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Peter Lürkens

CumulusX!

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So now, the curtain rises and the first public alpha release of a soaring tool for FSX is out. Currently it allows ridge-soaring with the help of existing CCS2004-"-.slo"-files.

Check out the readme.txt.

I'm interested in your feedback.

Cheers,

Peter

Edit: typos, attachment removed for final release.

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So now, the curtain rises and the first public alpha release of a soaring tool for FSX is out. Currently it allows ridge-soaring with the help of existing CCS2004-"-.slo"-files.

Check out the readme.txt.

I'm interested in your feedback.

Cheers,

Peter

Edit: typos

This is great news indeed!! You are a life saver. :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

I will check it out on the Andes. But first I have to install the FS Genesis mesh. It will take me a week or two to get my household chores out of the way and be in a position to spend some time with it.

I really appreciate your efforts here!

Cheers, :smiles:

Don

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THANKS Peter! I will hopefully be able to give some preliminary results on how it works for me by the end of the day, or by the end of the day tomarrow.

Thanks again,

sf4JC

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Do you have to have the FSX version of FSPUIC installed to get CumulusX to work?

Nope. However, if you want to make scans with CCS2004, you will need FSUIPC 4. But I have no idea if CCS2004' registration will extend also to FSUIPC 4. I myself got me a registered copy of FSUIPC4 earlier this year.

I consider to realise a scanning feature later on, or an import option for geotiff files or something similar. Priorities are currently basic functionality.

In the meantime I found a few glitches in the CumulusX, not anything to worry on now. If you do a tow, the towplane is a bit jerky. I'm on it already and achieved some improvements, but I'm afraid that it could not be solved totally.

There is almost no exception catched, so if anything goes wrong, CumulusX stops working with some cryptic error message. It will happen pretty sure, when you soar out of the covered area, and a .slo-file is not found. I will fix it in the next beta.

best regards,

Peter

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I finally got to sit down for a little time today to experiment, and I think I added too many variables that could have been the problem. I should have probably kept it simple, but I decided to try the FS2004 Mifflin race files to help with setting up a good wind in the right direction at the right speed. By the time I finished, I was stumped. There are a number of reasons why it didn't quite work in that area. One being, that I'm still inexperienced in slope soaring.

I did soar a little around the Queenstown area from another FS2004 contest, and even though I had trouble finding lift, I got good lift when I found it. I still need more practice. I believe I may need to install FS2004 on the main computer again to see what the differences are if there is any.

Peter, can you tell us what the differences may be (if there are any) between how CumulusX and CCS2004 uses these .slo files?

sf4JC

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Peter, can you tell us what the differences may be (if there are any) between how CumulusX and CCS2004 uses these .slo files?

As I have no insight in Eric's code I can only make assumptions. Very likely the vertical lift profile is different. At the time, the lift starts straight from the ground and remains constant until 500 m AGL. Then it decays linearily until 1000 m AGL where it disappears. There is currently no turbulence other than from the native FSX weather system. The parameters "slope lift scalar", "slope lift height", "air texture intensity" are hard-coded or not implemented. The total thermal stuff is not implemented.

Also the mechanism used for realising the ridge lift is totally different from CCS2004, which leads to the absence of pitch and speed reactions when entering or leaving lift areas.

BTW: I tested the Gap/Sisteron region so far. If lift is not working in the western/southern hemisphere, please let mo know. I would have to recheck the position-to-slope-file-breakdown.

regards,

Peter

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.......... At the time, the lift starts straight from the ground and remains constant until 500 m AGL. Then it decays linearily until 1000 m AGL where it disappears.

regards,

Peter

Peter,

Would it be possible to set CumulusX so that the user can define the max altitude AGL of constant lift, and also max altitude AGL where lift=0? Where I fly in the Andes constant lift to 500 meters is not really enough, nor is the 1000 meters of max altitude of lift. This addition would be very nice.

