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  1. I write this so we have something to point new people to. This will be a quick how-to regarding keybindings for players new to BMS and unsure of what controls need to be bound. Also explained will be a vital control mechanic in BMS known as the Pinky Shift button, and how this will help you when you don't have $500 to blow on a new stick. Anybody used to a universal "do this" buttons as found in any normal video game needs to know that every in-game control mimics a control in the real F-16, and many of them serve multiple purposes. Attached in image format is a list of buttons on the real F-16 HOTAS, their functions and their in-game callbacks. For those who don't yet know what the above is and what it means for you, below is a basic rundown of callbacks, how important they are and what they do. As I rarely use the keyboard, I can't say what the keyboard binding for any of these would be. For those with not enough buttons it's perfectly fine to put things wherever you want them, as long as they're easy to remember and (preferably) make sense logically: Vital keys: SimTriggerSecondDetent = Gun SimPickle = Weapon Release SimTMSUp = Target Select / "Do" button SimTMSDown = Target Deselect / "Undo" Button SimDMSDown = Switch SOI (Switch MFD) SimMissileStep = Change weapon / pylon / bombing mode SimRadarElevationUp = Raise Radar Altitude SimRadarElevationDown = Lower Radar Altitude SimDropProgrammed/SimCMSUp = Drop countermeasure prgms. 1-4 SimToggleMissileCage = Cage / Uncage Sidewinder seeker, remove maverick cover SimHotasPinkyShift = Zoom / change FOV when press, acts as shift button when held SimCMSRight = ECM Standby SimCMSDown = ECM Consent SimSelectSRMOverride = Dogfight override mastermode SimDeselectOverride = Cancel override Hat Switch: SimCursorUp = Radar cursor SimCursorDown SimcursorLeft SimCursorRight (Recommendation) Shifted Hat Switch: SimTransmitCom2 = Transmit VHF Radio SimTransmitCom1 = Transmit UHF Radio SimCommsSwitchLeft = A-A Datalink Transmit (not as important for beginner) SimCommsSwitchRight = A-G Datalink Transmit (not important for beginner) Brakes: SimWheelBrakes = Wheelbrakes (K by default) AFBrakesToggle = Toggle airbrakes Or: AFBrakesIn = Airbrakes retract AFBrakesOut = Airbrakes extend Useful, not vital: SimDMSLeft = Cycle left MFD pages SimDMSRight = Cycle right MFD pages SimSelectMRMOverride = Missile override mastermode, for quick A-A use SimSpotLight = Cockpit spotlight, comes on with battery power, recommend bind to keyboard Things I've never used: SimDMSUp = Change SOI to HUD For users with no head tracking I highly recommend never using the hat switch for viewing and learning to use the mouse effectively instead, as it frees up the hat switch for vital functions. By default, one can look around by holding down the right mouse button, and can drag the head around using the middle mouse button. The pinky shift mechanic in BMS allows the pinky button on the F-16 HOTAS to function similar to the shift button on your keyboard, or the function button on some laptops. Just as the keyboard shift button allows other buttons to have multiple uses, the pinky shift mechanic allows you to effectively have two callbacks assigned to one joystick button and allows you to access the second callback by holding down SimHotasPinkyShift and pressing the desired button. SimHotasPinkyShift must be assigned twice to the desired shift button, as the act of pressing the shift button will shift the shift button too, and the game will not recognize the release of the button unless the callback is present in both the normal and shifted states. The only issue is that this mechanic is not accessible through the in-game setup screen (the in-game editor has other issues as well, one being that it does not actually show the correct callback names). To make use of it, one has to resort to using spreadsheets included with the