OpusFSI Flight Simulator Interface for and





OpusFSI_Overview  OpusFSI_User_Guide  OpusFSI_Getting_Started_Single_PC  OpusFSI_Getting_Started_Networked_PCs  OpusFSI_Live_Weather  OpusFSI_Live_Camera OpusFSI_ButtKicker

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OpusFSI User Guide (continued)

 

Shortcut Controls

Shortcut Controls enable you to assign joystick button and keyboard keys to common actions or controls within the FSISERVER program. All shortcut controls are defined using the Shortcut Controls dialog accessed via the FSISERVER program's main form.

OpusFSI Server Form

At present, you can assign buttons and keys to,

         Update the weather

         Toggle weather update On/Off

         Toggle the Simulator weather report window On/Off display

         Cycle to the next Simulator weather report window

         Cycle backwards to the previous Simulator weather report window

         Toggle the Opus weather report window On/Off display

         Cycle to the next Opus weather report

         Cycle backwards to the previous Opus weather report  

         Toggle the large Weather Assistant Map on and off the screen

         Toggle the first Weather Map on and off the screen

         Toggle the DHM and AHM effects On/Off

         Toggle the ButtKicker effects On/Off

         Toggle windowed views On/Off

         Restore window sizes and positions

     Cycle the camera views forward (next) between identical view modes (virtual cockpit, 2D cockpit, or External Aircraft camera views for the currently selected aircraft)

     Cycle the camera views backward (last) between identical view modes (virtual cockpit, 2D cockpit, or External Aircraft camera views for the currently selected aircraft)  

     Play the panning sequence assigned to the current camera. If there is more than one panning sequence assigned then the on-screen Menu box will be displayed allowing you to select the required sequence.

Only relevant weather reports can be displayed using these controls. The Local Area weather report is always considered active and relevant. The Lower and Upper Atmosphere weather reports are only active if the GRIB data is enabled. The Destination and Alternate weather reports are only considered active if the relevant Destination or Alternate site has been specified in the Weather dialog. The weather report Display, Next, and Last Shortcut commands are assumed to refer to the 'first' OpusFSI Wx Report.

All windowed views must be docked/undocked manually.  

Assigning Joystick Buttons and Keyboard Keystrokes

Click within the button or key command text boxes to specify the required assignment. When you click within the text box, the box will empty and turn red indicating it is waiting for your entry. You can now either click a second time to clear the entry, or press your desired joystick button or keyboard assignment.

OpusFSI will accept buttons 1 through to 32 of Joysticks 1 through to 8. All button and registered key events are displayed within the Spy window when the button or key is pressed. If they are not displayed then the joystick or button is invalid, either not registered within the sim, already assigned elsewhere (i.e. FSX, 3rd party add-on etc), or just an illegal entry.

Each keyboard assignment may consist of a combination of up to two modifier keys (Alt, Ctrl, or Shift) with a normal keyboard key. The entry is not case sensitive. The numeric pad keys 0 to 9 can be used but they must be assigned with the Num Lock ON (for recognition), and used with the Num Lock OFF within FSX/P3D. This is a quirk of the simulator and not the OpusFSI software.

N.B. The Insert, Delete, Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, Left, Right, Up, and Down keys cannot be assigned to shortcuts.

I have U (Update weather), shift-U (toggle weather update on/off), W (Weather report), N (cycle Next), and shift-N (cycle last), D (toggle DHM on/off), Q (toggle windowed views on/off), V (cycle next camera view) and  shift-V (cycle last camera view) configured and operating on my system. It is up to you  to make sure any assignments are not in use elsewhere on your system (FSX, FSUIPC etc). If your assigned key is working it will be displayed as an event in the Spy window when you press it (only after it has been assigned and specified to FSX via OpusFSI though).  

There is a difference between the actions of the Shortcut View Cycling commands and the way 'common' camera key or buttons are processed when configured into the actual Live Camera views. The Shortcut keys will only cycle the views with the same view mode that was last selected onto the display through the Live Camera interface. So the Shortcuts will cycle through all your VC views or all your External views depending on what was last selected through Live Camera actions. The common key (or button) is assigned to groups of views, assigned within the camera views themselves. I use a common X key configured in all my camera views. This common key (or button) will cycle through all assigned camera views irrespective of the camera view mode.

Shortcut Commands - Cycle through relevant views with the same view mode as the current view.

Camera Commands - Cycle through all cameras assigned with the same common key/button.

Live Camera Control

You can assign buttons and keys to move the eye point during flight within any VC, 2D, or Custom view.

