Earlier this month, I was trying to associate a customized EZdok camera view (as shown in picture) to the gear lever on my Saitek’s Switch Panel, so that whenever I extend or retract the gear, the view changes to the bottom of the aircraft automatically.
After numerous attempts, I found there was no way out. Saitek’s original driver is so “dumb” that except the default control functions, nothing more it offers to the users.
As a last resort, I turned to SPAD (Saitek Panels Advanced Driver).
SPAD is not a stranger to many flight-simmers who use Saitek gears. But no kidding, I had never tried it before due to many reasons. In particular, the need of complete removal of the Saitek driver was the most detrimental one preventing me from doing so.
After backing up all my major files, I scrupulously followed the instructions in the manual (actually pretty simple) to install SPAD onto my system. At that time, I really had no intention to uninstall any existing drivers.
When installation was completed, I clicked on the FSX icon…
Cool, the LEDs on my panels (Switch, Multi and Radio) were “running”, showing that they were activated when FSX was being loaded. I then flew some sessions and turned on and off FSX a few times. The panels worked perfectly. I didn’t even need to set anything.
With the powerful SPAD, not only I can now associate the particular bottom view of the aircraft to the gear lever but also link a number of camera views to the different buttons on the panels. In the past with the original driver, this was simply impossible.
In fact, I was running SPAD (version 0.5.1) with the Saitek driver side-by-side in the first few days. Luckily, I didn’t encounter any conflict many people reported on the internet.
To eliminate risks and uncertainties, I have disabled Saitek’s panel driver from the exe.XML file thereafter.
No matter if you still have “prejudice” against SPAD like I did, I don’t see any reason why we should stay where we are and not move forward and cast the Saitek driver out.
NOTE: Forget to mention, a registered version of the FSUIPC is needed in order to customize the features on the panels, however.