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I have a Cirrus II console from PFC with a mooney yoke, some cockpit buttons, and a Barron throttle. All of this is on COM4 under Windows XP and running FS2004 9.1. When I start up the PFC configuration software, it "sees" movement on the throttles, but none of the movements on the Yoke appear to do anything. How can we determine whether the yoke is actually sending you any data?

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I have a Cirrus II console from PFC with a mooney yoke, some cockpit buttons, and a Barron throttle. All of this is on COM4 under Windows XP and running FS2004 9.1. When I start up the PFC configuration software, it "sees" movement on the throttles, but none of the movements on the Yoke appear to do anything. How can we determine whether the yoke is actually sending you any data?

If it was sending data then the calibrations screens would show the movement. If you wish to investigate further, you can enable some of the logging (in the Test page) -- the lowest level actually logs everything sen on the COM port.

Alternatively you can get the freeware utility "PORTMON" from http://www.systeminternals.com and actually monitor the serial port at the lower level interface in Windows.

It sounds as if you may need support from PFC.

Regards,

Pete

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  • 1 month later...

After a long struggle, I have the Cirrus II console sending its yoke data to your PFC 1.92 module. It is badly out of calibration, but putting that aside now how do I get aircraft to actually use this? The PFC module sees movement of the yoke but when I load Carenado's T206, the controls on the Cirrus are not registering to the aircraft. Is there some magic switch that passes all of this data through PFC onto the aircraft?

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After a long struggle, I have the Cirrus II console sending its yoke data to your PFC 1.92 module. It is badly out of calibration, but putting that aside now how do I get aircraft to actually use this? The PFC module sees movement of the yoke but when I load Carenado's T206, the controls on the Cirrus are not registering to the aircraft. Is there some magic switch that passes all of this data through PFC onto the aircraft?

Ernothing magic. What controls don't work? What have you selected in the PFC options? Have you looked at the documentation? Mostly everything works out of the box, and even applying the simple "automatic" calibration provides results which are very usable.

Incidentally, there's a much later version of the PFC DLL available in the Interim Versions announcement above. I would rather you used that one in any case, as you are asking for help -- it is the only one I use now. The only reason it isn't on general release yet is that I've not got around to updating the documentation.

When you have it installed, try all the controls and switches on the Cirrus, and tell me what does and what doesn't work. Please test it first with default FS aircraft -- third party aircraft may well do their own thing and will just confuse the issue.

After this test you should also post the contents of the PFC.INI and PFC.LOG files, which you will find in the FS Modules folder.

Regards,

Pete

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  • 4 weeks later...
Incidentally, there's a much later version of the PFC DLL available in the Interim Versions announcement above. I would rather you used that one in any case, as you are asking for help -- it is the only one I use now. The only reason it isn't on general release yet is that I've not got around to updating the documentation.

When you have it installed, try all the controls and switches on the Cirrus, and tell me what does and what doesn't work. Please test it first with default FS aircraft -- third party aircraft may well do their own thing and will just confuse the issue.

After this test you should also post the contents of the PFC.INI and PFC.LOG files, which you will find in the FS Modules folder.

Okay, I am using the Interim release PFC 1.997 and 3.536, and I just duplicated the same problem I am having getting PFC Cirrus II throttle and yoke to operate correctly.

In the PFC user interface, I am able to see the yoke and throttle movement reflected in the appropriate tabs, and both kinds of controls generate data on the test tab. You say that "automatic calibration" works well, but is there something explicit I must do to enable this mode?

The bottom line is that I see the control movements reflected in the PFC UI, but as soon as I exit neither yoke nor throttles work inside the default Microsoft Cessna 182 or 172 implementations. On other occasions, I have gotten the throttle to operate, but not the prop control.

No matter how many times I enter into the PFC UI and set the throttle type, it always seems to overrid my selection the next time I enter the PFC UI.

There is something really basic here I'm just not getting.

I am attaching PFC.INI and PFC.LOG per your request, but they were too large to make attachments here so I put them here:

http://pages.uschw.com/misc/pfc/

I do note a lot of messages in there about buffer overflows. Maybe that is related to this problem?

