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Auto Pilot engagement question....

Started by Mach7, November 09, 2021, 04:24:11 AM

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Mach7

Hello Everyone, hope all is well...

I have tried to find this answer to my problem from the MCP manufacturer, (Virtual Avionics), and also the software developer for my sim platform, (Quality Wings BAe 146).

Although I did get a response from VR, I have yet to hear from QW.

My problem is this, when I engage the autopilot on the QW product, I MUST use the mouse click over the switch in order to get it to engage.

Since my desire was to use the MCP button (hardware) I have tried to use this function for engagement, but when I do it will engage then immediately disengage after 2 seconds. (MCP green light will illuminate, AP legend will illuminate on screen, followed by disengagement).

I have also tried to wire in an on/off switch through the 836x joystick board and identify it through FSUIPC, but when pressed will cause a continuous loop of engage to disengage to engage...etc etc...and although the AP will somewhat function, you constantly hear the AP disengage aural warning every two seconds as the system cycles on and off....

I then wired in a momentary "on" switch, but to no success as it would mirror the 2 second "on" to disengagement scenario as outlined above...

Disengagement has been successfully accomplished by using a hardware switch wired through the 836x joystick board, or selection on the VR MCP.

Virtual Avionics had little to no insight as to what the issue might be and advised me to contact the software developer...but to no avial.

Are there certain kind of switch functions a developer can install in there platform to prevent one from wiring in a switch to duplicate the function?

I have found that I can wire in my beacon, strobe, nave lights, taxi and landing light functions through the 836x board and when activated will show the switch movement to on and off on the Quality Wings aircraft, so I am not sure why the AP would be so different.

Regardless....is there a workaround for this, or will i have to constantly carry my trackball mouse into the cockpit with me and crane my head around to engage the AP as I look back at the instructor screen?

Thanks in advance

Jim

blueskydriver

Hey Jim,

What FSUIPC Offset are you using for the for AP button. Sounds like you're using the wrong one or the variable/bit value is wrong. For it too go off/on and repeat seems like a conflict of the variable.

Please the post the Offset values you're using and whatever else you setup in FSUIPC for this button or switches.

Also, you're only using one button for the AP Mode and one switch for the AP Disengage right? Because it sounds like you're using three. Please describe how each button/switch is wired to the card and the Offsets you used.

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Mach7

Hello John,

Hope all is well...

To answer some of your questions, I am using FS2004 with FSUIPC version 3.99, (payware).

I can successfully program the AP function using the drop down menu, so using the offset word bit was not required.

I only have one hardware switch wired in for AP disengage control, and it is located on the yoke as a momentary push button for disengagement only. This is wired directly to the 836x board and setup through the FSUIPC module using the drop down menu ientified as button number "5" with a selection of "AUTOPILOT OFF" on the FSUIPC drop down menu....again no offset was required.

AP engagement was usually accomplished through the VR MCP momentary on/off button on the MCP itself, wired as a plug and play through a USB cable so no programming through FSUIPC was required..

This setup has worked on just about every platform except this one....

The extra switch I wired in was for troubleshooting only, as a bypass to the MCP button, but it showed the same results...I have subsequently disconnected this switch.

Another interesting thing to note is the engagement of the AP using the mouse click...it seems both the AP and the Yaw damper on this panel need a double click in order for the switch to activate. In other words single clicking the AP button on the QW146 controller will not engage the AP ...it takes two clicks for engagement...not sure if this helps or not...

Jim

Mach7

Actually need to make a correction...it only takes one click of the mouse button to engage the AP.

I have included a video of my issue..to simplify I have opened the AP pop up window and superimposed it over my servo Altimeter for easy access during flight.

I show numerous engage and disengage events, identifying that the MCP button will not maintain AP engagement, but can be used, (along with the yoke button) to provide disengagement.

The video starts on level flight with the AP engaged...then goes through the issues with the MCP button etc...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EJZ_4O8S8k

blueskydriver

Check and see if the FSUIPC has the hold the "key press to repeat while held" under the FSUIPC offset for the Yoke AP disconnect button. Uncheck it for now.

Then, make sure the Yoke AP disconnect button is actually connecting/disconnecting when pressed and releasing it. It might be that your button wiring is backwards or the offset is backwards, so that when you press it nothing happens, but when you release it does and that release state continues happening non-stop....

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

blueskydriver

If the button is okay, but the Offset is not working out, can you try a KEYSEND function? Does the program have a keyboard equivalent for the AP Disconnect Switch? If yes, tell FSUIPC to do a KEYSEND for the keyboard key and assign that to the Yoke AP Disconnect.

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

navymustang

Have you thought about running LINDA and watching the LVARs when you press the button, then writing Lua code to simulate pressing that using your hardware?
My 737-800 full-scale cockpit has been sold. Now onto my full-size military helicopter project. An AOPA member and LifeTime member of National Association of Flight Instructors. Please note that I am a self-employed professional cockpit builder that provides consulting to defense contractors and civilian schools and airlines.

Mach7

Hello everyone, will troubleshoot tonight with your suggestions and report back...

