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Thread: Panel making

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    Panel making

    Hi All

    I have been playing SimPlugins and like it and even more there new add on that's coming soon EFIS style Instruments, but I was wondering if anyone else is using this software if so whats there config for what plane, or would like to create an area to help people on there panel for look and Instruments?

    Let me know

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    Re: Panel making

    I'm thinking of buying the Simkits software. Is it wasy to set up and use? I intend running it on a spare Pc over my network.

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    Re: Panel making

    I ran Panel Builder briefly. I generally liked it, but it was inflexible and the authors were against me trying to modify or create my own instruments and even threatened me with legal action if I tried. I switched to Air Manager which is a better product in my opinion. They give you the ability to modify any instrument or create your own from cloned instruments or from scratch. Air Manager has the greatest potential out of all the payware panels. It's pretty slick.

    One thing about Panel Builder that I didn't like was that each instrument required its own network port, and it modifies your firewall to allow the traffic. I'm not exactly sure how Air Manager does it, but it feels cleaner than what Panel Builder does. Also Panel Builder's instruments were cartoonish feeling to me. Air Manager uses alpha channel PNG files for all of the graphics. An instrument is created by combing multiple layers of PNG files together. For example, my directional gyro instrument that I created was made from 4 different images. The first layer is my compass card which rotations about the center of the image. The next layer is the heading bug layer which also rotates about the center of the image. The final layer is a static image with the non-moving markings and the little airplane and the outer ring of the instrument. These 4 images get rendered on top of each other and the two bottom layers get rotated based on the value of the directional compass and the hading bug values in the simulator. I used the freeware Skinman tool to create the layer images. The LUA script that makes the instrument work is only a few lines of code, and all I really had to do was borrow the script from the C152 directional gyro and add the code for the heading bug following their example. It was easy. Took me about 4 hours to create the graphics and about 15 minutes to get the LUA script right. I know have a C172R direction gyro that is more accurate to the real thing than any other software panels out there.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Panel making

    Hey Guys, I'm new to the panel making thing. I've looked at both Panel Builder and SimAvio, both use a microsoft platform. Is there anything out there that can be supported by Mac iOS?

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    Re: Panel making

    Air Manager works on MacOS. And they just announced yesterday that they are coming to iOS (ipad).

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    Re: Panel making

    Hmmm, food for thought then. Does Air Manager come with pre-made instruments? I'm one of those people that doesnt have a lot of time to dedicate to putting things together, but am at the moment planning if, how and when I can start building an instrument panel using a screen behind a mask for the instruments, and arduino with rotaries/pushbuttons to slowly replace my Saitek stuff. Though I suspect this is gonna be a longterm undertaking for me.

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    Re: Panel making

    It does indeed come with pre-made instruments. They are adding more all the time. You can see what they currently have available here:

    http://www.airrietveld.nl/index.php/...er/instruments

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    Re: Panel making

    I'm using sim Avio, it's great but a steep learning curve if you have no scripting experience. Instrument builder seems expensive but it comes with literally hundreds of instruments.image.jpg
    simavios support is also very good the guys working there obviously all are enthusiasts as well as professionals