473: Running X-Plane FIP Gauges alongside SPAD.neXt


It is commonly known that SPAD.neXt and Saitek/Logitech drivers cannot be run simultaneoulsy; otherwise conflicts will occur.
Here’s how to avoid the conflict when running the new X-Plane FIP Gauges (using Saitek/Logitech drivers) together with SPAD.neXt; as the development of my earlier X-Plane gauges designed for SPAD.neXt has come to a stop for the moment.

Step 1
Install the Saitek/Logitech FIP drivers (if they have been removed from the computer) — it is necessary for the Windows OS to recognize the hardware.

You could download the Flight Instrument Panel Drivers from Logitech’s support web page here.   Or if you have the older version 7 on hand, it works fine as well.

Step 2
Follow the instructions in Post 471 to install the X-Plane Plug-in.

Step 3
After restarting the computer, right-click on the Windows Menu bar at the bottom to call up “Task ManagerContinue reading

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344: Don’t Go Changing, to Try Reverse Me

TechLevel02W
As mentioned in my last post, although Jack’s suggestion of reversing the order of the gauges in the SaiFlightSimX.xml list renders a more intuitive and logical user-button reaction, the “solution” still isn’t perfect.   Because the opposite associations of the “Up Button – Down on the List” and “Down Button – Up on the List” or vice versa basically have not changed.

Thanks to Alexey, who is the author of FIP Toolkit & FIP Customizer, I am now able to swap the functions of the Up/Down button “physically”.   Meaning that when I press the “Up Button” on the FIP, it really means “Going Up” the gauge in the SaiFlightSimX.xml list, and when I press the “Down Button“, it really means “Going Down” the list.

Alexey said that the two buttons cannot be reprogrammed because they are not handled by the device’s SDK.   However, we could swap the button masks of these two buttons to achieve the same result.

Followings are the steps.   NOTE that you are highly advised to make a system backup before you proceed. Continue reading

317: Starting Up Networked FIPs Locally

TechLevel02W
Putting FIPs on a networked PC
could reserve system resources for the simulator but the FIPs on the remote computer have to be started manually.

Stefano Cancelli in the Comment section of the story provides a solution by using a Microsoft utility called PSExec.    Via PSExec, the FIPs on the networked PC can now start up automatically when FSX on the local computer launches, and quits when FSX exits.

Very useful tips and followings are the instruction from Stef: Continue reading

314: Connecting FIPs on Networked PC

TechLevel02W
Running Flight Instrument Panels (FIPs) will drag the performance of the simulator to some extent.   To minimize the impacts on some not so high-end PCs, off-loading them to a spare computer isn’t a bad idea.

FIP B_Gauges
Off-loading FIPs to Another Computer Could Minimize Performance Hit to the System.

To those who are “network-phobia”, here’s an example how I put the FIPs (with some help from Ricardo in the first place) to work on a spare computer in my family network. Continue reading

252: My Cockpit View 2014 Update Part 2

TechLevel02W
Although my cockpit display has already reached the widest possible angle from the aircraft.CFG settings (InitialZoom=0.3 and WideViewAspect=False) stated in last post, I still couldn’t help asking myself in the last two months if it is possible to further widen it.  The longer I flightsim with the setting, the stronger desire I want to expand the cockpit-span angle.

No doubt,  the cockpit view (aka Normal View) from above configurations is giving quite a prominent result than the one from my previous single 30-inch monitor set up.   However, it is still comparatively narrow because the horizontal field of human eyes could reach up to 180 degrees or beyond even though the effective range is about 70 to 120 degrees.

Solution, obviously, could only be sought from changing the WideViewAspect from False to True.   And surely the prerequsite of keeping the glare-shield true to scale remains unchanged.

NormalWideCockpit-01S
The overall range of display (bottom image) has roughly improved by about 10 percent with no significant distortion towards the edges on both ends

Continue reading

251: My Cockpit View 2014 Update Part 1

TechLevel02W
With the three 27-inch monitors in place, I’ve been able to bring up a glare-shield of the Cessna 172 panel that matches the size of 41 inches (105 cm) as if in the real cockpit. To achieve the result, I set InitialZoom=0.3 in the Virtual Cockpit of the aircraft.CFG, and WideViewAspect=False in either fsx.CFG or Prepar3D.CFG.

This creates the widest scenery display in front of the wind-shield from my 8040 x 1440 monitor-combo, without the appearance of distorted scenery objects towards the edges on both ends (see image below).

Click to see full image in 1/3 of the original size
Click to see full image in 50% of the original size

Followings are the Camera Definitions for my C172:   Continue reading

201: Cessna Citation AirSpeed Update

Citation_AirSpeed_BackgroundWThis is a quick update to the Cessna Citation AirSpeed Gauge developed three months ago in April.  Digital display and needle of True AirSpeed are now added.

I am revising other existing gauges for additional features, like this True AirSpeed and Temperature, etc.   I am expecting to have them ready for download in a couple of months.

As always, non-FSX Times subscribers’ requests will be ignored.

194: An FIP Display Order Setup Guide

TechLevel02W

I keep receiving questions from friends asking why the display order of FIPs are different every time when they start up FSX.  Followings are two of the most recent examples:

I have built a Saitek cockpit with 6 FIP’s so far.  It works great until I reboot.  It seems the USB ports start in a different sequence on each boot up.

When I added additional FIPs [using a single 10 port USB hub], they no longer would come up in the SaiFlightSimX.xml order.

Evidently, Saitek’s customer support is still lousy even after the product has been marketed for many years.   Anyway, here’s the revised FIP Display Order Setup Guide based on my Posts 28: Flight Instrument Panel Tweak – Part 1 and 118: Loading FIPs in Desired Order, and many replies I gave in various Comments.

Continue reading

192: Cessna Citation AirSpeed Gauge

This new Airspeed Gauge is requested by Ray Marshall who would like to have an analog indicator that
Citation_AirSpeedWNgoes up to about 400 knots with corresponding digital display for his favorite Cessna Citation.

The bugs, supposed to be movable, are static due to inherited limitation of the FIP.  If time allows in the future, will see if they could be controlled via the two knobs of the FIP itself.   If not, will consider adding other features to go with them.

FSX Times Subscribers could ask for the download link via COMMENTS section below.Citation_AirSpeedW

In the package, an earlier version that uses a thicker needle as shown on the right is also provided.    But note that the thicker needle could block the digital display when the aircraft is running below 70 knots.

As always, requests from non-FSX Times subscribers will be ignored.