• Project Magenta - High End Flight Simulation
  1. Airbus Interfacing

    April 29, 2012 by Enrico Schiratti

    Some Airbus Interfacing Notes:

    Thrust Lever

    The potentiometer value for the individual thrust levers 0-16383 are written to

    0×5914 WORD (2 bytes) Throttle 1
    0×5916 WORD (2 bytes) Throttle 2
    0×5918 WORD (2 bytes) Throttle 3
    0x591A WORD (2 bytes) Throttle 4

    Thrust Gate Positon(s)

    Separate Gates:

    Airbus Separate Gates

    0×5490 BYTE Gate Engine 1

    0×5491 BYTE Gate Engine 2

    Thrust Gate Value (0=Control Off, 1=MREV, 2=Rev Idle, 3=Idle, 4=CLB, 5=THR MCT, 6 = TOGA)

    Value 10 Disables Current Setting, forces setting via Trust Lever 2
    Value 11 Disables Current Setting, forces setting via Trust Lever 4
    (the Values 10 and 11 can be used to switch back and forth to MREV and REV IDLE while using the lever position for the other settings)

    Alternatively, only one position for all:

    0x48F2 BYTE (1 byte)
    Thrust Gate Value (0=Control Off, 1=MREV, 2=Rev Idle, 3=Idle, 4=CLB, 5=THR MCT, 6 = TOGA)

    Value 10 Disables Current Setting, forces setting via Trust Lever 2
    Value 11 Disables Current Setting, forces setting via Trust Lever 4
    (the Values 10 and 11 can be used to switch back and forth to MREV and REV IDLE while using the lever position for the other settings)

    Flaps

    0×5911 BYTE  Airbus Flap Position, starting with 1 = UP (for Airbus 5 positions UP-1-2-3-FULL)

    The FCU will then set the flaps according to the situation, i.e. if you write the value 2 for Flap 1 on the ground, it will set flaps 

    Spoiler

    0×5910 BYTE (bit 1) Spoiler is in ARMED position 
    0×5910 BYTE (bit 2) Spoiler is in DOWN position 

    0x591C WORD (2 bytes) for the Spoiler Potentiometer (0 – 16383)

    FBW

    The Project Magenta Fly-By-Wire software supports various ways of interfacing.

    Single Sidestick

    You can connect a single joystick (sidestick) either to the computer on which pmFBW is running (preferred) or to the Flight Simulator computer.

    Dual Flight Controls 

    You connect the flight controls to the FBW computer and disable elevator and aileron control within the simulator.
    pmFBW supports both the Windows Joystick functions and EHID (Cockpitsonic) flight controls directly. In addition to the flight controls, pmFBW will handle also the EHID Flap, Spoiler and other center console controls.

    For normal Airbus-Type flight controls “Pitch Priority” should be enabled. When that option is off, then the V/S will be controlled by the FBW software.

    FCU

    The default mode of operation of the FCU for FSX and X-Plane is with the PM autopilot on. For most flight models a pitch factor of 30 and bank factor of 75 will be correct.

    If you are not using hardware that is directly interfaced to PM software such as the CPFlight FCU, please note the following:

    For the commands, please use the FCU Throughpass Offset 0x4F2 with the individual values listed in the pmOffsets list. I.e. do not use K031 (value 31) for VS but use K059 (Value 59) for the VS PULL.

    Airbus-Type Extensions
    ALS K049 (AB LS Button)
    ALS K149 (AB LS Button) (Copilot)
    ASTI K050 (AB STD/QNH push)
    ASTO K051 (AB STD/QNH pull -> STD BARO 29.92 in)
    ASPI K052 (AB Speed Button push – managed speed mode)
    ASPO K053 (AB Speed Button pull)
    AHDI K054 (AB Heading Button push – managed heading mode)
    AHDO K055 (AB Heading Button pull)
    AALI K056 (AB Altitude Button push – managed altitude mode)
    AALO K057 (AB Altitude Button pull)
    AVSI K058 (AB VS Button push – managed altitude mode)
    AVSO K059 (AB VS Button pull)
    AEXP K060 (AB EXPED Button)
    ATFP K061 (AB TRKFPA Button)
    IN K062 (AB QNH INHG)
    HPA K063 (AB QNH HPA)
    VN1 K071 (AB VOR1OFF)

    MCDU

    Please note that you can switch to the Thales version via the MCDU MENU SETTINGS page.

