Thursday, December 28, 2017

vLSO v.

This version fixes some bugs reported during first flights with the new release.

  • 'Add-ons' menu inconsistencies (spawn/remove practice carrier). Fixed
  • Triggering the ball call (UAC) without a carrier caused 'Access violation' error. Fixed
  • Customized NAV1 settings not saved. Fixed 
  • Wire caught not registered for SWS carriers. Fixed  
  • The SDB CVN-65 not properly detected. Partially fixed
The SDB CVN-65 comes in two versions - with default FSX FLOLS (4.12 degrees) and custom FLOLS, controlled by the RFN gauge. The program properly detects both variations, provided NAV1 is properly assigned and tuned to (NAV2 might be used in case of custom FLOLS). The last version of the RFN gauge works seamlessly with the carrier and the only problem yet to be solved is the glideslope differences in FSX and RFN modes, which causes some inconsistencies in monitoring and grading of an approach.

This version is an executable replacement, no need to install anything. Just download it and replace the existing vLSO.exe.

Good luck!

PS. Couple of small bugs were fixed today (28 December), so in case of 'Access violation' please re-download the version.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

New vLSO released!

It's finally here! It's not a beta, it's release v.1.0! And it's my Christmas gift to all of you, fellow simmers!

This new version is fully compatible with FSX/SE, Prepar3D 1 to 4 (including 64-bit), as well as with the RFN (32-bit only) and SimWorks Studios gauges.

Of course, you will notice some GUI improvements, but the most significant changes are under the hood. Almost all parts of the code were revisited, modified, rewritten from scratch or deleted. The data structure was changed and new version is not compatible with any of the previous beta versions. This means that you will have to qualify again...

Also, the vLSO config file format changed from INI to XML, which means that you will have to manually transfer your custom aircraft settings to the new program.

Before you start the program, I urge you to spend some time to read the manual. Probably, I should have described some parts in more details but it is what it is.

I want to express my gratitude to Sylvain Parouty (RFN) and Farley Kelly-Masterton (SimWorks). It's been an honor and privilege working with them. And my special grand merci goes to Michel Panattoni, ex naval pilot, who greatly helped me to debug and improve the RFN part of vLSO.

Well, that's it. Have fun and happy holidays!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

New vLSO release - WIP report

I've been working on a new vLSO version for almost a year now. This gonna be a major update with lots of new features, among which the most significant is real interaction with some OLS installed on carriers and ashore. Yes, at last virtual LSO gets his virtual pickle switch!

vLSO will be able to engage waveoff and cut lights on carriers and FCLP trailers created by RFN and Simworks Studios. Moreover, future aircraft carriers and shore OLS built by any developer using Simworks SDK will be compatible with vLSO out of the box.

I hope that the ability to control OLS will bring carrier ops to a whole new level and make them as real as possible. ;-)

Not sure about ETA, but it is safe to assume 1 or 2 months, I guess...

Thursday, June 8, 2017

P3D v4, Unicode and vLSO


As I posted earlier, the new Prepar3D version features Unicode support. I modified my FSchecker proggy so it now supports Unicode. You can try it to make sure it works well on your systems with P3D v4 installed.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Prepar3D v4 and vLSO


As you know, another version of Prepar3D has been released some days ago. The most significant change is the 64-bit architecture (yes, they finally did it!).

The Prepar3D v4 release brings many exciting changes and enhancements to the platform. This new release completely changes the simulation landscape with a comprehensive baseline update to a 64-bit architecture. Higher resolution visuals, more objects, increased data precision, larger scenarios, and improved performance are now all possible at levels never seen before in the product’s history. The sky’s not the limit!
Additionally, the Prepar3D v4 release brings dynamic lighting, rain/snow particles, global 3D trees, increased autogen draw distances, a fully reworked software development kit (SDK), new default vehicles, and an extensive list of other features and improvements.

A new P3D v4 feature worth mentioning is its Unicode compatibility. FSX and previous P3D versions use ASCII character set, or 1 byte per 1 character. The new P3D version uses Unicode, or 2 bytes per 1 character. As far as I know, all INI/CFG files in P3D v4 are Unicode now. This is a problem for vLSO, because it reads such files as ASCII.

