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Designer's Corner - Tips and Tricks - Problems and Solutions
Package Problem / Solution
Airport Design Editor (ADE)
ADE Helipad Elevation Problem - by Steve Weinkamer

Problem: Using ADE, placing a helipad at a radically different location/altitude, can cause the "start" for the aircraft to be below the helipad (at ground level).

METHOD #1

Place a small flatten under the pile of rocks object and then placed the helipad object just resting on the flatten, which is 99% hidden by the rock object. Also adjusted the helipad’s starting altitude in ADE dialog (I have the ProKey addition which makes this pretty easy. Can also be accomplished by hand editing the airport/helipad 4’s xml properties in notepad.)

METHOD #2

  • By default, scenery objects clamp to the ground (AGL).
  • Make sure you select one of the scenery object heli pads from the "airport-Objects.bgl.
  • In the property window, uncheck the Altitude is AGL. Change the altitude to match the height of the building, plus the amoount of feet above sea level the building is sitting at. example, if the building is 80 feet tall and the MSL is 500 ftl, then set the altitude to 580 feet.

"cab" folder revisions (adding and deleteing files)
cab folders Changing the contents of a "cab" file ... (by Rod Jackson)

The process is to double click on the .cab file.   That will open the folder set.  You can then extract everything to another folder...let's call it "Revision" or it can be the same name as the .cab file you are revising.

Once you have a folder named Revision (or whatever) with all of the files from the orginal cabinet...you can delete them, replace them or whatever. When you have the new "Revision" folder as you want it, then go to the SimObject SDK folder inside the Prepar3D SDK.  In that folder should be a folder named Cabdir SDK.   There is a utility called CabDir.exe in that folder.    Just drag your "Revision" folder over the CabDir.exe and let go and....voila....the files have been repackaged into a new file called Revision.cab.   If you are replacing a cab file....then obviously you would use the name of the cab folder you are recreating and not the word "Revision". 

P3D and FSX Tips and Tricks
P3D / FSX Four Digit Latitude and Longitude - By Rod Jackson

Problem: The default number of digits on the "minutes" for lat/long is two. When you are placing an aircraft beside a dock or a windsock in a critical place, this is not accurate enough.

Solution: Go into the Prepar3d.cfg or FSX.cfg files and add this under [MAIN]:

[Main]
FractionalLatLonDigits=4

SBuilder X
SBuilder X Making a River come down a mountainside - (Following the terrain without having to put altitude into each of the points.

For a realistic looking "stream", edit the polygon to make it extremely narrow, this keeps you from having a blue "gash" across the scenery, it is also easier to "landscape" blocking out the sharp turns.

SBuilder X Making Long/Narrow ground polygons (example: transmission lines) - Rod Jackson

Okay, here is my technique for making long narrow SBX polys that weave and so on (creeks, rivers, power line cut blocks etc.):

1. Go to the location you want in FSX/P3D and show aircraft in SBX. Then show background.

2. Draw a line in SBX clicking along the way and following the route according to the GE overlay approximating where you want the long narrow box to fall. Sometimes you are best doing 2 or 3 lines if it is a long run. Make sure to save several times as SBX like to fail on long lines.

3. Change width of line (s) to 1, 2, 3 for stream. 3, 4, or 5 for substantial creek. Use at least 15 for poweline cut. Note: Multiple lines let you have a creek thats narrower closer to source.

4. If you want to check to see if line looks right in FSX/P3D, change property to a shoreline and you can then see the line in FSX/P3D.

5. Adjust line as necessary to be where you want it.... Don't forget to save a lot....

6. When the lines(s) are where you want save and then right click line and choose smooth and then click on smooth button to smooth out all curves (may not want to do this on a powerline cut) but definitely for streams/creeks/rivers. This process adds many points to the line and can be run more than once to super smooth the curves! Save, Save, Save.

7. When all looks great it is time to turn the lines into polys. Right click a line and choose "Convert to Poly" and voila, you have a very long narrow poly with all the smooth curves. Then just change the properties to non flatten water (FTX version) or, if powerline cut, something like LC63 which is what I used for Thayer. Show a little rock, no trees and matches the Alaskan woods pretty well.

8. You can then move the ends of the polys , if you had multiple lines, to overlap each other so it looks like one long poly in FSX/P3D.

SBuilder X

Adding Shorelines to Water Polygons

Here is another cool trick....if you have a good size creek/river poly and you want to add shoreline right click the poly and choose "make line" and along both long sides of the poly an overlapping line (you can't even see it until you choose "line" at the top ribbon) will be created which you can then set the properties of the line to a shoreline property and you have shoreline perfectly placed on both sides of the creek or river.