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You say that "automatic calibration" works well, but is there something explicit I must do to enable this mode?

It isn't a "mode", it's a facility. As documented, clicking on the selection button at the bottom of each calibration column rotates between three settings, one being Automatic. Have you looked at the documentation? Try the section headed CALIBRATION -- it does explain it all there. There's a section with steps to calibrate manually, followed by another on Automatic. It is all there -- there's no point in me reproducing it here!

No matter how many times I enter into the PFC UI and set the throttle type, it always seems to overrid my selection the next time I enter the PFC UI.

What's a "throttle type"? Do you mean quadrant? Are you using automatic quadrant assignment (front page)? Have you made sure you have only enabled those quadrants you are actually using? Each quadrant calibration page has an enabling checkbox (top left). Only those you enable can be used. If you want specific quadrants with specific aircraft you can enable them and click the "Assign to Aircraft".

There is something really basic here I'm just not getting.

From what you've just been saying it sounds like you've lost the documentation. Please re-download the ZIP and look inside. You'll find a document called "PFC DLL User Guide". Please read that, especially the calibrations and quadrants sections. All the questions you are asking are answered there for certain.

I am attaching PFC.INI and PFC.LOG per your request, but they were too large to make attachments here so I put them here:

Sorry, I'm not getting them -- I think you need to do some reading first. It will be a waste of my time trying to help by analysing logs from a completely incorrectly set up driver. In any case they most certainly shouldn't be very large -- the INI file only contains the settings and is small. Are you logging additional things to make the LOG file large?

From what you say, your best bet is to delete the INI file and start again, following the instructions after you get the documentation.

I do note a lot of messages in there about buffer overflows. Maybe that is related to this problem?

Well, not from what you've said so far. But show me an extract from the log and I'll tell you -- it certainly sounds like you may have a serial port hardware or driver problem!

When you think you have understood and applied the correct setting, if you are still having problems, ZIP the files (most important) and send them to me at petedowson@btconnect.com.

Regards,

Pete

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No matter how many times I enter into the PFC UI and set the throttle type, it always seems to overrid my selection the next time I enter the PFC UI.

What's a "throttle type"? Do you mean quadrant? Are you using automatic quadrant assignment (front page)? Have you made sure you have only enabled those quadrants you are actually using? Each quadrant calibration page has an enabling checkbox (top left). Only those you enable can be used. If you want specific quadrants with specific aircraft you can enable them and click the "Assign to Aircraft".

By throttle I meant quadrant, sorry for sloppy terminology. I did read all parts of the manual related to quadrant selection and quadrant calibration.

I finally got the quadrant to work, but it was quite buggy and required a number of repetitions through the PFC user interface. Miscellaneous observations:

1) When I start up with Cessna 182, no quadrant is active. I must always enter the PFC UI and do an "Assign to Aircraft" operation before I can get it to work. After exiting FS2004 9.1, here is the relevant line I find for quadrant assignments in PFC.INI for the 182:

Cessna_Skylane_182S_Paint2=P2

Which throttle should that be assigning?

2) The PFC UI kept insisting on activating the Single Throttle Carburated quadrant (the first one on the list of quadrants). I kept disabling it on the quadrants page and then re-entering the PFC UI only to see it re-enabled and selected again. After much back and forth I got it permanently disabled and now my preferred throttle is the only one that is Active, and I am at least able to manually assign it to the aircraft each time I restart FS2004.

I still am not able to get the quadrant to just assign and work automatically when I start FS2004. It always takes at least one trip to the UI.

Regarding PFC.LOG, as I said in my post I could not attach it, and instead I made it available at the URL I posted. The ZIP file is large because it contains both the tiny PFC.INI and the large PFC.LOG. The PFC.LOG is large because I left logging running during a long flight. Should I be concerned about the buffer overflow messages in that log?

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I finally got the quadrant to work, but it was quite buggy and required a number of repetitions through the PFC user interface.

