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Old 07-11-2017, 10:07 AM   #76
fred18
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Hi guys, a small update:

I finally, after some big efforts, managed to get the groundtracks properly plotted in the map tab. I added the options of drawing or not groundtracks and horizon line.

On top of that I added the possibility to choose among 3 themes:
terrain map:



black and white map:



and my favourite, dark map:



hope you'll like this, cheers

Fred
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:10 AM   #77
fred18
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Small Update:
- SDK is ready and working. (and documented!)

what's still missing:
- solve some issues with sending pictures
- settings Tab in dialog
- commands sender and parser (for predefined commands)
- MFD (it will be a simple MFD, but it's better to have it, many users will prefer to use it for the vessel part of comms)

work in progress!
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:46 PM   #78
fred18
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ok, so here's a pre-pre-pre-pre alpha version of the space network...

there is no documentation about how does it work yet, but I strongly believe it will be easy for expert users, since most of it is self explaining, just remember to activate the module in the launch pad and to open the dialog through the functions options of the in sim menu.

The SDK with relevant documentation is also included, of course it may and it will change, but I decided to let it go public as it is now, just to see if it's completely impossible to understand, or if it's on the right path.

Still to do:
- commands sender and parser
- MFD (there is only the dialog now)

Let me know if you have comments, but please keep in mind this is a preliminary version.

Cheers
Fred
Attached Files
File Type: zip SpaceNetwork.zip (4.87 MB, 10 views)
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:42 PM   #79
fred18
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Commands sender and parser done.

It will work like this:

ground (or any other vessel) will send a formatted message and the vessels who will receive it (channels can be used in case of many vessels in the sim) will execute the relevant commands.

commands available:
- Defap = default autopilots, so killrot, prograde, retrograde etc
- Engine = main engine level
- SendKeyBuffered = make vessels simulate a keypress
- Absolute Attitude = point the vessels in a certain direction in ecliptic frame
- Target Pointing = point the vessel towards an object in the sim
- Pitch Roll Heading = orient the vessel with the relevant pitch, roll and heading

format of the commands with some examples:
Code:
cmd: BeginningMJD Duration[secs] command_tag prm1[number] prm2[number] prm3[number] prm4[letters] 

cmd: 52020.9877 100 defap 3    

starting at 52020.9877 mjd, for 100 seconds the prograde autopilot will be engaged

cmd: 52020.9877 60 tgt 0 0 0 Earth

starting from mjd 52020.9877 for 60 seconds the vessel will turn and point towards Earth

cmd: 52020.9877 150 Engine 0.5

starting from mjd 52020.9877 for 150 seconds the Main engine will be fired at 50% power

cmd: 52020.9877 200 prh 15 0 270

starting from mjd 52020.9877 fpr 200 seconds the vessel will turn to have pitch = 15 degress, roll = 0 and heading = 270
I also added a tab in the dialog to monitor the various commands, and since messages can be loaded in sim from txt files there will be the possibility to store and reuse a series of commands.

I'll update the release as soon as i can,

now the MFD is missing and we will be close to the finish.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:23 AM   #80
fred18
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A little update:
we're getting close to the end, the MFD is ready for 2 thirds:

Here's the Links Screen, where the user can monitor the current link with the Ground Network and with a chosen vessel:



And the Messages Screen, where the user can review the messages received and input new messages to send around.



Still to do:
- Map screen (which will be basically a replica of the Map MFD but with Space Network dedicated functionalities)
- some adjustments and fixes
- documentation.

I hope this addon will be welcomed with enthusiasm, I believe it can really improve orbiter experience!

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Old 07-28-2017, 09:40 AM   #81
4throck
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Seems very interesting.

I like the idea of command uploads.

You are only missing the most important one: take a picture!
OK we don't need actual image files to be saved, just moving the default camera to the target spacecraft's location for a few seconds will do.
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:11 AM   #82
fred18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4throck View Post
 You are only missing the most important one: take a picture!
It's there and working!!! you can send pictures from any vessel, or request picture from ground and you'll receive the picture from within the chosen vessel itself!

here's a sample, focus on the ISS, received one picture from a landed DG and one picture from the lunar space station in moon orbit, (moon is a bit dark but it's there in the upper part of the picture)



Quote:
Originally Posted by 4throck View Post
 OK we don't need actual image files to be saved, just moving the default camera to the target spacecraft's location for a few seconds will do.
and it saves the files automatically!

