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Jim Johnson

FSUIPC4 and 737 PIC Evolution Switches

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Apologies if the answer is readily findable, and I wasn't able to.  Have spent a good 4 hours researching, on-line, FAQ's, FSUIPC4 manuals, etc., and it seems that this topic shouldn't be that hard to find.  But didn't find it...am new to FSUIPC4.  Decided it was time to ask for help.

 

My ultimate objective is to control 737 PIC Evolution cockpit switches with keyboard, then eventually to control things using wired up, real toggle, rotary switches, etc.   I want to test it with keyboard keys first, to make sure I can actually do it using FSUIPC, before I buy the hardware to install real toggle switches, etc.

 

Full, paid/registered FSUIPC4 is installed.

 

First, can I assume that Wilco 737PIC Evolution is compatible with FSUIPC4 switch and keyboard control?  Seems it ought to be.

 

Second, unable to find the link on the FSUIPC4 control screen for a number of items that I really need to control.  Specifically, to start, I wanted to try the 737-300 gear warning horn cutout switch, and then the six fuel pump switches on the overhead fuel control panel.  Can't seem to find those listed anywhere in FS-X controls setting listing, in the FSUIPC Modules Key Press pull-down menu in the Options and Settings screen, or in any of the FSUIPC documentation.  Didn't even seem to pop up in your PMDG 737 "Offset" listing. 

 

I would assume that any switch which is controllable via on-screen mouse click, and these examples all are, has to be controllable via keyboard, keyboard emulator, or toggle switch through FSUIPC4.  If I can figure these two out, as examples, then the rest should be pretty straightforward.

 

Thanks,

JJ

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First, can I assume that Wilco 737PIC Evolution is compatible with FSUIPC4 switch and keyboard control?  Seems it ought to be.

 

If it provides assignable facilities for all of its functions, yes.  But I couldn't possibly know. Some add-on aircraft  have parts which can only be operated by mouse. 

 

There's a range of ways things in add-on aircraft might be controlled. Hopefully most of the common ones are controlled with standard FS controls, just like default aircraft, but many, like PMDG and Aerosoft, add-ons do their own thing completely. Then all bets are off.

 

FSUIPC does provide a range of possibilities, but unless someone else has already done all the ground work, you'd have to find out which method does the job, for each function, yourself. The range of facilities are:

 

--Assignment to FS controls

--Assignment to custom controls (like FS ones but in a different numerical range)

--Writing to "L:Vars" (local panel variables), via macros or Lua plug-ins

--Creation of "mouse macros", ways of getting FSUIPC to call code directly within gauges

--Using short-cut keypress assignments kindly provided by the authors of the add-on

 

Some add-on aircraft have needed combinations of several of these approaches. Have a scan though the User Contributions subforum to see.

 

Second, unable to find the link on the FSUIPC4 control screen for a number of items that I really need to control.  Specifically, to start, I wanted to try the 737-300 gear warning horn cutout switch, and then the six fuel pump switches on the overhead fuel control panel.  Can't seem to find those listed anywhere in FS-X controls setting listing, in the FSUIPC Modules Key Press pull-down menu in the Options and Settings screen, or in any of the FSUIPC documentation. 

 

Functions which aren't implemented in the default aircraft at all don't usually have an FS control to operate them.

 

There's a list of controls installed in your FSUIPC Documents folder. Search for keywords there first. It's quicker.

 

You can also enable the Event logging in the FSUIPC Logging tab to find many of the control names. If you enable the Console Log option there, and run FS in Windowed mode, you'll be able to see controls being sent as you use them. Try with default aircraft first..

 

I must admit, i don't think there is a control for the gear horn cutout. If it is implemented in any of the default aircraft it may be local to the gauge itself.

 

 Didn't even seem to pop up in your PMDG 737 "Offset" listing. 

 

You are using Wilco though, not PMDG?  I don't list any PMDG specific "custom controls". The offset list I provide are all read-outs. None are controls. You can't write to them. All of the PMDG custom controls are listed in their own SDK and I'm sure it includes the gear horn cutout.

 

and then the six fuel pump switches on the overhead fuel control panel.

 

I think FS only has 4 electrical fuel pumps -- controls "Toggle elect fuel pumpN" (N = 1 to 4). I doubt that any add-on of any note would use those though.

 

I would assume that any switch which is controllable via on-screen mouse click, and these examples all are, has to be controllable via keyboard, keyboard emulator, or toggle switch through FSUIPC4. 
 
That assumption can prove to be false in many cases, unfortunately. Many implementations seem to be mouse onl, at least in party. Some designers simply don't think about cockpit builders.
 
You might want to look at LINDA, an add-on for FSUIPC (written by others) which can make all this stuff a lot easier, or so I'm led to believe! ;-)
 
Pete

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Excellent response.  Very comprehensive and thorough, and surprisingly prompt. 

 

I will do my homework, and report back.  My impression is that there are quite a few professional, actively flying 737 pilots out there who are into home cockpit building.  It would be annoyingly hard to imagine all of them being happy with having to grab a mouse and swirl it all over the monitor screen every time they need to silence (or pre-silence) the gear horn...like I do.

 

Thanks for the response,

 

JJ

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I will do my homework, and report back.  My impression is that there are quite a few professional, actively flying 737 pilots out there who are into home cockpit building.  It would be annoyingly hard to imagine all of them being happy with having to grab a mouse and swirl it all over the monitor screen every time they need to silence (or pre-silence) the gear horn...like I do.