     

     

    Actions: Comments (1)
  2. Project Magenta and new PMDG and iFly releases

    August 10, 2011 by Enrico Schiratti

     

     

     

    With the recent releases of two amazing new products several people are rightly asking about compatibility between that software and Project Magenta.

    In the past add-ons with their own flight management and aircrafts simulations (which go well beyond the capabilities of FS) could easily be used with third party software by removing or replacing the panels, as those were the ones used for the additional features. This way cockpit builders were able to use the parts they wanted, i.e. the flight model and the outside view of their aircraft within FS, and the rest of the Project Magenta Software in their networked computers with their dedicated hardware. Typically these add-ons are used in a normal one-computer setuo.

    Due to new copyright protection systems included in the fresh generations of some products, the flight model and 3D model of the aircraft is now interlinked with the rest of the add-on, which makes it difficult, if not illegal, to “break out” these parts from the rest of their product.

    As Project Magenta we can’t make any efforts to break this protection, and we will have to see what alternative solutions can be offered by ourselves or others. Please check our forum for a more in-depth discussion about this.

    iFly http://www.iflysimsoft.com/
    PMDG http://www.precisionmanuals.com/

     

    Actions: Comments (1)
  3. File Sharing with Vista and Windows 7

    June 9, 2011 by Enrico Schiratti

    Much in the spirit of the post about the User Account Control for Win7, file sharing in mixed networks can also become a headache.

    This process will make the network a little less secure but it works well because a password isn’t used and everyone is allowed access.

    1. First, know what the Computer name is and what Workgroup it belongs to.

    The Workgroup name needs to be the same on all PC’s that are being networked; no matter the OS on each system. This is already setup, even if only by default, in the setup process while installing each OS.

    Verify what the Windows 7 computer and workgroup names are by going to Control Panel > System and Security > System > and read information under “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings” (The third category down).

    If the names need to be changed go to Change settings in that category or Advanced System Settings in left pane. Then, Computer Name Tab > Change, type the Computer Name and Workgroup Name. > OK. Make the computer name meaningful to aid recognition. The computer should restart.

    2. Second, adjust Win7 settings to allow for sharing with older OS on other networked systems.

    Now go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Advanced Sharing Settings (side panel). Make sure Network Discovery, File and Printer Sharing, and Public Folder Sharing are all set to “on” and Password Protected Sharing is set to “off”.

    Note: I recommend leaving Media sharing set to “on” and under Windows HomeGroup connections select “Allow Windows HomeGroup to manage homegroup connections (recommended)”.

    3. Third, choose which folders to share on the network and adjust properties to do so.

    To share a specific Windows 7 folder or additional drives on the system, right-click it > Properties > Sharing Tab > Advanced Sharing > tick box for Share this folder > Apply > OK > Close. You only need to share the highest level folder, not every sub-folder. Two little people should appear on the icons of the folders that are shared.

    4. Now, you MUST follow this step or the folders will not be shared despite previous steps followed!!!

    Because Password Protected Sharing turned off, the security permissions have to be changed on the folder(s) to allow Everyone access. Right-click the shared folder > Properties > Security Tab > Edit > Add and type “Everyone” (not the quotes) into the box and select OK. Tick the boxes next to the permissions you want to allow (e.g. Read or Write, etc.) then Apply > OK. Some messages may appear: “An error occurred while applying…” This is not unusual and can be ignored by clicking Continue.