[EDIT]
I have to add the send picture command also to the default commands that can be sent over radio, I forgot that

Last edited by fred18; 07-28-2017 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 07-29-2017, 06:33 PM   #83
4throck
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Great! I haven't tested the MFD yet, busy with the Multistage Titans
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:57 AM   #84
fred18
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Map Screen of the MFD is in progress, what you see is not the default map mfd, but the space network one!

here's some screens together: dialog, links screen in external mfd, and two views of the map screen:
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:07 AM   #85
Ripley
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I remember the original MAP Mfd had a huge impact on fps in the default dxd7 engine.
Does yours have it too?
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:15 AM   #86
fred18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripley View Post
 I remember the original MAP Mfd had a huge impact on fps in the default dxd7 engine.
Does yours have it too?
That's a question that I've been asking myself too, since I have to say that to display the map and everything it's quite computing intensive. But to be honest (don't hate me) it is really difficult for me to guess because I'm running orbiter on my new pc which is quite powerful. I noticed a drop in FPS from 1500 to 1400 but I can't say if on low end machines the impact will be bigger, only testing from users once released will say it.

The good part is that the map screen is just one out of the three screens, which gives just a graphic reference, so even if it does have impact on FPS the user will be able to use easily the links screen and the messages screen of the MFD without any impact, and will have availbale all the functionalities.

Moreover: the dialog map tab instead (upper right part of the picture) does not have any impact because the map image is a graphic file and not "drawn" line by line as it is in the mfd, so even if the mfd's map screen impacts, the user can simply use the dialog map.

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Old 07-30-2017, 12:19 PM   #87
4throck
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Perhaps you can force the map to update manually, or very slowly. Even with low orbits 1 second should be enough.

Please remember that many people run Orbiter on older computers.
Mine is 10 years old... Other have powerful machines but run it on low spec laptops.
So smooth performance is always a good thing.
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:27 PM   #88
fred18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4throck View Post
 Perhaps you can force the map to update manually, or very slowly. Even with low orbits 1 second should be enough.

Please remember that many people run Orbiter on older computers.
Mine is 10 years old... Other have powerful machines but run it on low spec laptops.
So smooth performance is always a good thing.
I agree with you. as far as I know with the MFD there is no way to modify the update frequency from the MFD itself, so there's not much I can do about it.

The suggestion you make is instead massively used in the dialog: everything is updated either on request or on a time frame like 1 second or 1 decimal of second depending on the function. This really reduces the FPS impact to minimum (I couldn't notice any impact with the dialog and with most of the mfd functions).

Just as a remark the core of the plugin is within the dialog, which includes all the possible functions and possibilities of the Space Network plugin, the MFD is just a useful repeater for some of the functions, so since the dialog does not impact at all on performance the usage of the plugin is not threatened by performance loss.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:28 PM   #89
4throck
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The MFD update frequency can be set by the user. But you can call a function once a second (for example) even if the MFD runs faster.

Code:
Pseudo code:

IF current_time_in_seconds == even number THEN run my function
Integer divisions are useful for this kind of stuff.
I'm using this to animate blinking lights once a second in LUA.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:45 AM   #90
fred18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4throck View Post
 The MFD update frequency can be set by the user. But you can call a function once a second (for example) even if the MFD runs faster.

Code:
Pseudo code:

IF current_time_in_seconds == even number THEN run my function
Integer divisions are useful for this kind of stuff.
I'm using this to animate blinking lights once a second in LUA.
I use a timer variable (initialized to 0 of course) which I keep updating
pseudo code:
Code:
timer += oapiGetSimStep();
if(timer> defined_interval){
timer = 0;
//do your stuff
}
anyway with the MFD the computing intensive stuff is not the calculalus, but the drawing itself: the earth coastlines are made up of nearly 10.000 points, and if you don't keep the drawing updated you'll get a black mfd screen.

Anyway I spent a lot of time to optimize the code in order to minimize fps impact, so I'm very confident that users with old pc won't experience any remarkable loss of performance. I'm quite sure that with the dialog (which includes a big and nice map) and with the other two screens of the MFD they won't experience any loss of performance at all. I'm confident that also with the map screen this will happen as well. We'll see shortly, since I think that I'm not far from the release of the plugin.
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