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Old 09-03-2016, 11:32 AM   #1
Redglyph
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Default Engine shutdown on mission start

Hello,

DCS 1.5.4.55952.150

I have a couple of problems in mission 14 (2 vs 1): a frequent engine shutdown as soon as the mission starts, and a mission log regression.


1) The way mission starts, when it's not cold and dark, is always quite brutal in DCS, no matter the aircraft. DCS does not sample the actuators (joysticks and so on) and starts with default values of throttle, and so on, that are applied directly when the user unpauses the sim, on an aircraft which seems to be in another regime (closer to idle).

The Bf109 is the worst of all I've seen so far, and it is obviously fatal in some cases.

As soon as the mission begins, it surges forward and up, the user has to frantically pitch down and trim the stabilizer down to get it back under control. I'm pretty sure it has a negative impact on the systems, and if it is really not possible to read the actuators before starting (*), then at least correct, stable in-flight values should be set.

As proof, the engine regularly blows up in some missions like this one, on the first tens of seconds.

So to be clear, I didn't even touch the controls before it happened. It looks like either some internal state is not properly reset between missions, or the initial shock on mission start is such that some of the systems fail immediately.

(*) reported multiple times, I was told this feature was for the A-10C only, but in my experience the A-10C also fails to do it.


2) Mission log regression.

On several occurrences, for example every time I get this engine shutdown, the mission log regresses to the previous mission of the campain. I know how to fix that in the loogbook.lua file but it's not the case of everyone, is awkward and should perhaps be fixed. Also, getting it wrong used to get DCS in a never-ending loop when loading the mission screen, not sure it's still the case. Some security check would be nicer


FILES


1) debrief.log after engine shutdown:

Code:
events = 
{
	[1] = 
	{
		type	=	"mission start",
		t	=	34200,
	}, -- end of [1]
	[2] = 
	{
		type	=	"took control",
		t	=	34200,
	}, -- end of [2]
	[3] = 
	{
		type	=	"engine shutdown",
		initiatorPilotName	=	"TR",
		initiator	=	"Player",
		t	=	34200.88,
		initiatorMissionID	=	"1",
	}, -- end of [3]
	[4] = 
	{
		type	=	"mission end",
		t	=	34202.585,
	}, -- end of [4]
} -- end of events
result	=	0
callsign	=	"TR"

2) Relevant loogbook.lua excerpt after the engine shutdown:

Code:
                        [31] = 
                        {
                            ["datetime"] = "09/03/16 13:01:57",
                            ["agKills"] = 0,
                            ["result"] = 50,
                            ["aaKills"] = 0,
                            ["deathsCount"] = 0,
                            ["stage"] = 14,
                            ["mission"] = "Bf 109K-4 14 - Dogfight 2 vs 1.miz",
                        }, -- end of [31]
                        [32] = 
                        {
                            ["datetime"] = "09/03/16 13:02:17",
                            ["agKills"] = 0,
                            ["result"] = 0,
                            ["aaKills"] = 0,
                            ["deathsCount"] = 0,
                            ["stage"] = 14,
                            ["mission"] = "Bf 109K-4 14b - Dogfight 2 vs 1.miz",
                        }, -- end of [32]
                        [33] = 
                        {
                            ["stage"] = 13,
                            ["mission"] = "Bf 109K-4 13 - StrafeAttack.miz",
                        }, -- end of [33]
(what happened: on 31 I think the wingman shot the enemy but apparently the mission continued, so I stopped it, on 32 the engine blowed up directly, DCS regressed to mission 13).

EDIT: didn't notice that at first, but 32 is the next mission 14b, so it didn't notify me of the success, and it actually went back 2 missions, even weirder! The stage number remained 14, too.

3) dcs.log in attachment, but except many missing files I didn't see anything related to the engine issue.
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Last edited by Redglyph; 09-03-2016 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 05-01-2018, 10:31 AM   #2
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Still no answer from the team so I don't think this has ever been read or reported.

The problem (1) still exists. I did a quick check trying the difficult landing mission of the challenge campaign. I relaunch the mission with "fly again". Often, the engine would quit immediately due to the shock of quickly changing parameters, even though I try to set the throttle as fast as I can.

It doesn't read the controllers' position before starting so it's in vain, it seems that the simulation starts with very low engine parameters (low throttle, possibly 0 RPM or idle), then jumps to a pre-set value, and finally reads the controller when it's moving for the first time.

