Condor reinstallation and UB DirectPlay8 Error

I re-installed Condor yesterday using my original installation directory on D:\Condor. Condor is pretty slow to open in a task from large HD sceneries like Arc Alpin (AA). I didn’t want to install on my C:\ drive (which is the Samsung NVMe SSD drive) because of potential space problems. Today, I tried to join a task from one of the public servers. When I clicked on the join button I received this error:

I searched the web for a solution and the simplest one was the one that worked. That was to simply open “Turn Windows Features On or Off” from the control panel; scroll down to the Legacy Components setting and click DirectPlay:

Before trying this fix I uninstalled Condor from the D:\ drive and installed it on C:\Condor.

The next problem was that, since I had moved the Condor directory from c:\ to d:\, the goodies downloads stopped working. I tried several things, including using MS Edge instead of Chrome, none of which worked. Finally I decided to search the registry for an instance of CTDB. I found one that showed the goodies location at d:\condor\goodies. I changed the ‘d’ to a ‘c’ and that fixed the problem!

And, by the way, Condor and tasks don’t seem to load much, if any faster, from the SSD!

Condor World Championship Season 2013 — CWC 2013–Repost

Report on a new race series that began in April 2013.

This championship began last year. I believe it was the organizer, Martin Lonien’s first attempt to hold a Condor race series. Last year the entire series was flown off-line by the competitors. This was really nice because you could compete any time that was convenient and it was very relaxed.

This year the series is back and it seems that Martin really did his homework and did an excellent job preparing for a much improved series. He prepared a nice competition document, nicely organized with all required information. The competition began in May with a series of four training races. I only managed to compete in one of these but was glad I was able to do at least one. At first I didn’t understand the requirement to sign up for a time slot to compete. I happened to register on Thursday, which was one of the two weekly race days. There are four time slots to choose from and you pick a time slot from the registration page at the time that you sign up or any time thereafter, except on race days when these choices don’t show up at all.

Registration page with option to pick a time slot



Since the top part of this page containing the time slot choice radio buttons didn’t appear the day I signed up, or on the next page, it took a post to the Condor forum to learn the proper procedure.

The first official race was held last Thursday and Friday. I attempted to race but when I clicked on the join button I was rejected by the host because it claimed that my scenery had been altered. The scenery in question was Greece 2.1. After the competition Martin sent out an email to competitors that the server was mistakenly running Greece 2.0. As a result, only two people who hadn’t upgraded from 2.0 managed to compete. I believe he is throwing out the results for this race.

The second race was run yesterday and today and my time slot was the last one today at 5pm UTC or 1pm EDT, my time.

A very kind and generous friend of my brother’s gave me his 7” Dell Streak with a badly cracked screen to run XCSoar on. After trying it a short while, I spotted a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 at Costco for only $170 so I bought the Tab and returned the Dell. I am very happy with this arrangement and it is fun learning Android which I had never used before. The galaxy connects to Condor through a wireless virtual serial port called com0com. I can connect to my PC with the tab, either wirelessly or through the supplied USB charging cable making it quite easy to create waypoint files on my pc and transfer them to the tab.

The race “committee sends out an abridged task briefing two hours before race join time. The briefing doesn’t specify waypoints so, unless you can guess what Condor waypoints are being used from the map supplied in the briefing, you have to wait until the detailed briefing is published on the Condor Club site fifteen minutes before joint time. This inevitably leads to a mad scramble to enter the new waypoints into a waypoint file, transfer them to your flight computer (my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2) and create the task on the Tab with the help of the waypoint file created on the pc.

I was able to prepare early today because the turn points on the map were pretty unambiguous so I created the task in Condor, joined the task briefly, exited and saved an IGC. I was still concerned that a non-standard Condor waypoint had been used but when the detailed briefing was finally published, the waypoints I had used, checked out.

At 1pm I jumped right into the race as soon as possible so that I would have a little time to solve problems if I was rejected by the server, as I had been last week. This week’s race used the New Zealand .8 scenery, but I had applied two texture enhancements and I hoped that these upgrades wouldn’t cause the server to reject me again.

Fortunately I had no problem this time. The only small mistake I made was that I was in such a hurry to join that I forgot to check all the details of the task. I already knew wind direction and speed 112 degrees at 31 Kph, knew the thermals would be strong with normal activity but it would have been nice to know the width as well as a few other details lacking in the briefing.

Here’s a shot northeast of the start on the way to TP1. In the distance you can see the lake and the point of land which has been the turnpoint for several Condor races that started from Glentanner airport, near Mount Cook. Wichada and I stayed there when we visited New Zealand about eight years ago.


I didn’t race badly but I feel that I didn’t take advantage of some potentially pretty strong thermals. I feel like I passed by some strong ridge lift early on and ended up making the best of weaker ridge lift later on. Perhaps I could have capitalized on some strong thermals too.

Diving for Race Starting Line

iPad-Thailand Trip 2633

Here is Santiago Lopez’s formula for diving for the start:

I recommend climbing 300 m ( 1000 ft) above the maximum altitude at a distance of 1 km (0.55 nm) from the start and then dive to a speed close to redline, and watch out for flutter, especially when the start altitude is above 2000 m. For standard class planes and others with a lower redline speed, reduce the height of your dive 10-15%.