The Ctrl+Shift keys work fine (e.g. Ctrl+Shift +U for Up, Ctrl+Shift +D for Down etc.).  

POV and Hat Switches

Joysticks or controllers with POV (Point Of View or 8-Position Hat switches) can be assigned to the LCC functions. Up to four POV or Hat switches are supported.  Any POV or Hat switch assigned for use by the LCC should be removed from the FSX SETTINGS.

Game Controllers

Shutdown OpusFSI and FSX.

Plug in your controller, install the windows driver if necessary. Start up FSX and the OpusFSI FSISERVER program.
Edit the FSX SETTINGs and Delete all button and axes assignments (automatically made by FSX) to your new PS3 controller, save the changes. The controller should be enabled but control nothing. Similarly for FSUIPC the controller should control nothing.
Open the Opus Spy window, you should see the controller listed there. Check your list of devices when you open Spy, it should match the list in FSX Settings.

Open the Shortcuts dialog and click on Live Camera Control (LCC).
Select the controller type from the Controller list box. Click on Left and then operate the left-hand X axis on the controller. Click on Up and operate the left-hand Y axis on the controller. Repeat for Forward and Yaw Left using the right-hand axes. The LCC left/right, up/down, forward/backward, pitch up/down, bank left/right, and yaw left/right movement controls are highlighted in yellow. The axes are read directly by the LCC software however, you can adjust the sensitivity (speed) for cockpit and external views, and dead zone (default 10%) for the axes in the LCC dialog.
Now assign your buttons. I use the left-hand buttons for motion, the right-hand for stop and resets, then central buttons for changing mode and the PS centre button for the Set Camera LCC function.
Click Save a couple of times and you are done.

A Reverse Axis option is available for the LCC Shortcuts Left/Right, Up,Down, Forward/Backward, Pitch Up/Down, Bank Left/Right, and Yaw Left/Right controller axes. When ticked, the GamePad Controller axes will be reversed for the associated control movement.

In flight when you press one of these assigned keys/buttons the movement will be either Continuous or Stepped according to what setting is selected in the Live Camera Control dialog. If Continuous movement is selected then to stop movement use either one of the red Stop buttons in the Live Camera Control dialog or the assigned Stop shortcut control key/button.

Remember FSX only allows eye point (6DOF) control in VC, 2D, and the Opus 'custom' external aircraft view.
If the view drifts then calibrate your controller, alter the dead zone, usually between 0 to 15%.

 

All Shortcut Command data is stored in the following CMD files,

FSXSERVER.CMD ... Microsoft FSX systems
FSESERVER.CMD ... Microsoft FSX-SE systems
P3DSERVER.CMD ... Lockheed Martin Prepar3D systems

The shortcut controls are backed up into a date stamped file (e.g. FSISERVER_30082013.CMD) each time the shortcut controls are saved via the Shortcuts dialog's OK button. To revert to a backup delete or rename FSISERVER.CMD and rename the backup file to FSISERVER.CMD.

 

The Joysticks button option - Input Device to Sim Joystick Mapping

The Joysticks button option is used to review and change the Input Device to Sim Joystick mapping. Check the order of the joystick devices in the sim and the order of the devices in the OpusFSI Spy window. They should be in the same order. If they are not you can change the order in the 'Input Device To Sim Joystick Mapping' dialog by using the dropdown boxes on the right. 

 

After changing the joystick numbers to match the controller order within the simulator's Controls Settings the Remap Joysticks button is used to remap all the Camera, Panning Sequence, and Shortcut Command joystick numbers.

If not loaded at the time, all client system cameras will be automatically remapped when they are next loaded by the FSISERVER program.

Live View

Live View is a standard feature within the OpusFSI Flight Simulator Interface; this feature provides a multi-screen networked display option for FSX by synchronizing multiple networked PCs running copies of either the Microsoft FSX or Lockheed Martin Prepar3D simulator.

With Live View, Opus Software have used their 28 year experience of developing high-performance real-time networked telemetry and data acquisition systems, to provide the networking software you need to create a multi-screened experience for FSX. No matter what complexity of system you intend to create, Live View will provide the ideal solution.

Live View is ideally suited to home cockpit builders and general enthusiasts alike. The Live Camera control  feature included within OpusFSI also simplifies the Live View set up, allowing you to customize and automate the Live View displays on each of your client PCs (see below for details).

The Live View multi-screen networked display feature allows FSX to be synchronized across multiple networked computer systems, including laptops. Live View can be used to create a variety of panoramic views or to simply provide additional fixed spot plane, fly-by, tower, or map views on separate 'client' computers.

