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Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)



 
 
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  #21  
Old July 10th 18, 02:59 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Wyll Surf Air
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Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

If you go to look pages
And in the infobox section select cruise (rathere then auto) then it will lock it in cruise
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  #22  
Old July 11th 18, 12:34 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

Thank you. That was a big help. I actually have two screens running and want to fix one on cruise.
  #23  
Old July 11th 18, 03:26 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Soartech
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Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

On Monday, July 9, 2018 at 9:59:57 PM UTC-4, Wyll Surf Air wrote:
If you go to look pages
And in the infobox section select cruise (rathere then auto) then it will lock it in cruise


Is there really a menu item called LOOK? I have never seen it in either program. Where is it?
  #24  
Old July 11th 18, 04:14 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

On Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 9:26:54 AM UTC-5, Soartech wrote:
On Monday, July 9, 2018 at 9:59:57 PM UTC-4, Wyll Surf Air wrote:
If you go to look pages
And in the infobox section select cruise (rathere then auto) then it will lock it in cruise


Is there really a menu item called LOOK? I have never seen it in either program. Where is it?


Config - System - Look. It shows up in both standard and advanced menus.
  #25  
Old July 11th 18, 10:24 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

A very long, detailed, and not-guaranteed-accurate post for Top Hat users in response to a couple of questions. Don't say you weren't warned! Just my interpretation. Would love to hear other views and better ways. The XCSoar User Manual is detailed but overwhelming in the breadth of its offerings and not always specific to Top Hat, which differs in some ways. Nearly all of the comments are based on my experience with Top Hat on a Kobo Glo, althought I've flown with it on a Dell Streak 5 and played with it in SIM mode on a Windows PC.

As I understand it, Top Hat screens (pages) are defined when the user selects (i) orientation: portrait vs. landscape and (ii) the number and location (right, left, top, bottom, split) of infoboxes that are displayed. This template serves for all screens, more or less.

To set up a cruise screen:

While in SIM mode (one of the choices on the main screen), press "M" 3 times and then press the gear icon to get to Settings. Then:
Screen (brings you to the "Set up screen" page)
Display Orientation (select one; I'm using Portrait but have tried Landscape, too, and it may depend on your device)
Infobox Geometry (select one: I'm using "10 bottom or right"--which may not be available in earlier versions--but have played with other settings).


Then:
Infoboxes Cruise (the other pre-set modes are Circling, Final Glide, and AUX-1). Then click an infobox at the bottom of the screen, then click whatever is in the Content box in the middle of that screen, then scroll through the available infoboxes and Select one to be displayed in that infobox on the Cruise screen*. Set up each infobox this way.


[*There are a LOT of infoboxes, some of which make more sense to me than others. Some seem like techno gadgets but who knows? Some are buggy. In answer to the obvious question: I no longer know the status but one bug was the average speed on course adjusted for altitude lost/gained since the start--a really cool idea that wasn't implemented properly. Several others involved variations on final glide status: at one time I had 3 or 4 different versions displayed including the bar on the left side of the screen but only the latter seemed to be consistently accurate; when adjusting for finish cylinder diameters and minimum altitudes and safety altitude(s), some of the other boxes were clearly not agreeing with each other and the team found a bug in at least one of them. Rob Dunning told me just to use the "Final Glide" bar on the left side of the main screens that always shows altitude needed to complete the entire task so that's what I do.]

Now is a good time to set up your Circling screen infoboxes, too. Click "Copy" (to copy all of your Cruise infobox selections), then go back one screen (the left arrow coming out of a rectangle icon, which--defying good practice--can appear almost anywhere on different screens) and select the Circling screen, then paste the same infoboxes in it, then edit whichever ones you want to change. Then return two pages to the "Set up screens page" again.

Screens Add (a new screen) then select choices for the three areas on the page:
Main Areaclick on content that's already there and then select (I use Map)
Bottom Areaclick on content already there and then select (I currently use Nothing)
Infoboxesclick on content already there and select (here's where you select "Cruise", which will "import" the Cruise infoboxes you selected in the previous step). If, instead, you select "Auto" for the screen choice, the cruise screen (i.e., your master screen template but with the Cruise infoboxes) appears to be displayed whenever you're flying straight while the Circling screen displays when you circle. The way mine is set up, the same zoom level is displayed for both screens, even when "Distinct Zoom" (see below) is enabled.


Set up a Final Glide screen if you desire (lots of discussion about this in the XCSoar manual plus the short help messages in Top Hat).