Buggy? In what way. The quadrant system in my driver has always been the most praised part of it, and has remained pretty much totally unchanged for years with no other bug reports.

When I start up with Cessna 182, no quadrant is active. I must always enter the PFC UI and do an "Assign to Aircraft" operation before I can get it to work.

What quadrants do you have enabled? By default the basic Cessna one is enabled if you have no others. I have never encountered any case where FS can be started with no quadrant active, because even if you have enabled none it auto-enables the first one, the default.

Please ZIP up the INI file, then delete it and start again. It sounds to me as if you have something completely screwed up in the file somehow. Maybe you have an explicit assignment to a quadrant you haven't even enabled?

After exiting FS2004 9.1, here is the relevant line I find for quadrant assignments in PFC.INI for the 182:

Cessna_Skylane_182S_Paint2=P2

Which throttle should that be assigning?

P2 is the twin-engined prop qadrant. The entire set are as follows:

P1N = single prop, non-carburated

P1 = single prop, carburated

P1H = single prop, high performance

P2 = twin prop

P2B = twin prop, Baron style (centre throttles)

T2 = twin turbo

J2 = twin jet

J2N = twin jet, 737NG cockpit type (detented flpas, spoiler, twin reversers)

J3 = triple jet

J4 = quad jet

U1 - U15 = User-defined arrangements

Really, the first thing you should be doing after receiving your kit is simply enabling each quadrant you have or want to use. For non-specific automatic assignments the driver then uses an algorithm to try to match the best quadrant of the ones you have to the aircraft you choose. If you switch off automatic assignment you select one only (it has to be enabled), and you can do that on the front page, in the drop down. That way you merely change it when you manually mount a different one. The driver remembers the one which was assigned when you close FS, so it would start off with the same one next time you run FS.

The other way is to associate specific quadrants with specific aircraft, but that really has much more application when you make your own assignments in any of the 15 user-defined sections.

If the quadrant isn't being remembered, then possibly the PFC.INI isn't being updated? You have to close FS properly (FS does the same with its FS9.CFG file). After you close FS make sure it is really closed -- look in the Process list in the Windows Task Manager, make sure "FS9.EXE" isn';t still there.

The PFC UI kept insisting on activating the Single Throttle Carburated quadrant (the first one on the list of quadrants). I kept disabling it on the quadrants page and then re-entering the PFC UI only to see it re-enabled and selected again.

If there's no quadrant enabled, or none which anywhere near match the loaded aircraft, then that is correct -- that is the default selection. But you just said that NO quadrant was active! You cannot be correct in both statements! Please clarify.

I still am not able to get the quadrant to just assign and work automatically when I start FS2004. It always takes at least one trip to the UI.

You are the only one of thousands, then. Please delete the INI (send it to me first) and try again. I really don't know what you've done, but I'll check it here. As I said this quadrant system has been working flawlessly for many years now, and has not been changed.

The ZIP file is large because it contains both the tiny PFC.INI and the large PFC.LOG.

The INI file is evidently important for me to look at, before you delete it, please.

If you are enabling lots of logging it is best to keep the session short. Huge logs are no use to anyone, and if the ZIPped size is too big to attach here (> 240k or so?) then it is truly enormous. I just wouldn't be looking at all of that.

The PFC.LOG is large because I left logging running during a long flight.

What sort of logging? Why have it logging a lot during a long flight?

Should I be concerned about the buffer overflow messages in that log?

Sorry, I've no idea. Maybe it was the huge logging that was causing the errors, if they are errors. Errors would be logged in any case, even with no logging options selected.

Anyway, you have my email address now if you want to send me anything. Just make sure it is Zipped please.

Regards,

Pete

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I went through this sequence, and now the quadrant works automatically on startup:

1) I deleted PFC.INI

2) I started FS2004. The quadrant was not utilized. I configured in PFC UI the one quadrant that I have available. No "Assign to Aircraft" button appeared on the quadrant tab. Quadrant would not activate in FS2004 even after hitting OK in PFC UI.

