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Juha Holopainen

Plugin updates

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The TopSky plugin will be getting a minor update in the coming weeks or months. Feature-wise there will likely not be any major changes, mostly small fixes here and there and some additions to data file formats. The most visible change will be a completely new color set for the COOPANS version of the plugin, shown in the attached image. For the Danish old-timers, it's almost like changing back to the old DATMAS colors, for others it's going to be more of a leap to the unknown. The new set is already used in Denmark, but until Sweden adopts it as well, the "old" set will remain available as an option.

This message serves as a heads-up about the coming change (I'll provide detailed information on the necessary changes to settings files when the time comes), but also as a reminder to let me know about any issues in the plugin you may have come across so they might get fixed for the next release. Unless issues come up that require major changes in the code, there will probably not be need for a beta period, I'll just release the new version once it's ready.

newcolors.png.e238559dcd4dcdf2bc81043303d62fbf.png

The Ground Radar plugin will be updated as well, but it will require a period of beta testing before public release. Whether it's going to be a public or closed beta remains to be seen.

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Time flies...

For those interested, beta versions of the TopSky and Ground Radar plugins are available:

TopSky 2.2.1 beta 4

Ground Radar 1.2 beta 3

The changes in the TopSky plugin are relatively small, mostly just additions to data file formats. The default colorset for the COOPANS version is updated, but until Sweden changes to it next year, the old set can be activated by entering "Color_NUAC=1" in the TopSkySettings.txt file. The only major fix is related to MTCD inhibit areas causing a CTD. Unless you are using this beta version or some later one, DO NOT KEEP ANY MTCD INHIBIT AREAS ACTIVATED as the plugin may crash (Status/STS->MTCD Status->all areas must be "off").

For the Ground Radar plugin, there are more changes. The whole safety net system has been rewritten and a couple of new windows are available. Some new ground states such as "line up" are also provided but only shown by other users of this plugin. To use them, a custom tag item and a tag function must be used.

Both packages contain updated parts of the manual sets as well as version history documents outlining the biggest changes since the last public releases. As far as installation goes, either copy the plugin dll (and the GR plugin data files if desired) over your existing ones, or build a new plugin folder just for the beta versions.

For the Finnish setup, this package contains some new settings files that can be used with the beta plugins. The Lists.txt file includes the new ground state item and menu. The files are not to be used with the release versions of the plugins.

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Great progress in the GRplugin @Juha Holopainen, thank you for your hard work!

Just one question, is there any way for me to choose an airport-specific LVP-buffer? (Not really managed to figure it out by reading the manual😅)

Edited by Max August Larsson Kuhla

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Not an airport-specific buffer as such, but runway specific ones can be defined which is essentially the same thing and more. The setting would be "Airport_Runway_Buffer_LVP", for example:

[ESGG]
Airport_Runway_Buffer_LVP:03:99.9

should set the buffer value to 99.9 meters from the centerline if the code behind it happens to be ok...

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" Some new ground states such as "line up" are also provided but only shown by other users of this plugin. To use them, a custom tag item and a tag function must be used"

What does this mean? I cannot get the new ground state options to show. Do I have to to something to implement this, apart from installing the new plug-ins?

Edited by Thomas Ljung
clarification

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Yes @Thomas Ljung

Press the "S" on top of the DEP list to edit the list.

In the bottom of the list, there is "Ground status", replace tag item type with "Ground Radar plugin / Ground state"

and Left button with "Ground Radar plugin / Open Ground state menu"

Edited by Max August Larsson Kuhla
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I like the new ground states, just wondering if it's intentional that there is no "pushback" state included?

Also maybe it's just me because I usually control on a small laptop screen, but I find the text to be a bit long. Would it be possible to get some abbreviations for the ground states? I find that now the column width needs to be set at 10, making it one of the widest columns in the DEP list.

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It is intentional, to be in line with the available states in the modelled real system (don't know about COOPANS). The "start up" state is nothing fancier than the default "push" state renamed so if you want "push" instead, see the answer to the next question which is: it's all in the manual 😄

General manual chapter 7.1 tells the following about the "Ground state" tag item:

"Displays the aircraft’s ground state using the plugin’s custom texts for them, including the plugin specific ground states. The displayed text for each state is adjustable using the plugin settings."

The settings that control the displayed texts follow the pattern "System_State_*", they are listed in the developer manual chapter 3.5.1

 

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1 hour ago, Juha Holopainen said:

The settings that control the displayed texts follow the pattern "System_State_*", they are listed in the developer manual chapter 3.5.1

That's great! Sorry I didn't look in the manual, been too busy reading the manual for another plugin... ;)

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The release version of the Ground Radar plugin is available:

Ground Radar plugin 1.2

The package contains the pdf manuals, the plugin dll and three data files that can be used with any setup. Note that the GRpluginCallsigns.txt file is not needed if either ICAO_Airlines.txt or TopSkyCallsigns.txt is in the same folder, the plugin can use either of those files as well if its "own" data file is not present, reducing the amount of files needing to be updated.