    5. Windows firewall is normally set to allow file and printer sharing but if you have a third-party firewall make sure file and printer sharing are enabled so that each machine can talk to the other(s). Do not disable the Windows firewall if it’s the only one running.

    Now you can run pmFileCheck and verify whether these folders are visible to all programs (at least FS, WideFS and the FMC must be running for this test)

    (adapted from this post )

    Actions: Comments (145)
  4. Throttle Hardware and Cutoff Switches

    by Enrico Schiratti

    In the past few days I have been working on trying to reproduce a problem that had been reported, when during engine startup the N2 value was doing strange back and forth movements (rising and dropping) when the engine start was being initiated for either engine.

    This is with pmSystems running and throttle hardware connected.

    It took me some time to realize that this was due to the definition of the FS cutoff switches vs. the pmSystems cutoff switches.

    As a premise, FS uses these offsets to set the fuel cutoff valve

    0890 2 fsCutoff1 //word 0 – 16383
    0928 2 fsCutoff2 //word 0 – 16383

    This will start the engines (if the starter is activated) no matter what, especially in FS2004. It does not reflect any bleed pressure and other conditions.

    When you use pmSystems, it is this program which sets those variables (or offsets if you wish) and it makes things conditional. So you would need to use the following bits to set the switches:

    561A .0 Cutoff1 //(aka cutoffL in the 737)
    561A .1 Cutoff2 //(aka cutoffR in the 737)

    In the pseudocode (simplifying pmSystems) it looks like this:

    if Cutoff1
         if all_conditions_are_met
              fsCutoff1 = 16383
         else
              fsCutoff1 = 0
         endif
    endif

    Thus, your throttle hardware should have the option (in the driver) to write to another offset than the default FS (e.g. fsCutoff1) offset, otherwise there will be a conflict between what pmSystems thinks the position of the fuel cutoff switch is and what the throttle hardware position is.

    So *without* pmSystems your hardware has to write to the fsCutoff1 offset.

    With pmSystems running, it has to write to Cutoff1, and then pmSystems writes to fsCutoff1.

    Thomas Richter pointed out that in addition to this you can also set the following option in pmSystems:

    Press [Esc] for the Menu, select User Options and check “Cutoff Lever has a Pot and NOT a switch”

    Then pmSystems doesn’t take control of fsCutoff but still displays the switches and the FUEL/SPAR VALVES correctly depending on fsCutoff value.

    This logic is in the Cutoff section of the B737 file, it starts with “if Poti = 0… if cutoffl”

    Actions: Comments (1)
  5. Windows 7 User Account Control

    June 8, 2011 by Enrico Schiratti

    When it comes to networking and Windows 7, things can be pretty restrictive with the UAC. This is also affects software installation and general network and computer speed.

    Disclaimer: We do not reccomend you do this, but if your network is in a controlled environment, and you know who can access it and how (or can’t) then there is no reason for you not to disable the Windows 7 UAC.

    To do this, simply click on Start, then enter ‘UAC’ in the “Search Programs and Files” Box.

    The first (and possibly only) entry is ‘Change User Account Control Settings’.

    The slider in on the left of the screen goes from “Always Notify” to “Never Notify”. The setting we suggest to use is “Never Notify”.

    The statement that “need to use programs… do not support User Account Control” is a bit misleading, as even fully certified programs need to be run as administrator on occasions. We are simply doing away with a hurdle which might not be needed in a simulator environment.

    As we have had reports of Windows Drivers and even FSUIPC/WideFS or Prepar3D installations malfunctioning, and this is a valid workaround.

    Comments welcome.

    Actions: Comments (1)
  6. CDU and MCDU Full Screen operation

    by Enrico Schiratti

    The FMCs (Boeing-Type CDU and Airbus-Type MCDU) work in two modes, OpenGL and pure text mode.

    The rendition in OpenGL mode is more realistic and recommended. The non-OpenGL mode is only there for backwards compatibility with older systems, avoid using it if you can.

    To switch between these two modes when you see the keyboard bitmap press Ctrl-O.

