Question for QSI (firmware improvements)


Hello QSI,

  I've been working on a portable Realistic Diesel Control Stand Throttle (tethered to a NCE radio hammerhead). 

  In my search for fidelity to actual diesel locomotive control stands I put out a request on the NCE forum for real engineers to help answer some questions about the train brake.   I have access to technical manuals published by the locomotive manufacturers, detailing the physical controls and operation.   However, the manuals only go so far.   The real locomotive engineers, with real experience in the right hand seat have an understanding for real operation that goes beyond the manuals.  That being said, I received an email from a retired engineer who kindly added some first hand experience to my knowledge base.

  Here's a quote, regarding 'stretch braking' from one of many emails, "The whole idea to keeping the engine throttled up is to stretch the train for a smooth and non-damaging stop. If we were to shut the throttle off and apply the train brake, we could very possibly tear out a complete dawbar or break off a knuckle. The Trainmen liked retreiving these, as they would place them in a display case in the Crew Room with the Engineers name on it. Not something you would want to happen. An Engineers pride was how smooth he handled the train. Not patting myself on the back too hard, but I was considered an Engineer to work with. Smooth handling, no rear end crew tossed form one end of the Caboose to the other and broken arms and such and wasn't afraid to get into an overtime situation. But could and would get a train over the road without incedent and as quick as possible.
    As for the Dynamic, when you would go from power to dynamic, you had a spring loaded lever that you would first place in a neutral position and then into Dynamic and vise versa. At which time you would start to bunch the train together. Once you knew you had the train bunched, you would apply the Automatic Brake to assist in stopping or slowing the train down. The Railroads preferred us to use mostly Dynamic because it saved them money on the brake shoes. They said, at that time period that it cost $500.00 every time we used the Automatic."

  One of the official locomotive operator's manuals detailed starting a stopped train, uphill, on a grade (the train brakes already on - releasing the train brake, without power on, would allow the train to roll backwards, downhill).  In some instances very high throttle setting were required before releasing train brakes.

  My question for QSI is, to make the best decoder even more realistic, are you willing to rewrite the firmware to enable 'Stretch Braking' and Starting on an uphill grade?   In other words:

1/  the operator doesn't have to put the speed step to zero before applying the brake  (or at least the sound of the prime mover would remain at whatever notch it was set to before braking)

2/  the operator can throttle up (a standing train on a grade) before releasing the train brake

Gerry?   Kelly?   Josh?   anyone?


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