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Jarkko

FS Flight Keeper Monitoring

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Hello!

 

I decided to purchase OpusFSX today to see what I have been missing. I just completed my first test flight. I flew a route with two other weather engines that I have used prior to OpusFSX. Then used OpusFSX for the same flight.

 

I'll first explain the test scenario and then my findings. (tldr -> Very good but annoying flight):

 

-----

 

TEST SCENARIO:

 

Flight from KUTS to KDFW. Date: 2013-01-25 (yesterday -> historic weather). Time: 17:15 UTC/Zulu. Airchaft: JS41, Fuel: 3000lbs, Payload: 0lbs.

 

Route: DCT LOA LOA.CQY6.ILS17L (wanted to test tailwind landing a flying from VFR to IFR conditions)

 

Here is the real world weather for the flight (numbers and colors show ceiling):

 

 

 

Departure METAR (during planning/release):

 

KUTS 251653Z AUTO 21010G14KT 10SM FEW027 22/14

A3018 RMK AO2 SLP215 T02170139

 

Destination METAR (during planning/release):

 

KDFW 251653Z 02012KT 7SM OVC006 08/06

A3019 RMK AO2 SLP221 T00830056

 

----

 

RESULTS:

 

The transition from VFR conditions to the expected IFR conditions was better than I have ever seen. One other product does this quite nicely, but my first impression is that OpusFSX does this in a way that feels more realistic (at least to me). In grades from 1 to 10, I would score "other" product 7+ and OpusFSX 9 (you will soon find out why only 9)

 

Just for comparison. Here are the OpusFSX generated weather conditions for departure and destination.

 

Departure METAR (actual/OpusFSX generated):

 

KUTS 251722Z 21310G14KT 9999 FEW030CU FEW400CI 22/14 Q1022

 

Destination METAR (actual/OpusFSX generated):

 

KDFW 251836Z 00411KT 8046 OVC011ST FEW402CI 9/6 Q1022

 

Very good I would say!

 

----

 

PROBLEMS:

 

During the flight, I was getting constant problems with windshear and outside preasure changes. I have yet to experience this kind of behavior with other weather engines. Here's a picture from FS Flight Keeper:

 

 

 

The important columns are Type, Event and time. Look closely at the lines with type "Windshear" and "Preasure". You should see that during a span of 10 minutes they change quite frequently.

 

FS flight keeper keeps nacking me about these changes. For example: preasure change from 1022.7 to 1023.0 => "Please check you altimiter setting". I heard A LOT of these during the trip :)

 

Also for every windshear I receive this: "I don't like that wind, I think it's shearing". Had a lot of thos too.

 

-----

 

QUESTION:

 

Is this by design or is this possibly a bug? Preasure changes from 1022.7 to 1023.0 (delta: 0.3) seem quite small to warrant to be sent to FSX. Also the windshear was extremely "forcefull" from time to time.

 

Thanks for the help! (I'm off to test the camera system)

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We don't send individul pressure changes to FSX, we update the weather in its entirety when necessary and according to the data in the METARs. We set FSX targets for the weather which it tries to adhere to but not always very well. We try to illiminate any errors in pressure readings by limiting pressure changes to 2 millibars between adjacent weather cells so these small fluctuations are caused by FSX trying to achieve its target gradually.

 

You may not experience these problems with other weather engines due to the reasons we have mentioned before, i.e. global fixed unchanging weather does not upset FSX but is not as real as our depiction in regards to distant weather fronts etc. Although I have heard that AS has wind shift problems also.

 

The possibility of wind shifts cannot entirely be ruled out, this is due to bugs in the FSX/P3D code, that's why you should always disable the 'Aircraft stress causes damage' FSX option.

 

If you are flying with the sim rate speeded up, especially above x2 then it is possible to get wind shifts. Certain aircraft sims are more susceptible to wind shifts.

 

If FSX is struggling to cope due to the number of add-on packages, detailed scenery, high defintion high resolution cloud textures (we recommend non HD low resolution textures) etc then wind shifts are more likely.

 

Have you read our FAQ on windshifts? ....

