Increase ILS Range - Pseudo LFRR.

Greetings!

I'm trying to answer a quetion that has been problematic for a while now. I'm trying to simulate the Low Frequency Radio Range (to an extent, not the whole thing) in FSX:SE. In FS9, this was accomplished by several authors by using XML gauges which, unfortunately, do not work in FSX or later. The LFRR system works by broadcasting a set of four (4) beams at set courses that pilots would fly from station to station. The real system used a series of tones broadcasting morse code for the letters A (* -) and N (- *) in the four different quadrants of the station. If on-course the pilot would hear a steady tone along the airway. For distance, pilots would have Fan Markers placed along the way in order to check distances. Okay, so here is what I am trying to do for FSX.

You can consider this an attempt at a "poor man's" LFRR. I have no idea how to program gauges, so there would be no sound or "tone" to listen to. Instead, I'm using XML for the scenery programming, adding physical buildings from the default database (lighthouses, antenna farms, NDB shacks, etc) to create an LFRR "station" at the different locations. I then place an NDB with the required ident and frequency at the coordinates where the range station was located. I made the NDB with the following as part of the code:

type="HH"
range="120N"

This works great since it gives you an NDB station at the actual location with a working, historical frequency. Unfortunately this is just a regular NDB. It can tell you where the station is within a range of 120 NM from the station, but that's about it. No beams to fly.

Now, for the "range station" portion I've managed to create a "dummy" airport with two "dummy" runways aligned on the general courses at the same location. I've also managed to add working ILS beams and frequencies on the required courses to the dummy airport. The problem is with the range of the ILS beams. It appears that I can't get the beams to reach the "120N" that I have written into the range="120N" line in the XML code for the ILS section. When in the sim, the beams work as advertised (as an ILS localizer beam) but only go out to about 30NM.

My goal was to get the NDB to work to get a "bearing" to where the staion was, and then use the "beam" to track to or from the station. This would be done by tuning the frequency on NAV2 and using the NAV2 course deviation indicator to manually track inbound or outbound. You could use NAV1 as usual if you wanted to use an autopilot.

For distance information I've successfully placed Outer Markers at various locations - even outside of the beams - that you can hear when flying overhead up to 8,000 feet. The blue light even lights up in the cockpit.

If I can get the ILS to "reach out" it would be great since I can understand and work the scenery XML coding, but the gauge stuff is WAY beyond anything I can grasp at this point. I was wondering if there was a way to bypass the limit being imposed by the software of 30NM?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Jorge
Miami, FL
 
Doug,

That's exactly the one I'm referring to!

I don't know if the sound gauge is the reason the system doesn't work in FSX. I know you can use them as regular NDB's and that is how I have them in FSX:SE for now. Is there something in the sound gauge that simulates whether you are on the beam or not?

Thanks for the help!

Jorge
Miami, FL
 

ddawson

Resource contributor
All the sound gauge does is play sounds. The logic behind when they are played is all in the xml gauges.
 
All,

I found while reading the SDK - and online (www.fs2x.com) - the different variables that can be programmed. Among them were several ADF related ones. After looking at the way the LFRR operated - and the code for the original gauge - I was wondering if the FSX XML language meant you had to get the same result via a different way. I've read there are subtle differences and everyone recommends using FS9 vs FSX, but I'm wondering if this is one instance where you were basically forced to use the new method(s)?

I haven't figured out too well what the original XML gauge does in order to get the "beam" information, but it would seem that it uses "tables" of some sort. I recognize the PLANE LONGITUDE and the PLANE LATITUDE entries and I can figure that there is a reference to the stations since I recognize HNL and PAK as stations from Hawaii. It would appear that the original gauges use a callback from stored values for the stations and then compares that information to what the gauge is reading regarding the aircraft. It then compares the two and, if the aircraft is within the "beam" bearing, it gives you the tone, the A, the N, or nothing at all. If I'm wrong on this please let me know.

I was wondering if anyone thought if a dll with SimConnect would work for table/station data and then have the gauge call the dll? No, I don't know how to program dll, just wondering if that would be a possibility and - if so - how difficult would that be. In our case, all the gauge would do is read the NDB info and the aircraft info and compare the two to what was in the dll. If it was in there, then you get the beam. If not, then it's a regular NDB.

Just wondering if this was something that we could get in FSX or not. I know there's a payware version out there somewhere, so people can get it. I just wanted to update the original if possible - or just create another one based on that one.

Thanks!

Jorge
Miami, FL
 
All,

Read through the PDF files from the fs2x website and also through the SDK and a few other things online. I've stayed away from the ACES thing that is default FSX as per the many posts here. I managed to make a dual ADF gauge that reads needles from two different NDB's. I also managed to take away the swinging gyro-card and replaced it with a regular one that you can set via a knob using mouse clicks. Not the best just yet, but it works up to that point. My goal is to give the user the possibility to set a bearing with the ADF CARD and then tune an NDB radio. When the ADF RADIAL:1 needle is equal to the setting on the ADF CARD - in theory - the "lamp" should come on telling the pilot the aircraft is "tracking" on course to the NDB on the set radial. Not quite working, I'm afraid. Here's the code:

<!-- Course Lamp -->

<!-- If the Card setting is equal to the radial, -->
<!-- the lamp should come on. -->

<Element>
<Position X="0" Y="141"/>
<Image Name="Course_Lamp_bg.bmp"/>
<Select>
<Value>{ (A:ADF RADIAL:1,radians) pi 2 / - } {(A:ADF CARD,radians) 3 *} == </Value>
<Case Value="1">
<Image Name="Course_Lamp.bmp" Luminous="1">
<Axis X="0" Y="0"/>
</Image>
</Case>
<Case Value="0">
<Image Name="Course_Lamp_bg.bmp" Luminous="1">
<Axis X="0" Y="0"/>
</Image>
</Case>
</Select>
</Element>

Just to be clear, I'm hoping to make it so that if the radial and the card setting are equal, then the lamp comes on. Otherwise, the lamp stays off. Rather crude, but I'm hoping that by making this you can basically turn any NDB in FSX into a "Range" station by dialing in the required "OBS" for the ADF card. I've also tried (A:ADF RADIAL:1,degrees) as well as (A:ADF CARD,degrees) without any associated formulae and still nothing.

Still trying to wrap my head around the if/els stuff (if needed here?), but the pseudo-Yoda syntax of XML as a whole is a bit rough to grasp still, i.e. rather than saying, "5 plus 1 is 6," you have to say, "5 and 1 you add, 6 get you will".

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Jorge
Miami, FL
 

ddawson

Resource contributor
I just had a look at this package again.
I didn't test the old sound gauge, but the new one will work. You will need to update panel.cfg to show the reference to the new sound gauge.
There are three different panel configurations included in the package, each with different line numbers, so there will be variations on this theme:
gauge04=dsd_fsx_xml_sound!sound, 2,2,5,5, .sound\\dsd\db_sound_rr4.cfg
There are three other compiled (.gau) gauges in the package. One of them is causing the sim to crash on load. I didn't bother to chase down which one, but a little testing could determine which, if any of them, could be left on the panel.
 
Thanks Doug!

I'll check it out when I can since I'm off to work in a few.

I appreciate all the help. If you have any recommendations or input regarding the above code I'd appreciate it.

Regards,

Jorge
Miami, FL
 
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