306: The New Saitek Drivers – Part 2: SaiFlightFip.xml

The ability of starting up multiple FIPs in specific order everytime has been a feature requested by almost all FIP users for a long long time.   Saitek has finally implemented it onto its new drivers.   However, this feature may need another tweak in order to function.

After the installation of the new drivers, a file called “SaiFlightFip.xml” containing the current setup information of the FIPs and the gauges should be created accordingly.

Via this “SaiFlightFip.xml”, the start-up order of the multiple gauges can be specified as desired.

The file is supposed to be stored under:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Saitek\ProFlight FSX Plugin” on Windows 7 system;  or

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Saitek\ProFlight FSX Plugin”  on Windows 10.

EDIT: Note that there are many people reporting the file’s location on their Windows 10 systems is the same as the one I mentioned for Windows 7.   It’s also true on my system now.   However, I had no idea how and when it was changed.

However, on my Windows 7 computers (not one but two), the installer fails to create it. (See Edit 3 below)   On the contrary, I don’t have problem locating the file on my Windows 10 computer.

Surely, the FIPs can still function properly even without this “SaiFlightFip.xml” in place.

To make use of the driver’s start-up ordering function, I’ll have to copy the file from my Windows 10 system to the Windows 7 computer since the gauges being used are the same.   I can also create a new “SaiFlightFip.xml” myself using the format below:

<FipList>
<Fip Serial=”MZ303E4DA2″ Name=”C172 Heading Indicator + RPM”/>
<Fip Serial=”MZ514660F2″ Name=”C172_Attitude Indicator + Announciator”/>
<Fip Serial=”MZ910A9F0C” Name=”C172 Turn Indicator + Clock”/>
<Fip Serial=”SZ00002027″ Name=”C172 VOR2 Indicator”/>
<Fip Serial=”SZ00002424″ Name=”C172 VOR1 Indicator”/>
<Fip Serial=”SZ00016058″ Name=”C172_Vertical Speed Indicator + ADF”/>
<Fip Serial=”SZ00016097″ Name=”C172 Airspeed Gauge”/>
<Fip Serial=”SZ00017115″ Name=”C172 Altimeter + VOR”/>
<Fip Serial=”SZ00017429″ Name=”C172 Integrated Fuel Gauges”/>
</FipList>

Do note that the Name=” “ shown above must match the Gauge Name in the gauge’s xml file.  In addition, the file must also be edited again to reflect the change if any gauge is added or removed from the “SaiFlightSimX.xml”.    Otherwise, the FIP will not display anything on it.

Oddly, I once removed the “SaiFLightFip.xml” from my Windows 10 system, a new one was generated again automatically.   However, the same thing doesn’t happen when I test to verify this function again earlier today.  (Edit 1: It works again.)

Anyway, make backups regularly.   It will save you from troubles.

No doubt, Saitek’s new ProFlight driver is something too good to ignore.   It packs all the previous product-dependent drivers into two new installers, it introduces some features that was only available via SPAD, and most importantly, it realizes the request of starting up the FIPs in specific order a reality.

Sadly, the lack of supporting documents and instructions and unstable driver installation have lowered one of my thumbs given to the company.

Edit 2:
Worth a note from Michael’s comment: “I was puzzled as on first start only the Saitek slide show was presented on all FIPs and I thought something went wrong – until I detected I just had to press the buttons to switch gauges (which are kept in order on later startups).”  It might help.

Edit 3:
Also note the comment from Jack: Discovered a little more on the SaiFlightFip.xml for Windows 7. It’s not necessary to manually create one in C:\Program Files (x86) as you suggested above. As soon as you select a gauge with the scroll button (as Michael pointed out starts out as slide show, THANKS), it is automatically created in C:\Users\\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Saitek\ProFlight FSX Plugin\

It automatically updates by itself when you switch a gauge.

