Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Jarkko

FS Flight Keeper Monitoring

Recommended Posts

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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

It's in your signature:

 

Developer of JAP Flight Planner

 

:)

 

Hook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's in your signature:

 

No quite. I'll give you a hint. FSX doesn't run on Linux. That's all folks, nothing to see here ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Cheryl! :)

 

The "Test" feature is very handy when setting the cameras. Didn't take long from setup to being back in the air.

 

EDIT: If you are interested. You can compare my screenshots to the very first picture on this thread. It's the real world metar report from the area. I set my FSX time to match the moment I took the screenshot from my iPad.

 

Flying north from KUTS should have been VFR -> flying over low coulds/overcast -> landing with 600ft ceiling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having looked once more at the data from my two flights, I now understand the replies better. It would be nice if there were other FS Flight Keeper users who could give me a hand.

 

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.

 

This is one of the things I didn't understand correctly the first time around. As KDFW area has many weather reporting stations, I can only guess how much good and "not so good" data is available (trying to avoid the word accurate). Let's say that station #1 is reporting 1023 millibard and a nearby station #2 reporting 1022 millibars. What I didn't realize is that FSX is doing the interpolation from 1023.0 -> 1022.7 -> 1022.3 -> 1022.0.

 

The first time I read this (erroneously), I thought there was a method of allowing only 2 millibar deviation between stations, not the 0.3 millibars that were recorded. Sorry about that.

 

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.

 

I try to stay away from HD textures to avoid the treaded OOM. My memory usage usually stays below 2GB. Having said that, I have many addons and hardware that use either SimmConnect (EFB and Latitude) or WideFS (Flight Keeper and AirHauler).

 

Here is the sequence of events that happen before a windshear is reported. First the plane shakes quite rapidly (tiny and fast, side to side motion), then my hardware refresh interval seems to slow down for a second (MCP II with LINDA) and after that I can see windshear reported on my laptop. This is accompanied with a comment from the FO saying that "he doesn't like the wind, it might be shearing".

 

What I seem to have forgotten to mention is that this is "normal". I have gotten windshear or two reported on almost every flight before using Opus. I just hadn't experienced so many during a one hour flight.

 

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 !).

 

This means that I might have some planning to do. For these flights, I didn't use Latitude and VoxATC that I normally fly with. These would but even more strain on the FSX.

 

What you are attempting to report on has already been tried and tested by thousands of people.

 

This why I'm asking for help. It would be odd that I'm the only flight keeper user out there.

 

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.

 

I missed this part the first time around. I feel a bit insulted to be honest. If you go back and read my posts on this thread, you can see that every one has at least one positive comment about Opus. All of them true. Again, just trying to find out if my findings are normal or caused by me.

 

Stephen, nice to hear that you liked the screenshots! Thank you for the great weather!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you alter the sample time of your Flight Keeper package. Just fine tune it so that it doesn't keep reporting the transient erroneous wind shifts within FSX. It may only need a small change. I know through the SimConnect link you can change the number of FSX intervals between updates so I don't know if the package made that adjustable in some fashion.

 

With the past METAR injected and global weather settings the internal wind shift errors would not have been a problem to the package so they may not have accommodated such settings. The internal FSX wind and pressure variables should be treated as 'noisy' by all developers, if they were then such transient errors would not cause erroneous wind shear reports or aircraft behaviour.

 

Perhaps the developers could include an adjustable setting that could alter the scan/update rate and even take into account the possible transient noise.

 

Didn't mean any insult about not reporting back on LC, just that proper review type reports should not be based on a quick look at the interface. As I said Mutkeys Hangar took several months to do an in depth independent study and gain experience with the product.

 

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you alter the sample time of your Flight Keeper package. Just fine tune it so that it doesn't keep reporting the transient erroneous wind shifts within FSX. ... proper review type reports should not be based on a quick look at the interface. ...

 

I think I know what was causing this! Your text above might be the key to this whole problem I'm having. Here we go: I never meant to write anything that could be seen as a review. Having read my post again, it can sound like a review, sorry about that!

 

What I tried to do is report something I had not seen before. I tried to include these things:

 

a) What was I doing B) why was I doing it c) what was the expected outcome d) what was the real outcome and e) what steps are required to reproduce the situation.

 

Now comes the big ahaaa moment for me! Lets go over the steps I just outlined:

 

a) What was I doing: At 17:15Z I searched through real world METARs to find an area where I could takeoff in VFR and land in IFR conditions. B) why was I doing it: I wanted to try Opus demo before buying and have a clear test scenario that I could repeat if needed.

 

c) what was was the expected outcome: I would be able to see scattered clouds change into a solid overcast during a 1 hour flight. d) what was the real outcome: I purchased OpusFSX :)

 

In order to run my test, I changed the flight keeper "weather mode" from Live weather (downloaded from NOAA and updated infrequently) to "FSX weather mode". I did this because I knew that I had to use historic weather. Otherwise my scenario wouldn't be reproducible.

 

What I didn't realize at the time is, that "FSX weather mode" meant constant polling, not just weather snapshots when approaching waypoints outlined in my flight plan (similar to "live weather" mode I normally use).

 

I will do a "live weather" flight when life/wife allows :) I'm 95% sure that this can be written down as StupidUserException ;)

 

Thanks again for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...