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 Post subject: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:23 am
Posts: 68
Gents, I'd like to share with you a tiny application PF3 Randomizer that I programmed for myself to make PF3 more variable, specifically, to have standard procedures or vectors assigned on random basis. It randomly adjusts PF3 settings for SIDs and STARs so that you will never know what kind of departure/arrival is waiting for you. The download link and more details below.

You can download PF3 Randomizer from: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gaisyvzphfwgw ... m.exe?dl=0

What does it do

It randomly adjusts PF3 settings to make departures and arrivals unpredictable.

Randomized Departures

Thanks to PF3 Randomizer you will get:

25% chance of being vectored,
75% chance of being cleared for SID.


Randomized Arrivals

25% chance you will be vectored,
75% chance you will be cleared for STAR.


Randomized SID/STAR naming (can be ignored)

To further increase variability, I developed a system of random SID/STAR names that PF3’s ATC will use when not vectoring you as generic instructions. It may look a bit complicated and not strictly realistic, but I like it this way and decided to share it untouched.

You can completely ignore SID/STAR names and always fly a standard departure/arrival procedure for simplicity or if you don’t like my system.

SID names that will be spelled by ATC, with the probability of assignment and a description:

SP (50%) – full Standard Procedure with altitude restrictions (I adhere to altitude restrictions of the published procedure even if initially cleared higher by ATC).

SP0A (10%) – Standard Procedure without Altitude restrictions.

DIR (30%) – cleared for Direct to the end of SID.

DIR2Wn (10%) – cleared for Direct To the Waypoint number n of your approved flight plan. “Two” is used instead of “To”, sounds alike :)

STAR names:

SP (50%) – Standard Procedure (full with altitude restrictions).

SPx2y (10%) – Standard Procedure with speed of x KTS till y NM from runway. E.g. Sierra Papa One Seven Zero Two (To) Six – cleared for STAR, maintain speed 170 kts until 6 nm from runway (high speed approach). Eventual following ATC speed restrictions have priority.

SPWSD (10%) – Standard Procedure With Shorter Distance. Sometimes ATC gives you a “shortcut” during a STAR. I use this generic name and when ATC gives me this possibility, I adjust my flight plan when/how it is save and reasonable. A good example is a long transition (e.g. in LOWW or OMDB) and it’s just great to hear this instruction there, clear some waypoints and land 10 minutes earlier :)

DIR (20%) – Cleared for Direct to IF/IAF (as appropriate according charts/situation).

DIRn (10%) – Cleared for Direct to IF/IAF, maintain speed n kts. Eventual following ATC speed restrictions have priority.

Remember that this naming system is generic and optional. You, the pilot in command, are fully responsible to select an appropriate procedure, flight path, altitude and speed if ATC instructions are endangering your flight!

How does it work

PF3 Randomizer is programmed in Autoit - a freeware scripting language. When ran, it randomly modifies four keys in PF3.ini file: SID, STAR, SIDName, STARName. Nothing else is changed. These keys are also changed when you adjust SIDs/STARSs settings inside PF3 application. The difference is that with Randomizer you will not know the settings until ATC gives you departure/arrival instructions. I personally prefer to be surprised, it’s more realistic, entertaining and challenging.

How to use it

1. Download PF3random.exe and move it to the main PF3 folder, the same folder where PF3.ini file is located. No install is required.
2. Run PF3random.exe before you run PF3. It will adjust the above-mentioned PF3 settings on random basis.
3. Run PF3 and use it as always, but do not check SIDs/STARSs options if you wish to remain surprised.

Final notes

I love PF3 and not only because it enables me to randomize it :) Randomizer was originally developed for PFE and is permanently fine-tuned, especially the SID/STARS naming system. I will appreciate any comments to make it better. Enjoy ;)

Roman


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 Post subject: Re: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:07 pm
Posts: 117
Hello,

Interesting program, I'll try. A question : do you think you can modify your program so that the user can choose the percentage whatsoever?

Thank you,

Regards,

Richard Portier


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 Post subject: Re: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:29 pm
Posts: 318
Sounds great. Together with the just added holding percentage -thanks for that, Dave! - it seems we almost have what I suggested here:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1797

Roman, do you think you can also randomize the FAF distance for vectored approaches?
And it would be nice if randomizer would have its own ini-file or UI to adjust percentages and values.

Thank you for sharing your application!

Regards

Ralf

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 Post subject: Re: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:15 am 
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Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 4:10 pm
Posts: 44
Yes it does sound like a good idea. Not wishing to put a downer on this though but what percentage chance is there of potential interference when trying to track down a bug or fault should one occur during a flight ? This may - stress may - impact on support ;)

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All the best, Kevin


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 Post subject: Re: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:40 am 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 8:41 pm
Posts: 928
Location: LIMZ
Quote:
Yes it does sound like a good idea. Not wishing to put a downer on this though but what percentage chance is there of potential interference when trying to track down a bug or fault should one occur during a flight ? This may - stress may - impact on support ;)
It's a nice idea in principal but there are ramifications. Though I agree that some more options could be written into PF3 to tailor the fpl more accurately. And this may include a random factor.
Randomising SIDs and STARS though is more contentious. You already put the SIDs and STARS you expect to use for the flight. So how can you randomise something that is not random! You either use SIDs or STARS or you don't use SIDs or STARs. That is dependent on the type of fpl anyway and the flight region. None of which is particularly random. Without a database of SIDs and STARS it isn't going to happen. Here is an example of a "real" flight plan that forces ATC to use the SIDS and STARs I need. Many simmers forget that ATC are your servants not your dictators! The random procedures that PF3 uses I think are already ok so In my mind possible more options added that in themselves can have a random factor.
Attachment:
FPL Form LIPZ LOWI.zip [42.96 KiB]
Downloaded 56 times
And I agree with Kevin in that fault tracing will be more difficult.

