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Hodge7

Cumulus X lying on the ground

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I would greatly appreciate help on a problem I am having with CumulusX, I will list the characteristics to keep it succinct:

I have installed Cumulus x (latest version I think it is 1.0) and Simprobe. I am set to unblue

Mifflin Day 1 mission:

Start - thermals everywhere for the first 3minutes then white Cumulusx looking stuff appears on the ground in patches where I assume thermals may have been.

4 minute mark - thermals in sky are starting to thin out and I can see them disappearing before my eyes until within 15 sec no thermals at all.

26 min mark - thermals suddenly appear everywhere again and 1min later start disappearing and approx 15 seconds later are all gone.

No more thermals at all for the rest of the mission. I am then flying on simprobe alone.

Cumulus X window shows lift enables but I havent put up the debug window yet.

I am really foxed by this one particularly the land overlay by Cumulus X

Question...... Is it meant to be that Cumx parameters can be adjusted ie amount and density of lift etc for missions. I am able to fully adjust the parameters and they are active in the mission. (I would have thought for a level playing field cumx parameters would be locked to a default so everyone has the same situation). For example I tried maxing out all the parameters to create the most favourable situation for soaring and it responded I think correctly with 10kt lift and big thermals everywhere but only for the first 3 min and 1 min or so later on then nothing.

I have gone back through the installation and it appears ok but Ive obviously stuffed something up!

Any insights greatly appreciated

Hodge

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Hi Hodge,

I have not yet tried out the mission, so it can well be, that thermals disappearing is by design of the mission. Perhaps Ian could comment on that. CumulusX! responds to the weather, season and time of day conditions and there is no way for the user to change that.

You are right in assuming, that the overall characteristics of the thermal situation can be changed by the user, despite the design of the mission, so you may have more or less strong thermals or more of them (if there are any at all, see above). It may be considered as a cheat opportunity, but we hope, that honest competitors will do it the way it was supplied by the task and mission designer. If not, one would possible lead the task roster, but will never know, if this was by flying or by cheating skills (too bad). Unfortunately, an open system like FSX takes much more effort to seal all potential ways to get an unsporty advantage, than a freeware designer can bring.

best regards,

Peter

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Nah there's NO coding in the mission specific to lift at all - Just a simple WX file and I'm relying entirely on cumulusX autothermals and sim_probe lift. The weather is set to summer at around 1pm in Pennsylvania with maybe 6000 foot cloudbase (something like that anyway) with a small amount of Cu and wind 17 knots from the NW. It's the same WX file I've used in free flight many times without problems.

We've got a few of us flying the mission fine, although it does seem generally to go blue, but at times many Cu's pop into visibility. According to the debug window there are hundreds of thermals and they work fine for me - in other words I think CumulusX is running normally.

When Hodge says 'no thermals' it's not clear whether he means the clouds or the actual thermals - the debug window would give clues. Plus I *think* he's talking about the CumulusX cloud bitmap being on the ground, which is a new one on me.

Also I'm not certain Hodge doesn't have another weather add-on running.

cheers

Ian

**edit** Hodge a screenshot of the 'clouds on the ground' would help I think...

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Thanks for the comments guys, just a couple of points:

I have no scenery or weather add ons at this stage and once the visual thermal clouds disappear I have experienced no thermal lift at all.

The white stuff on the ground has some of the default scenery (trees etc) sticking through it and is shaped like a general white with shards of white at the edges similar to the cumulux x shapes in the sky.

I will investigate further tonight with the debugger etc

Hodge

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Well Id like to thank you Peter and Ian for your input; Cumulus x and Simprobe work fine, it was just the idiot at this end who pushed the wrong button during Cumulus x installation.

The install was fine but when I went to the scenery folder through FSX I must have clicked on cancel instead of OK! The latter of course rebuilds the scenery database and the wierd results were a result of not doing that.

So its back to Mifflin Day 1 to do some serious flying!

thanks again

Hodge

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Whoops,

Well I thought I had solved my issues with cumulusx but no, the problems have not gone away.

I have .net 3.5 installed on my machine as well as 2.0 - Is it possible that is affecting anything. I also when I reinstalled recently loaded SP3 for XP. Im really grasping at straws now - I was flying along and some of the time cumulux clouds were lying on the ground again and when they were not they were extremely patchy in terms of lift - I have not found a thermal that I can circle in yet using the default configuration. The only thing I can think of now is to try another uninstall and reinstall and hope for the best.

hodge

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let's try and fix this here... what does the debug window say in the autothermals section ?

