Apollo 16: Launch, Insertion Questions.....

Wedge313

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Hello. Attempting to run the Apollo 16 mission, and as I go along a lot of questions are piling up, and I wanted to ask a few....

Before launch we set up the EMS, set the counter to 6999.9 and leave it in STBY. Does that ever get switched to NORMAL? I couldn't find it in the checklists.

What exactly is Time Base 5? (Or Time Base 6?) Where can I find info on this?

During the launch, I get a weird anomaly with the SII staging. The staging is occurring before engine cutout. This makes for an interesting external view, as after staging the SII stage continues to thrust forward for a second before cutoff, actually accelerating ahead (and passing through) the SIVB, and then falling back (and again passing through) as the SIVB engine ignites and the SIVB stage accelerates. Is this a glitch with my computer, or a bug in the simulation?

And not a big deal, but on the Project Apollo Checklist MFD, after the Launch checklist is completed it switches to the Spacecraft Systems Activation Checklist instead of the Insertion Checklist. Not a big deal as I can manually select the Insertion checklist, but it caused me some confusion the first time through. (But then my default position seems to be one of confusion.)

Finally I've had an O2 Flow Hi light on since about T+21min (currently I'm at T+45), Cabin Pressure is about 4.9 PSI, should I expect to see that light for a while? Or do I need to get out the Emergency Checklist?

Thanks for the help.
 

indy91

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Hello. Attempting to run the Apollo 16 mission, and as I go along a lot of questions are piling up, and I wanted to ask a few....

Before launch we set up the EMS, set the counter to 6999.9 and leave it in STBY. Does that ever get switched to NORMAL? I couldn't find it in the checklists.

This is done for aborts only. I'm actually not really sure about the specific value used, but maybe it's just some large value that stays above 0? The EMS would count down the DV during a Mode III or Mode IV abort using the SPS. It also would count down entry range when you reenter during an abort during launch. The flight controllers could give the crew a specific DV to burn for Mode III and IV aborts, so "burn until EMS counters says 6000" or so.

What exactly is Time Base 5? (Or Time Base 6?) Where can I find info on this?

These are used in the LVDC for time keeping. Here the definitions from the Apollo 8 S-IVB Flight Test Plan:


So basically TB5 starts at cutoff when you first reach orbit, TB6 starts when the Saturn starts its preparations for TLI (when the S-II sep light goes on and you start the event timer shortly after). TB7 starts at TLI cutoff.


During the launch, I get a weird anomaly with the SII staging. The staging is occurring before engine cutout. This makes for an interesting external view, as after staging the SII stage continues to thrust forward for a second before cutoff, actually accelerating ahead (and passing through) the SIVB, and then falling back (and again passing through) as the SIVB engine ignites and the SIVB stage accelerates. Is this a glitch with my computer, or a bug in the simulation?

I couldn't reproduce this with an Apollo 16 launch scenario. But it still sounds like a bug to me. Maybe related to simulation speed and/or frame rate? Are you still using a slower than normal time acceleration?

And not a big deal, but on the Project Apollo Checklist MFD, after the Launch checklist is completed it switches to the Spacecraft Systems Activation Checklist instead of the Insertion Checklist. Not a big deal as I can manually select the Insertion checklist, but it caused me some confusion the first time through. (But then my default position seems to be one of confusion.)

You shouldn't need to manually select any checklist actually. The MFD will sometimes say that it ran out of checklists to do, but it will always automatically switch to the next one, once something new is to do. If the MFD got confused then maybe by manually selecting the boost prep checklist or so?

Also note that for Apollo 12 and later we have no mission specific checklists yet. So the default checklist that Apollo 16 uses will be the same as Apollo 8 or 11, it wouldn't even use P15 for TLI. So it might be better to use the actual Apollo 16 launch checklist, which you can find here: https://history.nasa.gov/afj/ap16fj/csmlc/csmlc.html

The default checklist also doesn't go much further than TLI, so then you will need to use the actual flight plan anyway.

Finally I've had an O2 Flow Hi light on since about T+21min (currently I'm at T+45), Cabin Pressure is about 4.9 PSI, should I expect to see that light for a while? Or do I need to get out the Emergency Checklist?

