jt_williams

Cartwheeling through the Southwest Pacific

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Cartwheeling through the Southwest Pacific – Solomons, New Britain, and Papua New Guinea.

Starting from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal the route will hop-scotch from island to island up the Solomons to New Britain. The route then proceeds to New Guinea and finishes at Port Morsby.  

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To cover the full route will take several weeks.  We will fly as far as we can during a session and resume from that point on the next flight.

Full Planned Route and Pilots Guide for Part 1 is here

Aircraft: The  total route is 1367nm. A cruise speed of better than  300 KIAS would be advisable to complete the flight in time. The route features many primitive airstrips and somewhat long over water legs.  World War 2 Warbirds are the preferred aircraft as they have the speed to cover the significant distances between airstrips and are appropriate for the rough field conditions.  I will fly the A2A P-51 (while not exactly correct for the Solomon’s Campaign period),  but another good choice would be the P3D default P-38.   Please fly what you like.

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You should set your departure time to 14:25 hrs local time.   If we fly for 3 hours that should give us an extra 20 minutes before we are out of daylight.  I’m not quite sure where we will be after flying after 3 hours, but I assume that everyone is OK with flying a high performance warbird, at night, over water, and into an unlighted airstrip.

Where & When
Date and time: Saturday, December 15, 2018. 1900 UTC.
Where: AVSIM RTWR Teamspeak - Casual Flights Channel
Teamspeak Server Address: ts.teamavsim.com
Cross-Platform Multiplayer: JoinFS. (FSX, FSX-SE, and P3D).

If you want to help others enjoy the multiplayer experience, don't forget to enter your aircraft details on the multiplayer spreadsheet (linked here). Your courtesy will save others a lot of time and effort. Thanks!
 

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Looks to be great fun.
(I should fly a P-400 and "hide in the clouds." May have to substitute something else.)

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Yup. In August 1942, my father arrived on Guadalcanal in the first wave of USAAF P-400s. And (according to his self-deprecating humor), each day he waited for the Zeroes' impending arrival upon which he would take off and hide in the clouds. As you indicate, there may have been more to that story.😉

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P-400 eh? At first I jumped on that and thought  'Ahah! a typo. I'd just put my hat and coat on to nip down to the A2A store...Haaang on, he typo-ed twice? Nah. Check again.

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Quick question..
Any specific scenery? I have just stock airports for the first 6.. (AGGK thru AGGE)
Doesn't seem right for some reason. 

 

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27 minutes ago, spokes2112 said:

Quick question..
Any specific scenery? I have just stock airports for the first 6.. (AGGK thru AGGE)
Doesn't seem right for some reason. 

 

Bog Standard Airports.  Nothing Fancy.

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Not many shots taken with all my troubles.
But if you want, some shots are here.. 
Nice looking group!
Thanks Jeff!

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To complement Jeff's suggested reading, you might enjoy the classic WWII documentary "Mission to Rabaul" (55:39). This is a US Army production (1943) with the normal propaganda tone – but informative and plenty watchable. The main music is Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird" and  "Rite of Spring" – the great orchestral compositions originally written for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1910-1913. Interesting choice. The film itself is contemporary background and then combat action footage that illustrates the role of the American 5th Air Force in the campaign for New Guinea and the eventual reduction and isolation of Japan's powerful base at Rabaul. (The film does not reveal the Cartwheel intention to bypass rather than attack Rabaul.)

Not for everyone.

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Not exactly Alec Guinness and The Bridge over the River Kwai, this was a more brutal statement about human nature. The Japanese transported 517 British POWS from Singapore to the island in order to construct an airport. Many may have died in American bombing raids and others may have died due to disease and the harsh working conditions. But there was no heroic moment upon completion of the airfield. The surviving British soldiers were summarily bayoneted or beheaded.
Balalae Island at Wikipedia. The Sad Story of Balalae Island. And the Report on War Crimes on Ballale Island.

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Just a quick note on the Pacific Islands Simulations (PIS) payware scenery that will have a name like "PNG Bush Flying." It adds character to several airfields and it seems fine for our airports in the sense that it does not cause problems.

You will get a few extra airport buildings at some fields if you also have Orbx Jackson's installed. In the cases of Tokua (AYTK), Hoskins (AYHK), and Nadzab (AYNZ), the extra buildings add some clutter but are not bothersome. (If you like, you can disable PIS scenery files AYTK*.bgl, AYHK*.bgl and AYNZ*.bgl. But I am not going to do this as one loses some of the atmosphere as well as the extra buildings.)

However, you probably want to remove the PIS scenery elements for Jacksons (AYPY) if you have the excellent Orbx scenery installed. (Disable these two files by renaming them as: aypy_rg.BGL.OFF and aypy_rgl.bgl.OFF.)