 

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11 thoughts on “306: The New Saitek Drivers – Part 2: SaiFlightFip.xml

  1. Hi Tom,
    Discovered a little more on the SaiFlightFip.xml for Windows 7. It’s not necessary to manually create one in C:\Program Files (x86) as you suggested above. As soon as you select a gauge with the scroll button (as Michael pointed out starts out as slide show, THANKS), it is automatically created in C:\Users\\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Saitek\ProFlight FSX Plugin\

    It automatically updates by itself when you switch a gauge.

    Curious what driver your using for the Multi/Switch/Radio panels and BIP.

    THANKS, Jack

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    1. Thanks Jack.
      Have put your info to the end of the story as well. Strangely I found the SaiFlightFip.xml on my DirectOutput folder instead.
      I am using Saitek’s driver for Multi/Switch/Radio panels.
      Tom

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    2. I am using SPAD.neXt (http://www.fsgs.com/) for Multi/Switch/Radio (can handle BIP as well which I don’t own). The registered/paid version can run networked using SImconnect, and I try to offload as much as I can from the main machine. It works pretty well, the Avionics button switches the Radios on/off and the Master switches Tom’s gauges dark/light. SPAD.neXt is highly configurable (way beyond what I grasp) and is going to support FIPs in the future, too. Unfortunately, proper documentation is still missing, I contributed a Quickstart, which, however, is just that, a quick start and not more.

      Kind regards, Michael

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      1. Thanks Michael.
        Actually the new Saitek driver now offers similarly function of switching on/off the avionics as SPAD or SPAD.neXt does. Surely, SPAD.neXt does offer a lot more than that.

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  2. I just saw this and tried it…

    EDIT: Worth a note from Michael’s comment: “I was puzzled as on first start only the Saitek slide show was presented on all FIPs and I thought something went wrong – until I detected I just had to press the buttons to switch gauges (which are kept in order on later startups).” It might help.

    Now your gauges, my gauges, and everybody else’s gauges work. Glad I saw that. I even created a SaiFlightFip.xml for each configuration (Cessna, Baron, etc.) and for some reason only the default Saitek gauges pop up.

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  3. I installed the new Saitek drivers and had to manually create a SaiFlightFip.xml (Windows 7 Ultimate x64) and the 12 Saitek default gauges pop up in order just fine. The problem I’m having is getting your paid Cessna gauges to work. Can’t get any other 3rd party gauges to work either. These all worked with the 7.0.39.0 driver just fine. I carefully compared everything and can’t figure it out. Beginning to wonder if the .BMP’s are different in the new gauges or something. HELP!

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  4. I actually use a much easier method that I figured out. I just watched for the monitors to see the boot order when the PC boots each time. The order of boot to each fip is always the same, obviously. So, I just decided which gauge I wanted in order of boot. If I want my artificial horizon in the first fip, but it shows in the third fip, I just took out the screws from the mount and moved the fip to that position. Same for the rest. Now the fips show up where I want them every time.

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    1. Thanks Rick. Yes, I did the same in the past. The start up order just mixes up after you quit FSX and rerun the simulator without unplugging the FIPs.
      As described in my previous post, as long as you plug in the FIPs after FSX is loaded, the same order can be kept.
      The new driver eliminates this step. It keeps the FIPs in the same order. Really a step forward.

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  5. So that SaiFlightFip.xml file was created because I am under Win 10 (on both machines). Fine. BTW I was puzzled as on first start only the Saitek slide show was presented on all FIPs and I thought something went wrong – until I detected I just had to press the buttons to switch gauges (which are kept in order on later startups).

    Documentation is indeed badly missing. After downloading the drivers I made a search for their recent FIPs documentation only to find it’s from 2009(!). Anyway I agree, the new drivers are certainly a step into the proper direction.

    Kind regards, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michael. “Pressing the buttons on the FIPs to switch gauges” may be a key as well. How smart it is! ;)
      Frankly, I still haven’t figured out all the patterns from the new drivers yet.

      Like

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