    When in OpenGL mode you can:

    • Run the FMC in Windowed Mode press [Ctrl-Shift-O] (toggle)
    • Run the FMC in Full Screen Mode press [Alt-F] (toggle)

    To position the text on the screen, use the same methods as with the Glass Cockpits:

    • Numeric Keypad [+] and [-] Zoom In and Out
    • [Ctrl-Cursor Keys] (up/down/left/right) to position the text
    • [Alt-Cursor Keys] (up/down/left/right) to stretch the text (MCDU)

    It is best if you set up your FMC’s keyboard first before you set up the screen at this point.

    Important: Once done, remember to press [Ctrl-Q] to shut down the software and save the settings.

    In addition to that there is a special page to stretch and size the font as well as the position of the scratchpad and the title:

    Airbus-Type MCDU
    In the MCDU press MCDU MENU twice and then DISPLAY (LSK 6R) and then FULL SCREEN (LSK 1L)
    Using LSK1L or LSK2R you can navigate through the FONT (size and position of title and scratchpad), TEXT (position and stretch) and FRAME pages (for windowed mode).

    Boeing-Type CDU
    In the CDU press MENU twice and then DISPLAY (LSK 5L) and then FULL SCREEN (LSK 4R)
    Using LSK1L or LSK2R you can navigate through the FONT (size and position of title and scratchpad), TEXT (position and stretch) and FRAME pages (for windowed mode).

    In the CDU.INI and MCDU.INI file you can find these following settings:
    (please note that if you have two identical setups, you can copy this section verbatim into the RCDU.INI or RMCDU.INI file.

    [OpenGL]
                                  / This section is for OpenGL settings
                                  / and OpenGL Full Screen Display
    UseOpenGL=On
                                  / Will use OpenGL rather than normal
                                  / windows text, 24 columns, 14 rows
    FontSmoothViaPolygons=Off
                                  / When set to on, font smoothing
                                  / for display is done via polygons,
                                  / if off, via blended outlines
    UseOpenGLFull=Off
                                  / Bitmap-less full screen operation
    SetOpenGLFull=Off
                                  / Will automatically Maximize screen
                                  / for full screen operation
    OpenGLFullX= 10
    OpenGLFullY= 5
    OpenGLFullZ= 15
    OpenGLFullWidth=-2.9
    OpenGLFullHeight= 0
    OpenGLFullFontSize= 0
    OpenGLFullSpacing= 0
    OpenGLFullScratchPad= 0
    OpenGLFullTitleText= 0
    OpenGLFullRotate= 0

    [Max]
    Full=Off / This section is for the non-OpenGL Text mode
    / and is not needed

    Actions: Comments (1)
  7. pmStartup

    June 7, 2011 by Enrico Schiratti

    This program is a simple little tool to update a local computer with files from a given main computer.

    Please place this program in your WideClient folder and run it there, if you use any Run1= or RunReady1= commands in your WideClient.INI, then then you can run it with ‘run wideclient.exe’ To let this program run after the computer has finished booting, place it in your Start – Programs – Startup folder. Make sure it is pointing to the right ‘Start In:’ folder, so it finds the script file.

    In this example, it assumes that the update zip files are uncompressed and in a folder c:\updates on a computer called MAIN

    Files are then copied to the last destination folder that has been defined.

    pmStartup will stop WideClient if it is already running and re-start it once it is cone this is done so you can replace wideclient as well from a reference folder

    To stop this program, press Esc

    wait 5 //waits 5 seconds (if you wish)

    source \\main\c\updates\ //sets source folder
    dest c:\wideFS
    copy wideclient.exe
    dest C:\abgc\ //sets destination folder
    copy abgc.exe
    copy abgc.dll
    copy abgc.nav
    wait 1
    dest C:\pmSystems\ //sets another destination folder
    copy pmsystems.exe
    copy pmsystems.dll
    copy pmsys320.txt
    sleep 1
    //you can place a run wideclient.exe here
    run wideclient.exe
    sleep 1
    run c:\fcu\fcu.exe
    sleep 1
    run c:\abgc\abgc.exe

    Actions: Comments (1)
  8. Windows 7 Notes

    May 21, 2011 by Enrico Schiratti

    Here some notes about things to consider with Windows 7

    File and Path Sharing
    Unlike other versions of Windows, in your simulator network you will have to make sure all machines are running with the same access credentials. I.e. same Windows account user name and password. Please also check that the network sharing is set to ‘simple file sharing‘.

