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Peter Lürkens

Cumulus 0.96 Release Candidate

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So that is now the final state.

Please check out and send me your feedback about bugs and so on.

best regards,

Peter

What's new in Version 0.96 RC

This version includes two new functionalities. During placement of thermals the slope data base is examined and the properties of the underneath slope patch is attached to the data set of each thermal. During thermal simulation this information is compared against the current wind and irradiation condition, and it is decided whether to activate a particular thermal or not. This function is active only, if there is a slope data base and if it is enabled.

In addition, the gtround elevation is included in the thermal data set,too , which allows later on to create a thermal in AGL altitude. A new settings parameter "Ground Elevation Effect" allows a smooth transition from the current MSL-mode to full AGL-mode. By default, CumulusX! is set to full MSL-Mode.

Edit: Attachment removed because of new release

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So that is now the final state.

Please check out and send me your feedback about bugs and so on.

Peter,

some first observations/questions:

- The BGL that has to come in the addon scenery/scenery is called cloud2t2.bgl. In earlier versions it was called cloud2t1.bgl. So I added the cloud2t2.bgl and deleted the cloud2t1.BGL. Is that oké or should the old one still stay in also?

- There seems to be something wrong in the DebugWindow. Being under a thermal and climbing, the DebugWindow tells me half the time I have thermal- and widespread-sink.

- When flying in the blue from one thermal to another effective thermal and widespread sink almost all the time give the same value (i.e when widespread says -0.23 effective thermal also says -0.23). Being in a thermal, the both parameters don't give equal values. Do these two values also add up, like the simprobe value adds up with eff.thermal value.

Maybe more later

Bert

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So far its all ok,

effective Thermal lift includes widespread sink, so if you are not beneath a thermal, they should be equal. Widespread sink is also superimposed in a thermal. As thermals normally occur only where it is positive, the result is a somewhat higher lift. Still the airmass balance is not affected.

Yes, you are right with the cloud. It actually replaces the old one. I have to update this in the doc, or switch back to the old name. Otherwise FSX may get confused because the identifier of the two is the same.

best regards,

Peter

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Peter,

I soared some time between LOWI and LOWZ with wind 180/16, cumulus 2/8 at 10.000ft and the FineAlps setting loaded and unchanged.

And I must say, it's quite more an adventure now to do that track than it was before. Being used to always have ridge lift when flying along the ridges I now have to face with the widespread sink (sometimes even -10 on the vario) on places I never had any trouble before and now I have to stay very concentrated on finding thermal- and/or ridge lift to be able to stay up.

Very much an improvement in competing with reality, I think. Congrats to you.

Bert

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Hello,

here is a patch of the release candidate, see excerpt from readme below. Feedback on fine tuning is highly welcome, in particular on the air texture feature with streeting. I would really like to get some feedback on MP compatibility, too.

I think, this could be it really, unless some serious errors pops up.

Cheers,

Peter

What's new in Version 0.961 RC2

There was a regression fixed with thermal leaning, which went to the wrong side from version 0.9.5 and later. The structured WideSpreadSink (or AirTexture) scales now with the negative WideSpreadSink parameter in the settings panel, which means you can effectively turn it off by setting it to 0 or any positive value. Still, for the thermal placement it remains effective, so you can have streeting, without the huge sink effects in between. This may be a good choice for beginners.

There was quite some fine tuning on these functions. Previously, there was some unwanted impact of Windspeed on thermal coverage (up to 30% more thermals at surface wind speed > 15 kts), which is widely compensated now.

The debug window was brushed up a bit.

Edit: Attachment deleted because of typo in local time routine. One effect is, that, occasionally, thermals do not show up after a fresh start of FSX, when selecting a flight from the free flight page. Also, MP compatibility was compromised, probably. See below.

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Peter,

On the fist look the widespread sink is less extreme than in the earlier version, am I right? I like this one better I think. Although the vario is a bit shaky when I am in widespread lift.

Would flying a square be a good test plan? More specific:

- Load finealps setting in cumulusx!-configuration.

- Choose a flat area, so there is no influence from simprobe (I take EHVB as starting point). Set cumulus to 2/8 layer at 6.000-6.500, wind 270/16kts, season summer, time 11.50 local time.

