Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    25+ Posting Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    25
    Contribute If you enjoy reading the
    content here, click the below
    image to support MyCockpit site.
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    Project Magenta, Sim Avionics, ProSim 737

    Once again showing my ignorance, I need to ask about these products. Their websites tend to define them in terms of what they do and what they're compatible with, but don't say much what they actually are.

    I perceive software-only that models some aircraft functions, emphasizing the components of the EFIS systems and auto pilot. Some model other systems also, but it looks like you still need another base aircraft model (iFly, PMDG, whatever) to get the flight model, exterior model, sound and things like that. Is this anywhere near reality?

    Are all three parallel products, meaning that if you choose one, you have no need of the other two?

    Are any of them applicable in any way at all to doing a 737-300? (The Wilco 737 PIC has its own very nice expandable/sizeable PFDs and NDs) Could use them and use Sim Avionics to interface the systems?

    Still trying to form a conceptual model in my mind for a software interface for my 737-300 project. Had planned on using FSUIPC offsets, but that might not work out for the 737 PIC.

    As of last Wednesday my building is finished except for the overhead door. After that's done, the county inspector still has to come, and only then will it be mine. Then I can see if I can get the front of the airplane into it! Promises to be fun in the Florida heat & humidity... THEN, I can work on doing the electrical work, insulation, A/C, overhead shelving, and perhaps someday may can start working with the simulator!

    Will appreciate any guidance at all...

    ...Dave

    Dave Jones
    Fort McCoy, Florida USA

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    564
    Contribute If you enjoy reading the
    content here, click the below
    image to support MyCockpit site.
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    Re: Project Magenta, Sim Avionics, ProSim 737

    Quote Originally Posted by davjones View Post
    I perceive software-only that models some aircraft functions, emphasizing the components of the EFIS systems and auto pilot. Some model other systems also, but it looks like you still need another base aircraft model (iFly, PMDG, whatever) to get the flight model, exterior model, sound and things like that. Is this anywhere near reality?
    More or less correct, though you wouldn't use an iFly or PMDG model as they come with all systems fully installed and not easily or sometimes not possibly separated. This is especially true of the FSX versions -- the PMDG 737 on FS9 could be used without its cockpit and modules, but the FSX version cannot be.

    These packages are designed for cockpit builders so that you can have real displays, real switches, real controls, replacing the on-screen ones which come with the likes of the PMDG and iFly aircraft. They attempt to provide as realistic, or more so, systems implementation than any of the integrated solutions, though whether they do so in the case of the PMDG 737NGX is debatable.

    The iFly implementation is interesting in that they do actually offer a cockpit builders edition in which the various instruments and subsystems can be split off for cockpit use. That edition is a bit like using a non-integrated 737NG with one of the packages you mention, though whether it works quite like that I'm not sure.

    The PMDG 737NGX is now actually supplied with an SDK for getting data out and control in, unlike their previous efforts, but it still isn't possible to move out their systems displays to separate PCs, only more monitors on the same grossly overloaded FSX PC.

    Are all three parallel products, meaning that if you choose one, you have no need of the other two?
    Yes. You can't really mix-and-match either, i.e. taking a CDU from one with an MCP from another, because of the way they interface as a system.

    Are any of them applicable in any way at all to doing a 737-300? (The Wilco 737 PIC has its own very nice expandable/sizeable PFDs and NDs) Could use them and use Sim Avionics to interface the systems?
    They can probably be used to approximate to aircraft other than those they are designed for, but things wouldn't be quite right. Driving analogue instruments rather than glass cockpits, for instance, would be a lot of programming work to get the data out and represented correctly, and the values, whether analogue or glass wouldn't necessarilty match the model being implemented.

    Best, before you decide, to chat with the folks selling and using these packages, on their respective forums.

    Regards
    Pete

  3. #3
    25+ Posting Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    25
    Contribute If you enjoy reading the
    content here, click the below
    image to support MyCockpit site.
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    Re: Project Magenta, Sim Avionics, ProSim 737

    WOW! I didn't expect such a clear, detailed answer, especially coming from one of the highest-level masters of this entire subject. Thanks Pete!

    And since I see that you're looking at this thread, I hope you'll help me along a little farther. I bought the front 12 feet or so of a 737-300, and very much want to keep it as a 300, with a second choice of going back to a -200. That would be much simpler, with the EFIS displays, MCP, CDUs, EFIS control panels, etc. all instantly taken out of the picture. With well-deserved credit and respect to NG builders, they are of an era that doesn't really interest me that much.

    Back to the -300 scheme. I had hoped to concoct something based on the Wilco 737-300/400/500 PIC assuming that I could work with all the bits of information I need through FSUIPC offsets, but I recently read that the offsets are not documented for the 737 PIC. I know this 737 PIC has some problems anyway, but I'm not aware of any other choice.

