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Thread: How to Create Your Personal Inventory Using TroveStar Reference Data

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Just wondering why someone couldn't attain the same end with an Excel document on their computer. Upload a copy to cloud storage and another on a flash or SD card kept in a secure location.
    For sure, any spreadsheet of your own would provide a similar result. And you could save yourself the manual copy by having it synced in a Dropbox account, that itself can be read from a smartphone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    I don't see any particular advantage to using someone else's platform, especially since that platform may not stay in existence.
    This is why TroveStar is working on import/export of collections to a spreadsheet compatible format, so that anyone can store a copy elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Online gadgets are great, but I don't trust the shelf life, nor the vulnerability to hackers. ...
    Hum... I'm afraid that 'on-line' stuff are everywhere, probably more than you think. And when you mention 'cloud storage' above, well you are on-line. Yes hacking is the problem that comes with 'on-line'; however it is probably safer to trust big names like AWS for their security than trying to protect your own little castle by yourself.

    The collection feature of TroveStar has been primarily created for those who have not started to track their inventory in a spreadsheet or by other electronic means. When starting from scratch, there is an obvious advantage that information on each item is already filled, so this should save time for users.
    This being said, it remains everyone's choice to track their collection the way they want (or no track it).
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  3. #42
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    There was a hobby shop in Texas that had a similar tool for inventory management. @Paul Schmidt you are right that Excel is an easier way to go. Then the modeler can tailor it to their own needs. A large % of my fleet is custom. I have extra columns in my spreadsheet for things like wheel size and conspicuity stripes. Making my own sheet also allows me to change out columns more easily. I had a column that noted if a car was weathered or not. Once every car on my layout was weathered, I deleted that column. I keep a copy of my spreadsheet in my Google Drive, Box, and on an external hard drive. Iím not worried about someone hacking my list. Itís not a matter of national security. I want to be able to access it when and where I need it.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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  5. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    There was a hobby shop in Texas that had a similar tool for inventory management. @Paul Schmidt you are right that Excel is an easier way to go. Then the modeler can tailor it to their own needs. A large % of my fleet is custom. I have extra columns in my spreadsheet for things like wheel size and conspicuity stripes. Making my own sheet also allows me to change out columns more easily. I had a column that noted if a car was weathered or not. Once every car on my layout was weathered, I deleted that column. I keep a copy of my spreadsheet in my Google Drive, Box, and on an external hard drive. I’m not worried about someone hacking my list. It’s not a matter of national security. I want to be able to access it when and where I need it.
    I have extra columns in my sheet too.... the hard part is keeping it up-to-date

    PS: this thread was for a how-to, reviews are helpful, but we're getting side tracked, including myself :whip:

  6. #44
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    I think there is definitely value in linking our inventory to a complete database w/ accurate manufacturing info, pictures to verify we are looking at correct item, etc... It is much different for me to type info about my cars into a spreadsheet than to enter the info and then realize which of my cars is Atlas 1st Generation for example.

    However, I think for a system like this to be successful (i.e., to see widespread adoption) it will need the import and export function as others have indicated -- even better would be an open API (e.g., to link to other external sites or datasets) or maybe a simple way to customize your view (e.g., add more fields / data elements). Ultimately I think the only way that developers will fully embrace it as a development platform is if it used a open source-type agreement and licensing (although this requires creativity to monetize or bring in funding via other mechanisms).

    If you can motivate MTL, Atlas, and others to directly upload their datasets (or provide them in a friendly format) -- or even better to utilize your data on their own sites for legacy items -- and if you can encourage groups to utilize the platform / database to build websites leveraging your data (e.g., A1G type sites could be pointing to Trovestar or even creating custom lists in Trovestar) then you will have built your position in the ecosystem longer term.

    Some type of partnership with Ebay would be really interesting -- you could index the chaos of ebay n-scale items and aggregate sales price data (although this may be unrealistic unless ebay has decided to partner with niche sites for portions of their sales community, not a bad tactic to combat the Facebook group and similar trends. It also would require more fuzzy data / image matching than you likely want to commit to).

    EDIT: It also needs security -- need to chose to share your inventory w/ people not just let anyone go inventory to inventory...
    Last edited by Mac; 20th Jun 2018 at 03:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Some type of partnership with Ebay would be really interesting -- you could index the chaos of ebay n-scale items and aggregate sales price data <...>.
    This is already the case with the TroveStar database. When available, market price and recent eBay sales for a given item are indicated.
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  10. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    It also needs security -- need to chose to share your inventory w/ people not just let anyone go inventory to inventory...
    This is already the case with TroveStar. You can decide to share - or not to share - your inventory.
    N scale - CN, CP, BN, BNSF.
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    All N Scale catalogs on TroveStar!

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    Mac

  12. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    If you can motivate MTL, Atlas, and others to directly upload their datasets (or provide them in a friendly format) -- or even better to utilize your data on their own sites for legacy items -- and if you can encourage groups to utilize the platform / database to build websites leveraging your data <...>
    This would be great indeed. However, if most of the model trains manufacturers have granted TroveStar with the right to use their information and most importantly the photos of their models, they do not contribute to the database.