 

It is important to fill in your destination ICAO.

 

If you are flying low level (below 20,000 feet) then tick the Disable Update on Approach checkbox. On approach, all weather updates will be disabled for Disable Weather Update For minutes (default 10 minutes) on the final descent as soon as you descend through Disable Update when Below AGL (default 1800 feet AGL). This process is cancelled whenever you climb above Assume Cruising when Above AGL (default 2000 feet AGL).

The Max Sped Change option allows you to fine tune the surface wind smoothing by specifying the maximum allowed wind speed change every 32km. You can also specify the Max Direction Change. The default values are 30 for speed and direction change.

If you do want to adhere strictly to the METARs (with a risk of wind shifts) then set the Forced Recovery altitude (see below).

A Forced Recovery altitude (default 8000 feet) allows full recovery of the reported surface winds during the final descent. The full recovery may cause a wind shift at the configured altitude, if this is not acceptable then set the altitude to 0 feet to disable it.

 

If you are flying high level (above 20,000 feet) select the Enable Wind Stabilisation option, ideally select this on the ground before a flight not during flight.

The Recovery Altitude is where the winds will attempt to recover eventually to the true surface wind, default 19,000 feet. A lower setting is advised for those experiencing very serious wind shift problems. It will allow the stabilised winds to be maintained to a much lower altitude, probably at the expense of being able to recover the current surface winds reported in the latest METARs. Wind stabilisation is enabled automatically if the user climbs above the Recovery Altitude plus 500 feet.

The maximum permitted wind direction change, Max Wind Change, can be specified (default 30 degrees change). If you do want to adhere strictly to the METARs (with a risk of wind shifts) then set the Forced Recovery altitude (see below).

A Forced Recovery altitude (default 8000 feet) allows full recovery of the reported surface winds after wind stabilisation and during the final descent from 19,000 feet. The full recovery may cause a wind shift at the configured altitude, if this is not acceptable then set the altitude to 0 feet to disable it.

If you are using GRIB data for winds/temps aloft then Sim Friendly GRIB Wind Targets should be enabled along with the Wind Stabilisation option in the Wind Smoothing dialog. The Sim Friendly GRIB Wind Targets option causes the LWE to adjust any 'sim unfriendly' wind changes in direction and speed.

The Stabilised GRIB Data option goes a step further for systems experiencing wind shifts in the cruise, and makes the GRIB forecast data static, i.e. no further GRIB upper wind/temperature forecasts are downloaded during the flight.

 

Regards

Cheryl

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You are also probably causing many problems just by running that monitoring program. You must ensure FSX can calculate its ambient conditions smoothly and frequently enough to minimise wind shifts (a very well known FSX bug !).

 

We do NOT control the ambient pressure, wind speed, wind direction, or outside air temperature. No software can. I thought you would know that being a developer.

 

All any program can do is set targets for FSX to try and meet and we do NOT set any targets for pressure aloft, there is no provision for that in FSX. Any weather engine can ONLY set the surface pressures which in our case are totally determined by the METARs, these are further smoothed to erradicate any obvious AUTO METAR errors.

 

FSX will recalculate its ambient conditions on every weather update if anything changes, anything on the surface that is. Of course if you inject global weather then nothing changes. But you cannot have RW weather without there being changing weather conditions, pretty obvious really.

 

Please read and inwardly digest the guide and help text. Just set the weather options to assist your system and minimise the occurrence of the infamous wind shift bug - you obviously need to do this because it appears your system is susceptible to these occurrences. Most systems aren't, we do not get any wind shifts on our systems and most people don't. But some systems are susceptible.

 

Set all defaults. Enable the GRIB Forecast option, enable Sim Friendly Winds and Temps, enable Stabilised GRIB Data option and make sure you enable Wind Stabilisation - your system really needs it.

 

Finally, remember no software can control the ambient conditions, including SAT, TAT (calculated entirely within FSX), pressure, winds, and just about every other meteorological condition. So please do not expect any weather engine to be in direct control of these variables, FSX does not work that way.