Using the Pacific Islands Simulations scenery for PNG is helpful because it provides some character for Sule (SULE), Finschafen (FIN), and Bulolo (BUO) where otherwise you find mere grass strips. And you get added pieces at several other fields as well.

Again, using the Pacific Islands Simulations scenery makes sense if you already have it. This is FSX (not P3D) scenery but is seems safe enough. While discounted, it is probably not worth purchasing just for our events.

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Thanks Mike !

Wow - do I have a mess in these areas! Can someone help in clarifying? Going to go with a reinstalled PIS|PNG|BF and just Mike's recommendations above.

1) Have the PIS|PNG|BF, but then have another folder (and the archive too) of a set of the same made specially for use with O'Jacksons. This is what's weird - The stock scenery has 1886 files while the O'Jacksons special scenery has 1953.

2) A third folder in the same PNG Global folder named Frieda River..   Just filled with barrels, kangaroos, cones, birds and such. Does anyone remember why I would do something like this -or- why it was done?

Disregard - figured it out.. Using a batch file to make file listings and then comparing the 2 using a fine program called WinMerge to compare the 2 it was found that Frieda River is included in the O'Jacksons special scenery. The program also generates a nice report.

3) Another scenery folder - "Nick's addons" in my global PNG folder. IIRC this is just for those that do not have PIS|PNG|BF correct? Or, does this have any fixes of landing strips in the water? 

Continue on if you want to hear a coffee loaded human babble about this past weeks journey (40+ hours) fixing a  flight sim computer, cuz I am not going to mention one bit of it on TS later today - flying only & enjoying 😉
_________________________________________________________________________

It was found multiple problems have been on my computer, maybe since day 1 of building it nearly a decade ago! :wacko: Other items that I zeroed in on was possibly a tired power supply and/or a bad video card (GTX1070 OC - stock OC'd). The latter was true. 

Some of the effects of these bad shutdowns, btw - NONE were ever reported in the Windows event log.
a) If simming the FSUIPC.ini would get corrupted badly, stripping out 100s of lines of customized key and button programming entries along with the entries of all my lua's. Lucky I had a backup but it was from moons ago, a good hour or so was needed to get it back up to snuff. (still more to do!) Made a batch file to back that sucker up every time FS is started, never going to happen again! 
b) Registry corruption.. Occasionally on a restart many devices would not load - audio devices, vid card, lan & drives, basically anything connected to the motherboard. Even lost my sim drive once! = Driver installs, over and over again.
c) Lower resolutions (1024x768 and less) would result in longer life, what a waste of a new 4K monitor!
d)  Overall general "suckiness".

In order of fixing:

1) The video card. It was found YES, it is bad - but fixable. What was happening is during a power change in the card (P-State) it may fail miserably (blue screen, video card shutdown, or just a plain shutdown of the computer) due to the slew rate of voltages vs frequency and a slightly off BIOS with those w/ MICRON GPU memory - of which I have. The article, after many hours of searching, is here - Eureka! (comment #13 - #5348688 really tells the story) At least 2 hours were spent checking and cross checking Device ID & Subvendor numbers. There where 3 revisions done to this card during it's lifespan - UGHH! Needed to find the correct one and pick the newest BIOS, wasn't easy. BTW my original BIOS was from 4 months before the article was written. Took another hour to get in a "zen mode" before pulling the trigger on a BIOS flash..:unsure: 

Result? - WOW - so much better for about 4 hours! (past failures where every 5 seconds to 45 minutes or so) No more blue screens or video shut down but rather only an instant computer shutdown. Power supply? Maybe.. Here's is where it got funky. Remember at the beginning of FSX and the UIAutomationcore.dll fiasco? That is exactly what is happening now but in Windows! It would only shutdown if I clicked on something - anything, not program related at all. The only possible way to delete or update "UIcore" is to boot directly into DOS and do it from there and even then Windows would probably bark at me because there is no catalog for it.

More funkiness? The UIcore fix for FSX was supposed to be a Vista 32 version (older) so what is this? Definitely will NOT go this route!  
UIcore in FSX last mod date - Saturday, ‎February ‎26, ‎2011, ‏‎11:38:02 PM
UIcore in my Windows 7 SysWOW64 & System32 last mod date - ‎Monday, ‎July ‎13, ‎2009, ‏‎8:16:17 PM


2) Power supply it is, but then my digital storage oscilloscope never caught anything.. Hmm?? Found an excellent sale on a Corsair higher end, modular 1200 watt supply, 20$ less than what I paid for my 650w 9 years ago & and half it's normal price -- Ordered! (see more about this later)
 
