BlueStar

Installing AutoStarsX in P3dv4

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AutoStars was originally developed for FSX to update the number of stars shown in FSX.  I now use it to update the number of stars and the location of the planets in P3dv4.3.  The various features in the program are in the AutoStar manual.  The program can be found in the AVSIM library by doing a search for “autostar”.  The file name is “autostarx.zip”. 

Unzip the file and install in the directory and location of your choice.  I have it in "D:\Autostar".  To start the program just click on “AutoStarX.exe”.  I have created a shortcut for it and I also “Run as Administrator”.  Before starting AutoStar go to C:\ProgramData\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4 and find the file "stars.dat" which is the default stars file for P3d.  It needs to be renamed in case you want to go back to the original settings. I used "stars.dat.org".

To set up the program I opened the program and made the following entries.  Under "Flight Simulator Path" I used "C:\ProgramData\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4".  Next I checked "Show Names" at the top which will show the planet names.  This is a good check to make sure the sim updated correctly and can be changed later if the names need to be deleted.  I left the default setting in place until I got AutoStar's working correctly. Under flight paths I made this entry "C:\Users\Your Name\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Files".  By hitting "Exit" these changes will be saved. The author has included a default stars_data.dat from the SAO catalogue which will allow you to immediately click the "Make Stars" button after the above changes have been made.  Once hitting "Make Stars", go to "C:\ProgramData\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4" and there should be a new stars.dat file that is larger than the default and with the date that the file was created.  A good check would be to start P3d, go to KCDS and set the date/time to 7/24/2018 and the time to 22:45.  Looking south the moon should appear with a label showing Saturn’s position just below it.  Mars and Jupiter should also show.  I update stars.dat monthly to keep the planets in their correct positions.

To increase the number of stars from the basic AutoStar's setup requires the download of sao.dat from ftp://legacy.gsfc.nasa.gov/heasarc/dbase/dump/heasarc_sao.tdat.gz.  The zip file can be opened with 7-zip.  The file is about 67mg and is placed in "D:\AutoStarX\star_data" sub-folder.  The name "heasarc_sao.tdat" should be changed to "sao.dat".  Open "TOOLS" and using the default settings click "Convert Stars", and then "Make Stars!".  The author has done an excellent job of explaining how changing the various settings will affect the number of stars.  

Another change I made concerning the stars in P3d was the Milky Way texture.  In the AVSIM library and do a search for "milky way" and look for the file "milkyway_fsx_p3d.zip".  I think this is a nice improvement over the stock texture, especially when seen at 4096.

This is how I have gotten AutoStarX to work in P3dv4.3 on my system.  As a side note I took Celestial Navigation in the military and we only had 57 stars that were bright enough to use. There can be thousands of stars in P3d and finding those 57 stars has been a near impossible task for me.

Hopefully this will be helpful.

Grace and Peace

 

 

Edited by Bluestar
clarification
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Thank you WIlhelm, very helpful post. I wanted to increase the number of stars and downloaded the saopc.tar.gz archive. I opened it wih 7-Zip but the file it's 11Mb and when uncompressed it's 15Mb. Do I have to rename the file from saopc.tar to sao.dat? Just wanted to make sure it is the same file that you mentioned in your post.

Thanks.

Ed

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5 hours ago, Samaritano said:

Thank you WIlhelm, very helpful post. I wanted to increase the number of stars and downloaded the saopc.tar.gz archive. I opened it wih 7-Zip but the file it's 11Mb and when uncompressed it's 15Mb. Do I have to rename the file from saopc.tar to sao.dat? Just wanted to make sure it is the same file that you mentioned in your post.

Thanks.

Ed

Ed,

To make this simpler for you folks my instructions should have read  - 

"to increase the number of stars from the basic AutoStar's setup requires the download of sao.dat from 

ftp://legacy.gsfc.nasa.gov/heasarc/dbase/dump/heasarc_sao.tdat.gz.  The zip file can be opened with 7-zip.  The file is about 67mg and is placed it in "D:\AutoStarX\star_data" sub-folder.  The name "heasarc_sao.tdat" should be changed to "sao.dat".

My apologies for the confusion. 🙂

 

Edited by Bluestar
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Great. Thanks once again Wilhelm. It works really well.

Ed

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Thanks for the detailed instructions, got it working and it looks awesome!!!

Edited by Shylock_35

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Thank you so much. I believe I have it working.

The stars look much more realistic now.

I generated a larger stars.dat file. I do not see any planet names however. I went to the airport you suggested and set the proper date and time. I also had the NAME box selected in the autostar program.

I also cannot see the big dipper. I have never been able to find it in the original p3d stars.dat either.

This is the only constellation I know well, so....

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-Stampee

 

 

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Hello all, The link for SAO is not working ...... I tried to google it without a success .....any suggestions?

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43 minutes ago, Alaaar said:

Hello all, The link for SAO is not working ...... I tried to google it without a success .....any suggestions?

I just tried it and the file downloaded for me.

Grace and Peace, 

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