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geolpilot

Objective VAS analysis - A LUA script to assist with OOMs

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I am posting this in the PMDG 777 forum, because there is no doubt that the 777 has a large VAS footprint, and hence users of this aircraft addon are most exposed to OOMs if their setup is not optimised, and they are also loading heavy add-on sceneries. So reports of OOMs are always surfacing here, a recent topic being an example, with the usual mix of "I have no problem", "I have serious problems", and snide comments suggesting that PMDG would hide a fault in their product.

 

 

At the outset, let me say that there is nothing wrong with the PMDG 777. It is an intensive simulation (we wanted all those systems and features!). The Lua script I make available here proves this statement beyond doubt (if you do not want to try it out youself at least look at the examples I provide and Think! You should see why I can make such a definite statement). I have yet to experience an OOM myself even on long flights (14.5 hours max so far).

 

Many users monitor their VAS-usage visually, using Process Explorer or FSUIPC. This is somewhat of a subjective approach, and when an OOM happens its too late to see exactly what the VAS value was, where you were, flight parameters and environmental data at the time. This results in some rather generalized statements about the event.

 

As a scientist I prefer to work with hard data and facts.

 

So I have written an FSPUIC LUA script that logs VAS usage (used and remaining), together with other flight parameters (a simple ACARS reporting system) to a .csv file. This enables one to do post-flight analysis using a spreadsheet (checking the numbers and phase of flight), and or/to plot informative graphs. It also allows mapping of the flight path and data in Google Earth (via a kml converter). Flight parameters at any point can be viewed by clicking on a POI point on the flight line / path.

 

The .csv files are small (.kml even smaller). The LUA does not use FSX VAS, or affect FPS while running.

 

My hope is that those who continue to suffer OOMs will use this tool, create .kml files of the problem flight, and share these when asking for help. Other users can see exactly where the user was flying (and may be able to suspect use of certain scenery add-ons), what the plane was doing, as well as environmental conditions (winds, clouds, turbulence) at the time VAS got out of control.

 

Of course users should also be very specific about their FSX settings and scenery add-ons in use at the time

 

I have designed the LUA reporting script so the the data in the .csv file contains the same information, and is in roughly the same order, as a PFPX OFP page. So besides logging VAS, you have a digital record of the actual flight to compare agains the OFP estimates (timing, waypoints, winds, temps, fuel remaining).

 

NOTE: you must have a registered copy of Pete Dowson's FSUIPC to be able to use this tool.

 

A zip file containing the LUA script, User Manual (Installation and usage instructions, analysis examples, and tips on avioding OOMs - PDF) and my system and FSX settings (PDF) can be downloaded here;

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/53775997/RecordVAStocsv.zip

 

An example of a close shave with OOM, and how logged data can be mapped, is here;

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/53775997/VASKJFK_ARRIV.jpg

 

Regards

Rob



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Wow, Rob, a fantastic effort of yours! :blink:

I, for one, will definitely use it.

 

Thanks a million, sir!

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Bert you just got a medal for speed reading!

 

I get nailed by my colleagues for being a bit verbose. Enjoy logging and mapping your flights - even if OOMs are not a problem I just like seeing, after the fact IN GE, places that I flew over!

 

Rob

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Rob...THANKS! I am not a PMDG user but am a big user of FSUIPC, LUA, and flight debriefs.

 

Great tool!

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Bert you just got a medal for speed reading!

 

 Enjoy logging and mapping your flights - even if OOMs are not a problem I just like seeing, after the fact IN GE, places that I flew over!

 

Rob

 

Hi Rob,  yes I fly mainly GA, but think it is a nifty way to track some of my flights into heavy scenery..

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Many thanks Rob. Great tool, will certainly come in handy should the need arise.

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Rob, have a read of the Front Page. You made the news. BTW, as you have noticed I am sure, I moved this from the 777 forum to the FSX forum for greater visibility by all FSX'ers.

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You made the news. BTW, as you have noticed I am sure, I moved this from the 777 forum to the FSX forum

 

Hi Tom

 

Many thanks for putting this up on the front page. I also agree with your decision to move it to the FSX forum for wider access. I put it in the PMDG forum as that is a problem product for many, and why I tackled the project, but yes, OOMs can happen with any other planes if users go overboard with scenery and settings.

 

Ideally I should also put in up in the Avsim Library (FSX Utilities). Will give this a shot, as I have never uploaded before.

 

Time also for a donation from me. What would I do without your site?

 

Rob

 

Rob

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First, I would like to thank Rob for making this great tool available to us all :-)

 

 

The problem is, I do not know how to make use of it :-(

 

I have no experience with spreadsheets and when I import the FSrecordVAS file with EXCEL I just get a bunch of numbers in a row.

I know the numbers represent the data blocks for TimeL, TimeZ, etc ...but since the data blocks are not seperated from cell to cell the whole thing becomes just lines of numbers :-(

 

Does anybody have a way of displaying this data better?

 

 

So I read on and decided to give the Google Earth display method as described in Robs PDF a go.

Too bad.....Www.tchartdev.com......does not work anymore :-(

(This page cant be displayed)

Could be temporary and I will try again.....but maybe someone can share that tool in the mean time?

 

Thx.

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I just get a bunch of numbers in a row.
I know the numbers represent the data blocks for TimeL, TimeZ, etc ...but since the data blocks are not seperated from cell to cell the whole thing becomes just lines of numbers :-(

 

 

 


.Www.tchartdev.com......does not work anymore :-(

 

Hi Rob

 

I do not know what spreadsheet program you are using, but since the Lua script output is a CSV file it should be separated into columns of numbers, not single rows of un-separated numbers. I can duplicate what you are getting if I copy and paste the .csv file into a spreadsheet. But if you right click on the .csv file and select " open with / your spreadsheet program", it should come up with an initial formatting screen, which one just accepts, and then the numbers will be properly formatted in the spreadsheet.

 

I also checked www.thchartdev.com, and it is still available from my side. Maybe was a temporary glitch or site-down error.

 

Some have questioned the usefulness of this program. I find it useful to put definite numbers to / find definitive answers to aspects of using FSX with VAS-demanding scenery and aircraft.

 

For example the difference between using 1024 vs 2048 max textures is what, in reality? I can show its around +200mb if using 2048 on my system, so if I have 200mb to spare (by being cautious with other settings and scenery addons), I can safely use higher resolution textures without fear of an OOM.

 

Attached two .kml files of flights KJFK (FSDT V2) to KLAX (freeware Ray Smith) using PMDG 777-300ER (blue 1024, yellow 2048).  Note that the blue values are further spaced at stages due to use of time compression on that flight, but values can be compared directly at many point on the flights. Weather used for both flights was the same, but time of flights differed by about 1h 20 mins, enough for departure runway at KFK to have changed.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/53775997/kjfk_klax_b777_vas.zip

 

Please if you zoom in into departure and arrival airports, forgive my wayward STAR following and taxying. I get lost in US airspaces and vast airports, compared to where I normally fly!

 

Rob

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