A networked Live View system is created by activating the FSISERVER program on your main 'flying' computer, and running the FSICLIENT program on each of your connecting client systems (PCs or laptops). The programs can be activated in any order, with or without FSX, which greatly simplifies the set up of your system.

The configuration of the Live View system is simple to the extreme, just tell the main 'flying' server how many Live View clients you wish to support, and configure the server's computer name or IP address into each of the client systems, and away you go. You can sit back and watch your client systems connect and start communicating with the server. Spy buttons help you monitor the activity over all the networked links, or monitor the overall activity and operation of the FSISERVER and FSICLIENT programs.

The OpusFSI Getting Started Networked PCs guide explains how to set up the OpusFSI network and also includes some Live View FAQs.

 

The set up and configuration of your system is further simplified using the in-built Live Camera interface.

 

 

 

Figure 3 - Live View Multi-Screen Display  

Photo courtesy of the Human-Centered Design Institute, Florida Institute of Technology

The main features of Live View are,

         Live View synchronizes the aircraft's current position, attitude, landing gear, wheel movement, lighting, ailerons, elevator, rudder, flaps, spoilers (speed brakes), engine throttles, reversers and parking brake.

         Live View  synchronizes the simulator's date and time, with either weather themes or full METAR weather updates for the aircraft's surrounding area.

         Live View employs and optimizes multiple dedicated high-performance network links to provide the highest level of performance and the smoothest possible operation.

         Live View requires minimal set up and configuration to get up and running.

In order to achieve the highest possible performance and smoothest operation the Flight Simulator settings should be adjusted on each Live View client computer. Please refer to the section called FSX Computer Systems in the OpusFSI_Getting_Started_Networked_PCs guide for details.

N.B. In order to see the full synchronized effects of Live View users must save a default flight with all engines running on each client system to ensure the aircraft is powered up correctly and ready to fly.

To ensure consistent views you should also have the same scenery, textures, and airport Add-ons installed on each FSX/P3D system.


Live View Weather Synchronization

The current version of the software supports synchronization of either Weather Themes or the surrounding area's METAR data.

FSUIPC4 is required on Live View clients that are used to display camera views. You can download a free copy from http://www.schiratti.com/dowson.html

 

TrackIR

Please refer to our OpusFSI_Getting_Started_Single_PC document located in the OpusFSI installation folder, also available from our download page.

 

CPFlight MCP737/EFIS737 PRO/EL Panel Driver

Simply enable the CPFlight driver in the Server Configuration dialog and set the COM port as appropriate.

TOGA button

The TOGA button has been added to the CPFlight MCP737/EFIS737 PRO/EL panel driver on auxiliary input K121.

A/T Arm switch

The A/T Arm switch on the CPFlight MCP737 is automatically disengaged 2 to 3 seconds after landing.

Error Message - Unable to Open COMn serial port !

Have you configured the wrong serial port number or forgot to connect power to the panel?

If CPFlight MCP controls have stopped working with PMDG 737 NGX

There is a problem with PMDG's FSXPMDG.EXE software when you open an FSX dialog. If you have paused the sim then you must unpause it before any MCP changes will be effective.

Also if you stop OpusFSI and restart it, then after the panel is initialised you must make a change on the sim's MCP to kick the PMDG connection back into life.

 

ButtKicker

Please refer to our OpusFSI_ButtKicker.pdf document located in the OpusFSI installation folder, also available from our download page.  

GPS Output  (including SkyDemon)

Using The OpusFSI GPS Output Option

Step One:

Download and install the HW Group Virtual Serial Port - HW VSP3 software from the HW Group website www.HW-group.com.

Create a desktop icon for the HW Virtual Serial Port.

Run the VSP3 program, open the Settings tab and turn OFF all options except for,

                TCP Server Mode
                Connect to Device even if Virtual COM is closed

Save your settings to the INI file using the button.

Open the [v]Virtual Serial Port tab and specify your general parameters for the VSP. I have mine set up as follows,

                Port Name:   COM7
                IP Address: 127.1.1.0
                Port:        23

Click on the Create COM button.

The VSP Status will change to Creating.. then finally Created. The LAN Status will then go to Listen.

Step Two:

In the Opus FSISERVER program's form click on the View Device Driver Links button to display the Device Driver Links on the form.

Now Open the FSISERVER program's Configure dialog, tick the Enable GPS Output option and specify the configured  IP address (e.g. 127.1.1.0) and Port number (e.g. 23) in the fields provided.



Click OK to close the Configure dialog.

