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Robert McDonald

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About Robert McDonald

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    Hardware Reviewer
  • Birthday 05/25/1949

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    Flying - Music - Computers - Literature - Motion Picture Production and Film Editing - Music Production - Golf - Comments are personal opinions, anecdotal in nature and made without warranty or conference of copyright.

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    Hello- PLEASE READ: I have long ago sold off my Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog. Thus, sadly, I can no longer provide any kind of SETTINGS or CONFIGURATION information for the Warthog, period. Please, do not ask me, as I will only have to repeat what you're reading here. Sorry all! Possibly someone ELSE who CURRENTLY flies the TM Hotas Warthog could kindly post config information here on Avsim for the benefit of the many people who have reached ouit to me. Thanks one and all.

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  1. Sorry all, but I no longer own the Warthog, and I have lost all my settings that referred to it in P3D. Thus I am unable to assist or fulfill requests for any settings regarding the Hotas Warthog :(. Possibly other members on this board may be able to provide assistance. The images that appeared orignially in any of my older posts here have apparently disappeared, and again, I have no way to replace them. They are lost. Best of luck to you Hotas pilots! It was a great add-on in my earliest days of simming! Happy New Year!
  2. Heard back from Mike Swannick he is apparently running WideView, even though he has the Pro license. I got to thinking maybe that was the case as his weather did not appear to be Active Sky 2016 or Rex...he confirmed he is in fact running WideView. Dunno what weather he is using.
  3. Hi Gerard, Yes, I'm aware that he has the Pro version- and I am aware of that version's network capability. I have read some chatter over on the LM Forums that performance of this new feature (networked views) is very poor, and thus I wondered if his PC vendor (JETLINE SYSTEMS) might have held on to ViewGroups or even the long-in-the-tooth WideView. I'm suspicious because the clouds in his video do NOT look like the typical ones you see in Active Sky 2016 or Active Sky Next, which is a symptom of WideView. I was unable to make WideView work satisfactorily back before ViewGroups was released. I've reached out to Mike and to Ken (over at Jetline) for a definitive answer - no word back yet. Thanks.
  4. Mike- Just saw your updated video from KSEA to KLAX - it is ASTOUNDING and drop-dead beautiful. I am subbed to your YouTube channel - congratulations, man! Question: Can you double-check or do you know if you are running add-on "Wide-View" for the Visuals or are they rendered using ViewGroups in P3D? Thanks and great job! Great filming too!
  5. Congratulations Mike. This looks STELLAR. I'm thrilled you got her running. I have heard P3D v 3.4.9 is having some memory VAS issues, not sure if that is true or not, but wanted to make you aware it MIGHT be causing your issues. Very very impressive setup! I know you have been going through some 'stuff' getting it up and flying. Glad to see you are about set! Scott
  6. There are settings within Orbx FTX Central that can improve frames rates. How many displays are you driving? Are you using an add on airplane from PMDG? Do you have other add ons as well? Are you P3D or FSX? What is your CPU? If the weather is bad, that can adversely impact frames as well... which weather prog are you using (if any)? Need to know more to speculate on the 'why' you ask about... Are you using Orbx PNW? FTX Global as well? Have you updated your Orbx libraries (do this from within FTX Central 2)
  7. Fly Elise-NG support corrected my misunderstanding. The ViewGroups.XML file you create within LCD Designer Pro needs to be copied from it's exported folder (that you created) to C:\ProgramData\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3\ folder. Note that this is NOT the folder where your P3D installation lives! Before copying it, rename the 'current' ViewGroups.XML that is already in that folder to something like ViewGroups.OLD, so you can go back to Lockheed's version if you should desire to. Upon starting P3D v 3.4.x, you will then correctly see LCD Designer Pro if you right click on your desktop within P3d and choose ViewGroups from the flyout menu. Bonus: In version 3.4 if you use ViewGroups, it will start up with ViewGroups active so all 3 of your monitors will display an image. Remember too that Immersive Display Pro -must- be running (it can be minimized) so that your views will be geometrically correct. IDP is the only program you need to purchase from FlyElise. It is about $169 USD street.
