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Bulau

Cambridge Aero Explorer

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In my ongoing effort to make FSX multiplayer soaring tasks more like RL soaring tasks, I've been floundering with various problems associated with the task start. Since we are, for the moment, stuck with how the FSX GPS handles waypoints, it's possible to work around some of the limitations at the IGC level. Ian's Sim Logger is the ticket for generating the IGC, since it also performs a host of FSX related checks to verify the log.

For viewing and analysis, I had been using Naviter's See You, and it is very good software for that job, however, it is very expensive, costing, I think around 170 Euros. So I've started using the Cambridge Aero Explorer, which Ian had suggested to me. It seems to do nearly all of what I need, except for this problem with specifying the start sector.

I made a task, which starts at an airport as FSX requires, with a start gate as a separate waypoint. The task is set in Minden, and the start gate is the nearby Sunrise waypoint, which is commonly used for task starts. Apart from the problems I encountered with the FSX GPS (related in a separate post), I could not figure out how to force Cambridge Aero Explorer to use Sunrise for the start of the task. It seems the IGC generated by Sim Logger had tagged the takeoff, KMEV, as the start. I could do everything else I wanted: change radius of turnpoints, define a start and finish line of certain length and orientation, everything except change the start from KMEV to Sunrise. I know that See You could do this.

So, I hacked the IGC, in Windows Notepad, and deleted the entry referencing KMEV as the start, renamed it "mod..." and it works...now Sunrise is the start, but obviously, this is not an optimal solution, but I can't find any other way. Attached screencap is the modded IGC, with the defined start and finish lines. Ignore, for the moment, that I was still on tow when crossing this defined start line, and the FSX GPS had switched to next waypoint approximately where the flight path (still on tow) crossed the magenta line. Also attached both the original and modified IGC files.

Is there other free or cheaper software to handle IGC? Any other suggestions welcome.

post-36204-086266500 1295212989_thumb.jp

163kmNoobSierraNevada.zip

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Two options maybe with Cambridge Aero Explorer:

1 ) I think you could have put in Sunrise as the first waypoint in the flightplan, instead of the airfield. The FLT contains the start *position* of the aircraft, which could still be on the runway.

2 ) I haven't tried it but if you had a navpoints file for Cambridge Aero Explorer that has Sunrise with a 'START' attribute, then you would be able to define (CAE terms = overlay) the task with that as a start point. When CAE *only* uses the waypoints found within the IGC file, it only associates the 'START' attribute with the first one, and 'FINISH' with the last one, so you're a bit stuffed if you want to pick another WP for the start. (or finish).

There's another tweak I'm considering which is to look into a Cambridge mod to the IGC file format (using 'L' comment records) which embeds the entire waypoint database into the IGC file, e.g. as with this one. Maybe if a Cambridge 'LCAM' record was in the IGC file, with start (S) and finish (F) attributes for every waypoint, then that would fix the issue. I.e. I'd modify sim_logger to write the task once as a kosher IGC task, and also as a set of 'LCAM' records. Bit of a bodge just for CAE though.

B21

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OK, thanks, Ian. I flew another similar task last night (separate start waypoint) and the same thing happened. I noticed the "overlay" option, but haven't looked into it. I'll try the navpoint idea, it sounds like it will work. In the meantime, I went through the list of IGC analysis software at the Worldwide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange, and ended up with this short list:

CouTraCi

http://coutraci.free.fr/index-us.html

Freeware

Flight Display

http://www.soaringpi....com/FDpage.htm

Freeware

FlightMap

http://www.flightmap.demon.co.uk/

Mailorder,limited maps, 49 pounds

GPLIGC

http://freshmeat.net/projects/gpligc/

Freeware

IGCview (Ian Forster-Lewis)

MapGlider

http://gschneid.free.fr/index_us.html

Freeware

StrePla

www.strepla.de

129 EUR = C$170

See You

http://naviter.si/in...id=9&Itemid=213

129 EUR = C$170

TaskNAV

http://www.tasknav.com/

35 pounds = around US$55

There is Peter's suggestion on there, and also your own IGCView. I've download all the free and demo ones to try out and see how they work. My ultimate goal is something that can be used for multiplayer scoring from submitted IGC files, but that will handle the sort of tasks I might create.

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IGCview is an obsolete Java program I wrote as a programming exercise way back in 1998 - you shouldn't use it now.

B21

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