    So, if you really wanted to make a 737-300 simulator, how would you approach the software interface to MSFS? I'm not too worried about the hardware -- I think the Open Cockpits stuff I already have can take care of most of it, after I get my head around SIOC -- but the software side to FS9 has me baffled. Well, I'd like to stick with FS9, but will move "UP" to FSX if there's a path that may lead to success. Like some method requiring Sim Connect...

    I had not thought about the problem you brought up of trying to use the digital outputs of PM, Sim- A, or PS-737 to drive the steam gauges of an early 737. It's plain to me now that that's an idea best left alone...

    By the way, I've worked out a deal to buy a 737-300 panel full of servo-driven instruments. Still have to figure out the details of the interface, but I know that's doable. They're beauties. Will work for a -200 or -300, biggest difference is that for a 300 I won't need the ADIs and HSIs, since they would be replaced with "glass" PFDs and NDs.

    Thanks again for that great help on PM, etc. Sorry for the long-winded post.

    ...Dave

    Dave Jones
    Fort McCoy, Florida USA

  4. #4
    500+ This must be a daytime job
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    564
    Contribute If you enjoy reading the
    content here, click the below
    image to support MyCockpit site.
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    Re: Project Magenta, Sim Avionics, ProSim 737

    Quote Originally Posted by davjones View Post
    I had hoped to concoct something based on the Wilco 737-300/400/500 PIC assuming that I could work with all the bits of information I need through FSUIPC offsets, but I recently read that the offsets are not documented for the 737 PIC.
    I only document the internal FS data which is applicable to the default aircraft. Similar data for add-on aircraft would only be available if the publisher released it or someone hacked it. And it might not be via FSUIPC at all. Not all that many add-ons used FSUIPC.

    It's a long time ago, but I seem to recall that one of the Wilco series had an SDK which was used by Nico Kaan to map data to and from FSUIPC offsets. But I think it was for the Level D 767 model -- a program called FSCONV, using assigned offsets 8B00- 8BFF. I've got no record or recollection of anyone doing similar for an add-on 737, and there are no offsets officially assigned for one.**

    So, if you really wanted to make a 737-300 simulator, how would you approach the software interface to MSFS?
    It depends on the systems implementation in the chosen aircraft. If it was all based on FS's own innards then the values available from FS would suffice. If they did their own systems you'd need to find a way either to get at them, or to subvert them. When I used FS9 (over 7 years ago now), I used the PMDG 737 (an NG of course), but stripped of its panels, gauges etc and using Project Magenta for the systems implementations. You might be able to do something similar with a non-NG implementation, I don't know. PM is very configurable -- but it would be an expensive mistake if you couldn't make it work as you want.

    Regards
    Pete

    ** I do see offsets reserved for "Simul-Air Sim737", but googling that I see it, too, if for an NG.

  5. #5
    25+ Posting Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    25
    Contribute If you enjoy reading the
    content here, click the below
    image to support MyCockpit site.
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    Re: Project Magenta, Sim Avionics, ProSim 737

    Thanks for all that too, Pete. It has taken awhile, but with your help I'm finally getting the kind of information I need to hopefully get my project off the ground.

    Just a couple of other things leave me in question. Let's assume that some aircraft model's variables are mostly accessible through FSUIPC. What happens when you want to work with, say, the B hydraulic system switches, for which I don't see an offset listed. Would the normal thing be to set up your own thing, (let's assume a -200 for simplicity) connecting inputs from the switches, and then adding logic to say that if the AC bus is powered and either of the Bs are switched on, then the system has pressure which you could then send to the pressure gauge? And then make that pressure a condition for something powered by the B system to work? Could get to be fun after awhile -- you could set up logic to operate all the systems yourself! Well, if you didn't fry your brain in the process..... Is that what you mean by "subverting" the systems?

    Since there may be hope that the 737 PIC uses the default 737 offsets as you suggested, it's probably about time to crank up FS Interrogate and see if I can find anything in the offsets that make sense.

    Assuming failure at that what would the approach be for dropping my ambition to do a 300 and make it a -200 instead? Do you have any idea if the Tinmouse model would be viable? Well, now that I think about it, it's likely that a lot of what you said about the 737 PIC 737-300 would apply to this question also.

    I know you don't want to keep this thread going forever, but your help has been helpful in a very large way. Sometimes the hardest part of a project is figuring out how to get started, and that's what I'm facing now. Sure appreciate your patience, Pete.

    ...Dave

    Dave Jones
    Fort McCoy, Florida USA

  6. #6
    500+ This must be a daytime job
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    564
    Contribute If you enjoy reading the
    content here, click the below
    image to support MyCockpit site.
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    Re: Project Magenta, Sim Avionics, ProSim 737

    Quote Originally Posted by davjones View Post
    Just a couple of other things leave me in question.
    Sorry for the delay. Just back from holiday.