  8. IMPORTANT UPDATE for FlyElise users! In version 3.4.9 of Prepar3D, LM has moved the ViewGroups.xml file from APPDATA (roaming) to the main Prepar3D folder, according to Fly Elise support. FE support says copy your specific (exported from LCD Designer Pro) ViewGroups.xml to your main P3d v3 folder and you should then see LCD Designer Pro as your choice when you right click your P3D desktop and choose ViewGroups. Remember also that Immersive Display Pro (also by Fly elise) must be running (it can be minimized) so your views are correct Geometrically. Information herein provided by Nikola at Fly Elise-ng.
  9. Pete Dowson, author of FSUIPC, has released a new FSUIPC.DLL to handle the latest Prepar3D release. The newest build is 4.957. If you have used FSUIPC to calibrate your controllers, or if you have other 3rd party products (example Sim-Avionics by FlightDeckSolutions) installed, you definitely will need to download the latest version, unzip it, and drop the NEW FSUIPC.DLL into your MODULES folder in Prepar3D, overwriting your old one. You CANNOT keep the old version in your modules folder, you CANNOT just rename it FSUIPC.OLD or something, it will conflict with the new DLL and cause problems!! I am not authorized to distribute his work, so you will need to hunt on the web for a link to the newest release, Until I updated mine, my plane would not fly as expected, and my throttles exhibited bizarre behavior. After updating, all was back to normal.
  10. Oh, I almost forgot. Why buy the Titan-X (Pascal) over the 1080? 1. Titan X has 12GB of VRAM, 1080 has only 8 2. Titan X is 40% faster than 1080. When you are at minimum frame rates, 40% better means: If you are getting 20 FPS on your 1080 then Titan X 140% = 28 fps If you are getting 30 FPS on your 1080 then Titan X 140% = 42 fps If you are getting 40 FPS on your 1080 then Titan X 140% = 56 fps So when you are in toughest conditions, the Titan X will render the same output 40% faster. HUGELY important 'sometimes'. Yes, it costs double. However, you can't buy the 1080, decide it's not adequate, then upgrade to TitanX later... there would be costs involved. Most GPUS are not returnable for refund warranty usually is REPLACEMENT ONLY. Assuming you have a fast CPU the GPU itself is critically important, especially in multi-monitor single-PC setups. All the other caveats about sliders, 3rd party virtual cockpits, heavy weather still apply. To date, I have not seen ANY setup that can run P3D with EVERYTHING MAXED, including AI, Weather, Scenery Sliders, etc, etc, etc. It's STILL a balancing act. In my videos, NO cars, boats or Ai aircraft. Sliders are NOT maxed. Orbx SoCal in use but all Orbx SoCal 'options' are UNTICKED. Orbx Palm Springs all airport 'options' are OFF. These caveats are multiplied (made more important) when you are driving triple monitors without NV Surround. FYI.