To remove the mission from the equation, if you just go into a free flight and set the weather at scattered Cu at 6000 feet in the summer daytime, is it the same ?

B21

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FYI here is my CumulusX debug window a few minutes into the Mifflin Day 1 mission - you should compare it with yours:

(ignore the sim_probe section highlight - that was for Ole)

cumulusx_debug.jpg

The snapshot was taken when I was on the south Mifflin ridge, soon after start.

B21

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I looked for a CumulusX! settings file but couldn't find it, so instead I've screenshot my settings window. To my knowledge I've never changed these settings so maybe by default CumulusX! doesn't have a settings file - Peter ?

post-4558-1213851326_thumb.jpg

cheers - Ian

post-16-1211560648.jpg

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Included in the CumulusX! 1.0 download are 4 .CMX-files. That are pre-fabricated setting-files, each with their own charactaristic. I think initially the default.cmx is loaded when you start CumulusX for the first time and those settings CumulusX will keep using as long as you don't make any changes.

However you can load each one of them in CumuluxX! with the option file->load settings.

You can also make your own individual setting file by changing the configuration and save the changes into a new CMX-file (option tools->configuration to change the loaded setting, and file->save settings to save them into a new CMX).

I always use the FineAlpsThermals.CMX without any changes.

Bert

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I looked for a CumulusX! settings file but couldn't find it, so instead I've screenshot my settings window. To my knowledge I've never changed these settings so maybe by default CumulusX! doesn't have a settings file - Peter ?

Hi Ian,

CumulusX! settings are memorized in the "current user" branch of the registry. In absence of a valid registry entry CumulusX! reverts to a set of hard-coded default settings, which are the same as in default.cmx, and creates the related registry entries. The default.cmx-settings file is primarily given as an example, since you can always revert to it be pressing "Reset" in the settings dialog.

The main purpose of the settings files is for preparing different characteristics, e.g. for specific regions, and for sharing with others. So if you would like to prepare a race with special thermal properties, make the required adjustments in the settings pane and export the settings file. Then this can be packaged with the race-archive.

best regards,

Peter

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OK thanks very much for the copy of the debug and cumulus x config.

I will follow your thoughts and go to free flight and test everything out. The thing that is worrying me a bit was that everything looked ok for a while and then out of knowwhere bang clounds on the ground. My suspicions are at the moment are with the fact that when I reinstalled flight simulator to have a fresh start I installed the recently released SP3 for XP,

Anyway Ill do a whole heap of flying tonite to try to ascertain where things stand. I really appreciate the help on this, you can only imagine how frustrated I have been not being able to concentrate on the mission instead mucking around with setup stuff.

Ill post again tonite (West Australian time)

Hodge

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fyi I just did a 'Reset' on CumulusX! and my values changed slightly, so my install of CumulusX was using settings from an earlier beta release (my thermal strengths as per screenshot were 2.0..4.5 m/s but on reset they became stronger at 2.5..5.5 m/s, but also my 'thermal coverage was 15 per 100km2 and on reset became 5 per 100km2)

I don't think this makes any substantive difference though.

Ian

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The thing that is worrying me a bit was that everything looked ok for a while and then out of knowwhere bang clounds on the ground.

Do you have some weather tool installed, e.g. Active Sky, which creates its own weather settings, or perhaps FSUIPC?

regards,

Peter

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I have adjusted my cumulusx config file to your settings Ian, and the readings in the cumulus debug look ok when flying. I am going to refly Mifflin Day 2 now and with the debug window open to see what happens when and if the clouds go to ground.

Peter, I have no weather addins.

thanks

Hodge

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Reporting in:

At about half way to tp1 in Mifflin day2 at about 4000ft the first interesting thing I am noticing is a layer of cumulusx has been generated at about 3000ft as well as a layer at approx 6500

Is that meant to occur?

Hodge

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Ive just done a half hr of free flight in the Mifflin area with skies set to clear and unblue ticked.

I did not have any occurence of clouds at a lower level in this test, in fact everything appeared to be working fine.

I used slew to check lift under about 40 clouds and on the debug window I was definitely getting weal lift. On the b21 vario I was getting and average reading of about 0 with occasional clouds of 2kts and 1 of the 40 had 4kts. Is that what you generally experience at the cumulus x settings you posted?

I think I will just fly the mission now and go for a time, cant muck around for ever.

thanks again for your help

Hodge

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The "laying on ground" could happen, if there exist a cumulus layer with very low altitude in the current weather situation. CumulusX! tries to match to the lowest cumulus layer of current weather, even a layer on ground. The scaling of the original thermals lead to the flat shape of the clouds then.

