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Possible negative interaction with 4.25?

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http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=c_id=38906

Hi Pete -

I started this thread at Avsim because I was searching for an answer to what I thought was a weather problem. There is another related thread, that seems to also indicate that the problem started after installing 4.25.

Unfortunately, until I can find a way to manually generate the 'super fog' layer I can't really test it.

Are you aware of any interaction of 4.25 that would cause this 'super fog' layer which causes all panels to disappear when descending into it?

Thanx,

Vic

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Are you aware of any interaction of 4.25 that would cause this 'super fog' layer which causes all panels to disappear when descending into it?

No, sorry. I've never heard of anything like that which can affect panels, and certainly there's nothing in FSUIPC which deals with graphics or panels. It does sound like a video driver problem, or possibly one of the many incompatibilities folks are finding between some add-on aircraft panels and FSX's SP2/Acceleration.

Regards

Pete

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Hi Pete,

I am experiencing this as well, but until now, I thought it was my use of ASX sp3 beta while I was beta testing FSUIPC v4.25 for you at the same time. Honestly I thought it was ASX doing this but needed time to revert to ASXsp2 to check. I reinstalled everything last weekend including the WinXPsp2 OS and a fresh coyp of FSXsp2(wo Accel) along with dropping back to ASXsp2 on my simconnect-client. I don't think it's a video driver issue as no one else has ever reported anything like this. I believe it is the FSX haze layer going to absolute zero visability as "Graduated Visibility" and "Fog Layer Generation" in ASX are both off (unchecked). Also, when this happens, you can go into slew mode, and climb straight-up in altitdude. Right when you clear the haze-layer, your VC and outside views are immediately restored. Also, after ASX indicates "depiction complete" shortly after entering the flight, I can press the ASX "Refresh Weather" button and wait 5 or 10 minutes and the visibility will return to normal which reaffirms my belief that it is weather related.

So far, it would seem the one thing we all have in common is FSUIPC v4.25+ I loaded v4.253 and saw the issue once more this weekend. I have Wind/Baro/Temp smoothing enabled in FSUIPC and all other weather options to default.

Two threads pertaining to this issue so far can be found here:

http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=8906&page=

and here:

http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_p?TID=24804

Regards,

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Honestly I thought it was ASX doing this ...

ASX, like FSUIPC, cannot actually cause such things as you describe. It might be related to specific weather settings, but everything ASX and FSUIPC does (excepting for the recent wind smoothing actions in FSUIPC) deal with SimConnect only through a very awkward (to me) interface involving sending and receiving METAR strings -- basically the same sort of stuff that FS gets from its own downloads for weather.

I don't think it's a video driver issue as no one else has ever reported anything like this. I believe it is the FSX haze layer going to absolute zero visability

There is, indeed, a bug in FSX where a zero visibility value can be reported by SimConnect. In fact FSUIPC detects this and logs it when weather logging is enabled. I had to include special code to discard the zero visibility and use the previous or global value instead if I am in the "allow changes to FS weather" mode. This isn't a new phenomenon. It has been happening in the METAR data from FSX since RTM.

However, when the visibility is truly allowed to be set to zero, whilst there are indeed some odd graphics effects which don't look right, I never actually saw any case of the panel graphics being obscured too -- though maybe you are talking about the Virtual Cockpit? I must admit if I have panels showing they are almost always the 2D ones.

So far, it would seem the one thing we all have in common is FSUIPC v4.25+ I loaded v4.253 and saw the issue once more this weekend. I have Wind/Baro/Temp smoothing enabled in FSUIPC and all other weather options to default.

In order to have those smoothing options on you have to have ticked the "allow changes to FS weather", so, yes, FSUIPC will be writing corrected METARs back to FSX when it sees layers with multiple spurious wind or temperature layers. But it should be detecting the bad cases where SimConnect reports zero vis, and never send zero vis back again.

Maybe you could enable Weather Logging in FSUIPC4, and when the problem occurs, immediately Zip up the log and send it to me (petedowson@btconnect.com). I am working on some more changes to FSUIPC4, so I'd appreciate it as soon as possible, please.

I am not sure what ASX does these days -- it isn't using FSUIPC, of course, but writing METARs directly itself. Possibly it may not be detecting and removing the zero vis cases like FSUIPC4 is. The only way really of identifying it in ASX would be to enable SimConnect logging and searching the METAR write strings.