- slew up to about 3.000ft and find yourself a position where there is some widespred lift. Set course to 90degrees, keep flying downwind and check if your are staying in street lift (thermals and widespread lift every now and then). Keep at that course for about 25 to 50 miles.

- now set course to 360 and check if you fly through areas of widespread sink and widespread lift. Keep flying that course for about 25-50 miles (slew up again to 3000 ft if you come too low).

- next, in an area with widespread lift set course to 270 and keep flying upwind the same distance as you flew downwind. Check if you keep staying in street lift.

- finally, when in widespread lift, fly back home, course 170 and experience if you are in widespread sink and lift every now and then.

Bert

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Sorry for the inconvenience, but I found another (minor) problem, (s.a.).

It seems, that I do not have enough time for testing.

Please proceed with the patch below.

Cheers,

Peter

Edit: Attachment removed because of new release.

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Peter,

Today I tested the latest version with settings as described above.

I took off from EHTE, slewed to 4500ft and set course to EHSB (upwind about 30NM). I managed to find a street and was able to stay up all the way without circling, max sink about 1000ft. Near EHSB I was at 4000ft.

I then thermalled up to 5500ft and set course to EHLE (about 25 NM north). I experienced areas with widespread sink and lift, and had to thermal some times to stay up high. Arrived above EHLE at 2500ft. Then back to EHTE (course 110). I took the advantage of crossing some streets and only had to use one thermal to get safe back to EHTE.

It was a great experience. The air-texture is very simular to real life. The leaning of the thermals was on the right side of the thermal cloud. When in top-down mode I saw some patterns of thermals that sure looked like streets to me (wind 270/16, thermal streets in east-west direction of course)

One other thing though: with FSX in full screen mode, I clicked the addon option and then cumulusx!->main screen. What happened was that FSX dissapeared from the screen and the main screen of cumulusx appeared. When I closed the main screen, the entire screen went black and the only thing I could do, was to press ESC and FSX re-appeared with the screen that asks "do you want to end this flight"", "continue flying" or "analyze". Quiting the flight brought me back to the opening screen. When I clicked "fly now" to restart the flight again the screen went back to black. The only thing I could do was to quit FSX and restart FSX.

It was the first time I opened the cumulusX! screen this way, so I don't know if it was the same in earlier versions. Untill now I opened the CumulusX! screen after I set FSX in windowed mode and that works fine.

Nevertheless, I am more than satisfied with this latest version.

Bert

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I opened a multiplayer session in the adventures lobby called Soar over Holland.

Edit***** the session closed at 0:30 local time. No flying visitors.

Bert

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Again I opened a multiplayer session in the adventures lobby called Soar over Holland.

Edit****The session was closed at 23:00 local time. Peter joined me for the last half hour. We experienced that the cumulus clouds were on the same spot. We even climbed in the same thermal for a while. Very realistic. Again I had a lot of fun.

Bert

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great bit of testing - well done.

Ian

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Peter, I was slope soaring in the Dillingham, HI area and noticed that there were cumulus clouds/thermals over the ocean. Was your fix for where thermals are not located just inland lakes, or all water types? CumulusX! is working great otherwise.

sf4JC

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Hi Sean,

if you are using the latest release it should not happen. Still, Cx!' approach is to chek the exact spot under a thermal before activating is and making it visible. So the smallest amount of land is sufficient to admit a thermal.

Another reason might be, that because of unknown reasons, the ground below the thermal is not tagged as water at all.

In these cases, I'm afraid, that we'll have to live with them.

I will have a look into it, anyway.

best regards,

Peter

Edit: Hm, I cannot produce the effect. Are you possibly using add-on scenery?

