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NeilC

First impressions of ASA with FS9

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Hi Guys,Even though I was going to wait for SP1 to be released before upgrading, I could no longer resist so I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to ASA.Here are my first impressions:Overall, ASA is simply amazing. I didn't think I would get another upgrade for FS9, and am truly grateful to the HiFi team!I run ASA using the ASG textures and GEPro for ground textures. The interface works flawlessly and it is a joy to use.A few problems:1) I still get the icing problems when flying my favorite aircraft. I have to set both icing sliders to 0% to prevent my aircraft from randomly icing up (even though the anti icing - which is simulated to perfection with the Maddog - is all on). I know that you will say that this is an aircraft specific problem, but it is not only the Maddog, it also effects PMDG aircraft, and they both do not suffer with normal FS weather.2) I also get the annoying cloud popping. All of a sudden there is lots of cloud out of nowhere, and as fast as it arrived, it disappears into thin air.3) I flew (real life) from Hamburg to Stansted yesterday and there was an Overcast/Broken cloud layer over the whole of Europe. For the whole 1 and 1/2 hour flight there was absolutely no ground visible, only a uniform, low cloud layer. This evening most of Europe was the same, but at no point did ASA show this. There were always lots of lights and ground a visible, which leads me on to..........4) on take off tonight the weather at EDHL was 2400m with cloud SCT005 and OVC007. I was expecting to disappear into the murk straight after departure (as we did in real life yesterday) but instead there were just patches of cloud and the ground was always visible. Now OVERCAST means OVERCAST with no exceptions. I am a real world Met observer at work (working as an ATCO). We rarely give overcast, but I can guarantee you that when we do, you will not see the ground once in/above it.5) later on in the flight the weather at LOWS was as shown in the picturehere is what I saw out of the window at 4000ft (2600AGL) on a 10 mile finalIt did get murky as I descended below 1500ft AGL, but with suppression set to 80nm, shouldn't I be seeing this all the time on approach?Another example. Flying into EDFH, again weather stations in an 80nm area showing destination weather. The weather should bebut overhead the airfield at 2200ft AGL I seeAgain, it got foggy on short final, but this should not happen so late. I know about slant vis, etc, but when it is misty, it is misty, period.What am I doing wrong. I have cleared weather and set up FSUIPC as you require, left the settings in ASA pretty much default, but never get the weather as it should be. Its driving me crazy, the new look is excellent, but it doesn't show the weather as it should be.Hope this helps, am willing to do lots more testing if necessary (much to my wife's annoyance).Neil

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Hi,One thing I noticed is that at both airports you are getting a blending of the weather data so everything may not mach up 100%.The cloud popping is an issue we are looking into.Thanks,

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Thanks for the reply Jim,I love your software!!!!Just a quick clarification, in what way is it blended, and if this is causing incorrect weather to be depicted, how do I change this.Just to say again, I always get the correct vis in the end, but always at very low level on short final. I thought the option to make all stations within 80nm depict the Arrival airport weather was there specifically to stop this from happening.Also, why when the departure airport is showing OVC cloud, does the actual SIM only show SCT cloud?ThanksNeil

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Hi,Advanced Interpolation means that data from surrounding stations is being used. There is nothing you can do to change this as it is programmed into ASA.Force destination means that if ASA updates, the data around the destination airport will not be updated.Where is OVC being reported and the sim is showing SCT?Thanks,

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Thanks for the answer Jim,Sods law, it was the only screenshot I didn't take. It was at departure yesterday from EDHL at about 1850Z. Weather given as 04504KT 2400 BR SCT005 OVC007 etc (I made a not on my flight log).It was quite murky as I taxied out and as I said, I was expecting to get airborne into overcast (as I had the day before in real life) and all I got was SCT cloud.This is what I saw on Thursday at around 1700Z over the whole of Germany/Belgium/Holland/UK I have never seen this happen in FS ever?Would be neat.Thanks again,NeilI just checked ASA options again, and thought that Force Destination WX Zone would make sure that you got the weather depicted within an 80 mile radius to make sure that the weather is exactly as reported at your destination.Is this not correct?One more quick question.If I use the force to Destination WX Zone option, this also forces my alternate to this weather. This defeats the point of the alternate if it is going to have the same weather as the original destination?Is there any way round this (apart from making your destination more than 80 miles from the alternate).ThanksNeil

