The Model Railway Layout Design Software SCARM

Discussion in 'Modelling, Memorabilia & Publications' started by Mixy, 14 Jan 2014.

  1. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    And here are the SCARM model train blog posts for September.

    See also the recently published gallery in the blog from one of the largest modular layout meetings in Europe:

    35 Years Anniversary FREMO Meeting in Riesa, Germany

    Overall meeting hall view:

    [​IMG]

    The track plan, spreaded on more than 6000 m2:

    [​IMG]

    That is designed probably in AutoCAD or other similar general purpose CAD software, not in SCARM. However, I am considering adding of features for creating of modular layouts also in SCARM for some of the next versions of the program :)

    Mixy
     
  2. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  3. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  4. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  5. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    Here I want to show you one interesting idea: a project with single track route for using with rolling stock in two different scales - standard gauge N (1/160) and narrow gauge HOe (1/87).

    Small Folding Layout For Use in Both H0e and N scales

    [​IMG]

    The track plan is designed as single line in “double 8” figure with one small station in front and train stop at the back. The layout is planned to allow exchanging of the buildings, signals and some other parts depending on the current rolling stock scale – N (1/160) or narrow gauge H0e (1/87). The guy who builds this layout has prepared different stations and surrounding buildings, different types of signals and different locos and coaches. Only the tracks and the grass will be the same in both scales. Check the link to see more pictures in the two different setups :)

    Mixy
     
  6. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  7. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  8. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    Two new N scale layouts were published in the site from the beginning of the year - see them below:

    The Train Layout with The Old Castle

    Nice layout with precise designed virtual buildings (all are from real kits) with many details and rich decorations.

    [​IMG]


    A Small Layout in the Kid's Room in N Scale

    This project represents a whole room with bed on the upper level and all the furniture for L-shaped layout with buildings and rolling stock on it.

    [​IMG]


    Hope you will like these projects :)

    Mixy
     
  9. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    The new SCARM v. 0.9.35 is ready and published! It comes with many new and updated track libraries, many bugfixes and more powerful Model Trains Simulator extension. See more about the new version here:

    SCARM Track Planning Software 0.9.35 Released

    [​IMG]

    For the new release there is also a new database with Virtual Rolling Stock for use in the MTS PE extension.

    [​IMG]

    Some British models are on the way and will appear soon there :)

    Hope you will like all new stuff about SCARM ;)

    Mixy
     
    Last edited: 3 Mar 2017
  10. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    IMPORTANT!

    A bug was reported and confirmed in the last version of SCARM that may prevent starting of the program on some computers. The patched version of the program was released today. Please upgrade to SCARM 0.9.36, which can be downloaded from www.scarm.info to fix the issue.

    See more about this bug-fix update in the following blog post: SCARM v. 0.9.36 Released.

    I am sorry if the bugs caused any problems and inconvenience in your work with SCARM. If you see another problems, please report them here or in SCARM Blog and I will try to fix them ASAP.

    Mixy
     
  11. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  12. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  13. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    See 3 layouts designed in SCARM in HO (1/87), TT (1/120) and N (1/160) scales, all in oval form:

    Compact HO Track Plan feat. Figure "8"

    [​IMG]

    The plan above has one internal loop with one entry point, but can be easily modified in 2 different ways in order to get one more entry/exit point. The modifications are described in the article.


    Compact Oval in TT scale

    [​IMG]

    This design is just a simple oval with small train station in the center.


    THE EYE - 3' x 5' N-scale Layout of Brian

    [​IMG]

    This is one already build layout for simultaneously running of up to 3 trains


    Mixy
     
  14. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  15. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    Here are the SCARM model train blog posts for April.

    If your older version of SCARM is not yet updated or does not start correctly, update to the latest version - see the article about v. 0.9.37.

    Mixy
     
  16. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  17. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    Here is the only SCARM blog post for May:

    International Danube Modular Layout Meeting - Russe 2017

    [​IMG]

    The event hosted layouts in HO, TT and N scales and was carried out by more than 40 participants from several countries. Here is the layout scheme:

    [​IMG]

    I also attended and even drove several trains :) See the pictures that I shot in the blog post's gallery.