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Peter, I was slope soaring in the Dillingham, HI area and noticed that there were cumulus clouds/thermals over the ocean. Was your fix for where thermals are not located just inland lakes, or all water types? CumulusX! is working great otherwise.

sf4JC

Could it be you saw the default FSX cumulus clouds/thermals over the ocean, the other day when I flew over the west of Holland I saw that the default FSX-thermals were above the North Sea, but no CumulusX!-clouds. The CumulusX!-clouds stopped right above the beach. (oke, NorthSea is not an ocean, but it's still a lot of water though :winks:)

Bert

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Peter, I am using the Hawaii 10m Terrain Mesh from Simviation's Flight Simulator FSX Freeware Global Terrain Mesh Project page. So maybe that's it, cause I am seeing other thermals besides the FSX default ones in the area.

sf4JC (Scott)

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My bet is they are the FSX default thermals. Slew over to one and see if it's super-strong and very high. I'm not sure how else to distinguish them from CumulusX! thermals.

Ian

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So here is probably the final release as a full archive.

Whats new in 0.9.6.4 RC4

* Air texture slightly modified to achieve downwind movement of texture

* SlopeDataBaseTool Integrated in CumulusX! tools menu

* Performance optimisation, bug in air texture timing behaviour corrected

* Extensively reworked manual

Cheers,

Peter

Edit: Different from the readme this is a full release.

Edit: Attachment removed because of final release.

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So here is probably the final release as a full archive.

Whats new in 0.9.6.4 RC4

* Air texture slightly modified to achieve downwind movement of texture

* SlopeDataBaseTool Integrated in CumulusX! tools menu

* Performance optimisation, bug in air texture timing behaviour corrected

* Extensively reworked manual

Cheers,

Peter

Edit: Different from the readme this is a full release.

Hi Peter,

great to hear... or read... i'll download and test it as soon as possible.

BTW: Bert and me, we had a little flight with the previous version some nights ago. It was great fun again and we didn't encouter any problems so far.

PS: You have mail ;)

:cheers2: Dirk.

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Peter,

I flew solo for more than an hour in multiplayer mode near SION with your latest RC-version and experienced no problems.

Dirk joined me after that and for about ten inutes everything was oke, until we started to experiment with a project he is working on. Then my computer started stuttering (went to idle for a couple of minutes and finally the only thing I could do to move was keep in slew mode) and Dirk left and rejoined the session a few times. I had to stop the session, without being able to speak to Dirk, so I don't know what went wrong on his side. But I think it had to do with his project.

BTW: The manual tells the story very well. Though I saw a minor typo in it. Just above figure 8 and 9 you explain that the wind direction in figure 9 is 330 degrees. I think it must be 30 degrees, no? Otherwise the text under figure 9 must be 330 degrees also.

Bert

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For the purposes of CumulusX! prod version 1.0 and sim_probe prod version 2.0 can't we aim for a combined package ?

I'm only talking about this kind of thing, which we'd call CumulusX.zip or whatever, although I'd improve the readme.txt so it at least it mentions sim_probe:

EDIT **attachment removed**

If the answers no don't worry I'll remove the attachment.

Ian

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Hi Ian,

sorry, I was'nt actually aware that by slimming the readme, the reference to sim probe got lost, that was not my intention. I propose to include it under "Requirements" what would be the logical place to my understanding.

The last days I did some consideration about the combination of the packages, and I truly hope that you don't mind, if I say that Iwould prefer to keep the packages separate.

To be clear, that is not because that all of a sudden I'm not supporting sim_probe anymore, but for responsibility reasons. By the combination of the packages, I might be considered responsible not only for the CumulusX! part but for the Sim_Probe part as well, and I think this should clearly stay with the original Author.

Nevertheless, I would include direct links to your web site to make Sim_Probe directly referenced from the CumulusX! documentation and also the readme.

What is your opinion?

best regards,

Peter

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Nevertheless, I would include direct links to your web site to make Sim_Probe directly referenced from the CumulusX! documentation and also the readme.

What is your opinion?

That sounds fine to me - at least when users download your package they'll be aware of sim_probe. I'm of the view that when CumulusX! reaches prod status, we should promote it on the various sites, but we *don't* need to independently promote sim_probe. This will keep the user understanding simple.

In a future release of FSX, FSY, FSZ, whatever, there may be a simple simconnect call to apply lift/sink to the user aircraft, and at that point sim_probe and CumulusX! can co-exist but sim_probe will no longer be dependent upon CumulusX!. A renamed sim_probe (RidgeLiftX! anyone?) could be separately 'marketed' then.

Regards,

Ian

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