By Thorbjoern Schoenbeck 881214
#59880 Dear colleagues,

ACSim is really a great piece of work! However, I found it tedious to create the situation files using a text editor. Therefore I developed a small program which creates situation files based on a screenshot of the region of interest.

Here is how it works:

1) you will need a screenshot of the airspace where you want to create a situation file. To do so, start ASRC, maximize the window and select the appropriate sector file. Show/hide all fixes, VORs, NDBs etc. as you like. Then use a screenshot tool to create a .tif file. I would recommend IrfanView since it allows to copy just the client area of an active window. If you save this screenshot as 'default.tif' in the same folder as ACSEdit, you can skip step 2 - ACSEdit will recognize the image automatically.

2) Start ACSEdit and open the screenshot. (File->Open).

3) Maximize ACSEdit to get the full resolution of the screenshot.

4) The next step is EXTREMELY important! Read carefully :). You now have to calibrate the screenshot. That means: you have to assign latitude and longitude to two points in the screenshot. The easiest way to do this is to find a VOR in your sectorfile screenshot and to look up the coordinates at http://airnav.com. Then click on the VOR. A dialog appears where you can enter the coordinates of the VOR. Please use decimal format (e.g. 55.1254, -77.220). North and east are positive numbers, west and south are negative.

5) After successful calibration, click on a point in the screenshot where you want to create an aircraft. A dialog box appears, where you can enter the flight information. After clicking 'Add' the callsign and a little square will appear in the screenshot.

6) At the same time, a file named 'outfile.acs' will be created in the same folder as ACSEdit. This file can be directly read into ACSim. Alternatively it can be opened with a text editor and you can add the aircraft code lines to any existing .acs file by copy&paste.

7) Warning: This program is still in a very early stage of development. Handle with care! There may be lots of bugs in it, but I am working on it :).

Here are some screenshots of ACSEdit at work:

ACSEdit after entering a few aircrafts:

Image


ACSEdit flight plan window:

Image

The situation file as seen in ASRC:

Image

You can download ACSEdit at http://homepage.mac.com/chondrit/FileSharing2.html

Have fun! Any comments are highly appreciated!

TB
By Justin Ingersoll 814352
#61799 I think I am having troubles with calibrating it.

I enter the calibration points and the lat/longs as directed and these lat/longs match up with the sector file. But after I create a file, the aircraft are positioned wrong on loading in ACSim. Any ideas?
By Thorbjoern Schoenbeck 881214
#61834 Justin, can you please mail (chondrit@mac.com) me the screenshot that you are using, the two calibration points and the output file? I will try my best to find the flaw. Quick guess: make sure that you are entering West longitudes with a 'minus' sign, such as: -112.455? And also beware of the decimal point, no comma. I also found that some of the VORs in North America have the same three letter designator. Be cautious to use the right one :) :).

Thanks,

Thorbjoern
By Thorbjoern Schoenbeck 881214
#62197 Weird!

Apparently the calibration routine of my program does not work correctly anymore. I checked it several times, but for any reason, the aircrafts appear at different places than assigned in the sector file. Was there a software change on the sweatbox server?

I'll try very hard to fix the problem. Stay tuned :).

Cheers,

Thorbjoern
By Ross Carlson 887155
#62212 Thorbjoern, did you account for convergence of lines of longitude towards the poles, and magnetic variation? Forgive me if I'm stating the obvious. I just recall that while developing VRC, if something didn't seem quite right with the location of targets or other data on the scope, it was usually due to a mistake in those calculations.
By Thorbjoern Schoenbeck 881214
#62219 Ross, thanks for the comment. No, you are not stating the obvious :). Indeed, my program does only a very simple approximation of a flat earth between the two calibration points. I tried to keep it as simple as possible - but it seems best to extract this information from the sector file. Next version including this correction is on it's way.

During my testing, this error never occured to me, since I tested it in Germany (latitude approximately 60 degrees - cos(60) = 0.5 :) ). Also on the screenshot posted above, the difference is small but visible. Sorry for any inconvenience - the next version will deal with positions more precisely.

Thanks for your patience and your comments!

Thorbjoern
By Ross Carlson 887155
#62240 When rendering targets and sector data in VRC, I don't use the cosine of the latitude for each point, I just use the two values listed in the sector file for miles per degree of lat and lon. I divide one into the other. It appears that ASRC uses the same method. In other words, it assumes that the world is flat at least for the entire sector, and uses a fixed distance between lines of latitude for the whole scope. Perhaps if you are not doing the same, that might account for the problem?
By Thorbjoern Schoenbeck 881214
#62933 I also will use the sector file data in the next version. In the first place I was aiming to work without the sectorfile data, but the next version will have a chooser for calibration so that one can define the position of a fix without finding out the coordinates.

For the next time, I would like to apologize to all non-Europe users: the program is probably of little use for you :( So sorry and very embarassing :oops: :oops: :oops: . However, in the small centers in Europe it will work most likely with reasonable precision.

Next version will be released after Easter if my family permits ;) ;).

Cheers,

TB
By Dave Weese 817228
#67506 Is the new version out?

Just downloaded the current one off your site and looks good. I have the Access database file that was created a few years back for building these files, but your way looks better.

Question/Request for the next version, would be nice to beable to reopen a created file to make edits to it if needed. :D
By Thorbjoern Schoenbeck 881214
#69871 Hey Dave,

no, the next version is still in the make :(. I just started a new job (real life), and so my time is too limited to put much effort into ACSEdit. Your request for the next version is copied and will be implemented.

Right now I can afford to work 1-2 hours per week on VATSIM stuff. Please be patient and don't expect a new version during May or early June. I hope that things will calm down during June so that I can dedicate more time to fun programming :) :).

Thanks for the input!

Cheers,

TB