NOTE: If you want your Circling screen to zoom into a tight overhead view automatically, enable "Circling Zoom". From SettingsAdvancedMap DisplayOrientationCircling ZoomOn. [full disclosu I'm not 100% certain whether this is the way to enable automatic thermal zoom or whether it's through the Auto Zoom button on the second "M" navigation screen because I don't use it anymore and I can't make either of them work in SIM mode to test]

If you don't select "Auto" for any of your screens, then you have to manually switch them when you shift from climb to cruise and back again. I believe "Auto" functions the same way even when you have one screen set to "Auto" and another set to "Cruise" or "Circling". I haven't figured out how to switch between screens manually if one is set to "Auto" (see below).

To allow easy manual screen switching, go to the main settings screen:
Advanced LookScreen LayoutScreens button locationOn the map. I don't see this option in the PC version; only on my Kobo. And I don't believe this "S" screen switching button is displayed if any of the screens is set to "Auto". But I don't know how to switch screens manually without it (none of the usual gestures worked for me). I tried setting my circling screen to Auto with a separate Cruise screen but the "S" switching button still didn't appear, although it did reappear after I removed the "Auto" designation for all screens.


IF you have the option to display the "S" button on the screen but choose not to, you can also switch screens from a button on the second "M" menu. But I prefer to have it on the main screen. It's fewer clicks and the "S" button also has a tiny caption that tells you which screen you're seeing. If you have different infoboxes for Cruise and Circling, you'll know anyway but I haven't always set things up that way.

"Distinct Zoom" (enabled on the same page as Circling Zoom) works well when you switch screens manually because unlike autoswtiching, in this case the zoom levels for each screen remain wherever you set them (e.g., zoomed in for thermaling, zoomed out for cruise). It seems like auto-switched screens should behave the same way (i.e., carry with them their unique zoom levels) but that's not what is happening with my Kobo.

If you're using Top Hat's Thermal Assistant (enable it on the second "M" menu), you may not care about a zoomed-in view of the thermal, but I do. Thermal Assistant give you its interpretation of the lift profile in the thermal but not your track through it. My ClearNav vario has a really excellent thermal assistant (that it autoswitches to when circling...most of the time) so I want my Top Hat circling screen to display my path through the thermal from overhead. That's important especially as I'm completing my first 270 after pulling up and whenever I'm exploring different parts of the thermal and want to be able to return to a spot.

Sorry for the long post and likely errors and omissions. I'd love to hear from others about better ways to configure and use Top Hat. It's not perfect but is quite good for contest flying with perhaps a slightly better user interface and definitely less complexity (at the cost of less customizability) than XCSoar. XCSoar adherents will probably say, justifiably, that once you get that system set up properly and learn how to use it, it's very powerful, too. Top Hat is not as customizable as XCSoar--on which it is based--but the design philosophy was to eliminate as much of the complexity of XCSoar as possible, leaving what's needed for competition. I think Rob Dunning and the TH team have done that well. I still have a wish list, haha, but I'm more comfortable with TH all the time.

Coming from Chip Garner's super-easy-to-use Glide Navigator II, I decided to try TH first because I wanted something I could come back to after a 6-month layoff and still remember how to use. TH isn't as good as GNII in that regard (I suspect nothing is, although ClearNav is probably closer) but it's good enough, although it took me several seasons and a lot of experimentation to feel that way.

Top Hat could benefit from a thoroughly documented User Manual but I know from experience that this is rather low on everyone's to-do lists.

Chip Bearden
  #26  
Old July 12th 18, 01:24 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Mike C
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Posts: 247
Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

On Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 3:24:36 PM UTC-6, wrote:
A very long, detailed, and not-guaranteed-accurate post for Top Hat users in response to a couple of questions. Don't say you weren't warned! Just my interpretation. Would love to hear other views and better ways. The XCSoar User Manual is detailed but overwhelming in the breadth of its offerings and not always specific to Top Hat, which differs in some ways. Nearly all of the comments are based on my experience with Top Hat on a Kobo Glo, althought I've flown with it on a Dell Streak 5 and played with it in SIM mode on a Windows PC.

As I understand it, Top Hat screens (pages) are defined when the user selects (i) orientation: portrait vs. landscape and (ii) the number and location (right, left, top, bottom, split) of infoboxes that are displayed. This template serves for all screens, more or less.

