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Rogen

The Aerosoft Consolidated PBY Catalina in P3D v4.5

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After getting hooked on the OZx Goose Redux I decided another same era sea plane was needed in the hanger.

And after reading Chock's advice of the Aerosoft Consolidated PBY Catalina having quite well coded engine realism, where there is a need to keep within parameters to avoid engine failure, I though "sounds good" and purchased.

So this is a summary of the installation and overcoming the problems thrown up towards getting the plane functional in P3D v4.5 HF3.

Installing:
While there is a P3D v4 install option, it only enables installation into the Sim root directory and there unfortunately is no add-on library install option.
Which was a problem for myself given I've been installing all aircraft into a specific Add-on.xml discovery path.
No fear though, I just manually created the path I wanted and turned an empty text file into a prepar3d.exe, where upon the installer could install the contents to my preferred path outside of the Sim root directory.

Now given the installer doesn't cater for an Add-on.xml type of install, I knew there would be some manual work to get it all functioning, which is a fairly normal process.

In such circumstances the first thing is to enable the sim Content Error logging, that way problems can be found and resolved with the sim logging providing a record of issues.

And so I created the Add-on.xml and loaded the plane for first flight... and instant CTD.

CTD:
Jumped over to the Aerosoft forums and found the ASC.dll (Aerosoft Sound Control) was likely the CTD problem and was able to download a new version 3.0.7.0 dated 29/04/2020 and replaced all 7 instances of the file (located in the panel folders).

Before loading the aircraft again, a review of the panel.cfg and sound files was in order (there are 7 Panel folders for supporting the 16 different Catalina models).

And found gauges located all over the place with mostly relative references for each gauge to various Panel folders.

Pathing Changes:
Created single Gauges and Sound folders and moved the gauges and Sound files within "Aerosoft_Sound_System_Cat" into their new locations.

Had to set an absolute path in the asc.cfg for the new wavdir= sounds path because as try as I might I could not get the ASC.dll to recognise a relative path in its config file (the asc.cfg).

Updated all the panel.cfg files to remove duplicated sections, removed the gauges relative pathing, and added the new Gauges folder to the Add-on.xml (much better than having many multiple different paths for locating different gauges).

And gave it a test fly using the "Calypso" (a civ model).

Good so far, no CTD, had both aircraft and cockpit sounds, found the mixture was problematic to manage and then noticed the ATC ID placard was blank and the DME and ADF gauges were inoperative.

Errors:
A look into the P3D "ContentErrors.txt showed some 7300 lines of errors related to the short test flight of the "Calypso" 😞

Delving into the errors they were all either gauge xml or model xml related...

Gauges XML:
Extracted each gauge into a same named folder and began reviewing the xml where luckily the problems were syntax related issues such as an incorrectly spelt variable or spaces where there should not be, or no spaces where there should be, or just plain invalid xml code that would never pass an xml validation test.

To cut the gauges story short I ended up resolving issues in 14 xml gauges, I'm excluding the AS_KLN90B GPS as that will be an entirely different project (due to its many many errors), or maybe I'll just replace it with a GTN650 or GPS2020 gauge.

Model XML:
The Model xml was next using the ModelConverterX application to load the Virtual Cockpit models and review the xml.

Fortunately the xml was the same sort of issues as the gauges (mostly syntax), however there were also duplicated animations and duplicated custom_rec_Events with attached code unrelated to the actual aircraft event, plus each model type (civ or mil) would carry slightly different xml coding issues.

In all each VC model contained ~6000 lines of xml coding and there were 16 virtual cockpit models requiring corrected xml coding.

Final:
Took me a few days but well worth the results, the plane now flys great with working gauges, good engine realism and no more 7000+ errors for a simple flight.

I suppose the original issues came about due to Prepar3D's move to x64 and a lack of testing and review of the ContentErrors.txt logging when Aerosoft were prepping the updated install.

Just goes to show that not every software update is necessarily going to be a good release update.

Cheers R

2 of the 15 models of Catalina, the package includes 16 models, however one looks like it was a WIP for one of the other models (the Midway variant) and is incomplete.

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Engine Realism in action.

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Working Civ model gauges post gauge and VC model XML corrections.

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  • Like 2

Ryzen 2700X clocked to 4.2 Ghz, 32 GB ram, Samsung 1 x 1 TB NVMe 970 and 2 x 1 TB SSD 850 Pro raided, Nvida 1070 Ti clocked to 2 Ghz

P3D 4.5.14, Orbx Global, Vector and more, lotsa planes too.

Catch my vids on Oz Sim Pilot, catch my screen pics @ Screenshots and Artwork

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Thanks for sharing your efforts, Rogen. I don't own the PBY but sure looks great and was considered to my Hangar a few times. Pity AS completely forgot her. And now with the new kid in town she's probably dead in prepar3d V5 or any other sim...

Cheers


Pedro Trindade

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I have this aircraft and like it a lot. Sounds like I need to learn xml coding so I can clean up my install. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Ted


3770k@4.5 ghz, Noctua C12P CPU air cooler, Asus Z77, 2 x 4gb DDR3 Corsair 2200 mhz cl 9, EVGA 1080ti, Sony 55" 900E TV 3840 x 2160, Windows 7-64, FSX, P3dv3, P3dv4

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4 hours ago, pedrotrindade said:

Thanks for sharing your efforts, Rogen. I don't own the PBY but sure looks great and was considered to my Hangar a few times. Pity AS completely forgot her. 

That's not all Aerosoft have completely forgotten...

Anyway, great job Rogen.  It's nice to get these less-than-optimized aircraft working in the sim.


Rhett

i7-8700k @ 5.0 ghz, 32 GB G.Skill TridentZ, 1080Ti, 32" BenQ, 4K res

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2 hours ago, Mace said:

That's not all Aerosoft have completely forgotten...

Indeed. The DC-8 is another sad example.


Pedro Trindade

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msig3.jpg

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