Thanks for the help.

The light will be on for a while when you configure the ECS for orbit, but not that long. Not really sure why that would be. Maybe rcflyinghokie has an idea.
 

rcflyinghokie

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Finally I've had an O2 Flow Hi light on since about T+21min (currently I'm at T+45), Cabin Pressure is about 4.9 PSI, should I expect to see that light for a while? Or do I need to get out the Emergency Checklist?
The light is normally on for a little while when you configure from boost to post insertion ECS but eventually should stabilize. I can check your save state and see if the cabin is configured incorrectly.
 

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I couldn't reproduce this with an Apollo 16 launch scenario. But it still sounds like a bug to me. Maybe related to simulation speed and/or frame rate? Are you still using a slower than normal time acceleration?
I ran through it at a few different speeds (1.0x, 0.5x, 0.1x, even tried 2.0x). I get the highest frame rates when I'm using an external view. Using the performance meter I was getting 68 fps at 0.1x, easing down to 56 fps at normal 1.0x, and getting the staging before ECO regardless of speed.

Viewing the main panel I get about 13 fps (about 14 fps using the VC). I have the center engine light on, but when staging occurs I never see the outboard engine lights come on, just the SIVB engine light.

But I would guess it's another issue with my laptop. I end up with an orbit of 92.9 x 91.0. Is that in the ballpark?

The light is normally on for a little while when you configure from boost to post insertion ECS but eventually should stabilize. I can check your save state and see if the cabin is configured incorrectly.
After insertion the O2 flow is about .45 lb/hr. I close the Direct O2 valve (checklist page L2-11), flow goes to zero. Then later (bottom of page L2-12) when I turn on the EMERG CABIN PRESS valve the flow pegs out and I get the O2 Flow Hi. My cabin pressure at this point is about 2.3 psi, which looks very low to me as the checklist seems to expect it to be somewhere between 4.7 and 5.3? (I can't really do the Main Reg Check on page L2-13 because the flow is pegged full). My guess is that the STUPID backup crew (oh wait- that would be me...) incorrectly configured something. Here's a save from about 10 minutes after I got the light. I'm going to run through the emergency procedure to see if I can figure what I did wrong, but it may become apparent to you quicker than it will to me. Thanks
 

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indy91

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I ran through it at a few different speeds (1.0x, 0.5x, 0.1x, even tried 2.0x). I get the highest frame rates when I'm using an external view. Using the performance meter I was getting 68 fps at 0.1x, easing down to 56 fps at normal 1.0x, and getting the staging before ECO regardless of speed.

Viewing the main panel I get about 13 fps (about 14 fps using the VC). I have the center engine light on, but when staging occurs I never see the outboard engine lights come on, just the SIVB engine light.

But I would guess it's another issue with my laptop. I end up with an orbit of 92.9 x 91.0. Is that in the ballpark?

So you can regularly reproduce the issue, no matter what frame rate or time acceleration? With a scenario saved just before launch? Maybe it's something in that scenario that is off. The orbit is about as expected.

It reminds me of a bug that we used to have, when using 10x time acceleration during launch. Some commands didn't have time to go through to the stages, in this case it would be "S-II engines cutoff". So that's why I am suspecting a bug. On the other hand, there is actually two separate engine cutoff signals for the S-II, so that seems unlikely. Which NASSP revision are you on? Maybe you are using a version before we fixed the issue that a joystick can change the throttle level of the Saturn stages. And the joystick somehow forces the S-II to full throttle?
 

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I'm using NASSP v1751, I just downloaded it a few days ago so it should be ok? Also, not using a joystick.

The Apollo 16 scenario I'm running started around T - 4 hours or so, I've just been plowing ahead from that point. Is this something I could mess up by incorrectly configuring a switch before launch?
 

indy91

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No I don't think you can mess it up with a switch, unless you used the switch for S-II/S-IVB direct staging and then some bug, that doesn't appear during normal staging, caused the S-II to not shut down.

So you didn't save/reload before launch and this happened just with running the normal T-4h prelaunch scenario? I thought there could maybe be a saving/loading bug that only appears if you load a scenario from shortly before launch and not the initial T-4h scenario. But I just tried it in the T-60s scenario I had saved and everything was normal.
 

