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User defined waypoints Options
bushav
Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 3:54:15 PM

Rank: Bronze Badge
Groups: Member

Joined: 12/5/2012
Posts: 7
Location: BGE, GA
I am pretty new to this but trying to learn. It appears that tonight (day 366) some of the turn points are user defined. This makes it impossible to load task in my PNA. Is there something I am overlooking or am I correct. I like using/learning my PNA during these races so not being able to define the task takes some of the fun away. If I am incorrect please advise me as to my issue.
Dan Daly
Posted: Friday, February 01, 2013 5:52:44 AM

Rank: Bronze Badge
Groups: Member

Joined: 12/3/2011
Posts: 24
Location: Ottawa, Canada
I agree - "new TPs" raises the bar for someone trying to learn an external PDA. Only .cup turnpoints should be used.

It would also be nice to have a schedule of sorts - for example, on "x" day of the week, it will be AATs (so those who are not equipped to fly them (those who have to use Condor's internal PDA)) can know in advance what nights they will have free, rather than waiting until an hour before to find out they have the night off to fly an offline task. This already done for the Saturday Grand Prix - you know in advance what it will be. Simply extend the known scheduling to another night.

Configuring a external PDA is neither simple nor intuitive for some (probably older) pilots. I am 80% there after spending tens of hours trying to sort out wireless and the Dell Streak (I worked for a month - about 30 hours trying to do Condor/Bluetooth and gave up). Next, I hope to sort out Condor to nav... probably achievable by the start of the Canadian real-life season.

How could USNS be improved for me?
- Consistently using TP database recognized TP's
- Announcing what weeknights (i.e., Tue/Wed etc) AATs are planned would make USNS attractive for me to fly (so I could avoid AAT nights).
- The number of sceneries used should be decreased from 35, in my opinion (take a poll and use the top 20). Loading .cup files and .xcm files for 35 sceneries, and keeping them current in my PDA, takes time I could be flying Condor... then I log in and find TPs that aren't in my carefully-maintained files. It makes me close to saying an unkind word.
- Not limiting the flights to a specific class on some nights (eg., every Wed) (i.e., use all plane types). When I fly Std one night, Open the next, then 15m, then 18m, I don't know if I'm getting better. I fly a Standard Class glider. I would like to fly a similar one in Condor consistently, in order to see whether I'm improving or not. Also, getting used to higher performance than my 0.941 glider gives negative training. I want to get better, in equipment close to what I can afford. Getting better is fun. Beating a 15m or 18m glider with Std class or Club Class is more fun.
- Fairness. If I cannot fly with the same equipment - external PDA with a reliable connection with a simple method of task input - I am at a significant disadvantage. Any way you cut it, going in to a competition at a disadvantage is no fun (maybe why the Thanksgiving and Christmas online contests failed to attract many fliers (my opinion)). I admire those who have figured out how to do this stuff. I really do. But it is not fair to newbies and techno-bozos (me).

I flew a few USNS tasks, but the height of the bar for preparation was too high for me, and I had to work the next day. I suspect others have similar problems, and vote with their feet (mice?). Having predictable, simpler in preparation, flexible in terms of glider use tasks might increase penetration.

I assume when V2 comes out (I hear it's by Christmas (year unknown)), many of these problems will go away, assuming AAT support; in the meantime, a few changes would make it more attractive to me, at least.

Finally, I'd like to commend the people who do the work to keep USNS going (I've donated $15 to keep gliderracing.com going for 2013, putting my money where my mouth is, and donated to scenery creators as well - build that karma). USNS is not a small job, I'm sure, and I truly appreciate the effort. With minor changes, maybe it will be sufficiently attractive for me to fly. I hope so. See everyone at MNS East. I'll wave as you pass me!

Dan
2DA



Fox9
Posted: Saturday, February 02, 2013 10:19:08 PM

Rank: Silver Badge
Groups: Contest Administration, Member

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 152
Location: Germany
Maybe the tool Condor2Nav can help. Look at "http://sourceforge.net/projects/condor2nav/".

Fox9
3P
Posted: Sunday, February 03, 2013 5:08:13 AM


Rank: Silver Badge
Groups: Member

Joined: 6/1/2008
Posts: 124
Location: Nitra, Slovak republic
Fox9 wrote:
Maybe the tool Condor2Nav can help. Look at "http://sourceforge.net/projects/condor2nav/".
Fox9

Condor2Nav transfer ANY task with ANY TPs (clicked NewTP too) to XCSoar/LK8000 PDA software. Users with Naviter SeeYou needs CUP file with TPs - so only task with TP choosen from Condor scenery CUP file are flyable/transferable - but not with Condor2Nav.

Regards,
Erik

Erik EP | USNS Serverlist| Facebook | 24/7 Servers | SummerSoaring 2014 | Eryc P. Music :-)
mattm
Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 6:17:46 AM

Rank: Silver Badge
Groups: Member

Joined: 1/23/2008
Posts: 84
Location: Cary, NC
I'll reiterate that condor2nav works great for me, using xcsoar. When I used SoarPilot on a palm in the past, I had
to enter the turnpoints by hand, but that only took a few minutes for me.