To set up a cruise screen:

While in SIM mode (one of the choices on the main screen), press "M" 3 times and then press the gear icon to get to Settings. Then:
Screen (brings you to the "Set up screen" page)
Display Orientation (select one; I'm using Portrait but have tried Landscape, too, and it may depend on your device)
Infobox Geometry (select one: I'm using "10 bottom or right"--which may not be available in earlier versions--but have played with other settings).


Then:
Infoboxes Cruise (the other pre-set modes are Circling, Final Glide, and AUX-1). Then click an infobox at the bottom of the screen, then click whatever is in the Content box in the middle of that screen, then scroll through the available infoboxes and Select one to be displayed in that infobox on the Cruise screen*. Set up each infobox this way.


[*There are a LOT of infoboxes, some of which make more sense to me than others. Some seem like techno gadgets but who knows? Some are buggy. In answer to the obvious question: I no longer know the status but one bug was the average speed on course adjusted for altitude lost/gained since the start--a really cool idea that wasn't implemented properly. Several others involved variations on final glide status: at one time I had 3 or 4 different versions displayed including the bar on the left side of the screen but only the latter seemed to be consistently accurate; when adjusting for finish cylinder diameters and minimum altitudes and safety altitude(s), some of the other boxes were clearly not agreeing with each other and the team found a bug in at least one of them. Rob Dunning told me just to use the "Final Glide" bar on the left side of the main screens that always shows altitude needed to complete the entire task so that's what I do.]

Now is a good time to set up your Circling screen infoboxes, too. Click "Copy" (to copy all of your Cruise infobox selections), then go back one screen (the left arrow coming out of a rectangle icon, which--defying good practice--can appear almost anywhere on different screens) and select the Circling screen, then paste the same infoboxes in it, then edit whichever ones you want to change. Then return two pages to the "Set up screens page" again.

Screens Add (a new screen) then select choices for the three areas on the page:
Main Areaclick on content that's already there and then select (I use Map)
Bottom Areaclick on content already there and then select (I currently use Nothing)
Infoboxesclick on content already there and select (here's where you select "Cruise", which will "import" the Cruise infoboxes you selected in the previous step). If, instead, you select "Auto" for the screen choice, the cruise screen (i.e., your master screen template but with the Cruise infoboxes) appears to be displayed whenever you're flying straight while the Circling screen displays when you circle. The way mine is set up, the same zoom level is displayed for both screens, even when "Distinct Zoom" (see below) is enabled.


Set up a Final Glide screen if you desire (lots of discussion about this in the XCSoar manual plus the short help messages in Top Hat).

NOTE: If you want your Circling screen to zoom into a tight overhead view automatically, enable "Circling Zoom". From SettingsAdvancedMap DisplayOrientationCircling ZoomOn. [full disclosu I'm not 100% certain whether this is the way to enable automatic thermal zoom or whether it's through the Auto Zoom button on the second "M" navigation screen because I don't use it anymore and I can't make either of them work in SIM mode to test]

If you don't select "Auto" for any of your screens, then you have to manually switch them when you shift from climb to cruise and back again. I believe "Auto" functions the same way even when you have one screen set to "Auto" and another set to "Cruise" or "Circling". I haven't figured out how to switch between screens manually if one is set to "Auto" (see below).

To allow easy manual screen switching, go to the main settings screen:
Advanced LookScreen LayoutScreens button locationOn the map. I don't see this option in the PC version; only on my Kobo. And I don't believe this "S" screen switching button is displayed if any of the screens is set to "Auto". But I don't know how to switch screens manually without it (none of the usual gestures worked for me). I tried setting my circling screen to Auto with a separate Cruise screen but the "S" switching button still didn't appear, although it did reappear after I removed the "Auto" designation for all screens.


IF you have the option to display the "S" button on the screen but choose not to, you can also switch screens from a button on the second "M" menu. But I prefer to have it on the main screen. It's fewer clicks and the "S" button also has a tiny caption that tells you which screen you're seeing. If you have different infoboxes for Cruise and Circling, you'll know anyway but I haven't always set things up that way.

"Distinct Zoom" (enabled on the same page as Circling Zoom) works well when you switch screens manually because unlike autoswtiching, in this case the zoom levels for each screen remain wherever you set them (e.g., zoomed in for thermaling, zoomed out for cruise). It seems like auto-switched screens should behave the same way (i.e., carry with them their unique zoom levels) but that's not what is happening with my Kobo.