  11. A big concern for you with triple displays revolves around overall display size AND how you will MOUNT the displays. If you look at my video (in this thread) you will see 27" monitors by HP arrayed on my glass desk. Sadly, these monitors DO NOT have VESA mounting holes, so I am FORCED to either drill holes for VESA mounts (not likely) or else set them atop my desk. This works OK for 27's, but not at all for huge displays, be it 42, 55, 60 or whatever. You are correct that the larger the display the distance between horizontal rows gets wider and wider until you become very much aware of those display lines! Remember, you should NOT get a UHD (4K) group of arrays. The new Titan can easily drive ONE of them, but NOT 3 of them, this is stated directly by Nvidia. It's a math issue. The higher the resolution, the MORE pixels need to be drawn every frame. When frames are displaying at 100+ FPS (as they do on my system using 1080p displays) moving to UHD 4K means a HUGE workload increase! Thus I recommend avoiding 4k unless you have 1 Titan driving EACH display. (3 Titans). Now you're talking $3600 just for video cards, notwithstanding the power and heat requirements putting them all in one case would engender. Another thought is refresh rate and how the monitors will look when offset from one another. In the LCD world IPS has a much better viewing angle than 'conventional' LCD/LED panels. My monitors refresh 60 fps and about 5ms refresh time. Large commercial TV's may have longer refresh times, which can produce artifacts in fast motion playback. That is the 'downside' of the giant LED tvs vs. Plasma. Many "claim" a 120 hz refresh rate but that is a manipulated figure, I 'believe' they 'really' run at 60 fps. When using the Fly-Elise method, I do NOT use V-Sync or V-Synch Half Refresh Rate. The Titan is running much higher frames most of the time than 60 on my setup. I can't really advise you on display maximum sizes, you would need to go into a store and stand the same distance from their monitors/LED Tv's and decide if that 'works' for you. I recommend a store with a liberal return policy, such as a warehouse membership store, where you can obtain a full refund if the monitor/tv is not adequate for your needs. You likely already know but the ONLY place you can get the Titan-X (PASCAL) GPU at present is from Nvidia themselves. They frequently run out of stock, but seems like they get new availability pretty quickly, so you may need to check their site daily until they show stock available. YES, you CAN get this fine GPU from SOME system builders (listed on the Nvidia site) but use extreme care if you buy elsewhere, you do NOT want the MAXWELL version (the prior Titan-X). Nvidia SHOULD have thrown a P in the card name (for "Pascal") but they DID NOT. Auction sites would be a less-than-ideal place to buy such a pricey card IMHO. If you buy directly from Nvidia you are covered with their 3-year Warranty. Generally off-channel suppliers especially "lists" or "auctions" become MURKY with respect to warranty claims. Good luck!
  12. Hi Bob, The reason Mark has little distortion is he has very very small view angles. That was unacceptable to me. I will say first, that the Titan X (Pascal) which you describe as Titan XP, in my mind, is a MUST, and that is ONLY if you are going to run 1920 x 1080p Monitors. Even the mighty XP with over 7 Billion transistors can't handle triple 4k displays (according to NVidia). I was nervous purchasing it vs the 1080, but glad I did. Still, you won't be able to max sliders in P3D. Why? The total real estate being rendered across those 3 displays is over 6 million pixels. If you are using look-ahead anti-aliasing (MSAA) you are asking the gpu to render each frame 4 times (4x) and 'average' them out prior to drawing them. Switching to FXAA and turning off MSAA was a boost to frames. You will notice in extremely heavy weather and high-density scenery (particularly add ons) that frames will drop. I am able to stay above 40 in most situations, and much of the time system showing over 100. Yes, View Groups is how Fly Elise does all its magic, and even LM states that the Immersive Display Pro greatly speeds up the process. You first use Fly Elise LCD Designer Pro to enter the monitor dimensions and bezel sizes (all in metric). Choose your angles (60, 0 and -60). Also you must use a tape measure to measure distance from your eye to the monitors. Then use LCD Designer Pro to EXPORT the view files (you will choose a temporary folder to export to. IMPORTANT: Do NOT export directly to your P3D folder). Then you copy the ViewGroups.XML file from the temp folder you made into your (drive letter)\UserName\App Data\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3d v3 folder. Finally start up Immersive Display Pro and set up your 3 monitors, then left-click on each monitor icon within IDP one by one choose EXTERNAL CALIBRATION and import each individual camera file from your temp folder into IDP and click the SAVE button at the bottom of the IDP working area screen. Start up P3D and you will only see 1 of your three monitors with an image. Right-click any blank part of your P3D screen (you are at an airport and looking out the