I'll also strongly advise to fly any and all tasks. I like the variety of planes and task types flown. Real life contest
soaring for me primarily involves flying area tasks, so I like the practice (except that we have to wait to see the results).
Also, there's a different rhythm of flying different performance gliders -- stop at almost every thermal in world class, stop at
almost no thermals in open -- that trains one for the real world. A big part of flying real cross country is the ability
to "change gears" depending on conditions, which you pretty much only see in Condor by flying different performance
ships.

If anything, I'd like to ask that we fly "no PDA" tasks once in a while. That's the one gap we have. It sharpens the mind
to fly without the thermal assistant, moving map, or automatic final glide computer. Besides, it's not unheard of to fly
without gps or pda in RL, and it's good to be ready for that.

Matt
Soarer151
Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 7:08:48 AM

Rank: Silver Badge
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/23/2006
Posts: 223
Location: New York
Interesting things posted on this thread!

How could USNS be improved for me?
- Consistently using TP database recognized TP's


For Assigned tasks, sometimes we use "new" turnpoints because that allows the task to fit better within USNS standards (1 Hour task, difficulty, etc.) We try to use defined turnpoints as much as possible, but it is not always feasible to create a given task.

For TATs, we nearly always use defined turnpoints so that it is easier for pilots to program their PDAs. Our approach is that on TATs, it is more important to have PDA support, so we cater more to that, and the Turn Areas give more leeway in making the task fit USNS standards.

- Announcing what weeknights (i.e., Tue/Wed etc) AATs are planned would make USNS attractive for me to fly (so I could avoid AAT nights).

The schedule is:

Monday- No fly (MNS)
Tuesday- 18m AT Thermal Task
Wednesday- TAT
Thursday- Mifflin/Appalachia Ridge
Friday- TAT
Saturday- Thermal Task
Sunday- Ridge/Mountain Task

Every week, we alternate Club/PW5. USNSGP currently alternates every Saturday/Sunday to reflect thermal/ridge tasks, but we are thinking about changing that to a defined day.

Regarding TATs, it can be better to have PDA preplanned, but it is not always necessary. There are strategies to fly such tasks without extensive external systems, which I have been using for years. I can elaborate if interested...

- The number of sceneries used should be decreased from 35, in my opinion (take a poll and use the top 20). Loading .cup files and .xcm files for 35 sceneries, and keeping them current in my PDA, takes time I could be flying Condor... then I log in and find TPs that aren't in my carefully-maintained files. It makes me close to saying an unkind word.

We do not use all the sceneries on the list. Santiago posted that these were the most common used sceneries:

1. Appalachia
2. Provence 2
3. Colombia
3. Mifflin
3. Uvalde
6. Slovenia (not the HD)
6. Czechoslovakia
8. Eastern Alps
8. New Mexico
8. New Zealand (not the HD)
8. Sierra Nevada

However, we reserve the right to use any of the sceneries on the list. This way we are able to keep the tasks interesting and different. We try to upload the tasks long enough in advance that everyone is able to download the sceneries accordingly.

- Not limiting the flights to a specific class on some nights (eg., every Wed) (i.e., use all plane types). When I fly Std one night, Open the next, then 15m, then 18m, I don't know if I'm getting better. I fly a Standard Class glider. I would like to fly a similar one in Condor consistently, in order to see whether I'm improving or not. Also, getting used to higher performance than my 0.941 glider gives negative training. I want to get better, in equipment close to what I can afford. Getting better is fun. Beating a 15m or 18m glider with Std class or Club Class is more fun.

This is an interesting proposal, but I think that with a contest that is happening 6 days a week, variability in the planes flown makes it more interesting. That's why we have Club Class, PW5, and 18m when no one else really flew two of these classes before USNS. Every week there are two days when the pilot can fly whichever glider he wants and there usually is at least one Standard/Club class task a week. The ranking counts 2/6 tasks a month, so you can fly the glider you want all the time and still be competitive in ranking.

However, we believe that the glider doesn't really determine a pilot's performance. We think that having different planes everyday keeps the tasks interesting and gives pilots opportunity to learn all the gliders in the simulator diversifying their level of experience.

- Fairness. If I cannot fly with the same equipment - external PDA with a reliable connection with a simple method of task input - I am at a significant disadvantage. Any way you cut it, going in to a competition at a disadvantage is no fun (maybe why the Thanksgiving and Christmas online contests failed to attract many fliers (my opinion)). I admire those who have figured out how to do this stuff. I really do. But it is not fair to newbies and techno-bozos (me).


You really don't need the external PDA systems since condor gives you enough tools to get the job done. The condor PDA gives you all the data you need for an assigned task 99% of the time and it is possible to fly TATs without a PDA. (I have been doing it for years) However, we also give you the opportunity to learn your external system. How you choose to fly the task is up to you.

I hope that my response will clear some things up for you and offer a perspective from the administrative end about why we run things as we do.

Regards,

Daniel Sazhin
Contest Director
US Nightly Soaring
Dan Daly
Posted: Monday, February 04, 2013 1:13:58 PM

Rank: Bronze Badge
Groups: Member

Joined: 12/3/2011
Posts: 24
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Thanks, Daniel (and others) for the replies, and the information on the schedule and sceneries. I appreciate it!

Dan
2DA



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