Two threads pertaining to this issue so far can be found here:

Sorry, I really don't have time to go elsewhere to find things to do!

Regards

Pete

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Maybe you could enable Weather Logging in FSUIPC4, and when the problem occurs, immediately Zip up the log and send it to me (petedowson@btconnect.com). I am working on some more changes to FSUIPC4, so I'd appreciate it as soon as possible, please.

As well as this, I'd like to be able to repro it (without ASX), so could you also include a saved flight (FLT+WX) set please? Save stuff as soon as the problem occurs.

Note that the wind smoothing experiments went on here for two weeks before I released 4.25 ten days ago, and today is the first time anyone has mentioned this problem to me.

Regards

Pete

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Pete -

FYI, when I first had the problem, I tried it with and w/o ASX - same issue - so I don't see ASX as the culprit. In my case, the 2D panel DID display but the VC and any outside views did NOT and everything is exactly as Al described.

Are you aware of a way to manually set up a 0 visibility fog layer?

When it happens again I'll save the flight.

Thanx,

Vic

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FYI, when I first had the problem, I tried it with and w/o ASX - same issue - so I don't see ASX as the culprit.

I didn't say it was -- there is most certainly a bug in FSX which occasionally spuriously sets zero visibility. I know this because it was occurring quite a lot even with the FSX RTM build when I was using ANY program (FSUIPC included) which was writing weather through SimConnect.

When you had FSUIPC's option "allow changes to FS weather" turned off, as it is by default, FSUIPC isn't writing any weather to FSX at all. When it is enabled, it is. And of course you've had to enable it to use wind smoothing. BUT I did place measures in FSUIPC to detect the zero visibility and not re-write it - way back in about version 4.06 or so.

In my case, the 2D panel DID display but the VC and any outside views did NOT and everything is exactly as Al described.

Right, which is precisely why I didn't recognise the problem when you said all panels were being obscured.

Are you aware of a way to manually set up a 0 visibility fog layer?

FSX weather dialogue, possibly?

When it happens again I'll save the flight.

I'd like a log with Weather Logging enabled too if possible.

I can make the wind smoothing work without re-writing METARs to fix errors, but I'm not yet sure I should. I'm going to do some experiments here -- as I say, I know about the FSX zero vis bug (as does Microsoft, because I told then 18 months ago), but I have code in to fix it, and this is also logged (with weather logging), so I need to see how it can happen with that in place.

Regards

Pete

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Pete,

I had the same problem here with 4.253. During some flights visibility went down to zero. The 2D panel still worked. I have never seen this before. After loading the auto-saved flight the visibility went back to normal.

I'm using ASX and setting minimum visibility to anything > 0 (in ASX and FSUIPC) did not help.

I reinstalled 4.252 again and that fixed it for me.

Maybe this is a 4.253 specific problem?

Alex

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I had the same problem here with 4.253. During some flights visibility went down to zero.

No weather log, no saved flight?

I'm using ASX and setting minimum visibility to anything > 0 (in ASX and FSUIPC) did not help.

I'm withdrawing the "visibility" page in FSUIPC4, because though I've tried and tried none of the visibility control options really ever work as intended.

I reinstalled 4.252 again and that fixed it for me.

Maybe this is a 4.253 specific problem?

No, it's got to be a function of the "Allow changes to FS weather", the option which has always been there but which is now used more because it is needed for Wind Smoothing.

My problem is that I know about the zero vis problem and thought I'd fixed it about 15 months ago. I've checked the code and the fix is still there. I would understand if it was a combination of what ASX and FSUIPC is now doing, but some reports are saying it happens without ASX running (ah, but I wonder if it's with weather saved in a flight in an ASX-using session?).

I really need to be able to repro it here, or at minimum see a weather log with it occurring. Else I'm a bit stuck. This last weekend I had 5 good complete flights with FSUIPC 4.253 and ASX SP3, and no similar problems at all. It probably needs some special combination of weather conditions and/or WX stations. So saved flights with weather are likely to be a must.

Regards

Pete

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Hi Pete -

In the FWIW department, I have been unable to manually generate the 'fog layer' so far. Setting visibility to 1/16 in FSX produces a nice soupy view but it's "not" the fog layer. WHen I slew above it and look down, it looks 'different'. Wish I could be more specific. I'll keep trying.

