171: Centurion T210 AirSpeed Gauge

Actually I am working on the other story about how to create/modify aircraft liveries.    Since this AirSpeed gauge finishes first, so I have it posted first.   Also, tonight is a blue moon, which worths to do something special.

This new gauge uses a bigger image format (260 x 240) than the standard (240 x 240) size.

Since the extra space on both sides are good for adding additional gauge components when I am planning for its upgrade in the future, this format will be the standard for all my works from now on.   Moreover, the new form-factor looks to be more balanced on the FIP, too.
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Confidentiality — Nonsense !

With the help from Bill Leaming, Tom Gibson and Vololiberista at FSDeveloper.com who answered my question about “How to create BMP files for masking purposes” for FIP gauges, I have finally figured out how to create such *.bmp files in the first place.

It is so simple that I just need to:

  • Fill the image file (to be used as a mask) with RGB color=1,1,1 or web color=010101;  then
  • Save the file in either 1, 24, or 32-bit format.

That’s it!    I tried various methods and it turns out that I was just a step behind the door.   Sometimes you just need a twist to get you there.

Regarding my complaint against Saitek — Yes, that is the information I would expect from the company.

What a shame that the Saitek EU technical guy, Gabriel Constantinescu, replies and claims such information as “privileged and confidential to the company” and cannot release it to a loyal customer who asks for a little support.   And irresponsibly says that “we are unable to provide instruction on creating gauges to customers.”

Either he is totally ignorance or the department has rotten by bureaucracy !

Case Closed !


What’s the Point of Confidentiality ?

Although I’ve created quite some gauges for Saitek’s FIP, I still can’t figure out completely the correct format for the bmp files used as masks for the gauges.

Besides researching the answer from the internet and exploring the result through different programs, I also wrote to Saitek for help.    I wish that I hadn’t done so because the reply from the company’s UK technical support team is a total disappointment:

We are unable to offer this information as it is privileged and confidential.  We are unable to provide instruction on creating gauges to customers.

Frankly, even without this information, we users are still able to create our own gauges.   It may take a bit more time and need some alternative methods to deal with the masking files.

So really I can’t understand the point of such confidential information to the company !

Do they know that the more custom gauges we create, the more potential (new and old) customers we help attract for them ?

Are they afraid that by releasing such information to customers will make us their competitors ?

Darn !


170: Gauge Obsession

Have been obsessed in creating and modifying gauges for my Saitek Flight Instrument Panels (FIPs) lately.    Just couldn’t help doing it one by one again.

Here’s the Attitude and Vertical Speed meters for Centurion T210 again.   Actually they were modified not too long ago.   Moreover, even they are tagged for Centurion T210, the gauges can be used on other aircrafts as well.

Enhancement to the new Attitude Indicator is the inclusion of the Aileron and Rubber Trim functions.   Users can use the two knobs of the FIP to ajust the trim values as desired.

By modifying the FIP buttons as follows, users can reset both trim values quickly, when needed.
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169: One Press, Two Actions

FSUIPC by Peter Dowson is no stranger to flightsimmers.  But many of us might have no idea of what it really is, even though we are all very likely having a copy of it installed in our systems.

Part of the reason is because the unregistered (free) version of the program is merely to provide necessary I/O communications between FSX addons (either software or hardware) and the simulation system.   And the process works hiddenly in the background.

The unlocked version, on the other hand, is indeed very powerful and comes with many sophisticated functions for the building of an advanced system.   However, these features are not designed for average users.

Here is a simple workout on how to add a second function to virtually any button on the flightsim yoke or TPM with the help of it. Continue reading

167: Centurion T210 VerSpeed Gauge V2

Image on the right is the newest version of the vertical speed indicator I just updated with fine details.  It is a lot more realistic than the default one by Saitek or any versions I revised before.

Subscribers of this blog who already got the download link for the last version published two days ago (Aug-7) can use the same link to download this new gauge.  Edit: This instrument is no more available.

The planned attitude indicator, however, will be delayed in order to render finer details comparable to this one.

165: Centurion T210 Vertical Speed Gauge

Just purchased my last two (well, seven in total, so far) Saitek Flight Instrument Panels (FIPs) to complete my flight system.  To make them look more realistic and appealing for my favorite Centurion T210, I am working on to revise all gauges accordingly.

The image on the left is the new Vertical Speed Indicator I have just made after the last revised Airspeed Gauge.   Of course, it can be used on similar aircrafts, too.

Subscribers of this blog are welcome to post a request in the COMMENTS section below to get the download link for it.

Here’s also the preview screenshot of the Attitude Gauge to be completed very soon.