DVI

More delays in getting the development machine up and running. The new card arrived yesterday but the DVI to VGA adapter I have won’t fit in the new DVI port! Turns out there are 4 different varieties!

single-dvi[1] dual-dvi[1]

What I had before was a Dual Link DVI-I which supported adapting to VGA since it was analog/digital… the Dual Link DVI-D is purely digital and therefore doesn’t support analog adaptation to VGA anymore! So now I am on the hunt for a super long Dual Link DVI-D cable.

From what I am reading, the difference between Single and Dual Link has nothing to do with splitting into two discrete monitor signals – it has more to do with resolutions above HD requiring Dual Link.

Development Machine Woes

A few weeks back I tried to open the Avionics code in VS 2015 but it won’t compile! So the only reason I am keeping a copy of VS 2013 installed is because of DirectX 10.

directx12-windows10-logo[1]

Earlier this week I did some research about the Windows SDK and DirectX 12 being available. I wanted to see how hard it would be to port the code over for the Avionics and Display programs but it turns out my desktop graphics adapter only supports up to DirectX 10 while the Dropship 6-head display card supports DirectX 11.

14-127-931-01[1]

MSI GeForce GT 710 DirectX 12 GT 710 1GD3H LP 1GB 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x 8 HDCP Ready Low Profile Video Card at Newegg

DirectX 12 will allow you to use the feature set for DirectX 11 but not DirectX 10 so I bought a new graphics card (due here today) before I can run the samples for DirectX 12.

We have a lot of new development in the works (mostly related to clouds and in-cloud effects) and there is no reason to write them for DirectX 10 if it is deprecated!

Meanwhile, the old HDD that houses the Avionics code for the development desktop crashed! So that set me back an hour or two trying to pull everything down from the cloud and tracking down uncommitted changes that I hadn’t pushed to the cloud. I guess when the graphics card arrives I will be pulling more than the old graphics card out!

Ghost in the Machine?

I received a text from the Dropship a few minutes ago:

Screenshot_2016-02-25-19-08-45

I added a check based on the load on the UPS to make sure I didn’t leave it on overnight again like I did once before. The weird thing is no one was in the Dropship today!

2016-02-25 17:51:47.718 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.498000
2016-02-25 17:51:47.718 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 89.000000
2016-02-25 17:52:13.696 RakNet::RakNetMessageHandler ID_NEW_INCOMING_CONNECTION: 192.168.137.120|7475
2016-02-25 17:52:48.267 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.680000
2016-02-25 17:52:48.267 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 52.000000
2016-02-25 17:53:51.081 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.911000
2016-02-25 17:53:51.081 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 48.000000
2016-02-25 17:54:51.423 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 112.000000
2016-02-25 17:54:51.423 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 47.000000
2016-02-25 17:55:52.652 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 113.000000
2016-02-25 17:55:52.675 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 17:56:33.791 InterfaceKit::SensorChangeHandler 721D4FC2-F13E-47B3-9A21-B7FE9A1C677C (3): 20.4°C 68.8°F
2016-02-25 17:56:33.909 Real->FrameMove->Avionics Bay Temperature setState changed: 20.436401
2016-02-25 17:56:54.978 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 46.000000
2016-02-25 17:59:58.631 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 117.000000
2016-02-25 17:59:58.631 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.911000
2016-02-25 18:01:00.028 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 18:02:02.097 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 114.000000
2016-02-25 18:03:02.967 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 112.000000
2016-02-25 18:03:02.967 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:04:05.647 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 18:06:09.025 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 45.000000
2016-02-25 18:07:09.152 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:07:09.152 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 46.000000
2016-02-25 18:08:08.899 InterfaceKit::SensorChangeHandler 721D4FC2-F13E-47B3-9A21-B7FE9A1C677C (3): 21.1°C 70.0°F
2016-02-25 18:08:08.972 Real->FrameMove->Avionics Bay Temperature setState changed: 21.103004
2016-02-25 18:08:10.402 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 45.000000
2016-02-25 18:09:12.684 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:09:12.684 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 46.000000
2016-02-25 18:11:16.196 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 18:13:17.748 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 116.000000
2016-02-25 18:13:17.748 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:14:19.851 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 117.000000
2016-02-25 18:14:19.851 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 18:15:20.701 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 113.000000
2016-02-25 18:16:23.374 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 112.000000
2016-02-25 18:16:23.397 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:16:23.397 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 45.000000
2016-02-25 18:17:23.718 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:18:25.139 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 18:18:25.139 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 46.000000
2016-02-25 18:22:31.100 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:22:31.100 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 45.000000
2016-02-25 18:23:32.668 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:24:34.419 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:25:35.658 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 116.000000
2016-02-25 18:25:35.658 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 18:25:35.682 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 46.000000
2016-02-25 18:26:37.928 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 117.000000
2016-02-25 18:26:37.928 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:27:38.628 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 113.000000
2016-02-25 18:27:38.628 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 18:28:41.427 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 112.000000
2016-02-25 18:28:41.427 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:30:43.002 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:31:45.270 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:32:45.960 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:33:26.184 InterfaceKit::SensorChangeHandler 721D4FC2-F13E-47B3-9A21-B7FE9A1C677C (3): 21.8°C 71.2°F
2016-02-25 18:33:26.314 Real->FrameMove->Avionics Bay Temperature setState changed: 21.769600
2016-02-25 18:33:48.787 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:34:48.996 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.093000
2016-02-25 18:35:50.406 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 117.000000
2016-02-25 18:35:50.406 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 18:36:52.346 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:37:53.396 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 115.000000
2016-02-25 18:37:53.396 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:38:55.833 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 112.000000
2016-02-25 18:38:55.833 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:38:55.833 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 45.000000
2016-02-25 18:39:56.363 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 46.000000
2016-02-25 18:40:57.762 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:43:00.776 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:44:03.196 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:44:03.196 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 45.000000
2016-02-25 18:45:03.724 Real->FrameMove->APC Remaining Runtime setState changed: 46.000000
2016-02-25 18:46:06.556 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.044000
2016-02-25 18:47:06.910 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 2.002000
2016-02-25 18:48:08.164 Real->FrameMove->APC Load Amperage setState changed: 1.953000
2016-02-25 18:49:10.284 Real->FrameMove->Line Voltage Sensor setState changed: 117.000000
2016-02-25 18:50:48.951 RakNet::SendEmail Sending message: Display computer ON?
2016-02-25 18:50:48.951 RakNet::SendEmail Detached as asynchronous thread…
2016-02-25 18:50:50.883 RakNet::AsyncEmailSender Sent successfully!