The plugin's update check will not offer the new version just yet as I'm about to go on vacation for a couple of weeks. Once I'm back and able to provide better support, the old - both release and beta - versions will start offering the update, pointing to the same download location as the above link.

To use the new plugin-specific ground states, the EuroScope DEP list must be changed. As discussed above in this thread, to display the custom states, the plugin's ground state item must be used instead of the default one, and to set them, the plugin's tag function as well. For the Finnish setup, instructions will be posted in the sector file thread later today.

In case you run into issues, reverting back to the previous version should be simple as long as the old files are available. The only files that need to be replaced are:

- the plugin dll (use whichever version you were happy with)
- depending on which settings have been adjusted, possibly the plugin's settings file (some settings are not available in all previous plugin versions)
- depending on which version you're reverting back to, possibly the EuroScope lists definition file (the new ground state related items aren't available in the previous release version, only in the beta)

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Hello,

Many thanks for this amazing plugin!

I have just one question. Is it possible to make a filled map object with coordinates in topsky?

In the Developer Guide is only the talk of plygons and filled arcs with Radius:StartAngle:EndAngle and X1:Y1: X2:Y2 but nothing with coordinates like it is possible in the .sct file.

I just want a filled terrain map within topsky because it is easier and faster to switch on and off.

Maybe i have something overlooked in the manual?

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It is not possible to create filled polygons in maps in the current release version. It is also not possible to toggle Region type objects in the sct file using the Maps window.

I don’t have access to the development code now so I can’t say if either way is already coded in, but will check once I get back home, and see if either would be easy enough to implement.

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Topsky 2.2.1b4 (SE)

Text notes-text not visible, tried inputing manual entry (Color_Text_Notes=255,255,255, and with 0,0,0)

The text spots are visible for removal, just not the text itself

 

Any ideas @Juha Holopainen?

Also the constant "unhandled exception"s for the faulty times filed in FPLs, but that is the pilots fault.. Just a little bit annoying!

Edited by Max August Larsson Kuhla

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For the text notes, they will not work in beta 4 no matter what you do. Either use the release 2.2 version of the plugin or wait for the next beta where they will work again.

The "undefined error" is an EuroScope problem (unless you really have "unhandled exception"s in which case it's a different issue). The only way to avoid them is to use EuroScope beta 17 or earlier.

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I think it was actually "unhandled exception" that I meant, heard something about it being invalid EOBT or times filed..?

I'll just try to live without the text notes for now.. ;)

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@Max August Larsson Kuhla if it actually is “unhandled exception” you’ve seen, pointing to the plugin, it may be something else. As you’re using the beta plugin, please make a crash dump if you see it again. Keep the “unhandled exception” message window open, open the Task Manager (ctrl-shift-esc), right-click there on the EuroScope process and select to create a memory dump. A message window will pop up letting you know where the file was saved. Keep it safe and send it to me. Once the dump is done it’s ok to close ES. The same goes naturally for anyone else using the beta plugin and getting an unhandled exception.

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An update to the Topsky beta plugin is available:

TopSky 2.2.1 beta 5

The changes from beta 4 include:

  • Holding list ETO column shows holding start time after holding has been entered
  • Adjusted COOPANS version colors
  • Increased maximum number of Min Sep tools to 5 in the COOPANS version
  • Added "Informed 2" and "Informed 3" colors and corresponding settings
  • Added REGIONS auto-generated maps no, sorry, rather the ability to toggle the visibility of the REGIONS items from the sector file
  • Updated Maps data file syntax (added possibility to draw polygons, other small changes)
  • Bug fixes to text notes and CPDLC code
  • Updated Areas data file syntax (Group and Usertext can be set)
  • Updated Weather Messages Window to also show SNOWTAMs
Edited by Juha Holopainen
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Thanks for the update!

Which colour is used for airports, fixes, NDBs and VORs when displayed through the Maps menu? I believe the actual RGB should be 159,159,160 (C_Beacon), which is a significantly lighter grey than the colour used by the plugin.

Another minor issue is when highlighting an area by clicking on it, in the real system this does not change the colour of the area. To reflect this I have set Color_TSA_Border_Highlight=200,53,18 which is the same RGB as Color_Active_Map_Type_4. This keeps the same red colour for the border when the area is highlighted.

This all of course concerns the COOPANS setup.

Edited by Martin Loxbo

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In the COOPANS version, the auto-generated maps use the Map_3 color. C_Beacon is not present in the plugin as I have no information on where it's used. I'll probably add specific color values to the auto-generated maps so they can be set up as desired (one for the symbols and another for the labels). I'll also make it possible not to highlight the TSA area border.

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