A Device Driver Link should become coloured showing the GPS Simulation Networked TCP/IP Socket link, this link will turn green when it connects to the VSP.

The VSP LAN Status should now change to Connected.

Step Three:

After running and loading the flight in FSX or Prepar3D you are now ready to run the SkyDemon (or other 3rd party) package.

You will now have to set up your SkyDemon package.

Setup - > Device Connectivity Options ...

I have a Garmin handheld device
Port: COM7
OK

Setup -> GPS Navigation Options ...

General tab,
GPS Hardware,
Port: COM7
Baud: 9600 (I have my COM7 mode set to 9600,N,8,1)
OK

You are now ready to click on the Start GPS option in the top RH corner of the SkyDemon screen.

  

Rebuild Station Data

The OpusFSI Stations data contains details of all simulator stations along with all runway and communication frequencies. However, if you have installed addon airports then these will have replaced existing airport definitions in the sim. The runway designations may be different as they can change over time, also the com frequencies may be different. You may also have installed scenery addon packages that contain other small airfields that may not even be defined in the sim.
For both these instances the standard Stations (aerodrome) data will not reflect any of these Addons, in the case of the smaller airfields the original data does not even include them.

So if you have addon airports or addon scenery defining new airfields you should build your own Stations data file to include all these changes within Opus, that way the correct COM frequencies will be displayed and the correct runway information and advice given.

The Rebuild Station Data option in the Configuration dialog is used to build system specific data, station data matching your current installed system.

Follow the steps below to build your user station data file(s).

1. Download and save the latest MakeRwys.zip file from Pete Dowson's downloads webpage,
http://www.schiratti.com/dowson.html

2. Extract the MakeRwys files using the Windows 'Extract All' file option.

3. Copy the extracted MakeRwys.exe utility program into your simulator's installation folder.

4. Navigate to your simulator's installation folder and run the MakeRwys.exe program.

N.B. If you have any small runway addon airfields, airfields with runways less than 1500 feet (457 metres) long then you will have to run the program with the />n argument, where 'n' identifies the minimum runway length in feet. For example, MakeRwys.exe />820 specifies a minimum runway length of 820 feet or 250 metres.

The MakeRwys.exe program will create the required Runways.txt file ready for decoding.

5. Run the OpusFSI FSISERVER program, you do not need to run the simulator.
Open the Configure dialog, select your simulator type and make sure you have identified the simulator's install folder correctly.

6. Click on the Rebuild Station Data button in the FSISERVER Configure dialog.

If Opus cannot find the Runways.txt file an error message box will be displayed advising you to perform steps 1 to 4 above.

7. The Rebuild Station Data dialog will now appear confirming your current selected simulator type along with the current total number of Stations (aerodromes) that are loaded.

When ready click on the Start button.

The Start and OK buttons will be disabled during the decoding. The decoding process will take some time due to the text decoding, station validation, and duplication checks. The current progress is indicated using a standard progress bar. The current number of Decoded Stations is also indicated within the dialog.

8. When decoding is complete press the OK button to save the new station data into your OpusFSI_User_Stations_... data file. Separate files are used for each simulator type.

Device Drivers

The device drivers provide an interface to the popular panels and Addon hardware for FSX. Each device driver will interface to the relevant aircraft simulation thereby eliminating the need to install separate drivers dedicated to each aircraft.

Figure 4 - Drivers Included for CPFlight MCP737 and EFIS737 Panels

All device drivers are aware of any new aircraft selections even if the aircraft is changed in mid-flight. The appropriate interface (SimConnect, FSUIPC4 or the manufacturer's SDK) will be initialised and employed automatically whenever necessary.

 

Future Development Plans

The Live Traffic option is planned to be a standard feature within OpusFSI; this feature will upgrade the Live View software by providing the means to synchronize the flight simulator's AI traffic. The Live Traffic option will be available as a free upgrade to all licensed users.

Further upgrades and enhancements are also planned, see our website for details. All upgrades will be freely available from our web site. The OpusFSI_Release_Notes.txt file in the OpusFSI folder details all upgrades and releases.

If you have any comments or requests for added features we will be pleased to hear from you. All the above planned features will be included as standard within the licensed  version of OpusFSI

   

Contact Details

Stephen Percy

Opus Software Limited

website:   http://www.opussoftware.co.uk/opusfsi.htm

email:  opusfsi@opussoftware.co.uk

 

FAQ and Troubleshooting

Please refer to our website FAQ page, OpusFSI_Getting_Started_Single_PC, OpusFSI_Getting_Started_Networked_PCs, Live Weather and LIve Camera guides.

 


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