Stefano Cancelli in Canada recently reported to me that the Saitek Pro Flight Radio Panel, Multi Panel and Switch Panel actually can be run on a networked computer, exactly like what the Flight Instrument Panel (FIP) does.
“I discovered it quite by accident.”
Stef said he was not aware that the panels were still connected to his network computer after reverting SPAD.neXt to Saitek drivers due to some issues. When he started a flight, he then realized that the networked panels were all working perfectly controlling radios, auto pilot, switches, and everything on the main fsx computer.
“This was a big surprise to me since I do not believe it is ever mentioned in Saitek’s documentation,” he said.
Stef came to me and ask me if I could help confirm his finding.
He said he had uninstalled everything from his network computer and found that the Saitek_Pro_Flight_Panels_00000003_Software_pfw.exe driver is all that is required to have the Panels work from a networked PC.
Last week, I was able to borrow a brand-new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 from my son. I then followed the steps described in my “Post 314: Connecting FIPs on Networked PC” to set up the connection between the laptop and my 10 FIPs.
After the FIPs were running properly via the network, I further added the USB hub containing my three Panels to the Surface Pro.
Incredible! Both the FIPs and the three Panels work flawlessly under the same network setup. No additional adjustment is needed at all.
However, I didn’t install the driver Stef suggested. I am using the same “Pro_Flight_FSX_Plugin_7_0_50_1_x64_Software” and “Pro_Flight_Instrument_Panel_7_0_47_1_x64_Drivers” that my main computer currently uses.
“It’s a big advantage to offloading the Panel’s processing to a second computer and leave your main computer free for rendering,” said Stef.
“But I have no idea why Saitek doesn’t mention that the panels can be run in a networked configuration like the FIPS can.”
Well, don’t ask me. Isn’t that typical?