    Last but not least, I should mention that one of the train stations and several other single modules are entirely designed in SCARM ;)

    Mixy
     
  18. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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  19. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    The new SCARM version is ready and published. Read more about it here:

    SCARM v. 1.0 Milestone Released

    This version starts a new epoch in the developing of SCARM. Get ready for many new functions and features that will come with the next updates and the future SCARM extensions! :)

    Mixy
     
  20. centraltrains

    centraltrains Member

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    Got a pop-up window - There is a pice limit?!? Nooooo! I never knew this!

    But then the Full version is $33.90!!?!?!? WHAT!?!?! That is so expensive and unaffordable! I mean £10, £15 for this - fine. But this price is just way too much! Especially considering I am only using it to then spend money on track with model companies. Couldn't you have sought sponsorship by a shop where it will add the track needed into my basket automatically instead to fund it? Very annoying. I mean no wonder you bump this thread all the time for free advertising.

    What do I do? Hope the price gets reduce further and delay projects? Delete track parts and replace with flexi-track to work around it? Make my own competing software? See if I can illegally change the limit using software such as cheat engine? This is so annoying!
     
  21. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    Everything is explained in my blog. And I warned about the upcoming changes more than half year ago. See the summary here:

    Everything About The Transition to SCARM 1.0 Milestone

    Please, don't offend me by calculating the price for my software, for developing of which I was working 2-3 hours each day and shared it for free for more than 7 years. Especially, when you are using it free of charge just "to then spend money on track with model companies". And yes, SCARM is still completely free for use, but only for small and simple designs. If you want to continue to use my product for larger track plans, please, support my work and obtain a license - it is no more than the cost of a pair of turnouts.

    Mixy
     
    Last edited: 8 Sep 2017
  22. centraltrains

    centraltrains Member

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    I only used the software when I needed to design layout sections, which doesn't occur very frequently. I am not particularly an enthusiast of the software so have no reason to really follow the blog and hence personally to me this was no warning.

    I did not calculate a price of the software, just stated the maximum I would be personally willing to pay. I believe there is a massive difference (in personal motivation) between developing software as a hobby and commercially and I believe you are just seeing an exmaple of a person being annoyed about this change [me] which you expected.

    I am not that rich - I would love to be able to have enough money to make buying a full license without it being a mega spending decision! Yes, I obviously have the money in the bank [at the moment] which could afford it but there are items much higher in priority to purchase up there [model trains] which are a better investment as I actually get enjoyment out of them! In this case, the software is just a utility to help support that. The points I am buying are the basic Hornby points and even most of those are 2nd hand! It's more comparable to 3-5 points depending on price.

    Is there any place I can get an old version from, please?

    Luckily I managed to get around it this time by using flexi-track everywhere :)


    Edit: Sorry for my heavy and probably unintentionally rude criticism of the pricing/limit structure. I am just really annoyed I can't justify/afford and like it so much :(.
    I would suggest a cheaper price for a higher limit but that's up to you and I guess it's likely you've already considered it but I would most certainly be a customer of this if you ever decided to make it.
     
    Last edited: 9 Sep 2017
  23. GusB

    GusB Member

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    So you got to use a product for free while it was in the testing stage, and now that it has matured, you're complaining that you have to pay for it?

    Allow me to quote from said blog post: http://www.scarm.info/blog/general/everything-about-the-transition-to-scarm-1-0-milestone/

    It's fairly clear that if you contributed to the development of the software you'll benefit in some way, either by being granted a free license key, or by being offered a discount. Did you submit any bug reports, or any feedback?

    How would you feel if I asked you to come over and clean my house without payment?
     
  24. centraltrains

    centraltrains Member

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    It did not seem clear to me that it was only a testing stage at the time.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140228105005/http://scarm.info/index_en.html

    This, to me, did not suggest it was only in a testing stage and would become a paid product.

    No, I did not, why? Because I found no problems with it. It's not really the type of software I am going to get everyday use out of where [unless there are loads of bugs] I am not likely to come across bugs. I would not send feedback unless invited to as otherwise, I would feel I would be unnecessarily be wasting time.

    That is a totally different scenario. Cleaning is a one-off task which needs repeating many times for different users and for general upkeep. Software development is a one-off task* which can be sold/given many times.

