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Saitek Instrument Panel building.

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Has anyone any experience in building new panels with these great devices?

 

I have seen the freeware panels available on Simviation and have successfully modified two of them slightly.  I have taken a four jet engine panel and converted it to a three jet engine panel (for my Tristar) and a two jet engine panel and converted it into a single engine panel.  However these conversions just require the amendment of the background image and the deletion of the appropriate whole sections of the related XML files.

 

Flushed with this success, I now want to build my own. I cant find an XML schema in the interweb for the two types of XML file required.

 

The overall XML file is simple enough to understand but has a section enclosed in <x52> tags which I don't understand.(I don't use an X52 stick), but it would be nice to know about.

 

The individual gauge XML files are a different, and although it is easy to understand the basic structure, there are various details that I don't understand. For example:-

 

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>     Ok with this
-<Gauge Version="1.0" Name="Airspeed Indicator">   Ok with this - just the name
    <Image Name="Airspeed_Background.bmp" ImageSizes="240,240,240,240"/> Calls the background image - the numbers are sizing I think but why twice? Do they resize  or must they match the image size?
    -<Element>
        <Position Y="120" X="120"/> Position, but from what datum? top LH corner?
       -<Image Name="Airspeed_Needle.bmp" ImageSizes="109,15,109,15"> Calls the moving needle image but comments as for background.
            <Axis Y="7" X="9"/> To do with the rotational axis but what?
        </Image>
       -<Rotate>
            <Value Maximum="360" Minimum="0">(A:Airspeed select indicated or true,knots)</Value> Max min Parameters, but what does the bracked part do? 
           -<Failures> I guess that on simulated failure the gauge freezes, but what other options are there?
                <GAUGE_AIRSPEED Action="Freeze"/>
         </Failures>
        -<Nonlinearity>  How does this section work?
                <Item Y="20" X="120" Value="0"/>
                <Item Y="36" X="135" Value="40"/>
                <Item Y="144" X="205" Value="130"/>
                <Item Y="199" X="89" Value="220"/>
                <Item Y="36" X="104" Value="360"/>
         </Nonlinearity>
       </Rotate>
   </Element>
  -<Element> Questions as for the above element apply here too.
     <Position Y="112" X="112"/>
     <Image Name="Airspeed_Center.bmp" ImageSizes="16,16,16,16"/>
   </Element>
</Gauge>

 

If you can shed any light then please do!

 

Ta.

 

J.

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John, I cannot answer your question right now but I am putting out a few feelers, hopefully someone will know the answer.

 

Joe

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Thanks Joe.

All of the above would be useful to know as I an very keen to create my own gagues.

If they turn out well then I will happily share them. I'm not sure if I should share my converted gagues as they are other peoples work with nails banged into them.

j

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Hi John,

I'm afraid I'm of no use to you either.

This is one side of flight simming that I haven't looked at.

Hope you get some help with it though.

There has got to be someone here at Mutley's Hangar that is able to assist you.

Good luck.

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Thanks Rick, for posting the link. :thum:  

 

I would also like to welcome you to Mutley's Hagar and look forward to hearing more for you. :welcomeani:

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I have worked out the XML now thanks to Ricks Link.  The Gauge XML is the same as any standard FSX XML gauge, except for the buttons and knobs. I expected it to be some Saitek schema, but no its Microsoft's.

 

Microsoft's SDK explains all about the XML.

 

Thanks Rick and welcome to MH!

 

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You are welcome, glad I could help. I posted this at AVSIM and think it mught be of benefit to some of your cockpit builders here; that use multiple Saitek FIP's.

 

I have been running 12 FIP's, 2 Radio panels, 1 BIP, 1 Multipanel, 1 AP Panel, 1 TPM, 2 Throttle Quads, Yoke & Pedals, all from the Saitek Pro Line, and 1 Cessna Trim Wheel for a few years.  I have never had to replace a single item. (I am, FYI, more of a casual FSX flier 6-10 hours per week) so my results may not be relevant to those who are using theirs multiple hours every day.)  I do use the licensed version of FSUIP4 and SPAD.

 

I tried running some devices from the Yoke's Hub, powered and not, but found erratic behavior from most everything I connected to it.

 

My solution was to hook the yoke & footpedals straight to the MB/CPU, the FIP's to 2 Belkin v2.0 7 port powered Hubs that connect direct to the MB and the other devices to another Belkin v2.0 powered Hub connected to the MB.  I also found that connecting any of these to a USB v3.0 port caused erratic behavior.  My CPU does have 4 v2.0 and 2 v3.0 USB ports on the front of the case which makes this easier.

 

All of these Hubs are connected to a Power Strip that I turn on prior to loading FSX.  I first plug in the Yoke & footpedal's USB cable to the CPU then the Hub cable with the non FIP devices.  Start FSX and wait for the HD light to stop then plug in the other 2 Hub USB cables to the MB.

 

By following this sequence the non FIP devices will be found by SPAD, which won't find them after FSX is loaded, and the FIP's will come up in the correct order I want.

 

More info available at http://fsxtimes.wordpress.com/ on how to set up the FIP's and some great gauge mods that Saitek should have done themselves.  Also, there is tons of useful FSX information along with tweaks laid out in basic terms.

 

 

Rick S.

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