Author Topic: Working on the boats.  (Read 478039 times)

jeff3163

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2011, 11:08:48 PM »
OK ... I had the same problem. Go to Enhancements and download the Misty Float Planes at the top ... the files are in there that create the airports.  Give it a try.

D
Ok, I tried.  I downloaded and installed the updated aifloatplane files, reloaded fsx and plan-g, rebuilt the database, and I'm sitting at Misty's place, by the lighthouse.  The Misty airstrips don't show.  There are alot of other seaplane bases and airports, but no Misty's on the map.

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GrahamP

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2011, 11:26:00 PM »
Jeff,

I think you're saying that Plan-G doesn't read PF20 and PF21 from the FSX data base.

I get the same for all the PF designations for Misty airports.  They show up in FSX but Plan-G doesn't see them when I build the FSX database.

I do have the Misty AI Floatplanes in my Misty folder at the top of the scenery library.

Not knowing enough about it, I just thought the way the Misty guys have coded it might be different from the way other airports are coded in FSX.  I have accepted that and marked the Misty airports on Plan-G manually.

It doesn't really bother me but I agree it would be better if Plan-G could see them in the database.
Graham

Dieter

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2011, 03:25:45 AM »
Very strange phenomenon!
Do you use latest version 2.0.5.493?
http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1438.0

Dieter

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2011, 03:29:32 AM »
Not yet.  Still on build 492.  I haven't patched it to 493 yet but I don't think the patch changes anything in that department.
Graham

Dieter

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2011, 04:08:00 AM »
You are right, I'm afraid ,too.
I don't think it's a RTMM scenery problem, it's more like in Plan-G.
Maybe you'll have to check their forum or ask Tim Arnold for help.

Dieter

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2011, 04:25:56 AM »
Have a look at page 18 in Plan-G manual. (Figure 16)
Maybe here's a solution.

Dieter

jeff3163

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2011, 04:53:02 AM »
Quote
Have a look at page 18 in Plan-G manual. (Figure 16)
Maybe here's a solution.


Thanks, guys.  That did the trick.  I added the RTMM airports directory and now Misty's is there.  Well, I also added the Misty's Place entry too.  And I opened FTX Central and re-applied the North America region.  So one, or all of those things did it.  I should've done each process separately, I guess.  But it's fixed.



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« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 04:54:52 AM by jeff3163 »

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GrahamP

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2011, 06:23:38 AM »
Hmmmmmm, glad you've got it working Jeff but it hasn't worked for me.  I've browsed to the locations of fsx.exe and scenery.cfg and added the Misty Moorings scenery folder like the manual says.   Large, medium and small airports are ticked.

I can see the stock FSX airports like PAKT, PANT, CYPR, etc. in Plan-G, so something must be communicating.  I just don't see the PF ones in Plan-G even though I get them in FSX.

At least now I know it can work, so thanks for that.  I'll investigate some more.
Graham

Dieter

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2011, 07:00:10 AM »
Did you re-built database after that?

Dieter

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2011, 08:15:31 AM »
Did you re-built database after that?

Dieter

Aha.  No but now I have and it works.  Thanks for that :)
Graham

jeff3163

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2011, 11:20:28 PM »
     Ok, back to the BOATS.  Here's what I've come up with so far.  If you've been following the thread, you know I've been converting the airplane's autopilot to work on boats.
     The "airplane" autopilot turns the plane using the ailerons to tilt the plane.  A boat turns by changing the angle of the rudder in the water.  So, to transfer the forces from the ailerons to the rudder, you have to add a missing line to the [airplane_geometry] section.  The line is :

aileron_to_rudder_scale=8.0       // (Links ailerons to rudders)

Put a value representing the scale you wish for this action.  Larger values equal more rudder/less aileron.  OK, so we have power to the "rudders".  But alas, there are no rudders installed.  So in the [contact_points] section you have to add some.  They look like this:

[contact_points]
;/1  Class  (0 = None, 1 = Wheel, 2 = Scrape, 3 = Skid, 4 = Float, 5 = Water Rudder)

point.13=5, -110.200,   -15.50,    -3.95,     9600,  0.0,   0.0,   45.0,  0.15,  0.35,    0.9,  1.2,  0.0,  0.0,  0.0,  0.0
point.14=5, -110.200,    15.50,    -3.95,     9600,  0.0,   0.0,   45.0,  0.15,  0.35,    0.9,  1.2,  0.0,  0.0,  0.0,  0.0


The first number after the "=" sign is a "5".  That is water rudders.  Here's the link to the aircraft.cfg information from Microsoft.  Bookmark this link into your browser, for a quick reference while editing your cfg files.  This document explains what all the other numbers are for, as well as everything else in an aircraft.cfg file.