game, third party editors (linked below), or modifying the keyfile by hand. Third Party Editors: https://www.bmsforum.org/forum/showthread.php?10821-Keyfile-editor-Alpha-Release! Pros: Easy to use, no spreadsheets. Cons: Old program, lacks new keybindings. Has a habit of crashing, save often. Default quickstart keyfile is missing a few things, attached in this post should be a modified version for use with the program (Quick HOTAS Setup.key). One can also edit the default BMS keyfiles. Built-in callback reference is outdated. Other: Use this one. If the program has issues after setting shift button, save and reload the keyfile after setting shift. If you have program crashes at the same point consistently, saving and reloading the file sometimes fixes it. https://www.bmsforum.org/forum/showthread.php?31774-Falcon-BMS-Alternative-Launcher-(Easy-Setup-Keep-Joystick-Assignments) Pros: Seperate launcher for game, still no spreadsheets. Cons: Not as easy to use. One has to fiddle around with toggle button to assign shifted states. Cannot shift hat switch. Other References: http://www.unitedoperations.net/wiki/Controllers http://forums.unitedoperations.net/index.php/topic/15693-bms-advanced-joystick-bindings-shift-states-without-joystick-software/ Quick HOTAS Setup.key See Also:
  2. The release of 4.35 brings updates to realism to the aircraft, weather and A-G combat. In this post I'll cover the basic things necessary to get people flying in the new release. All images are from BMS manuals. Part 1: Procedural changes Canopy update (-1, Canopy switch and yellow spider are now separate. The canopy switch is no longer a toggle, the canopy is now raised with a left click and lowered with a right click. Clicking on the yellow spider inflates the seal around the canopy to allow for cockpit pressurization, and also acts as a safeguard for the canopy switch. Please note the switch is not visible after a left click. JFS 1&2 (-1, Both Jet Fuel Starter switch positions are now modeled. The JFS works by venting one or both hydraulic accumulators to a hydraulic start motor. The START1 setting is less powerful as it uses only one hydraulic accumulator at a time, and has a 50/50 chance of starting the engine successfully. Using only one accumulator at a time means that you get a second chance at starting the engine. The START2 setting uses both hydraulic accumulators and has a higher chance of starting the engine, but this means you only have one chance at engine startup before you need to ask ground crew to recharge the JFS. A solid green JFS run light after ~15 seconds indicates a good JFS start. No green light after engaging the JFS means it has failed to reach operating speed. A slow JFS light flash (1/sec) indicates JFS overheating, and a fast flashing light indicates JFS failure. Anti-Ice (-1,, 1.6.4): Engine icing is now implemented. The ANTI-ICE panel has a three-position switch to control engine anti-ice (OFF-AUTO-ON). Anti-ice is turned on manually during engine start to verify operation, and set to Auto for flight. Use of engine anti-ice will lead to higher engine temperatures (FTIT) and lower engine performance. Brakes & Hydraulics (-1,, 1.13): DN LOCK REL button is now implemented. This button is a bypass for the safety mechanism (a solenoid) that prevents raising the landing gear while on the ground. In the event that the safety mechanism fails it may prevent lowering of the landing gear in-flight. BRAKES channel switch is now implemented. Both Channels 1 and 2 are redundant, but only Channel 2 has an alternate power source. The PARKING BRAKE switch ANTI-SKID option is now implemented. The middle position is anti-skid on, the down position turns off all anti-skid functions for brake channel 2 and turns off only touchdown anti-skid for channel 1. Anti-skid is only available once exceeding 12 kts ground speed and will stay available until under 5 kts. Maximum braking at slow speed will not trigger anti-skid and may blow a tire. Arrestor cables now implemented. BMS 4.35 implements working arrestor cable systems at non-generic airbases.
