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Duplicate AFCAD confusion

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These days at the PMDG forum there's a lot of suggestions how to eliminate OOMs during a 777 flight.

One is to search for duplicate AFCAD files and delete those. It just happens so that this area is very new to me and I'm afraid to do things terribly wrong.

 

Following this instruction:

https://shop.nmgtrading.com/index.php?route=opextensions/article&blogid=14#.U9nLsGP55dw

don't exactly make me less worried, because through the AFX scanning I find a lot of addon airports with duplicate AFCAD files in which most of these duplicates are My Traffic X  AFCAD files - which I certainly don't suppose I should delete? Correct?!

 

Cheers, Morten   

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It sounds like they are stretching the realms of probability. An AFCAD only tells FS what to draw, and AFCADs have a priority system, whichever has the highest priority is the only one that is drawn in sim, the lower priority ones are ignored. There is one exception to this rule and that is when a developer uses the same AFCAD designed for FS9 in FSX as well, in that case bugs in FSX allow parts from both AFCADs to be shown at the same time. So if you make sure you have none of these old FS9 or earlier files then you should be OK.

 

If you create a folder inside the MTX scenery folder and call in "inactive" then move those duplicate MTX bgls into that folder you are effectively disabling them. If you have any problems simple move them back to where they were and they will start working again.

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Or even simpler, just add the letters ".passive" after the ".bgl" for any airport AFD files you wish to "remove"...this will deactivate those files.  To activate them again, just remove the ".passive" suffix.  No need to move anything!

 

Note:  Technically, an "AFCAD" file is specifically for FS9, since it was developed with an FS9 program called AFCAD.  The correct generic term for an addon airport is an "AFD" file (Airport Facility Data), which for FSX is usually created by the excellent freeware program ADEX or the payware AFX. Often, any addon airport file is (incorrectly) referred to as an "AFCAD".

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Thank you guys.

 

Perhaps I after all should stay away from these attempts as I wouldn't be absolutely sure to correctly identify which file would be a duplicate and which would not! :o

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Duplicates are no problems, but I have seen installations with 7 versions of the same airport, and they were instable.

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Can I just jump in here please.....I have a similar question.

Now that I have a good/stable FSX install with my fav aircraft and MytrafficX I would like to start adding some airports.

First up is VTBS Bangkok.

But I too read about how duplicate AFCAD can cause problems.

I also have UTX/GEX installed and as far as I know, UTX also corrects many default FSX airport positions and elevations.

More AFCADs?

So I got default FSX AFCADs, UTX/GEX AFCADs, MytrafficX AFCADs and soon custom AFCADs for the airports I will be installing!

Sounds messy to me.

Now am I to undestand that non of this will be a problem as long as the scenery library order is:

top: Airport addon (like VTBS)

then: MytrafficX

then: UTX

bottom: default FSX stuff.

right?

And, does the Mytraffic X schedule then know that there is a new airport added and will it sent traffic there?

Or do I have to rebuild the MytrafficX schedule database (or whatever that is called)....and how is that done?

thx in advance

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When UTX came out it contained no airports, maybe this changed.

 

Whatever happens on an airport AI wise is coded into the airport in FSX. So if you use a third party airport, MyTraffic can order aircraft there, but that is all, what happens has been programmed by the airport developper.

 

I recommend to place MyTraffic between addon objects and propellor scenery. 

 

For the last part, I recommend you read the manuals and work through them, this is nothing you can do without some learning and undersatnding, give it 50-100 hours and you should be fine.

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Mmmmm......that is exactly the problem these days isnt it.

With all those addons and all the manuals they come with, it is allmost impossible to read it all....let alone remember it!
On top of that you have to stay at it at the forum of each product because things are constantly changing.

I guess that is what makes FSX a hobby and not a game.

Ok so thx for confirming that the scenery library shoukd take care of most duplicate AFCAD problems.


Yes UTX has many airport correction.
I just read at their forum that tyese corrections (exclusions) should be disabled with the UTX setup tools when you tend to install an addon airport that is also corrected by UTX.
I dont know however if these corrections are AFCAD files or not.

 

I just read that FSGenesis mesh corrects airports as well.....I got that too.....so even more AFCADs now I guess?

