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Zehn  



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#1 Posted at 2014-08-04 12:10        
     
Hi everyone,

I'm new here, but I've been working on a mod to add tools to the ArmA 3 map similar to what you might have on a modern GPS display:
  • The display shows the easting and northing coordinates of your cursor and also the distance of your cursor from you and its azimuth with relation to your position.
  • You can change from degrees to milliradians.
  • You can also enter coordinates and click a FIND button to center the map on that position (so when your buddy says he's down at 0174, 0569 you can drop those into your GPS console and find out exactly where he's at).
  • It replaces the coordinates that follow the cursor around with larger, easier to read coordinates that increase from 3-digit easting/northing (100 square meter box) to 5-digit easting/northing (1 square meter box) as you zoom in.
  • The GPS also allows you to draw a line on the map between any two points and measure the distance and azimuth of that line.
  • Lastly, the GPS connects to advanced laser designators and rangefinders to transmit the current observer position to them.

Here's a shot of the interface:

Link

And another that's more zoomed in, note it automatically increases precision to 5-digit easting and northing:

Link

The mod also includes four new laser designators and rangefinders:
  • Both now come in a FIRST FOCAL PLANE and a SECOND FOCAL PLANE version. Having a first focal plane is excellent because it allows spotters to give accurate feedback to their snipers (i.e. "1.5 mil left"). Trying to do this with BIS' second focal plane reticles demanded some tough calculation.
  • They can all change between degrees and milliradians.
  • They can also connect to the GPS unit to learn the observer's position. With this information and the distance and azimuth to the observed position, they can calculate and display the grid coordinates of the observed position (inspired by Arma 2 ACE).
  • Lastly, they can connect to the GPS unit and mark the observed position on your map.

Here's a shot of the view through first-focal plane laser designator:

Link

And the first-focal plane rangefinder:

Link

The last fun addition is a modified LRPS with a Schmidt & Bender illuminated P4L fein reticle and a compass that displays direction in both degrees and milliradians. This is very helpful when working with a spotter, as your spotter can guide you to a very precise direction, even at long range.

I made a video of the modified LRPS. More videos of the other components to come soon...
Link to YouTube video

I also posted this to another forum here, so I apologize if it's cross-posting but I thought I might as well announce the new mod here. It's still got a little work to do (mostly commenting code, taking out trouble-shooting diag_log or hint lines, and attributing those who made mods that helped me learn), but I could post it here if you guys want to play around with it. It's my first mod, so please take it easy on me.

I'm eager to hear your thoughts!

-Zehn

P.S. An additional feature I would love to add is the ability to send either screen shots from the laser designator or rangefinder or a live stream from one player (i.e. forward observer) to another player (i.e. commander) that has the appropriate receiver for it. I haven't begun working on that or even researching it yet.

Omnibus per artem fidemque prodesse

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SavageCDN  

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#2 Posted at 2014-08-13 16:19        
     
Anything which improves the vanilla GPS is a welcome change!! Being used to A2 ACE features this looks excellent you should petition it to be included in ACE3 ;-)

With regards to streaming vid check the cTab mod for Arma 3 - I believe it has the ability to stream a unit's headcam back to the CO using an in-game tablet.

Bless you my son.

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B00M  



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#3 Posted at 2014-08-24 14:44        
     
please upload some bigger pictures


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Zehn  



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#4 Posted at 2014-08-24 19:47        
     
Yes, I forgot to update this thread. I actually posted the release over at the BIS Forums with full videos explaining the mods:

Zehn's Advanced GPS, Laser Designator, and Rangefinder Mod

Here are the direct links to the videos:

GPS Mod

Laser designator & Rangefinder Mod

As noted in the BIS forum post, I am going to simplify these mods a lot and separate them into two separate mods -- a GPS mod and a laser target locator module (LTLM) mod that replicates the BAE Systems TRIGR LTLM.

Starting with the TRIGR, the US Army recently ordered a bunch of these, as you can find by googling BAE Systems TRIGR. Unfortuately, making it more realistic may mean hobbling the capabilities of the unit compared to the stock Arma rangefinder and laser designator, as the BAE Systems device is only 7x zoom. I have written BAE Systems to try to get more information as to whether their device offers higher zoom levels, what the seven function buttons on top do, and what their reticle looks like. I haven't heard any response, so it may have to be a best guess based on internet research. I will keep the real-world laser limitations due to inclement weather, as that's really just physics and is well published. I will no longer require the user to "link" the TRIGR to his GPS, as the TRIGR reportedly has its own GPS sensor.

Regarding the GPS mod, as far as I know, my mod is the only GPS mod that interacts with the map cursor when the map display is up. I would really like to keep that feature, as it's a feature available on modern-day $300 civilian GPS units (Garmin GPSMap 60csx). I plan to change the display laid over the map to one that resembles the display of the AN/PSN-13, however, and I plan to incorporate grid zone designation and 100km square identifiers to the mod. Altis would be 35S LE for example, Stratis would be 35S LD, Chenarus would be 33 UV, etc. In future versions, I may make a GPS display available on the main display (not the map display) similar to GID Modding Studio's excellent AN/PNC-212 SMGR, and I may make it possible to add waypoints to you GPS using the map display. I'd love to work with them on this possibility.

Finally, I really hope Riouken -- the author of cTab -- may consider using code similar to mine to display the easting and northing coordinates of the mouse cursor somehow on his cTab map display. Maybe somewhere along the green frame?

The big problem with the current Arma map system is just that it is not nearly precise enough. And there's no reason for it not to be, the UTM system and MGRS system has been using coordinates to locate areas on the map with precision to 1 meter since the 1940's. Why are we limited to 100 x 100 m squares in Arma?? If I want to report a downed friendly or communicate the location of a building with a high-value target in it, why should I be limited to telling my team mates which 100 x 100 m square it's in, then further describing the topography, buildings, streets, and trees in that large square to guide them into the precise location. That opens us up to so much error -- it would be much easier to say:

"2-story building with high-value target located at 1844 east, 5562 north"

which describes a 10 x 10 m box on the map instead of a 100 x 100 m box (described by 184 east, 556 north). But stock Arma doesn't do this with their maps even though all modern GPS units can do this in present-day and all maps could do this (with the help of a simple plastic protractor/grid) since the 1940's. It's like they're sending us into battle with the map equivalent of muskets...

Omnibus per artem fidemque prodesse