Just a side note: as soon as I deleted PFC.INI and restarted FS2004, immediately FSUIPC reports it is not registered! Sure enough, FSUIPC is not registered and I re-registered it and registration was accepted.

3) I restarted FS2004. Still no quadrant is utilized. I opened PFC UI and went to quadrant tab. Now "Assign to Aircraft" appears. I selected this. Quadrant now works.

4) I restarted FS2004. Now the quadrant is auto selected and works right away, and I didn't have to start PFC UI.

5) What is interesting, at this point when I go to the "Test" tab in the PFC UI, I don't see any activity at all when I move the yoke or any part of quadrant. However all of those controls do work inside FS2004.

I don't understand why I am the only person out of thousands with the good luck to see all this odd behavior. In any case, it now works, and I'll enjoy that while it lasts. I appreciate your ideas as they did get me to a working state I can live with.

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1) I deleted PFC.INI

2) I started FS2004. The quadrant was not utilized.

Eryou would have to enter the serial port details first. And then it goes through the connection checks. I'm investigating a problem with that at present (in 1.997 -- are you still using that?). Please tell me how you got past the checks.

After that, what was shown as the assigned quadrant on the first screen? It should have been the default, single prop, as you stated always happened before. There is never no quadrant assigned, it cannot operate that way. It sounds like you have not enabled any of the levers in the default quadrant, that's all?

I configured in PFC UI the one quadrant that I have available. No "Assign to Aircraft" button appeared on the quadrant tab. Quadrant would not activate in FS2004 even after hitting OK in PFC UI.

I really think there's something fundamental we are misunderstanding each other about here. I really cannot fathom why you, out of all the thousands of users, see something so different. Maybe, if I were standing behind you whilst you do these things I would see immediately what was up, and probably also perhaps see how you are interpreting what you are seeing. As it is I simply cannot understand anything -- it is almost like you aren't even using my program!

Just a side note: as soon as I deleted PFC.INI and restarted FS2004, immediately FSUIPC reports it is not registered! Sure enough, FSUIPC is not registered and I re-registered it and registration was accepted.

Eryou must have deleted the FSUIPC.KEY file as well, as there is absolutely no relationship possible whatsoever between any PFC files and FSUIPC registration. On top of that FSUIPC registration is not needed at all for PFC to work. Perhaps you were getting rather confused and deleted more than just the PFC.INI file?

What is interesting, at this point when I go to the "Test" tab in the PFC UI, I don't see any activity at all when I move the yoke or any part of quadrant. However all of those controls do work inside FS2004.

No, actually, that is not interesting at all ;-). The Test tab only deals with switches and knobs, not axes. Only the assorted axis pages deal with axes.

Just one other thought. Are you sure you never renamed a PFC.DLL version and either left it in the Modules folder or copied it someplace else in the FS folders? I really understand almost nothing of what you report. Most of it simply makes no sense to me at all. Sorry.

Regards,

Pete

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I've made some substantial improvements to the way the initial connection checks work, and also found a way to allow the COM port in use to be changed during a session without reloading FS. The improved version is 1.998 and is available above now.

I could find nothing wrong with the quadrant assignment mechanism, and am loathe to fiddle with it as it has been working well for many years. I did check to see when and why the "assign to aircraft" button is missing, and this can only happen if

(a) There is no known name for the current aircraft (yet). This can happen if the options are entered whilst FS is still initialising or loading a Flight or Aircraft. The solution is to quite the PFC options and try again when FS is settled.

(b) The 737NG cockpit hardware has been selected as the 'console'. In this case most of the other options are inhibited and access to re-assignments is restricted to trained PFC personnel. To get out of this you would need to close FS and delete the PFC.INI file, i.e. start again. However, in the current version you cannot inadvertently select the 737NG console.

Note that (a) also explains the occasional delay whilst the automatic assignment of a quadrant occurs. This is not an error or even a problem. The assignment may take a second or two to activate after any Flight or Aircraft load, or after any change in the PFC options.

Regards,

Pete

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