 

No idea where to look for all these AFCADS and what to do with them once I install an addon airport!

I still dont get that last part.
I cant read/learn 50-100hrs.....I simply dont have the time.
Would it be better to uninstall MytrafficX and then install the addon airport and then reinstall MytrafficX ?
I mean that would recreate schedules to all airports currently in the FSX database right?

 

Another person at another forum posted this:

 

quote:

Your add-on scenery should be located in the proper addon scenery folder and placed in a higher priority than the MyTraffic X folder.

In general, when you use add-on airports in fsx it's a good idea to perform a dump airports function while in fsx and then exit fsx and open the MyTraffic X editor and import the new airports.txt into the MyTraffic database. Once this is done create all files and traffic and save the database - this operation takes less than 5 minutes.

If the add-on airport(s) are significantly different than the MyTraffic X or fsx stock equivalent in terms of parking types and number it's a good idea to perform the above steps, but rather than creating all files and traffic, create all schedules, files and traffic. Since this operation takes several hours you may wish to bundle add-ons and perform this step once.

This will ensure that MyTraffic X is optimized for the new airport scenery parking configuration.

unquote

 

 

no idea!

 

 

Look I dont mind if the MytrafficX schedule is not perfect.....I can even live with no AI aircraft going to a certain airport at all......what I can not live with are CTDs, freezes, hangs, OOMs and other severe problems.

They have riuned my install more than once already!

 

So all I am looking for is some guidance on how to best prevent such issues in regard to airport addons and MyTrafficX

 

If the scenery library is all I need to pay attention to then great....if there is more I need to be carefull of, then I would like to know and understand before I get going with those addon airports.

 

that's all.

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See that is exatctly what I meant!

 

I just installed VTBS_ARMI for FSX and guess what.....things did not look right at all!!!

Taxiways looked weird and had no yellow taxi lanes for example.

(there was probably way more wrong......but how am I supposed to know how VTBS should look like ???)

 

 

1st thing I learned: Seems like BGL files are the FSX equivalent of FS2004 AFCAD files.

 
Turns out that MytrafficX, adds scenery BGL files for this airport and they blend through.
Weird thing is that MyTrafficX sits way down lower in the FSX scenery library than VTSB airport addon.....and yet....
 
2nd thing I learned: the priority system of the FSX scenery library does NOT prevent problems at all!
I can of course turn MyTraffic off from the scenery library and that does solve the problem, but that also shuts down MyTraffic completely :-(
 
Only deleting the filve BGL files from the "FlightsimulatorX/MyTraffic/scenery" folder resolved the problem while still being able to activate MyTraffic in the scenery library.
The files I deleted are:
BR2_VTBS.BGL
BR2_VTBS_KA_CVX.bgl
VTBS_GROUND_CVX:BGL
VTBS_GROUND_Landclass.bgl
VTBS_GROUND_Waterclass.bgl
Of course I have no idea what else is effected by the deletion of these files (some info on this would be highly appriciated!) but I still have AI traffic going into VTBS and things look good (but like I said before....I realy dont know what things are supposed to look like).
 
third thing developers should learn: this does show how installing all these airport adaption BGLs, in places an amateur user like me is not normally aware off, can cause problems when you install Addon Airports.
This time it was quite clear something was wrong/missing.
But at oher times the use might think all is fine, the airport seems to be  working as intended....but in reality the user might be looking at totally different scenery tiles unknowingly.....and I find that unacceptable.
 
At least UTX has made a setup tool available to turn those airport adaption BGL files off.......I recommend MyTraffic (or the next version of it) to be equipped with a function like that as well.
 
 
Anyway.....for the next dozen or so airports I am going to install, I guess I should first look through the MyTraffic/Scenery folder and delete all BGL files that have the same identifier as my addon airport?!

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In 98% of all cases, scenery library priority works properly. 

 

There is one exception: There are cases where FSX does not identify the two airports to be the same, and this is when they have the same ICAO code, but not the same coordinates.

This happens when one of the airport, or both, are not based on the FSX stock airport, and in most cases this is when an addon airport is based on FS9 code, and the coordinates moved between the 2002 Jeppesen data used for FS2004 and the 2004 data used for FSX due to some changes on the airport.

