SCARM Video Tutorials – Part 8 – Use Flex Tracks to Create Large Layouts

This is the tutorial movie #8 of a series of videos about working with SCARM, created and narrated by Ruud Boer.

You can switch to full-screen mode by clicking on bottom right icon in the embedded player.

Once again, thanks to Ruud, for creating these SCARM video tutorial series :)

See also
SCARM Video Tutorial #7 – Use Flex Rail to Close a Gap
SCARM Video Tutorial #9 – Create a Ramp (Slope)


16 thoughts on “SCARM Video Tutorials – Part 8 – Use Flex Tracks to Create Large Layouts

  1. Hi,
    I am unable to get the flextrack to go straight again after a loop? I have tried the tool box and it still comes out the same. Only a degree or 2 out but makes a huge difference on a large layout. I have viewed all the tutorials. Hope you can help and thank you for the top free software.
    Gino

  2. Hello Gino,

    When shaping the flex-track manually, you can help yourself by increasing the setting which keeps the track straight at small bend angles. The default bend angle below which the track is kept as straight is 2 degree. You can increase it to lets say 5 degree. To do that, go to Tools > Settings > Edit > Flex-tracks > Minimum angle for Curve and set the new value.

    When you shape your flex-track using the Toolbox, all that matter are the values that you enter in the corresponding fields. To make a straight section, just enter the length and press [+Straight] button.

    If you want to finish your flex with end point at a given fixed angle (i.e 0 or 180 degree), you can do that by zoom in and watch the data in the status bar while modelling the shape manually. When using the Toolbox, you will need to calculate the angles and set the curved section with the correct angle, equalizing to i.e. 0 or 180 degree.

    Hope this helps :)

  3. Thanks for that Milen. However I am still having problems with joining Peco-N-80 flex track. When attempting to join them on a large layout I have the green arrow display and when I connect them the track is cut to length but unjoined. I am happy to email you a copy of the layout if you supply me with an email address.

    Gino

  4. Mixy, when I try to use the toolbox with flextrack selected in ver 0.9.24, I can not see the command line. It is replaced with a phrase something like (To stop using flextrack, press ESC). If I press ESC, the selected flextrack disappears from the layout, but the command line reappears. Am I doing something wrong, or is this just a flextrack bug?

    Chuck

  5. Hello Chuck,

    You are seeing this because the menu bar commands are not available while modelling flex tracks. You need either to finish the flex-track or to cancel it (by hitting ESC) in order to see the menu again. The same is valid when shaping the baseboard.

  6. OK, I understand that, but your documentation says you can control the flex-track placement either by mouse command or by using the toolbox. I was having trouble understanding the mouse commands, so I thought I’d try the toolbox method, and as you said, it’s not available. The documentation needs to be corrected.

    Chuck

  7. Mixy,
    The language in question is found under “How to use the Toolbox?”

    Flex-tracks modelling: Intended for precise shaping of flex-tracks by entering the parameters of each section. The modelling of the sections can be performed both with mouse and from the Toolbox. Start with choice and placement of the desired flex-track from the tracks selection panel. The flex-track will follow the cursor, while you are moving the mouse on the drawing plot – don’t worry about this. To add a straight section, enter desired length in L field and press “+ Straight” button. To add a curved section, enter desired radius in R field and curvature angle in A field, then press “+ Curve” button. If the radius you entered is smaller than minimal for the given flex-track, the section will be added with the minimal possible radius. Positive angle gives right curve, while negative is used for left curve from the current direction. If the last added section is not suitable, you can delete it by pressing of the small red [-] button. When flex-track shape is ready, press “Fix” button. If the last added section is longer than remaining flex-track length, the track will be fixed automatically.

  8. Mixy,

    Of course, you are correct. I just opened one of my plans, then started the Toolbox and clicked on a piece of flex-track. Voila, the Toolbox changes to what the documentation suggests. Hope I can remember this until tomorrow.

    Thanks a lot,
    Chuck

  9. Milen,

    How do I edit a flex track once it has been placed and is in the middle of a section?

    Thanks for such a great program! I’m learning it now and would like to become very proficient with it.

    Chuck C.

  10. Hello Chuck,

    You need to select the flex track first and then right-click over one of its ends. Select “Reshape” from the context menu and SCARM will place the track in edit mode. Make the necessary change and fix the track. Then you will probably need to reshape also the other tracks, connected to the edited one in order to join the route after editing.

  11. Hello Millen,
    how can I set two exactly parallel flex tracks?

    Many thanks in advance for answer

    Jürgen

  12. Hello Jurgen,

    Make the first track, then use “Edit” > “Parallel start point” point feature and make the second track. If the first track has curved sections, each curve should be on separate track section. To make parallel start points to the joining places of the first track, use the Height markers (toggle Heights on from “View” > “Show Track Heights”). And you can always use the Flex-track modelling feature from the Toolbox (“Tools” > “Toolbox”).

  13. Hi,

    I like your program. I am trying to create a Tram/Trolley layout in HO that uses very tight curves, 6.25 inch minimum radius. I tried to input this in to the Flex Track Modeling Toolbox but, it won’t go smaller than a 12.8 inch radius. Is there another setting I need to change to allow me to make the tighter curves?

    Thanks,

    Chris

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