    Program Permissions
    Depending on your general configuration, you might have to make sure that the executables are set to ‘run as administrator’.  To set this, right-click on the executable (e.g. FCU.EXE) select ‘Properties‘ and then the ‘Compatibility‘ tag. Make sure the Privilege Level is checked and the program is allowed to run as an administrator.

     

    Actions: Comments (1)
  9. pmSounds Callouts you may be missing…

    May 19, 2011 by Enrico Schiratti

    Some callouts such as:

    • minimums
    • transition altitude
    • V1
    • Rotate
    • etc

    will only be played in pmSounds when the Project Magenta modules are running. Those values are set for instance by the FMC or the Autopilot selectors and will not be triggered without them.

    Actions: Comments (1)
  10. Terrain Data Generation and Installation

    May 14, 2011 by Enrico Schiratti

    WhazzUp Plus can display and generate terrain files for the Glass Cockpit software. You can find the raw souce for the terrain data in the Downloads section of the site (NavData Updates).

    The files are split up in Longitudes, 40 degree “slices”. E.g. W140 to W100. You can use all or only some of them if you are not flying all over the world.

    A DEM file, for instance W020N40.DEM (North-West Africa) is to be placed into the Terrain Data subfolder of WhazzUp Plus. It can be for instance C:\WhazzUp\TerrainData\ or any other path you want … the path has to be specified in WhazzUp.INI.

    You have two ways to view and use the data within the files:

    Inside WhazzUp, press [D], it will get the elevation data from the DEM file and display it, the center being the position of your mouse. The resolution will depend on the zoom factor of WhazzUp. I.e. if you are zoomed out a lot, then the area will be larger and the resolution lower, if you zoom in, the area will be small but the resolution and precision higher. To see the DEM file settings in WhazzUp, press [Ctrl-D]

    To generate .DE1 and .DE2 files for the Glass Cockpit, press [S], that will get the data at the highest resolution of the mouse position and prompt you for a file name once it is done with the conversion. The file is then saved in the \WhazzUp\Terrain folder. It then has to be copied to the various program’s /terrain subfolders that use these files (for instance c:\ABCG\terrain.

    Click here for Pre-Converted Terrain (DE1) Data File Downloads

    [D] – GC Terrain 1 (DE1) for PAJN, LIRN, LSZH, KLAX, HAAB
    [D] – GC Terrain 2 (DE1) for MMAA, MMMX, KSLC, MTPP, KLAS
    [D] – GC Terrain 3 (DE1) for LGAV, LFMN, EDDS, LIRF, LEMD
    [D] – GC Terrain 4 (DE1) for BGSF, LOWI, LOWS, SKBO, SBSP
    [D] – GC Terrain 5 (DE1) for BIRK, ENGM, ESSA, EDDM, CYVR, RJBB
    [D] – GC Terrain 6 (DE1) for KDEN, EGPH, , OLBA, VHHH, SPIM, ENBO
    [D] – GC Terrain 7 (DE1) for LTBA, KPDX, NWWW, KSFO, LSGG, YSSY
    [D] – GC Terrain 8 (DE1) for CYYC, EDDF, MMMY, LIPZ, LIMM, LGZA HTKJ, GMFF, FACT

    If you have any additional requests, we will collect them and expand these uploads.

    Click here for Raw Terrain Data (DEM) File Downloads

    Click here for WhazzUp Demo/Plus Download Folder

    Actions: Comments (1)