Also, according to the SDK of P3D v4, its SimConnect client uses wide strings for entity/object names. Wide strings are actually Unicode strings, i.e. those 2 bytes per 1 character, and this is another problem for vLSO...

Considering all this, the implementation of v4 support will require additional time and effort. It's challenging. But doable, I believe 😉

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Update to

Ok guys,

Another update is ready:

  • Added support for SimObjects folders, placed outside of the main FSX folder (not tested in Prepar3d, though)
  • Corrected conditions for CASE III miles callouts
  • Corrected conditions for CASE I LSO calls

Monday, January 16, 2017

Update to


Here's a new build of vLSO.

Two RFN aircraft added as supported by default.

Some bugs fixed (incorrect add/remove of logbook records). Thanks to Michel and other guys from RFN for reporting this bug!

And, as always, read the manual 😉

Friday, January 13, 2017

Update to

Friday 13...

Time for a new build -

Two bugfixes:

  • Correct detection of changed CASE conditions during a flying session
  • Correct altitude detection when flying above water bodies (seas, lakes, ponds etc.)
Thanks to Scott Gray and Matt Thiffault for reporting these bugs!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Update to


From now on each new vLSO build/release will be distributed as an installer, not as a ZIP file.

No more unzipping, copy and paste... Just run the installer, point it to a folder of your choice and in a few moments a new version will be ready to use. All the necessary files will be right there. You can even install it into an existing folder - all your settings and logbook files will remain intact. Cool, eh?.. 😎

This setup makes no changes to the registry, so to uninstall vLSO just delete its entire folder!

Apart from that, in this version CASE III redundant 'Paddles contact' bug has been fixed.

And don't forget to read the manual...

Happy flying!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Update to


At last I managed to nail a nasty 'Access violation' bug, reported by many Windows 10 users. I initially thought that somethig very Windows 10 specific caused that bug... Well, long story short, it was FSX Steam Edition. 😕

If installed on a computer along with FSX and/or Prepar3D, this version works just fine. But when deployed on a clean machine (no flightsims ever installed), FSX:SE uses registry keys and certain folders and files, specific to FSX. My program mistakenly tried to open FSX:SE config files at non-existent locations, which caused that 'Access violation' error. I don't have the slightest idea why Dovetail guys decided to do that, but their decision definitely added some grey to my hair (and to many other simmers', according to numerous topics on devs forums).

I am grateful to Michel Raemy and Matt Thiffault for their assistance and help in searching and debugging this error.

Also, in this version the 'Use real WOD calls' switch is now functional.

The next version will feature its own installer. No more manual unzipping and copy/pasting! 😎

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Update to


Finally I got rid of the CHM help format which brought more pain than gain. Back to good old PDF! :-)
Please bear in mind that the manual is still WIP so feel free to suggest and critisize.

Also, as a minor tweak, an average flight deck outline has been added to the debriefing chart. Average means average, because flight deck heights vary from carrier to carrier.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Update to


Just one major bugfix - the callsign didn't save upon changing it. Thanks to Robert "Axe" Timberlake!

And a few minor changes here and there...

Friday, January 6, 2017

Update to [Edit]

Just one major bugfix concerning data sampling routines, thus a new release number 8.

And I'm still not happy with the wind settings... I guess most of pilots would prefer the FSX standard Wind speed slider. Any suggestions?

I found that most suitable WOD values for the Wind speed slider values would be:

  8: 20..22
16: 24..32
24: 34..40

These values are implemented in the version 

The program will prompt you the Wind speed value if it doesn't match the required WOD conditions.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Update to


Michel reported a bug found during his tests of the practice carrier option - if the WOD value was less than the natural wind speed, it caused 'Range check error'.

Apart from the natural wind limits of 8..24 knots, mentioned in the manual, you should take into account this simple formula:

(WOD / 2) < Natural wind < (WOD / 1.5)

For example, for the desired WOD of 22 knots natural wind must be set from 11 to 15 knots. The program now checks these limits and will infrom you if natural wind doesn't meet these requirements.

You might have noticed that the Wind speed slider allows only 4 settings for the speed - 8, 16, 24 and 32 knots. So, using this slider it is impossible to set required natural wind.

It's ok! Open the Advanced weather settings, then on the Wind tab set the exact wind speed, i.e. from 11 to 15 knots in our example.