SBuilder X

The ORBX Polygons Needed

To be able to change things with the ORBX software packages, you neeed a special group of new polygons that are in "polys.txt". The file should be positioned at SBuilderX/Tools. First, copy and save the polys.txt that comes with SBuilder X. Put this new Polys.txt into that position.

Polys.txt

When you want to flatten a "water anomaly" (Tsunami) often encountered in ORBX software, apply the property:

FTX_PNW_LandWaterMask_Water_Ocean

This will flatten a water area.

Season Switcher by Rod Jackson
Season Switcher

Season Switcher Instructions - By Rod Jackson
RTMM SEASON SWITCHER NOTES FOR SCENERY DEVELOPERS ONLY
:

In order for your scenery to take advantage of the RTMM Season Switcher, your seasonal file .bgl's need to follow the following file name convention:

 *_rtmm_<season name>.bgl or .off

The * can be replaced by any number of characters/symbols to identify your seasonal file.  The <season name> parameter needs to be winter, spring, summer, fall or noseason.  "Noseason" contains the extra objects you want the user to see if the user decides not to run the RTMM Season Switcher.  These objects should look reasonably good in all seasons.  Therefore, all of your seasonal files should start out with the .off extension except for the "noseason" file which would have a .bgl extension. 

For example:     tiny_town_rtmm_spring.off       or    tiny_town_rtmm_noseason.bgl

 You need to have all four seasons represented as well as a "noseason" file, even if two or more of the files are the same content (e.g. your spring and summer look is the same).  For example, if you are doing extra trees in the scenery location (which in real life would be there all year round in some form) and your spring and summer trees are the same, then you need to have two files of the same thing with the different season names of spring and summer..  Otherwise, if you just had spring then in summer there would be no trees showing at all.  In your release package, all the seasonal files should be set to .off except the "noseason" version which should be set to .bgl  Then, if someone just doesn't use the switcher, they will still get the default "noseason" version displayed.

The seasonal .bgl files would normally be contained inside the scenery file of your package where your other scenery .bgl's are also located.

The only time you don't need all five seasonal files represented is if you are using a seasonal file to just add something that isn't there when other seasons are active.  For example, a winter file that adds snowdrifts and a summer file that adds high grass but no adds are made for spring or fall.  In that case, I would set the add on seasonal files to .off  so that one doesn't load in the wrong season if the user never uses the RTMM Season Switcher.

 Rod

XML Codes
XML BGL Compiler Shortcut

  1. Make sure you have the "SDK" kit for your simulator. There is one for FSX and one for P3D.
  2. For FSX: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Programming/SDK-DDK/Microsoft-Flight-Simulator-X-SDK.shtml
  3. For Prepar3D: http://www.prepar3d.com/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=144
  4. Find a file named "bglcomp.exe" and create a shortcut to it and put it onto your desktop.
  5. Once you make an xml file (from examples below), you drop the created XML file onto the top of the shortcut ... a .bgl file is generated from this action.
XML Fuel Trigger Creation

For a 50 Meter Trigger (radius)

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<FSData
version="9.0"
xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd">

<SceneryObject
lat="N55 2.24"
lon="W131 34.26"
alt="0.0F"
altitudeIsAgl="TRUE"
pitch="0"
bank="0"
heading="315.00"
imageComplexity="VERY_SPARSE">
<Trigger
type="REFUEL_REPAIR"
triggerHeight="0.0F">
<Fuel
type="100"
availability="YES"/>
<Fuel
type="JETA"
availability="YES"/>
<Vertex
biasX="-50.0F"
biasZ="-50.0F"/>
<Vertex
biasX="-50.0F"
biasZ="50.0F"/>
<Vertex
biasX="50.0F"
biasZ="50.0F"/>
<Vertex
biasX="50.0F"
biasZ="-50.0F"/>
</Trigger>
</SceneryObject>

</FSData>

  1. Copy the above code into a text reader (Notepad, etc)
  2. Change the "lat=" and "long=" to the latitude and longitude where you want the fuel trigger.
  3. Save the new code changing .txt to .xml
  4. Drop the new XML file onto the BGL Compiler Shortcut
  5. Place the resulting bgl file into the scenery location where you want the new fuel trigger.

NOTAM: If you want to SEE the fuel trigger - in the Prepar3d.cfg file (users/doug/apps/roaming/lockheed martin/prepar3d.cfg ... go to the scenery area and turn the ShowTriggers=1 on and off by putting // ahead of it or not. This gives a big green square so you can see if the fuel trigger is added and its location.

