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ActSky&FlightMax: What's in an Export folder?

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Hello All,had initial success with the FlightMax / ActiveSky combo yesterday, seeing nice radar echoes of the ActSky generated rain.But I now cannot repeat it any more and got confused again... Setting up the export folder (sometimes with, sometimes without trailing slashes :+ ) etc. has all been neatly solved already; this is strictly about what files are actually needed in that folder.I am using ActiveSky 1.17 and Fmax 1.4, on a machine separate from the one running FS2002, and yesterday had it all running smoothly in offline mode at least.But I noticed that the older ActSky version 1.15 always put a file named wx-export.met into the export folder -- this one duly turned up in the file list of the FMax "ActiveSky Manage" file list.ActSky 1.17 (in Offline mode) apparently generates only a file "exp-curmetar.txt" which the Fmax file list does [em]not[/em] see. I got it to work once by boldly renaming some file from *.txt to *.met -- now it was visible and could be selected in Fmax. And then at some point it all worked, but I can't reproduce this any more (serves me right? ;) ).ActSky in Online mode [em]does[/em] create wx-export.met (but I still get no rain echoes).So here are some questions:Q1. Which files have to be in the export folder in ActSky Online and Offline mode, respectively?Q2. Does it matter at all that ActSky apparently "sees" only *.met but not *.txt files?Q3. Should I select any of these files at all in Fmax and then press Enter?The Fmax doc.s in fact say you should just select the "Use None" entry, which would make all my musings above irrelevant anyway. Q4. Is the answer to Q.3 above different for Online and Offline operation of ActSky?Bonus Q.: Apart from the WX radar, should I also see the correct wind speed/dir in the map data block (if so configured)?Finally, I did see the Jim's remark on this forum that "RC7" does not work with Fmax while "RC4" does -- but I think these refer to Release Candidates of version of v.1.8 beta. Correct?Sorry for all this nagging, but I'd really like to get to the bottom of this -- it is such a wonderful combo, and having PAID for Fmax... x( I'd like to see some Return of Investment. (Have paid for ActSky also, of course, but everyone has...:( )Thanks in advance for any enlightenment on this!Cheers,Martin

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>Q2. Does it matter at all that ActSky apparently "sees" only>*.met but not *.txt files?Sorry, that should read:Q2. Does it matter at all that Fmax apparently "sees" only *.met but not *.txt files?(I [em]said[/em] I was confused...)Martin

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Martin,Unable to duplicate this condition.. wx-export.met is the file that is used regardless if you are online OR offline. In my testing wx-export.met was always created. Are you sure you are REFRESHING when you change airport locations within FS? Best bet is to post your wxre.ini and fsflightmax.ini and let us take a look... most problems can be identified this way. Thanks!-Damian[table border=0" cellspacing="30" cellpadding="0][tr][td align = "left"]Damian ClarkHiFi Simulation SoftwareDeveloper of ActiveSkyThe next-generation weather environment simulation for FS2002!http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky[/td][td]http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg][/td][/tr][/table://http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/ima...[/tr][/table

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Hello,many thanks, Damian and Michael (over on the FlightMax Forum)! Due to your prompt and helpful responses, I am back on track again, with a better understanding of things, too. Everything working like a charm now, secondary machine and all.The solution came from an unexpected direction (don't they always?), but your replies certainly set me thinking in the right direction.> wx-export.met is the file that is used regardless if you are online OR offline.This was one of the keys I needed to know.As it turned out, ActSky apparently creates wx-export.met (which is the important one as I now have learnt) [em]only[/em] if on startup it finds a valid winds aloft file (*.wmo), too. If there is no winds file at all, or one in the old *.fd format, only the exp-currmetar.txt file is generated, which is not sufficient to get Fmax going.I ran into trouble earlier, because I had activated the "Winds Aloft Simulation" option, and mistakenly thought that this would make a winds aloft file unnecessary. Therefore I had only supplied an old *.fd file, or no winds file at all (assuming they wouldn't be used anyway).Hence, no wx-export.met file generated in the Export folder, hence no radar returns in Fmax.My reason was that I still wanted to use my old METAR files, for which I have only *.fd, but no *.wmo. As a work-around, I now verified that you can "cheat", by combining those old METAR files with a newer *.wmo file (renamed to the appropriate cycle). That works. Of course you have now the wrong winds aloft for that specific day of the METAR, but at least you have the surface wx you want. And I suppose if I fiddle a fake *.wmo where all the relevant stations are missing, I will get simulated winds anyway, which would then even be more or less "fitting". I just had to understand that [em]some[/em] *.wmo file still has to be there, always.So, many thanks again to Damian as the paragon of what product support should be! Kind regards,Martin

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Guest pagotan

Hi Damian,Martin has raised an issue here. I have not found any post about this so you may want to take a look at the following:Would it be possible to get ActiveSky to save at will all necessary files generated for use on follow-up flights.Now I am thinking outside the FSGarmin products and more about FSBuild. It could be useful for creating training plans with certain weather conditions.What do yuo think?Michael

