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AlMassimo

MSFS 2020 Boeing 787 autopilot heading offsets

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I have Opencockpits modules and thanks to FSUIPC 7 and good old sioc code for FSX the autopilot and the radio are wokring almost at 90%. EFIS works but not with the 787 VC glass gauges.

Unfortunately I can't solve this issue with B787 autopilot:

when I press the AP master button, the 787 autopilot engages the Heading hold mode and I can't find any offset corresponding to this command. Checking the log file I see that while the OC autopilot is changing a variable named "AP panel heading hold", while the command that is sent clicking on the virtual cockpit MCP is "AP HDG hold" (sorry probably the real var names could be slightly different, but the one sent by the phisical MCP is the 07C8, while pressing the heading knob in VC panel this offset is not changed. I can't find no other offsets for HDG hold or heading lock or else. I don't know how to detect the offset required bu this control, the number appairing on the console when I push that button seems not to be offsets.

I would really appreciate if someone could tell me how to change this value without having to click on a VC knob, given that the console detect this action as a recognized variable and not a custom 787 value, so I hope it would be possible to change the value of some offset to obtain this command. With heading hold active even if I press my MCP HDG button nothing happens and also rotating the HDG knob has only a momentary effect but then the plane returns on the previous heading (and this value is different from the value displayed in my MPC and also in the VC MPC display - both these values are related to the offset 07CC that changes according to the knob movements but the AP holds the initial heading ignoring this value).

Once I turn off the heading hold function by pressing the center of the knob in VC, the OC MCP controls (HDG lock button and led and HDG value knob and display) work perfectly.

Thanks for your help!

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2 hours ago, AlMassimo said:

I can't find any offset corresponding to this command

Offsets contain values and states, not commands. 

07C8 is just a flag indicating whether A/P heading hold is engaged. The value of the A/P heading is in 07CC.

The control (key event) AP PANEL HEADING HOLD sets the AP to hold when the heading reaches the value set on the AP (that provided by offset 07CC), whilst AP HEADING HOLD says to hold at the current heading. I think the latter is more usual in light aircraft rather than airliners. But whether the AP is to holk heading or not should be indicated by the flag at 07C8.

Note that the panel heading (the one in 07CC) can sometimes be indicated just by a bug on the compass rather than a value on an MCP.

2 hours ago, AlMassimo said:

I can't find no other offsets for HDG hold or heading lock or else. I don't know how to detect the offset required bu this control, the number appairing on the console when I push that button seems not to be offsets.

I don't quite understand what you mean by this. Why is a number is appearing on the console? are you saying that in your implementation seting the AP heading hold also changes that heading?

2 hours ago, AlMassimo said:

would really appreciate if someone could tell me how to change this value without having to click on a VC knob

The controls involved in adjusting headings for the AP are:

Heading bug inc
Heading bug dec
Heading bug set (heading for parameter)
AP panel heading set (ditto)


I don't know whether these are all operational in MSFS yet, I think the INC / DEC ones are.

Pete

 

 

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Thanks a lot Pete, it's not easy for me to explain accurately the problem.

I opened the console in order to see what happened when I pushed the HDG HOLD on the virtual cockpit. To set this on I push the button under the knob, and the "led" comes green (this happens automatically if I activate the AP master from my OC MCP master button). In this situation the plane hold the current heading, and I can do nothing from my MCP to change it, only for a split of a second when I turn the knob the plane turns but after that it goes back to previous heading. To turn it off the only thing I can do is to press the button on top of the VC heading knob, and then everyting on my MCP work fine.

So, having the console opened, I selected "events" and I can see the rows showing the operations carried out, eg. "AP HDG HOLD" and - on the left - other numbers that I can't identify for what they are (sorry - I surely missed some part of the instructions for the console). The only thing that I find significant is that pressing the button on the VC the events are different from those coming out when I press the button on the MCP; the offsets in the sioc code are those well documented for the autopilot, and they work perfectly, but ONLY if the VC heading hold is turned off (and this can be done only from the VC, and I need something to avoid this).