  3. Gaming on Linux has largely turned to virtual machines. It is possible to hand a GPU over to a virtual machine to allow it to play games and use hardware acceleration for programs at native performance.
  4. I used both VirtualBox and VMWare when I still used Windows. VMWare came across as a more polished product, but either will work fine for what you need it to do.
  5. Here's my proficiency rating proposal, complete with appropriate manual references for future training purposes. It might be interesting to have an accompanying document reader that could interact with the list. The levels can be renamed or reworked. Please chime in if you see something missing or think something is in the wrong place. A-A Bronze Basic knowledge of FCR: Range-while-scan, Targeting, Antenna elevation (-34, 1.4.4) Basic employment of AIM-120 and AIM-9 with radar targeting (-34, 2.1) Basic missile defense, use of countermeasures (Chaff, Flares) (-34, 1.7) Engagement: RWR, Fight or Flight, Target sorting (-34,, to 1.67) Aircraft Identification using TGP (-34, Silver Intermediate FCR, sorting and assigning datalink contacts (-34, 1.5.5) IFF Basics (-1, 1.16, Engagement: Threat Assessment Missile launch cues (-34, 2.1.3) Intermediate missile defense, ECM (-1, (-34 1.7 ) Dogfight master mode, helmet radar sighting (-34, 1.11) Gold Advanced FCR, all modes (-34, Engagement: Knowledge of common weapons and flight profiles of threat aircraft Group BVR tactics Basic Dogfight Proficiency Full A-A Datalink Proficiency (-34 1.5) A-G Bronze A-G FCR (-34, 1.4.5) TGP Basics (-34, 1.10) CCRP and CCIP(-1 Dumb bombs Cluster munition settings (-1 GPS/JDAMs/SDBs (-34, 3.4) Basic HARM, HAD, HTS pod (-34, 3.3) Silver Marking target areas with Steerpoint Lines and Pre-Planned Threat points (in map) TGP Lasing (-1, (-34 1.10.4) Laser guided bombs (-34, 1.10) Adv HARM, WPN Page (-34, 3.3) Basic Mavs, without handoff (-34, 3.2) AG Datalink cursor (-34, 1.5.6) Gold Advanced TGP features: LST, Buddy Lasing, Frag Circle (-34,, ) Mavs w/ handoff (-34, 1.10.8, 3.2.8, 3.2.9) Advanced bomb delivery: Popup, Toss Markpoints (-1, 1.3.10) AG Datalink Steerpoints (-34, 1.5.6) Low level delivery of retarded weapons (Mk82 Air, Mk82 SE, Mk84 Air, BLU) F-16 Bronze Working IVC (Technical Manual 18.1, 9.1) Maintain contact with flight lead after takeoff Singleplayer basics: Training TE01 (Training Manual Mission 01) (BMS Comms-Nav Part 1) Ramp Start (-1, 2.1) Communicating with tower using radio presets, (Technical Manual, 9.1), (-1, 1.3.13, 1.3.14) Taxi (-1, 1.13) Takeoff, Departure Steerpoint Navigation (-1, 1.3.4, 1.4.3, 1.5) Contacting approach, Landing (-1, 1.5.3, 1.13, 2.3) Silver Basic airmanship: Level turns, speed control, loose formation, formation knowledge All the Controls (-34 Recovering from a hot start (-1, 3.5) Learning the instruments (-1, to Visualizing the Bullseye ILS Basics (-1, 1.3.5) Advanced Radio Management & Controls, entering manual frequencies, verifying and changing presets in-flight (BMS Comms-Nav Part 2) (-1, 1.3.13, 1.3.14) DED (-1, 1.3) Using Master Modes (-34 1.1.2), (-1 1.4.18) MFD Controls, Pages (-1 1.4) Datalink basics: modes, sending information (-34, 1.5.7) Gold Advanced airmanship: Tight formation, flying as #1, leading a flight Deep Stall Recovery (-1, 4.4) Flying on instruments, inclement weather approach and landing, HSI proficiency (-1 (-34 1.3) (BMS Comms-Nav Part 3 & 4) Aerial Refueling Advanced recovery: formation landing and overhead break (BMS-Comms-Nav 1.4.1, 1.4.3)
  6. I think a proficiency rating system for different combat roles and aircraft would be good. Something like a bronze, silver and gold for A-A, A-G and for various aircraft would help people track their progression in the game as well as help instructors with what topics to cover.
  7. Jeffu