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Hi,Force Destination does do this.If you are using an alternate, then don't force destination weather.What is your cloud coverage density slider set at in FS04?Thanks,

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Hi,Force Destination does do this.If you are using an alternate, then don't force destination weather.What is your cloud coverage density slider set at in FS04?Thanks,
I'd just like to butt in there a second and ask you, Jim,... would you please answer the guys questions? He's posed tons of questions with gobbs of information and all he's getting back are a few short comments which hardly address the issues he's asked about. I'm not trying to be rude - I am just frustrated by this because I want to know the answers to his questions too! I have the same questions. I'm experiencing the same issues. And there are undoubtedly countless other people reading this who have the same questions as well. Please address them all, it would be very helpful. This guy has obviously put a lot of time and effort into writing you to get to the bottom of these issues and questions. Responding with 3 and four liners with little more than questions back at him makes for gaining little headway in the exchange.I, too, am experiencing the same icing issues, with ALL of my aircraft. And I don't use payware aircraft - I use almost all POSKY models and panels, so it's not about PMDG incompatibility for me. It's something else.Sorry for sounding so ######y, I'm just sort of baffled by the lack of response to such informative posts. Thanks.

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Hi,I missed the icing question and he and I are working on the OVC issue. There are only a few things it could be and so I take one thing at a time and we go back and forth with our ideas, suggestions, and outcomes.For icing:If you have a registered version of FSUIPC, what is your icing level set at?What is your Maximum Cloud Icing slider set to? I have mine at 100% and my planes icing system always keeps things clear.Always use Shift/h to turn on icing. Sometimes a panel switch is a dummy switch and doesn't turn the heat on.Thanks,

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I missed the icing question and he and I are working on the OVC issue.
It would appear part of the problem is that you've taken a public question and decided to deal with it in a private manner. This doesn't help others like myself who are experiencing the same issues and makes it appear as though you haven't addressed the issue at all.Here is an outline of all the issues and questions. If you could please respond to them publicly I'd appreciate it:Issues:
  • Icing (finally addressed, thank you)
  • Cloud Popping (addressed, thank you)
  • OVC Depiction Lacking (not addressed publicly - could you please do so as I often have the same issues? Thanks.)

Questions:

  • It did get murky as I descended below 1500ft AGL, but with suppression set to 80nm, shouldn't I be seeing this all the time on approach? (no answer)
  • Again, it got foggy on short final, but this should not happen so late. I know about slant vis, etc, but when it is misty, it is misty, period. What am I doing wrong[?] (no answer)
  • Just a quick clarification, in what way is it blended, and if this is causing incorrect weather to be depicted, how do I change this[?] (no answer to the second half of the question)
  • Just to say again, I always get the correct vis in the end, but always at very low level on short final. I thought the option to make all stations within 80nm depict the Arrival airport weather was there specifically to stop this from happening. (unaddressed, and it this ties in with the last question below.)
  • I just checked ASA options again, and thought that Force Destination WX Zone would make sure that you got the weather depicted within an 80 mile radius to make sure that the weather is exactly as reported at your destination. Is this not correct? (your answer was: "Force Destination does do this." But that's the only answer you gave. There's apparently a conflict between what should be happening and what is happening in the sim. Can you please address this? Thanks)

