OpusFSX Flight Simulator Interface for and




OpusFSX_Overview  OpusFSX_User_Guide  OpusFSX_Getting_Started_Single_PC  OpusFSX_Getting_Started_Networked_PCs  OpusFSX_Live_Weather  OpusFSX_Live_Camera  OpusFSX_ButtKicker

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OpusFSX User Guide (continued)

 

Shortcut Controls

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

At present, you can assign buttons and keys to,

         update the weather

         toggle weather update ON/OFF

         toggle the Opus weather report window ON/OFF display

         cycle to the next weather report

         cycle backwards to the previous weather report

     toggle the large Weather Assistant Map on and off the screen

     toggle the first small 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)

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.

All windowed views must be docked/undocked manually.

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 OpusFSX though).

Available Key Assignments

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 OpusFSX software.

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

It is up to you  to make sure any assignments are not in use elsewhere on your system (FSX, FSUIPC etc). Certain FSX key sequences cannot be assigned, this will always be indicated within the main Spy window. Invalid key sequences will normally result in a non-fatal SimConnect error when they are registered. 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 OpusFSX though).

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 OpusFSX and FSX.

Plug in your controller, install the windows driver if necessary. Start up FSX and the OpusFSX FSXSERVER 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%.

 

The shortcut controls are backed up into a date stamped file (e.g. FSXSERVER_30082013.CMD) each time the shortcut controls are saved via the Shortcuts dialog's OK button. To revert to a backup delete or rename FSXSERVER.CMD and rename the backup file to FSXSERVER.CMD.

 

Live View

Live View is a standard feature within the OpusFSX 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 25 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 OpusFSX 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 FSXSERVER program on your main 'flying' computer, and running the FSXCLIENT 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 FSXSERVER and FSXCLIENT programs.

The OpusFSX Getting Started Networked PCs guide explains how to set up the OpusFSX 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

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.

         Live View on the demo version of OpusFSX will run for 15 minutes allowing you to evaluate the software and ensure full compatibility with your system.

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 OpusFSX_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 system.


Live View Weather Synchronization

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

 

Demonstration Mode

The unlicensed (freeware) version of the FSXSERVER program can operate in a demonstration mode for 15 minutes to allow the user to evaluate the software and ensure compatibility with their system. The demo mode is activated as soon as one of the licensed options (e.g. Live View or Live Camera)  is enabled via the 'Configuration' dialog. At the end of the evaluation period all FSXCLIENT programs and network links will be aborted and the configured payware options will be reset. A minimum of a 2 minute interval is required between demonstration runs. Demonstration mode also restricts the LWE to 160km (100 miles) in all directions and weather updating only whilst your aircraft is on the ground. You can download the unlicensed version of the product directly from the OpusFSX website.

 

TrackIR

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

 

GPS Output  (including SkyDemon)

Using The OpusFSX 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 FSXSERVER program's form click on the View Device Driver Links button to display the Device Driver Links on the form.

Now Open the FSXSERVER 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.

  

ButtKicker

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

  

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.

 

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 OpusFSX 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.

 

Future Development Plans

The Live Traffic option is planned to be a standard feature within OpusFSX; 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 OpusFSX_Release_Notes.txt file in the OpusFSX 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 OpusFSX. These features will all be made available as free upgrades to the payware product. The 15 minute demonstration mode will also be available for each of the payware features allowing users to test the suitability of the product for their own use.

   

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, OpusFSX_Getting_Started_Single_PC, OpusFSX_Getting_Started_Networked_PCs, Live Weather and LIve Camera guides.

 


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