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  1. #1
    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    Is there an XML gauge programmer looking for a "project"?

    .......... that can be installed in my aircraft's panel to add an important function that is not available to me at the moment. If any of you XML gauge gurus out there have a some spare time to kill and are willing to tackle it....... I imagine that THIS project would be effective at killing some of it. I know I certainly would appreciate the efforts.

    Unfortunately I know "diddly" about XML gauge programming.....and have all my time and my hands tied up with learning all the hardware interfacing that comes with simpit building.

    The aircraft I fly (mainly) is a four engine jet....a BAe 146-200. This aircraft also has an APU that powers all the systems before engine start. That is the problematic "fifth engine" that MS FS2004 does not directly support. (Wouldn't you think that situation was common enough that THEY would have thought of it? )

    Courtesy of the very generous Martyn Becker (THANK YOU!!!! ) I now have an XML gauge setup that adds the visual exhaust plume from the APU and the APU spool up, run, and spool down sounds. I also created the APU fuel pump , starter, and generator run switches, logic, and annunciators for the overhead panel in a sort of a "hardware solution" in the pit. So now, when I flip the "APU Start" switch on the overhead after configuring the electrical power and fuel supplies correctly, I hear the APU start and if I go to the exterior view of the plane, I see the exhaust plume start up. NICE!

    At the moment in the "physical pit" (not reflected in the sim itself), I have SOME of the electrical functions of SOME of the APU generator running emulated in the physical simpit wiring. But that is a rather bogus and half-done solution to the whole problem.

    The missing thing that I REALLY need now is the ability to have an invisible gauge (no actual panel visual presence needed) that adds the actual EFFECT of the APU generator being turned on into the FS2004 sim. It needs to cause the batteries to recharge as if a main engine generator was running and to supply the appropriate amperage and voltage levels to the simulated FS2004 electrical buss.

    At the moment, I am having to use the "battery always available" dodge in order to sit at the gate and do a realistic pre-flight...... since setting up the simpit is just about as complicated as setting up a real aircraft. Takes a while.

    This "APU Electrical Supply" gauge needs to be activated by an assignable keypress, not by a mouse click on a simulated screen gauge on a LCD or CRT screen. There ARE no simulated gauges on screens to click on; all is physical 3-D "real fake" stuff.

    One other piece of information that might be helpful is that I run a registered payware version of FSUIPC. So the use of sending "keypress to offsets" is possible, if necessary.

    BTW...... I have the specs on the generator in the real BAe APU......but I'll take ANY possibility of making this work even if it is not fully "realistic" in the amps / volts and so on.

    I'd certainly appreciate it if anyone is willing to tackle this likely thorny problem. And there are many OTHER simpit builders who I am SURE would be equally appreciative. I am not even sure if it is "doable" at all.

    best,

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

  2. #2
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Microsoft might have thought of the APU, and if they did, they also probably thought that 98%+ customers never would.

    Wish I could help you and me both. My APU works fine, but I have a problem with one of the AP axes that no one can help with either. Not even the developer.
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



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  3. #3
    150+ Forum Groupie
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    Have you checked out this Bae 146 ? It has a fully working GPU .

    If you haven't seen it yet,, it could be interesting to you.

    http://www.baepanelproject.com/

  4. #4
    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reference on the BAe Panel Project. Unfortunately I am WELL aware of that panel and that site.......and have been discussing with Matthias on his forum about making the systems available "externally" to simpit builders.

    Unfortunately, he has not yet pursued any real significant hardware control options into his code.

    Otherwise that aircraft panel (the new version 4.0 one) is pretty much a "systems trainer". He's got is at about 99% accurate.

    But all those fancy systrems are only available by displaying panels on screen and by using mouse clicks. Sigh.

    best,

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

  5. #5
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    If he has only mouse clicks , not keypresses coded into his gauges,, could you not use FsPanelstudio to add some keypresses to the gauges, then use Fsuipc to bind those to real switches??

    I would have to do some checking but I thought there was a program that could turn mouse clicks to key presses,,, or was that the other way around ? " key to mouse" or something like that??

    Anyway,, I'm just thinking out loud again,, but,, you would think that there has to be a way to use a nice ,,accurate panel like that to work with a sim ??

  6. #6
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    You have it right, "Key2 Mouse" or, K2M. But it doesn't work without having the monitor on which the panel was progeammed displayed.

    This program has been around for a long time, but I dont think it was intended to be used as a lot of cockpit builders are wanting to use it. I.E., without having a monitor display of the panel you are trying to control. When this first came out, there was only a handfull of cockpit builders, and I don't thinkg anyone had a full-blown cockpit shell in their garage yet.

