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paulmidd

Traffic zapper - in reverse?

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As I understand it, the Traffic Zapper works by deleting all traffic within a certain radius of the user's aircraft. Is it possible to have a zapper that works in the opposite way; in other words, to delete traffic outside a certain radius?

Where it would be useful would be in dropping the overall level of AI traffic, and hence its FPS impact, whilst keeping this traffic visible in the immediate vicinity. For example, if I'm departing La Guardia (or Heathrow), I want to be able to see the aircraft a mile or two around me in the same airport, but not have the invisible but CPU-cycle-guzzling traffic at JFK, Newark, Teterboro (or Gatwick, London City, Luton, Stansted) slowing everything down for no benefit. Obviously it should not be permanent; I'd want to be able to see some aircraft where I land.

Is this possible?

Paul M

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As I understand it, the Traffic Zapper works by deleting all traffic within a certain radius of the user's aircraft.

No, it does not. It only deletes ONE, the nearest on in the "line of fire", so to speak. Please read the documentation. It's only function was to remove a blockage in front of you on taxiway or runway.

Is it possible to have a zapper that works in the opposite way; in other words, to delete traffic outside a certain radius?

It is certainly possible for someone to write such a utility, but not I. Sorry.

but not have the invisible but CPU-cycle-guzzling traffic at JFK, Newark, Teterboro (or Gatwick, London City, Luton, Stansted) slowing everything down for no benefit.

I think you are wrong here (though please do go check). I think the number of cycles provided to traffic diminishes considerably with distance. The real cycle-guzzling stuff is the stuff within visible distance. I'm pretty sure that it doesn't even draw them after about 10 nm or so, and the update frequency for distant ones is low. So, if someone bothered to write such a utility you'd find it made very little difference at all -- in fact it might make it worse as the utility itself would be guzzling cycles reading data and sorting it to decide what to zap.

Best to instead only ever use AI which is designed for efficiency. For FSX the MyTrafficX program with the DX10-only traffic seems to give excellent performance everywhere with lots of traffic. It's the autogen which kills my system's performance.

Regards

Pete

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No, it does not. It only deletes ONE, the nearest on in the "line of fire", so to speak. Please read the documentation. It's only function was to remove a blockage in front of you on taxiway or runway.

Ah, the wonderful ambiguity of the English language. As the documentation says:

A traffic zapper control which can delete AI aircraft close to and directly in front of the user‘s aircraft.

which can of course mean a single aircraft close to and directly in front, or alternatively several aircraft both close to and directly in front. However, I stand corrected. :)

I think you are wrong here (though please do go check). I think the number of cycles provided to traffic diminishes considerably with distance. The real cycle-guzzling stuff is the stuff within visible distance. I'm pretty sure that it doesn't even draw them after about 10 nm or so, and the update frequency for distant ones is low.

I'm not sure where I'd go to check, except through empirical observation.

When I'm running 100% AI traffic, and parked on the runway at Atlanta Hartsfield, no autogen (can't stand the 200 foot trees), in the MS Trike, I'm getting an average of 5.5 FPS. A combination, no doubt, of a complex airfield, downtown Atlanta buildings, and all that traffic.

If I head 10.1 miles south, to Walker Field, no aircraft or buildings in sight, then I average 14 FPS. So that's almost three times better, but then there are no buildings in sight, so my mediocre FPS must just be down to the AI aircraft that are out of sight but possibly not out of FSX's mind.

If I then set my AI slider to 0%, my FPS goes up to 50.

So although that's a bit of a 'quick and dirty' experiment, when I'm getting only 14 in the Georgia boonies with distant AI traffic, but 50 when I remove all traffic, it looks like distant AI is reducing my performance by a factor of 3 to 4. Moving into sight of all those planes, and jetways, and downtown, makes it worse by another factor of two to three.

So that supports my reasoning that it would be nice to be able selectively to put all that AI traffic, the stuff that's out of sight, also out of mind. But if you can't do it I understand, you obviously have your own specific priorities.

On the question of AI, I do sometimes wonder whether to switch to MyTrafficX - I have both that and Ultimate Traffic. It's just that I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to real-world traffic, and when I fly into the Isle of Man and see an Alitalia plane, it sort of it ruins my day. I know, get a life! :(

Paul M

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Ah, the wonderful ambiguity of the English language. As the documentation says ...

Ah, my error in trying not to make the User Guide so large and encyclopaedic that not even the one person who currently reads it would! ;-)

In fact the release notes for the release in which it was provided (now part of the History document) explained it in a little more detail:

A new FSUIPC control (number 1079) called “Traffic Zapper” is provided. This can be assigned to any keypress or joystick button. When used it deletes the nearest AI aircraft which is within the following constraints:

(a) if the user is airborne, within 1.5 nm range, and also within just 2.5 degrees relative bearing ahead of the user aircraft and 5 degrees elevation (above or below), or

(b) if the user is on the ground, within 0.25 nm range, and also within 15 degrees relative bearing ahead of the user aircraft, and 5 degrees elevation (above or below).

If no aircraft qualifies, the control does nothing. If an aircraft is deleted, a sound is heard. By default this is the “firework” wave file in the FS sound folder. You can change it in the FSUIPC.INI file by providing a different sound name for the ZapSound parameter -- it must be the name of a WAV file in the FS sound folder. Or, if you do not want a sound just set it to ZapSound=None. However, the reason for the sound is so that you know something has been Zapped. FSUIPC cannot tell what you can see, and the aircraft which is zapped may not be in your display so you may not see it disappear.

I'm always a bit reluctant putting all that sort of stuff into the user guide. It's too big already. I'd need to start taking facilities out! ;-)

But maybe, in this case, I'll add the word "single". Won't make it significantly larger.

On the question of AI, I do sometimes wonder whether to switch to MyTrafficX - I have both that and Ultimate Traffic. It's just that I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to real-world traffic, and when I fly into the Isle of Man and see an Alitalia plane, it sort of it ruins my day. I know, get a life! :(

Does that happen? Just because MyTrafficX doesn't use real-world schedules doesn't mean it has unrealistic placements. i've found it pretty good in fact. Also, with ONLY real world "schedules" you get no unscheduled flights, charters, etc. MyTrafficX seems to cover a lot more, just not actual schedules.

If you do get wrong airlines in places, let Burkhard know. He's very responsive and his support forum is very close.

Regards

Pete

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