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CumulusX! + sim_probe: flying experience

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I'd really like to hear more about the multi-player flying experience from yesterday, plus any other comments about flying with CumulusX! and sim_probe. For *bug* reports (or feature requests) can I please ask they're kept to the CumulusX! and sim_probe feedback threads, or this one will get clogged up.

Where was the multi-player flight from yesterday, and how did it go?

Was anyone using TrackIR? I have that and suspect it would be particularly useful for multi-player soaring because you have to look around more, but I've never tried it.

Did you watch other gliders attempt jumps across gaps? I would expect the pilot still in the ridge lift would see the gap-jumping pilot apparently sink like a rock, but I'm interested to know if you saw that.

Did anyone dump water & did the others see the trail, in real life it makes a huge difference in ridge-running performance and I'd be interested to see what it's like being dry and trying to follow someone full of ballast.

I suspect my ridge lift is too reliable... i.e. with a given wind and a given terrain the ridge may be strong or weak, but you can fairly reliably guess whether you're going to survive or not. In real life the ridge lift is a bit patchy so you can't jump gaps with such confidence. I could introduce into the model a pseudo-random component to the lift which is geographically and chronologically repeatable and so usable in multiplayer, i.e. on a perfectly regular ridge with a constant wind the lift at a given height wouldn't be constant but would have weaker patches at certain times. I don't think this should be done for the first prod version but I'm thinking about it for the future. Any thoughts?

Which other airfields with which weather make good ridge soaring flights? Ridge Soaring Gliderport in Pennsylvania with the wind at say 18 knots from the NorthWest should be tried if you haven't already. Or from Mifflin check this out:

http://mifflin.soaringweb.net/ridge.htm

Ian

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I was actually flying in that area this morning using real-world weather in FSHost. I was actually on someone elses server doing this. Wind was less than that, it was from 280@12 at around 2400-3000 feet.

I would also like to know more about yesterdays flight. Like, did you syncronize times between all of you? Were you in an area and season for thermals?

sf4JC

EDIT: Sorry, the Ridge Soaring airport area.

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I'd really like to hear more about the multi-player flying experience from yesterday, plus any other comments about flying with CumulusX! and sim_probe. For *bug* reports (or feature requests) can I please ask they're kept to the CumulusX! and sim_probe feedback threads, or this one will get clogged up.

Where was the multi-player flight from yesterday, and how did it go?

Yesterday we just fooled around a bit near SION (LSGS) at 21 june 2008 start-time 11.50 local time, with wind North 18 to 20 kts, a cumulus cloud layer at 10.000ft and visiblility set to 30NM.

Sion is a good place to start experimenting, for it has medium to rather steep slopes around the airfield. The nearest gives you ridge lift up to about 7.500ft. Peter reported that he came up to 10.000ft.

We found out that the host (that was me yesterday) sets time and weather and that cannot be changed by the individual members during session.

We checked our microphones and evaluated the apperence of the cumulusX! clouds, and found out that each member gets his own random set of CX-clouds.

We even got a visit from a French-speaking visitor which we explained what we were testing (and advised hem to visit virtualsoaring.com of course)

Was anyone using TrackIR? I have that and suspect it would be particularly useful for multi-player soaring because you have to look around more, but I've never tried it.

Not that I know of

Did you watch other gliders attempt jumps across gaps? I would expect the pilot still in the ridge lift would see the gap-jumping pilot apparently sink like a rock, but I'm interested to know if you saw that.

The valley SION is in is surrounded by hills with relative lower land inbetween. So its flying from hillside to hillside and when one is behind the other, you can see him go up and down.

Did anyone dump water & did the others see the trail, in real life it makes a huge difference in ridge-running performance and I'd be interested to see what it's like being dry and trying to follow someone full of ballast.

No, that's something for the next session then.

Bert

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I forgot to mention, I believe Peter may still have FreeTrack, which is basically TrackIR for a lot less money ($15 and a freely downloadable program). I use FreeTrack as well, and I hope I never have to go back to panning view with the joystick.

sf4JC

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Sion looks pretty interesting in google earth, kind of in the same category as Zell am See. I measured Sion to Zell am See - 431km. Have you flown that ?? That would be impressive stuff.

Ian

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Near Sion the slopes are somewhat steeper that at Zell am See. And yes, I flew that several times (in FSX). It's an interesting trip. The first 60NM is easy and gives you enough times to gain height. You need that, because after about 60NM one has to cross some high level area's (up to 9.500ft). And around Innsbrück (LOWI) its pretty hard to stay around 7.000 ft, which you will need to make it to the valley that brings you to LOWZ. So far I have only maneged it from Sion to LOWZ with wind North. From LOWZ to Sion I didn't make it yet, because there wasno ridge- or thermal-lift were I needed it.

Bert

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Did anyone dump water & did the others see the trail, in real life it makes a huge difference in ridge-running performance and I'd be interested to see what it's like being dry and trying to follow someone full of ballast.

