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Messages - jeff3163

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The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Working on the boats.
« on: March 29, 2011, 02:36:20 AM »
     Try this.  The tug is working great for me now.  See what you think.

(sorry to be so short, but it's 11:30 pm, and I'm off to bed.)  I just cruised from Hartley to Bella Bella, hands free, except for one spot, the channel was too narrow after the 35 degree turn.  I even made it around Mckay, which is a 65 degree corner.  (and at 35-45 knots too.)

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The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Working on the boats.
« on: March 28, 2011, 02:57:25 AM »
Ok, if you're following the thread, and you like your updates in progressive order, here is another link to the updated Malibu configs.  As of March 27, 2011, at 11:43 pm PST, these are working pretty good now.  (I also updated the other two links in this thread(replies #8, and #17) with the new versions.)  Any BETA testers out there?  Try these out with Doug's sailplans, and enjoy the scenery from a boat, without having to pay attention to your driving. (well, not too much anyway.)  I gotta go to bed!!

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The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Working on the boats.
« on: March 28, 2011, 01:12:18 AM »
     I was ready to post my configs first thing this morning, then remembered that I needed to copy the "tower Malibu's" config to the regular Malibu's file, so I did.  Oops!!!  Something went wrong, and I had to start all over with the configs from the zip file.  I had to re-tune one, (the tower model), and transfer the appropriate info to the other.  Now it's 9:30 pm, and the final test run is under way.  I went back and fine tuned the driveability factors while I was there, and balanced them out with the "autopilot mode".  (You can get it tracking great, and switch to manual mode and it drives like crap.)  Now I can control the cornering much better.  So now it's at a happy medium.  I was driving around some little islands just before Bella Bella, doing "barrel races" style turns around them and the handling is pretty good now.  The autopilot still takes its time making turns, but if you "honk your horn" just before the sharper corners, it will slow down for the corner.  Then, honk again if you want to speed back up.  I was cruising on autopilot for part of a run at 35-40 knots (rpm's at 2000, and horn honked) for about 15 to 20 miles.  It worked just fine, but was a little too slow for my taste.
     Sorry to hear that the Deltasim guy doesn't have the time for the autopilot.  He does make good boats though.
     I think the Malibu's are acceptable now, so I'll post those soon.  I need to make a readme file for them.  Then I'll concentrate on the Smit-Rotterdam. 

I've been able to post a couple more videos, but it's hit and miss.  I thought I'd take snapshots instead.  Here's some pics of one of my tugs pulling the QM2.  (All I'm missing is the big tow-rope from the ship to the tug.)

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The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Working on the boats.
« 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.

The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Working on the boats.
« on: March 25, 2011, 02:48:53 PM »
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.

The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Working on the boats.
« 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:

;/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!

The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Cruises
« on: March 22, 2011, 09:21:18 PM »
Ok, I'm heading out to Prince Rupert to check this out with the tug. 

The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Cruises
« on: March 20, 2011, 08:54:01 PM »
This will sound crazy, but I don't want the Daisy to go faster! :-)  I'm hoping it will "track" a heading at the slower speed. (90 mph yachts would be like flying jet powered Beavers!

     Doug, yes, 90 is very fast.  I usually go 55-70 and have been tracking.  I haven't gotten it to go slower than that and still track, yet.  It's nice to have a little "too much" power, you can just back off the throttle, but it's there if you need it.  I like my boat to go 60-65 at the middle of the green/yellow area in the rpm gauge.
     (I needed a break, too, so I'm flying my cub with autopilot.)  Checking out the waterways from the air.  I tried the airboat, but didn't care much for it.  My favorite is the Malibu.  I don't have a "Daisy" yet. 

     What speeds are you hoping to track at?  35-45 maybe?  I'll work on that.

The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Cruises
« on: March 20, 2011, 01:21:08 PM »
Hi Doug,
     Yes, I've gotten the tug to track fairly well with the GPS.  I went to Bell Island Hot Springs, and it was showing progress. 
     Did you get you're Daisy to go faster (using my posted suggestions)?

     The Tug has a pretty nice "panel". (VC)  And it has an anchor.  I like that.  I don't think it secures you to a spot though, it's just for show.  Not sure about that yet.

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The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Working on the boats.
« on: March 20, 2011, 04:53:02 AM »
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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The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Cruises
« on: March 19, 2011, 11:27:01 PM »
These are the routes to Bell Island Hotsprings and back to Mistys.


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The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Working on the boats.
« 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.

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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I snapped this shot as I was leaving Misty's one day.  Checking to see that everything is where it should be at the cabin, after updating to v2.1.  Looks good.

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The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Cruises
« on: March 19, 2011, 04:28:58 PM »
Here's a cruise I did last night.  Misty's to Bell Island Hotsprings, the long way, through the eastern channel, to the east of Manzanita Lake cabin.  There's also a return course.

The "zip file" with the sailplan is below.  (These zips are kinda hard to see, on the post) It's below the picture.

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The Moorings - On the Water / Re: Working on the boats.
« on: March 19, 2011, 03:50:10 PM »
I thought I'd share what I've been up to this morning.  I've acquired the Smit-Rotterdam, and am beginning to see tracking results from it.  If you want to get one of these, they're only $15 dollars U.S.. 
     I am about to post an update to the Malibu configs, to include the tower model.  I've also created a run from Misty's to Bell Island Hotsprings, and one coming back to Misty's.
     Why don't I have "Misty's Place" on my Plan-G map?  I have a bunch of SPB's but not Misty's, or the airstrip either.  I imported the data that I downloaded from the resource page, and got forest service cabins locations, etc, but no Misty's.  Is your Plan-G map like that too?

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