 

You can see ALL the targets set for FSX to follow within the Opus weather reports, and also within the OpusWeatherReport.txt file. The LWE is not hiding anything from you, you just have to have a little understanding how these things work within FSX.

 

Remember OpusFSX LWE is injecting real varied weather into your simulator, this will cause your sim to recalculate all ambient conditions during weather updates. Because your system is susceptible to the known FSX bugs, you must help your system cope by setting the recommended options. It certainly sounds like your system will never be able to cope without these options.

 

Stephen

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Your monitoring program is always going to register wind shears with the Opus LWE because you are injecting RW varied and detailed weather. This always causes FSX to recalculate its ambient conditions (the temperatures, winds, pressures around your aircraft). There are well known FSX bugs in these calculations which in the past were only occasionally seen since most weather was either global (static) and injected using METARs, which results in FSX morphing the weather to suit its own demands.

 

On the vast majority of systems, these erroneous ambient calculations do not cause any adverse effect although they are likely to be picked up by any program that constantly monitors the internal variables of FSX. The erroneous values are normally very fleeting so cause no problems.

 

On some systems they do however result in wind shifts and so need to be minimised using our recommended options. But you may also be adding to the effect by constantly monitoring these variables with the sim.

 

I will reiterate once more, we have many thousands of users who are using the OpusFSX interface, both the Live Weather Engine and the Live Camera interface, without any issues.

 

What you are attempting to report on has already been tried and tested by thousands of people. There has also been an extensive (several months long) evaluation of the product by the people at Mutleys Hangar, who as you are probably aware have given OpusFSX an award of excellence ... 10 out of 10 in every single category.

 

Please do not feel any need to report back on your findings about the Live Camera interface, there are thousands of users who have already commented and provided feedback within our forums, especially our official support forum.

 

Hope you enjoy the product and especially flying in the RW weather it generates, and I am sure you will enjoy the RW DHM effects, along with its intelligent and coordinated turbulence and Bump Aircraft effects. Please do not overburden your poor sim by monitoring it to death.

 

Regards

Stephen :-)

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Thank you for the replies! I'm off to do another test flight (I try to take screenshots, because the weather was beatiful last time!).

 

I read all the manuals ~3 times before and read all FAQs I could find. This still doesn't mean that I didn't make a mistake along the way. I might have forgotten to input cruising altitude by accident. I'll double check everything.

 

I thought you would know that being a developer.

 

What? Where did that come from? When have I ever said that I was developing anything for FSX? Anywhoo... I'll take screenshots so that we can verify that I'm not doing something wrong.

 

Regarding the monitoring program (FS Flight Keeper). Unfortunately I can't disable it as it sends data to my virtual airline.

 

As this was my first OpusFSX flight, the cause is more than likely user error.

 

Thanks!

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When have I ever said that I was developing anything for FSX?

 

It's in your signature:

 

Developer of JAP Flight Planner

 

:)

 

Hook


Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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I know the manuals can be a bit long winded, we've tried to keep them as straight forward as possible.

 

Have a look at the new help text accessed via the question mark buttons in the Weather Download and Weather Smoothing dialogs. We are going to extend this feature to cover all dialogs and even assist in configuring different sections and setting the system up. The idea being to remove the need to consult the manuals to often if at all.

 

Enjoy your flights, we all love screenshots. Feel free to post a few in our special screenshot sub-forum in our Flight1 support forum.

 

Welcome aboard Jarkko.

 

Its the 'Developer of ...' In your title that's confusing.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

Still think your FS Flight Keeper might be causing FSX some additional difficulties. It may be spending to much time reporting its variables rather than being able to calculate them smoothly or frequently enough. Hence, any erroneous calculations, and we know there are plenty, may be longer lasting and could disrupt your aircraft sim.

 

Have an enjoyable flight and we look forward to seeing some nice screen shots.

 

Regards

Stephen

 

P.S. Perhaps you should mention Linux in you title to save further confusion.

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I have renamed this topic to FS Flight Keeper Monitoring since this is what is registering the expected wind shears and pressure fluctuations.

