Post by Tom/CalClassic on Feb 10, 2019 15:59:44 GMT -5
I can confirm that there is something wrong with the localizer needle in FS2004. I placed the exact same gauge into FSX and it worked perfectly. I have narrowed down the problem, but not yet discovered the reason.
Post by Tom/CalClassic on Feb 10, 2019 18:38:27 GMT -5
OK, here's the fix for the localizer needle in FS2004, and it's surprisingly easy. The reason is that the command rnor does not work properly in FS2004. If you can't read what I wrote the command is r n o r, which is supposed to normalize radian values.
1. Open the zzDAT37.xml file in a text editor. 2. Do a search for rnor 3. Replace
rddg dnor dgrd
Keep the spaces around the words.
Karol actually did this in a number of other locations, but looks like he missed this one.
Terrific, Tom. I'm sure it will work but will confirm later. Many thanks once again.
11:15 UTC I made the necessary change and when I loaded the saved flight from yesterday things were still not right - it looks as though the gauge will not tolerate saved flights. However, I then did a new flight from Orly, taking off to the west, turning north and then back to Orly for a landing on Runway 20 - the one which does not have ILS. It worked like a charm. There are two ILS indicators, the big white lines and the small orange ones outside the display. The white ones only activate when you get fairly near but as can be seen from this screenshot it is all very precise. You are told the runway heading in grey, its present bearing in orange and your current heading in yellow (top centre), Align the grey and orange headings and fly on the same bearing and you are there. A major addition to flying in FS9, thanks to Karol and Tom.
Last Edit: Feb 11, 2019 6:26:47 GMT -5 by connieguy
Post by Tom/CalClassic on Feb 11, 2019 12:54:59 GMT -5
To get an idea of how common GCA with PAR was in our era, here are the US airports listed in my 1962/63 Jeppesen approach plates. Ad you can see, generally only major airports had it, and mostly only in the northern states:
KABQ Albuquerque (Kirkland AFB) KCOS Colorado Springs KLAX Los Angeles KOAK Oakland KPDX Portland KSFO San Francisco KSEA Seattle KATL Atlanta KACY Atlantic City KBLM Belmar (NJ) KBOS Boston KMDW Chicago KORD Chicago KCLE Cleveland KYIP Detroit KIND Indianapolis KMSP Minneapolis KEWR Newark KLGA New York KIDL New York (KJFK) KPHL Philadelphia KPIT Pittsburgh KSTL St. Louis KDCA Washington DC KDIA Washington DC
Many more airports had radar guidance to an ILS approach, which would be the APC portion of the GCA approach, then using the ILS needles instead of a PAR approach.
In 1958 in the Eastern US and Canada, these were added to the list above:
Bedford, MA Hanscom Ft. Rucker AL Ozark AAF CYQX Gander Huntsville AL Redstone AAF
In addition, many Air Force bases around the world had PAR, some until quite late. For example, Eielson AFB in Alaska still had a PAR approach in 1969.
Some airports in Europe also had PAR approaches, these are from Northern Europe in 1964:
Aalborg Denmark Amsterdam Netherlands Schiphol Bournemouth UK Hurn Brussels Belgium National Coleman Germany AAF Copenhagen Denmark Kastrup Dublin Ireland Dusseldorf Germany Frankfurt Germany Main Grafenwohr Germany AAF Hamburg Germany Hannover Germany Heidelberg Germany AAF London UK Heathrow London UK Gatwick Manchester UK Mildenhall UK Munich Germany Northolt UK Paris France Orly Paris France Le Bourget Prestwick UK Shannon Ireland Stockholm Sweden Bromma
Many thanks, Tom. I have saved this as a pdf so that I can consult it in future. Heathrow had Talk Down in 1951 and it was simulated pretty effectively in the Ealing Film 'Out of the Clouds' a few years later, including the fact that descending in zero visibility placed a considerable strain on pilots. I daresay 'In On the Beam' has been posted here before, but if anybody has not seen it they may well find it interesting.
Poor visibility in the London area, which is a major part of the plot in 'Out of the Clouds', was probably more common in the early 1950s than it is today, because it was just before the Clean Air Act of 1956 greatly reduced the amount of smoke pollution in the atmosphere.
Last Edit: Feb 12, 2019 7:11:26 GMT -5 by connieguy
Thank you very much gentleman, for sorting this all out. I will certainly use it in the future. AFAIK, many airbases at least around western Europe used PAR well into this century so I see many potential uses for FS.