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 Post subject: Re: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:29 pm
Posts: 318
Quote:
You already put the SIDs and STARS you expect to use for the flight. So how can you randomise something that is not random! You either use SIDs or STARS or you don't use SIDs or STARs. That is dependent on the type of fpl anyway and the flight region. None of which is particularly random. Many simmers forget that ATC are your servants not your dictators!
But ATC can still inexpectedly vector you even though you planned for a STAR if the actual traffic situation requires to. And in that case ATC is your "dictator". And the randomizer adds this feature to PF3 by randomly presetting the entries on the SID/STAR page.
At least that is how I understand it. I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

Regards

Ralf

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 Post subject: Re: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:23 am
Posts: 68
Quote:
... what percentage chance is there of potential interference when trying to track down a bug or fault should one occur during a flight ?
Randomizer does not interfere with PF3 at all. It just sets values of four already existing keys in PF3.ini and quits.

Gents, let me explain the function of my program a different way.

1. In PF3 options, you can select if you will use a SID/STAR or not. Personally, I don't wish to know it in advance. In reality, ATC decides whether clear you for a standard procedure or vector you. Randomizer only selects this option for you, on random basis. At one time you will be vectored, at another time cleared for SID/STAR and you will not know it until approaching your destination.

2. In the case of selecting to fly a SID/STAR, you can give it a name in PF3 options. As vololiberista says and some users still do not realize, the procedure is not random, it is given. Basically, if you know your last waypoint and the landing runway, you know the STAR. Exactly, as vololiberista says: you cannot randomise something that is not random. Randomizer does not do that. The procedure is given and you can find it in your charts.
But that also means that the name of the procedure is not relevant, right? Thus, I decided to use the name for further variability. In reality, ATC can adjust a standard procedure, e.g. clear you to a point of STAR, give you DIR to IF/IAF, etc. I wanted this variability and decided to achieve it through the PF3's SIDs/STARs naming functionality. This does NOT influence how PF3 handles you, as after passing the final point of your flight plan (when STAR option activated) PF3 leaves you to fly according the charts, according wishes of your girlfriend who wants to see that Eiffel tower or, eventually, according the instructions "encoded" in the name of the procedure by Randomizer.


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 Post subject: Re: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 8:41 pm
Posts: 928
Location: LIMZ
Quote:
Quote:
You already put the SIDs and STARS you expect to use for the flight. So how can you randomise something that is not random! You either use SIDs or STARS or you don't use SIDs or STARs. That is dependent on the type of fpl anyway and the flight region. None of which is particularly random. Many simmers forget that ATC are your servants not your dictators!
But ATC can still inexpectedly vector you even though you planned for a STAR if the actual traffic situation requires to. And in that case ATC is your "dictator". And the randomizer adds this feature to PF3 by randomly presetting the entries on the SID/STAR page.
At least that is how I understand it. I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

Regards

Ralf
If you were arriving at Heathrow for example you would only be allowed to arrive by a STAR unless you were SVFR. When you get to the end of the STAR you stack up in the hold. for example at BIG you would arrive at FL120 and leave at FL70. That allows for up to 6 aircraft at 1,000ft separation. Nowadays though at Heathrow there is so much traffic that there are holds further back in the STARs as well. But for sim purposes one hold is enough. In PF3 that is now randomised which helps to make it more realistic. So you should if possible and where indicated in the charts identify a published end of STAR hold in your PF3 fpl with an "H" and then decide to randomise the probability. ATC would only vector you from that point down to the FAP. Remember that "you" are in command not ATC. At any time you can say "unable". If you can produce a cast iron reason as to why you said that then the authorities will be happy.

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 Post subject: Re: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:23 am
Posts: 68
Quote:
Quote:
You already put the SIDs and STARS you expect to use for the flight. So how can you randomise something that is not random! You either use SIDs or STARS or you don't use SIDs or STARs. That is dependent on the type of fpl anyway and the flight region. None of which is particularly random. Many simmers forget that ATC are your servants not your dictators!
But ATC can still inexpectedly vector you even though you planned for a STAR if the actual traffic situation requires to. And in that case ATC is your "dictator". And the randomizer adds this feature to PF3 by randomly presetting the entries on the SID/STAR page.
At least that is how I understand it. I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

Regards

Ralf
Exactly.


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 Post subject: Re: PF3 Randomizer
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 8:41 pm
Posts: 928
Location: LIMZ
Quote:
Quote:
... what percentage chance is there of potential interference when trying to track down a bug or fault should one occur during a flight ?
Randomizer does not interfere with PF3 at all. It just sets values of four already existing keys in PF3.ini and quits.

Gents, let me explain the function of my program a different way.

1.In reality, ATC decides whether clear you for a standard procedure or vector you.
Absolutely not in Europe! That said what you are saying does occur a lot in FAA territory. So for that reason it might work. But you are going to end up with American simmers flying by FAA rules in ICAO territory which is not correct. So I would recommend that PF3 put some sort of constraint on that procedure.

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