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Using release 2020.3.8

Installing FlightGear, scenery, aircraft etc. on Windows.

Using release 2020.3.8

Postby peterg1000 » Sat May 29, 2021 10:06 am

Having just acquired a set of rudder pedals, I opted to make a clean start and downloaded the latest revision to continue the simulator learning process ( I have 250+hours on Chipmunks and 1000+ hours on gliders ) .
Rudder pedals and (temporary ) joystick configured and working OK and added elevator and aileron trim buttons just for good measure.
Started with the Cessna of course and found the simulation somewhat difficult to control !! The aircraft seems marginally unstable in both pitch and roll - I have flown with a friend in the same model Cessna, and from what I remember, it would fly hands off with no tendency to need a helping tweak on the stick. A C of G problem might account for a phugoid in longitudinal stability in the simulation?. Maybe the flight dynamics are not quite as they should be ???

A particular problem arose after quitting and re-entering FG a few times in that after starting the Ceesna engine, the aircraft refused move - even at full throttle (yes the parking brake was OFF). I checked for chocks, but couldn't find any reference to these being part of the simulation. The simulation appears to be stuck in this mode even after quitting and reloading FG - guess I will try uninstalling and starting from zero again.

A further anomaly arose with the drop down menus in that they disappeared intermittently when selected, even though the "hot spot" appeared active when the menu box was not showing. This may be due to my temporary graphics board (MSI Radeon R7 240) because my pre-ordered one ( Asus GeForce GT1030 ) is probably stuck onboard a ship impounded in the Suez canal!!

Computer is running Win 10 on an ASRock H410 with Intel i3 10100F and 16 Gb DDR4 memory. Storage is 256Gb SSD.
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby peterg1000 » Sat May 29, 2021 8:53 pm

Re-installation in the same folders cured the glued down aircraft problem and I did manage to get a flight with better stability in pitch. but roll needed continuing tweaks to keep on an even keel. Different from an earlier attempt ??!!. Landed and reset to set off again and believe it or not, the a/c was immovable again.

Still suffering from text free drop down menus - sometimes text appears briefly. The background framework is often complete, but more often than not the text is missing or transient.

I'll try another re-installation tomorrow to determine if the effects are reproduceable.
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby Isaak » Sun May 30, 2021 5:52 am

If I'm correct there's a bug in the c172p currently that requires to switch off and on damage in the aircraft settings menu, that causes the 'immovable aircraft' bug. This should make your aircraft move again.

I have no idea what's causing the drop down menu issue, what graphics card are you using?

Regarding the roll stability: the c172p simulates p-factor (aircraft tending to roll because of the propeller torque), so little roll corrections are needed continuously to overcome this. Is it more prominent than you'd expect?
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby peterg1000 » Sun May 30, 2021 9:21 am

Isaak wrote in Sun May 30, 2021 5:52 am:If I'm correct there's a bug in the c172p currently that requires to switch off and on damage in the aircraft settings menu, that causes the 'immovable aircraft' bug. This should make your aircraft move again.


Thanks for that tip - I'll certainly check that out.

I wouldn't be surprised if the graphics card is problematic - its an old Radeon R7 240 !! My new one has been on order for 4 months now - its probably on board the container vessel impounded in the Suez canal!!

In my limited experience of flying in a friends Cessna (I flew, he navigated - good friend indeed ) I don't recall there being any problem flying hands off once the pitch trim was set. In the simulation I introduced aileron trim to try to mitigate uncommanded roll once pitch was trimmed out, but this only worked briefly and still required continued roll correction.

I guess that when flying for real, one puts the stick in a position to achieve the desired effect, i.e. wings level, and then maintains it there either consciously or not, whereas the basic joystick I'm using returns to centre zero when released. I have a MUCH better yolk on order, but that is weeks away as well unfortunately.
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby peterg1000 » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:56 am

I have finally discovered the cause of the "immovable aircraft" syndrome - embarrassingly it was due to misconfiguration of the differential brakes. The default config is for one to be inverted and the other normal - in fact both should be inverted for the Thrustmaster pedals.
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby Johan G » Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:10 pm

peterg1000 wrote in Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:56 am:The default config is for one to be inverted and the other normal - in fact both should be inverted for the Thrustmaster pedals.

That sounds like a solid bug report for the bug tracker. Hint, hint, wink, wink. :wink:
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby wkitty42 » Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:21 pm

peterg1000 wrote in Sat May 29, 2021 8:53 pm:Still suffering from text free drop down menus - sometimes text appears briefly. The background framework is often complete, but more often than not the text is missing or transient.

have you not yet been told to add the following to your launcher's additional options box?
Code: Select all
--prop:/sim/gui/current-style=0
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby peterg1000 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:14 pm

wkitty42 wrote in Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:21 pm:have you not yet been told to add the following to your launcher's additional options box?

Code: Select all
--prop:/sim/gui/current-style=0


Not sure what this does, but if an expert recommends it, who am I to argue! :D

Have now installed a decent graphics card (Geforce GT1030) and can now read and enter data on the drop down menus - all those previous problems are now a thing of the past.

After a struggle to understand what was required, I finally managed to download scenery for the UK - several Gb of it too! The key was apparently to ask to fly from a different airport - I selected EGGW (Luton) as I live under the flight path !! Without wishing to be too critical, since I know the area from the air extremely well (1200hrs+ gliding from LGC at Dunstable), accuracy of features apart from major towns and roads, seems to be lacking. Lots of detail of stuff that doesn't exist.

