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Thread: FreeFD

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    75+ Posting Member jongas's Avatar
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    FreeFD

    Good evening all,

    My build is progressing really well and I am at a stage where I want to get some use out of it whilst I carry on building.

    I have been using a copy of FreeFD I have here (using with FSX I should add) however I am having a couple of problems I wondered if anyone can help with.

    Now I am aware that this software is no longer supported and has 'morphed' into the Ellie package, however I want to have the use of my pit whilst I complete it and scrape together the pennies needed to by my full time software (still undecided but leaning more towards S-A with every update).

    The problem is I have a FMC programme that I downloaded with FreeFD which was very much in beta testing when the project was stopped by the creator. I cannot get the FMC to work as everytime I load I get a aircraft.cfg error and all functionality is lost.

    I have tried undocking the FSX (or PIC) screens which is fine, but when I am running multi displays over a network it is not much use to me.

    As you can prob guess the issue is I have no route on my ND to follow - flying with the charts is fun but I do miss my little magenta line!!!!

    Does anyone know a fix or know if you can link the FreeFD ND in with other software (VASFMC is the only possibility that springs to mind) ???

    Thanks

    Jon

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  3. #2
    75+ Posting Member TasKiNG's Avatar
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    Jon,

    Have you tried the P8R package. It works great with the FreeFD EADI. It is also pretty easy to update with AIRAC.

    Download here http://members.quicknet.nl/scumari/fmc/

    FMC instructions Here :- http://members.home.nl/rkruijer/FMC.htm

    Heres my setup with FreeFD EADI and P8R FMC, EICAS & ND:-



    The P8R FMC and EFIS uses the mouse for input but if you want to use keypresses then check out AutoHotKey Here:- http://www.autohotkey.com/

    Hope this helps

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    75+ Posting Member jongas's Avatar
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    Thanks,

    I think I gave that a quick go (and quickly gave up I must admit!)

    Am I right in thinking you have to open things in an order for it to work (EFIS, FMC etc etc)

    I recall opening the EFIS and not being able to move or close it !!!

    I really just want to use an FMC and poss the ND if you cannot link in with the FreeFD ND

    Does this sound familiar or any pointers - I admit I was frustrated at spending all Saturday playing around with displays and did not really give it a fair crack of the whip.

    Thanks again,

    Jon

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    75+ Posting Member TasKiNG's Avatar
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    I've had no problems with the order in which I load them.
    You do need to have at least the EFIS, FMC and ND running though for them to function.
    Really worth giving this another go as its a great package with a very good and functional FMC.
    I use it with my learjet45 sim and it works perfectly with the Autopilot system to control the aircraft along the programmed route.

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    75+ Posting Member jongas's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave - I will be sure to give it another go this weekend!

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    Mycockpit.org Question

    Hello Dave, Jon,

    I am new to this forum (just registered today) but your post about FreeFD caught my eye so I would like to ask a few questions.

    Firstly I've been doing a lot of research trying to decide what will be the best software and hardware solutions for the 737-800 cockpit I would like to build. Here are my questions.

    1. I have a copy of Free FD that I downloaded about 6 months ago but have not used it yet. You mentioned the "Ellie" package. What is that?

    2. What is S-A? Is it a Glass cockpit software package?

    3. I downloaded vasFMC and am testing it out on a add-on A320. Is it a good enough package to use exclusively as my Glass Cockpit software or should I consider the setup you are using combining Free FD as the PFD and P8R for everything else? I've also been looking at Flyware's software solution http://cockpitsolutions.com/flyware/ but don't know enough about it yet to know if it will work for me or if it's worth the money.

    4. If I use Phidgets modules can I build my own MCP, Nav, Com, ADF & transponder heads? I'd like to know which modules I'd need to do this. Open Cockpits has module kits for this but they seem rather complex and pricey. I'd like to be able to buy a pre-built USB Plug and play MCP and radios but they are way out of my price range.

    I will eventually be using multiple computers (which I have already collected) networked together using WideFS, FSUIPC and any other necessary software.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Fly safe and keep the dirty side down.

    Gary

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    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    Gary,

    I can answer one of those for you since I am on the Ellie Beta Team. Ellie Avionics Sysems is where the old unfinished FreeFD author migrated himself to and affiliated with a couple of other people. What he learned from cutting his teeth on the FreeFD stuff he has advanced in his new work.

    I used to use FreeFD myself in my pit for a long time and was a strong proponent of it. It was and is a good, but very unfinished, freeware project. For example I found the FreeFD EICAS a total framerate hog. The FMC was not close to complete.......... it was pre Beta, at best. And the navdata was out of date when FreeFD was new.....which was a long time ago. If you can live with what it does not do and the bugs, it is certainly servicable.

