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Michael Carter
08-02-2007, 12:06 AM
This is a post that I made on the Dreamfleet support forum regarding the Elevator Hold switch on the Sperry SP-50 autopilot. I am trying to interface the Sperry using FSUIPC and have all of the functions working except the Elevator Hold.

The replies to my posts follows mine.

"I have my Sperry SP-50 working in FS with the exception of the elevator hold function on the paddle switch.

I have tried key assignments for the command in FS and FSUIPC and I cannot get a reaction out of the AP. If this switch is not engaged, the ALT HOLD and HDG Select will not engage (but they do work if I use the mouse to engage the ELV HOLD).

I have used FSUIPC commands as follows:

AP VS Set
AP VS Hold
AP VS Hold On
AP VS Hold Off
AP Attitude Set
AP Attitude
AP Attitude Hold On
AP Attitude Hold Off
AP Pitch Reference Select

And most of the same commands within the FS key assignment page.

Nothing will turn the Elevator Hold on. Does anyone know what the command is for the ELV HOLD? Surely there has to be an FS command to tell FS that it needs to be turned ON.

Why is the DF727 ignoring all FS key assignment commands and FSUIPC commands for this function?

THis is the reply from the support team at Dreamfleet/Flight One:

OK, I checked it and the function directly controls the elevator trim via a PID controller. The FS command is KEY_ELEVATOR_TRIM_SET though it's going to be hard to use this without additional software.


Now, I tried to use this command (ELEVATOR TRIM SET) in FSUIPC for the Sperry hardware, but there was no response from the on-screen autopilot in the simulation.

I don't think the command that I was told about is the same command in FSUIPC. If it is not, what is this PID he references and what other additional software would I need to get this command to work with a piece of external hardware?

I informed the support section that after trying to use this command in FSUIPC that I was unsuccesful, but because of the time difference between the States and the UK, I haven't received a reply yet. Not sure that I will either. Not that the support isn't great, which it is, but maybe because they may be giving out some proprietary information that they would rather not. I don't know.

I also don't know what the big secret is about not having a keystroke command for a simple autopilot function.

If anyone knows anything at all about coding, writing FS software mouse commands, or what any of the above in the response I received means, I'd sure appreciate hearing about it.

I do not want to have to use the K2M program.

sas550
08-02-2007, 04:24 AM
Have you tried the ELEVATOR_SET command?

But if there's an FS command for it I think Peter Dowson might be the right person to ask.

Michael Carter
08-02-2007, 10:25 AM
This is the reply I received from Hans, the gauge programmer:

A PID (proportional - integral - differential) controller is a kind of algorithm that is driven by an input parameter (requested pitch) to provide an output parameter (required elevator trim). The trick behind it is that it smoothes out the trim so that the aircraft keeps a stable pitch without over-/undershooting.

ELEVATOR_TRIM_SET is the correct variable but if you use it directly, you won't have the smooth-out thing. It'd make the pitch selector a simple trim switch.

And it did. When I used the command directly, the trim wheels move a tiny amount and then stopped. Just as though I was adjusting a small amount of pitch trim.

Yes, I did try anything and everything in FSUIPC that had anything to do with the elevator, pitch set, or vertical speed. None of the commands are recognized.

Because of this PID they have used, I don't know if FSUIPC will be able to control this command unless Dreamfleet can come up with a work-around or write some kind of code or script that will replace the PID. I don't know why the guys at DF have made this so complicated. It's a simple control surface command. "Hold the elevator where I put it until I say otherwise" What is so difficult about that?

JBaymore
08-02-2007, 11:34 AM
What is the exact function on the real aircraft? Maybe the "complicated" approah is what the real one does?

best,

..............john

zenandzen
08-18-2007, 02:26 AM
I may not have a handle on the problem you're having but i did think of something you could try.

Voice recognition software.

I tried Dragon speaking ... & had a funny time teaching it how i speak ,years ago & i'm sure it's a lot more accurate these days, but from what i remember you can assign any noise you make through the mic to any key /mouse combination.

Voice buddy is ,as far as i know (never used it) is a bit like telling the co-pilot to carry out a command (again nearly any key/mouse operation).

Just putting it out there for you to consider other ways getting around your problem.

AND of course if i'm wrong ......OOOOPS
Cheers
Gerry

AndyT
08-18-2007, 02:47 AM
One that I did not see you try is;
Altitude Hold.
Just maybe?

Michael Carter
08-18-2007, 10:47 AM
Altitude Hold is a separate function of the autopilot and is working fine.

The exact function on the Sperry SP-50 is ELV HOLD. That command is not recognized nor are any related commands through any means I've tried.

In order to use the AP in manual mode, the AIL HOLD must first be engaged before ELV HOLD. AIL HOLD works fine. Once AIL HOLD and ELV HOLD are engaged, Altitude Hold may be engaged after you level off.

HDG SEL, NAV/LOC, AUTO G/S, all work too. So does the big trim knob.

I was told at the DF support forums that ELV HOLD is not modeled in FS. That's a crock of BS and they know it. Elevator hold would be akin to a vertical speed mode or a pitch (attitude) hold.

The same commands are in the FS key assignment page along with FSUIPC. I don't know what they coded into the flight model autopilot to keep it from recognizing a simple and basic command when it is available in FS. Especially when everything else is programmable and working correctly. They can call the command whatever they wish and say it isn't available, but one of the FS commands for attitude hold or pitch hold is being used and access to this command is not provided.

DF has really pissed me off with this problem and have not offered any solutions after saying that it can be overcome with the "right software" but are not saying what that is.

I might have to give some thought to the voice activation. Mounting a small micro eletret microphone near the mechanism might work if I can get enough gain out of it.

Trevor Hale
08-18-2007, 11:04 AM
DF has really pissed me off with this problem and have not offered any solutions after saying that it can be overcome with the "right software" but are not saying what that is.

Hey buddy, I feel your pain. Good luck with that.

This issue you talk about is only one of the problems your going to have. Phoenix Simulation software did the same thing with the Airbus. in a small example the Landing light switch would turn my landing lights on with the mouse, but if I used the keyboard command they would flick on and off again.

Your using a 60 dollar software to build a simulator. Your bound to run into things like this. Thats why Project Magenta can charge more for their software because they make it so we can interface to it. DF Did not decide to take the high road to piss of Sim builders, they took the easy route because it is 60 dollar software.

I wish you all the best in getting them to help you, but I would bet Lou, and Hans and the rest of the Team will tell you just what I did above. It sucks, but all Aircraft/gauge programmers seem to do the same thing.

It just the way it is unfortunately.

Trev

AndyT
08-18-2007, 05:06 PM
Try this,

Get a key grabber. Its a peice of software that records every key stroke made on your computer. Fire up the sim and click the offending AP switch. Close the sim and see what key was registered.

Michael Carter
08-19-2007, 12:08 AM
I'll look into that.

Trevor, DF hasn't PO'ed me because of the way they code their software. They PO'ed me because they said there is a way to fix this with software but won't tell me what it is.

I don't think they were subtley refering to PM.