=============

For icing:If you have a registered version of FSUIPC, what is your icing level set at?What is your Maximum Cloud Icing slider set to? I have mine at 100% and my planes icing system always keeps things clear.Always use Shift/h to turn on icing. Sometimes a panel switch is a dummy switch and doesn't turn the heat on.
I do not have a registered version of FSUIPC.My MCI is set at 0 and I still get icing.I use shift/h and even sometimes have de-icing on when it ices up. But regardless, it shouldn't be icing even with heat off when the MCI is set to 0, right?As for my OVC issues, I can give you an example: Today in the SW USA there was a very heavy cirrus moisture block in the upper atmosphere streaming in off the pacific from the southwest. It blotted out the sun completely and consistently across Southern California and Southern Nevada. Satellite imagry depicted this in a big way. But when I booked a flight from KLAS to KBUR all I got was a single, thin layer of cirrus that was more along the lines of SCT. I even tried selecting to use VATSIM Weather in the updates section. No change.Thanks.

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Hi Jim,Here is what my weather setup looks likeHere are my FSUIPC weather settingsI went on another flight yesterday and the weather was fabulous, I have up to 10 cloud layers allowed and it showed lots of detail (fps dropped to 15, but I can live with this), however, at no point again was the ground completely obscured for any section of the flight, even when most stations were giving at least broken cloud. Have a look at the inflight shot in the post above again, it shows what we saw for a 1.5 hour flight covering over 600nm. My kids were so upset because they wanted to look at "toy town".As for the icing, I had this also with AS6.5 and the Maddog and PMDG forum members (the only aircraft I normally fly) all said to tick the disable all icing box in AS6.5. This solved the problem, but then removed the fun of icing (which the Maddog has simulated to perfection). I tried the Shift-H trick, but didn't work. There are lots of posts all over the net about this problem, and in the end they all came to the same conclusion. Disable AS6.5 icing altogether which is a real shame. I was praying so much that this would be different in ASA, but I won't let this take away the pleasure from your truly marvelous program. ThanksNeil

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just to butt in. I can't depict full overcast, usually after climb out the visibility changes to broken or something else. Not going to get involved here but will keep watching forums for an answer. I'm pretty sure this is a fs9 thing, but I hoped asa could correct it.thanksanthony

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Hi Anthony,I know FS9 isn't great at Overcast, but I am sure that the brilliant HiFi guys solved this with AS6, and managed to give a pretty good OVC depiction.I happen to be a Met observer at an airport as part of my job, and we very rarely give overcast. What most people think is overcast is actually Broken. The inflight screenshot above would be given as broken, as it is rolls of Cumulus cloud. Overcast is generally a Nimbus Stratus layer giving drizzle with a completely uniform base, and is rare.My point is that even when stations are giving BKN, this normally (in probably 80% of occasions) would be what the layman terms Overcast (ie. you can't see the sky from the ground and you can't see the ground from above the cloud).This is generally not understood, but what really surprised me was that when my departure weather was giving OVC, it was still only showing what I would term SCT.Hopefully this can be fixed, or I am doing something wrong which someone will point out to me.A lot of time (especially here in 'sunny' England, we go for days at a time without glimpsing the blue sky. It would be great to have this simulated.Neil

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The cloud popping is an issue we are looking into.
That's good to know, because I noticed it also. Despite range supression of 80miles it still happens.

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thanks for the info. I just want to know if it is possible to simulate a sky like the picture you posted. I would like to fly into an airport with truly ifr conditions. For example, descending from fl320 down into an overcast sky with no ground showing until I break through the clouds. I'm not sure if that is possible with fs 9 I have both asv 6.5 and asa very pleased with both products and will keep using both, but I have never flown that situation before.thanksant

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thanks for the info. I just want to know if it is possible to simulate a sky like the picture you posted. I would like to fly into an airport with truly ifr conditions. For example, descending from fl320 down into an overcast sky with no ground showing until I break through the clouds.
Unfortunately that's impossible with FS9. A solid overcast is not simulatable with the way it generates cloud layers. By using multiple OVC layers ASV6.5 came pretty close but there will still be patches to see through.