    [*Yes, I know bug fixes and updates can be applied, but it's still only doing work once to then give too many many people rather than only 1 person benefiting]
     
    Last edited: 10 Sep 2017
  25. GusB

    GusB Member

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    I'm not a programmer/developer, but the clue is usually in the version number - if it's 0.x then that would indicate that it's still not quite production ready.

    You need to understand that prices can and do change. There are many internet services out there that started out as free-to-use, but as time went on it becomes uneconomic to continue with the same model. Look at services like Spotify, which you can use for free, but with limitations (ie adverts), or you can pay a subscription for a better listening experience.

    It takes time to write software, and I would argue that it's not a one-off task. Bug-fixing, adding new features etc. is a continual process. It's rather unfair to expect a developer to devote time to providing you with free software when it could otherwise be devoted to projects that do make money. People have to keep a roof over their heads, pay bills and eat!

    The software is, as far as I can gather, still free to use for small projects. If you had thought to make a donation to the project early on, we wouldn't be having this discussion because you would have been supplied with a free licence key in recognition of your donation! :roll:
     
  26. centraltrains

    centraltrains Member

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    There are far few rules governing version numbering. The only thing I seek to do is to find the highest version number available.

    Spotify is not a comparable service. This is a piece of software which you buy to install on your computer and then pretty much everything runs locally. The uneconomic sites like Spotify which look to change usually involve constant communication with clients and servers - the servers being the main cost which makes them uneconomic. The only web service I can directly see from this is the download and information site which takes up far fewer resources and is much cheaper to run than web-based services.

    Yes, exactly my point that there is a difference between creating an application commercially and as a hobby. As far as I could previously tell before the free-limit it seemed to be a hobby [the website carries an extremely basic style which is commonly associated with hobby created freeware]. Hence I am annoyed that it is commercial and this didn't seem 100% clear from the start.

    I would say that there is no requirement for a developer to add more features or fix bugs. There are many abandoned hobby created software packages available on the internet which have not received any updates for many years and the fact there are bugs are just dealt by the end user and they generally don't mind as it's free.

    I consider my project to be small. It just uses a lot of track as it's a storage area. I had only used the software once or twice before which isn't enough usage for me personally to want to make a donation. My pocket money at the time didn't really cover enough scope for me to even be able to consider donations.
     
  27. plarailfan

    plarailfan Member

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    Hi Mixy, many thanks for all your hard work that you've put into SCARM so far. Many of my friends and some clubs and modelling groups, have found it invaluable.
    I just wondered, will you be able to consider, adding the Tomy blue plastic track library to SCARM sometime please. (Plarail) https://www.flickr.com/photos/41294071@N02/albums/72157632519468693
     
    Last edited: 12 Sep 2017
  28. Mixy

    Mixy Member

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    Plarail looks simple on first sight, but they have many variants including parts varying in start/end heights. These are still not possible to be represented in SCARM, but I will work to improve the internal representation of the tracks in the program, so Plarail will be added in some of the next versions of SCARM.

    Mixy
     
  29. plarailfan

    plarailfan Member

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    Ok, that's great, thank you.
    Personally, that would suit me, as I only build flat layouts, where everything is all on the same level, but, in fairness, the vast majority of my internet friends do build multi level layouts using the ramp track items, as they very much enjoy the hill climbing abilities of the Tomy trains and track system.


    Simon (Plarailfan)
     
    Last edited: 13 Sep 2017
  30. dcsprior

    dcsprior Member

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    I've never used this software, but as someone that knows the value of software development, I disagree strongly with:
    And agree with:
    However I have a lot of sympathy for:
    IMO, if it was advertised as being free at the point that a certain version was current, then that version should still be available for free. If a later version is released on a freemium model that's fine, but if you advertise something as being free (and no mention of it being time-limited, as beta version of software often are) then you should stick to this.

    Finally, the phrase used was "free software" which as normally used by technologists doesn't just mean not requiring payment (as in "free beer" - 'gratis' in french) also covering certain freedoms (as in "free speech" - 'libre' in french) which once given can't be taken away. However whilst this is the normal understanding of what "free software" means, it isn't a phrase with special legal meaning.
     

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