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Tag Archives: Reference

UPDATED 20/11/2016 F/A-18E

Here are several sets of checklists designed for FSX. We created these checklists as part of our ground school for each of the aircraft. The planes are:

VRSimulations F/A-18E Rhino (SuperBug) Normal procedures with AR receiver

DCattaneo T-45C Goshawk v1.1

LotusSim Aero L-39C Albatros (formatted for printout at A5 size)

Tim Conrad’s Douglas A-1H

Iris Raytheon T-6A Texan II

Combat Pilot Raytheon/Beech T-6B Texan II

Iris Pilatus PC-21 (includes reference speeds and control settings)

Razbam Convair F/A-201 Kestrel (including cold/dark start)

Will add more as we do more.

Enjoy.

T-34C Forces Aériennes Royales MarocT-34C Forces Aériennes Royales Maroc

WARNING: These documents are published for flight simulation only and are not to be used for any real world flight activities.

KNID VFR Terminal Flight Patterns

R-2508 Complex Airspace Briefing

KNFL NAS Fallon Range Users Manual

KNGP NAS Kingsville Course Rules
KNGP NAS Kingsville Course Rules Slideshow
KNGP NAS Kingsville Additional Course Rules Slideshow

KNIP NAS Jacksonville JNFC Course Rules

KNMM NAS Meridian Course Rules

KNQX NAS Key West Course Rules

TW-5 Fixed Wing Standard Operating Procedures for North Whiting Field (including KNSE, KNPA, and outlying fields)
TW-5 T-6B Checklist Guide
TW-5 Rotary-Wing Operating Procedures Manual

KNUW NAS Whidbey Island Course Rules

KNZY NAS North Island Course Rules Slideshow

Kneeboard parking diagrams for popular (and good) KNID and KNYL sceneries:

KNID parking diagram

KNYL parking diagram

NRR_TJRV parking diagram

And a modified CNATRA Single Engine Jet Log flight planning form:

Jet Log v5 

Enjoy.

(Updated 27/6/2014)

There is an old saying in American show business: “If you can make it in New York city, you can make it anywhere else.” For FSX performance testing, this may will be: “If you can fly the PC-21 at KSEA, you can fly any other aircraft anywhere else.” The combination of resource hungry add-on and extremely heavy default scenery are excellent for benchmarking changes to the FSX graphics configuration.

We use a relatively rigourous system for performance benchmarking. Our system includes a saved flight, rebooting for each individual test, and deleting the FSX shader cache before each test. Changing FSX settings via sliders in mid-flight will not give accurate results particularly over a longer flight or lots of changes. Using this procedure requires A LOT OF TIME, especially if starting from cfg scratch. But the outcome of the testing is more reliable so that fewer changes need be made in the long term.

Our tweaks in 5/2013 were primarily based on the JB school of FSX magic. We were mostly CPU bounds during graphics rendering and needed to allocate our system threads very carefully to get max visual quality. As mentioned in Part 1, these FSX settings from a year ago were not working very well after CPU upgrade. Overall performance, FPS, was better, but there were more visual artifacts, flashes, etc. In addition to the hardware changes, we also added Orbx FTX Global texture set, increasing overall texture size and quality.

We always start testing with a benchmark. This benchmark is:

  1. fresh FSX shader cache
  2. new, basic FSX.cfg with only HIGHMEMFIX=1 added
  3. basic FSX slider config (in this case, based on Orbx recommendations for FTX Global)
  4. reboot
  5. basic external graphics processing (in this case, based on PMDG recommendations)
  6. starting saved flight and running with monitoring tools
  7. establish flight circuit that will be used for all test flights (can be done with AFCS if desired)

ProcessorsBenchmarkBenchmark flight

KSEATestCircuitTest Circuit

The head priest of the SK school of FSX tweaks has correlated texture flashing and visual artifacts with GPU processor saturation. But, these quality problems can also happen when the FSX rendering system is saturating the CPU. The oversimplified explanation is that the CPU gets behind and cannot send renders to the GPU fast enough resulting in “whiteouts” in the visual field.

Reducing FSX CPU load can be done with almost all of the graphics sliders, but some have more of an effect than others. Autogen and AI levels are the most CPU intensive elements of the FSX rendering system. Changes in these settings have the greatest/quickest effect on CPU usage. We worked on these settings first. Our compromise is a little autogen to a moderate distance out and a minimum of AI traffic. We like a few boats but no cars for sure.

FSX menu 3Our detailed FSX menu config

Our AI and cloud settings give us a little room to increase density/volume on flights that would benefit from the extra detail.

Several test flights later, we had gotten the flashes down to 3-6 times per 15 minute flight over the heaviest part of Seattle. With autogen at the minimum we could tolerate, we had to resort to fsx.cfg tweaks. In particular, “SmallPartRejectRadius”, “Terrain_Max_Autogen_Trees_Per_Cell”, and “Texture_Bandwidth_Mult”.  As you can see, we were still working on reducing autogen CPU load. For a very good discussion of these and other cfg file tweaks, see FSXTimes but Tom Tsui.

The complete list of our fsx.cfg additions:
[graphics]
ALLOW_SHADER_30=1
HIGHMEMFIX=1

[bufferpools]
UsePools=1
Poolsize=8388608
RejectThreshold=262144

[display]
RUNWAY_LIGHTS_SURFACE_SCALAR=0.75
RUNWAY_LIGHTS_VASI_SCALAR=0.5
RUNWAY_LIGHTS_APPROACH_SCALAR=0.65
RUNWAY_LIGHTS_STROBE_SCALAR=0.7
UPPER_FRAMERATE_LIMIT=30
TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=120

[scenery]
SMALLPARTREJECTRADIUS=3

[terrain]
TERRAIN_MAX_AUTOGEN_TREES_PER_CELL=300

[main]
DISABLEPRELOAD=1

May-MayComparisonComparison shots

Finally, a video showing the (more or less) final results.

