DCS F-14 & RIO Gaming

Something new: Video Snippets!

The original purpose of this website was a sort of permanent and personal repository for introductory guides and firmware about Arduino. The idea was sharing links, rather than answering similar questions over and over.
With the release of DCS F-14 by Heatblur, the music changed, and this place became a diary of the journey in a new-yet-old aircraft and the wonderful world of fixed-wing aircraft. However, I am still answering questions…

In a fashion similar to what pushed me to open this website, I noticed that I often answer similar questions, and such answers can probably benefit from a more from a direct and visual approach rather than the usual plethora of technical details.
Two of the most recent questions were about the AN/ALE-39 and the LAU-138 (ED’s forum) the first, whereas the second question was about the Pulse Single Target Track radar mode (r/hoggit). I replied as usual but also decided to try something new: a couple of short videos.

This approach has a few pros, such as:

  1. the short amount of time required to rush together such videos;
  2. being “quick and dirty“: not Laobi-short, but still on point;
  3. more approachable, for example, I show how easy setting up a training scenario is by means of the Mission Editor. I consider these videos as a “visual compendium” to the Back-to-Basic series;
  4. technical details are still available through links to this website, the manual of the F-14, and so on.

On the other hand, they are a bit rushed and lack the depth of an article. However, if a topic is not yet discussed here, you can expect a dedicated article along the video.

Enough words, these are the two Snippets I put together so far:

Setting Countermeasures (AN/ALE-39 and LAU-138)

The process to set the countermeasures is not the most intuitive and has confused many players since its inception. In fact, a player may be tempted to use the dedicated sliders available in the familiar Ream & Refuel window (DON’T), but the countermeasures of the F-14 are quite unique, compared to the other available modules.

I discussed them two years ago, but the procedure has not changed. The most confusing steps are the necessity of using the ad hoc option for the AN/ALE-39, plus the fact that the loading of the countermeasures must be “triggered” from the rearm panel (even by changing absolutely nothing…). DCS aside, the countermeasures themselves are not really intuitive, the AN/ALE-39 used in conjunction with the LAU-138 work in unexpected ways and the former is not intuitive either: the first time I read about the 320 chaffs I was already daydreaming about infinite chaffs programs, dropping them from a corner of the map to the other! Then I realized they are baby-chaffs and my disappointment was immeasurable, and my day was ruined.

Interesting sidenote: quoting The_Tau, apparently two LAU-138 were not used as they could impede access to the cooling system of one AIM-9.

Single Target Track (Pulse & PD) – V2

This is a rare exception to my rule: “No tests on the WCS until it’s finished!“. Reason being, I can spend 100h on it just to see it drastically changed by the devs the following day. And this is a clear example: it started as a simple Demo showing PSTT and PDSTT, and eventually, I had some fun launching “salvoes” of AIM-54s in PSTT in fire-and-forget mode but spending twice the time I expected on this video.

Bonus points on the current PSTT though because, at the moment, the AI preemptively defends vs TWS launches (yep, realistic, isn’t it?) but it does not vs PSTT launches until the missile gets within 10nm of the target. On a more serious note, this may actually sometimes work vs inexperienced humans in PvP, as they probably would not expect the F-14 to turn immediately without supporting the missile (so, flanking → centre the T → PSTT → cold immediately).

How does PSTT work in reality? I can only guess (which is not good): I imagine the seeker should lock on the first thing crossing its field of view, rather than the target momentarily locked via the DDD.
Whatever the correct behaviour is, the status quo is caused by the limited access to the code that the devs at Heatblur have at the moment. Until they have more control, the implementation will not be completely realistic.

What’s next? You tell me!

In the comments of the second video there was a request by a user, Мартин Стоянов, to make a video about TWS soft lock. Unfortunately, such video would be quite short and the current status of the AI would defeat its purpose. However, if you have ideas about how such a situation can be made more interesting, give me a shout.
In this regard, if you have ideas about tests, scenarios, procedure and whatnot you want covered, feel free to let me know!

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