Category Archives: Hardware

X-Plane 10.30 Beta 1

There are a few key changes in X-Plane 10.30 Beta 1 that have the potential to affect the operation of the XGoFlight plugin, most notably changes to trim interpretation.  As I work on the third development release of XGoFlight, I will take this into account.  If you are using the beta release, please feel free to send any bug reports my way.  The same applies to XHatSwitch and XRemoteFMC.  Thanks!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
GoFlight 46

XGoFlight 2.3 release adds GF-46 support, fixes EFIS switch reversal

Just moments ago, I made XGoFlight 2.3 available for download.  The primary focus for this release was adding support for the GF-46 module.  I also fixed the EFIS switch reversal that several people kindly reported.  Another change, which has the potential to affect users, involved the renaming of the XGoFlight plugin directory.  The plugin directory has been renamed from Xgoflight to XGoFlight.  Lastly, I made a few internal improvements from logging to abstraction, which should make troubleshooting a little easier and save users a tiny bit of memory.

To learn how to configure the GF-46, please visit the Usage section of the plugin documentation.  Also, if you happen to come across any new bugs, please feel free to report them on the Troubleshooting page.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

XGoFlight 2.3.2 maintenance release available

As of this evening, another maintenance release of XGoFlight has been made available.  If you are one of the individuals having issues with the EFIS map mode knob, the XGoFlight 2.3.2 update is for you.  Based on the feedback I’ve received, I’m hoping this will fix the map mode issue once and for all.  If you don’t own the EFIS module or are not having issues, you can safely skip this release.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Added nine example XGoFlight configuration files

The next version of XGoFlight will not include example configuration files in the ZIP file itself.  Instead, all example configuration files will be posted and maintained on this web site.  This simplifies the release process and reduces clutter in the plugin directory.  So far, nine example configuration files have been posted.

  • Airbus A320neo (JARDesign)
  • Baron B58 (Laminar Research)
  • Boeing 727 (FlyJSim)
  • Boeing 737-800 (EADT x737)
  • Boeing 747-400 (Laminar Research)
  • Bombardier Challenger 300 (ddenn)
  • Bombardier CRJ-200 (JRollon)
  • Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 (FlyJSim)
  • Cessna C172SP (Laminar Research)

[View Examples]

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

XGoFlight 2.1 brings full customization for RP48 rotaries, array dataref support, and GA MCPPRO profile

Although it has been a mere two and a half weeks since the release of XGoFlight 2.0, I am pleased to announce the release of XGoFlight 2.1, which adds full customization for the RP48 rotaries, array dataref support, and a general aviation MCPPRO profile.

Customizing RP48 rotaries

When I started the XGoFlight project, my goal was to create the most flexible and customizable GoFlight plugin on the market.  In all versions prior to XGF 2.1, the rotaries could only be used with a limited number of preset actions.  After receiving some user feedback, I decided it was time to extend command and dataref-based customization to the RP48 rotaries.  An example JSON configuration for the rotaries is included below:

Let’s break it down…

  1. Uses preset action: spoiler
  2. Each turn to the right will increment the auto brake by one, whereas each turn to the left will decrement the auto brake by one.  The minimum auto brake level is zero, which usually signifies RTO.  The maximum auto brake level is 5, which usually signifies MAX.
  3. Each turn to the right will execute the command defined by “command_on,” whereas each turn to the left will execute the command defined by “command_off.”  In this case, turning the rotary left will turn the XPDR off, whereas turning the rotary right will turn the XPDR on.
  4. Uses preset action: engine_apu_switch

Using array datarefs

While most X-Plane datarefs contain only one integer or float value, some datarefs contain multiple integers or float values.  The datarefs that contain multiple values are called arrays.  In plugins/DataRefs.txt, those datarefs are indicated with brackets, as pictured below:

We will use the two “generator_on” datarefs for this example.  The first dataref (sim/cockpit2/electrical/generator_on) is an array of eight integers.  The following example can be used with the RP48, P8, or WP6 for any aircraft with two generators.

The number located within the brackets is called the offset.  Every array starts with a zero offset.  In this example, generator_on[0] is the first generator, and generator_on[1] is the second generator.  This pattern is relatively consistent across all X-Plane datarefs.

MCPPRO: General aviation profile

The default MCPPRO profile is geared toward jet aircraft with complex autopilot systems.  The default profile supports VNAV, autothrottle, and other functionality not seen in a common Cessna 172.  The general aviation profile provides a non-specific solution for users looking to more closely match that class of aircraft.  Below is a comparison between default and GA profiles (only differences are highlighted):

Default GA
A/T ARM NORMAL
SPEED NORMAL
LVL CHG NORMAL
VNAV NORMAL
ALT HLD ARM SYNC/HOLD
V/S NORMAL PITCH SYNC
V/S WHEEL NORMAL NOSE UP/DOWN
DISENGAGE NORMAL

To use the general aviation MCPPRO profile, add the following to your xgoflight.json configuration file.