I suggest setting the proper engine parameters (for ex. if the mission starts with a specific speed, correctly set the engine RPM, controls and internal state variables accordingly), and pre-scan all mapped controllers to avoid this initial awkwardness. Perhaps an option so the user can set a few controllers to the right position would be nice to have.

I'm reporting that here but the same problem exists for many other aircraft, if not all, starting in the air is always messy.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:31 PM   #3
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bump
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Old 05-23-2018, 04:57 AM   #4
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Sorry but I never experienced the described behavior. When I do air start missions, also the Bf 109 campaign, the plane keeps flying in the preset condition until I touch any controls.
What kind of joystick do you use? Did you check that there's no malicious axis? I once had a ghosting thrust axis which changed when moving the pitch. Just asking.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:15 AM   #5
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Red, the "synchronize controls with HOTAS" option seems to have been fixed at last a few updates ago, doesn't it?

It won't solve the annoying out-of-trim issue, but should at least make throttle management after hitting "fly" somewhat easier I suppose. Haven't flown air-start missions for a long time, so can't confirm.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:29 PM   #6
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The "Synchronize controls with HOTAS" is enabled, it doesn't seem to work. Last time I asked, in August 2005, I was told it was meant for the A-10C only and as far as I know, it's simply not implemented at all.

I've tried again with 2.5.1.16978.363 - last 2.5.1 before today's update, same problem as above.

1) For example the Bf-109 campaign mission "difficult landing",
- first time it's more or less fine, perhaps luck,
- second time the engine quits because of the surge, even moving the throttle quickly after unpausing wasn't fast enough.

Perhaps the "play again" does not reset everything. Still...

2) ... Another example, I made a very simple mission with runway start of the L-39C. My throttle is all the way back,
- when I look at the throttle position in the plane before unpausing, it's back
- when I unpause, the throttle in the plane jumps to max
- only when I move the throttle does it come back to the correct position.
This, by the way, is probably the problem many experience now when they are unable to move the throttle to IDLE with a keypress (mainly in the new campaign's reports).

I was hoping for a reply from the testers or ED, but it seems my reports are being ignored, I can't remember seeing a [reported] or any sort of reply from them in a long, long time. I don't know if that's a personal thing or not, I'm simply trying to help by reporting what I see, but I have to admit it's getting very frustrating and I have the impression reporting problems is worthless.


EDIT: I didn't save the track for 1), but here it is for 2), one can see the throttle jumping forward, then back when I move it a little bit.
Attached Files
File Type: trk L39C.rwy_start.bug.trk (46.4 KB, 5 views)
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Last edited by Redglyph; 05-23-2018 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:54 PM   #7
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Oh, I know the function has been working in all my aircraft since 2014 when I started flying DCS, with a couple of months break last year when it was broken indeed, resulting in symptoms as you describe (and as I can see on your replay) - it was a goddamn pet peeve of mine back then! It's OK nowadays though and works as advertized on my PC.

When any mission loads, yup, the throttle is in some predefined position, but as soon as I hit "fly" it jumps to position exactly matching my physical lever. I've just tested it within all movement range, first on default Caucasus 109 free flight mission, and then on your L-39 one, extracted from your replay file. Same result. That's with todays OB update.

What can I say, there might be some weird conflict between your throttle unit and DCS, but since I use Warthog throttle and Win7 like You, I don't know what to recommend. Mind you, I don't use TARGET, all my control assignments are made directly in game options. Are you sure there are no duplicate axis assignments anywhere in your controls screen?
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:06 PM   #8
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That's weird. I'll check my settings or try with new ones, thanks a lot for the info!
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art-J View Post
Are you sure there are no duplicate axis assignments anywhere in your controls screen?
Oh yes, found it! Somehow the rudder pedals have non-existing X & Y axes which are mapped by default to pitch and throttle, who knows why.

I had tried in the past to define the "default" setup for any new aircraft but could never achieve it, but I admit I had not tried very hard either. And sure enough, all those fake controls reappear every time on the rudder pedals (had that with Saitek, same with Crosswind).

Now the synchronization works perfectly.

Thanks again for the tip, that made my day!
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:47 AM   #10
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Yup, the axis auto-assignment feature of DCS is a bit overzealous and sometimes causes more harm than good in my opinion.

It even assigned one of the airplane controls to an H-shifter I've got plugged in for my racing sims .
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