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Author Topic: DGIII alpha release available part 4 (CLOSED)  (Read 20904 times)

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Offline Spacingbluefrog

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Reply #75 - 02 February 2004, 21:29:33
Hello Dan,

Before the feedback, a suggestion : in "flyby" scenario, don't you think it will be more realistic to
have ATM control rather than RCS, and Surface MDF on one of the two screens?

I check all the systems, audio, video, system, agp aperture in BIOS. Do a lot of tweaks (remind me when I
was trying to run CFS3 smooth! :) ). Don't change my drivers anyway, too dangerous now with the
complexity of my machine and all the other progs running fine!

Well, I always get  the pb. But....two interesting trails. It seems it is relative with smoke! But in
same install with standard DG, full smoke, no pb!? With DGIII without smoke, runs better!
With smoke or without, when I switch screen informations (I key) I get it again!(with both of DG,
standard and III) (not relative to one position, it's the switching that causes the pb).
I must say, in external view, I'm very close to the ship : ~ 40m. When I zoom out, an hundred meters or
more, the pb decreases and disappears.

I must say, I'm in the ... smog.

In space, nobody can ear you ... cough!

In space, nobody can hear you scream...

Offline darkvoid

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Reply #76 - 02 February 2004, 22:00:05
The fully  animated  antenna looks GREAT Dan

What's the "secret project" ?! :doubt:

And by the way what's the "radiator" is it a solar panel? :wonder:


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Reply #77 - 02 February 2004, 23:14:34
The radiator is part of the cooling system. Extending it reduces the power needed to maintain
temperature in the cabin. Since the APU gives limitless free power, it doesn't matter much, but
adds a nice bit of realism.

As for the antenna, cool. I like retractable gadgets. Any thoughts on how this integrates with the
systems? Maybe it could be a transponder reciever, or a radar. Does it come with a MFD or FC

And while we're on the subject of retractable gadgets, maybe the odd shaped doors on the rear
fuselage could be Mars reentry parachutes (Mars atmosphere is too thin to help much with
steering or braking, and too thick to ignore. Rather annoying.), or extra thrusters (not sure what
the point would be, it already has lots of engines, but it would be cool)(Anyway, another famous
ship called the Delta something had retractable engines for extra boost in races), or solar panels
(improved power management. APU consumes fuel from the main tank, with rate depending on
amps, and solar is free, but has limited amps (less than what is needed to run all systems at once,
if you go over, you get a warning, then breakers reset.), and can't be used in atmosphere.)

Now, I will go from overwhelming you with brackets loaded with feature ideas, to just more
brackets. I didn't think the post had enough:) ((())())))(()(()())(()((())())())()())())(((()))))))

Offline DanSteph

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Reply #78 - 02 February 2004, 23:17:42
Thanks for feedback Blue,

Something to do with one bus too busy I would say...
The 3d card seem to eat one ressource that it should not, intterupt
or other. Or perhaps the sound driver or hardware use a ressource that it
should not. Anyway it seem there is a mess with driver or hardware
beetween sound card and 3d card which is not the case on most system.

Typically the smoke should have a big impact on the "fill rate"
of the 3d card, try to see the smoke from behind your ship at some distance,
I bet the problem should be worse....

Let me explain: smoke are 3d "billboard" mean two polygon where the smoke texture
is mapped onto and that ALWAYS face the camera.

When there is several of them one behind another with also transparency
the 3d card should redraw this part of screen as many time as there is bilboard
to blend them togheter...

Let's take some simple math:

640x480 =  is 380'000 pixel per image to draw (fill rate)
if you have a small zone of 320x240 with 10 bilboard alpha blended
on top of each other (the famous view from behind)
it make 10x320x240= 768'000 pixel more to fill. See ?

Now take a real case : 1280x1024 screen = 1'320'720 pixel PER FRAME
I let you imagine the billboard's impact. Imagine that you are close
and that 20 bilboard cover the whole screen... 20mo pixel at least.

Anyway the problem doesn't occure on many system because the sound card
and 3d card don't share any ressource. On your system it seem that the
work of the 3dcard impact directly on one ressource used by the sound.