I have logging wrapped around the keyboard commands which would trigger the computer to turn on… none of those appear today before I remoted into the machine. So the machine just turned itself on?

New Season Is Upon Us

New rate structure

Our insurance company lowered our property insurance premium by almost $1000 annually. That, in combination with a more aggressive schedule (114 billable hours) helped us lower our hourly rate to $127 (37% less than last year).  In addition, rather than charging a flat rate for travel within 25 miles we are doing a more realistic per-mile charge of $3.34 (the average gig is 10 miles from our dispatch location).

Events

We submitted our application for the 5th annual Maker Faire KC at Union Station towards the end of June.

New scenario

We expect to keep “Walk in the Park” as a great introductory flight – but we have begun conceptualizing “In the Pipe 5 by 5” as a drop from the farming tier through the clouds and landing down at the mining tier. We will be enhancing the graphics to include clouds, other vehicles, and the new farm structure. The motion will simulate turbulence in the cloud deck and the audio system will simulate varying degrees of precipitation outside.

Cockpit interior

The gunner station is still on the list from last year – as well as illuminating the buttons around the flight displays.

Business Model

As I am winding down operations for 2015 I decided to run some numbers.

Keep in mind that this time last year I was running the numbers for this first operating season which started in starting April.

I took all of my monthly expenses, hourly operational costs, and annual depreciation into consideration. I was trying to figure out what I needed to charge per hour in order to make it worth doing. In order to do that, I had to come up with a reasonable expectation of how many hours I planned to operate in 2015.

I am not sure all the in’s and out’s of how I arrived at 56 hours, but it had something to do with maybe a 2 hour engagement every other weekend expecting that sometimes I would do more than one in a day or longer engagements on occasion. It seemed like a conservative number but I was hoping to not overbook since I wasn’t sure how the simulator would hold up or how much energy I would have left.

So after all is said and done, with the last booking on the schedule for next week before Thanksgiving, we came to 57 hours operated this season. I thought that was remarkable how close my initial estimate was.

Overall the private engagement (Groupon, LivingSocial) was kind of disappointing, but we had a couple all-day runs that were successful (Maker Faire, KC Air Expo) and a few half day engagements around town for summer camps and the like.

It should be noted that no one paid the full retail price, so overall we are reporting a loss for 2015. Not sure what the plan is for 2016 but I think we have a solid baseline if we are giving it another go!