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Hi Neil,1. For your icing issue: In the Clouds/Effects icing box place a 1 in the box and check the Apply........ box. Then try a cold flight and see what happens. Also, what is your maximum icing slider set to in ASA? Do you get icing just at 1% or can you slide that number higher?In the long run this still may be an issue with those models and the way they react to icing conditions.2. For the OVC situation: What is your FPS locked at in FS? If FS cannot keep up, the first graphical textures to be dropped are cloud layers. So try with a lower lock where FS can keep up. Your settings in FS are all good. In fact, you can even pull back the Cloud Draw Distance to 40 and gain some FPS.3. If you have other questions or questions you think I have missed after this, please re-post those.To everyone else, you are free to add your own suggestions and findings to this thread. If you have similiar issues, please start a new thread. It is impossible to keep track of everything in one thread.Thanks!

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I am running FS9 and I can also confirm the OVC issue. I don't know why but it is just not producing the overcast clouds. I have tried all the suggestions and nothing seems to work. Other then that this seems to be a nice add on. All the cloud layers are really cool. I have not had a problem so far with the upper level winds or the icing that people are reporting. I have just started messing around with it though.One quick question to confirm though. Has the green bar been eliminated from the top of the screen when ASA updates? I hope that we get a real service pack soon to fix these issues. Especially the overcast issue....

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Thanks Jim,I have tried you tips,I set Icing in FSUIPC to 1 (and ticked the box) and set max icing in ASA to the lowest (10 I think). The first flight was ok.Regarding the clouds. I set the Cloud Draw back down to 40nm and this gave me some FPS back (although it wasn't too cloudy today so this might be a coincidence). I have the FPS locked at 24 and it normally never ever drops below this. (I have a 5 month old computer which is stupidly fast, and doesn't normally struggle with anything I throw at it, so I don't think it is missing any cloud).I also unchecked the lock WX to destination airport. Is there no way of choosing the radius to set this to? 80miles is a bit to much as most alternates are within 80nm. Could you have a slider for the user to pick? 40 or 50 would be great.I just flew into EDOP, and it was giving BKN017. On arrival it looked like a nearly CAVOK day with just 1 layer of SCT cloud around at 1700. Please, Please, Please change the way you depict BKN. It should be covering most of the sky and when BKN cloud is around there are normally more than 1 layer of BKN cloud (even though lazy met reporters such as me normally only report the bottom layer). This gives the impression of OVC from the ground and sky!Could you not change your algorithms to display several layers of BKN cloud when it is reported?ThanksNeil

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Hi Neil,Right now the Force Destination is hard coded at 80. You can make a feature request to tell-us(AT)hifisim.com and then we track those requests. I am not saying it is even possible, but that is the best way for a feature request.As you know a BKN cloud layer can be anywhere from 5/8 to 7/8 of the sky and if a station is reporting only one layer of BKN we can't say OK add more layers if they are not being reported by the station.A single layer of BKN will never look like OVC in FS!Good that your icing worked properly!Thanks,

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Final post on this subject, I promise.Have a look at these 2 images. I took them yesterday at work (sorry about the quality, used my Nokia phone).The weather was like this in London all day, and it was being put out as 9999 BKN024.The reason it is given as BKN and not OVC is that the bottom layer visible from the ground is not uniform.My point is this, I know that the text book definition of BKN is 5/8 to 7/8 of the sky obscured, but in real life I would say that at least 80% of the time it results in what most people would call Overcast.When met stations report BKN, what should be shown in FS is like the picture above, not what is currently depicted (lots of sky/ground visible and wisps of cloud in the sky).Thanks,Neil

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Hi Neil,Thanks for the shots. When you get a chance, without ASA running, go to your favorite airport in FSX and set up a single BKN024 7/8 cloud coverage layer and see how that is depicted in FSX. Then post a screen shot.Thanks!

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Hi Jim,I think I see what you're getting at. I run FS9, but I am sure that if I set up BKN it would probably not look like my screen shot.But................with your brilliant programming skills which you have demonstrated time and time again, for example being able to put in high level cloud when CAVOK is being reported, I was hoping that you could somehow generate some extra BKN cloud to make it look more realistic.Thanks for all your help on this one,Neil

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