I remember from FSX that there were 2 set of controls

KEY_AP_HDG_HOLD_ON     AP_HDG_HOLD_ON     Turns heading hold mode on     Shared Cockpit

and

KEY_AP_PANEL_HEADING_ON     AP_PANEL_HEADING_ON     Turns heading mode on (without capturing current heading)     Shared Cockpit
KEY_AP_PANEL_HEADING_OFF     AP_PANEL_HEADING_OFF     Turns heading mode off     Shared Cockpit
KEY_AP_PANEL_HEADING_SET     AP_PANEL_HEADING_SET     Set heading mode on/off (1,0)     Shared Cockpit

To what I understand is that the VC button sends the first command (locking the current heading until I turn it off whatever else I did)

and the OC MCP via sioc and the offsets you reported (07C8, 07CC) send the second kind of commands (with "_PANEL_") that work only if the hold mode is previously disengaged.

Tomorrow (now is very late) I will try to capture some screenshots with the row displayed on the console.

Thanks again for your help.

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Regarding the heading values, let's suppose that I set the heading to 230 degrees with my MCP knob, both the MCP and VC displays show "230". Good.

The plane current heading is, let say, 200 degrees. I push the AP master button. On the VC, the "led" on the HDG button becomes green, and the plane starts follwing the 200 heading, but on the displays (on VC and on my MCP) I read 230, while the plane is holding 200.

Only when I switch off the heading hold function pressing the VC knob, the plane starts aligning with 230° and then I can control the heading setting it with the HDG knob on AP.

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Ok essentially the question is:

is there any way to send an AP_HDG_HOLD_OFF through FSUIPC ?

I cant' find that, and apparently no configurable control is present in MSFS menu to assign a key combination in order to send this command, so at the moment no way to get rid of this unwanted AP_HDG_HOLD function that locks the operations of my MCP otherwise working well.

 

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Hi Thomas, thanks!

I am a bit rusty about FSUIPC menus and controls (for the last 3-4 years I only used XPlane), so I apologize for not having checked this option before.

This seems to be the solution, I can assign a key to this action and (if it works) deselect the AP HDG hold just after pressing the AP master button.

The ideal thing would be to send this command automatically when I press the AP button, maybe through sioc or even a lua script or else...

I'll try if the key assignment works, and at least I can avoid to go on VC mode and click a spot on the screen!

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5 hours ago, AlMassimo said:

is there any way to send an AP_HDG_HOLD_OFF through FSUIPC ?

The "AP HEADING HOLD" control is a toggle, so that should do it.

1 hour ago, AlMassimo said:

I can assign a key to this action and (if it works) deselect the AP HDG hold just after pressing the AP master button.

The ideal thing would be to send this command automatically when I press the AP button, maybe through sioc or even a lua script or else...

You can have multiple assignments to the same button. To do this you would need to edit the assignments in the INI file -- details are provided in the FSUIPC Advanced User guide.

Alternatively,  ifi t's a push button you are using, then you can assign one action to the press and the other to the release.

Pete

 

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Hi Pete, thanks, I'll try as soon as I get back home this evening.

I was thinking only in terms of offsets since I can't remember if SIOC allows sending commands, I always see only offsets in the code.

Years ago I wrote a lot of code with lua and fsuipc offsets, for all my cockpit, but I am no longer able to have luacom working so I have to leave my Pokeys

and use Arduino instead. For the heading issue, do you mean that I can assign an action to the OC MCP button ? This is what I am trying to do, because

otherwise I will have a fictional operation to do pressing a key on the keyboard or on the yoke just to be able to disengage this heading lock that wasn't present in fsx 737.

Or can I associate an action in fsuipc triggered by a button in my MCP ? I don't think is possible...

I will alse check if the same problem is present on the 747 autopilot.

 

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No way, nothing works. I tested probably all the available commands related to autopilot heading, but no one worked for the "Hold" function of the 787 panel.

I was wrong when I said that the console recognizes the command sent when I press the center of the HDG knob in VC. When I press the HOLD button under the knob the console report the event "AP_HDG_HOLD_ON" and when I press the button on the OC MCP it displays "AP PANEL HEADING HOLD ON" or OFF, but nothing appears when I press the VC knob button, that is currently the only way to remove this sturdy and stubborn "HDG HOLD" function.

I have explored the HTML code of the gauges under aircraft dir, there are many of them related to 787 or airliners or generic panels, but is difficult for me to understand where the heading hold control is activated in conjunction with AP master activation. I don't know if in the real 787 the AP master does this, but MS/Asobo could at least have provided a command configurable to switch this off from the keyboard. Probably is a new variable, maybe only on 787, and nothing can turn it off from outside the simulator itself.

It's quite annoying for me. I've installed the last update patch today, but even so the problem still remain exactly as before.

