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Guest Gordius

Traffic Toolbox SDK

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Does anyone use Traffic Toolbox SDK, for MSFS? If so, you know that you use "TrafficDatabaseBuilder.exe" to create/change the traffic parameters. But every time I click on "TrafficDatabaseBuilder.exe" nothing will come up. Command lines are supposed to appear. Can anyone help me? ;-)Sincerely,B. Glass

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You have to run it using the 'command prompt' program found in your Accessories folder. Hope you remember DOS :)

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Okay. I can now access TrafficDatabaseBuilder.exe, now what do I do?!? There appears to be a good set of instructions on what to do, but it all looks like rubbish! This does take time, but this is not that complicated. What I want to do is set aircraft to fly to airports of my choice and have certain aircraft parked at airports of my choice, as well. What do I do. Your help is appreciated, really. I just want to figure this thing out. :-) Sincerely,B. Glass

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"Does anyone use Traffic Toolbox SDK"Only for the traffic toolbox...handy little utility. Personally, I find Lee Swordy's Traffic Tools much easier to use and more flexible. Let me go out on a limb here, and wager a guess that more people are using IT as opposed to the M$ method, but to each his own.Hope this helps,Mike

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Lee Swordy's Traffic Tools is much easier to use because it doesn't have error checking built in.I have some flight plans created with the TrafficDatabaseBuilder program - but all of those were tests or trying to find problems with traffic files created with Traffic Tools.Like Traffic Tools, TrafficDatabaseBuilder is easiest to learn if you start slow with a small airport where you can see the impact of your changes and flights. If you've worked with and can build flight plans with traffic Tools - you will be able to use TrafficDatabaseBuilder.Lee's help file / tutorial for AI traffic is very good and easier to understand. Also check John Goodwin's useful tutorial "Making Simple AI Flight Plans" and the Jet Doctor files which Steve Wilson hosts.http://www.john-goodwin.pwp.blueyonder.co....age10frame.htmlhttp://www.wilsonsairspace.com/hlp/helptt2_1.htmlThe spreadsheet / csv files hold the really important data for TrafficDatabaseBuilder:It requires the following information be entered for EVERY AI aircraft (CustomaircraftTypes.csv):Aircraft Type - equates to an AC# in Traffic Tools but more flexibilityTitle - the same as Traffic ToolsCruise Speed (KTAS) - the same as Traffic ToolsminAlt - minimum cruise altitudemaxAlt - maximum cruise altitudeminRange - minimum aircraft rangemaxRange - maximum aircraft rangeminRwyLen - minimum required length of the airport runwayrunwayTypes - HARD/SOFT/WATER/SNOW - choose one or moreradius - minimum parking radius for the aircraftparkingTypes - type of parking spot requiredIFR% - probability of the aircraft flying IFRAutoRoute? - this is a critical flag - yes will result in the program choosing the airports and routesTouchAndGo? - yes or noThe CustomRoutes.dat is pretty similar to the Traffic Tools flight plan - just arranged vertically and a couple columns in different order.The second really big change from Traffic Tools is the data required in the Airports file - Customairports.datThe airport ICAO code (or other ID used by FS), latitude and longitude and elevation are the same information as Traffic Tools - except lat/long must be decimal format. Altitude must be in meters ASL.Some other information also needed.# AirspaceClass = airport's ICAO airspace class: B, C, D, or G# NumApproachFreqs = number of ATC approach control frequenciesBut this program requires that the runways be listed for each airport - length, width and surface type (HARD/SOFT/WATER or SNOW)And every parking spot to be used must be listed - the radius of the parking spot and the type of spot# Radius = parking space radius in meters# ParkingType = parking space type: # RAMP = general aviation ramp# CARGO = cargo loading area# GATE = airline gate# DOCK = seaplane dock# MIL_CARGO = military cargo loading area# MIL_COMBAT = miltary combat aircraft parking areaThis information is used by the TrafficDatabaseBuilder program for three major error checks:1. Cruise Altitude - ensures the aircraft does not cruise higher or lower than it's set altitudes. If the program finds the flight is over terrain grids which have a higher minimum safe altitude than the maximum altitude for the AI aircraft - the flight plan will be discarded No more C-172's at FL200 over the Alps.2. Cruise Range - is the flight too short or too long. This can be an issue / problem for some aircraft. Since I do repositioning and training flights in the local area - I set my minimum ranges to 1 nm.3. Parking - Microsoft warns several places that more AI traffic than available parking will cause problems. I've documented stutters, FPS drops and other issues - all caused by AI aircraft at other aiports - up to 108 nm away from my aircraft - all because the other airports do not have correct parking.If TrafficDatabaseBuilder does not find sufficient parking for the AI aircraft - the flight will be deleted.