    Server Down?

    Server restarted, still day 5. I'll let Semler make his campaign changes and reset it to day 1 whenever he has time.
  8. Jeffu

    Let's fly

    New version came out in April: https://www.benchmarksims.org/forum/showthread.php?35505-Falcon-BMS-4-34-Full-Installer
  9. Jeffu

    Let's fly

    What exactly do you guys need from a guide? I made a stripped down ramp start video in 4.33 a few years ago but never made it public. It covers the basics of starting the jet and powering up the systems as well as radio basics. It needs revision, doing the throttle movement part in 4.34 will lead to engine failure on startup. In 4.34 it needs to be kept stationary until the throttle detent is clicked.
  10. Jeffu

    Let's fly

    Hello, I've been flying in the FO event as well. I'll have to try and hop on with you guys.
  11. Click the Comm Plan button and read the briefing. Ground control is UHF 2, Tower is UHF 3, Approach/Departure is UHF 4, AWACS is UHF 6, AI flight members are on VHF 15.
  12. I think all controls from 4.33 are still present. The main issue is that there are older legacy callbacks pre-4.33 that have been removed in 4.34 and this could cause issues with the game.
  13. You can transfer the keyfile, but you will need to set almost everything else up from scratch.
  14. Airbases, Datalink changes, IFF and more. Airbase operations An expected update, airbases now have dedicated ground, tower, and arrival/departure frequencies and menus. Airbases now handle traffic differently, both on the ground and in the air. Airbase ground control will issue better taxi instructions, and will hand you off to the tower frequency when you reach the runway. This is all handled automatically through the briefing process, using the data cartridge to assign each frequency to a predetermined preset, which you can view in the briefing window in brackets. From the manual: "#2, #3, #4 for communicating with the home airbase as you fly out #5, #6 for communicating in flight on the tactical net with AWACS for instance (with #13 if doing an AAR) #4, #3, #2 for communicating with the home airbase ATC upon your return." In addition to the chocks holding the aircraft in place, there is also an EPU ground safety pin that must be pulled before takeoff in the ground control menu. Once you take off, you will be handed off to the departure frequency where you inform them of your flights airborne status and receive departure instructions. Engine temperatures The engine starting procedure can now fail due to pilot error. Moving the throttle out off the cutoff position before the engine reaches 25% RPM will cause a hot start condition with engine temperatures exceeding ~700C, requiring the engine to be shut off and allowed to cool. To cool off the engine, you can return the throttle below idle cutoff and leave the JFS running. There is also a chance that this may happen randomly, so you need to keep an eye on engine temperatures during startup. The JFS can run for 4 minutes before overheating and 8 minutes before failing. It can now be recharged by the ground crew. Engine Oil Engine oil pressure can fail to rise high enough to run the engine. If the HYD/OIL stays illuminated and the oil pressure stays below 15 psi then the engine must be shut down and allowed to cool before attempting to restart. IFF has now been added IFF is meant to determine friendly or bogey status, and has two separate parts: an interrogator that asks for IFF codes from airborne contacts, and a transponder that responds to requests from other aircraft. TL;DR Leave the knob on Norm when in flight. IFF requests are made using TMS Left when the FCR is selected. You can change mode requests on the left side of the FCR near the bottom. Options are M1, M2, M3, M4 and M+ (which requests all 4). The most useful modes will be M1 and M4. Correct responses will be green circles, incorrect responses will be yellow squares. Incorrect responses do not mean that a contact is an enemy. IFF codes will change over time. Your transponder will take care of this on its own, but to make sure you interrogate for the latest codes make sure you go to the INTG page in the DED (LIST -> RCL) and hit 9 so that the DCPL in the bottom right changes to ALL. This will couple the interrogator to your transponder. Manual time for nerds: M1 is assigned to a team. All the allies share the same code, which is changed every hour as stated in the TIME events. M2 is specific to each aircraft. All aircraft have a different M2 code, which does not change. M3 is specific to each aircraft as well but (unlike M2) rotates every hour. M4 is always assigned per team and the encryption key rotates every 24 hours. If a contact responds to interrogation correctly then a green circle with the requested mode will appear in the contacts location on the FCR and HSD. The contact does not have to be visible on radar to respond. Note that some modes listed above are per team, and others are per aircraft. A contact that you interrogate will not respond correctly to M2 or M3 requests unless you tell your interrogator to look for the response from that specific aircraft. This means that a friendly aircraft might respond to M1 and M4 requests correctly, but not M2 or M3. IFF codes change over time, you can see the full details in your briefing screen, but long story short is you don't have to worry about it: Luckily you do not have to manually input all these settings in the jet; your DTC is pre-programmed with all the briefed settings. Therefore if you do not change any IFF settings manually, the time and position criteria will be defined as per the brief and the IFF settings will change accordingly. All you have to do is turn the IFF MASTER knob to STBY at ramp and turn it to NORM upon taking off. Datalink changes mean scrubs need to git gud The -34 includes the following line in section 1.5.2: Note: IDM operates over VHF or UHF radio, so you cannot transmit on VHF or UHF and send/receive data link transmissions over the same radio at the same time. This means that you cannot rely on the continuous datalink mode available on the FCR page to do everything for you if you want to use the radio, and you will have to request datalink info manually with Comms Left. The manual says: Once powered up, LIST → ENTR will select the A-G DL page. There are now 4 selectable options on this page: COMM (UHF/VHF): this option toggles which radio A-G datalink messages will be transmitted over. Note: everyone must be on the same frequency, whichever radio is used. By default VHF is used for A-G datalink, with UHF used for A-A (INTRAFLIGHT) datalink messages. This can be toggled by moving the * * asterisks around VHF/UHF using the DCS switch and pressing a number key 1-9 on the ICP. Note: while humans can use any radio/frequency, AI are always on UHF TACTICAL (UHF PRESET 6 by default). More to come.
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