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Javito1986

SEEING enemy planes

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No TAC, no labels or any of that jazz.

 

How do you SEE them? I have a 1080p 22" widescreen monitor, and run OFF at 1680x1050. I'm still trying to optimize my FOV, right now I'm using 22 horizontal and 14 vertical. That's just for now though, I'm tinkering with it to help my spotting.

 

I find that even when I'm padlocked onto moderately distance enemies the pixel is often not visible unless I zoom in two or three times. So I've taken to examining the skies as much as I can, zooming in certain areas then zooming back out, etc.

 

I know seeing them is meant to be hard, I understand. But it's a lot easier to see planes in real life than it is on a monitor, so I worry about being unrealistically "bounced" or missing easy opportunities just because the pixels don't show up.

 

Honestly, even my own friendly wingmen are hard to see. The pixels are almost... I don't know, they don't seem entirely solid. I'll try and snap a picture later to illustrate.

 

Anyhoo, tips on seeing them before they see you and optimizing your monitor's clarity for seeing those pixies?

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The way I do it is to fix my eyes on one particular area of sky, then see if anything moves in it - then if not shift my eyes to another area of sky, as opposed to constantly moving my eyes to try to pick out individual dots, as I find you're more likely to spot the movement of an object against a static background, as opposed to actually spotting the object itself (a sort of peripheral vision effect.)

 

If that makes sense. :grin:

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My monitor res is the same as yours, Javito.

With your momentary FoV settings, you are already zoomed in a little - I use 24 x 15, which looks about "normal".

Of course, in real life, you would see them better, but this is where we stand now. Make the best of it.

 

I made the experience, that they don't see me any earlier than I can recognise them.

If they are low, I can see bright planes best - sandcoloured or silvergrey craft.

Flyers being much higher look like specs of dust on the screen, but are visible.

 

What you can do, if your eyes are not the best, is to leave "Labels" on. When they are white, the enemy craft will

still not notice you (although there are exceptions). But when they turn red, they definitely can see you.

 

What you may be missing, if you fly without Labels, makes it only more realistic - you will fight less, have less kills,

and live longer.

If you are over own territory, you will see Flak/Archie first, before you can recognise the specs. Flak is always a

good help then. Over enemy territory, you should be most aware about the sky above, or better: fly as high as

any possible.

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It's a good point that Olham made about flak. It's a sure giveaway that something's there. The trouble is that there's not always archie to show you the way. My eyesight isn't that great for computor stuff and I use labels until they are red, then I switch them off. I don't consider it cheating because, as has been said, in real life it would be easier to spot them. I don't use labels to chase after what might be enemy craft. Only if I can see them do I possibly challenge or run for ground. That way I keep it as realistic as I can.

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We should all fly this sim as it serves us best.

We may not be as young as those original pilots were.

We may be wearing glasses (UncleAl's are one inch thick, as he once reported).

We still must do with less resolution than RL would provide.

 

On the other hand, we know it's only a sim.

We have best health services, life insurance, and an own car.

We sleep in clean, warm beds, without dark dreams of the war,

we are not sleepless because we really had to send someone down burning.

 

We just should not speak of cheating.

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I only mentioned the "cheating" word to placate those die hard simmers who frown upon any unrealistic aid.

As you say, Olham, it's a sim. I understand that some people want it as realistic as possible and that's fine.......for them. It doesn't mean that we should all fly OFF that way. Fly it how it works for you. I think that the beauty of OFF is that it can be tough or it can be easier depending on your chosen settings - it's accessible to many that way.

Anyway, to get back to the problem, Javito, why not use labels and if you don't like them being so intrusive you could change the colour to one that does not stand out so much.

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Don't be squeamish about using the TAC display Javito.

 

It isn't radar or omniponent sight beyond sight, but a device to compensate for your pixellated screen, which cannot be as good as real eyesight. The blips are not meant to be radar contacts giving you an unfair advantage, but something you could see in real life. At a distance, you may see an aircraft approaching, but it is too far away to tell what it is, or who's side it is on. The TAC shows you a white blip - an aircraft, but you don't know what it is. As you get nearer, and close enough to see the ensigns, the white blip will turn red or blue. It's not a cheat, but it is close enough to know who's side it is on. As it gets closer still, your labels will tell you what type of aircraft it is, and once close enough to read the serial No, your labels will tell you who's flying it. It's not meant to be radar, but a compensation for detail which pixels can't replicate. You will also notice that blips disappear in cloud, because you cannot see them.

 

An as for spotting ground targets miles away, well you may not see them, but knowledge of their location could have been on a briefing map prior to your flight. You know they are there because you have them marked on your flightroute map.

