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F-16C INS Alignment Stuck at 10 -- cannot get to 6!


The_Ders
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Hey all,

For a cold start, I cannot move past a 10 on the alignment. It ends up causing positions errors etc. with the HUD, TGP, HMCS, Mav WPN, etc... it's extremely frustrating.

I'm not loading weapons during alignment. I've tried everything, including following along real-time with Wags' video below on my 2nd monitor. I did everything 1:1, same time (roughly), same order. Still, my INS did not move past 10 like Wags' did.

What gives?


Edited by The_Ders
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It doesn’t go to 6 anymore, was changed quite a while ago

However, 10 does not cause issues you described so that in itself is not the issue (unless there’s a new bug).

Maybe entered wrong coordinates or didn’t verify them, forgot to switch to NAV or something like that. 

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9 hours ago, The_Ders said:

It ends up causing positions errors etc. with the HUD, TGP, HMCS, Mav WPN, etc... it's extremely frustrating.

 

If you have these above problemen, then you did something wrong. Also, don't forget to confirm the coordinates when doing full alignment and rotate the knob to NAV when finished

Alignment doesn't go past 10 anymore like mentioned already 


Edited by Falconeer
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F/A18C, F-16C, Mirage 2000C, JF-17, F-14B Tomcat, Flaming Cliffs 3, Black Shark 2, SU27, AJS37 Viggen, Persian Gulf, Syria

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Thanks for the replies all. This thread can probably be moved out of the bugs section and into a systems help section.