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I'm having trouble along these lines too, using FSBuild 2.0, but also with the *.WMO file.Activesky doesn't generate this file unless i'm in offline mode, it won't generate it for online.Regarding FSBuild though, I was trying to generate a flight plan taking into account winds aloft. My enroute winds above FL010 seemed a bit low, AVG around 17kts.So I loaded up the other program to see what that came up with, and the AVG was around 65kts above FL010, quite a jump.http://fp.philjeff.plus.com/Banners/BAVBanner.gif

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Phil Jeff,Not really in Offline Mode, but when you download a weather set of files to use in Offline Mode.Hope this helps,JimActiveSky Support

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So can anyone recommend the best setup/way to use wxRE with FSBuild 2.The only way I can see how at the moment is to download an offline metar set, then use FSBuild to generate a plan.Anyone else got any suggestions, because using the above method when using wxRE in FS with online mode, as soon as wxRE updates the weather it throws all the calculations out the window as far as I can tell.---------------------------------------Phil Jeff, Biggin Hill EGKBSenior First OfficerBritish Airways Virtualwww.bavirtual.co.uk

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Well, it will not be me because I have no idea what FSBuild is. I'll keep watching this thread though, if I can be of any help.JimActiveSky Support

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Guest pagotan

Hi,This was exactly my point in an earlier message. So, I was thinking it would be great if Damian and his group could manage to create an option on the ActiveSky window to save all generated files at any given point in time when using ActiveSky online. I know you guys did it, or sort of, when exporting files for FSFlightMax. However currently ActiveSky exports only the files need by FSFlightMax not all files it generates. Does it make any sense to you guys?Michael

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Makes sense to me.What I need is for wxRE to download the *.WMO file while in "ONLINE" mode, if that's possible.---------------------------------------Phil Jeff, Biggin Hill EGKBSenior First OfficerBritish Airways Virtualwww.bavirtual.co.uk

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Guest WorkingStiff

Jim,If I may chip in here for a minute. FSBuild 2 is a flight planner for Flight Simulator created by Ernie Alston. You can find all the details here at http://www.fsbuild.com/One of the neat features of FSBuild 2 is the ability to include "Winds Aloft" forecasts in the flight planning process. But as I learned only today - with some disappointment - FSBuild looks for the winds***.wmo file and reads that data. As the other posters are pointing out, apparently this file is only created in offline mode which is somewhat of a backwards step for people like me with "always on" broadband connections.I suppose at some level it makes sense for the file to be created in offline mode since flight planning should precede everything else, and then it is not necessary to have both ActiveSky wxRE and FlightSim online just to be able to download the winds aloft data. But it is still a hassle to be switching between online and offline modes in ActiveSky.For example, I'm currently planning a flight from KCLE to KIAH. To get the winds aloft data I had to switch to offline mode and manually instruct ActiveSky to download the 20Zulu weather data.I think it would be much more efficient if this data were automatically downloaded when I type the Departure and Destination airports in the Weather Briefing box.

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Hi,If winds were downloaded in online mode for the entire world, the performance would simply be terrible. Online mode downloads winds for each station as required. Remember that most folks are using dial-up service so this is a big concern to download an additional 2-3MB of data every time wxRE updates.If I understand correctly, the ultimate solution would be to provide entire-world offline winds download automatically ONCE during wxRE online startup. Basically, it would automatically launch the offline mode and download process then switch back to online.I can add this as an option in the upcoming 2.0. Right now I'm afraid too much coding would be required to introduce in 1.x. In the mean time, as you stated, you can manually do this by just downloading an offline set before going online.I will work on this and think about it a little more.. there may be a better solution.-Damian[table border=0" cellspacing="30" cellpadding="0][tr][td align = "left"]Damian ClarkHiFi Simulation SoftwareDeveloper of ActiveSkyThe next-generation weather environment simulation for FS2002!http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky[/td][td]http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg][/td][/tr][/table://http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/ima...[/tr][/table

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Guest WorkingStiff

Wow....talk about quick customer service. :-)Damian, I understand your concerns about the size of the downloads for people using dial-up. I'm just trying to make the process as seamless as possible; but switching to offline mode momentarily wouldn't kill me...it just seems it would be better to get the winds data from the wx briefing process.But this method is still preferable to the method for using the other popular weather program. With that I'm required to export the flight plan to the FS2k2 flight planner, import the FS2k2 formatted flight plan into that weather program, grab the winds aloft data, then reimport the flight plan into FSBuild for the final adjustments.

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Thanks everyone. I learned alot by all of this.JimActiveSky Support

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Thanks for the response Damian.It just seemed to be a real pain at first to grab the aloft winds in "Offline" then switch to "Online". But i'm kinda getting used to it now, and it really doesn't take that long.Just have to make sure I grab the right set for the right time.---------------------------------------Phil Jeff, Biggin Hill EGKBSenior First OfficerBritish Airways Virtualwww.bavirtual.co.uk

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Guest pagotan

Hi Damian,I do understand your concerns about performance. My guess is that the solution to provide entire world offline winds at startup and automatically switch back to online is the way out.It would be great if you can integrate this option in v 2.0. Meantime as other users pointed out we can handle it with a few steps.Michael

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