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Return to Misty Moorings (FSX/P3D) => The Moorings - On the Water => Topic started by: Dragnhorn on April 12, 2011, 02:26:45 AM

Title: Autopilot on water cruises
Post by: Dragnhorn on April 12, 2011, 02:26:45 AM
Hey guys,
 I'm stumped.  DL the files for the Grenville SP and map.  Got the new cfg  and panel for the Malibu installed.  The autopilot, gauges, gps all show up fine.  I select the VFR SP Grenville file and load it up.  I let it start me at the proper place.  Once ready to go I can not see the flight plan on the GPS window. I can see a listing of waypoints but what about the line?  I start out, hit about 35 mph and switch to gps mode on the bottom switch, then hit the NAV button on the autopilot (autopilot is on)........ nothing.  Boat goes straight into the nearest mountain.   I've flown many flight plans before in aircraft so this is puzzling.

EDIT----  I tried again but this time with the Misty to Totem Bight SP.  If I first loaded an aircraft then the flight plan and lastly the Malibu it worked fine!  I allowed the flight plan to change my location to the start and I was on dry land instead of water tho.
Title: Re: Autopilot on water cruises
Post by: jeff3163 on April 13, 2011, 08:16:41 AM
Hmm, I have never had to do anything special.  I just load a "sailplan" and turn on the autopilot.  Making sure I am in NAV mode, with the toggle switch in GPS, and the water rudders down.  I get up some speed, well, full throttle and it always tracks.  It isn't exactly like in a plane.  It needs time to pull itself over to the line, and when rounding a corner will overshoot and come back. 
     On the GPS unit, pressing the flightplan (FPL) button switches between the list of waypoints and map view.  I have been working on trying to make the turning more firm, and quicker.  But the version you have should track just fine.  If you have your controls set up for dual throttle, you can use the engines to help steer you around a corner.  Give more throttle to the outside of the corner.  for example, when turning right, give full left engine and cut power to the right one.  Don't forget to balance the power again once you are out of the turn.
     The Grenville SP, I think, starts out with a sharp right turn, so you won't see the "line" until you turn to the right and start down the channel.  If you zoom in with the GPS, you'll be able to see where it's going better.
Title: Re: Autopilot on water cruises
Post by: Dragnhorn on April 13, 2011, 01:36:33 PM
 Tried again and it seems to track the straight line ok but the turns were my problem.  I was turning the boat myself to get back on the next line (waypoint in the fltpln).  Do I need to slow down when approaching a turn?  So, you're saying if I just left it alone the Malibu would eventually turn back to the next waypoint line on its own?   

Back to testing.   :D
Title: Re: Autopilot on water cruises
Post by: jeff3163 on April 14, 2011, 12:19:26 AM
     Yeah, she should come back on her own.  Do you have left/right throttle control?  You can use that to decrease power on the inside of the corner.  For turning right more sharply, decrease the power to the right engine.  Return power to full as you come out of the corner.  A note about the water rudder handle.  I've noticed that when the handle is up, the rudders are down.
     Does the Grenville channel go from Hartley Bay to Bella Bella?  I couldn't find "Grenville channel" exactly.  But I think it's the Hartley Bay SPB to Bella Bella SPB.  I just did a run of that one, and it worked just fine for me.  There was a couple of spots where I had to use the engines to help steer me tighter around the corner, but didn't touch the steering wheel at all.  I didn't finish the run though, because windows update was going on in the background, and I had to re-boot my machine.  But your boat should track ok.
     What "top speeds" are you getting?  The version I have now goes about 40 knots.  It turns at a rate of about 1/2 degree per second.  Let me know if you're getting it going.

edit-I found out the Grenville channel is on the Prince Rupert to Hartley Bay SP.  That's Ok, any SP should work.  There are some times when the corner is too sharp for the AP, but you should still see it trying to turn the boat, leaning into the direction of the turn if all the settings are correct.  I have been working on trying to get the boats to turn more quickly, but without compromising the "manual steering" aspect of it.  The boats tend to take their time turning on course, and I can't seem to speed that up much.  I've had successes, but the results also caused very touchy manaul steering, making it nearly uncontrollable.  So I'd have to get it steering correctly again, and start again tweaking the AP.  It is a balancing act.  I just need to find the right number ranges for the values in the config.  I appreciate all your input. 

     (Here is a picture of a Humpback whale on the powerboat course during the races.) 

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