon
- Fun with Rules - Rules, rules. They can be useful and fun!
- ATCS Tracker
- EOT Monitoring - Using ATCS Monitor to monitor End of Train devices
- Create your own .MCP or .MDB files - Use ATCSMon to create your own database files w/o the need for Access or Excel
- Combining Log Files - If you want to combine your MCP and BCP logfiles into one and have them work in chronological order.
- Connector pinouts - Pinouts for about everything in captivity--and some that aren't
- Track Occupancy - A listing of different types of occupancy indications