Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

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Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  ShortNorth on Sun 13 Sep 2015, 6:33 am

Many people are reporting that TSM installs and runs OK under Windows 10 - however, I have found a few limitations which I'll comment on below.

Traditionally TSM has normally been installed as C:\Program Files\Abacus\.............

With Win 8.1 and Win 10, most 16 or 32 bit programs install as C:\Program Files (x86)\...... instead of the original C:\Program Files\......

Since Win Vista / Win 7, most tutorials recommend installing older applications totally outside of C:\Program Files\..... to a C:\folder of your choice.

I have found some confusion over different Versions of TSM:

My original TSM V1.0 is on my original payware CD with the required licence number.

Abacus originally had a separate V1.1 upgrade file available for download from their original website, but this has long disappeared, and the upgrade (only) file is nowhere to be found. Somewhere in my vast file storage library (of many disks), I'm sure there is a backup copy of this 'upgrade' file, but so far I have not found it.

I tried installing my original V1.0 from the CD and it installed OK, complete with the existing license key. However, the LACK of the additional features that I got to rely on from V1.1 made it a difficult version to work with, so I de-installed it and tried the 'freeware' V1.1.

I have installed my working TSM into the 'default' C:\Program Files\Abacus\TS Modeler\......

A search on Google for 'Train Sim Modeler V1.1' revealed there are a number of places where a 'freeware' TSM V1.1 is available for download. However, I've found at least two different ones - one installs as a 'Demo only' - it lets you save your work, BUT it does NOT let you export the completed models to MSTS (yes, I have checked and it will not export) - the second one does let you export, but with a few serious limitations.

The original author of TSM, Louis Sinclair, gracefully allowed it to be made available as freeware since the demise of the 'train simming section' of Abacus (Abacus still has a website, but now ONLY supports flight simulators). A V1.1 freeware version is available from his website.
http://www.rundiomusic.com/SimDownloads

Ignoring the 'crippled' version that will NOT export completed models, I'll look at the version from Louis Sinclair:

First (serious) limitations - although it states that it is V1.1, the export screen is completely different from the original V1.1 from Abacus - the new version does not allow you to export (Create TS Object File) to a folder of your choice - it DEFAULTS to exporting your models to :

C:\users\<yourname>\appdata\local\virtualstore\Program Files\Abacus\TS Modeler\.......

No matter what you do, you cannot export your models to anywhere else but in here - this means it is a rather long-winded way to get to your exported models.

As I often make a 'pack' of several models, I made a new folder C:\Program Files\Abacus\TSM-WIP; after exporting I copy the models from the \users\ location into the WIP folder for tweaking before final packaging.

Second (more serious) limitations - there is a fundamental difference between the original paid version and the new freeware version - the freeware version will ONLY create the .s shape files, the .sd shape definition files and the .ace texture files - it WILL NOT create the matching .eng or .wag files when you are building new rolling stock. If you are making a modified version of an existing loco, coach or wagon, you can use a copy of the existing .eng or .wag file to amend for the new modified model.

However, if you are creating a totally new loco, coach or wagon, you will have to create a new .eng or .wag file from SCRATCH, or find a suitable existing file and HEAVILY modify it.

In the original Abacus version you could create small triangular polys and tag them as reference parts for lights, smoke and steam effects etc, and when exported, the exact positions are recorded in the .eng file, making it very easy to get the smoke and lights effects right in your new model - this does NOT happen in the freeware V1.1 - I've tried to export one of my existing locos (with the effects and lights in place) and they are NOT converted to the resulting model files.

Third limitations - I found that when exporting the models, TSM V1.1 initially refused to create the .ace texture files - to solve this I had to copy over the whole UTILS folder from MSTS under the C:\Program Files\Abacus\TS Modeler\.... folder - this brought the makeace.exe and associated files under TSM - the exported models now have the correct texture files included.

I'm hoping that this new post, may encourage others who may have overcome these limitations to comment on their solutions. Considering I've used the original Abacus TSM V1.1 for well over 10 years now and produced 1000's of rolling stock items and structures, I'm rather disappointed in the 'new' freeware TSM V1.1., it is definitely NOT the same as the original paid Abacus version V1.1

I'm hoping I can get my original Vista desktop machine fixed and be able to recover my original backed-up licensed TSM in full, then I can get back to proper TSM model production.

Regards, Brian


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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  rufuskins on Sun 13 Sep 2015, 7:15 am

Brian
Many thanks for this detailed review, which I'm sure will be of help to those who are either using or contemplating Windows 10. Out of interest I have installed TSM away from Program Files (x86) and it works fine on my W7 64 bit PC. However I found that the freeware TSM never worked very well and reverted back to my original disc, but like you at the moment can't find the v1.1 update in my storage discs.


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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  slipperman12 on Sun 13 Sep 2015, 3:22 pm

Hi Brian,
I feel that many (or probably most) of your problems are because you're using C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) for these old programs! From Vista. these folders have much stricter protection built into them (together with a few other Drive C: system folders).