Yesterday Dirk and I did the "dump water-"trick. Too bad, Ian, the trail is not seen by the other pilots. There was however a noticable difference in flying with water and without it. Without water you can keep flying at lower speeds and you have to push the stick further to fly at higher speed. And the lift is more effective, because the glider's weight is lower.

Bert

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Yesterday Dirk and I did the "dump water-"trick. Too bad, Ian, the trail is not seen by the other pilots. There was however a noticable difference in flying with water and without it. Without water you can keep flying at lower speeds and you have to push the stick further to fly at higher speed. And the lift is more effective, because the glider's weight is lower.

Bert

... but - as expected - the performance at higher speeds (more than 70 kn) is much better with water in your wings... or beer, that doesn't matter :cheers2:

However, we had a great time up there yesterday.

Hope to see you all gliding one single ridge

Dirk

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Which other airfields with which weather make good ridge soaring flights? Ridge Soaring Gliderport in Pennsylvania with the wind at say 18 knots from the NorthWest should be tried if you haven't already. Or from Mifflin check this out:

http://mifflin.soaringweb.net/ridge.htm

I visited the Mifflin area today and I must say: it's quit a different discipline than soaring in the Alps, and it has it's own charm. Climbing till just above the top of the ridges and stay there for many miles, just at between 500 and 900 meters altitude and gliding many kilometers with the vario between -0.5 and 0.5 leveled at the same height (that is: if you can find in the narrow band of lift above the ridge and succeed to stay on top of that lift-area). And in the meantime looking around into the widespreaded area around you. And of course because of the relative low altitudes the margins of error are much smaller than in the Alps.

Great tip Ian, thanks.

Bert

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However, we had a great time up there yesterday.

Hope to see you all gliding one single ridge

Dirk

Maybe we should exchange the time-differences of the places where we live, compared to UTC. With that we possibly can pick a suitable time for everyone of us to open a multi session.

Here is mine: (and Dirk's and Peters) UTC+2hrs

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Maybe we should exchange the time-differences of the places where we live, compared to UTC. With that we possibly can pick a suitable time for everyone of us to open a multi session.

Here is mine: (and Dirk's and Peters) UTC+2hrs

Mine is UTC/GMT-06:00

Scott

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I'm UTC (Cambridge, UK). Evenings will often be ok for me, except 24-hours notice will help me spot the 'fly-in' is on. We need a different thread where we advertise multiplay (or a forum even?). It would also help if we had a consistent way of finding if there's a soaring server live, e.g. common naming. I have a *real* problem getting into the gamespy lobby 'Free Flight'. Is it possible to agree to use 'Adventures' or something?

It's great reading about the actual flying experiences - I tried the Sion -- Zell am See route but after the 'easy' 60nm I flew into a dead-end valley and made a forced landing (i.e. a crash I walked away from - I wouldn't have liked to retrieve the glider though). The scenery is interesting though, particularly in the Sion valley.

Bert - how do you navigate such long distances without taking a wrong turn? Maybe I should have created a flight plan.

Flying the ridges in the NE USA is a particular experience - you're always potentially a minute away from a landout but you can cover many hundreds of miles. The art is learning how to jump the gaps, so you accumulate 'local knowledge' applicable to each gap as you extend your reach. For FSX the low narrow ridges keep the pilots together, which is probably a good thing.

Ian

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It would also help if we had a consistent way of finding if there's a soaring server live, e.g. common naming.

I just look of the type of airplane hosts are flying. Nine out of ten time, when the host is flying a glider, it's a soaring session.

I have a *real* problem getting into the gamespy lobby 'Free Flight'. Is it possible to agree to use 'Adventures' or something?
Good idea if that works, can you get into that lobby more easely?

I tried the Sion -- Zell am See route but after the 'easy' 60nm I flew into a dead-end valley and made a forced landing (i.e. a crash I walked away from - I wouldn't have liked to retrieve the glider though). The scenery is interesting though, particularly in the Sion valley.
With the wind set to North you cannot go straight on after the 60NM easy part. Just before the end of the valley there is an airport. Just after the airport you have to go to the right (south) and after about one or two miles you coss the high land (you have to be above 9.500ft there) and from there it goes down and East again. But I agree, its a tricky area there, the other day Dirk and I passed that part succesfully to both haveing to land out about 15NM further on the track.

Bert - how do you navigate such long distances without taking a wrong turn? Maybe I should have created a flight plan.

I set a waypoint in my GPS of my location of destination and set the GPS into terrain mode. The color differences tell me where the valleys are. And from time to time I look at the map (world->map) to get a closer look of the area. And just try different routes to achieve my goals.

Flying the ridges in the NE USA is a particular experience - you're always potentially a minute away from a landout but you can cover many hundreds of miles. The art is learning how to jump the gaps, so you accumulate 'local knowledge' applicable to each gap as you extend your reach.