At least on XPlane 737 specific datarefs were listed on documents and I could interact with them just using the right syntax, here for the moment I can found nothing in the SDK.

 

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Disaster.... (for me at least)

747 is completely different from B787, it uses other variables (and maybe other commands) for the autopilot, autothrottles, etc, so, given that 787 was almost partly controlled by old fsx AP variables and commands (left apart heading hold mode and vertical speed mode, level change mode, etc...), that means that the 747 has mostly custom new variables...

I hoped that at least 2 Boeing airplanes could share the same Autopilot controls...  but seems not to be the case.

I just wonder, if no SDK updates will be released before october 2020, how will you be able to release the commercial version of FSUIPC if essential offsets won't work...

For sure I will buy the license as soon as it will be available, but will it work for the autopilot variables used in default planes ?

I am a MSFS 2020 enthusiast from day 1, no doubt about that, graphics level is awesome, but after some weeks I must have to agree with those who said that too many things were not ready for an offical release... hope that your creativity and strong technical skills will overcome somehow these problems, at least for essential part of the avionics as the FCU or MCP, EFIS and so on.

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I have found this possibly interesting post on MSFS forums :

"There are no commands that are visible in control settings GUI. But you can control the FCU authority with these Sim Connect sim events; HEADING_SLOT_INDEX_SET SPEED_SLOT_INDEX_SET ALTITUDE_SLOT_INDEX_SET VS_SLOT_INDEX_SET Sending these with parameter 2 gives the authority to FCU, and sending with parameter 1 activates selected mode for each knob. You’ll need to use a 3rd party controller interface software that use sim connect; ....."

Maybe that these "SLOT_INDEX" variables or controls set to 1 allow normal operations for the knobs of MCP ?

I cannot send them directly to simconnect... never even tried to do this directly, only used FSUIPC.

 

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18 hours ago, AlMassimo said:

but is difficult for me to understand where the heading hold control is activated in conjunction with AP master activation.

An idea for where to look.
In the older sims this was defined in the aricraft/sim.cfg under the [autopilot] section.. If the AP master was turned on & no other lateral mode was selected/armed prior, then heading hold would be turned on.

default_bank_mode= #
This determines the default bank mode when the autopilot logic is turned on.
0 = None
1 = Wing Level Hold
2 = Heading Hold (current heading).
If no value is set, Wing Level Hold will be the default


Also, 

use_no_default_bank = #
Setting this flag to 1 will cause the default bank mode to be "None". It will actually set the variable default_bank_mode to zero, so that there is no default bank mode when the autopilot logic is activated.
The preferred method is to set the default_bank_mode directly. (above)

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45 minutes ago, AlMassimo said:

"There are no commands that are visible in control settings GUI. But you can control the FCU authority with these Sim Connect sim events; HEADING_SLOT_INDEX_SET SPEED_SLOT_INDEX_SET ALTITUDE_SLOT_INDEX_SET VS_SLOT_INDEX_SET Sending these with parameter 2 gives the authority to FCU, and sending with parameter 1 activates selected mode for each knob. You’ll need to use a 3rd party controller interface software that use sim connect; ....."

Maybe that these "SLOT_INDEX" variables or controls set to 1 allow normal operations for the knobs of MCP ?

I cannot send them directly to simconnect... never even tried to do this directly, only used FSUIPC.

 

I have added those controls in the attached version if you would like to try them - they should now be in the controls drop-down in the assignment panels.

FSUIPC7.exe

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Thanks a lot John!!!! THAT WORKS!

The control was set to FMC, capturing the current heading value. Setting the slot to 1 the control is passed to MCP heading value as set with the HDG knob.

This is very good, and the same thing can be applied to altitude and speed. Now the ideal thing would be to send this control automatically when I push the AP button,

is there some way I could send this command from sioc, when I press the AP button ? or maybe I could write some LUA code ? What do you suggest John ?

I understand that this could be a problem when using the FMC. I wonder why they do this passage to the FMC if no flight plan whatsoever was set...

To answer to Spokes2112 (thank you first of all) I agree with you that somewhere in cfg somewhat should be this setting, but the aircraft.cfg seems to be locked (".fsarchive)

if you can find some other path to reach the autopilot configuration, I can't find it... As I said I checked many files under instruments, I also found the 787 FCU.js and other,

but all attempts to modify those files didn't work.

 

 

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Hi John and Pete, I found in sioc manual that sioc can simulate a button action on one of FSUIPC virtual joystick.