    Let's assume that some aircraft model's variables are mostly accessible through FSUIPC. What happens when you want to work with, say, the B hydraulic system switches, for which I don't see an offset listed.
    You won't see offsets listed in my documents for anything not supported by FS or FSUIPC directly. Most subsystems in more sophisticated add-ons are either not using offsets, or have their own assigned. In fact they often use their own systems even where FS does support it, because of inadequacies in FS supporting specific aircraft realistically enough.

    The offsets for systems implemented in add-ons, if any exist, will be listed in the specific products documentation -- PM offsets are in PM's document list, and probably similarly for SimAvionics and ProSim.

    Would the normal thing be to set up your own thing, (let's assume a -200 for simplicity) connecting inputs from the switches, and then adding logic to say that if the AC bus is powered and either of the Bs are switched on, then the system has pressure which you could then send to the pressure gauge? And then make that pressure a condition for something powered by the B system to work? Could get to be fun after awhile -- you could set up logic to operate all the systems yourself! Well, if you didn't fry your brain in the process..... Is that what you mean by "subverting" the systems?
    What you are describing is almost precisely what the three products mentioned originally set out to do. I suggest you delve into their offerings more thoroughly. Yes, you could program it all yourself if you have that capability, but i think you'll find that it is a big project, even considering only one specific aircraft implementation.

    Since there may be hope that the 737 PIC uses the default 737 offsets as you suggested, it's probably about time to crank up FS Interrogate and see if I can find anything in the offsets that make sense.
    If that add-on aircraft implements subsystems not in FS then you won't find them in the FSUIPC offset lists.

    Assuming failure at that what would the approach be for dropping my ambition to do a 300 and make it a -200 instead? Do you have any idea if the Tinmouse model would be viable? Well, now that I think about it, it's likely that a lot of what you said about the 737 PIC 737-300 would apply to this question also.
    Sorry, I do not even know the differences between a -300 and -200 in any case. Almost all the current 737 add-on systems products deal with the NG range, especially -700, -800 and -900. I am only familiar with details for those.

    I know you don't want to keep this thread going forever, but your help has been helpful in a very large way. Sometimes the hardest part of a project is figuring out how to get started, and that's what I'm facing now. Sure appreciate your patience, Pete.
    I don't visit here very often. I suggest that for questions specific to FSUIPC you come to my Support Forum.

    Pete

  7. #7
    25+ Posting Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    25
    Contribute If you enjoy reading the
    content here, click the below
    image to support MyCockpit site.
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    Re: Project Magenta, Sim Avionics, ProSim 737

    Pete - Since you've been gone on holiday, I've been continuing to attempt dealing with all these concepts, and finally got my head around a very key concept that FSUIPC is truly magic, having gathered all sorts of data from deep within the simulator itself and putting it all in one well-documented block of memory. I don't even want to think about how you could have approached that problem. Funny, I've brushed up against FSUIPC several times over the years but never entirely grasped that.

    Since I think the subject of earlier 737s will come up again, I'll just very briefly explain that the biggest difference (for cockpit builders) between the -200s and the 300/400/500s is that the -200 don't have the EFIS, so you don't need to worry about CDUs, PFDs, NDs, MCPs or EFIS panels. Simplifies things a lot! Further, a lot of the -300s/400s were delivered with an all-steam panel, although they all had EFISs installed. A hybrid arrangement of sorts....

    Just one more question -- going back a few posts to where you said "If they did their own systems you'd need to find a way either to get at them, or to subvert them," can you just clarify what you meant by "subverting" them? I think you meant to disregard them and find a better way to get the systems working by using something completely different?

    I'm going into further investigation on my own for awhile, but will post any further discussion at the FSUIPC forum as you suggested.

    Thanks so much for FSUIPC, a masterpiece, and for your help in getting me started.

    ...Dave

  8. #8
    500+ This must be a daytime job
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    564
    Contribute If you enjoy reading the
    content here, click the below
    image to support MyCockpit site.
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    Re: Project Magenta, Sim Avionics, ProSim 737

    Quote Originally Posted by davjones View Post
    Just one more question -- going back a few posts to where you said "If they did their own systems you'd need to find a way either to get at them, or to subvert them," can you just clarify what you meant by "subverting" them? I think you meant to disregard them and find a better way to get the systems working by using something completely different?
    Well, "override" in another word. Override them with your own, or perhaps some other, implementation -- much like many sophisticated add-ons override the FS systems and do their own. They ignore what the FS read-outs, if any, tell them and have their own, more realistic computations, to work out what is to be shown on the instruments (which they implement in any case), and modify the aircraft performance also, by creating their own Air and CFG files.

    Regards
    Pete

  9. #9
    25+ Posting Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    25
    Contribute If you enjoy reading the
    content here, click the below
    image to support MyCockpit site.
    Click Here To Contribute To Our Site

    Re: Project Magenta, Sim Avionics, ProSim 737

    Okay, good -- that clears that up too.

    Thanks again, Pete!

    ...Dave