     Now we have rudders, and the autopilot can steer them.  How well it does this is another can of worms.  Since the autopilot section is just a copy of a C208's autopilot, the settings are not correct for the craft you are trying to steer.  Hopefully, the first thing you'll notice is the boat turning on its side, listing to the left and the right.  You can tighten that up by adjusting the "bank angle".  In the [autopilot] section, find the "max_bank=" line, and reduce it to some single digit number, like 2 or 5 degrees of bank.  While you're there, change your "max_pitch" reference to "1.0".  Or it could just keep going in a straight line.  The autopilot settings are too weak to cause a reaction from the boat.
    (see edit below)  I have found so far, that the boat doesn't steer as well at low speeds.  I am working on that problem.  The lines of the [autopilot] section that begin with "nav_" are for controlling the linear navigation of the autopilot.  How fast it turns, how tightly it tracks, etc.  I am still experimenting with this section, to get the boat to track more tightly, and at lower speeds.  The lines that start with "gs_" are what control the vertical aspects of the autopilot.  (The glideslope).  We have no interest in this section, being earthbound as we are, in a boat.
     Autothrottle so far is a wash.  I have not been successful in my attempts to control or change that.  Attempting to activate autothrottle results in the engines powering down.  Very strange.  Still, could be useful if you wanted to "power down" your boat. (come to a stop). 

(edit-It is possible for the autopilot to steer at slower speeds, I have found.  By increasing the values of the rudder and aileron area, and the autopilot's proportional control constant, integrator, and derivative control constants, increasing the rudder and aileron effectiveness, increasing the aileron to rudder scale, increasing the roll and yaw stability, and rudder trim effectiveness, increasing the parasite drag scalar, decreasing the yaw damper gain(to -1500 or so).  I've probably missed something in there, but if you can juggle all those numbers, throw them into the aircraft.cfg file in the right proportions, and get your boat reloaded in memory correctly, it may work.  (I was so happy to see lateral movement that I felt like Dr. Frankenstein awakening the monster for the first time.  "Whoo hoo!!!  I think it moved.  Did you see that!!!"  That makes the hours on end, of trolling through the Fjords, hoping for a reaction, all worthwhile.)

     Sorry this isn't a "how to" manual.  I don't know yet if I can explain what I've done.  Many hours of tweaking and experimentation with radical number values, just to see what happens.  I wish there was a reference manual for the settings in the aircraft.cfg file that tells what are acceptable ranges or values for each item.  I am stabbing in the dark with every attempt, sometimes making things better . . . and sometimes horribly worse.

     That's my (updated) story so far.  I hope more people start working on this problem, and we can pool our knowledge to get a "boat" with a "boat autopilot", instead of a plane that looks like a boat, and an airplane autopilot controlling it over the water.  If you've made it this far, thanks for reading it.  Happy tweaking!
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 01:36:09 AM by jeff3163 »

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Doug

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2011, 09:17:32 AM »
Amazing what you are finding.  I dropped some bait in the water over at FS Shipyards saying you were working on this aspect and if anyone had and interest in boat/autopilot to drop by here and offer an idea or two. 

The auto throttle, that confirms what I found, that when you try to set it, the engine stops. That one makes no sense at all.

One thing I'm playing with is getting RID of the things that don't apply to boats in the "aircraft.cfg".  I'm putting // ahead of things, but not knowing what a lot of them do (and I learned a bunch from your post) I can knock out the wrong ones.  As you play with these, could you be putting // in the "don't count" lines?  Then I'd grab yours later and go in and take all those lines out ... then re lable areas with the //

for instance // ----------------- rudder control --------------------------

Then we'd know where to go to tweak.  I played with those contact points a couple of weeks ago and the boat literally danced on the water ... (uh, that didn't work!). So I stay away from those.

The tug config you gave me is working very well.  With the larger ship, we tend to stay in blue water where the fine tuning adjustment isn't so important.  I ran the Grenville again using it WITHOUT the autopilot, using my new ship's wheel window. ('cept the wheel doesn't show). I just tweak the "heading" knob to set the new course when I hit a way point. You can follow the gps track easily that way, when you get to the next way point, you just tweak the knob and put a new heading on it and the boat tracks to it.  Worked very well. I wrote up that cruise and put "real" way points in it so it could be done this way.  I used many of the nav buoys as way points. It's not "autopilot" but it is a very interesting way to "sail."

I'll start playing with some of your settings today.

Doug

jeff3163

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2011, 02:48:53 PM »
Quote
I ran the Grenville again using it WITHOUT the autopilot, using my new ship's wheel window. ('cept the wheel doesn't show).

     I was wondering, is the "BMP" file for the ship's wheel in the texture folder for the boat your using?  If it's not, it won't show up.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 02:53:03 PM by jeff3163 »

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jeff3163

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2011, 12:44:49 AM »
     I've discovered that when you honk the horn of your boat, you will slow down.  Honk it again, and it speeds back up.  They use the "G" key for the horn, that's the "Landing Gear" button.  I think it puts invisible wheels down, and causes drag.  The effect is like shifting into low gear.  It's good for trolling, or taxiing into and out of port.  Try it out.

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Dragnhorn

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Re: Working on the boats.
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2011, 12:49:06 AM »
Don't have the time or the boats you're working on yet, but I'm enjoying the tech speak and following this thread with great interest!    :D
Rob Abernathy
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