    The glass cockpit gauges offered by Ellie may look somewhat like the FreeFD stuff, but that is simply because accurate Boeing glass should look like accurate Boeing glass. What is "under the hood" is quite a bit different. And if you look closely, there are differences in the basic visual stuff too.

    One of the biggest things you'll find is the smoothness of operation on minimal hardware. These are like silk. Another is a wider range of configurable options and little "details" being accurate like the correct flight mode annunciations on the PFD and configurable angle of attack indicator. And the navdata set for the ND is upgradable from Navigraph, so the navigation can always be up to date. Lots of stuff like that. And the "price per unit of functionality" aspect seems pretty good to me too.

    You need to consider all this for yourself though.

    The main website is here:

    http://www.elliesystems.com/

    Hope this is of some help.

    best,

    ..................john
    http://www.elliesystems.com/wForums/uploads/48/EllieBetaTestTeamBanner.jpg

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    Mycockpit.org Thanks

    Hi John,

    Thanks very much for your help and the link and info about Ellie. I visited the website and I am very impressed with their package. For $170.00 you get a great set of glass displays that, like you said, very accurately depict the Boeing glass. To me they look as good as Project Magenta but for a lot less money.

    Ellie will be on my wish list for sure.

    -Gary

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    75+ Posting Member jongas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 738Driver View Post
    Hi John,

    Thanks very much for your help and the link and info about Ellie. I visited the website and I am very impressed with their package. For $170.00 you get a great set of glass displays that, like you said, very accurately depict the Boeing glass. To me they look as good as Project Magenta but for a lot less money.

    Ellie will be on my wish list for sure.

    -Gary
    Hi Gary,

    To answer your other questions,

    S-A is Sim Avionics, a very detailed Glass Cockpit and logic programme (allowing all your lights and switches to 'talk' and work with FS)

    This was designed for 777 and does have a 737 version which is still catching up with the level of functionality on the 777.

    Website http://www.sim-avionics.com/index.asp

    Flight Deck Software is also a glaas cockpit and logic system based purely on the 737. This is slightly more $$ than S-A when you add in the logic software however it does give near 100% functionality

    Website http://www.flightdecksoftware.com

    Both have a demo that you can run - would suggest if you are planning to build (or eventually expand) with full functionality then these 2 are viable cost saving alternatives to Project Magenta - but of course you do get a lot more with PM for that high cost.

    Ellie and Fsxpand (flyware) are good glass cockpits put do not appear to be at the stage of including an FMC (which you will need like me to give that magenta course line!), nor the software to give full functionality of every switch and lamp working - you will be limited to the FSUPIC offsets.

    Both have all the major bits and pieces in the pipeline and I am sure will be at least a match for S-A & FDS

    For the panel construction, yes Phidgets should work ( I have a LED64 board for my MIP annunciators) and they do seem to be popular.

    I am going to invest in an opencockpits MCP (plug and play) I have heard that the build yourself versions with the SIOC cards are not as hard to get to grips with as you first think - and remember you have a massive bank of experience here that is always willing to help out !!!!

    Good luck, anything else just shout - I'm not that much further ahead in the process than you it would seem, so I have a lot of reseach knocking around fresh in my mind!!

    Hope this helps

    Jon

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    500+ This must be a daytime job JBaymore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jongas View Post
    Ellie and Fsxpand (flyware) are good glass cockpits put do not appear to be at the stage of including an FMC (which you will need like me to give that magenta course line!), nor the software to give full functionality of every switch and lamp working - you will be limited to the FSUPIC offsets.
    Actually, with the Ellie ND all you need is a flight planner that can output a plan in Sqawkbox 2 format and place it in the ND main directory with the filename "flightplan.sbp". You'll get that famous "Magenta Line" on the Ellie ND with all the waypoints listed, and time to waypoints, and so on. .
    You can step through the plan from waypoint to waypoint on the ND when looking at it in the appropriate mode. When you tune the ILS, you'll see the runway extended lines for the frequency dialed in the Nav radio. And so on.

    I use FlightSimCommander for flightplanning on a separate machine sending saved files across the network to the ND machine to do this.

    The EICAS is next on the Ellie release list... and from discussions we've had it looks like it will have some pretty interesting features...... not totally "plain vanilla". (Hope I can safely "drop a hint" here that discussion has gone on about correct modeling of brake temperature changes and all the variables involved in that seemingly simple issue.) It is in early Beta now.

    And the FMC is also being worked on, as is the Instructor Station.

    best,

    .......................john
    http://www.elliesystems.com/wForums/uploads/48/EllieBetaTestTeamBanner.jpg

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