XML

Waypoint Generation (that will show on the GPS)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<FSData version="9.0"
xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance' xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd" >
<Waypoint
lat="N58 18.7707"
lon="W133 47.5264"
waypointType="NAMED"
magvar="17.0"
waypointRegion="PA"
waypointIdent="EXXXX">
</Waypoint>
</FSData>

  1. Copy the above code into a text program (notepad, etc)
  2. In the above XML code, replace the waypoint "lat=" and "lon=" with the latitude and longitude of the waypoint.
  3. Give the waypoint a name by changing "waypointIdent="
  4. Save the text adding ".xml" instead of ".txt"
  5. Drop the saved XML file onto the BGL Compiler Shortcut, (the compiler will create a .bgl file for it), place the resulting .bgl file into your location folder where you want the waypoint to show up.
XML Windock Creation

  1. Select the colors you want below, copy that code into a text reader (notepad, etc)
  2. Go to Compile Instructions

Orange Sock, Brown Pole

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<FSData
version="9.0"
xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance'
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd" >

<SceneryObject
lat="N55 15.74"
lon="W131 46.23"
alt="0.0M"
altitudeIsAgl="TRUE"
pitch="0"
bank="0"
heading="0"
imageComplexity="VERY_SPARSE">

<Windsock
poleHeight="6.0"
sockLength="2.5"
lighted="TRUE">
<PoleColor red="102" green="51" blue="0"/>
<SockColor red="255" green="128" blue="128"/>
</Windsock>
</SceneryObject>

</FSData>

Green Sock Brown Pole

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<FSData
version="9.0"
xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance'
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd" >

<SceneryObject
lat="N55 15.74"
lon="W131 46.23"
alt="0.0M"
altitudeIsAgl="TRUE"
pitch="0"
bank="0"
heading="0"
imageComplexity="VERY_SPARSE">

<Windsock
poleHeight="6.0"
sockLength="2.5"
lighted="TRUE">
<PoleColor red="102" green="51" blue="0"/>
<SockColor red="0" green="176" blue="0" />
</Windsock>
</SceneryObject>

</FSData>

Orange Sock, Gray Pole

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<FSData
version="9.0"
xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance'
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd" >

<SceneryObject
lat="N55 15.74"
lon="W131 46.23"
alt="0.0M"
altitudeIsAgl="TRUE"
pitch="0"
bank="0"
heading="0"
imageComplexity="VERY_SPARSE">

<Windsock
poleHeight="6.0"
sockLength="2.5"
lighted="TRUE">
<PoleColor red="48" green="48" blue="48"/>
<SockColor red="255" green="128" blue="128"/>
</Windsock>
</SceneryObject>

</FSData>

Red Sock, Brown Pole

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<FSData
version="9.0"
xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance'
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd" >

<SceneryObject
lat="N55 15.74"
lon="W131 46.23"
alt="0.0M"
altitudeIsAgl="TRUE"
pitch="0"
bank="0"
heading="0"
imageComplexity="VERY_SPARSE">

<Windsock
poleHeight="6.0"
sockLength="2.5"
lighted="TRUE">
<PoleColor red="102" green="51" blue="0"/>
<SockColor red="255" green="0" blue="0"/>
</Windsock>
</SceneryObject>

</FSData>

Red Sock, White Pole

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<FSData
version="9.0"
xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance'
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd" >

<SceneryObject
lat="n56 28.4272"
lon="W132 22.4594"
alt="0.0M"
altitudeIsAgl="TRUE"
pitch="0"
bank="0"
heading="0"
imageComplexity="VERY_SPARSE">

<Windsock
poleHeight="6.0"
sockLength="2.5"
lighted="TRUE">
<PoleColor red="255" green="255" blue="255"/>
<SockColor red="255" green="0" blue="0"/>
</Windsock>
</SceneryObject>

</FSData>

Yellow Sock, Brown Pole

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<FSData
version="9.0"
xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance'
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd" >

<SceneryObject
lat="N55 15.74"
lon="W131 46.23"
alt="0.0M"
altitudeIsAgl="TRUE"
pitch="0"
bank="0"
heading="0"
imageComplexity="VERY_SPARSE">

<Windsock
poleHeight="6.0"
sockLength="2.5"
lighted="TRUE">
<PoleColor red="102" green="51" blue="0"/>
<SockColor red="255" green="242" blue="0"/>
</Windsock>
</SceneryObject>

</FSData>

Compilation Instructions

  1. Select color set from the above xml files.
  2. Copy the above code into a text reader (Notepad, etc)
  3. Change the "lat=" and "lon=" to the exact coordinates where you want to place the windsock. (Recommend using the 4 digit minutes (See "Four Digit Latitude and Longitude").
  4. Save the text file using ".xml" instead of ".txt"
  5. Drop the XML file onto the BGL Creation Shortcut
  6. Place the resulting BGL into the scenery location folder where you are adding the windsock.
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