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PSXAloft II : new upper wind and turbulence simulation for PSX

Started by JP59, Wed, 14 Oct 2015 14:27

JP59

Hello,

After one year of learning about C++ programing (thanks Hardy and Nico for giving me the programing "virus"  ;)), it's time for me to share my first program with the PSX wonderfull community : PSXAloft.

Below description text has been modified after PSXAloft v.2.0 release :

PSXAloft is a Windows program which injects aloft wind and OAT data within PSX. Those data can come from a "static" ActiveSky flight plan file, or from a "dynamic" SimConnect bridge which take data directly from FSX or P3D. PSXAloft can also inject wind/OAT data for cruise and descent legs within PSX FMC when you request a datalink update, and generate turbulence (aerodynamics and sound). All those features are optional.

A PDF user manual is provided within the PSXAloft package. You'll find many other informations inside.

Here is the link to my website, from which you can download PSXAloft : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4bi2oz5wd5uvmu0/AAC5cH5VvWalGMz-jZdG8CSda?dl=1

Enjoy your flights with PSXAloft !
Best regards

tango4

Will try it as soon as possible !
If it is working on my setup, I'll be a happy man! For me, the ability to have winds aloft synchronised with PFPX was THE missing feature of PSX.
All I can say is a HUGE MERCI BEAUCOUP !!!!!!!

Charles

Hardy Heinlin

Congrats, Jean-philippe.

Sounds like a good program!

If you want to put it on the Add-ons page, perhaps after the beta phase, let me know.


Cheers,

|-|ardy

JP59

Merci Charles. Thanks Hardy. Will let you know after the first users impressions and the Beta phase. I already have some new features and improvements in mind.

Cheers

jcomm

Is it compatible with ASN ( ACtiveSky Next ) ?

This is great news!!!

Merci!!!!

JP59

Yes it is compatible with ASN. Everything is detailed in the User guide included.

Regards

Pierre Theillere

Hi Jean-Philippe!

Wow... that's exactly THE addon I was in need of, to résume PSx "normal OPS"! As soon as I've changed my dead HDD for a SSD on one of the computers, I'll give it a try!
Thanks by anticipation... that's definitely a great gift for free for the PSx community...
Pierre, LFPG

jcomm

Quote from: JP744 on Wed, 14 Oct 2015 18:55
Yes it is compatible with ASN. Everything is detailed in the User guide included.

Regards

I couldn't find the guide ?  Duh!... I've got to wear glasses ... :-)

Sylle

Hello JP!

Thanks a lot for this wonderful tool!

Unfortunately, it is not compatible with Activesky Evolution (it does not generate a flightplanwx.txt file) so I guess I'll have to invest in a newer version  ;D

Regards,
Sylvain

HercMighty

Congrats! I dabble some in programming myself and always a good feeling when you get one working.

Got a question though. In the FMC when you request and load winds data does anyone know where that winds data comes from? Can it come from or does it come from this program if running?

Thanks

JP59

Thanks to all for your kind words.

Quote from: HercMighty on Thu, 15 Oct 2015 01:01
Got a question though. In the FMC when you request and load winds data does anyone know where that winds data comes from? Can it come from or does it come from this program if running?

Thanks

The FMC upper wind data comes from the PSX world. Feeding the FMC from the PSXAloft data is on my plans. For now, what you can do is to manually insert the winds and OAT data in the WPT winds page. Not necessary for all WPT. Just do it for WPT where you see a significative change of OAT or wind direction and/or velocity, or WPT where step climbs will be performed.

Regards,

tango4

Hi again,
I also have a small question.
What happens if I divert to another airport midflight ?
Basically, I was wondering if your addon was only using the active sky flightplan for smoothing purposes (and for the turbulence feature) ? If I understood well, the injected data comes in real time from active sky, so I should be able to divert without any issue, but I just wanted to clarify this aspect.
And once again thanks a lot !!!!!!!!!

Charles

JP59

Charles,

If you divert to another airport during your flight, the last known ActiveSky flight plan WPT data will remain active, until you descend below 20000ft, where PSX weather will be available again. If it is a short to medium leg to reach diversion airport, it is not an issue (the upper winds doesn't change significantly within some hundreds of miles). However, if your leg to reach to diversion airport is, say, 1000NM long, keep in mind the upper winds will be the last known overflew WPT from your ActiveSky flight plan and will not be updated until your reach another valid WPT. It is the same for turbulence. However, you can disable turbulence at any time by clicking the "Turb Config" button and erase the turbulence data for the last overflew WPT. Maybe I could add a button "Disable Turb" to do the job quickly.

