Tag Archives: GoFlight

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.

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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.

 

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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

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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 »

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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.

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Auto-generate XGoFlight configuration files & notes on community adoption

Since its inception, XGoFlight has utilized JSON-based configuration files.  The JSON format is extremely popular on the web and can be edited in any text editor, but is rarely used as a configuration file on personal computers.  Compounding the learning curve is the complexity involved in configuring the plugin to work with specific custom aircraft.  While intermediate and expert level X-Plane users will have no problems on either end, novice users may struggle.

To alleviate any learning curve or potential confusion with XGoFlight configuration, I have begun creating an web-based application that will allow users to easily generate a configuration file without having expert knowledge of JSON or X-Plane.  Even if the user is an expert, (s)he will benefit from the interface being built.  I hope to have it released by the end of the month, so please stay tuned!

Notes on XGoFlight community adoption

Currently, there are a number of barriers to more widespread adoption of the XGoFlight plugin.  First, I only support four of the 12 GoFlight modules.  For those with only a few modules that’s probably not a big deal.  For those people who own a home cockpit filled with GoFlight modules, it poses a problem.  Right now there is a tradeoff required between the custom aircraft functionality and flexibility provided by XGoFlight, and the full range of module support provided by Sandy Barbour’s plugin.  It seems as though people primarily want support for the WP-6, GF-166, and GF-46 modules.  As I’ve said in community conversations, I fully plan to support these modules; however, support is wholly dependent upon my ability to obtain said modules.

Another barrier to more widespread adoption is cross-platform compatibility.  While I provide a 32-bit and 64-bit version of XGoFlight for Windows, I do not provide any solution for Mac or Linux users.  Currently all of my computers run on Windows 7/8 x64, so I cannot test the plugin on Linux or Mac.  If someone knows how to compile the plugin for all platforms from Windows, I’m all ears.  The other option is to have another X-Plane-GoFlight-Visual C++-Mac-Linux user compile the Linux and Mac versions for inclusion with every release.  Either option works for me.

Until next time!

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XGoFlight 2.0 adds P8, WP6 support and more

Last week, I released XGoFlight 2.0 which added support for GoFlight’s P8 and WP6 modules.  I also added additional customization, four preset actions for the pushbutton modules, continued improving logging, and fixed several bugs as detailed below.  Today, the XGoFlight Configuration Generator was updated to reflect these changes.

For the most part, the LGTII requires no customization.  The three trim wheels, gear, and flaps switch work out of the box for almost every aircraft.  The three-way switch, however, was not used and could not be customized.  With XGoFlight 2.0, the three-way switch can now be customized using commands, as exemplified below.

In previous versions of XGoFlight, when the batteries or avionics were off, the MCPPRO would build up a backlog of events (e.g. button push, rotary turn).  When the batteries or avionics were switched on, the backlog of events was carried out.  For example, if you pressed HDG SEL with batteries off, HDG SEL would be triggered when the batteries were turned on.  XGoFlight 2.0 includes a fix preventing a buildup of events with batteries and avionics off.

Prior to XGoFlight 2.0, the configuration file was loaded when the plugin started, as well as when any aircraft was loaded.  The execution order looked like this before XGoFlight 2.0.

  1. X-Plane started
  2. XGoFlight loaded
  3. XGoFlight loads default configuration file
  4. Aircraft loaded
  5. XGoFlight loads custom (if found), or falls back to default configuration file

While this was transparent and never caused any problems, it was largely unnecessary.  In XGoFlight 2.0, step three has been eliminated, which prevents the double loading of configuration files.

Lastly, XGoFlight 2.0 includes improved logging and various internal improvements.  On that note, I have another iteration of XGoFlight in the works.  So far, it will allow full customization of the RP48 rotaries and add a general aviation MCPPRO profile (similar to default Cessna 172SP).  Stay tuned for more!  As always, suggestions and comments are welcome.

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