 

Having said all that, while quite clever and a reasonable effort, it does have inadequacies which do give you an advantage. You see everything every time, and don't 'miss aircraft which you don't spot. The TAC has a 100% spotting success which a real pilot wouldn't. Second, it works 360 degrees, even under your aircraft, letting you see what you couldn't possibly see. So, you'd have to concede it is an aid, but it's still not radar. You can if you like manipulate it. For example, you can obscure your rear vision by placing the TAC at the bottom of your screen with the lower half out of view. All you see then is what is infront of you. You constantly have to check your 6 for bandits on your tail.

 

Night time dogfights are where TAC really comes unstuck. There was a CFS3 add-on which simulated night radar, and very successfully I think. It made your TAC display green, and all contact blips were black. You got a radar blip right enough, but you had to close in to identify it visually before you could attack it. It wasn't perfect, because the enemy could see in the dark and getting close was almost impossible, but in terms of atmoshere, it made missions incredibly tense.

 

So, it's not perfect, but if your screen image is making it hard to fly and identify targets any other way, I'd use the TAC with a clear conscience. That's what it was meant for.

 

Labels on and target cones are optional. They are true 'aids' and I would always try not to use them. Yet even then, if you don't have trackir, you are at a massive disadvantage without the target cone because you cannot 'follow' your target.

Edited by Flyby PC

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Morning chaps! Let me talk about the Track-IR free spotting system I've worked out:

 

1) I downloaded Olham's ViewUI file. I love the dimmed labels, they're utterly unobtrusive and yet get the job done at the same time. I also love the way the TAC is set up at the bottom left, and its size is perfect.

 

2) At the beginning of each mission, usually right after take-off, I padlock A Flight so I always have them in view at the flip of a button. During flight I turn labels off and only have TAC set to 'Vehicles' or 'Buildings, just for the waypoint marker and reference. Hence I need to look around a lot for baddies. If I don't have them padlocked I usually have my trusty AI wingman Edgar Epps padlocked.

 

3) I've boosted the resolution to 1920x1080, which improves clarity dramatically (my monitor is native 1920x1080 too). FOV is slightly zoomed in at 26/15, and I keep a 'tight' focus point of view in the cockpit, mimicking where my pilot would actually be sitting (I don't move the camera 'back' to see more of the cockpit)

 

4) This allows MUCH more clarity of distant 'pixels', but the trade-off is slightly less overall view angle since the screen is zoomed in some. To counter this I...

 

5) Have the toggle for cockpit view set as a hotkey on my joystick. Yes, I 'turn the cockpit off' to help me scan the sky, then turn it back on. With the hotkey the switch is very seamless, and it supplements my slightly 'zoomed' in point of view by allowing me to see more of the screen I otherwise sacrifice by having such a tight FOV.

 

6) When I use TAC I set it at 1NM (Ctrl>Shift>T a few times to set it right). I mainly use this to find friendly planes (usually so i can padlock A Flight's location) as by the time enemy aircraft stray within 1NM you're being fired upon.

 

7) In general I leave labels off, but I turn them on during ground attack missions and when dogfights get low to the ground. The reduced color keeps them from being in your face, but they still serve their purpose as a reference for things you ordinarily would see and be peripherally aware of.

 

8) Still will likely tinker a bit with the FOV but this system is serving me well. I'm able to spot planes much better, though it's not perfect and I still get bounced if I'm not on the ball enough. In fact I almost lost Joyce a few hours ago when I mistook aircraft approaching headon for A Flight and caught a bullet in the engine. And in another mission I dove away in a panic from a group of planes that suddenly dropped out of a cloud only to discover they were friendly two-seaters.

 

9) This setup is very tense for me. I really don't get bored just flying around because I'm always too busy scanning the sky. I really check everything out, carefully and I take my time with each piece, as if there was a beautiful woman floating around my craft in 360 degree angles. Also I just see and notice everything better. When I'm low enough to the ground I can clearly distinguish trucks or marching soldiers, earlier I was able to avoid flying over a German army camp by seeing the tents coming up (before I wouldn't have noticed, things just weren't clear enough).

 

10) And that's where I'm at chaps! Doing fine with the RFC campaign using this method, knock on wood. It's been going a while now (I believe I'm well past the 30hr mark) but I'm a very careful pilot, don't attack arbitrarily, am not afraid to run away when I'm so much as threatened by enemy planes at a higher altitude, and I'm utilizing this spotting system I outlined. But if you do this you need to pay attention in the air, from the moment I take off to the moment I land I'm working the padlocks and trying to see as much of the sky as I possibly can through as many angles without TrackIR's help.

Edited by Javito1986

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Anyone know how I can configure the controls so I can do a 'pan view' with the mouse in addition to the snap views?