The same goes for flying in the Alps or any area one wants to explore.

Bert

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can you get into that lobby more easely?

LOL I'm in good company... there are thousands of users who struggle to connect via gamespy / FSX - when you have the 'logged in at another computer' bug you just have to browse the forums to find out how widespread it is. The effect is you get immediately kicked out after connecting, but after multiple (dozen+) attempts the connection works. The consensus is the problem is worst in the 'free flight' lobby, and that certainly seems the case to me. Once I connect to a FSX multiplayer server I have no problems at all.

Ian

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LOL I'm in good company... there are thousands of users who struggle to connect via gamespy / FSX - when you have the 'logged in at another computer' bug you just have to browse the forums to find out how widespread it is. The effect is you get immediately kicked out after connecting, but after multiple (dozen+) attempts the connection works. The consensus is the problem is worst in the 'free flight' lobby, and that certainly seems the case to me. Once I connect to a FSX multiplayer server I have no problems at all.

Ian

Yes, I am familiair to that phenomen :confused2: . Yesterday I read a workaround at some forum. Once connected to gamespy :respect: go to another lobby than the "free flight" and exit FSX. The next time you connect to MP-gamespy the MP-engine ignores the freeflight lobby but instead it opens the one you visited the last time. I did this trick yesterday and never got kicked out since (so far).

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instead it opens the one you visited the last time.

yes I rely on this trick big-time, but if I visit the free-flight lobby it can still kick me out then.

thanks...

Ian

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yes I rely on this trick big-time.

thanks...

No thanks, but don't tell anyone, otherwise in no time all the lobbies are full and we will be stuck with the same problem again.

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No thanks, but don't tell anyone, otherwise in no time all the lobbies are full and we will be stuck with the same problem again.

Hello SOAR-pals,

I tried out the "workaround" yesterday, too. And "YES" it seems to work for me, but "NO", I can't accept that this is what we have to live with.

Sure, we can agree with "Adventures"-Lobby but as I like to fly a 'normal' session with a Prop and ATC from time to time, I still would have to switch to FreeFlight-Lobby with all the consequencies (get kicked out, see that senseless error-message AND having to log in to FreeFlight-Lobby the next time with the same problems to get back to Adventures).

Me personally I type my password into a Textfile, copy it and log in to Gamespy with Ctrl-V -> Return -> Return -> Ctrl-V .... not funny but the only way until all my favorite sessions switch to other lobbies.

I think we (not only SOAR, but the whole FSx-community) should write an open letter to ACES, Microsoft and Gamespy. But as there are so many different forums, virtual airlines, newsgroups etc. it would be difficult to find the most common place for publicising this open letters.

Dirk.

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I know this has probably, even most likely been done, but are you guys sure your firewall/antivirus/internet security, AND router if you have one, has all of the ports open...

23456

2300-2400

6073

23432

27900

28900

29900

29901

These are the ports that I have open anyway for just FSX I think. Whenever I am connected through FSX Multiplayer/GameSpy, I have never gotten ejected, but it could be the time of day I was usually online. At present, I am mostly using FSHost, but I will try GameSpy more to see if I have trouble with these settings.

sf4JC

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I have never gotten ejected

I can check these settings but I'm very dubious the problems are local to my machine because I *do* get in after a few attempts - with port blocking you'd think it would be a straight yes/no.

Another 'trick' mentioned elsewhere is to log in to gamespy.com via their web page, rather than through FSX, but I haven't tested this.

Ian

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Welp, I got ejected while paging through the categories, the last one I tried to enter was FreeFlight. Also, I started a session and was online for 45 minutes or so, but when I exited, it ejected me as well.

sf4JC

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Another 'trick' mentioned elsewhere is to log in to gamespy.com via their web page, rather than through FSX, but I haven't tested this.

I checked this trick too and I got negative results.

Bert

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Right - I've been flying with CumulsX! 0.92 and Sim_probe 1.50 for quite a few hours now and it's been smooooth, and haven't heard any reports of particularly scary issues on here. So for sim_probe at any rate I'm working on the basis that beta version 1.50 is going to be the prod version 2.0 ...

Ian

**EDIT ** PS I've been flying in multiplayer and hosting a session as well, and certainly the ridge lift part is fine. As many servers have 'real weather' and we're currently in January, thermals aren't about much. We really need a way of reliably finding a server with other glider pilots with CumulusX!. How about we *always* host in 'Adventures', and *always* begin the session name with "SOAR" ?

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As many servers have 'real weather' and we're currently in January, thermals aren't about much.

In gamespy the host can set the season/date and weather conditions (wind, visibility and many other options and cumuluslayer-heights) when starting the session. Dirk and I recently flew in full summer.

We really need a way of reliably finding a server with other glider pilots with CumulusX!. How about we *always* host in 'Adventures', and *always* begin the session name with "SOAR" ?

Always in "Adventures" and begin the name with "SOAR" is oke with me.

Bert

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