News: 18 going on 24 FIPs

How many FIPs (Flight Instrument Panels) can one add to a system? —  That’s a pretty common query among FIP users.

Andrew Crowhurst in New Zealand tells us that he has 18 FIPs and is planning to add 6 more.   Photos are added to the Cockpit Section.   Just can’t help to post a notam here.

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10 thoughts on “News: 18 going on 24 FIPs

  1. Wow. That is quite a setup. I am seeing several new gauges for the first time here. The twin magento and engine start instrument looks like a custom made box. Thanks for posting.

    Ray

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    1. The custom FIP gauges are mainly adaptions of Saitek’s and Tom’s gauges – thanks to Tom for his hard work. I have spent hours looking at Tom’s XML code to get to understand how things work and now build my on gauges from the BMP level up. Tom really has helped the FSX community with his site and his own developments.

      I run all my non FIP Saitek units using the SPAD driver and FSUIPC (thanks to the two developers of these). The only Saitek driver I have installed on my PC is the driver for the FIP units.

      The custom panels mostly utilise Saitek Switch Panels as the brains. I disassemble the switch panel unit, unsolder the wires to the switches, remove the multi selector switches and then reconnect the wires to my custom switches. I then use the SPAD & FSUIPC combination to assign the FSX commands. I have 2 Switch panel units disassembled for this purpose, thus the twin magnetos as that panel uses the magneto switch from each of the original switch panels. In my setup I have 4 Saitek switch panel units driven off the SPAD driver – 2x original units for use on each side of the SIM and two units disassembled for custom allocation.

      I also have disassembled Logitech 3D Joysticks (extract the PCB boards and USB cable out of the joystick housing) and soldered new wires to the joystick switches on the PCB board. You get 16 assignable switches this way for about $30 for the joystick and about an hour of soldering. You then use FSUIPC to assign the FSX commands to the Joystick buttons. This is a little harder to do than customising Saitek Switch panels, but a lot cheaper.

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  2. Wow, that is cool. I’d love to see more pictures of the customized components, and hear how they were made and setup. Love the single FIP at the top showing the wet compass!

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    1. I also forgot to mention I’d be interested in what USB hub(s) are in use there. Mine appears to be dying as I get random characters flashing on my radio and multi panels. Almost like an error code. Seems to be fine when plugged directly into the PC, so I need new powered hubs. A setup like that must be complex as far as the USB layout.

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      1. Hi. I have the FiPs connected to this HUB (refer first URL below) and replace the included power supply with 3.0A units. If you type Laser 7 Port USB2.0 hub with AC Adaptor into eBay search you will see the same hub under multiple brand names. Although a cheap hub, I have found them stable. They do need to have my option 2 (post 223) done to them to enable them to be switched off & on for FIP load order

        http://www.playtech.co.nz/afawcs0139235/CATID=/ID=16799/SID=772886834/productdetails.html

        For my other USB units i have them connected to 4 of these hubs, they come with a 3.0A power supply and you can switch 4 of the 10 ports off. I only run them as a 6 port hub and again found them very stable

        http://www.jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=XC4946&w=10+port+hub&form=KEYWORD

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  3. Hi. If you have a look at the first gauge (left) on the top row of my setup (Cockpit link above) you will see that there are two red lights active in that gauge. These indicate if VOR 1 or VOR 2 have signal. If signal is obtained, then a green light above them comes on and the red light goes grey. The red or green lights are bit maps that are displayed or not displayed based on a BOOL command in the gauges XML file. Tom does the same thing for his new Turn Indicator gauge where it shows what lights you have on. If you don’t have battery on in the plane, then the indicators lights are all grey. I use this configuration for flaps in travel or fully extended, fuel pumps, selected tanks, carb heat, etc using the extra screen real estate you can have with the FIPs if you don’t use text to describe what the FIP buttons do.

    The touch screens are 7″ 1920×1080 HDMI screens that I purchased off eBay. In New Zealand, a lot of Photographic shops or NZ photo online stores sell them as they can also be used for hooking up to a DSLR for movie/live preview work. You just need to make sure you get the touchscreen version of the display. They are connected via HDMI to a separate graphics card than the one used to drive the main screen. The touch screen part of each display is connected to the main PC via USB. Once you configure them via their driver software, FSX should allow touch use for gauges. I manually configured the touch screen display resolution in FSX.cfg to match the one I set in the display driver (I found FSX loaded entries for the displays in FSX.cfg but not at the right resolution). I also have saved flights that I always use as when you save a flight FSX will also save the screen position of the gauges you have moved to the touch screens … in my case the Reality XP GPS and a modified TCAS gauge. That means next time I load that flight the gauges appear on the screens as I want them.

    Yes, 18 FiPs going on my setup so 12-13 will be fine. I will leave some advice on running multiple FIPs in another post. Thanks

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  4. Nice setup!! like to know more on the indicator lights in the FIP’s and what kind of touch screen is being used?
    Great to know that I can run the 12 or 13 I wants!!!

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      1. Thanks Andy for the post, It show that a lot can still be done with the FIP’s and add a bit of confort with the touch screen.
        Mario

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