I'm affraid there is nothing I can do here... I would say that probably someone have
do the idiot while writting a driver either 3d or sound.

My advice (simple to do)
Change your sound card's pci slot (will change intterupt used)
Lower your resolution, try 16 bit (half the fill rate on the bus)
Try another driver... :)

One time I should make a statistic with the people that have problem
to see if there is some piece in the hardare that are te same (ati, nvidia, driver ?
sound card ? motherboard ? bios setting ?)

Dark: I was thinking more about a solar panel but frying tiger the designer of this
said that it's a radiator... so we go for it. (heat is a big problem in space
with all sytem running aboard)


Offline DanSteph

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Reply #79 - 02 February 2004, 23:24:12
Mq, thanks for idea, I'm somewhat in concern with perf,
let see for now how most people will handle the antenna anim
(it add 5 more transform anim on the ship)

Btw: you have special rebate for your (()))) ?  :)

PS: later, letting the radiator off may increase the chance of failure
of  the power source in the long term.


PS to all: forgive me for the ton of typo.

Offline canadave

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Reply #80 - 02 February 2004, 23:32:25
I just sit back, and read, and my jaw drops in amazement at the features the DG3 is taking on.  
Just incredible!

Dan: if you think I'm going out there to fix the AE35 unit, you're nuts.  I saw what happened to
Frank Poole!


Offline DanSteph

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Reply #81 - 03 February 2004, 00:40:16
Dave, please... I had long seance of healing with mr chandra,
I'm fully operation..n..n.. HECK.. nal now....

Be gentle !  put this spacesuit.... please !


Offline MattNW

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Reply #82 - 03 February 2004, 00:59:11
Sorry I couldn't be online yesterday. Checked my email, took the boys home and when I got
back "My Doom" had fried our ISP servers. :)

I had the sound bug in the old DG II after the new Orbiter release but I haven't encountered it yet
with the DG III. Everything's smooth as can be even with ISS Alpha, level 9 Earth textures and
enhanced clouds showing in the background.

AMD 1800+
1 Gig PC133 DDR RAM
Maxtor 120 GB HD (92.3 GB Free)
GForce 4 (128mb)
CMedia PCI Stereo Sound Card
Windows XP Home

I just noticed this: The Main/Hover and RCS fuel flow shows 0 even at full throttle or when using
the RCS. The only time it shows fuel flow is when dumping fuel. According to the graphics the
meter is between the fuel tanks and the engines so I suspect it should show something.


  • Guest
Reply #83 - 03 February 2004, 03:21:14
well Dan, the reason 10X would be nice is to at least get through the 120-80km stretch, and then
slow it back down to 1x perhaps from 80 to 50, and then speed it up again as i'm gliding on my
way back to base. 10x just allows me to speed up through the more boring parts quicker, I can
turn on the re-entry autopilot earlier.

Offline DanSteph

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Reply #84 - 03 February 2004, 08:31:48
I fire prograde and killrot just after my deorbit burn
than stay without autopilot at 1000x time until 120km eight
then I engage the reentry autopilot.


Offline Spacingbluefrog

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Reply #85 - 03 February 2004, 20:58:09
Hi Dan,

You was right! I change the PCI slot of my SB, reinstall the driver, and .... :) ....perfect!

Now begin the real chekup of the baby and time of intensive tests!

In space, nobody can ear you singing...

In space, nobody can hear you scream...

Offline DanSteph

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Reply #86 - 03 February 2004, 23:20:03
Glad that it work, your experience will also help
other user. It's finnaly an system issue.


Offline Dave Grover

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Reply #87 - 04 February 2004, 02:40:53
Shall I open a can of worms?  :wonder:  Yes!  ;)

The design of the DeltaGliderIII (all DeltaGliders, too) indicates that the spacecraft's main engines
are sophisticated rocket/ramjet engines.  We use pure rocket power for initial takeoff from Earth,
at an appropriate speed the air intake opens and the engines switch to ramjet power, then at a
high enough altitude the air intake automatically closes and we are back on rocket power.  This is
very cool!