But you found another reason, VTBS is not existant in FSX at all, so while different designers will have the two airports within a m or so, there will be roundings by source data, and be it half a inch, which make the header different - so it is your choise which airport you want to use and be the basis of your AI traffic and your user experience, either the MyTraffic one or the one delivered with the optical scenery you installed. In either case, you have to make the other airport passive, in case of MyTraffic this is simple, since all airports are in the folder MyTraffic\scenery and have the simple name BR2_ICAO.bgl . 

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aha that is interesting.....so since the MyTraffic X coordinates and the VTBS coordinates differ slightly......FSX will just display them both......2 airports.

 

You are right, it is really simple to deactivate.......if you know how to do it ;-)

 

For me, it took several hours to find out what is wrong and to find the solution.

 

But thx for the info

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It depends on how good the developer is, because if you remove the airport from the original location in the same .bgl file (I'll come back to that...) as you put your new one with the relocated and usually more accurate Aerodrome Reporting Point then it works fine. For an airport that is newer than the FSX database (i.e. not in the stock sim) then if everyone used the publicly available ARP then we'd be fine, but they don't.

 

BGL stands for Bruce's Graphical Language and is a hark back to the original days of Flight Simulator, by Bruce Artwick ("BAO"), before it became a Microsoft product. It's the file standard for all scenery and AI files, not just for "AFCAD"s (AFCAD = Airport Facilities Computer Aided Design, a software tool) which are more correctly AFD files or Airport Facilities Databases. However, AI traffic files, landclass, terrain mesh, excludes, linear features (roads, railways, powerlines, coastlines, etc.) are all also compiled into .bgl format.

 

It's not at all unknown for duplicate AFD files to cause FSX to crash - it's one of the first things you should check for, in case the exclusion lines were not included in one, which will cause two airports to be displayed and FSX to get very confused, especially if, as Burkhard says above, the locations of the two supposedly identical airports are not the same.

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You are right, but even if you use the ARP rounding in metric and in feetish systems may already make this difference, or the different formats in deg MM SS resp deg MM.mmmm ... 

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thx Ian, for the contribution.

But in the end, rather then wait for CTDs due to duplicate AFCAD (or BGL).......would it not be easier to prevent problems before they even happen?

Next time I install an addon airport (Kai Tak is next) I plan on first going into the MyTraffic/Scenery folder and delete every file from there that has the ICAO code of the addon in its name?

Just like the five files for VTBS I deleted.

Is that good practice or can this also cause problems sometimes (like no more traffic going there)?

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Yes, I actually meant move the MyTaffic X files somewhere else....not delete.

I never just delete FSX stuff......allways cut/paste them somewhere else (or rename them).....and then test.

Thx Andy.

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I just put ".passive" on the end after the .bgl, but all these methods have the same effect. For the few seconds it takes to rename or move files, it's well worth it to avoid a conflict,

 

Burkhard: Considering the accuracy with which you can locate an ARP in FSX - personally I use the real-world method of it being the centre point of the longest runway - then yes, you will still get rounding errors, but when developers (mentioning no names, but including some very popular ones!) simply don't bother blocking the old AFD, plant a new aerodrome on top using their own ARP and then blame Microsoft when users report errors and crashes, that's really not very good.

 

Because most of the AFD files I produce pre-date both the ICAO and IATA, then the problem I tend to have is with other developers who have used their own fictional ICAO identifier, which of course I can do nothing about, but at least that only tends to cause duplicate runways and signs, etc. rather than crashing the sim.

 

Cheers,

 

Ian P.

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If you dont mind spending more time on this subject Ian......why is that sometimes FSX crashes due to duplicate AFD and other times not?

If I understand you correctly, you mean that the crashes tend to happen when both addons would use the same ICAO code - which both ARMI and MyTaffic do.

In the case of my VTBS example - an airport that does not exist in FSX normally but is added by both MyTraffic as well as by VTBS ARMI PROJECT - I did not get a crash either. Just incorrect taxiways as far as I could tell.

Intersting too is that even with VTBS added by MyTraffic, if I remember correctly I could not find VTBS airport in the FSX airport list (create flight/choose airplane/choose airport).

Only after adding VTBS by the airport addon developer ARMI did this airport appear!

