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  1. #1
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    The Mystery of the Disappearing Engine Gauges

    After many, many test flights, re-configuring the panel file, and other hair pulling events, I've finally figured out why my engine gauges are disappearing.

    As daytime changes to dusk, and then to dark, the panel lights automatically brighten. They do this on the real 727 too with the aid of the light sensors on the MIP.

    The problem starts at dusk when the panel lights pop on. That's when the engine gauges disappear. I accidentally discovered this by mis-striking the 'L' key while doing something else. Probably changing the view. The gauges were already gone and I was looking around or doing something else in that area of the keyboard. As soon as I struck the 'L' key the gauge stack reappeared.

    On a third test flight tonight from London to Birmingham the gauges disappeared yet again after eliminating the background bitmap, and after changing the background color to 0,0,0. I thought that the bitmap might have not loaded with the gauges and then all of a sudden would pop up over the entire panel.

    No, that's not the problem.

    If the panel disappears all I have to do is press the 'L' key and poof, there they are. This also turns off all external lights I have on, and screws with the FSUIPC switch programming. To turn all the external lights back on, I can use the switches, which after being actuated are now all in the off position even though the external lights are on, or I can open the overhead window screen and turn them all on with the trackball.

    Not a very attractive solution in either case.

    At least now I know the 'why'. Now I have to figure out the solution. It has something to do with gauge lighting and the way the DF727 panel is designed.

    There's always a new challenge around the corner with the 727.

    EPR bezels installed:

    Last edited by Michael Carter; 02-24-2009 at 02:17 AM. Reason: Added panel update.
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



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  2. #2
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor AndyT's Avatar
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    'L' turns on or off ALL lighting on the plane, inside and out. This includes the panel lighting. Are your gauges lit or not when you can see them?
    God's in command, I'm just the Pilot.
    http://www.geocities.com/andytulenko/

  3. #3
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know that. But I can't tell if the gauges are lit or not while it's daylight outside in the program. I have nothing to reference them to as to whether they are lit or not.

    I have never had a problem with the DF gauges I used in PS. They will get brighter as it gets darker. The engine gauges just disappear. But these are not Dreamfleet gauges.
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



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  4. #4
    Heli Builder fweinrebe's Avatar
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    Mike, ain't there a upper- and lower limit in some kind of config file that you need to set? Maybe the lower setting is so low that it appears invisible.
    Last edited by fweinrebe; 02-24-2009 at 08:01 AM. Reason: Grammar
    Fritz -> Helicopter Cockpit Builder
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  5. #5
    25+ Posting Member project 727's Avatar
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    Michael
    Are you using the Richard Probust engine gauges? If so, Richard had 2 main panels versions for the 727: First was rp727pn3.zip and then came rp727pn4.zip. I remember having to combine gauges from the two zip panels with FSPANEL STUDIO due to erratic behavior of some instruments.

    Example: I remember having to combine the ADI from the pnl3.zip with the HSI of the pnl4.zip because the ADI from pnl4 would not work well within the FSPANEL STUDIO custom panel I had built. The same problem of erratic behavior occurred with the HSI of pnl3 so I used the pnl4.zip HSI ... and so forth. (A LITTLE CONFUSING)

    The engine instruments from the pnl3.zip worked well so I never ventured to experiment with the pnl4.zip engine gauges although I admit the EPR's look more modern.

    Perhaps there is a much deeper config. conflict created by combining the DF gauges and the RP gauges with fspanel studio??? Or perhaps FSPANEL STUDIO just leaves something out?

    Also make sure you selected the correct lighting color for your gauges at night with FSPANEL STUDIO. If you have not chosen a bright yellow color for your instrument illumination at night, then when its night time in FS9 they will not light up.

    If you can't find a solution to your problem then try switching to the other RP version engine gauges or go DF all the way (or RP all the way). There is very little difference between them (in my opinion) and they all look good when stretched to real life scale (1/1)

    Good Luck
    Joe Maldonado
    PROJECT 727
    www.xsn.net/project727
    PRESERVING THE ELEGANCE AND
    TIMELESS DESIGN OF THE
    BOEING 727

  6. #6
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Yes, these are the RP engine gauges. The file is rp727_2.gau. from his updated FS2004 version.

    I like these gauges because the EPR display has the rolling dial. Setting power is more precise.


    The DF gauges can't be used (at least by me) as they seem to be hard coded into one panel and cannot be moved, placed, or positioned individually. In addition, the entire engine stack cannot be re-sized in the vertical. Someone I'm sure has the knowledge and experience to figure out the DF panel, but that's not me. I'm lucky to have gotten as far as I did with the RP gauges.

    It must have something to do with lighting textures as you indicated. When it gets dark the DF tries to automatically switch to another illuminated panel that isn't there. When I opened the DF engine panel, I could see two panels in that file one above the other. One lighted, the other not. This is why the panel cannot be manipulated.

    If I can figure out a way to keep the DF from trying to switch panel, or fool with the rp gauges in PS, I might figure this out.

    At least I know what's wrong now.
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



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  7. #7
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Fixed this morning. Just needed to add night lighting effects in Panel Studio.

    After a month or so of fooling with this engine panel, I think it's finally finished.
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



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  8. #8
    150+ Forum Groupie Tony Hill's Avatar
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    Congrats Michael,

    she sure is looking sweet!




    .
    "Tony"

    In memory of Flt Lt Tony Hill who, on 5 December 1941, at the request of Doctor R V Jones, successfully photographed a small "Würzburg radar" at Bruneval on the French coast. This from a height of only 200 ft, at high speed, under fire and from a camera mounted obliquely behind the cockpit.

  9. Thanks Michael Carter thanked for this post
  10. #9
    25+ Posting Member project 727's Avatar
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    Glad to see it was a "Quick Fix"!
    As I'm sure you would Agree, We don't get the luxury of seeing to many of those while building a Boeing 727 Flight Simulator!!!

    Joe Maldonado
    PROJECT 727
    www.xsn.net/project727
    PRESERVING THE ELEGANCE AND
    TIMELESS DESIGN OF THE
    BOEING 727

  11. #10
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    No, we don't. It's a rare treat when there's a quick solution to anything.
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



    Powered by FS9 & BOEING

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