Cheers :smiles:

Don

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I could, though I have no means yet to remember it for a next session. Though, I have some preference for the least number of adjustable parameters, for two reasons. First, it should be most simple to get started. Second, when flying together everybody should face the same conditions. If there are to many adjustable parameters it will be either very tedious to realise the same conditions or there remain constant dsicrepancies between the conditions of the participants. It would be best if the program comes to a reasonable conclusion on its own. At the end, the real weather isn't adjustable, too. I have already a certain idea.

I'll put in the to-do list. Probably I will have a next beta ready in a few days.

best regards,

Peter

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I'll put in the to-do list. Probably I will have a next beta ready in a few days.

best regards,

Peter

Thank you very much Peter. This will make it possible to soar the Andes in a much more realistic way.

Cheers,

Don

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Here is a new test release, with a few improvements. Please look at the readme.

best regards,

Peter

Edit: Attachment removed because of final release

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Thanks Peter! I'll keep at it, though, I feel like I'm having trouble with finding the right ridges to soar. The ridges/slopes that I would think should have lift don't or at best is minimal and not keeping me afloat. So I tried Mt. Cook since I remembered that the Preperatory Package for the FS2004 NZ races had a file that started a person out at the bottom. In fs2004 I remembered getting all the way to the top, but with FSX I was stuggling at the bottom trying to find a slope to get me going up. So I thought I would start from the top to see if my slope files were corrupted or something, and to my surprise, I got plenty of slope soaring at the top. So I believe my slope files are ok, it could just be that I'm getting turned around and I don't know which direction is which. For help on knowing where the wind is coming from and at what speed, I have that dislayed on the top left of my screen, along with what direction I'm pointing in and a few other helpful bits of data.

To help me, I try to always use slopes that are at least 45-90 degrees from the wind. So if the wind is coming from 360, I try to follow slopes that are basically perpendicular to the wind.

I tried out the 3rd race file from the NZ races, and there was a problem in the middle somewhere at the beginning of the course before even getting to the mountains. I started sinking fast and it was never ending. I was fiddling with something at the time, so I don't know if I caused the software to malfunction or what I did. Just thought I'd let you know.

How is everyone that has downloaded CumulusX doing so far? I really enjoy it when I find lift, but that's just it, I'm still a beginner at slope soaring so I sometimes don't look in the right places for lift I guess. Keep up the good work Peter!

sf4JC

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Hi ev'rybody. I'm making progress. Thanks to the help of sf4jc by his observation that the nzrace was not working well, I dug into it and found a stupid bug in the coordinate mapping.

Another misconception was the meaning of the slope-factor, which apparently is the slope-angle rather than a proportional factor for the vertical wind component. The results into stronger lift at flatter slopes.

So here is alpha 3.

best regards,

Peter

Edit: Attachment removed because of final release

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Hi Peter,

I installed FS Genesis mesh for FSX, made a backup copy of the DG808 panal, installed FS CumulusX 03 as directed, copied my .slo files to the folder containing Cumulus.exe, started FSX in a window mode, and then looked for a way to start CumulusX within FSX. Finding no way to do it I created a shortcut to CumulusX.exe to my desktop. After starting FSX in windowed and paused mode, I double clicked on the Cumulus icon and got the following message......"The application failed to initilize properly(0xc0000135). Click on okay to terminate application." I must be doing something stupid here. I have over 735 .slo files. Could this be a factor?

Help!

Don

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Hi Peter,

I have FSX Delux with SP1 installed. I am not sure if I have .NET 2.0 runtime libraery. I will check first thing in the morning. I am off to bed.

zzzzzzzzzz :smiles:

Don

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Edit: It seems that you still need .NET 2.0 runtime library. Somehow I thought it would be there automatically with FSX. It's available from Windows Update. Check it out here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;displaylang=en

Peter,

I installed ".NET 2.0 runtime library". I started FSX and tried to activate CumlusX and got this.

I noticed there is a NET 3.0 runtime library. Should I have installed the 3.0 version?

Don

post-461-1193686135.jpg

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I noticed there is a NET 3.0 runtime library. Should I have installed the 3.0 version?

Probably not, I don't have it either. If I would have compiled it with a Visual Studio 2005 SP1 that could be a problem., but the Express Edition is probaly not involved.