While I was persuading Louis to make TSM available again, after Abacus dropped all MSTS products, I sent him v1.1, but, for some reason, he hasn't included all of the functions - probably due to not being able to obtain some permissions. Although I'm not in your class, I have made a few small models and have had no problem exporting to MSTS - my TSM is on the same drive as MSTS, it being completely separate from Drive C:.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  rufuskins on Sun 13 Sep 2015, 4:18 pm

Out of interest it is my understanding that JKY has acquired the rights to TSM!

As an aside you can define the Train Simulator location in Program Preferences in the File drop down menu, and then click on Simulator - excuse my attempt to teach grand mothers to suck eggs! Shocked Shocked Shocked


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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  slipperman12 on Sun 13 Sep 2015, 7:19 pm

Hi Alec,
Regarding your first comment, you are quite correct .... Shocked Twisted Evil

Ged

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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  ShortNorth on Tue 15 Sep 2015, 12:13 am

OK, after the frustrations of the last few days, it made me determined to get to the bottom of the problem.

I now know the 'REAL' situation regarding Train Sim Modeler.

First Test - I dragged my last working PC out of storage (a 10 year old laptop running Win XP). On this I installed a clean Abacus V1.0, in the usual C:\Program Files\Abacus\TS Modeler location using my original license key. I copied over a couple of my existing models and was able to add parts, delete parts, change textures and export the models - all satisfactory.

I now had a fully functional Abacus V1.0 installation (on my old laptop).

Next Test - using the recently installed freeware V1.1 on my new Win 10 laptop, I sat the two laptops side by side and progressively worked through each menu command and dialog box on both TSM installations.

This revealed, as I had originally thought, that the freeware V1.1 is NOT really the same as the Abacus V1.1 - it is ONLY functionally identical to the original Abacus V1.0. So, in spite of being labelled V1.1, either by Louis Sinclair (or JKY), it is only equivalent to V1.0.

I'll now only call it freeware V1.0 (1.1) for clarity in the rest of the discussions.

Next Test - going back to my old laptop, I installed Abacus V1.1 from my recoverable Abacus V1.1 backup files, right over the top of the V1.0 installation. Using the same existing models I was able to add parts, delete parts, change textures and export the models - HOWEVER, the original V1.1 functions that I reported 'missing' in my initial post were ALL back again.

I now had a fully functional Abacus V1.1 installation (on my old laptop).

Next Test - using the freeware V1.1 ? as installed on my new laptop, I installed Abacus V1.1 right over the top of the freeware V1.0 (1.1). On opening the program it seemed to be OK, HOWEVER, as soon as I attempted to load an existing model - it locked up protesting about 'rendering problems'. The only way I could close it was to do a Ctrl/Alt/Del. There must be some program code differences that prevent the freeware V1.0 (1.1) and Abacus V1.1 from combining into a single functional program - no matter what I did this combination would NOT work.

Next Test - I uninstalled the freeware V1.0 (1.1), and manually purged all remnants of TSM so the new laptop was as if TSM had never been installed previously. Using the method listed by Ged Saunders, I created a new folder TSM, and a second folder TSM V1-0 CD Master. I then copied all the original Abacus files from the CD into the TSM V1-0 CD master folder, along with the setup32.exe file as listed. A new clean Abacus V1.0, complete with my original license key, was installed into the TSM folder and tested - all OK. I then installed Abacus V1.1 from my recoverable Abacus V1.1 backup files, right over the top of the V1.0 installation. Using the same existing models I was able to add parts, delete parts, change textures and export the models - HOWEVER, the original V1.1 functions that I reported 'missing' in my first post were ALL back again.

I now had a fully functional Abacus V1.1 installation (on my NEW Win 10 laptop).

I made two separate backups of the Abacus TSM V1.1 system files - so, if anything untoward happens, I can quickly recover a fully functional Abacus V1.1 in minutes.

In summary :

A - If you do NOT own an original Abacus TSM, you CAN use the freeware V1.0 (1.1) to made new models. However, I would recommend that this be only used to make new scenery or structure models. Yes, you CAN make new locos, coaches and wagons, BUT you are left to your own devices to build/amend the required .eng and .wag files to make them working models in MSTS / ORTS. IF you don't have the necessary skills to make the .eng and .wag files, this will result in high levels of frustration, and seeing your new creation working in MSTS will be highly unlikely. If you don't have a copy of the Abacus originals, I'd recommend tracking down a second-hand copy - make sure you get the license key with it - it won't 'phone home' to Abacus, so will install and operate as per normal.

B - IF you DO own an original Abacus TSM, AND you have either the original Abacus V1.1 Upgrade files OR a recoverable Abacus V1.1 backup files, you CAN install it under Win 10 as a fully functional TSM V1.1 program.

CAUTION : this applies to ALL versions of TSM (Abacus V1.0, Abacus V1.1, freeware V1.0 (1.1).
Do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES click on Help, Upgrade Registration - this WILL immediately change the installed TSM into a DEMO ONLY version and WILL kill the ability to export any of your work. This is not recoverable - to correct this, you will have to uninstall TSM completely and reinstall all over again - be warned !!!