I consider to introduce some more advanced parsing of the weather which would eventually eliminate this effect (and either come up with higher thermals or no thermals at all). Still, it does not explain why it happens only at your side.

regards,

Peter

BTW: FSUIPC (fully registered) can also affect the weather situation, so if you have it you may check if the effect disappears, when weather settings are disabled. Though, I'm using it, too, and found no problems so far.

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Peter

I do not have FSUIPC. so that cannot be influencing this.

My understanding was that as long as real world weather is not enabled then cumulusx will operate and create its own cloud base. So in a mission how is the cloud base defined? Are you infering that my location in the world (in West Australia) where it is pelting with rain as we speak, can influence the cloud base in a mission in FSX?

I have read all the forums and read me files on Cumulus x in my efforts to understand what is going on but my knowledge is minimal compared to yours. It is an amazing program.

regards

Jeff Hodge

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Firstly regarding the weather in the Mifflin missions:

the weather is configured as simply as possible, the same in every day of the competition, with winds at 17 knots and a single layer of Cu at 6500 feet:

post-4558-1213851353_thumb.jpg

If you want to test the weather in 'free flight' it would make sense to create a layer of Cu, as cumulusX will take this as the cue (pun intended) on which to base its lift - that's correct isn't it Peter ?

Do the 'lift ceiling' values in the settings have any meaning if the current Wx has a Cu layer?

Hodge I'd say the mystery with you is why you'd have additional cloud layers that others don't. In case it provides any additional clues, here's my FSX system weather settings (but I can't see how that would affect anything):

post-16139-1213863008_thumb.jpg

At about half way to tp1 in Mifflin day2 at about 4000ft the first interesting thing I am noticing is a layer of cumulusx has been generated at about 3000ft as well as a layer at approx 6500

I have never seen anything like that. Again if it simplifies things, come out of the mission and start a flight summer daytime from Mifflin with Cu at 6500 and wind 17 knots from the NW and try that.

I'll load XP SP3 in case that affects things (surely not).

Ian

post-16-1211652686.jpg

post-16-1211653052.jpg

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update -flew the day 2 mission 'half way to TP1': unblue set (just in case). CumulusX settings reset to 'default'. Absolutely not a sniff of Cu's appearing at 3000 feet. To get 'half way' to TP1, by the way, it took ten minutes by which time I'd passed well through 4000 feet and was settled on the ridge at 2100 feet - throughout this period though I hadn't seen any Cu's where they shouldn't have been.

Ian

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Hi Ian,

Indeed, CumulusX! takes the lowest existing cumulus layer as a reference. However, if there is a stratus layer below it, then no thermals are created at all (I'm thinking over that). Reference is the METAR string at the user aircraft's position. That should produce converging conditions for any two aircraft, which are close together. Sometimes, the visuals and the METAR string are not really identical.

I usually set the change slider to minimal. Did the debug window say something about the actual number of thermals, so they were simply invisible, but still present?

regards,

Peter

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Do you have some weather tool installed, e.g. Active Sky, which creates its own weather settings, or perhaps FSUIPC?

regards,

Peter

Hi Folks, (especially Peter),

Just to get you an idea about CumulusX! and possible interference with other weather tools:

I have not encountered any problems yet running FSX@AccelerationPack-SP2, Vista, DX10 Preview-Mode CumulusX!, SimProbe AND ActiveSkyX !

...and I played around with settings of all my FSX-tools. Seems as if it runs okay with Active Sky X.

:cheers2: Dirk

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Thanks for comments Ian and Peter, I will do tests with the weather settings. Also I made an error in my description of half way to tp1 in Day 2 mission, I meant half way to the ridge heading NW.

Ian it would help me if you could advise me if your experience with lift is similar or not to mine (using your cumx config settings which you posted) ie Using slew 1 cloud in 40ish made it to 4kts of lift a few more with 2kts and many with 0 using b21 vario.

I have also realised that the lift varies with height and that at ridge running height, approx 2000ft the lift generally is pretty weak but as you get to say 4000 ft it is much better.

Jeff

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Hodge the short answer is 'yes' I do get about the same - it was interesting to slew around the landscape to see what lift Peter had actually created.

I set my thermals to 'schematic', started 'Day1', slewed around at 3000 feet and looked at the *debug* window (don't rely on the netto vario for this kind of diagnosis).

cumulusx_topdown.jpg

Ian

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