459: My Cockpit Rebuilding #6


My Post 111 described the swapping of toggle switches on the Saitek Panel to make them easier to be identified in a dim environment.   On my new Yoke, I have the toggle switches “color-coded” with heat shrinkable tubes.

The modification is a lot simpler and meet the same purpose.   And it prevents, or to the least covers up, oxidation on the switch handles.   Also, they are cheap and easy to replace if worn out. Continue reading

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457: My P3Dv4 Setting Up #6 – A New Practical Aircraft Migration

When I was reinstalling A2A aircraft for P3Dv4, I grumbled what the heck the developers are doing in altering the aircraft installation folder from “SimObjects” to “Prepar3D v4 Add-ons” under Documents.  But after reviewing the file hierarchy further, I have to admit that it is in fact a nice user-friendly touch.

The move not only avoids the chance of messing up with original files in P3D, but it also can eliminate the need of reinstalling aircraft after P3D is forced to clean install again for whatever reasons or when update is available.

Under the new structure, the P3Dv4-ready A2A installer (in my case) added the aircraft location to the “add-ons.cfg” in the Prepar3D.cfg directory after
installation.  Then created an XML file called “add-on.xml“, which contains all the sub-folder information, in the root directory of the aircraft folder as well.

Since these two files Continue reading

456: A PC Building Guide for Beginners

Many of us bought pre-assembled PCs for flight simulation from brand-names, like HP, Dell.   I did the same until one day I stepped forward to build one myself.

Frankly speaking, the first time was scary.   Fortunately, I had done a lot of preparations; the work turned out to be far less difficult than anticipated.
Above is “A Complete How To PC Building Guide for Beginners” from MSI, which I found universally good.   Definitely worth a favorite entry in your browser.

 

453: Switching to P3Dv4 Q&A

A friend who sent me an email asking my opinion about making the jump from Prepar3D v3 to v4.

One of the biggest reasons he has not yet switching, is that he has TONS of addons for v3, and TONS of modifications that he has made.   And he really loathes the thought of having to set everything up again from scratch because he has spent many, many, many hours, getting p3d v3 to the way he has it now.

I guess there are still friends who have similar questions in mind about the switching.  So I am posting my replies to him below: Continue reading

449: Checking Affinity Mask Performance in Realtime

Affinity Mask could bring improvements to flight simulators.  But the question is: how can we tell from a hypothetical value (or more precisely a CPU combination) that it will bring positive gains to our system before we put it in the configuration file (fsx.cfg or Prepar3D.cfg) ?

Frankly, I don’t have a good answer myself because there are so many variables involved.   However, following is the approach I take to precheck the performances from different Affinity Masks in realtime, then thru which I pick the one I think the best for my set up.
Continue reading

448: Affinity Mask Calculator

Affinity Mask is commonly recognized as one of the most useful features that allows flightsimmers to improve system performance by altering the combination of running CPUs assigned to the simulator.

Here’s my Affinity Mask Calculator (with redesigned interface) version that I hope it could give you some helps during your search for the best possible value.

Using the calculator is simple and intuitive — just select the CPUs you want to assign to FSX or Prepar3D based on: Continue reading

444: A Temporary Measure to Restore Enhanced Textures

Although the program architecture of Prepar3Dv4 has moved from 32-bit to 64-bit, one should not henceforth assume that its associated environment (sky, cloud, sea, ground) texture data would have been upgraded accordingly.

Actually they are largely the same as those used in previous P3D versions, and in FSX as well.   Only a limited number of files I found so far have been changed or converted into a different format.

This is good because it means that it is possible for me to restore my previously saved enhanced environment texture backup (put together from different addons) onto P3Dv4 now, without waiting until those addon programs becoming version 4 compatible later. Continue reading

437: My PD3v4 Setting Up #03 – Aircraft Continuity

One of the most important tunings to me after upgrading to P3Dv4 (actually any update or upgrade) is to ensure the continuity of the newly reinstalled or copied aircraft to be run as they did in the previous version consistently .  
Followings are the steps:

STEP 1.)
Copy corresponding “Aircraft.cfg” files from

  • “P:\Prepar3Dv3\SimObjects\Airplanes” to
  • P:\Prepar3Dv4\SimObjects\Airplanes

STEP 2.)
Copy corresponding aircraft flying records (“state.cfg“) from “SimObjects” in

  • “C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3” to
  • C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4

Since P3Dv4 involves the using of new Windows system registries, Continue reading

436: My PD3v4 Setting Up #02 – FSX Aircraft Migration

This post is originally the first aritcle in the “My P3Dv4 Setting Up” series.   However, since I do normally perform the configuration back up mentioned in the second article first, I therefore rename this post to #02 and the second post #1.   Publishing time adjusted as well to reflect the proper order.

As stated in the About FSX Times of this blog, my goal is to achieve a stable flight simulation system performance with a minimum 30 fps in average.   Luckily, I’ve been able to achieve that goal with some compromises.   But unluckily, that 30-something fps level also acts like a barrier that stops me from passing.

I am not sure yet whether the 64-bit P3Dv4 and my new hardware would help break this spell for good.   But the 120 to 210 fps initially gained from the new system without any tuning seems like a promising start.

As the hardware side of my new cockpit is still not ready, I’ll take it slowly to install addons and to finetune the system. Continue reading