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

How to configure starters for the MESM in XGoFlight 3.0

The upcoming release of XGoFlight adds support for GoFlight’s Multi-Engine Start Module.  The configuration for the MESM is very similar to that of the EFIS module.  MESM functionality can be assigned using datarefs or commands, offering the flexibility needed to accommodate custom aircraft.  Below is a command-based configuration file for the default Cessna 172:

As stated, the MESM also supports datarefs.  The configuration file below is based on the Challenger 300 by ddenn:

Since the igniter switch is still a work-in-progress, I have opted to exclude it from this tutorial.  Stay tuned for much more news on the upcoming and highly anticipated XGoFlight 3.0 release!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Hardware compatibility for payware aircraft

For those of us who do not use the keyboard and mouse with X-Plane, datarefs and commands are required for a proper experience.  For the payware aircraft that rely on standard X-Plane datarefs and commands, full compatibility is available out of the box.  As payware aircraft become increasingly complex, they increasingly require non-native datarefs to achieve full compatibility with external hardware.  I have started to create a list of payware aircraft that provide datarefs or out-of-box compatibility for customers.  For the time being, I recommend avoiding those aircraft vendors who do not provide full lists of datarefs.

Full list

  • Boeing 727 by FlyJSim
  • Bombardier CRJ-200 by JRollon
  • Bombardier Dash 8 by FlyJSim
  • Challenger 300 by ddenn

Default datarefs (out-of-box compatibility)

  • Boeing 787 by Heinz
  • Embraer 170LR by SSG
  • Seamax 1.2 by JRollon
  • Twin Otter by X-Aviation
  • T-34c Mentor by JRollon

Limited list

  • Boeing 777 Worldliner (autopilot only)

None

  • A320 Neo by JARDesign
  • Airbus aircraft by Peter Hagar

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
GoFlight EFIS

GoFlight EFIS supported in XGoFlight 2.2

As of XGoFlight 2.2, the GoFlight EFIS module is fully supported.  Like the MCPPRO, the EFIS module uses profiles configured at the code level.  Currently, there are two profiles available—default and vmax_777.  The default profile works for almost all freeware and payware aircraft.  The only outlier found was the Boeing 777 Worldliner by VMAX.  If other outliers are found, please feel free to make a feature request by posting a comment on the XGoFlight page.

This release also adds the “increment” parameter for integer datarefs to P8/RP48/WP6 events.  The behavior of the “min” and “max” parameters was also changed.  If “min” and “max” are equal, the button will no longer act as a toggle.  This allows a very specific use case, as detailed below.

Today, a user asked how to configure the fuel selector for a general aviation aircraft.  In the native Cessna 172SP, there are four settings for the fuel selector—off, left, all, right.  Prior to XGoFlight 2.2, making “min” and “max” equal prevented the button from working at all.  Now, users can configure four distinct buttons for the four fuel selector positions without any unanticipated side effects. Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Auto-generate XGoFlight configuration files with our new tool

xgoflight.jsonBack in January, I announced the start of a project with the single goal of making the XGoFlight configuration process a little easier.  As stated in the announcement, the highly flexible and configurable nature of XGoFlight came at the cost of configuration simplicity.  The new tool acts as a JSON configuration generator for XGoFlight.  Best of all, it’s extremely easy to use…

  1. Add and configure all of your devices
  2. Click Export
  3. Copy and paste into xgoflight.json

I originally planned on releasing the tool at the end of January, but life and its many requirements got in the way.  In the interest of time, I left out the dataref and command configuration modes for the RP48 and T8.  You’ll have to continue adding custom dataref and command functionality manually for the time being.  Rest assured, although I can’t provide a timeline, these features will be added in the next iteration of the tool.

Currently, all supported modules can be configured using the preset actions.  Even if you don’t want to use the preset actions, the tool can generate a blank configuration file that includes all your devices.  This means it will be useful to anyone who uses my plugin, regardless of whether preset actions are used.  As always, please report any challenges so I can address them!

Start generating XGoFlight configuration files »

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Mac support added in XGoFlight 1.5 and XHatSwitch 2.2

Mac users rejoice!  All of my plugins are now available on the three platforms supported by 32-bit and 64-bit X-Plane.  Although XHatSwitch, a plugin that provides commands for eight-way hat switches, has been available for all platforms using PythonInterface, a compiled plugin is more reliable and requires less configuration.  XHatSwitch 2.2 adds a compiled plugin for Mac users.  Unless the SDK or the commands change, XHatSwitch should not require another update for a long time.

The biggest news relates to XGoFlight, which gives X-Plane users a way to use GoFlight modules with custom aircraft.  XGoFlight 1.5 provides support across all three platforms, which means Mac users now have a way to use GoFlight modules with custom aircraft like the JRollon CRJ-200 and ddenn’s Challenger 300.  In addition, due to some compiler settings, the 64-bit version of XGoFlight for Linux was over 3 MB in size.  XGoFlight 1.5 reduces the plugin from over 3 MB to just over 700 KB, which is in line with the Mac version.  Lastly, I made some minor changes to RP48 LED processing, which should provide a slight performance boost.

Please see XGoFlight and XHatSwitch documentation for installation, usage, and other details.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS