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PSX + FSX for scenery

Started by ahaka, Wed, 26 Mar 2014 12:27

ahaka

Hello,

I'm not sure if this topic should belong here or to the Network forum, feel free to move it if necessary.

Will PSX support connecting to an external scenery generator (in this case, FSX) out-of-the-box, or is there a need for 3rd party software to do it?

My plan is to have 2 capable PCs, the other running PSX and the other one FSX for scenery only. I have not been able to find any beta test comments on how this type of setup works. Some concerns I have are if the two simulators will stay in sync properly and if there are any mismatch between runways/terrain in the sims (this of course depends on the integrity of the data in either sim as well). Another worry is possible stuttering in either simulator due to "forced synchronization" between the two and/or different framerates/frame rate fluctuations.

First time I'm planning something like this so would be great to know if anyone has some initial test results to share.
Antti

jb747

Yes.  PSX has been integrated with FSX/Prepar3D and XP-10 as a scenery generator.  Setup varies by what program you choose to integrate with but it's straight forward for all three.

Hardy Heinlin

#2
Hello,

this thread http://aerowinx.com/forum/topic.php?id=1376 contains a link to a video :-)


QuoteWill PSX support connecting to an external scenery generator (in this case, FSX) out-of-the-box, or is there a need for 3rd party software to do it?
Not out-of-the-box. If you don't want to use PSX's internal scenery, you need the add-on software from Garry or Mike.


Cheers,

|-|ardy

Garry Richards

I have developed VisualPSX which is in late beta testing stage. It links PSX to either FSX or P3D, enabling either to be used as an external scenery generator for PSX. For those of you who are familiar with my older VisualPS1 software, VisualPSX runs more smoothly, has no discernible lag and has exact runway offsets.

I will refer to FSX here, but my remarks also apply to P3D.

For online use with VATSIM, FSX weather will be matched automatically by PSX because both use the same real-world weather.

PSX weather can also be sent to FSX. This is especially useful for training where PSX can set it's weather for particular scenarios, such as CAT II, at the push of a button. FSX weather will then change to the selected conditions.

There are two other included applications that support VisualPSX:

RunwaysPSX gathers runway data from FSX and stores it in a data file. It only has to be run once. VisualPSX uses this data, together with runway data supplied by PSX to generate lateral and vertical offsets so that the FSX and PSX runways will align perfectly. PSX runways include slope information, while FSX runways are level and VisualPSX allows for these differences. VisualPSX can also set a departure runway offset while the FSX aircraft remains parked at the gate.

TrafficPSX enables FSX traffic to be sent to PSX for TCAS display and resolution. This is intended  for use when online with VATSIM. PSX traffic can also be sent to FSX to better visualise the TCAS training scenarios that PSX offers.

Traffic PSX also handles radio communications from PSX through FSX. This is intended for use when online with VATSIM. PSX VHF radios can be specified as COM1 and COM2 and PSX transmissions can activate a PTT key. PSX transponder code, mode and ident can also be sent to FSX.

Traffic PSX works with online clients that use the Squawkbox standard client data offsets with FSX. It has been tested successfully with Squawkbox 4 and the forthcoming vPilot software. Provision has been made for other pilot clients under development to also be used with TrafficPSX.

VisualPSX and TrafficPSX communicate with FSX through SimConnect which is supplied as part of the package. They do not use FSUIPC.
Garry

Website: flightsim.garryric.com

Phil Bunch

#4
That's great news about VisualPSX.

Does anyone know prepar3d is more stable or efficient than FSX?  Are there any significant advantages for prepar3d vs FSX as a scenery generator driven by PSX?

Is it likely that a reasonably fast but not record-setting recent PC would be able to handle PSX and FSX or prepar3d on a single PC?  As a configuration I'm thinking of a non-overclocked Intel i7 CPU running at 3.4 GHz with quad CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and a fairly new Nvidia GPU card that's only a year or two old.  Also, twin SSDs, so that I/O would be faster than the old days, too.  

I'm just looking for a best guess, not a quantitative test, and would like to know if I should dedicate a high-end PC just for FSX while using a moderate-performance 4-core i7 PC for PSX (based in part on Hardy's comments).

Please excuse my naive questions if they're off-track or not yet answerable, etc, etc.
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

John Golin

I run FSX^ and PSX on the same Core i7 with no problems... specs lower than yours.

I don't notice any impact on performance in either program*

Also, see this post:

http://aerowinx.com/forum/topic.php?post=14306#post14306

[size=8]^ Including VisualPSX and TrafficPSX
* YMMV
[/size]
John Golin.
www.simulatorsolutions.com.au

frumpy

#6
Quote from: Phil BunchDoes anyone know prepar3d is more stable or efficient than FSX?  Are there any significant advantages for prepar3d vs FSX as a scenery generator driven by PSX?

I have a 6-core AMD 3.3 GHz and a Radeon 6700 on a 1280*1024 monitor.
This is pretty much the lower end to run FSX above 25fps with most
aircraft and low scenery /weather settings.
P3D v2 is a little worse in fps than FSX. However, I suspect that with a
good video card P3D will have higher fps than FSX. Also P3D runs
smoother, it has less fluctuations in fps and does not stutter like
FSX does sometimes. P3D v2 looks better, and the colors do not look like
being in a candystore anymore.
X-Plane looks better that FSX and runs smooth. Better fps than P3D v2.
I am not sure whether I prefer X-Plane or P3D just judging from the
graphics, since I run lower end computer anyway.

If you want to chose which way to go, I would either go for X-Plane
or P3D v2 for scenery generation.

ahaka

#7
Thanks to everyone for the insight!

Garry's VisualPSX seems like the best solution for me I think. I can get FSX to run at smooth 31fps locked in all situations, if PSX will be running at 70fps, will this cause smoothness or sync problems? Will standard network adapters do fine or does it need to be a high-end gigabit ethernet?

What I'm especially happy to hear is that PSX weather can be sent to FSX. Will be great to use the PSX weather radar in conjunction with visual cues of thunderstorm cells, for example.
Antti

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

As network, a classic coaxial cable with associated pair of NE2000 will do fine.


Hoppie

Hardy Heinlin

#9
Quote from: ahakaWhat I'm especially happy to hear is that PSX weather can be sent to FSX. Will be great to use the PSX weather radar in conjunction with visual cues of thunderstorm cells, for example.
I think, Garry was referring to rather general parameters like visibility, ceiling minimums, temperatures, winds, pressures etc. PSX does not eject the coordinates or sizes of each single cloud. The ejected coordinates refer to weather zones centered around airports. The information the zones include is, among other things, whether or not CBs are present in this zone, and how the cloud layers are dimensioned (base, top, cloud density).

In other words, it's mainly based on METAR language. As we know, METARs don't provide the coordinates of each cloud. They just may say "in the vicinity of the airport".


Cheers,

|-|ardy

ahaka

Quote from: Hardy HeinlinI think, Garry was referring to rather general parameters like visibility, ceiling minimums, temperatures, winds, pressures etc. PSX does not eject the coordinates or sizes of each single cloud.

Ah, I see. I thought that since there is weather radar simulation in PSX, there must be some location information on where the different densities of precipitation are, even if they are randomized around certain METAR area.

If you fly through a strong CB cell in PSX, will it have it's consequences?
Antti

Hardy Heinlin

#11
Quote from: ahakaAh, I see. I thought that since there is weather radar simulation in PSX, there must be some location information on where the different densities of precipitation are, even if they are randomized around certain METAR area.
Yes, the locations of single clouds are randomized within a zone. What you see on PSX's radar are up to 7 weather zones around the aircraft. These zones are based on actual or stored METAR data from various airports around the aircraft *, and the radar shows the respective radar returns from each zone. When a storm crosses a large region within a few hours, you can actually see the storm moving from one zone to the other; that is, from one METAR to the other, based on the Internet downloads every 30 minutes. The exact position within an airport zone is randomized, but you know that it is present somewhere in the vicinity of the airport. The technical consequences occur when you are within the storm cell displayed on your PSX radar, i.e. what is shown in PSX is what finally influences your flight.


The radar model refers to the cloud bases in the METAR, and the aircraft altitude. If you don't adjust your antenna tilt accordingly, your radar beam may undershoot or overshoot a cloud layer and your ND raster image may remain blank. However, PSX models a radar system that provides an optional AUTO function; this controls the radar tilt and gain settings automatically.

