320: SPAD.neXt with FIP Support Released

SPAD.neXt (Saitek Panel Advanced Drivers neXt Generation) by Ulrich Strauss is a replacement driver for Saitek’s Flight Simulation Panels.   The just released version 0.8 now provides full support to Saitek’s Flight Instrument Panels as well.

HDCMPIndeed, the recent drivers from Saitek have brought improvements over older versions.  That’s no doubt about it.  But they are still lack of flexibility and configurability.   Especially, the company’s FIP driver still only support a subset of the simulation variables.  This has caused incompatibility issue among those 3rd-party aircrafts which use the simulation variables extensively in their designs.

The using of LVARs on the RPM gauges on the A2A’s C172 Trainer is a typical example.  My refund of the aircraft as mentioned in my Post 214 was due to that reason.   Now, Ulrich’s SPAD.neXt has provided a bridge for an adequate solution.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working with Ulrich in his beta versions.   My existing C172 gauges have all been tuned accordingly to be fully compatible with SPAD.neXt as well.

I am currently working on a new installer for my C172 gauges.   Links to updates will be sent to users in a couple of weeks.

There are two things to be noted, however.

One  —  All my previous and current gauges under development (such as the B58 and A36) for FIPs are based on the default aircrafts coming with the simulator.   In other words, my current C172’s RPM gauge still require some script modifications in order to be used with the A2A’s C172 Trainer correctly.   Adjustments will be provided separately once available.

This approach will be true for all my future gauges — to be compatible with the default Saitek driver as well as the SPAD.neXt first.  Then provide adjustments to specific 3rd-party aircrafts, if necessary.   Afterall, not every 3rd-party aircarft is designed to use the full set of simulation variables.

Two  —  As the name of the SPAD.neXt suggests, it is in some ways targeting advanced users by design.   There are plenty of settings to do.   If the current Saitek drivers already satisfy your needs, my suggestion is to stick with what you have.   I, for instance, are still running my gauges under the Saitek drivers most of the time.   They are still working happily as usual.

Truly, SPAD.neXt is a dynamically developing product which brings enormous flexibility and possibility.  No doubt it will get better and better.

Forget to mention that SPAD.neXt requires a 64-bit Windows environment.




14 thoughts on “320: SPAD.neXt with FIP Support Released

  1. Hi Tom,

    Did you notice some improvement regarding the stutters by using the new SpadNext?
    I don’t use my Fips since P3D2.5 was out because of the stutters….It’s really bad, I even think to take them out from my cockpit and replace them with an Ipad…


    1. That’s strange. I found FIP running better since 2.5. If you are using the old Saitek driver, worth a try the new one before moving to Spadnext. Frankly, don’t see much difference.


  2. Thanks so much Tom, for working with Ulrich on compatibility. As a result of a case of death in the family, I didn’t find time to enjoy your effort yet, but hope to be able soon. Looking forward to A2A support, last I tried at least basic Trainer functionality seems to work with your C172 integrated payare set (with the Saitek drivers). Might be great to be able to manage the fuel pump/primer and the like via FIPs buttons, though.

    Kind regards, Michael


    1. Hi Michael,
      Sorry to hear about the lost of your family member.
      Yes, my gauges are in general compatible with A2A’s C172, except that a few features need the LVAR implementation via SPAD.neXt. I will re-purchase the airplane later so as to bridge the missing gaps.
      Regarding the buttons on FIPs, they could be directly configured in SPAD.neXt. So the fuel pump/primer shouldn’t be an issue.
      Best wishes to you and your family.


  3. Hi Tom, thanks for that info. I’m very tempted to try the new SPAD driver. I’ve had no luck getting my Saitek panels to work ever since I changed from FSX to P3d (first V2.4 then Ver3). I tried all the suggestions I read on various sites which involved copying and pasting various files and folders and inserting new entries, but all to no avail. I’m not particularly skilled at that sort of thing and I wish someone could develop a Saitek driver installer for P3d which worked straight up without the need to jump through additional hoops. I’ve got 8 Saitek FIPs and 3 other panels gathering dust. However, I’m tempted to give it another go after reading your post. I’d love to know why the Saitek P3d drivers simply don’t work for many people without a lot of extra fiddling around. I’d greatly appreciate any suggestion because one day I’d like to use your excellent custom gauges. Regards, Mike


    1. Hi Michael,
      Actually the Saitek drivers are both good for FSX and P3D. I don’t see any different from them.
      The two current drivers are: ProFlight_FSX_Plugin_7_0_47_1_x64_Software.exe and Pro_Flight_Instrument_Panel_7_0_47_1_x64_Drivers.exe
      Have you checked your Prepa3D.cfg folder, in which the exe.XML and DLL.XML have to be created by yourself ? The exe.XML is where the SaiFlightSimX.exe is installed. And the DLL.XML gets the FSUIPC 4.
      Without these two files, Saitek’s FIPs and Panels won’t work.


      1. Does this driver work with FS9? I have some older computers (servers that I inherited from work) so I mostly fly FS9 for the smoothness and frames. Any thoughts?


      2. Hi Tom,
        Yes, I suspected that my problem is that I probably haven’t created and placed those 2 files correctly in the right folders. I was hoping this would happen through the installer but I now realise it needs to be done manually prior to running an installer. Is there a relatively easy and simple to understand step by step instruction you could refer me to in order to ge these files in the right places for P3d V3? I would be absolutely over the moon for any assistance to enable my Saitek panels to work again.


      3. Hi Mike,
        You can copy the DLL.XML and exe.XML from your FSX.cfg folder to Prepar3D.cfg folder. Then, edit the contents inside these two files accordingly. That’s the quickest solution I can think of.


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