Noob on documentation

Hi All

I’m a noob again at flight sims. I used to fly them all the time, 20 years ago. But as happens real life got in the way and I got away from it. Now that I’m retired I’m getting back into it and have a question on Falcon BMS 4.33.

I have the original Microprose Falcon 4.0 (Off eBay) and have BMS 4.33 installed and working. Here’s the question.

Is the documentation for 4.0 pretty much the same as far as keystrokes for radar/wepons select/gear/flaps/ etc etc.? I have the big binder that came with 4.0, which would save me downloading and printing out the 4.33 documentation.

I have a lot to learn, this thing (and most like DCS) are a lot more involved that the old stuff I used to fly. I gotta bone up.

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A lot has changed. Some of the weapons in BMS right now didn’t even exist when falcon 4 was released. If BMS is your goal it’s best to start learning it straight away instead of doing F4 first and then switching over to BMS. When you startup BMS there’s an option to acces documentation and manuals 2 options below actually launching the game. When you’re there you want to navigate to Falcon BMS manuals, and then read the BMS1F-16CM-1 manual ( this is the general manual, startup, shutdown, flying the thing etc ) and the BMS1F-16CM-34-1-1 manual ( Avionics and Weapons employment manual ). It’s about 450 pages total.

Here’s a video that’ll hopefully help. I used it when I first started. It’ll help you start her up and do some basic things like shooting down other planes and some bombing iirc.

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Welcome to Mudspike @wbmillerkc!

As @Sryan said above, there are some new things to look out for.

For keyboard maps and getting used to the new layout, there is a nice (but fairly complicated) way to get a print-out of your keyboard/devices set-up. You need Excel to use it:

(a). Open up the Excel file from your Falcon BMS install here:

\Falcon BMS 4.33\Docs\Key Files & Input\BMS Key File Editor.xls

(b). It will look like this when it opens. Don’t be discouraged:

(c). Click the ‘Keystr. Editor’ button (first on the left at the top, grey). Excel should now look like this:

(d). Choose a local/language in the ‘Keyboard Layout’ red box. When you click into it the box turns into a selection, i.e. ‘US International’. The red should go a more kind green.

(e). Now click the ‘Import Key File’ button - it’s here:

(f). For the dialog’s that pop up, choose the ‘BMS - Full.key’ file.

 \Falcon BMS 4.33\Docs\Key Files & Input\BMS - Full.key

Just say ‘Yes’ or OK to the questions (they agree to transfer your newborn or any subsequent children to whoever holds the Falcon 4 license I guess, I didn’t read them… ;)).

(g). Now click the ‘Keyboard’ button (at the top, next to ‘Read Me’). This will show you a nice printable keyboard chart.

If you just use the defaults then you could just use those last two images as a general keyboard guide anyway.

Good luck!

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Thank you, I rather suspected that was the case. I guess I’m just old school and would rather have a printed copy in front of me rather than staring at a screen for hours on end.

Thanks. Excel files don’t bother me, thanks for the suggestion.

Wow! I must admit to being a little overwhelmed by all of the acronyms. If you bang your head in frustration on the UFC you will become FUBAR and then it’s ADMF.

Here’s a tip from a rank newbie, If you have the documentation manual from 4.0 it has a terms glossary in the back of it for quick reference. So as you’re working thru the 4.33 documentation, and come across an acronym you can’t figure out, (There are a lot of them) you can flip to it instead of switching screens or files etc.

There are some advantages to reading of a screen though. If you come across a term or something you don’t understand it’s worth giving a shot hitting CTRL + F to open up a searchbar, and then enter that term, and then keep hitting ENTER untill you come across a paragraph that explains the stuff you’re trying to understand. An issue I personaly always have is that I study the manual in detail, but when I take a seat inside the pit I don’t know whats where. I’ll look at some instrument and ponder for some minutes untill I realise what it is and that I studied it. The other way around is worse, though. You know what key to press but no clue where it is. So what I always do is open up two copies of the manual at once, side by side. On one I am studying the actual documentation and on the other I’ll leave an diagram of the specific part of the cockpit I am studying. That way I can start mind-mapping.

If you really prefer paper there’s nobody stopping you from hitting the print key. You can also order a printed manual. it’s mentioned on the BMS forums here: Loading.... The manuals you really need are the Dash-1 and the Dash-34. There are also some online printstores that you can send the PDF and have it printed, though that’s usually not exactly cheap.

Since you’ve been out of the loop for a long time and are seemingly having a hard time with a highly complex aircraft it might be worth it to take a look at the flaming cliffs 3 module for DCS: world. They’re more on par on what you where used to in terms of difficulty. There’s a bunch of planes ( F-15C,A-10A, Su-25A, Su-27, Su-33, MiG-29A. MiG-29G, MiG-29S ) wich all have a similair basic control layout. It’s RSHIFT + HOME to start the engines, and RSHIFT + L to power up the electronics and avionics. From there on out it’s throttle and stick flying. You control the modes with the number keys 1 through 7. 1 = navigation. 2 = BVR ( Beyond Visual Range ), 3 = vertical acquisition. 4 = Boresight. 5 = Helmet mounted Cueing ( Only for Su-27). 6 = Longitudal missile mode and 7 = air to ground mode.

Even here counts “easy to learn, hard to master”. Par example for BVR you’ll also have to slew the cursor on the radar display. adjust the height you want to scan. Good pilots also choose between RWS ( Range While Scan ) and TWS ( Track While Scan ) and set an appropiate PRF ( Pulse Repetition Frequency ) for the target(s) they expect to face. Usually a high frequency for a high aspect foe and a medium frequency for a beaming foe.

You’ll be able to inherit a lot of things you learn about the radar in the F-15 to the F-16 in BMS. It’s also possible to just buy the F-15 as a standalone here. However if you can miss the money I recomend the full pack even if you don’t really care about flying the russian planes themselves. Reason being you can do a little DACT ( Dissimilair Air Combat Training ) with yourself. The best way to find out what all these missiles are about that those russian planes are shooting at you like the R27-T, R27-R, R27-ET,R27-ER,R60,R73 and R77 is to fire off a few for yourself.

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Thanks for the tips… and you’re exactly right, I know where the print button is and how to use it :{)
The concept of the “clickable cockpit” is great, and something I wished was available back in the day. Having “been there, done that” with sims like Flaming Cliffs I’d really like to learn this, I just wish the documentation was a little more newbie friendly. Your reply is a perfect example. each time you used an acronym like TWS… you put the meaning in parentheses behind it (Track While Scan). It makes the abbreviation more relatable and easier to understand and retain rather than just a seemingly random set of letters. (he he… yeah, I’m in my 60’s so am working on outdated biological software).