Maybe the MyTraffic BGL are not a full airport?.....only some things like taxiways and runways seem to have been added to provide for AI traffic. This could explain why the buildings by VTBS ARMI showed up fine but the taxiways from MyTraffic blended through.

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The MTX BGL files are mainly modifications of the default airports with added parking spots, along with some more complex modifications that have been added over time. However, buildings will probably be in a different bgl file - an "object bgl" for want of a better description, rather than an "AFD bgl".

 

I don't know the ARMI Project, but does it use custom ground textures/surfaces, or default ones? The MTX bgl file shouldn't prevent custom ground polys appearing, but you might see additional paths, taxiways, runways, etc. If it uses default operating surfaces, then I'd expect them to be replaced by the MTX ones if MTX is higher priority than ARMI. As Burkhard has already pointed out elsewhere, you cannot completely remove an airport from FSX without deleting/modifying default base global scenery files, so it seems unlikely that anyone would have done that. I can't explain where VTBS went, I'm afraid! I do note, however, that you are mixing VTBSs and VTSBs above, so I'm slightly confused about exactly what files are doing what! :)

 

There are a lot of theories as to when FSX will and won't crash due to duplicate AFDs, but I think personally that as Burkhard said, again, duplicates at different global positions - even by a tiny amount - is a big culprit. You'll find a lot of discussion about this around various fora and almost as many "reasons" why it happens, unfortunately, so I don't think there's one big bad bug that causes all the problems.

 

Cheers,

 

Ian P.

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I do note, however, that you are mixing VTBSs and VTSBs above, so I'm slightly confused about exactly what files are doing what! :)

 

Oops, sorry.......post corrected :-)

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The MTX BGL files are mainly modifications of the default airports with added parking spots, along with some more complex modifications that have been added over time. However, buildings will probably be in a different bgl file - an "object bgl" for want of a better description, rather than an "AFD bgl".

 .

That is generally speaking I guess.....because in the case of VTBS we are talking about an airport that is not present in stock FSX.

So MTX did not modify it, it created it!

Which is why I dont understand that VTBS was not in the FSX/airport list (from create flight).

Unless I am going senile and it was in the list.....

Do you use MTX Ian?

If so, could you check if you can go to VTBS new Bangkok airport? (not VTBD the old one).

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I don't know the ARMI Project, but does it use custom ground textures/surfaces, or default ones? The MTX bgl file shouldn't prevent custom ground polys appearing, but you might see additional paths, taxiways, runways, etc. If it uses default operating surfaces, then I'd expect them to be replaced by the MTX ones if MTX is higher priority than ARMI. As Burkhard has already pointed out elsewhere, you cannot completely remove an airport from FSX without deleting/modifying default base global scenery files, so it seems unlikely that anyone would have done that. I can't explain where VTBS went, I'm afraid

I think they (ARMI) used custom textures. But maybe MTX does too.

Since VTBS is not a stock FSX airport, there was no need to completely remove it from FSX base global scenery.

 

I am only trying to understand things here (helps prevent future problems), but....

MTX installs into the "FlightsimulatorX/MyTraffic/Scenery" folder

I assume the MyTraffic folder that was added to the FSX scenery library is in fact this "/Scenery" folder.

VTBS (ARMI) was installed to a manually created (by me) folder outside of the my FlightsimulatorX folder and then added to the FSX scenery library.

It sits higher than MyTraffic in the library.

So VTBS (ARMI) should have overruled the MTX files, since both are not stock FSX airports, but it did not.

Burkhard already explained the problem is due to both airports having the same ICAO code.

Why MyTraffic scenery is of higher priority than VTBS by ARMI beats me.

Maybe because one is inside the FlightsimulatorX folder and the other is not?

 

Below is a pic of what VTBS looked like with the MTX taxiways blending through.

And here you can take a look what the taxiways should look like and what they do look like now (with yellow taxi lines) since I have removed those 5 MTX files from its Scenery folder:

http://secure.simmarket.com/armi-project-vtbs-suvarnabhumi-intl-fsx-(de_6705).phtml

 

post-37478-0-39334800-1422632224_thumb.j

 

Thx Ian for your time (and Burkhard too).

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