118: Loading FIPs in Desired Order

Received quite some inquires about loading specific gauges onto multiple FIPs (Flight Instrument Panels) in desired order.

Here’s how I do it:

  • Use a powered USB hub to connect all FIPs to the computer
  • Plug the first FIP (the one to display the first gauge) to the last numbered port on the hub
  • Then the second FIP to the second last port;  the third to the third last port, and so on.

The FIPs are required to plug in this manner because the USB hub always starts the FIPs in reverse order from the last numbered port to the first numbered port.

In other words, the FIP plugged in the last USB port on the hub will always be the first one starting up.

Once the connection is done,  gauges will now be loaded according to the order of GaugeList specified in the SaiFlightSimX.xml file (C:\Program Files (x86)\Saitek\DirectOutput).

Followings are the gauge order I defined, and how my FIPs are plugged to the 10-port USB hub.

==========
NOTE:

  • In order to operate the FIPs effectively via the hub, a power supply is necessary to provide the required electricity to the USB ports.
  • If the USB hub doesn’t start the FIPs in sequence as described above, remember the startup order (USB ports) and re-plug the FIPs accordingly.
  • If the computer has just been turned on,  adding in the FIPs (through the hub’s master USB cable) after FSX is loaded will prevent the occasional gauge-order messing up error.   Moreover, I found fps is least affected under this start-up sequence.
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3 thoughts on “118: Loading FIPs in Desired Order

  1. Hi Tom – I only recently stumbled upon FSX Times, and what a wonderful resource ! My current interest is the Saitek FIP gauges (of which I only have one at the moment, but there will be more !) I emailed Saitek to ask if there was any way to fix the gauge displayed at startup, and they told me no. Clearly there is ! This led me on to your earlier posts where you modified the default gauges, and I have now successfully created some WW2 FIP gauges of my own, lifting graphics and XML from existing aircraft 2D panels. One question though – I find that some XML which works within FSX does not seem to drive FIP gauges successfully. Is that your experience ?

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    1. Hi Dick,
      I asked Saitek the same questions and they said no as well. Don’t know if they really not aware or not care. Anyway, congratulations on your successful modication. Regarding your question, I can’t really comment since 1) I don’t have the details of your work, and 2) the FIPs don’t support everything. Hope I answer you somehow.

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      1. Hi Tom – I got the impression Saitek didn’t care. On the XML, if you drop me an email with your email id I can send you a sample if you like. I could be missing something – I’m not the most experienced XML programmer in the world !

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