Attempting to take off from EGGW, I found the aircraft would not budge with full throttle and brakes off - resorted to air start in the end. I'll investigate further tomorrow and check control configuration.

One minor glitch I unearthed - Ctrl - M is noted as displaying a Map in the menu, couldn't get this to work at all.

Question, if scenery is upgraded, what is the mechanism for transferring updates into an existing terrain database?
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby Johan G » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:44 am

peterg1000 wrote in Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:14 pm:One minor glitch I unearthed - Ctrl - M is noted as displaying a Map in the menu, couldn't get this to work at all.

On Windows 10 I use Ctrl-Enter (not the one on the numpad).

peterg1000 wrote in Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:14 pm:Question, if scenery is upgraded, what is the mechanism for transferring updates into an existing terrain database?

If you have TerraSync enabled (Main Menu > File > Scenery Download > [x] Enable automatic scenery download) the TerraSync your local scenery will be updated if there are changes in the scenery.

If you want to improve the scenery by adding objects like buildings on for example airports, there are ways to add them to the scenery so that everyone else visiting those can enjoy that as well (most airports are still empty though).
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby wkitty42 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:44 am

peterg1000 wrote in Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:14 pm:
wkitty42 wrote in Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:21 pm:have you not yet been told to add the following to your launcher's additional options box?

Code: Select all
--prop:/sim/gui/current-style=0


Not sure what this does,

it changes the in-sim dialogs theme to be one more compatible with some ATI/AMD GPUs...

peterg1000 wrote in Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:14 pm:but if an expert recommends it, who am I to argue! :D

i'm far from an expert but thanks for the vote of confidence :)
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby wkitty42 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:58 am

peterg1000 wrote in Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:14 pm:Attempting to take off from EGGW, I found the aircraft would not budge with full throttle and brakes off - resorted to air start in the end. I'll investigate further tomorrow and check control configuration.

which craft? the c172p that comes with the default install? try loading up and when you are in-sim, hit F10->Cessna 172->Advance Options and toggle "Complex engine procedures and failures" and/or "Enable damage"... toggling one of those, i can't remember which, should fix the glitch which we hope to find and eradicate soon-ish...

peterg1000 wrote in Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:14 pm:One minor glitch I unearthed - Ctrl - M is noted as displaying a Map in the menu, couldn't get this to work at all.

CTRL-M is the Enter key... on my kubuntu installations, i use my right CTRL key and the main Enter key on the typewriter portion of my keyboard... this has always worked for me but some other window managers may not allow it to work... in those cases, i think CTRL-J is the one that works...

peterg1000 wrote in Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:14 pm:Question, if scenery is upgraded, what is the mechanism for transferring updates into an existing terrain database?

what do you mean "if scenery is upgraded"??
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby peterg1000 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:14 pm

Guess that now I have ditched the Radeon GPU and now have a nVidia GT1030 I don't need any patch designed for AMD.

Toggling the two items you suggested fixed the "glued down aircraft" syndrome on the Cessna172 and "Ctrl-Enter" fixed the map display.

Bearing in mind that I have zero knowledge about programming the scenery, I do wonder if there might be mileage in adapting the fairly detailed satellite photographs from Google Maps into the FG terrain format. I've tried reading the Wiki on scenery and it looks extremely complex to my simple mind - maybe the light will dawn to the extent I might be able to do something useful in the future! Obviously not so important at 20,000ft, a different situation at 2000ft though.

On the question of roll stability on the Cessna172 - literature seems to indicate that the sideslip that ensues from a "wings not level" situation should tend to halt the roll in high winged aircraft if the controls are fixed. This doesn't appear to be the case as far as I can tell - once a roll has started, however slow, it continues to accelerate until halted my control intervention. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my own recollection of flying a friend's 172 was that it was stable, hands off, in both roll and pitch once trimmed out in pitch.
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby Johan G » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:27 pm

peterg1000 wrote in Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:14 pm:Obviously not so important at 20,000ft, a different situation at 2000ft though.

I would actually argue that it is the other way around. Even compared to ridiculously high resolution orthophotos (like 16000 x16000 or even 32000 x 32000 pixels per, if I recall correctly, 0.125 degree scenery tile), well developed regional scenery materials will have much more detail closer to the ground (in large portions of the world they are still basic though).
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby peterg1000 » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:55 pm

Johan G wrote in Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:27 pm:I would actually argue that it is the other way around.


What I was trying to say was that ground detail is not so important when flying high, but does become increasingly so on low level (2000ft or so) cross country flights. Or have I missed the point entirely?
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Re: Using release 2020.3.8

Postby Johan G » Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:40 am

peterg1000 wrote in Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:55 pm:[...] ground detail is not so important when flying high, but does become increasingly so on low level (2000ft or so) [...]

Nope you did not miss anything. It is just that unless you use ridiculously high resolution orthophoto imagery, the resolution will not be enough. While I have not tried it myself I can see from screenshots that I would not be satisfied myself (I often fly at less than 100 ft). Here is an example of how much ground detail a relatively good regional material with procedural textures can bring even at low level.
Low-level flying — It's all fun and games till someone looses an engine. (Paraphrased from a YouTube video)
Improving the Dassault Mirage F1 (Wiki, Forum, GitLab. Work in slow progress)
Johan G
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