The extra time and effort I've put into this TSM research yesterday was well worth it !!! I am VERY pleased that I now have all my original TSM V1.1 functionality back again, working under Win 10 - all I have to do now to complete the picture, is to reinstall the 4 or 5 graphics programs that I use to make or adjust the texture files that I use on my models. Then I can get back to normal producing new models, just like I used to do !!!


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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  rufuskins on Tue 15 Sep 2015, 6:28 am

Excellent stuff there Brian and I'll copy this post into my HD reference library.


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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  slipperman12 on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 4:32 pm

Hi All,
UPDATE
I have, today, received an email from JKY and quote it below :
A number of problems were described with the free version of TrainSim Modeler at http://tsforum.freeclanforum.com/t1009-win-10-tsm-train-sim-modeler-a-few-limitations

These problems have been resolved. The current installer https://www.digital-rails.com/files/DigitalRailsTSM.exe can be downloaded from https://www.digital-rails.com/trainsim_modeler.html

This installer includes the full version 1.1 commercial version and can import 3DS files and export to FSC files.

I have started work on version 1.2 and welcome requests for changes.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  ianmacmillan on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 6:54 pm


The update I have is called AbacusTSM_WinXP.exe.

I had it installed on my W7 computer when I updated to W10 and everything works OK.

I also install TSM on an ACER Aspire Switch 10E notebook and again upgraded it to W10 without problems.

If anybody wants AbacusTSM_WinXP.exe PM me.



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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  rufuskins on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 10:44 pm

slipperman12 wrote:Hi All,
UPDATE
I have, today, received an email from JKY and quote it below :
A number of problems were described with the free version of TrainSim Modeler at http://tsforum.freeclanforum.com/t1009-win-10-tsm-train-sim-modeler-a-few-limitations

These problems have been resolved. The current installer https://www.digital-rails.com/files/DigitalRailsTSM.exe can be downloaded from https://www.digital-rails.com/trainsim_modeler.html

This installer includes the full version 1.1 commercial version and can import 3DS files and export to FSC files.

I have started work on version 1.2 and welcome requests for changes.

Cheers,
Ged

Ged

Are you in a position to say whether this is of a similar calibre to his version of Route Riter? I was under the impression that following his "antics" in relation to Elvas Tower and other sites in America he was persona non grata? In addition does the reference to importing 3DS files mean an ability to reverse engineer? I very much hope that these worries may be shown to be wrong!


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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  slipperman12 on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 11:04 pm

Hi Alec,
Sorry, mate, I can't help any further, but I believe the original "Professional" version of TSM did include the facility to import .3DS files. It's possible that the .3DS facility was always included in TSM, but needed to be "unlocked" by an appropriate key code, but I'm guessing!

As you know, I'm not a model builder (although I've tried!), so just offer the information to those who wish to make use of it.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  ShortNorth on Sat 27 Aug 2016, 1:32 am

As the OP that started this topic, I have a few comments to make.

In the posts above, Ged indicates that from an email he received from JKY, that  - "the number of problems ....... have been resolved". It also indicates that the latest version in now the full V1.1 COMMERCIAL version.

Whilst Ged has also stated on UKTS that JKY now has the 'ownership' of TSM, it is not a matter of what JKY is doing to the software, but a matter of TRUST.

Based on JKY's past conduct and the damage done to the train simming community in general, I would be very reluctant to download and install the so-called 'latest' version.

Until JKY proves to the community that his past behavior, is really a thing of the past and he really wants to enhance and further the cause if train simming, I have no faith in anything that he produces.

On JHKY's website, there are several items of concern :

- the original Commercial version was TEN TIMES the cost of the base TSM - why is JKY giving away that level of software free ? is there a hidden catch to this ?

- at the bottom of the page, a section called "Possible Changes" shows ........  Import of 3DS and S format files - does this mean that anyone can import an existing S file by high-jacking it, modifying it and releasing it without the original authors permission ? - I really HOPE NOT - I don't want anyone high-jacking my models and changing them without permission.

- again, under "possible changes" shows ...... Move projects folder to user folder to get certification for Windows 7 - now I know how the complicated file path problem I mentioned earlier came about - JKY simply wanted MS certification for his work - in doing so, he made the saving of TSM models so utterly difficult as to almost be unworkable !

I'll sit back and see what happens for a while before I trust anything JKY does, either now or in the future.

Regards, Brian


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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  JohnY58 on Sat 27 Aug 2016, 1:21 pm

I have  a fully working paid for commercial v1.1 which imports fsc and 3ds files, I have never had a reason to use that facility. Although I do little, if anything, these days for MSTS, the idea that my created signal .s files are possibly going to be reverse engineered appals me.

John
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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

Post  slipperman12 on Sun 28 Aug 2016, 10:09 am

Hi Brian,
You have a PM.

Cheers,
Ged

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Re: Win 10 - TSM (Train Sim Modeler) a few limitations

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