window). Choose View Groups and from the flyout choose LCD Designer Pro. Your 3 screens should light up. Note: Immersive Display Pro MUST be running (you can minimize it) prior to flying in P3D to drive your 3 views. The F4 key is your TOGGLE to display your P3D Menu un-warped vs. Immersive Display Pro warping ON. With warping on, the P3D menu bar is difficult to read/use. Pressing F4 temporarily suspends IDP so you can use the P3D menu. When ready to resume flight, pressing F4 returns things to normal. You can display your 3 monitors without a menu by pressing ALT+ENTER simultaneously. You can tell if IDP is active or not because when ON all your lines will align perfectly across all 3 monitors (example runway and taxiway marking stripes). When F4 toggle is used to temporarily disable IDP, your lines will NOT be perfectly aligned. FlyElise is available as a FREE TRIAL so you can try before you buy, and their support is very good. They have step-by-step manuals for their products which are a huge help. The big thing is you do NOT use NV surround when you are using Fly-Elise Immersive Display Pro. Mark is right, you WILL take a hit running 3 windowed views off ONE graphics card and ONE PC. This is made worse if you are using a 3rd party plane such as PMDG. Driving all the instruments on the PMDG (or other 3rd party) virtual cockpit is additional overhead for the GPU and CPU. In my video you can see I have a virtual glass cockpit from Sim-Avionics on a STANDALONE (networked) all-in-one PC just below my exterior view screens. There is a 3rd PC that is driving the avionics to that standalone glass panel. That 3rd PC is running Sim-Avionics SERVER, the all-in-one is the display slave for Sim Avionics. I was put onto this solution by a buddy who built a full-on 737NG nose sim in his (huge) garage. He has the overhead and all the panels RW stuff from Boeing, and yes, it ALL works in P3D. Yes, he is a rocket scientist in real life, and his project took like 12 years and a lot of investment to build. He is using short-throw projectors in lieu of LCDs. Hope some of this helps you. I tried NV Surround, but was miserable with the distortion. Also the side panels showed motion much faster than it would be in real life during sharp turns (because of the distortion). I am VERY happy with my setup. If you watch my video, there is an apparent bit of distortion on the left and right displays because the Cellphone Camera is behind me, not placed at my actual eyepoint. In real flight, the views are STUNNING. Final thoughts - even though there are no borders showing on your displays in this methodology, you are still driving P3d in 3 (BORDERLESS) Windows, not one "giant" window as you would be in NVidia Surround mode. That is why you need TitanXP. Its a BUNCH of hard work. I had the gen-1 Titan (The follow-on to the GTX 690) KEPPLER card, and even that was NOT ENOUGH to drive my current setup. The Titan-XP (Pascal) is the call. I would not go 1080. Bonus: If you ever get involved in video editing, the Titan XP can render crazy fast in Adobe Premiere Pro CC using CUDA technology. Sony Vegas not so much, my video shown in this thread took ALL NIGHT to render in VEGAS, while in Adobe Premiere it was done in just over 1 hour. I do NOT overclock my Titan XP. You will see a SIGNIFICANT jump in frames with the Titan XP much more than an overclock or upgrade of your CPU by far! Hyperthreading OFF.
  13. Thank you, yes, it is finally what I actually see when I fly the sim! Thanks to Fly Elise-NG. The 2 products needed are LCD Designer Pro and Immersive Display Pro. The LCD product is free, and IDP is $169 USD. Best $ I -ever- spent, took me about 2 seconds to set up my 3 camera views in Prepar3D. I highly recommend it! Their support is great too! You do NOT use NV Surround View when you are using IDP- and it does best in Prepar3D v.3.3.5 or higher. It about drove me nuts trying to figure out the camera definition files manually. If you can run a metric tape measure, you simply measure all the bezels and the vertical and horizontal glass areas of your monitor, and enter the angle offset you want (I set up 60 degrees on each side monitor) and Bob's Your Relative! Finally I bought a digital protractor on A***** (Jungle River) to ensure I had the exact angles I wanted. CAKE! The big takeaway here is FAST FAST FAST camera view config files auto-creation by the Fly Elise software. YES, you could play rocket scientist and create them yourself. However if you'd rather fly than tear your hair out this is a great alternative!
  14. here's my latest video effort, with killer de-interlacing (finally got rid of the stupid rolling bars caused by frame rate mismatch between cell cam and LCD monitors)
  15. Thanks. I can only say it was painful when I tried it before, and for me, I'm satisfied with FlyElise. I acknowledge there may be other ways (possibly free) that work as well or maybe even better. I can only share what 'worked for me' and did so faster than I ever imagined. It was literally a cakewalk. Best of all, their support is speedy and concise and no charge. Their software is free for 30 days, so you can fly before you buy Cheers.
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