This way I could use the button of the MCP AP MASTER to do also a simulated button press for the VJ :

Var 1 Link IOCARD_SW Input 116 Type I
{
&FO_JoyStick64 = CHANGEBIT 0 v1 // toggle bit 0 of joystick 64
}
Var 2 name FO_JoyStick64 Link FSUIPC_OUT Offset $3340 Length 4

SO I could assign this button the action of setting the hdg slot to 1. 

That should work in theory... and this opens a lot of possibilities also!

I'll try and report the result.

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Hello, I found a good solution with this option available in SIOC through a powerful function in FSUIPC :

Var 0441 name FS_CONTROL Link FSUIPC_OUT Offset $3110 Length 4
Var 0442 name FS_PAR Link FSUIPC_OUT Offset $3114 Length 4

Var 0426, name I_HDGSEL, Link IOCARD_SW,  Input 28
{
  IF &I_HDGSEL = 1
  {
    &FS_PAR = 1
    &FS_CONTROL = 68065
    &FS_CONTROL = DELAY 0 10

So pressing the heading lock button I also send the command to commute HDG SLOT to 1, and that work.

The first idea (sending an fsuipc virtual joystick button) is very interesting, but worked randomly, sometimes the button press was detected, many other times no.

Probably something has to be fixed...   Anyway FSUIPC is really a great tool, and the more you know it the more you discover how poweful it is!

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Looking on the console, the parameter 1 is not received apparently; when I press the button, on the console the row with control 68065 shows a parameter = 0,

nevertheless the autopilot knob works, but the Var 0442 should issue a value 1 to the control parameter...

This function in SIOC/FSUIPC could be used for improving the old fsx drivers for MCP and even EFIS.

My next test will be on the EFIS side, to see if sending controls work on the NAV display or the GPS.

I'm also working on interaction between FSUIPC, MobiFlight and Arduino, but I miss my LUA interface with my Pokeys (currently still connected to all my overhead...)

Is there any hope that LUACOM will be working again ?

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No, I installed the most recent luacom.dll I could find, compiled in 2020 and compatible with lua 5.1, in the lua dir under FSUIPC7 dir. Then i set my lua code for the pokeys inside the ipcready lua. These are the first rows of my mip.lua code (that worked fine with fsx when I last used it)

require "luacom"
poKeys = luacom.CreateObject("poKeysDevice_DLL.poKeysDevice")

if poKeys == nil then
  ipc.log("Error: poKeysDevice_DLL object creation failed.")
  ipc.display("NO POKEYS - QUIT PROGRAM")
  ipc.exit()
end

When I launch MSFS nothing happens, but when I look in the log file I find this :

   149422 LUA.1: beginning "C:\FSTools\FSUIPC7\ipcReady.lua"
   149422 LUA.1: C:\FSTools\FSUIPC7\ipcReady.lua:1
   149438 LUA.1: Global: ipcPARAM = 0
   149578 LUA.2: beginning "C:\FSTools\FSUIPC7\mip.lua"
   149578 LUA.2: C:\FSTools\FSUIPC7\mip.lua:1
   149594 LUA.2: Global: ipcPARAM = 0
   149656 *** LUA Error: error loading module 'luacom' from file 'C:\FSTools\FSUIPC7\lua\luacom.dll':
    %1 non è un'applicazione di Win32 valida.

I tested both the luacom supplied with the lua for windows precompiled package (and luacom.dll is dated may 2008...) and the most recent luacom.dll that I found on the net,

but none of the two worked (if the error is caused by the specific version of luacom).

Currently I am exploring many other territories, form MobiFlight to Python libraries that seem to work directly with simconnect and could be interfaced with arduino, but of course if I could make my Pokeys to work with LUA and FSUIPC I would feel much more "comfortably at home" let me say...!

 

 

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Ah, the luacom.dll! Sorry, I know nothing about that - its a 3rd party lua library. I thought you were referring to the lua com library, built in to FSUIPC.

It seems that the luacom.dll is 32-bit and won't work in a 64-bit process. You could maybe try a workaround for UDP sockets posted here:

 

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Thanks, I saw that post, but I don't know how to create the pokeysdevice object without luacom.

I could try to compile it in 64 bit environment, but I think I'd rather work on Arduino if it is less complicated that this solution.

It was a really powerful and easy to use combination, it's a pity it was abandoned (at least seems abandoned).

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