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A Quick Tutorial - Adding the Timer Gauge as a 2D Pop-Up Window

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For those who have never delved into the panel.cfg file of aircraft, it may appear daunting at first, however, it is relatively easy to work with when adding 2D pop-up windows. This quick tutorial is using FSX.


The 2D pop-up window is the simplest method for quickly adding the FTime timer gauge for use during the MEBAR.


IMPORTANT NOTE. For the timer to commence counting during the take-off roll, it MUST be displayed.




1. Unzip the contents of the FTimeV4 zip file to a temporary folder.


2. From the temporary folder above, copy the Gauges folder into your main FSX folder. The contents of this Gauges folder will be merged with the existing content in your Gauges folder, creating a folder called Digital in your Gauges folder. The Digital folder contains the required FTime.xml and Box.bmp files for the timer.


3. Navigate to the panel folder of the aircraft you are flying. 


4. Make a back-up copy of the panel.cfg file.


5. Open the panel.cfg file with a text editor, Notepad works fine.


6. We are adding a 2D pop-up and this is defined as a 'Window' in the panel.cfg file. To do this, there are two specific entries to the panel.cfg file which we need to make. The first entry is to add the 'Window' in the 'Window Titles' section at the top of the panel.cfg file, and the second entry is to define the parameters of the 'Window'. The panel.cfg file example below is the FSX default Cessna 172. The required entries are displayed in red and this will display the timer in the top left corner of the monitor by pressing Shift + 7, being the 7th entry in the 'Window Titles' list.


// Panel Configuration file

// Cessna 172sp
// Copyright © 2001-2003 Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.
[Window Titles]
Window00=Main Panel
Window01=Radio Stack
Window03=IFR Panel
Window04=Landing View
Window05=Mini Panel
gauge00=Digital!FTime, 0,0,45,25
gauge00=Cessna!Altimeter,                               346,167, 79, 79
gauge01=Cessna!Annunciator,                             517,159, 62, 15
gauge02=Cessna!Avionics Switch,                         288,426, 37, 47
gauge03=Cessna!Flaps,                                   467,415, 48, 64


7. Save the file. If you are making changes to the panel.cfg file with FSX running and you want to see the affect of the changes, you must reload the aircraft after saving the file.


8. In the 'Window Titles' section, it is important the Window number, e.g. Window06, is the next number in the sequence and that this corresponds with the section defining the parameters of the 'Window'.


9. As previously mentioned, this will display the timer in the top left corner of the monitor. There are nine predefined fixed display positions in FSX, numbered 0 to 8, where a 2D pop-up window can be displayed. Changing the 'position=' entry will display it accordingly. These positions and the corresponding numbers are below.


0          1          2


3          4          5


6          7          8


10. If you want to adjust the size of the displayed timer (sometimes this will be a need due to the aircraft add-on used), make the necessary adjustments to the 'size_mm=' entry and the last two corresponding numbers in the 'gauge00=' entry.


11. Here is a screenshot of finished result.






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