    What's the use of having hardware with this solution? But I digress, I've had this conversation too many times.

    A solution is to have a hidden monitor somewhere and call it up with a keystroke and displayed out of sight while flying. Another resource wasted.

    It is a great idea, and it does work, but not too realistic or resource conservative.
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



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  7. #7
    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    spitfire9,

    Thanks again for the kind thoughts.....but Key2Mouse, as "Skunkworks" says, is a VERY in-elegant and resource wasteful solution that would be very hard to implement. Plus with the Liebrecht 146-200 panel's.... you'd somehow need to keep switching monitor views of panels to make it "seamless" in the simpit; the controls are scattered around....and you'd need ALL of them accessible.

    It would get rediculously complex and "main flight sim PC" resource hungry (multiple monitors that were somewhere other than in the pit).

    I really think the simplest thing is to "build" an APU gauge to solve this 5th engine generator thing. And again... I am not even sure that CAN be done. Somehow you'd have to continuiously "override" the normal sim's battery drain without dragging the system to its knees with the data traffic.

    I'm still hoping that SOMEONE would be willing to tackle this for me (and others) as some sort of a "they said it couldn't be done" kind of challenge .

    The real problem is trying to turn a $60 piece of software into a $6,000,000 simulator! We're all crazy.

    best,

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

  8. #8
    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=spitfire9;56384]If he has only mouse clicks , not keypresses coded into his gauges,, could you not use FsPanelstudio to add some keypresses to the gauges, then use Fsuipc to bind those to real switches?/QUOTE]

    Spitfire9,

    Can FSPanel studio actually DO that for a fact?

    If so... that is the answer to most simpit builder's DREAMS!!!!!!

    That would mean that you could take ANY complex aircraft model (like the PMDG stuff) and "map" the systems to hardware switches.

    Are you SURE that function is possible?

    best,

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

  9. #9
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    I've been building simpler gauges with Easygauge. It is c++ based and only builds .GAU gauges. With this program you can't open and edit someone elses .gau file,, like you can with XML gauges using FsPanelstudio.

    With panelstudio you can open the xml gauge and change bitmaps and edit the xml code.

    Now what I'm not sure of is , at the learning stage I am at ,, is if you could "add" xml code as well as changing code values for example. I don't know if there is a way to add extra bitmaps (like a second needle) to a gauge,, unless you can add the xml code for the bitmap first ???
    What you can do for sure is for example,,take a cessna airspeed gauge,, edit or change the bitmap so it resembles a 737 airspeed indicator,, then edit the xml code so the needle travels the appropriate distance around the gauge,, then save it or place it on a dfferent or new panel .
    Really,, this program is a must have for cockpit builders.

    I am sure that Fspanel will allow for much more than simply using it to place or size your gauges and panels.

    With the importance of unique gauge building and use with homebuilt sims ,, it would be nice to have a forum here on gauge/panel building,, a place to share gauge ideas and actual gauges or project files.

    There must be some good programmers that lurk around this forum??
    It would be nice to have some resident gauge builders to put us on the right track with these types of problems.
    The uses of a gauge building program are endless,,, but in some cases a good tutorial or explanation is necessary.

    I recently used easygauge to build a invisible gauge for a Convair flap warning horn. When the gear is down and the flaps are less than 15deg. the horn will come on if over 66% of throttle lever is used.
    Something that I don't think was available or I couldn't find it.
    I've been building the gauges for the annunciator panel,, using a small lcd behind the panel. A much ,much cheaper solution than using the actual panel and wiring the bulbs etc.
    Also this way,, I can code the annunciator bulbs/gauges to act like they would in the real aircraft,, using and tweaking the Fs9 token variables.Also assigning Fs Events to the gauges (assigned keypresses).

    Here is a picture of the annunciator WIP. You will notice that I still don't have the gauges lined up properly with the panel and some gauges are still missing.But you get the idea.

    annunciator small.jpg

  10. #10
    500+ This must be a daytime job
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBaymore View Post
    That would mean that you could take ANY complex aircraft model (like the PMDG stuff) and "map" the systems to hardware switches.
    Have a look at the new "Mouse Macro" facilities in the recent FSUIPC updates (3.81 and 4.28 ) . Check the Mouse Macro section in the user guide and see if that meets such needs. You don't need the gauge on screen once you've programmed a switch. The facilities certainly work with most of the PMDG gauge switches I've tried.

    Pete

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