If you're using Top Hat's Thermal Assistant (enable it on the second "M" menu), you may not care about a zoomed-in view of the thermal, but I do. Thermal Assistant give you its interpretation of the lift profile in the thermal but not your track through it. My ClearNav vario has a really excellent thermal assistant (that it autoswitches to when circling...most of the time) so I want my Top Hat circling screen to display my path through the thermal from overhead. That's important especially as I'm completing my first 270 after pulling up and whenever I'm exploring different parts of the thermal and want to be able to return to a spot.

Sorry for the long post and likely errors and omissions. I'd love to hear from others about better ways to configure and use Top Hat. It's not perfect but is quite good for contest flying with perhaps a slightly better user interface and definitely less complexity (at the cost of less customizability) than XCSoar. XCSoar adherents will probably say, justifiably, that once you get that system set up properly and learn how to use it, it's very powerful, too. Top Hat is not as customizable as XCSoar--on which it is based--but the design philosophy was to eliminate as much of the complexity of XCSoar as possible, leaving what's needed for competition. I think Rob Dunning and the TH team have done that well. I still have a wish list, haha, but I'm more comfortable with TH all the time.

Coming from Chip Garner's super-easy-to-use Glide Navigator II, I decided to try TH first because I wanted something I could come back to after a 6-month layoff and still remember how to use. TH isn't as good as GNII in that regard (I suspect nothing is, although ClearNav is probably closer) but it's good enough, although it took me several seasons and a lot of experimentation to feel that way.

Top Hat could benefit from a thoroughly documented User Manual but I know from experience that this is rather low on everyone's to-do lists.

Chip Bearden The XC Soar manual is relevant to learning Top Hat.



The XC Soar manual is relevant to Top Hat. The main difference is how the info is presented, not how it is set up.

Mike
  #27  
Old July 12th 18, 02:45 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

On Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 5:24:36 PM UTC-4, wrote:
...

To allow easy manual screen switching, go to the main settings screen:
Advanced LookScreen LayoutScreens button locationOn the map. I don't see this option in the PC version; only on my Kobo. And I don't believe this "S" screen switching button is displayed if any of the screens is set to "Auto". ...


- I have the circling screen appear automatically, and still have the "S" button. I can manually go from the circling screen to the cruise screens (I have 3 of those defined) but cannot seem to then go back to the circling screen. Once I enter the next thermal the circling screen re-appears. If I could cycle manually back to the circling screen I'd be happy enough. (They have separate zoom settings, although that seems to sometimes mess up.) All this in a recent beta version of Tophat on a Nook.
  #28  
Old July 12th 18, 05:39 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Posts: 451
Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

On Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 8:24:36 PM UTC-4, Mike C wrote:
The XC Soar manual is relevant to learning Top Hat.


The XC Soar manual is relevant to Top Hat. The main difference is how the info is presented, not how it is set up.

Mike


Mike, you must work in IT.

I absolutely agree that the XCSoar Manual is relevant to Top Hat, more so than anything else I could find. But it's 187 (!!!) pages long, and much of the functionality described in it is not included in Top Hat. It's like telling someone that the answer they need is on the Internet. Go find it.

And setting up Top Hat IS different. It's a different user interface, including different screens and menuing. If you know what you want to find and do a search for it in the XCSoar manual, it's usually there. For example, I finally found the difference between Auto Zoom (zooms in when approaching turnpoints) and Circling Zoom (zooms in when thermaling). Then you have to find where it is in the Top Hat set up screens and menus.

But the Top Hat info is buried among things like: "Reach calculations may be configured to two levels of detail...If turning reach is enabled, then the reach shows the greatest area the glider can reach in all directions, even allowing turns around obstructions.[The maximum number of turns is set to three, and no turns may be greater than 90 degrees.]" This bit of "techno geeks go gliding" esoterica--just one paragraph out of 1 1/2 pages on the subject in the manual, is fun to read but not relevant to any U.S. contest flying I am familiar with. And, thankfully, it is not present (to my knowledge) in Top Hat.

So after inquiring of (a) the development team, (b) a user who's been involved in Top Hat almost from the beginning, and (c) various experts on RAS, I'm still not sure whether what I want to do can be done through configuration settings.

Chip Bearden
  #29  
Old July 12th 18, 12:51 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

Is anyone else enjoying the irony as much as I am :-)?

Jus' curious.

Goin' flying today (yippee!). I don't plan to spend much time looking at a computer.

T8
  #30  
Old July 12th 18, 04:25 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Top Hat Question (XCSoar?)

T8,

I was thinking about proposing that the ClearNav software be made open source. Then we could all enjoy the fun.

JB
 




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