Summary: It sounds like HMCS alignment and Mav boresighting is where my issue is then, since INS 10 is the best alignment possible for now. I'll replay the same mission that I know I've had trouble with multiple times. I'll make sure I align the HMCS and boresight the Mavs, and post back here with the results.

~~~

It doesn’t go to 6 anymore, was changed quite a while ago...

Oh well... now this is good to know. Noted, though seeing the INS alignment at 6 in the air (presumably / in hindsight, all air starts) led to this confusion. For ED -- would be helpful to others I think to update the training mission, user/flight manual, and startup / alignment lesson videos to reflect this... or perhaps they are planning on implementing it, hence leaving it documented.

Then at the moment, there is no reason to do an INS NORM Align, correct? Might as well do a Stored Heading alignment (INS STOR HDG) and save 6 minutes.

 

Verify (with ICP Enter) L/L coordinates (& altitude?) within first 2 minutes of alignment. After align, switch INS to NAV.

Done every time! After checking coords with F10 map several times, I've been assuming the entered coords for a cold start are "always" correct, for the F-16 module anyway.

Is this an accurate assumption? After the frustration, I've lately been checking every time... good habit I guess. 🤷‍♂️

 

Aligning the HMCS and boresighting the Mavs:

I have admittedly sometimes not always done this, though my last test flight, I for sure boresighted the Mavs (successfully, I think), but may have not aligned the HMCS. And vice versa perhaps in other cases.

Mav Boresighting questions:

* Any tips on boresighting Mavs on the ground? Boresighting the Mavs on the ground seems to be a crapshoot. Sometimes it seems to work, other times the Mav seeker head seems to "fly off" after trying to designate > boresight > undesignate. 

* If I unpower the Mavs after boresighting (whether on the ground or in the air), do they lose boresight alignment? i.e. Do I need to re-boresight them? (assuming yes).

* Is there any benefit to unpowering the Mavs in the air after boresighting (in air or on ground)? I assume no... since I don't believe the nitrogen seeker cooling is modeled for the IR Mavs? Might as well leave them always on after boresighting, yes?

HMCS Alignment questions:

* If I turn the HMCS off mid-flight after aligning the HMCS (on the ground or in the air... assume on the ground is MUCH preferred), does the HMCS lose alignment? Would I need to realign mid-air? (w/ autopilot and smooth air).

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41 minutes ago, The_Ders said:

Mav Boresighting questions:

* Any tips on boresighting Mavs on the ground? Boresighting the Mavs on the ground seems to be a crapshoot. Sometimes it seems to work, other times the Mav seeker head seems to "fly off" after trying to designate > boresight > undesignate. 

If you do align them on the ground, try aligning them on something further away 

 

41 minutes ago, The_Ders said:

* If I unpower the Mavs after boresighting (whether on the ground or in the air), do they lose boresight alignment? i.e. Do I need to re-boresight them? (assuming yes).

No, you can use them straight away if you power them on again

 

44 minutes ago, The_Ders said:

* Is there any benefit to unpowering the Mavs in the air after boresighting (in air or on ground)? I assume no... since I don't believe the nitrogen seeker cooling is modeled for the IR Mavs? Might as well leave them always on after boresighting, yes?

Yes, it's to protect the seekerhead from overheating (in RL) The missile has limited cooling capability and you may run out if you leave them on to long.  However, in DCS you can leave them on

 

47 minutes ago, The_Ders said:

HMCS Alignment questions:

* If I turn the HMCS off mid-flight after aligning the HMCS (on the ground or in the air... assume on the ground is MUCH preferred), does the HMCS lose alignment? Would I need to realign mid-air? (w/ autopilot and smooth air).

You can use DMS down to toggle it on or off. No need to turn the system off completely

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F/A18C, F-16C, Mirage 2000C, JF-17, F-14B Tomcat, Flaming Cliffs 3, Black Shark 2, SU27, AJS37 Viggen, Persian Gulf, Syria

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5 minutes ago, TEOMOOSE said:

The question still remains, why cant we go INS 6. There are tons of public documents available out there that say it can.

 

 

There can be different systems used on the F16 for INS/GPS depending on the Block 

Besides that, i really dont get the point why people are so keen to go to 6. In DCS there is no noticeable difference between 1.0 or 0.6. It's just a number

F/A18C, F-16C, Mirage 2000C, JF-17, F-14B Tomcat, Flaming Cliffs 3, Black Shark 2, SU27, AJS37 Viggen, Persian Gulf, Syria

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19 minutes ago, Falconeer said:

There can be different systems used on the F16 for INS/GPS depending on the Block 

Besides that, i really dont get the point why people are so keen to go to 6. In DCS there is no noticeable difference between 1.0 or 0.6. It's just a number

its called, realism.

otherwise whats the point of all this. Dcs world is about getting in to the details and making the best sim ever. Specially when theres public documents support it.

Furthermore, the team had it initially at release. Than it was removed for whatever reason.

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13 minutes ago, TEOMOOSE said:

its called, realism.

otherwise whats the point of all this. Dcs world is about getting in to the details and making the best sim ever. Specially when theres public documents support it.

Furthermore, the team had it initially at release. Than it was removed for whatever reason.

Re-read my post above... there are different systems used on different Blocks. A F-16 and a F-16 can be completely different 


Edited by Falconeer

F/A18C, F-16C, Mirage 2000C, JF-17, F-14B Tomcat, Flaming Cliffs 3, Black Shark 2, SU27, AJS37 Viggen, Persian Gulf, Syria

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13 hours ago, TEOMOOSE said:

its called, realism.

otherwise whats the point of all this. Dcs world is about getting in to the details and making the best sim ever. Specially when theres public documents support it.

Furthermore, the team had it initially at release. Than it was removed for whatever reason.

The way it was implemented wasn't even correct. There's a whole process to get to status 6 alignment that involves moving the jet.

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15 hours ago, AlexCaboose said:

The way it was implemented wasn't even correct. There's a whole process to get to status 6 alignment that involves moving the jet.

Yes! Im aware of, its called "Enhanced Interrupted Alignment" procedure.

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Interesting about the actual "EIA" alignment procedure to get to 6 (or 0.6 technically). Question here was if "only" getting to 10 (1.0) and not 6 (0.6) was causing my sensor/seeker alignment issues - it probably was not. I'll have some time to play maybe tonight or in the next few days and report back. I'm sure it was ~pilot~ error, not properly aligning the HMCS and boresighting the Mavs each time from a ground start.

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  • Solution

Alright, the problem WAS indeed with my lack of properly aligning the HMCS and boresighting the Mavs.

HMCS align tip: disable Track IR, center the view, zoom in on the HUD, and use numpad slow zoom keys to align the crosses, if you want it as close to perfect as possible (it's also just quicker). Also, I didn't realize AZ / EL and Roll meant using the Radar Cursor X/Y slew knub and not twisting my head around like I'm having a stroke.

Is there an F-16 hotkey shortcut that automatically aligns the HMCS and boresights the Mavs? I appreciate the realism here, but there is only so much time I (we all) have in the day. Would rather go through the real procedure once to "note" it, then skip it and spend the time working on other things. I know it's only a few minutes each total, but 10 cold starts... that's 30 minutes. The TM Warthog cursor slew switch is also notoriously twitchy/sensitive - I have the X/Y curves tuned way down.

Pics:

1. Result after mav boresighting (also after hmcs alignment). The mav cross is skewed slightly left, and same result after a few boresight tries. However, WAY better than before. When I deselect the TGP and slew it (or maybe CZ it), then the Mav cross seems to align near perfect (See Pic 3). Note: The HUD TDC box is skewed slightly left, but WAY better than before.

2. Now zoomed in HUD TDC from Pic 1. Note the box is slightly skewed left of where TGP point track is looking (assume this is just the imperfect nature of the HUD TDC / parallax etc.)

3. After Pic 1 -- after undesignating / moving the TGP (and maybe CZing too?), then moving TGP back on, the Mav seeker cross seems to align near perfectly.

4. Zooming in, the HUD TDC is still slightly skewed left of where the TGP and Mav are looking. Again, WAY WAY better than before. Again, assuming this is just the imperfect nature of the HUD TDC / HMCS / parallax etc.

Are these the alignment results you guys are getting? Would laser ranging w/ TGP tighten up the HUD/HMCS boxes? I imagine IRL, the HUD box and HMCS box will never be spot on like the TGP. I suppose to reduce this offset and get a more accurate mark point using the HUD / HMCS box, you just need to be as close as possible to the target. Makes sense -- if you're 100 miles away, your VIS mark point could be several miles off target.

Thanks all for the help.

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

4.jpg

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There are no shortcut options for aligning the HMCS or Bore sighting the mavericks.

TBH for me the HMCS alignment takes about 10-15 seconds, And I do it while I'm waiting for the INS of the jet to align so it doesn't add any time to a startup procedure. You don't need to be super precise with the coarse alignment, just get it in the ball-park, and then refine the alignment using the cursor control during the AZ/EL phase.

I don't boresight my Mavs on the ground, I pretty much always do it while airborne after takeoff, gives me something to do en route to target area.

Regarding the terrible Warthog cursor slew controller, do yourself a favour and go to Delta Sim Electronics and pick up one of their slew upgrade kits, It'll change your life. https://deltasimelectronics.com/products/thumbstick-slew-sensor-adapter

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I second the Delta Sim upgrade.  Night and day difference.

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