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After insertion the O2 flow is about .45 lb/hr. I close the Direct O2 valve (checklist page L2-11), flow goes to zero. Then later (bottom of page L2-12) when I turn on the EMERG CABIN PRESS valve the flow pegs out and I get the O2 Flow Hi. My cabin pressure at this point is about 2.3 psi, which looks very low to me as the checklist seems to expect it to be somewhere between 4.7 and 5.3? (I can't really do the Main Reg Check on page L2-13 because the flow is pegged full). My guess is that the STUPID backup crew (oh wait- that would be me...) incorrectly configured something. Here's a save from about 10 minutes after I got the light. I'm going to run through the emergency procedure to see if I can figure what I did wrong, but it may become apparent to you quicker than it will to me. Thanks
Your forward hatch valve is open. So you are venting your CM atmosphere into space while the cabin pressure regs are trying to keep the pressure up, which is why your O2 flow is pegged.

Also, it looks like you are not using the J Mission conversions for your mission. J Mission CSM/LM has a different ECS config (more O2 etc) as well as additional batteries for the extended stay mission. You will need this or you will run out of consumables :p

 

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Your forward hatch valve is open
Wow, I have no explanation for this. The valve is definitely closed at the beginning of the scenario (T -3:59:00). Forty five minutes later in the scenario (at T -3:15:00) I looked at it and the valve is open. I'll run through the checklist again and try to figure out what I might have done. I have no memory of moving the valve. But somehow I did.
Also, it looks like you are not using the J Mission conversions for your mission.
I was unaware of this, thank you. I'll find the thread you referenced and read up on what to do.
So you didn't save/reload before launch and this happened just with running the normal T-4h prelaunch scenario?
Indy, I'm sorry, I misunderstood what you were asking re: saved scenarios (I thought you meant saved like the canned mission scenarios for Apollo 8, 11, etc) Yes I did save and reload the scenario a few times (maybe four?) as I worked through the prelaunch checklists. My last save before launch was at T -35 seconds. I've attached it in case you wanted to look at it.

Finally, maybe unrelated but...after insertion when I attempt to do the first P52, my simulation crashes immediately after I make my first mark. I've tried it a few times at different time accelerations (0.1x, 0.5x, 1.0x) and it crashes right after I make that first mark. Could this be a bug or another reason to shop for a new PC?

Thanks all.
 

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Wedge313

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Gentlemen, I need to stop the current troubleshooting and address a larger issue that may be at the root of all these problems (except for the hatch valve, that's on me...)

After I completed the Apollo 11 scenario last month, I thought it would be a good time to update Orbiter Beta and make sure I had the latest D3D9 and NASSP versions. So I did that.

After the updates I decided to run the Apollo 15 mission. I tried to load the Apollo 15 scenario from the WIP list, it opened for a few seconds and then crashed to desktop. After a second try with similar results I tried the Apollo 16 scenario. That opened fine, so I just pressed on with the prelaunch.

This morning I was trying to figure out what I might have done during the update process that might have been causing my strange staging issue and P52 crash. And here's what I'm seeing...

The Apollo 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, and 17 scenarios won't run. They seem to load, I get a visual of the Saturn V on the pad, but after a few seconds it crashes to desktop with a message "Orbiter.exe has stopped working".

Apollos 10, 13, 14, and 16 will load. But when I go to exit the simulation I'll get the "Please wait while Orbiter is closing down the simulation session" message, but then it will CTD.

I've messed something up with my attempt to update Orbiter Beta. Apollos 8, 9, and 11 were working fine before my update, now they won't load.

Have you run across an issue like this before, is my mistake apparent to you? Or would it be best if I just start from scratch and reload Orbiter, Orbiter Beta, D3D9 and NASSP?

As always, any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Anything interesting in the Orbiter.log file when it crashes?
 

Wedge313

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Anything interesting in the Orbiter.log file when it crashes?
Right, of course, the Orbiter.log file. That's the first place a smart person would look to solve this issue. And after you suggested looking there, I did...

