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Hello fellow FSX:SE users.  I've recently been going through some trial and error with freeware weather engines and I think I'm ready to upgrade to ASN.  I was going to post on the HiFi Simulations forum but I believe that their forum is restricted to people who already own the product.  So, hopefully this is the right place. 

I recently bought the 737 NGX and I fly it almost exclusively now.  The only problem is that when I want to fly out of my addon airports, I take a big hit on my fps.  My solution: Adjust all of the weather sliders to the minimum setting.  This works fine for me, I mostly use fsx as a procedural trainer with the NGX so I don't really need to look out the window and see 5 layers of gorgeous REX clouds, even if they are spectacularly soft and fluffy.  If I'm forced to make a concession in regard to fps, I'd rather have low quality wx graphics and minimum settings to keep my aircraft and scenery settings as high as they can go.  There is one major downside... no clouds, no fog, means NO ICE.  I just pretend to be in icing conditions, which is a bummer but I guess I can live with that. 

A couple of weeks ago I started looking for freeware weather engines to get more accurate wind forecasts, and hopefully some good air effects.  I found fsrealWx and fsmetar.  I was pleasantly surprised with fsrealWx, but it leaves something to be desired in terms of user interface.  It also has a nasty habit of causing a CTD when it updates the live weather.  I've got workarounds that make this program functional, but the amount of effort required to set up a short 2hr flight seems a little excessive.  

In my research I've learned a lot about ASN, it looks AMAZING.  But I assume most people who post on related forums have higher-end gear than I do, and are better acquainted with their systems.  I would post my specs but then I'd have to look them up...  I'm not a gearhead, I know next to nothing about hardware, I have a "gaming" laptop and that's good enough for me.  Default aircraft and simpler payware models work like a charm with ALL of the sliders maxed out, I get 40-50fps at times.  I only run into problems with HD addons and weather.

If ASN were free, I'd just download it and see how it works.  Sadly, funds are tight right now, so I'd like to get some more info before I make the leap.  I've reviewed the manual and browsed several forums for information.  I'm certain the bowels of the internet have all the answers somewhere, I'm probably just not savvy enough to find them.  So here are my questions, any help is appreciated.

What is the complete range of the settings in ASN?  Lowest to highest cloud draw distance, cloud layers, precipitation effects, and any other relevant sliders.  The manual refers to these settings but not in detail.  Specifically, it doesn't mention how low they can actually go.  If I can turn individual settings off completely that would give me countless possibilities. 

Does updating the weather have a noticeable performance impact on your machine?  Any drop in fps, any CTDs, any OOM errors?  The manual says this option is adjustable, but doesn't say if you can turn it off completely.  With fsrealWx I just load the weather and then close the program to avoid this issue.  I'd rather not have to do that with ASN.

I love the way Active Sky handles turbulence, wind shear, icing, and other goodies.  It looks like you're flying through actual air instead of the soup that default FSX provides.  Do these effects limit performance in any way?  Didn't seem like anybody specifically talked about this in the forums.

I think my fsrealWx CTD issue is related to the way the program communicates with the simulator, namely FSUIPC.  ASN has AS Connect, right?  How does this work exactly?  Is there anything I need to do with FSUIPC or AS Connect to get the most out of the product? 

ASN overwrites default FSX weather settings.  FsrealWx also overwrites the default weather, but there seems to be a communication breakdown at high altitudes and the default weather tries to reassert itself, leading to absurd changes in wind speed and direction.  I like to practice my trumpet at cruise and nothing sucks more than to be interrupted by an overspeed warning that would NEVER happen irl.  Selecting "user defined weather" in the default menu sort of resolves this.  ASN is undoubtedly more advanced fsrealWx, but can I expect to encounter any problems like this?  Are there optimum FSX settings to increase performance while running ASN?

 

WOW, sorry for the long post, probably could've knocked this out in a paragraph if I tried...  I'm a long time avsim browser but this is my first post!  I'm excited to finally get involved the sim community!

 

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Hi I have ASN and have never flown without it,

Cloud draw distances can go as low as 60 nautical miles all they way up to 250.

Cloud layers can go from 0-20, 5 is default and looks and performs well.

You can also set your view distance from 60 up to 200 miles.

ASN takes complete control of the weather, you do get different wind direction and speed at high altitudes but that's because it simulates jet streams and winds aloft.

Icing can occur in clouds under certain circumstances I;e rain in really low temperatures or in thunderstoms, the amount of icing can be set from 0-100%, from my experience if you don't have pitot heat set your airspeed indicator will stop reading if it ices up, however I'm yet to notice any changes to how the aircraft handles in regards to air frame icing.

Also extras like wing fade effect in clouds, enhanced haze simulation, in cloud viability reduction, enhanced turbulence can be turn on or off completely.

I don't know how exactly AS connect works but all I have to do is point ASN to the FSX install location and it works, no messing around.

 

Hope this helps.

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Thanks.  I actually got impatient and bought ASN yesterday before I saw your post.  The AS connect is much more stable than what I was getting with fsrealWx, so far I'm having little to no performance issues.  I've got everything set to where I can maintain a solid 30fps for a full flight, works like a charm.  Very pleased with ASN.   

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On 12/3/2017 at 0:52 PM, JacksonArthur said:

Thanks.  I actually got impatient and bought ASN yesterday before I saw your post.  The AS connect is much more stable than what I was getting with fsrealWx, so far I'm having little to no performance issues.  I've got everything set to where I can maintain a solid 30fps for a full flight, works like a charm.  Very pleased with ASN.   

Oh good to know, I've just added Rex Soft clouds to my FSX and they look so much better then the default cloud textures and surprisingly I've not no performance impact, I would recommend you take a look at that addon too.

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On 11/29/2017 at 11:42 AM, JacksonArthur said:

I'm a long time avsim browser but this is my first post!  I'm excited to finally get involved the sim community!

 

Welcome to AVSIM! Great post and good insight.  I see that you are more about procedure rather then eye candy outside the cockpit, have you also turned down the scenery sliders to increase pref? One setting that is crucial in good weather coverage is to set cloud coverage density to max but may be a trade-off if your laptop can't handle it.  Good luck on your training!

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