Random FS Synaptic Firings
My attention is a little scattered this weekend. It’s been a busy few days, what with tending to an arthritic dog, churning out day-job work, slogging through unseasonal rain, and trying to fit in time for FS projects in the gaps. So yeah, I’m a little bit all over the place at the moment — nothing much new there.
The search for El Dorado, the Fountain of Youth, the Holy Grail… all quests that pale in comparison to the quixotic task of finding the elusive config entry that will finally render FSX fluidly. I’d love to say that I’ve discovered the one tweak to rule them all, but it’s just not so. However, I did find a pretty good compromise.
After weeks of trying out Jesus Altuve’s various FS tweaks and diddling around with FPS Limiter, I finally made a bold move yesterday and chucked almost all of the mods to my fsx.cfg. The only two things that are non-standard in my cfg now are a BufferPools setting of 80000000, and a Texture_Bandwidth_Multiplier of 120. Just for good measure, I threw in a Highmemfix=1 as well.
The result is that I’ve got a sim that runs better than it has in months. In the FTX PNW, I’m getting a fluid 24-30fps (capped at 30) in all but the most congested urban areas. I’ve still got stutters now and then, but that’s most likely due to some process or background program that I’ve neglected to switch off. For now, I can live with that.
Your mileage is guaranteed to vary, so don’t expect that this particular setup will help your rig. The moral of the story is that sometimes it’s best to drop back to basics to see what tweak is really helping, and what is just white noise.
My system was running so well that last night I decided to (gasp) go for a flight! I’m still exploring fairly close to home, having had very little time for recreational flying lately. Since so many of my flights have originated at 7S3 lately, I decided to head north and start one from Darrington instead. I pulled out Plan-G and found a suitably small field – in this case, a strip called “Big Andy” (7WA0), just west of Port Angeles, Washington. Just for a little added challenge, I left 1S2 at 8pm, which gave me very little time to get to Andy before darkness fell.
Because it’s my current favorite, I chose the Carenado Beech Bonanza for my steed. The flight over Puget sound was uneventful, though the scenery was breathtaking. Man, it sure is easier to spot other traffic at dusk than during daylight. For a change, every alert I received I was able to respond to with a genuine “have the traffic”.
Passing over Port Angeles, I started getting sweaty palms. Nightfall was coming on fast, and I’ve never visited this field. Craning my neck to see over the dash, I squinted at the approaching hills for any sign of Big Andy. According to the GPS, I was headed right for the airport, but the ground told a different story. Finally, after circling the area a couple of times, I spotted a tiny grass strip tucked in among a few houses. Crossing my fingers, I configured the Bonanza for landing and aimed for the strip. It was a tight fit, in among the hills, but I managed to set down on the short runway, just barely coming to a stop before slamming into the rising terrain. All in all, a very fun – if short – flight.
After shutting down the plane, I set the time to the dawn the next day, so when I fly again I can continue my ad hoc tour of the Olympic Peninsula. It should be fun getting back out of there!
In all the hoopla around getting this new site online, I neglected to mention one little bit of freeware that I finished a week or so ago. A fellow FS fan wrote me out of the blue recently to ask if I would consider doing a repaint of the Flight1 Pilatus PC-12 in SeaPort Airlines colors. Funny thing was, I’d just passed a billboard for SeaPort that very morning. Until then, I had forgotten about our tiny home-grown airline, which links Portland with several Oregon coastal communities.
As it turns out, Flight1 provided a fantastic paint kit with the PC-12, which made it a joy to paint. The end result is this sucker:
If you’d like to have a copy, trek over to my freeware page, where it’s featured along with my other FSX paints.
What else has been going on this week? I got two very nice write-ups on Stark’s Twin Oaks, one on Mutley’s Hangar, and another as a review on Avsim. The Avsim reviewer even gave the scenery a Gold Star, which made me smile.
While my wife was making dinner last night, I decided to relax a little and check out some of my favorite FS websites. In going through my bookmarks, I realized that I haven’t checked in on Angle of Attack’s Aviator Pro series in a week or more. Looks like Chris has been a busy boy! There are some great videos there, including full cross-country flights with extensive explanations of various aircraft systems. If you’re fence-sitting, I highly recommend subscribing to this series. Not only are they informative and fun, but the vids are a great stand-in when you don’t have time to for a full flight.
Oh, and speaking of videos, I downloaded the latest version of FRAPS today. I bought it years ago, and had all but forgotten about it, but it turns out that the purchase was for life, so I was able to download the fully-registered version. If things work out, maybe I can supply some homemade videos to go with my blog posts soon.
Okay, that’s about all I’ve got time for today. This week, I’m off collecting more source materials for future New England scenery projects. As soon as things are settled with that, I’ll give you some more info on what to expect next.