It sounds more like a software bug.

Did this happen immediately or after a while? What was your exact position and which set of slope-files was active?

Sorry about your problems, but alpha is always an issue and the help of independent testers (or should I say victims?) is invaluable.

Actually on my site it has been running for hours in the meantime, without obvious problems.

best regards,

Peter

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It sounds more like a software bug.

Did this happen immediately or after a while? What was your exact position and which set of slope-files was active?

Sorry about your problems, but alpha is always an issue and the help of independent testers (or should I say victims?) is invaluable.

Actually on my site it has been running for hours in the meantime, without obvious problems.

best regards,

Peter

Peter,

The message occured immediately upon attempting to open CumulusX.

My co-ordinates and flight informatuion were..........(see insert)

ccs_soar_ranch_andes_sa_4x4..... This is the slope file set being used. The .slo files are a copy of the ones presently being used in FS9 and they are working fine so I know they are okay.

Cheers :sideways:

Don

post-461-1193697510.jpg

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Hey Don, I forgot to mention that I have over 2000 .slo files in my folder, so I wouldn't necessarily say the number of files are the problem yet. And is the mesh your talking about terrain mesh or photoreal mesh? Also, if it's terrain mesh, do you know if FS2004 mesh works inside FSX?

Peter, I'm having a much better time with CumulusX03. Made it up to Mt. Cook and back in 12 min with Duo Discus X. I had to slow myself down several times on the way down so as to not enter overspeed warning.

sf4JC

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Yes, after my post I remembered being able to read, so I got the position already and I assumed the soar-ranch files which I got me fresh from AVSIM. I slewed to your position and started CumulusX, which worked immediately as intended.

I slewed and flew around a while with no problems.

One thing I found in the code still was a forgotten debug-code line, which produced an information on the VS console, but was not effective in standalone operation. I removed it and you can give it new try.

Could you collect some more information from the error message box, some log- or xml-file or so?

regards,

Peter

Edit: The the VS2005 SP1 is definitely not relevant, since it affects C++ programs only, and not VB.NET.

Edit: Attachment removed because of final release

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The message occured immediately upon attempting to open CumulusX.

I understand, that the CumulusX main window didn't even become visible. Since you can't have FSX connected yet (it's always manually), slope-files are not involved yet. Actually, it should happen also, with FSX not running at all.

Could you try out if one of the previous releases is starting properly? Do you have a firewall, other than the native from windows XP installed? You might also consider to send the error report to MS. If there is a versioning problem, there might be a useful return answer.

Scott, apparently you could start the program?

I believe this sort of message box usually appears when using uninitialized pointers or producing memory access errors, like out-of-bound index.

regards,

Peter

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Yes Peter, it worked great! I totally enjoyed it, in fact, if it wasn't for me getting things done around the house and also our 10 month old son, I would have made a racing course out of it and done a few more "laps".

I will surely keep going, on to CumulusX031!

sf4JC

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Hello Guys,

time to say hello.

As beeing involved in software development every working day, I thought I probably might be able to help Peter with some further information. That's just if he want's another alpha-tester.

My only problem is that I left out some versions of MSFS (think it was FS3 to FSX). I enjoy soaring around in FSX, usually in multiplayer mode with some fellows from all over the world. I think that's one great new feature. Okay, I must admit, for me everything is new and obviously great too.

Enough. Peter aka Funky, if you would like me to test, let me know.

Best Regards from Germany,

Dirk

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Welcome to the site DirkBoehm! I would say go ahead and download the latest CumulusX file (CumulusX031). I'm sure Peter would welcome more input on what's working and what's not, maybe even with programming concerns if there is any.

And just a quick question for Peter. When the software gets released after all the alpha and beta testing, will it be able to be minimized off the desktop. I'm enjoying the software so much that I don't even recognize if it's causing a big hit (or any hit at all) on FPS. I know CCS2004 would minimize or something after launching it. Seems like if 2 or more programs are running at the same time, it's better to have one of them minimized like using FreeTrack. Is this even a problem that faces your program? Just wondering.

sf4JC

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