Where is this leading?  Have you noticed that the DGIII engine system is missing something
important?  Where is the oxidizer (O2) tank?  Is this an Orbiter limitation?  I haven't seen one
before on any other addon ship.  Maybe for now Dr. Martin just considers fuel and oxidizer
together and calls it fuel?  By the way the Space Shuttle Main Engines use fuel and oxidizer at
about a 2.8 to 1 ratio, 178,000 liters of fuel (liquid hydrogen) to 64,000 liters of oxygen per
minute.  8o

Dan, assuming Orbiter will support it, could you provide us with an oxidizer tank?  Besides
the "realism" in the engine system, look at the possibilities in an emergency situation.  Crossfeed
capabilities could be setup between the life support systems and the propulsion oxidizer tank.  If
you had a catastrophic failure of the propulsion oxidizer tank, you could (momentarily anyway) run
the engines off of the "B" Life Support O2 tank, hopefully for long enough to get you back to a
space station or to setup a re-entry.  Also, with a life support failure you could use the propulsion
oxidizer tank to be able to breathe.

The RCS system would need an O2 tank too, I think.

What do you think, Dan?


P.S.  What happens if you go through re-entry with the "auto air intake" engaged?  I haven't been a big enough  :fool:  to try that yet.  Theoretically, the atmospheric pressure should open the intake causing immediate incineration of the vessel.  ;)

Post Edited (02-04-04 02:46)


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Reply #88 - 04 February 2004, 03:06:13
Dan's probably regretting he started the whole thing by now ;)

I've noticed the O2 tank missing, I was assuming it would be considered jointly with the fuel tank,
and that the fuel display is the overall usable total.

plus it saves Dan coding time :)

I personally would love to see it too, to be able to fuel up the main and o2 tanks, etc. but I think
this would result in a panel limitation. he's gonna have to open up the side panels, and devote
one of them to the engine control system.

The million dollar question: is Dan up to coding it? wonder: a can of worms it is..

Offline acehunter

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Reply #89 - 04 February 2004, 03:37:30
The DGIII (and DG) must have some form of functioning radiator, or the craft will overheat.  The
hull can be assumed to radiate some of the heat naturally, but a dedicated radiator is usually
needed to cool the spacecraft.  On the shuttle, if the cargo bay doors cannot be opened to allow
the radiators to function within 30 minutes it must abort.  If DGIII generates anywhere near as
much heat as the shuttle, it will need to have the radiator extended to keep the cabin cool.  (the
shuttle generates 14 kilowatts, nearly all of which is eventually converted to heat + roughly 100
watts of thermal energy per person)  The shuttle's radiators eliminate 100,000 BTU from the

OTOH, most of the DG "stretches" realism, so it all depends on whether you want to code bad things to happen if the radiator isn't deployed.

Post Edited (02-04-04 03:39)

-Matt P.

That's no moon.... it's a space station

Offline Dave Grover

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Reply #90 - 04 February 2004, 08:26:50

I consider the O2 tank to be part of the total fuel, too.  It's just much more flexible to be able to
use the O2 in emergency situations.  Other than that, I suppose it really doesn't matter.  :)

Yes, you are probably right about the panel limitation, too.

Matt P.:

That is a good discussion of the radiator.  100 watts per person, huh?  That explains why
the "comic book" representation of a person with an idea is a light bulb above their head!  :)

Yes, the DeltaGliders certainly stretch realism.  The "realism police" would probably say that the
spacecraft is more than just a bit small for the things it does.  Like, where do you put all the
necessary fuel?  Also, what about the hover thrusters?  They really need to be behind thermally
tight doors for the vessel to survive re-entry.  In real-life the nozzles would burn off in a hurry and
the craft would incinerate.

But, let's have fun anyway.  ;)


Offline DanSteph

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Reply #91 - 04 February 2004, 10:01:32
Orbiter doesn't make the distinction beetween oxydant and propellant
this is stated in the sdk so at best the O2 tank would be a fake that will induce
many "live" correction to the Orbiter's quantity of fuel available.

Here I must speak somewhat about DGIII code:
There is an important thing that make the distinction beetween
two part of code: whetter it should run each frame
or just one small burst from time to time.