Thanks

Jim

blueskydriver

| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Mach7

Sorry John,

Was supposed to be home but got extended to do a KORD turn today...Will get a chance to give all suggestions a try tomorrow when I get home,

Thanks

Jim

Mach7

So just to update everyone...i played around with it a bit last night and today, have confirmed that the MCP is not giving a double click and that the separate (test) button was not check marked on FSUIPC to be continuously enabled.

I could not find a way to log the results from any of the switches, including the QW146 AP engage button.

I did however send another email to Nick @ Quality wings with the attached video to see if there is a workaround to the switch software, as I firmly believe this has to be the main issue.

There is something about the programming of that switch that will not allow a hardware subsitute.

When I hear back I will paste the results....

Is there not a way that one could identify a mouse macro to activate the QW switch(?)

Jim

iwik

Jim,
Would the mouse macro feature in FSUIPC help?. I know it does not always work.

Mach7

Not sure....never tried to use a macro before...how would one go about that and can you connect it up to a switch through FSUIPC?

iwik

November 13, 2021, 12:38:52 PM #13 Last Edit: November 13, 2021, 12:40:14 PM by iwik
Jim,
I have used it before to wire a hardware switch which did not have any offset or lvar.
I have not used it for a while but there is a box in FSUIPC that called " Mouse Macro".
When you prss that a message in green appears at the top of the screen,you then click the mouse on the  screen button and it will register IF it can read the click.
Its been a long time since i used it,back in FS9.
There is another program called Mouse2key by the wideview crowd which did a similar thing.
FSUIPC mouse macro worked well for me but doesnt always.
Here is Key2mouse on front page https://www.wideview.it/ge.

Mach7

Just got a response from someone on FS Developer forum, his solution was this:

"Its because the autopilot button on the panel is in the off position. If it detects the button is in the off position while the autopilot master is on, it will turn off the autopilot".

"You'd have to set the Lvar 'autopilot_master_switch_clicked' to 1 to toggle the autopilot button".

I am not sure the road to travel on this one...but the 146 does have a separate autopilot master switch on the overhead panel which needs to be selected on before the actual AP on function can be enabled.

With the text above, would I need to change the parameters of the autopilot master switch? and if so can I hook up a switch through 836x and address a solution through fsuipc??

Thanks

Jim

Mach7

So..further info to my last post I was able to select the AP master switch on and off using the mouse click and attempted to engage the autopilot using the button on the AP pop-up window (QW146) and found it wud not engage (as suspected).

However..the MCP hardware button will still engage the AP for 2 seconds before disconnect, (regardless  of AP master switch on or off selection)

I was hoping that
..with the AP master switch OFF..selecting the AP pushbutton (mouse click) or..selecting the MCP hardware button wud turn both the master (overhead panel) and AP push button on simultaneously  for engagement.

I assumed this due to the fact that the YD1 and YD2 master switches..if selected OFF...will automatically rocker to ON if the taw damper pushbutton is pressed  through mouse click.

I am attempting to satisfy the parameters from the FSDeveloper suggestion..but to know avail.

Do I need to go onto the switch variables and change the master switch function from there? And if so do I need another add on program to access those variables.

I have AirED on the pastand to modify generic engine start parameters..but unsure if i cud use this to modify switch operations (?).20211120_144318.jpg20211120_144313.jpg20211120_144309.jpg

Mach7


Mach7

Still troubleshooting to see if i can get this AP to engage without the use of a mouse click.

I have tried to see the variables for the Quality Wings payware program by opening FSUIPC, selecting a keystroke, then assigning that keystroke to the drop down menu of "LIST LVAR PANEL VARS".

After I press "OK" and exit FSUIPC, i cannot seem to access the modules folder for the QW146 payware program...(possibly because I am looking in the wrong area, or the programmer has somehow prevented someone from modifying his/her program..(?)).

Maybe someone can clarify what I am doing wrong with the above.

Regardless, here is the video I used for guidance;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOO32FiMNS0&t=104s

The only thing I can read right now is directly from the aircraft config folder, I have attached the notepad file(s)...not sure if there is anything here I can add or modify to make the program recognise a hardware button as opposed to a keystroke.

Thanks in advance

Jim

Mach7

Hello everyone.

I realised that I cannot read the variables using FSUIPC and FS9, so downloaded a freeware program that reads the xml_gauge variables and included this gauge on my instrument panel.

I ran the gauge file and mapped the variables. I am still uncertain how to adjust said variables but have included 3 videos for your review. the first video shows the manipulation of the autopilot master switch on the overhead panel, and operates as one would expect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRzbU4XfkhQ

The second video shows an example of the yaw damper push switch located on the AP control (popup window), and it too operates as expected.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oVVMA_uDcc

The third and final video shows me attempting to engage the autopilot function using the AP button on the controller. As you can see nothing happens. I suspect there may be a lockout for this function when the aircraft is on the ground...I have to run to work so will continue to troubleshoot this week...attempting to get a variable from the switch in question.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssoS5Hw5lGA

any input is appreaciated


Jim

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