    If I make a parallel with JMRI, that is a de-factor standard for DCC decoder programming, there are very (very) few manufacturers which provide a JMRI decoder definition for their products.

    As for a friendly format, we actually have designed an Excel-based tool that allows uploading massive listings to the database, and that would be very well suited for what you have just depicted. But only a few are using it.
    N scale - CN, CP, BN, BNSF.
    DCC - Uhlenbrock Intellibox IR / II - JMRI - Sprog - ESU LokProgrammer
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    All N Scale catalogs on TroveStar!

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  14. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    However, I think for a system like this to be successful (i.e., to see widespread adoption) it will need the import and export function as others have indicated -- even better would be an open API (e.g., to link to other external sites or datasets) or maybe a simple way to customize your view (e.g., add more fields / data elements).
    As already mentioned, we recognize that an import/export function is needed, and we are working on it.

    Developing an (open) API is certainly a good idea, if we would have another 'developer' who'd like to work this us. So far, our users are N scale modelers who certainly could work with spreadsheets, but are not necessarily software developers.

    Having a number of custom fields is an excellent idea; need to speak with the other fellows at TroveStar, but could be doable without too much difficulty.

    Warm thank you for your inputs and suggestions.
    N scale - CN, CP, BN, BNSF.
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    All N Scale catalogs on TroveStar!

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    Thanks to feedback from user on this forum, it's now easier to edit/manage your Inventory on TroveStar.

    You can add your own pictures individual items instead of using the stock pix from the TroveStar database.
    You can add notes about individual items.
    You can use your own photo/inventory image of your collection.

    Here is information about how to do this from our updated blog.


    How to edit your inventory



    Since we originally posted this blog, we have made it easier to edit (manage) your Inventory.
    Using the Collection menu, go to My Collections.
    On the My Collections page, you can do the following:
    1. View your entire collection. Hit the View button.
    2. Edit your entire collection. Hit the Edit button.
    3. Delete your entire Collection. Just hit the delete button.
    4. Add items to your entire Collection. Just hit the Add Stuff button.



    When you hit the Edit button, you will be able to edit BOTH general (Edit Train Inventory Properties) and item-specific information about your (in my case where it says JennaTrainStuff Contents). Please see screen shot below.



    You can edit general information about your ENTIRE inventory.
    1. Name of Inventory
    2. Is the Inventory Public
    3. Type of Inventory
    4. Image (upload an image OR paste in an image url in the blank box)
      If you want to delete your image, you can simply select all the text in the Image box and delete that information.
    5. Collection Description


    Make the changes you want and hit the Submit Changes button.

    To edit information (Image, Description, Item, Notes, Quantity, Cost, Value, Subtotal) about individual items in your collection, go the the Manage column and hit the Edit button (please see screenshot above).



    Here you will be able to change the following:
    1. Quantity
    2. Current Value
    3. Purchase Price
    4. User Image (this is especially useful if you have customized your item in any way) and you want to override the picture from the TroveStar database and
    5. Notes (about that particular item, such as weathered)


    Make the changes you want and them hit the Update button.

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    @Jenna I have a question about the public collections, what is the purpose or objective of these?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zosimas View Post
    @Jenna I have a question about the public collections, what is the purpose or objective of these?
    Maybe if you want to sell all or a portion of your collection (would be a good reason for including pictures of your specific item).

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  21. #52
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    @Jenna -- I was looking for the correct place to put this question but there were not really that many Trovestar threads. Might be worth it to start a new "Adding Items to Trovestar" thread.

    I just bought a large collection of Roundhouse freight cars (179 cars) -- what is interesting is the amount of unique numbers in the lot. Is there any easy way to upload a whole bunch of variants for cars or can I work with some trovestar administrator to do this? I am happy to take pictures of the individual cars or sets of cars showing the numbers but I do not really have time to enter hundreds of items into the system. For example, here is the SOO set (and have 10 or so other sets in different roadnames like this):

    20181017_090752.jpg

    I received a bunch of feedback on FB about the SPSF cars in particular -- apparently I wound up with 10 of 11 total made and these seem high demand (the only one I am missing has different color ends and is apparently quite collectible). There are 4 numbers for these on Trovestar and thought it would be useful to get the rest in there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Is there any easy way to upload a whole bunch of variants for cars or can I work with some trovestar administrator to do this?
    @Mac - Yes, as already mentioned earlier in this thread, there is Excel-based tool for that purpose. It's usage to create entries in the DB is limited to TroveStar admins, but it can be used off-line to prepare the work. If you have a list of your MDC cars, with stock number, rail road name, road number, it should be pretty easy to convert it to the tool's format. If you are interested, I can sent it to you. If you don't have Excel, you can also send me the list of your cars and I'll see what I can do.
    N scale - CN, CP, BN, BNSF.
    DCC - Uhlenbrock Intellibox IR / II - JMRI - Sprog - ESU LokProgrammer
    TroveStar N Scale Model Trains Database - Curator
    All N Scale catalogs on TroveStar!

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