Centering Thermals


Image via Wikipedia

I registered for the Soaring on Heaven races yesterday but received an email today saying that my account had been suspended because they couldn’t verify my information.  I started looking back at competitions that I had flown in order to give them more information.  One of the great competitions that I entered and will always remember is the 2010 World Gliding Competition in Szeged Slovakia.  I thought it was an excellent competition and as like the real contest as possible.  However the organizer got a lot of criticism from some very immature acting pilots and there was a lot of controversy over the winner who several pilots accused of cheating.  They said his name was made up and I must say that I don’t recall seeing his name anywhere since.  A couple of competitors, including myself, flew his flight track and observed an uncanny ability of the pilot to fly straight for the best thermals.  This is all documented in this thread on the Condor Forums.  I was reading some of that thread and came across these comments about the difficulty of doing that and some comments on centering thermals in general.

Here are the main points:

  • The biggest difficulty centering thermals occurs with a combination of windy conditions and narrow thermals.
  • In these conditions, it’s important to stay closer to cloud base where the target will be bigger and there is more room for error.
  • Test several thermals before race start observing the wind and sun direction.  Once you establish the center for on thermal, others should be similar.  You can use external view to determine your position under the cloud.
  • A few tricks distilled from these threads:
    • When you pull up in a thermal, start a slight turn to the right.  If the lift begins to decrease, immediately turn to the left and you should be bang in the center—in theory!
    • If there is no wind, turn 20 or 30 degrees in one direction while pulling up, then turn in the other direction—I’ll really have to test this one!
    • In windy conditions, fly toward the center of the cloud, then leave the center toward the wind direction.  If you fly where you think the center will be, you are taking a gamble.
    • In windy conditions, alter your course so that you enter directly upwind or downwind.
    • I the wind direction and strength vary with altitude, thermals can spiral and be very difficult to find.
    • Be able to thermal equally well in both directions!
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MNS Europe Day 180

This task was in the Provence region of France and used new Condor scenery for that area called Provence 2.  I liked the scenery a lot and just went out and flew the first leg taking numerous screen shots which are shown below.

The task was a lot of fun.  I skipped the first two servers in the 1:30 time slot and waited until 2:30.  This server was well populated but not overly crowded.  I thought I did fairly well for the first 2 and a half legs but things suddenly went sour and I landed out about 13 km from the finish.  This still put me thirty out of 58 as a lot of pilots didn’t finish, including Sandor Laurinyecz.












Wave Soaring from Lake Tahoe

My brother Puddie is going to Minden Nevada in January to soar.  They have a Duo Discus there and wave soaring.  He wanted to practice the area and the wave so I created a start-only task, taking off from Minden with 50kpmh windows from the West.  I went from there south to the limits of the scenery last night.  The red track is mine from last night.  The short blue track was Puddie getting the wave this morning.




Reutte Hoefen 180 (SA)

English: View overlooking Innsbruck.

Image via Wikipedia

I just finished my first and only attempt at this race which is in the Austrian Alps.  I spent a lot of yesterday and most of today trying to learn how to use XCSoar (software on the iPaq that can be used instead of SeeYou PC).  I barely knew how to use it and my concentration was on the software rather than the race so I’m sure I could have done better.  I was 16th out of 39 finishers and a total of 74 racers.

The race take off airport was Reutten Hoefen.  The first turn point was Innsbruck shown on the right.  The Eastern Alps scenery was used which is a bit on the cartoonish side.  Here’s a shot looking back at the Reutte Hoefen airport from TP2.





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MNS Europe Day 177

Aoraki/Mount Cook

Image via Wikipedia

I left work at noon to do the MNS Europe race today.  The race was in New Zealand.  It started in Omarama, took a short jag to the East, then north northeast to Glentanner south of Mount Cook.  There was a little ridge going north where I found some strong blue thermals off certain parts of the ridge.  Mostly it didn’t pan out though and it was largely a thermal race with thermals in the 2.5 to 3 meters per second range.

What was notable about my performance in this race was that I didn’t make any major mistakes except for the start.  I crossed above the minimum start altitude and had to circle back and restart.



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Rieti 195—Second Attempt

All I can say is that I made it.  conditions seemed considerably worse than yesterday, which is perfectly possible because weather is set to random to prevent cheating.  Today’s track is in blue.  Perhaps I should have gone for ridge lift on the first leg where I did yesterday (see the red arrow pointing out the spot.)

Thermals were pretty much useless.  The best combination was a thermal going off on a ridge, which I managed to use a few.  The green arrow near TP2 marks the area where I took advantage of ridge lift that worked out better than I hoped for.  The problem is, it took me much to long to get there!


Rieti 195—Try one

It’s been several weeks since I did an online glider race.  I just made a first attempt at the Team South Africa Rieti 195.  I crashed several kilometers from the finish!  I should have know better than to rely on the mountains (indicated by the red arrows) below to gain enough altitude to complete the last leg!  I should have tried to gain more altitude on the steep slope indicated by the green arrow.