The one thing all the crashes seemed to have in common was an error saying "D3D9RwyLight.dds is missing". I did a file search and found the file in the Orbiter Beta Textures file. So it was there, but for some reason the program couldn't find it? Anyway, I tried moving it from the Textures file to the Textures2 file. That solved the crash problem! Why? I have no idea! But then I started having problems with the textures in the CM, like the FDAI being blank. Moving the Project Apollo textures file from the Textures file to the Textures2 file seemed to correct that, but then I was getting a lot of Orbiter.log errors referring to SurfHandle=xxxxxxxx (six different files) that said "surface is being read without being initialized first".

Out of frustration I chose the nuclear option and just uninstalled Orbiter Beta and NASSP and started from scratch. I tried to follow the NASSP 8 installation instructions carefully. Things so far seem better, but before I get back to running a simulation I want to ask a few installation questions...

I chose not to download the Hi Res textures, instead using the Orbiter2016 textures. The instructions say "In your Orbiter Beta installation directory, open Orbiter.cfg in a text editor", and add the line "TextureDir = <path-to-Orbiter2016>\Textures\" .There are two .cfg files, "Orbiter.cfg" and "Orbiter_NG.cfg", which one should I add that line to? And where do I add it, at the top? Bottom? I chose to add it to the Orbiter_NG.cfg file at the top, and it seemed to work, it was magically moved to a subdirectory location. But when I open a scenario the Apollo graphics show up immediately but the surrounding terrain takes forever to load. I'm not sure I'm doing this linking correctly.

Also, the instructions says "IMPORTANT: If you are re-using a texture directory from another Orbiter installation (as outlined in step 1), copy the "Textures/ProjectApollo" folder over to the actual Texture directory that is being used by your Orbiter Beta/NASSP installation". Since I'm linking to the Orbiter2016 textures, do I copy to the Orbiter2016 textures? Or to the Orbiter Beta Textures?

I'm confused on those two points, just want to make sure I'm putting the files where I'm supposed to.

And weirdly, after all the uninstall/reinstalling, I still got the "D3D9RwyLight.dds is missing" error, and ended up moving from Textures to Textures2 to "fix" it. And that's why I question whether I'm doing this correctly.
 

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I am trying to figure out why you are doing all of these extra steps beyond the NASSP 8 install instructions. If you aren't using high res textures, you just simply install orbiter beta, NASSP 8, the d339 client for beta, and orbiter sound. Then run the NG exe.

EDIT: Oh you have orbiter and orbiter beta installs...I personally only use Beta and have 1 texture directory.
 

Wedge313

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I am trying to figure out why you are doing all of these extra steps beyond the NASSP 8 install instructions. If you aren't using high res textures, you just simply install orbiter beta, NASSP 8, the d339 client for beta, and orbiter sound. Then run the NG exe.
Well, maybe that's my problem. I had Orbiter 2016 installed for a long time. And when I started using NASSP I ran Apollo 8 using just Orbiter 2016.

When I moved to Apollo 11, I downloaded Orbiter Beta. On the download instruction page at the bottom it says:

  • Note that the texture maps for most of the planetary bodies are not included in the SVN repository. You need to install those separately. The easiest way is to re-use the texture directory from an existing Orbiter 2016 installation:
    • If you haven't done so yet, install Orbiter 2016, and optionally the high-resolution texture packs.
    • In your Orbiter Beta installation directory, open Orbiter.cfg in a text editor If this file doesn't exist, just launch orbiter.exe and close it again. This will generate a default Orbiter.cfg.
    • Add the line
      TextureDir = <path-to-Orbiter2016>\Textures\",
      where <path-to-Orbiter2016> is the full path to your Orbiter2016 root installation directory.
Are you saying I don't need to do this? Orbiter Beta and NASSP already have the textures? If so, that's probably where my issue lies, I'm duplicating a lot of texture files unnecessarily. I'll try it again, and leave out the above step. Let's see what happens! Thanks.
 

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I just manually dragged them over from the orbiter install.
To help me minimize my chances of doing this wrong.... which files did you drag from Orbiter, and where did you drag them to? (I think I know what you did but I could be wrong)
 

rcflyinghokie

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This was before I was using the high res, but you just copy the Textures folder from the stable orbiter install and paste in the beta install location. Then install NASSP
 
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