 

If you are building a cockpit I think the choice of the model you use is the first thing to consider. Choose one which not only provides all the systems you need, but which can also be handled by your planned hardware.

 

Most of the more sophisticated add-on aircraft have always been far from suitable for a full cockpit implementation. For 737's there is one which actually has a "Pro" version where the individual parts can be split off from the FSX PC and moved onto other PCs in a Network, with other screens for their displays and so on. that's the iFly.

 

The PMDG 737NGX used to be almost impossible for external handling, but it is a lot better now with the SDK providing most if not quite all of the controls needed (via custom FS control numbers), and pretty much all the readouts for displays, indicators and switch positions. Probably the main difficulty though is the CDU, which probably needs to be a separate screen on the FS PC.

 

But I think you'll find that all the best cockpit builds use simplified FS models, with no cockpit or gauges or subsystems,. For the 737NG the model might be a stripped down version of the FSX default 738, but not always. The systems and instrumentation is then driven by a separate software package. There are a few around, but the two most well known ones are Project Magenta and Prosim737. I've used both. PM started many yeas ago, well before FSX. Prosim is more recent. I changed from PM to Prosim last year, and it is excellent.

 

Both these packages have their own 738 model, which you use instead of any other. The packages are not cheap, but compared to the cost of building a decent cockpit they are just a fraction. My cockpit has run into 6 figures over the years (and that's in £££ not $$$)!

 

As well as Googling those packages, you might find this website illuminating. MyCockpit

 

Good luck!

 

Pete

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Yeegads!  This is crazy!  What did you just DO to me!!!  This is AWESOME!  Ok, so your FSUIPC system is really weird, obscure, intimidating and geeky.  Until you actually try USING it, that is. 

 

 

Then it’s incredible. 

 

I think you just solved my whole problem that’s been vexing me for days;   I was losing sleep, going into depression, and starting to fear that I was the only person in the world who’d ever had this happen to them (doubtful!)  Terrified that I would be eternally doomed, to chasing a sneaky little white mouse arrow all across half a dozen monitor screens for the rest of my life.

 

So here’s the deal.  To program obscure Wilco 737PIC Evolution panel “mouse click” screen controls into keystroke or button commands that you can’t readily find in FS-x itself or anywhere else in the world, including the FSUIPC world, so as to eventually hook them up to “real” electric switches, I just used your fourth recommendation of seven possibilities that you provided.

 

That was to try a MOUSE MACRO.

 

Worked beautifully.  Once you get the hang of it (with your clues, not hard at all), it’s WAY too easy!  Off hand, it looks like it will easily duplicate ALL of the obscure 737PIC switches that I had no idea where to find, INCLUDING the gear warning horn cutout switch, all SIX fuel pump switches (FWD and AFT for left, right, and center tanks, total six), both fuel cutoff levers, the gear lever CENTERING function (to turn the system OFF during flight).  Etc.

 

That’s where I quit experimenting, once I felt comfortable that it will work just fine for everything else. 

 

So I’m wondering, why would I even want to dig through all those hemi-demi-hexadecimal lists of mislabeled functions and big scary numbers, for ANY of my control functions, when all I have to do is show the machine, with the mouse, exactly what I want it to do, and it does it!  Voila!  Maybe I’ll try that, for ALL of them.

 

Couldn’t find anyone who knew how to keyboard click the gear warning horn cutout switch.  Some people didn’t even seem to know that the switch existed.  Or why.  So for the professional, career “simmers,” the way it works is, before you pull your throttles to reduce power (flaps and gear up), you press the little horn cutout switch to the right side of the throttles, and the annoying horn never even sounds.  Nice.  But it’s always hard to FIND the little thing in the dark to press quickly with the mouse.  So ye, give me a hard button that I can push easily. 

 

Only question now is, I have no clue how to get RID of the “test” mouse macros that I just created.  But I’m thinking I might start by going to the FSUIPC4 Modules folder and just tossing all of my new .MCRO files into the trash.  Then I can reformat new ones exactly like I want them, and re-ID for profile and aircraft specificity, once I figure that whole thing out. 

 

Now I think I’ll go right out and buy myself a whole bunch of new switch stuff on line. 

 

Thanks for the help,

JJ

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You are lucky that the mouse macro facilities work on that aircraft. They only work with gauges which are written strictly in accordance with Microsoft's original C/C++ Gauge SDK -- even most of FS's default gauges aren't susceptible. And many newer add-on aircraft have gauges written in XML, and usually the only method which works with those is finding the local panel variables (L_Vars) to read and write/

 

Only question now is, I have no clue how to get RID of the “test” mouse macros that I just created.  But I’m thinking I might start by going to the FSUIPC4 Modules folder and just tossing all of my new .MCRO files into the trash.  Then I can reformat new ones exactly like I want them, and re-ID for profile and aircraft specificity, once I figure that whole thing out. 

 

The macros in the Modules folder have assigned numbers in the [Macros] part of the FSUIPC4.INI file, the one with all your settings. The numbers are then used in the button or key assignments, in the [buttons] ad [Keys] sections. So if you delete macros and create new ones which thenget allocated the old numbers, all the assignments you made will either do something different, or not do anything at all.

 

So by all means start afresh, but you'll need to delete the Keys and Buttons assignments too.

 

Pete

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