 Flying the Realair Lancair Legacy on the same circuit, at 220 KIAS and same FSX settings, yields 40-50% higher FPS.

Great vid series on KNSE T-6B ops.

http://www.youtube.com/user/IJTRL

Selected readings from Primary FTI

P-764 T-6 Primary Contact

P-763 T-6 Out-of-Control Flight

P-767 T-6 Navigation

P-765 T-6 Primary Instruments

Unfortunately, we do not have an adequate T-6B in FSX. The closest analogue for flight model is Iris Simulations T-6A. The closest analogue for mission capability is the Iris Simulations PC-21.

Raytheon T-6 Texan IIT-6A of TRAWING6 Pensacola

Our FSX main computer is rather modest. An AMD FX-4130 processor running at 3.9Mhz and an EVGA GTX460v2 Nvidia based graphics card.  Part of our RW job is making legacy applications work on new operating systems as part of network upgrades/migrations. Although fundamentally tedious and a huge time drain, the “tweaking” of FSX has been a basic part of our “flightsim experience” since we began.

There are several good references for the settings, software, and processes by which to get the maximum performance and visual quality from the software. However, no guide or tool can teach software troubleshooting and diagnostics. A good “bad” example is the use of frame rate, FPS, as the penultimate measure of FSX performance. A system can be delivering 3 digits of visual FPS while simultaneously stuttering the video and displaying sub-par visual quality. The best “wizards” of FSX tweaking understand and practice a more balanced approach, one that requires more patience and systematic troubleshooting.

Most of our flying is relatively low altitude (lower than FL180), relatively low speed (< 300 KIAS), high precision manuvering, with real world weather injection (lots of complex cloud rendering). Visual quality and VERY smooth graphics are the most important factors. FPS above 30 are wasted on these old eyes.

The key elements are our “tweaking” paradigm are:

  1. Use of operating system capability to selectively control program execution
  2. Use of GPU rendering capabilities to replace legacy FSX CPU rendering functions
  3. Limit of frame rates
  4. Limit of visual rendering distance
  5. A bit of GPU overclocking

We have a system rebuild/re-install in a couple of months. The following list is as much a reference for us as it is a example for you.

Install Bogote Shader 3.0

Generate fresh FSX.cfg

Manual GUI settings

Manually add to FSX.cfg:

  • [GRAPHICS]  ALLOW_SHADER_30=1
  • [GRAPHICS] HIGHMEMFIX=1
  • [DISPLAY]  WIDEVIEWASPECT=True
  • [MAIN]  DISABLEPRELOAD=1
  • [BUFFERPOOLS]  BUFFERPOOLS=1
  • [BUFFERPOOLS] POOLSIZE=10485760
  • [BUFFERPOOLS] REJECTTHRESHOLD=131072

Run Bogote automated tweak

  • [DISPLAY]  TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULTI=80
  • [SCENERY]  SMALLPARTREJECTRADIUS=4.0
  • [TERRAIN]  SWAP_WAIT_TIMEOUT=2

Nvidia Inspector set according to PMDG 4XS  

FSXAssist settings:

  • FSX uses processor cores 2-4
  • Other apps use core 1 only
  • FSX thread priority HIGH
  • Other apps thread priority ABOVE NORMAL

Nvidia overclocking settings:

  • GPU clock 865Mhz (default 824Mhz)
  • Memory clock 2090Mhz (default 2004Mhz)
  • Shader clock 1730Mhz (default 1647Mhz)

We run FSX with 1920×1200 resolution in full screen mode. Here are some screen caps of what we are seeing with the relatively framerate heavy Iris PC-21. Although the FPS appear to be low, there is no stuttering, scenery flashing or other interruptions in the render delivery….very smoooth.

2013-5-25_8-55-32-966On the runway KSEA, OpusFSX weather

2013-5-25_8-56-53-613Approx 220 KIAS, angels 1.0

2013-5-25_8-57-16-15Approx 160 KIAS, angels 1.1

2013-5-25_8-59-18-842Downtown Seattle, approx 200 KIAS, 500AGL

Keysounddotcom does it again, calmly explaining technical information in a rational, practical fashion.

Nice scenery too

He doesn’t address all the tweaks. However, the description of the slider(s) impact on FSX performance, and the use of NVidia control panel for anti-aliasing are well worth the time spent viewing.

We purchased a regular computer power supply to provide the voltages and current to the various electronics of the project. A relatively inexpensive computer power supply comfortably and quietly supplies more than enough wattage.

ATX power supply pinoutsPinouts for the various connectors

Remember the note at the bottom of the above image. Without a motherboard connected, those wires will either need to be shorted together or on a switch to get the power supply energized.

All the wires on a power supply are consistently coded and easy to figure out.

Power supply wire color codingWorth a thousand words

Lots more cool stuff at wiki.robotz.com.

Setting zoom and virtual cockpit settings has been troubling us since well before we began this project.  As my grandson says, “Everything is on youtube.”

Keysounddotcom has the best explanation and recommendations for the FSX zoom settings we’ve ever seen. After trying his method, the view settings in every aircraft we tried seem natural and intuitive.