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Real Curve ball with USB - Anyone care to answer?


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Fellow Simmers

I've got a REAL problem with a piece of hardware that works fine on fs9 with a previous version of FSUIPC but not FSX & FSUIPC 4.11

This is the issue:

I have a USB number pad that I use in FS9 to control the ATC menu options (rather than a keyboard). I use FSUIPC's Params in "Key Presses" to assign each keypress to an ATC menu item (e.g ATC menu 1, 2, etc). This works Great in FS9!

However, if I try to do the same in FSUIPC 4.11 & FSX, the keys ONLY work if the ATC window is closed - once I activate the window, the keys on the USB numberpad don't work.

I don't want to go back to using a keyboard & it seems a lot of work to build a custom keypad for what did work normally in FS9.

Any Ideas?

How are you all coping with the ATC menu without using a keyboard?

Thanks in Advance

Geordieboy 35 :cry:

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I have a USB number pad that I use in FS9 to control the ATC menu options (rather than a keyboard). I use FSUIPC's Params in "Key Presses" to assign each keypress to an ATC menu item (e.g ATC menu 1, 2, etc). This works Great in FS9!

This number pad generates key presses? Why not use them directly then? What does FSUIPC do for you?

The ATC Menu 0-9 controls are actioned by keypresses 0-9 (on the main keyboard) in any case.

However, if I try to do the same in FSUIPC 4.11 & FSX, the keys ONLY work if the ATC window is closed - once I activate the window, the keys on the USB numberpad don't work.

Erwhat do they do when the ATC window is closed?

If they are generating keystrokes which aren't valid when the ATC window is open, maybe their input is defeated before they get as far as FSUIPC's detection, which operates at the Windows "KEYDOWN", "KEYUP" message level.

Certainly, programming Buttons for the ATC menu selection works fine in FSX -- I can assign buttons either to keypresses (1, 2, 3, ...) or to the controls (ATC Menu 1, 2, 3 ...) and they work equally well. I'm afraid I don't have a separate keypad sending keystrokes to test, but I think it would help to know what keystrokes yours generates -- after all, a normal keyboard could be used as a substitute. All mine are USB anyway, not that this would make any difference.

[LATER]

I've done some tests with FSX and the normal keyboard NumPad.

You don't need to assign things in FSUIPC to see what is happening. When the ATC menu is showing the normal NUMLOCK off NUMPAD keypresses are ignored. For example, the trim wheel on the 737 throttle quadrant is operated by the Home/7 and End/1 keys with Num Lock off -- but not when the ATC Menu is shown. Interestingly the NUMLOCK On mode is unaffected.

I wonder if this is a bug? It effectively means that keyboard flying with the normal keyboard assignments is inhibited when the ATC menu is showing -- you'd suddenly lose keyboard throttle, aileron and elevator control!

Can you verify this? Please report it to MS via tell_fs@microsoft.com. I'll ask about it too via my contacts.

Regards

Pete

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Thanks for the quick response Pete.

Yes, the USB keypad produces Num1, Num2, etc responses with numlock on according to FSUIPC but for some reason they don't work directly (e.g. without programming in FSUIPC). This is also the same in FS9 - a separate USB numpad does NOT work directly - you have to assign keypress via FSUIPC to get it to work. For both FSX & FS9 they do work correctly on the main keyboard without using FSUIPC but I am trying to remove the need for a keyboad on the flight sim (I control basic keyboard functions via another PC using VNC to remote in). The only reason I need the keyboard is for the ATC menu.

When the ATC window is open, nothing happens but if you close the window, press any of the buttons & then open the window again the function is actioned. The only problem is you have to do this each time for each function needed.

You are correct regarding using buttons. I have a CH Yoke & Throttle & if I assign any buttons on these as ATC Menu options they work fine with the window open.

I really wanted to use the USB keypad as it is a good size & feel for the ATC menu controls & can be integrated more easily into my cockpit.

You are correct regarding the ATC window affecting controls on the keyboard numpad - it looks like it is an FS bug with the ATC window.

I did notice something strange....... with the FSX ATC window, there is what looks like a ATC response window at the top of the ATC window which scrolls for seeing ATC responses. If the numlock is off & the window is open, numbers seem to control this scrolling part of the window - e.g. numpad 9 scrolls the response up & numpad 3 scrolls them down. I'm guessing this is the buggy part.

Regards

Geordieboy.

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Yes, the USB keypad produces Num1, Num2, etc responses with numlock on according to FSUIPC but for some reason they don't work directly (e.g. without programming in FSUIPC). This is also the same in FS9 - a separate USB numpad does NOT work directly - you have to assign keypress via FSUIPC to get it to work.

How strange. I don't understand that. Maybe the low level keyboard driver only handles the synchronous keyboard requests (which FS may use for the flight controls) the the main keyboard. Hmmm. Interesting.

When the ATC window is open, nothing happens but if you close the window, press any of the buttons & then open the window again the function is actioned.

That'll be because of the Windows message queue processing -- the ATC Menu control will be sent and sit in the queue.

You are correct regarding the ATC window affecting controls on the keyboard numpad - it looks like it is an FS bug with the ATC window.

I'm assuming it is a bug, because it seems a pretty serious drawback for a keyboard flyer (yes, there are still some who prefer the keyboard for flying!). I'm asking questions now via my contacts. If I hear anything useful I'll let you know. Meanwhile it would be a god idea to report it yourself, as I suggested.

Regards

Pete

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I'm assuming it is a bug, because it seems a pretty serious drawback for a keyboard flyer (yes, there are still some who prefer the keyboard for flying!). I'm asking questions now via my contacts. If I hear anything useful I'll let you know.

Okay, I'm letting you know now. Yes, it is a bug in FSX and it will be fixed in the next FSX update -- the one due late this year with the DX10 support.

Regards

Pete

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Thanks Pete - You're a star.

I did e-mail them but as yet no reply (e-mailed them Monday).

It's nice to see Microsoft listening to their customers - they obviously understand that we can help them to evolve FSX to be the best flight simming experience since FS9.

Regards

Geordieboy35 :P

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