Also, I'm not at my flight system right now but the version of FSUIPC that I'm using was downloaded three days ago from Schiratti's site.

Vic

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In the FWIW department, I have been unable to manually generate the 'fog layer' so far. Setting visibility to 1/16 in FSX produces a nice soupy view but it's "not" the fog layer.

The only value which causes any problems is zero, real zero. And it is that value which FSUIPC deliberately seeks to eliminate. I don't understand why it isn't. that's why I need at least a Weather Log showing it, and better both a log and a saved FLT + WX set.

Also, I'm not at my flight system right now but the version of FSUIPC that I'm using was downloaded three days ago from Schiratti's site.

That's 4.25. A couple of weeks old. A lot has happened since then -- don't you check the Announcements here at all?

Once we sort out this zero vis problem out I'll release 4.26 on the "Schiratti" site.

Regards

Pete

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Hi Pete,

The super-fog happened again last night (v4.253) when starting a simple flight from Green Bay, WI to Chicago Midway. The only way I was able to clear it was to go into the FSUIPC GUI and press the "Clear All Weather" button and then the "Refresh Weather" button in ASX on the simconnect-client. I intend to turn on all logging and try to repeat it early this evening (EST) and send you all the requested logs and files. Do I use the same weather-logging setup configuration that we did a few weeks during beta testing (#67) I think it was? Thanks

Regards,

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The super-fog happened again last night (v4.253) when starting a simple flight from Green Bay, WI to Chicago Midway.

Ah, good. Have you sent the weather log and FLT + WX files for me?

I intend to turn on all logging

No no! JUST the "weather logging" entry in the Logging page please. Nothing else. Extras should be off or 0 as well. I'll have enough to plough through as it is!

Do I use the same weather-logging setup configuration that we did a few weeks during beta testing (#67) I think it was?

No, just weather logging, as I asked a couple of days ago.

Sorry, I thought you were doing this already, as you never know when the zero vis is going to happen! :-(

Please do NOT use "Extras" 67 -- those numbers do completely different things now. The Extras stuff is all designed for specific purposes and is never likely to be the same from one version to the next.

Regards,

Pete

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Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you, Super-Fog :!:

Files and screenies coming to your e-mail Pete, including my settings to reproduce it on startup!

For anyone else who wants to try to reproduce, below are my ASX setting screenies, and the flight-plan is attached to this post.

post-10062-128689607655_thumb.jpg

post-10062-128689607671_thumb.jpg

post-10062-128689607686_thumb.jpg

post-10062-128689607701_thumb.jpg

post-10062-128689607717_thumb.jpg

IFR Green Bay Austin Straubel Intl to Chicago Midway Intl.zip

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Hi Al,

Can you get the METAR and post it?

Thanks!

Hi Jim,

My simconnect-client is burning a DVD-DL right now so I didn't want to start ASX and possibly corrupt the burn. I did traverse back across the LAN and grabbed the following from the "current_wx_snapshot.txt" file which was last written when I grabbed the screenies and info for Pete. I can forward you the e-mail I sent Pete and any ASX files if you desire as well.

Green Bay, WI (KGRB) 2/25/08 17:00 local

KGRB::KGRB 252153Z 00000KT 3SM HZ CLR 02/M03 A2979 RMK AO2 SLP096 T00171033::KGRB 251728Z 251818 28005KT 3SM HZ BKN015 OVC200 TEMPO 1821 SCT015 OVC200 FM2100 31007KT 3SM HZ BKN020 OVC200 TEMPO 2101 SCT020 OVC200 FM0100 01009KT 5SM -SN BR OVC020 FM0600 36013G18KT P6SM BKN025 OVC200 FM1000 35014G20KT P6SM BKN035 BKN200 FM1400 35017G25KT P6SM BKN040 BKN200::313,006,-00.9/318,013,-01.7/300,012,-03.2/282,020,-12.6/273,035,-23.6/264,042,-35.2/247,073,-49.9/254,070,-56.5/274,049,-52.1

Regards,

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Hi Al,

3 mile visibility is pretty good, so now I wonder if it is the HZ code.

You are good at generating METARs so go and generate some HZ METARs and see if you can reproduce this. Of course, this is when you have a chance!

