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  1. #1
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    Instrument Panel That Interfaces with X-Plane and works on Linux

    Hello folks,

    This is my first post here and I hope it is in the right section. I have tried searching to no avail, maybe I am not searching for the right thing. Anywho, here is my delima:

    I have two computers. One is a Windows 7 Box with an AMD Phenom II X4 and is my main box. I would like to use this for everything controlling the sim (Graphics, input, etc.).

    The second computer I am using is an HP TC4200 Tablet computer. It only has a single core Intel running at 2.0 Ghz and is running Ubuntu 10.10. I would like only instruments to work on this computer.

    I am aware that you can set the TC4200 as the master, and then the Win7 machine a slave with the forward view. However, I don't have enough hard drive space on the TC4200 to install a full X-Plane install, it is only a 60 GB HDD, the computer really doesn't perform all that well.

    Is there any software that is similar to SimAvio, that would just be a panel program for the Linux box?

    If I have to set up the Linux box up as a slave cockpit and then use the keyboard on the master to adjust the altimeter and etc. that would be sufficient.

    Again, any suggestions would be helpful and I apologize if I have completely missed a prior explanation.

    Thanks,

    Justin

    Additional Content:

    I have installed the DrawingDisabler plugin on the linux computer, but it still lags. Also when using the Linux computer as the master, the Win7 slave visuals are under the runway.
    Last edited by Justin Browning; 04-07-2011 at 11:12 PM. Reason: Added Content

  2. #2
    75+ Posting Member HansJansen's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Panel That Interfaces with X-Plane and works on Linux

    Hi Justin,

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Browning View Post
    I am aware that you can set the TC4200 as the master, and then the Win7 machine a slave with the forward view. However, I don't have enough hard drive space on the TC4200 to install a full X-Plane install, it is only a 60 GB HDD, ...
    That in itself should not be the problem! On the "master" computer you do not need to install ANY scenery; just the program and its auxiliary files. That amounts to ca. 3 GB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Browning View Post
    ... the computer really doesn't perform all that well.
    If there is no scenery (and you get rid of the outside view) the master should be performing reasonably well even if it is a slower computer; I use a 2.4GHz Pentium-4 with Ubuntu 10.10 and get about 80 - 120 FPS with the instrument panel alone. I have set the "outside view" to straight up with the narrowest field-of-view (15degr), so it never has to display anything else than blue sky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Browning View Post
    Also when using the Linux computer as the master, the Win7 slave visuals are under the runway.
    Here you should ensure that both systems have the same settings for X-Plane (apart from the scenery and views, obviously). In particular, things like "follow runway contours" should be the same on both!

    Hope this helps. Regards,
    Hans

  3. #3
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    Re: Instrument Panel That Interfaces with X-Plane and works on Linux

    There is (was) a project called OpenGC that builds standalone displays for glass cockpits.

    It works with MS, X-plane and FlightGear. You can find both binaries and source code on the source forge website. It runs with MS and Linux platforms. IIRC it also has a FSUIPC interface.

    Unfortunately, the author has moved on from his graduate work at CMU to a real job a few years back but it is still all there. Since it is running as a "pure" program without all the overhead of a flight simulation ( FDM, visuals, etc) your linux box is more than capable.

    Depending on your requirements, might require some programming skills to get it running on your machine. I provided some code for the project several years back, so if you want to pursue that option and have questions, fire away...


    castle

  4. #4
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    Re: Instrument Panel That Interfaces with X-Plane and works on Linux

    HansJansen and castle,

    Thank you for your input. I have decided to use the Linux box as the Slave (which is unfortunate, as it should never be second to Windows) and only display the panel in full screen. I can't click on the instruments, but some keyboard shortcuts on the master will be sufficient. As I am building a small GA pit there won't be that many. Also, I can't seem to figure out what keys to assign for the ignition switch, more specifically, just using two keys to advance it left or right. Is that possible, or will I need 5 keys to mimic the real life switch positions?

  5. #5
    75+ Posting Member HansJansen's Avatar
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    Re: Instrument Panel That Interfaces with X-Plane and works on Linux

    Justin,

    X-Plane does not model the GA starter switch as such. You should switch on the two magnetos for the engine (separate or together, depending on how realistic you want to simulate) and then set and hold the starter for a while.
    You can do this in one action when you assign a key to starters/engage_start_run (hold for the engine to catch on), and another to starters/shut_down.

    Instead of a key, you could use buttons (or a toggle switch) on your yoke, if you have one.

    Good luck!
    Hans

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