 

These fleeting wind shears and pressure changes will always occur in some systems when RW detailed and varied weather is injected. But I do feel this constant high speed monitoring may cause actual visible problems on some systems by lengthening the amount of time these fleeting internal FSX errors are fealt by an aircraft simulation.

 

Our advice for any high flyers experiencing actual and problematic wind shifts and still wanting to use the GRIB forecasted upper atmosphere data is,

 

Set all Weather defaults.

Enable the Download GRIB Forecast option.

Enable the Sim Friendly GRIB Wind Targets option.

Enable the Sim Friendly GRIB Temperature Targets option.

Enable the Stabilised GRIB Data option.

Enable the Wind Stabilisation option.

 

This combination of options will be as friendly as possible to your sim whilst still using the GRIB RW data. If your system then behaves itself then I would try disabling the Stabilised GRIB Data option and see how you get on.

 

Remember, before takeoff always specify your Destination and Cruise Altitude within the Weather dialog.

 

Regards

Stephen

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Hello again!

 

Back from the second run (nice one, I may add). Here is what I "found". All winshear and preasure "events" stopped when I descended below 2000 AGL. Lower than that, the preasure stayed locked at 1022, which was the exact number in the ATIS.

 

2000 AGL happens to be the value I set for "Assume Cruising above" value. My "Disable Updates when Below" was 1800ft AGL.

 

There has also been an extensive (several months long) evaluation of the product by the people at Mutleys Hangar, who as you are probably aware have given OpusFSX an award of excellence ... 10 out of 10 in every single category.

 

Where did that come from (part 2)? Only asking if this is a feature (other have seen it and all is fine) or is this a bug (wow, haven't seen that before, thanks for the heads up). Anywhoo...

 

Another very nice flight! Excelent weather. I'll soon post screenshots (even though I messed up the approach while looking at my laptop). Overcast was truly beatifull. The Live camere added yet another level of realism to the flight!

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If you aircraft isn't physically showing any signs of major wind shifts then you can just ignore the flight monitoring reports. The lower you get of course the less chance there is of FSX causing major shift problems (normally). But again, they spare totally expected and known about internally within the workings of FSX.

 

The Disable Updates Below... Option is just to prevent weather updates when you are on finals.

 

Look forward to seeing some screenies.

 

Stephen

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OK, So the real world weather was that I should takeoff in VFR conditions and land in IFR conditions. You make up your mind if this was the case :)

 

TAKEOFF AND CLIMB:

 

Turning to line up runway 18:

 

 

 

Looking back at KUTS:

 

 

 

Climbing to 18000:

 

 

 

Where did the land go?

 

 

 

CRUISE AND DESCENT:

 

 

 

You can see Dallas out the left window:

 

 

 

Still VFR? Nope, I don't think so. Looking very good!

 

 

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The screen shots look good to me.

 

The upper visibility zones are coordinated across the entire weather map and set in accordance with the overal conditions and reported visibilities. The surface visibility is of course determined directly by the METAR reports but also using your 'Default Surface Visibility' setting, which you can adjust for personal preference.

 

Obviously the upper visibility does not normally change very abruptly, or shouldn't with the latest beta. On the other hand surface visibility can and often does change abruptly. The surface vis is more of a localised setting and can be quite variable, if it wasn't you wouldn't get patches of fog and mist. The upper vis from about 4000 to 6000 feet AGL all the way up to FL300 and beyond, is mostly determined by the 'overall' conditions covering the 380,000 square miles of weather map. These vis layers aren't so localised.

 

Try setting the defaults, which at this time of the year should assign a default surface vis of 32km for higher latitudes. But you can adjust to suit your personal preference, location, and monitor display.

 

Stephen

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APPROACH AND LANDING (just enjoy the weather, ignore my flying):

 

At the FAF:

 

 

 

400ft to MDA:

 

 

 

"Field in sight, Landing":

 

 

 

Yes, yes, yes, High and fast and all over the place :)

 

 

 

Hope you enjoyed!

 

And my verdict? What you see out the windscreen was spot on!

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Nice screenshots there, didn't take you long to get your camera set up.

 

Cheryl :smile:

 

Yes I did... Lovely pics, many thanks.

 

Regards

Stephen

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