PSXAloft was designed for "Normal OPS". It reads data from a "static" file which is not updated along the route. Another solution is to reload a new flight plan within ActiveSky, according to your diversion leg. Reload the new generated activeflightplanwx.txt file within PSXAloft, and click "Refresh Wx" button. PSXAloft will detect your new route WPTs and will continue updating wind and OAT along your diversion route.

Regards,

Edit : the activeflightplanwx file, and thus PSXAloft data are refreshed at every ASN wx new snapshot update.

tango4

Thanks a lot for those explanations.
So just to clarify, I only have to run active sky to "generate" the activeflightplanwx file, but it does not need to be RUNNING while flying PSX, is that correct ?

If so it is no problem quickly generating another flightplan on the fly with PFPX in case of diversion and reinject it.

Thanks again for your help.

Charles

JP59

That is correct Charles. The only way I would sugest you to keep ActiveSky running is for visuals within FSX or P3D. But PSXAloft only needs the activeflightplanwx.txt file path for working, not ActiveSky itself.

Regards,

tango4


G-CIVA

Quote from: JP744 on Thu, 15 Oct 2015 09:06PSXAloft was designed for "Normal OPS". It reads data from a "static" file which is not updated along the route.

Please take my comment here as constructive ...

Reading data from a 'static' file will come with some significant disadvantages.

Obviously the 744 is capable of flights of in excess of 12 hours, in this time 'Spot Winds' at altitude will 'change'.

PFPX does a fantastic job of predicting this 'change' to within a tolerance of 5-10% when set to download WX from the RW source.

ASN also does a fantastic job of matching this 'change' to within a tolerance of 5-10% when set to download WX from ASN server (which BTW matches what the PFPX WX server 'spits out' very closely).

By limiting what sounds like an excellent programme to only using a 'Spot Wind' 'snapshot' surely you are selling the capability of your efforts a little short.  Are you not able to just let your programme connect to ASN, inject the required data into PSX & then run happily in the background injecting live wind data into PSX on the fly?

Regards
Steve Bell
aka The CC

tango4

I sort of had the same thought. What you get in flight planning is just a prediction. But if you can avoid a direct connection to active sky I think that is perhaps better for stability, performance etc. This add on is great because you can use it with PSX standalone, no FS connected whatsoever.
Just a suggestion here, but a simpler way to achieve that result would be to introduce a randomizer.
And you could make the random factor more important as you move along the flight plan.
For example, in the first 500Nm of the flight plan, values used will be the one in the file plus or minus 5%. Between 500 and 2000Nm plus or minus 10% and so on.
That means that the winds would be CONSISTENT with your flight planning without being exactly the same, as in real life.

Please keep in mind I am not a programmer, so my suggestion might be dumb of too difficult to implement.

All the best.

Charles

JP59

Hello Steve,

Thanks for your constructive comments and suggestions. Unfortunately, I do not have any information from ASN support about how to connect with ASN and retrieve live data. If you have any information, It could be useful for me.

However, I you fed PFPX with ActiveSky data when you built your flight plan, the data you see on your flight plan sheet and PSXAloft data will match all along the flight, even after 12 hours of flight. Live update of PSXAloft data will only be necessary if you rebuild your flight plan during the flight with an updated ASN snapshot. This is not a normal OPS procedure.

You could even fly with a 2 years old ASN snapshot very well with excellent match between PFPX and PSXAloft, if you fed PFPX with this snapshot. The important thing is that PFPX and PSXAloft use the same source.

I made many 12+ hours flights with PSXAloft before the release and wind data always match with flight plan predictions, even at the end of my flight. Again, if PFPX and PSXAloft uses the same "static" source, you'll never get the problem you described.

Let me know if I'm wrong somewhere.

Regards,

Edit : After some investigations, PSXAloft data is well updated all along the flight. Everytime ASN downloads a new snapshot, the activeflightplanwx file is updated. The data PSXAloft uses are not static, but dynamic.

JP59

Quote from: tango4 on Thu, 15 Oct 2015 11:12
Just a suggestion here, but a simpler way to achieve that result would be to introduce a randomizer.
And you could make the random factor more important as you move along the flight plan.
For example, in the first 500Nm of the flight plan, values used will be the one in the file plus or minus 5%. Between 500 and 2000Nm plus or minus 10% and so on.
That means that the winds would be CONSISTENT with your flight planning without being exactly the same, as in real life.

Charles

PSXAloft already includes a small "random factor". It is not done by a randomizer itself, but because wind data is set within FL "boundaries". More you fly away from boundaries, more the wind direction and velocity will vary. It gives you a close value from the flight plan predictions, but not exactly the same value.

However, I many users want the feature you described, I could implement it in a further version. Let me know after you tried some long haul flights.

Cheers,