Thanks,

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Hi Al,

3 mile visibility is pretty good, so now I wonder if it is the HZ code.

You are good at generating METARs so go and generate some HZ METARs and see if you can reproduce this. Of course, this is when you have a chance!

Thanks,

Will do Jim.

For everyone else reading this, Pete responded to my e-mail and has received my logged files and it seems to be exactly what he needed. He indicated that he'll start looking at this issue first thing in the morning (Wednesday) his time.

Regards,

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Great work , Al - Can't wait to get home and try it to see if I can reproduce the Super Fog.

Next thought - what's the possibility that it's a bad texture in XG? I also have FEX but not loaded. If push comes to shove I could install FEX clouds and try that.

Vic

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Great work , Al - Can't wait to get home and try it to see if I can reproduce the Super Fog.

Next thought - what's the possibility that it's a bad texture in XG? I also have FEX but not loaded. If push comes to shove I could install FEX clouds and try that.

Vic

My gutt feeling is that it is the haze layer only from the aspect that I can easily clear it with the FSUIPC "Clear All Weather" button and then ASX comes right back with the proper visibility on the next manual or automatic update. But, you are correct in the respect that I did let ASX submit XGraphics Clouds and water textures (all checked) based on the flight-plan (attached above) yesteday when I first tried starting from KGRB. These same textures were still in use today as I did not let ASX resubmit the textures. But, these same textures have been used since XGraphics_sp2 was released. The timeline of the problem coincides with three things that changed on my computer. FSX-sp2, ASXsp3, and FSUIPC v4.25+. I don't think it's the ASX beta sp3 becuase I I have now experienced the same thing with ASX sp2 (and did not previously). More likely FSUIPC and/or FSX-sp2 or a comination thereof.

Regards,

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I tried again using FSX online weather and could not reproduce the problem so far. I used the same flight I sent to Pete.

I noticed that I get these "ZERO VIS READ !!!!!!!!!" messages in the log only if I use ASX (latest beta).

Alex

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For anyone else who wants to try to reproduce, below are my ASX setting screenies, and the flight-plan is attached to this post.

My hopes were dashed, I'm afraid. Even precisely following your instructions for getting the "super fog" effect, I can't make it happen here. I checked and double checked.

I suspect even just small differences in timing of events are having an effect here.

I've examined your logs and one from Alex, and in both cases, every time FSUIPC sees a METAR setting with 0000 visibility, it changes it to the previously-reported non-zero value and sends the METAR back. This is the "corrective action" I mentioned, and the logs show it is still doing what I programmed it to do.

... but obviously it isn't managing to undo the zero vis which has somehow been set from other WX station METARs.

I believe this is the same bug as was in FS8 and FS9, which, though rare, did occur more and more with external weather setting and for which, because on those FS versions I did find a way of getting the real visible fog effect controlled, I fixed automatically in FSUIPC3.

Anyway, since you can reproduce it at will, if you have the time and patience, could you do some further experiments, please? To get more data, that is.

TEST 1

First, still using 4.253 repeat exactly the stuff you've just done, but first enable SimConnect logging too. You do this by making a little text file containing:

[simConnect]

level=Verbose

console=No

OutputDebugString=No

file=\SimConnect%01u.Log

file_max_index=9

where you can set the to wherever you want.

Save this in your "Flight Simulator X Files" folder as 'SimConnect.INI'.

Do the test as before. Do not let it run on past the point where you get the Super Fog.

ZIP both the FSUIPC4.LOG and the SimConnectN.log (the N will increment 0-9 cyclically each time you run FSX). The SimConnect log will be huge.

TEST 2

Then, please download the version 4.254 I provided yesterday, and repeat exactly the same with no other changes to any parameters.

TEST 3 (provisional)

If TEST 2 does NOT produce the Super Fog, please close FSX, add these lines to the FSUIPC4.INI [General] section:

RewriteSavedMetars=Yes

FixBadMetars=Yes

and repeat the test. If it still does not produce the super fog, then I'm completely lost, because these two parameters put back what I've taken out, by default, in 4.254 and make it the same as 4.253!

TEST 4

If TESTs 2 or 3 do produce the super fog, add yet another line to the [General] section of FSUIPC4.INI:

PatchVisibilityValues=Yes

and run the test yet again. Does this stop the super fog?