Quote from: ahakaIf you fly through a strong CB cell in PSX, will it have it's consequences?
Most likely :-)


Cheers,

|-|ardy


* In some areas there is an airport (METAR station) every 10 to 50 miles. In such areas the radar image is very detailed.

jtsjc1

After years of frustration with the FS weather generation I can't wait to see PSX weather and its effects on the a/c. Also I don't have to buy another weather program!
Joe

Pierre Theillere

Hi jtsjc1!

Effects of crossing a CB cell in PSx can be... something you WILL remember, and that may throw you much away from the idea to do it again, apart for the most masochists among us!
Pierre, LFPG

jtsjc1

Quote from: Pierre TheillereHi jtsjc1!

Effects of crossing a CB cell in PSx can be... something you WILL remember, and that may throw you much away from the idea to do it again, apart for the most masochists among us!
Sounds like a nice challenge!
Joe

jgoggi

Uhm, from what Hardy said above it seems to me that if I see a CB in the FSX scenery (connectecd to PSX), it will not match the radar returns on the PSX ND. Did I understand correctly? In this case we will have the same problem of the wx radar in FSX, it doesn't match the weather outside...

Hardy Heinlin

#16
"Matching" is a relative word. Things can match within an inch, or within a mile.

When Heathrow's METAR has CBs, and Gatwick's has no CBs, PSX's radar will show CBs over Heathrow, and none over Gatwick.

The exact CB position within the Heathrow zone is randomized.

The cloud shape, size, and location in the FSX world will not exactly match the radar image down to the inch, but probably down to a tolerance of a few miles.

The tolerance is small enough to inform you that there are CBs over Heathrow, and none over Gatwick.

One should also consider that weather in the real world is a very chaotic system, and the handling of the radar must be learned also. Storm cells are fuzzy objects, they have no defined "skin" like a hot air balloon. And a radar does not work like a map of database objects; the radar image visualizes radar returns from a horizontal radar beam, with variable intensities which, among other things, depend on the radar gain setting etc. Combining these factors -- real world blurr, and radar system blurr -- there is always a certain "matching" tolerance, and the pilot has to evaluate the information the radar provides. It's not as easy as identifying a mountain on a EGPWS terrain map.


Cheers,

|-|ardy



Here's an old screenshot from August 2010. The radar doesn't show you the exact shape and location of every single cloud, it's too fuzzy, but--for example--it shows that there are thunderstorms in the LFLP area:


jgoggi

Thank you, Hardy. Let's take the screenshot you posted: I am flying to a waypoint over LFLP and thus I need to deviate slightly to the left in order not to enter the red zone. PSX ND radar depiction says "fly  5 miles left of LFLP and you will not enter the red area", while in the visual scenery maybe I encounter a cb and a strong turbulence even in the green area, considering that it's still close to LFLP and that the FS clouds do not exactly match those in PSX. In this case the wx radar is of no use, while in the real world it's very likely that if I fly 5 miles left of LFLP I encounter the situation depicted in the radar image.

Hardy Heinlin

#18
Why are you calling FSX "real world"? :-)

Maybe my previous posts weren't clear enough.

FSX is just a windshield display.

PSX provides the weather for the aerodynamics.

PSX provides the aerodynamics.

PSX provides the planet. When PSX's planet is wet, PSX's tires will get wet. No matter what FSX is showing.

I don't know how the details within 5 nm will look like in FSX, but the radar in PSX is the thing that counts.

If you enter the red area shown on PSX's radar, PSX's aircraft will experience PSX turbulences, and maybe PSX engine failures, and PSX lightning strike induced electrical failures may occur, and PSX's ADFs may fluctuate etc.

FSX will not influence PSX. We don't fly with an FSX flight model, and we don't apply FSX's atmosphere model to PSX's aerodynamics.

PSX is not an aircraft add-on. It's a complete flight simulator. PSX uses its own atmosphere, its own aerodynamics etc.


Cheers,

|-|ardy

ahaka

Darn those graphics look good... My monitors are ready to display that art.

If PSX would output coordinates of the randomized cb clouds, it could be possible to write a software that places the cloud models to the same area in FSX. These would not even have to be FSX own weather, just custom cloud models since thankfully PSX has its own simulation engine. Just an *.mdl placer that reads data from PSX would probably do.
Antti