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#3802957 - 06/29/13 06:16 PM Falcon 3.0 joystick sensitivity problem in hi-fidelity flight model  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 19
Kreshna_Iceheart Offline
Kreshna_Iceheart  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 19
I hope I'm not asking for trouble posting a Falcon 3.0 thread in Falcon 4.0 sub-forum, but I couldn't find an SF more suitable for this thread. However, please feel free to move this thread if the moderators think otherwise.

I have to admit that I didn't play Falcon 3.0 hi-fidelity flight model the first time it came around, I merely played the game with complex flight model, but never tried hi-fidelity flight model. Recently I decided to try Falcon 3.0 more seriously. I am using DOSBOX 0.74 on a Lenovo B460 laptop (2.4 GHz i5 processor), with CH Fighterstick USB, CH Pro Throttle USB, and CH Pro Pedals USB. The Falcon 3.0 version I'm playing is Falcon Gold; the one with MiG-29 and Hornet add on plus Art Of The Kill video by Pete Bonanni.

DOSBOX has this parameter called "cycles". The greater value you assign, the faster the emulated DOS program will run. It also has "cputype" parameter, which set the type of the cpu you emulate in DOSBOX.

At first, I used cputype=pentium_slow and cycles=35000 to play Falcon 3.0 Gold with hi-fidelity flight model. When using those parameter, Falcon 3.0's joystick sensitivity becomes very sensitive that it is unmanageable. The joystick over-sensitivity only happens on the roll rate though. The aircraft rolls very fast everytime I move the stick right or left.

Then there is also problem of inertia. The aircraft will keep rolling to the direction where I push the stick, even after I center the stick. The aircraft will only stop rolling if I push the stick slightly to the opposite direction, but if I over-compensate, the aircraft will roll to the opposite direction. And since the joystick is already over sensitive to begin with, it is very ease to over-compensate.

I then change my parameter to slow the speed. I set cputype=486_slow and cycles=10000. With such parameter, the joystick sensitivity and rolling inertia becomes more manageable, but not much.

Since Falcon 3.0 hi-fidelity model requires an FPU, it seems to make joystick sensitivity increases with FPU speed. Then I'm trying to find the correct cycles value to achieve an ideal joystick sensitivity. In order to find the correct value, then I need to know the ideal machine to play Falcon 3.0, for example 486 DX2 66, etcetera.

It should be noted that the joystick sensitivity problem I described above never happens in simple, moderate, and complex flight model. The aircraft is stable no matter how high the CPU cycles I set.

(1) have anyone also experienced joystick sensitivity problem when playing Falcon 3.0 Gold in hi-fidelity flight model?

(2) for those who ever experienced such problem with real hardware, at which point the joystick sensitivity problem starts to appear? I mean, probably after you upgrade from 486 to 486 DX2? Or 486 DX2 to Pentium? If I know the ideal hardware to play Falcon 3.0 Gold (for example, 486 DX2 66 MHz), the hardware where it runs fast enough but does not suffer from joystick sensitivity problem, then it will be easier for me to fine-tune the DOSBOX CPU cycles.

(3) I also found this interesting post in Google Group:

Is it only my machine or imagination, or has the joystick beomce way too
sensitive in the updata version of the game? I remember that the
original had almost perfect, 'park it in your garage' feel, while the
3.0a version is oversensitive. I'm referring to the hifi model, not
any of the others. My joystick is the CH Flightstick, and I've had
no complaints.

He said he also experienced joystick sensitivity problem in hi-fidelity flight model, but he said it is related to the Falcon 3.0a version instead of CPU speed.

I tried emailing the guy. I wanted to ask whether he had upgraded his PC before installing Falcon 3.0a patch. I want to know if the problems purely related to Falcon 3.0 version, or it is actually caused by hardware speed. I emailed him, but my email bounced. Since the post was made in 1992, I guess he doesn't use the email anymore.

(4) or maybe I'm wrong? Maybe the joystick sensitivity problem has nothing to do with FPU/CPU speed, and is purely caused by Falcon 3.0 version? Like I said, I'm using Falcon 3.0 Gold. What if I use original version instead? Will the joystick sensitivity problem disappear? Or alternatively, is there any known patch for the Gold version that fix joystick sensitivity problem?

Many thanks,

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#3803136 - 06/30/13 06:18 AM Re: Falcon 3.0 joystick sensitivity problem in hi-fidelity flight model [Re: Kreshna_Iceheart]  
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,849
Falstar Offline
Senior Member
Falstar  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,849
Edina, MN 55439
My guess is it's an issue with DOS and USB, since Falcon 3.0 came out way before USB was used.

One thing about High Fidelity I didn't know about in the 90's (lol) was about it's different weight limits....

Q: When I am flying in the High Fidelity flight model of Falcon
3.0, my plane keeps dropping out of the sky. If the autopilot
is on, however, the plane can continue to fly.

A: The High Fidelity flight model has a weight limitation of
32,000 pounds. If your F-16's weight is less than this, the
plane flies fine. But if your F-16 weighs 32,000 pounds or
more, then the High Fidelity flight model will cause the
plane to fall out of the sky. The Complex flight model, on
the other hand, has a variable weight limitation somewhere
between 38,000 and 40,000 pounds. Because the autopilot
always uses the Complex flight model, it never suffers from
this weight load limit. If you plan to fly using the High
Fidelity flight model, be sure to keep your weight under
32,000 pounds.

Q: Why does the High Fidelity flight model in Falcon 3.0 act
strangely at 250 to 300 knots?

A: The High Fidelity flight model was originally programmed for
the ASAT (Avionics Situational Awareness Trainer). Because
the ASAT was designed to teach BVR (Beyond Visual Range)
intercepts, it focused on dogfights. Slow speeds, which are
only used for taking off and landing, were not needed in the
ASAT flight model. When we converted the flight model to use
in Falcon 3.0, we decided to use the Complex flight model for
the slower speeds. The jerkiness you see at those slow speeds
is a result of the transitions from the High Fidelity flight
model to the Complex one and vice versa.

#3803153 - 06/30/13 08:53 AM Re: Falcon 3.0 joystick sensitivity problem in hi-fidelity flight model [Re: Kreshna_Iceheart]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,082
- Ice Offline
- Ice  Offline

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,082
Philippines / North East UK
Wow, kudos to you for trying this out!

I'm too young to remember F3.0, I was in high school when F4.0 came out. Good luck!

- Ice

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