Post by Tom/CalClassic on Feb 11, 2019 22:36:22 GMT -5
I tried testing my gauges in FSX (to make sure they worked in both sims) but I find I can't get the GCA to speak to me in FSX. It was a direct copy of all files that work fine in FS2004. Then I even tried the default installation/gauges and the ILS gauge and the AP gauge work fine, but no voices. So I can't test the voices (the rest works the same). I get the voices fine in FS2004...
In the first post in this thread tailspin45 is pretty guarded about how many FSX and P3D aircraft it will work with. Clearly other people have had problems, and it may be that they are problems which originate outside the gauge itself.
Last Edit: Feb 12, 2019 1:46:12 GMT -5 by connieguy
That said, I don't know any FSX aircraft where the original setup does not work, and we tested a great many. Some issues were reported with the A2A Connie, I'll admit that. One user's audio setup wasn't working properly. Some people had faulty panel.cfg's or custom setups etc etc, the usual suspects. I'd be grateful for actual non-working examples so that I can try to replicate them here or pass them on to the testers. I only have FSX SP2, and P3D V3 and 4.1, but I'd be happy to help.
Tom, I installed the GCA gauge in Alphasim's Hudson running FS2004. The gauge seems to work properly as far as the autopilot taking me to the 8 mile fix for the runway I choose but then orbits that point. Also, in setting up the flight beforehand, when I click on the APC button, after a minute or two, I hear "radar contact lost...etc". I don't get any other voices on APC or when I click PAR either. You mentioned having to alter the APC and PAR files. I re-configured the zzDat37.xml file like you instructed but don't know what to do with the APC & PAR files. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Post by Tom/CalClassic on Feb 12, 2019 10:54:08 GMT -5
I’m not sure what could be wrong at this point, but will continue to investigate. This is the same plane that works fine in FS2004, ported into FSX. It’s the JBK B307 Stratoliner, which I used because it has a simple setup with a panel inside the plane’s panel folder as the default installation expects and has a stock Sperry AP. I installed the GCA package into my FS2004 plane and the voices started right up. I then modified the APC and PAR files so they are FS2004 compatible and all worked fine (I had already edited the zzDat37 file when testing that gauge in the default Cessna). So then I modified the gcacalls.ini file so I could place the dsd sound gauge and GCA folder into the main Gauges folder (for use by all planes) and that worked fine too.
Then I copied the plane, gauge and GCA folder from my FS2004 to my FSX SP2, and the plane, ILS, and AP Gauges appeared as expected. But when I click on APC I get no voice. If making an approach I can click on APC, click on Hdg and ALT, and the AP will take me right down to the runway, without voices. So all the gauges are loading, but the voices are not playing. If I rename the gcacalls.ini file the sound gauge complains about it when loading the plane, so I know that gauge is loading too. That leaves the format of the gcacalls.ini file as my main culprit.
So I went back to square one, removed all my copied components and installed the files directly from the original zip file into the plane’s panel folder. Same results, everything works but no voices. Very curious...
Hi Tom, that's what I would do, start from scratch, and try a default plane so that we can compare notes. I don't have any portover planes, so I can't replicate anything atm. How about adding the GCA setup to the 737-800, or the CRJ, see if that gets us going?
On a vague hunch I still suspect the DDS gauge; maybe you have two version of it, one in the panel folder, one in gauges. What could happen is that the one in gauges is found first, but then the invocation of the ini file would no longer be correct. Worth a try: rename the one in the gauges folder and give the by-the-book setup another shot. BTW that's the reason I never ask users to put aynthing in \gauges -- things get modified and duplicated and overwritten there, and on the whole it is a junkyard very difficult to clean up. I am just as pernickity as you when it comes to wasted space, but then what is a few MB's among friends. The average aircraft these days can easily clock up 100 MB and more.
phlyer: the first words spoken by APC/Alice are your callsign, your intercept altitude, and the runway. If that does not happen the setup isn't working.
That's what's occurring...no voice at all except the message that radar contact was lost. The autopilot will take me directly to the 8 mile fix and then orbit around that point. I can manually fly the approach using the GCA's cross bars with no problem but no dice using the AP. I was wondering what mods Tom made to his APC & PAR files to make them FS2004 compatible. That might be my problem concerning my inability to make contact with the approach controller. Thanks, Phil
3. Started FSX, loaded the Boeing Colors B737-800 sitting on the tarmac at KSAC. Lowered the flaps and the flaps sound was heard. 4. Chose View/Instrument Panel/GCA and the ILS and AP instruments appeared. 5. Clicked NRST, chose KSAC, and chose runway 2-20. 6. Clicked the APC word at the lower left of the AP, it lit up for a moment and then went out:
7. No voice was heard... 8. Double clicked the APP_0.wav sound file and heard "zero" said in Windows Media Player.