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No way, I think. My best solution was, to put "toggle scroll/snap view" on a button of my stick.

So I could switch between the two very easily and quick.

 

PS: TrackIR!

 

 

TrackIR!!! TraaaaaaackIR!!!!!!

 

(Sorry, don't think I'm cheeky - I really saved for that device for some time, but I'll never regret

that money spent).

Edited by Olham

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TrackIR really does solve the most obvious visibility problems. It's simply amazing. It's also expensive, but absolutely worth the money. It changed the way I play flight sims. I honestly think no sim fan should be without one. If ever there was an item worth saving for, it's TrackIR.

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When I finally went to TrackIR + TH2Go at 3840 x 1024 it was the first time flying combat sims when I could actually achieve enough situational awareness to enjoy playing. The tension and suspense is still there, but I'm no longer getting killed constantly by all those irritatingly invincible unseen enemies that seem to pop out of nowhere. :salute:

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UncleAl, a Field of View of 30 x 17 is correct for your monitor resolution, Sir.

1920 : 30 = 64

1080 : 64 = 16,875

 

But you would see distant specs better/bigger with a FoV of 28 x 16, or even larger at 27 x 15.

You should try those settings, to find out if they suit you better.

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I agree with all that's been said about TrackIR. It's an expensive gizmo for what it appears to be, right up until you start using it. It doesn't just give you another view to look at things, but puts you in the cockpit. You no longer sit at your desk looking at the world through a window. You can physically look seamlessly around the cockpit you're sitting in. You don't need your HUD display, you can lean forward and read the actual guages in the cockpit. You can actually use the iron sights, even the adlis sights on your machine guns just like you would in reality. On the deck, in a tail dragger, you can even look over the side and down the fuselage to see where you are taxiiing, pretty much the way you would in the real thing. - And all of that before you've even taken off....

 

It is expensive yes, but the best possible salesman are your own eyeballs, - just have go using it and you'll see exactly what all the fuss is about.

 

There are a few aircraft it doesn't suit, but mainly CFS3 aircraft. Before I got my TrackIR, I was a crack shot with my TseTse's Molins cannon, but after trackIR, I couldn't hit a battleship. My enemies were safe. This was a disaster in my favorite aircraft!!! The sight was very 'flat', and you'd no perspective to 'centre' the target before you started to shoot. You can hose your tracer and adjust onto the target, but it wastes a lot of ammo, and when your Molins has only got 29 rounds - it just spoiled my fun. Less fun in a Mossie perhaps, but that was the exception. The TrackIR was here to stay. And in all of your OFF Aircraft, the TrackIR works absolutely beautifully. (The Mossie is a problem is with the Mossie cockpit, - not a defect with TrackIR).

 

Even with the TseTse, you get used to it. Either by dead reckoning, or if your fingers are nimble enough a quick f9 to turn off trackir and f12 to centre your view and - it's back to the good old days sniping for submarines.

 

It doesn't work in a gun turret either, but that doesn't matter for BhaH.

 

If you're into flight sims, a TrackIR is virtually a necessity in my humble opinion....

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.

 

I agree as well, Track IR is indeed a must have. And right after that is a good pair of rudder pedals. Just like TIR, I flew without them for a long time, and once I finally invested in them I began kicking myself for not doing it much earlier.

 

.

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As you just mention them pedals, Lou - I own SAITEK rudder pedals, but during my "hotspur phase"

I never got into flying with them. They have additional functions, that need to be switched off, and I

believe to recall it was you who once had written to me, how to do that?

But to be honest, I can't find the advice anymore. If you know, would you please tell me again?

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.

 

Actuall Olham, Ras made mention of this just recently in another thread, and here is his sage advice:

 

Did you remove the "toe brake" function of the rudder pedals? They do have an aileron "connection" and need to be disabled. Start in Quick Combat with a rear view of your aircraft and without starting your engine, operate your rudders and APPLY YOUR TOE BRAKES. Observe movement of your rudder, elevators and ailerons. Does operating your toe brake cause ailerons and elevator to operate? I think that might be your problem.

 

Pause > drop down menu > Controls > then select the drop down menu...that gives you the Saitek rudder pedals control system.

 

Then, to make it easier, select the "control surfaces" drop down menu...that limits the number of choices available. You'll see there's a choice "x axis", a "y axis", and (I think) "rudder axis". You delete the x axis and the y axis and then save that profile as "Mine" and voila! No toe brake function. (BTW you don't need toe brakes in this sim. There are no brakes on WW1 aircraft. You have to cut your engine off).

 

Also, here is the link to the thread this came from:

 

Saitek Rudder Pedals Question

 

Hope this helps you out Olham.

 

.

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