Depending on the results of all these tests I will configure defaults for FSUIPC4. I will also decise whether to spend many more hours delving into the innards of FSX to locate the real values I need to be 'fixing'.

Thanks!

Best Regards

Pete

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My hopes were dashed, I'm afraid. Even precisely following your instructions for getting the "super fog" effect, I can't make it happen here. I checked and double checked.

Hmmm, well at leat I have the screenies to prove I'm not going crazy :?

I suspect even just small differences in timing of events are having an effect here.

Just a thought, Running Eset Security Suite v3.0 (very reputable antivirus and firewall); even though I have both FSX Server and Client in the firewall's "Trusted Zone" whereby no ports are blocked; could a software firewall still play havoc with the timings? Especially over a simconnect-client pipe? I imagine the Simconnect log (using the instructions below) will help with this answer.

[simConnect]

level=Verbose

console=No

OutputDebugString=No

file=\SimConnect%01u.Log

file_max_index=9

Understand, I already have an ini file becuase of my simconnect-client configuration for ASX and will add the additional configuration.

Do the test as before. Do not let it run on past the point where you get the Super Fog.

I'm not sure I can do this, with ASX already up and running on the client, as soon as I start FSX, the Super Fog shows up within seconds.

Please clarify "Do not let run on past the point where you get the Super Fog." :?:

Understand all other instructions and intend to get started this evening (EST) after work.

Regards,

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... could a software firewall still play havoc with the timings? Especially over a simconnect-client pipe?

Not with the Pipe method used by FSUIPC4. But ASX is still using TCP/IP (FSX SP1 based I think). In any case, pipes across the Network connection will be in a TCP/IP carrier.

I already have an ini file becuase of my simconnect-client configuration for ASX and will add the additional configuration.

No, no. For the client stuff you have a SimConnect.xml in the same folder as your FSX.CFG on the Server, and you have a SimConnect.CFG file in your "My documents" on the client.

The SimConnect.INI is neither of those, and it goes on your Server, alongside your Flights and Plans and so on.

I'm not sure I can do this, with ASX already up and running on the client, as soon as I start FSX, the Super Fog shows up within seconds.

Please clarify "Do not let run on past the point where you get the Super Fog." :?:

I am only wanting to keep the SimConnect log as short as possible. Just close FSX when you can see it has gone wrong. I don't think that is not possible?

Thanks,

Pete

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... could a software firewall still play havoc with the timings? Especially over a simconnect-client pipe?

Not with the Pipe method used by FSUIPC4. But ASX is still using TCP/IP (FSX SP1 based I think). In any case, pipes across the Network connection will be in a TCP/IP carrier.

Makes sense as I have not seen any obvious TCP/IP issues between the boxes, including an 18 hour non-stop round-trip flight last weekend. We have to fly every once in a while, don't you know! :lol: .

I already have an ini file becuase of my simconnect-client configuration for ASX and will add the additional configuration.

No, no. For the client stuff you have a SimConnect.xml in the same folder as your FSX.CFG on the Server, and you have a SimConnect.CFG file in your "My documents" on the client. The SimConnect.INI is neither of those, and it goes on your Server, alongside your Flights and Plans and so on.

Just so you're aware, according to the ASX networking setup instructions for the FSX server, in addition to the simconnect.xml instructions, simconnect-client users are to also set a simconnect.ini file and have it configured as

http://was.hifisim.com/ASXDocumentationonfig.html

Step 2: Configure SERVER
There are two files which must be configured on the server.  They are: 
[ApplicationDataFolder]\Microsoft\FSX\SimConnect.xml 
[MyDocumentsFolder]\Flight Simulator X Files\SimConnect.ini

SimConnect.ini:
The configuration values here are less important, however it is extremely helpful to have the debug console activated (console=1) to be able to see when SimConnect is appropriately making a connection and talking to the client applications. 
We suggest the default values throughout:
Change console to 0 (console=0) to disable to debug console.

(obviously with "console=0" it's not doing much at this point)

I'm not sure I can do this, with ASX already up and running on the client, as soon as I start FSX, the Super Fog shows up within seconds.

Please clarify "Do not let run on past the point where you get the Super Fog." :?:

I am only wanting to keep the SimConnect log as short as possible. Just close FSX when you can see it has gone wrong. I don't think that is not possible?

I understand now, keep it short and sweet. :wink:

Regards,

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