As an example of both, I can't avoid the O2 comsumption at each frame or the consumption
will be false. This code eat a 'lot' of ressource and any add make here must be carrefuly done.
On the other hand the code that test your landing is just executed once when your
previous state was "in flight" (last loop) and your current is "landed". In this last portion
I can do almost what I want because this code will be executed only once at each landing.

So The DGIII doesn't eat (too) much processor for yet because I carefuly
pay attention to performance and most of the code run only when it's really needed.

The O2 tank fall in the first category, many calculus and adjustement are to be
done beetween the fake O2/H tank and the real Orbiter tank
and all those adjustement will be made in real time at each loop.
While the improvement it would bring is somewhat small , I'm affraid
the equation "benefit" vs "loss of performance" is negative.

To resume the equation about what should be added we have the variable:
1-pleasure, intterest to code
2-performance concern
3-time to code
4-benefit, improvment

in the case of O2 tank I would rate it as follow:
1-5/15    (boring as was the O2 consumption for crew)
2-12/15  (will slow down the DGIII code)
3-10/15  (will take from two to five day to make)
4-5/15    (just a fake O2, not many intteraction appart in some case)

This is a long post to explain a small thing but I'm at work with nothing to do :)



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Reply #92 - 04 February 2004, 10:49:17
Another bit about the radiator...stuff that goes through re-entry is heavily thermally insulated are
are of a hull shape that isn't efficient for radiation (shuttle, apollo capsule, dg3 less so based on
my last attempt at it :worry: )
stuff without that limitation (lunar lander, ISS, MIR) usually don't have a problem (their surfaces
are more efficient at thermal transfer) but may need to move heat around or heat themselves
becasue they are too good at it.
Sorry, off topic but couldn't resist
PS..Love the DG3 Dan - always my favorite flight, but I realised a while back that the stuff you did
is what makes it so much fun (stock DG is basically a pretty shuttle with more gas). If you ever get
bored with the glider, I'd love to see your take on a lunar transfer vehicle (or interplanetary craft)
or a lunar lander


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Reply #93 - 04 February 2004, 14:35:35
I always figured the DG ran on a nuclear-type engine--and such engines don't need an oxidizer;
they only have one type of fuel.  

Opening the air intake actually wouldn't give the fuel something to react with, just more mass to
run through the nuclear engine.

Offline darkvoid

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Reply #94 - 04 February 2004, 17:02:35
Maybe the DG3 could use a fusion reactor (Gas Dynamic Mirror)?

"A GDM engine, Emrich said (lead engineer on the project at NASA/Marshall), would have a specific
impulse of around 100,000 seconds. Specific impulse, or Isp, is a measure of how many seconds
one pound of propellant could produce one pound of thrust. By comparison, the space shuttle
main engine's Isp is around 465 seconds, and a nuclear-thermal rocket would be under 1,000
seconds. The higher the Isp, the more cargo you can carry instead of propellant.

"This has the potential to serve as a high-performance rocket engine suited for interplanetary
missions," Emrich continued."


  • Guest
Reply #95 - 05 February 2004, 06:08:30
I think a 5th thread is needed..

in the meantime, another idea: perhaps a failure reset switch, a "repair vessel" button that could
be activated upon landing? for example, you reach the ISS with failed hover engines.. wouldn't it
be nice to be able to hit the repair vessel switch upon docking, and reset the ship to working
condition? or upon landing on earth, after you broke your canopy by ejecting it at mach 2.

Offline Wilko

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Reply #96 - 05 February 2004, 07:02:39
^ I was thinking the same thing, it would be better than changing the config each time.. but
maybe have a certain time for certain repairs to take place, depending on the severity of each.

I don't think you should be able to repair too much at stations though, they can only have so
many resources. What would break down between earth and orbit anyway?

Offline Dave Grover

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Reply #97 - 05 February 2004, 09:13:38

About the oxidizer tank?  You sure used a lot of space to tell us it is an Orbiter limitation.  :)

I was wondering about it.  I really am not interested in doing my own development for Orbiter.  So
I haven't looked in the SDK.

I'll just test your DGIII to destruction for you.  ;)


Offline DanSteph

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Reply #98 - 05 February 2004, 13:30:25
Spets is right this thread become too big

Let's open a new one


« Last Edit: 05 February 2004, 13:30:25 by DanSteph »