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Traffic Tools and TrafficDatabaseBuilder produce traffic files which the FS2004 program reads differently.The key difference of which I am aware is the arrival time placed in the traffic file.All AI flight plans have fixed arrival times in the traffic file.Traffic Tools places those times in the file by one of two methods - either calculating a fixed arrival time based on length of the flight and cruise speed of the aircraft, or inserting a time 15 min earlier than the fixed arrival time set by the flight plan designer.TrafficDatabaseBuilder also calculates the fixed arrival time in the traffic file. There is no capability for the flight plan writer to specify the arrival time. Also TrafficDatabaseBuilder will reject any flight plans if a 45 minute minimum turnaround is not possible.Flight Simulator 2004 reads the fixed arrival time from the traffic file and will generate / initialize the AI aircraft 15 minutes BEFORE the fixed arrival time - usually.(The 15 min back-time was Lee's innovation in FS2002 to allow for descent and approach of fixed arrival aircraft - MS liked it so much they "borrowed" the concept and wrote it into the AI traffic generation / initialization process for FS2004)We have documented many instances where traffic files created by Traffic Tools either will not generate the aircraft in the air - only at the gate at it's scheduled arrival time.We have also documented many "lost" aircraft being generated at the wrong time or in the wrong place - most common with flights which cross the international date line, or flights which cross the Saturday midnight / Sunday morning line.With both these type issues, placing the information in TrafficDatabaseBuilder and generating a traffic file gives perfect AI aircraft behavior - correct times and locations - aircraft generated in flight and not at the gate.[/b]Bottom line - TrafficDatabaseBuilder will produce better performing AI traffic - but takes a lot more work than Traffic Tools[/b]

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As noted above - TrafficDatabaseBuilder is a command line programOne thing I find very useful is error message trapping for command line programs. I create a batch file and run the command from that file.TrafficDatabaseBuilder /AutoRoute=no /Airports=Airports_PAI_C17.dat /AircraftTypes=Aircraft_PAI_C17.csv /Routes=Flightplans_PAI_C17.dat /Output=Traffic_PAI_C17.bgl > PAI_C17_err.txtThat command line produces a traffic file:Traffic_PAI_C17.bglThe three input files - which must be in the same folder as TrafficDatabaseBuilder are:Airports_PAI_C17.datAircraft_PAI_C17.csvFlightplans_PAI_C17.datBut the critical element of this command line is > PAI_C17_err.txtThis sends all messages from the TrafficDatabaseBuilder program into a text file. That way if there is a problem - I have a handy reference. The most common issue is lack of available parking at the destination airports.Note - FS does not check the actual AFCAD files, only the data in the airports file. So you can cheat a little bit.Also the TrafficToolBox.dll gives you an option in Flight Simulator to create an airports file - by reading all the AFCAD information in FS - including any active addon or modified AFCAD files. A great time saver.

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It's a good idea to run "collect airports list" from within FS9 (comes as the DLL in the SDK to get a full list. I tried adding a custom airport, takes ages.BTW only seems to collect airports in ......./addon scenery/scenery so put your afcad files in there when you collect the airports. Please tell me if I wrong!RE using the command line. Go to start programs > Accesories and right click on command prompt then left click Copy. Go to the SDK folder and paste the shortcut there. View ths shortcut and change "Start in" to the path to your SDK folder then when you doubleclick it you will not have to go through changing the folder to the SDK folder before you run it!Andrew Brownhttp://www.gordiusfs.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/

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