3) Mulled around a bit in the system bios and cross checking with HWiNFO64 and found a few things.
a) With 2 sticks of memory my XMP profile said that the tRC value should be at 31, mine was at 40 in the bios. Down to 31 it is saving me 9 clocks - yippee! hehe. No difference in shutdowns.
b) HT (HyperTransport IE the "Main" bus) clock.. This puppy should match my CPU to Northbridge clocks at 2600mhz (= 5200 MT/s) and what was mentioned in the MB manual. It was some sick number like 1900! Looked in the bios and it was set to AUTO - go figure.. Never trust "AUTO" anything! - LOL Manually upped to the required 2600. Got the sim running at 1600x900 and did a few flights, compiled some video, programming, web surfing and so on for 12 hours.. All good! - SWEET!  (Yes, haven't got any quality sleep this whole week) All I can figure was that the CPU was doing a lot of work but couldn't give the result to anything due to interrupt requests - a lot of them! A big bottleneck, probably causing accidents on the highway IE the shutdowns.
c) A year ago or so I purchased 2 extra sticks of memory for an upgrade because the sale was so good. Always had problems with 4 sticks - frequent blue screens, proven to be the extra 2 sticks - gave up on it, now spares. Decided to try the extra 2. Rebooted and then checked the XMP profile again. It looks like with 4 sticks my tRC should go back to 40 - done! More testing for a few hours.. All good! Plus more memory to boot - sweet!    

4) The big test.. Going flying in 4K (3840x2160).. Holy word not allowed!! All scenery sliders full right (water too) except for scenery complexity (1 back), autogen (2 back) & mesh (5). The only other thing turned off is bloom - never liked it anyway. 8 layers of clouds from FSRealWXpro, rain, thunder etc. Frames in the upper 70's to 90! Simply brilliant! Hehe.... This is the first time the 1070 actually did any work. Before it never got above 30% load or 50 watts. She's now worth the purchase. 85%+ load and pulling 150 - 170 watts of power - OH YES!! Doesn't seem like the power supply anymore, oh no!.. Time for some math, here are the results. The 650w is not within my comfort zone anymore. The 1200 is overkill but for the price it is worth it plus usable for another future build. 

5) OH NO!! On a second, much longer, hard core flight I monitored temps more closely.. Nearly cooked the CPU! AMD recommends 61C for constant max temp, that is, of course, with their built in cushion. Around the net it is mentioned 70/71C should be the max continuous for this CPU. AMD says it will brick at 91C.. Here I was at 82C !! Woah nelly! - time to shut 'er down. The sim that is, keep the fans running to keep the temps from rising on a pure shutdown. Never before has it gone above 50C. I guess now that electrons are flowing freely it's going to create heat. Downclocking time and set an alarm for 65C. I have had this CPU overclocked to 3.8ghz from 3.4ghz since maybe the second week after the initial build w/ no problems. Tried 3.6, hovering right at or slightly above the alarm. Down to the stock 3.4 it is, still on the stock cooler/fan .. No problem, still get frames in the 40s to upper 50s, can't wait to see what happens today. Santa's is coming twice - a 240mm twin fan liquid kit is on it's way.. Future proof too :) also fits all current AMD & Intel chips - so not a bad investment. Will try 3.9 then, even heard 4.0 is attainable with some voltage adjustments, but would rather stay stable. 

Before all this BS it was a tough time to get frames in the 30s.The only way was to turn down eye candy to a not so good looking sim. Really wish I would've found this bottleneck years ago - word not allowed auto setting. But why now? It was quite stable (not perfectly) before. The only thing that has changed was the monitor a few weeks back. Maybe the monitor was asking for things the computer couldn't give. Add it all up and it resulted in a barely usable computer, forget about simming.

Anyway, it is 4:30 am and I am tweaked on arabica beans - time to go flying and check out the scenery with MIke's mods and do some more testing. See y'all later today - after a nap hehe.

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Great flight Jeff - Thanks!
Mike, thanks for the scenery tips.. Worked out well.
Photos are fresh out of the processor.
Unfortunately Avsim nor Dropbox support .webp format (32bit color) so had to make the animations as .gif (8bit). Now a .mp4 instead.
They are here for your viewing pleasure. 
If I don't see you for tomorrow's flight, have a Merry Christmas. If travelling, please be safe!

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Again, great flight Jeff!  A blast with the C-47!
A bunch of gooney gents flying the gooney bird - couldn't get any better.
Some pictures taken with the Brownie have just been developed, you can find 'em here..

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Here are some shots from Sunday's River Danube flight - Leg 2.
A very nice flight, looking forward to the next legs. Thanks Gunter!
Have a Happy New Year! Be safe if "out - n - about"...
 

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