Friday, December 17, 2010

Revolution Simproducts part trois - we have lift off! (almost)

Spent an hour or so via Skype with Oral today from RS. What a nice chap! Together we worked through the process of getting the TQ up and running. Here's a summary for you - could help alleviate some frustration that you may encounter:
  • To enable Oral to see what was going on (and to take control of my computer when needed) I installed a copy of CrossLoop
  • To get my headset working with Skype, I had to plug in a USB hub since I was out of open ports. This meant that the TQ had to be plugged in there too. When I opened up SIOC, I could see that it had lost sight of the IDX settings for the 2 motor cards. I quickly fixed that and corrected the .ini file
  • Oral checked the SIOC settings. All looked good. He was able to control the throttle levers and get them moving (first time I've seen them do that)
  • Moving the spoiler and flap levers, we couldn't see any action in SIOC. Oral guessed that my TQ had been fitted with a newer card and sure enough, this was the case
  • This required some additional software to be downloaded from RS. The good news is that the calibration setting for flaps and the spoiler are much easier in this new utility. The bad news is that the SIOC script had been written assuming that the old card was in my TQ
  • Oral made some on the fly script changes and we got the thing working
At last! The throttles move on their own, as controlled by the auto pilot! Trim wheels too!

Some other observations for you, now that I have a better idea of what is going on:
  • Oral pointed out that the reason I couldn't see the device appear as a "joystick" is that the port labeled such is to trap the button pushes only, not the axis of the throttle levers
  • The TQ needs to be plugged into the main computer in your set up
  • In my case, it talks to the Project Magenta MCP via FSUIPC. Since I didn't have it up and running in my previous tests, even with the correct RS software, nothing would have happened
  • Also in my case, the computer running the MCP is separate to my main computer. It talks to FSX via FSUIPC, passing the inputs from all the devices I've got hooked up to it. A bit like this:
  • In a previous posting I complained about Project Magenta "deleting itself" on install. When I tried to fire it up today, the executable was missing again! On a hunch I got from watching Norton bitch about the CrossLoop install, I checked the quarantine section. Lo and behold, my glass cockpit and MCP software was sitting there. PM isn't deleting itself, Norton is! I made the settings for Norton to ignore the executables, I'll keep an eye on it though
  • Startup procedure will  now be: FSX, Project Magenta, RS software, SIOC
  • Close down procedure (otherwise as Oral points out, your TQ motors may keep running): SIOC, RS software, Project Magenta, FSX
Since it was getting late (there is a 10 hours time difference between Oral and myself), I was assigned some homework: 1 landing with the speed break armed, another with the speed brake down and locked and the thrust reversers engaged. I'll get to it over the weekend. In a way it was a relief, I didn't want Oral looking over my shoulder, sniggering at my attempts to land.... not only once but twice!

Still to sort out, even though we could see the flap and spoiler levers move in SIOC (and calibrate in the RS software), it's not communicating with FSX. Nor the engine cutoff switches. Backlighting packed up too for some reason.

Parking brake works real good! I have the motorized one, meaning when you push on the brake pedals, the parking brake clicks off, just like in the real deal. It's the simple stuff that floats my boat.

What else? Check out my banging new computer!:
Those of you with eagle eyes will notice the memory cards are missing. Amazon reliably informs me that they're on the back of a UPS truck out for delivery. If so I'll get them in tonight and will fire some life into this bad boy. Eagle eyes will also notice I need to tidy up the wiring...

The plan is to reserve this system purely for FSX and for external visuals. Nothing else is going on it. Here's the spec sheet (most of which I cribbed from Ivar Hestnes) - all ordered from Amazon (at very good prices I might add):
That should do nicely.


  1. Bill:
    Suggestion. If it's not too late consider SSD drives for Windows 7 and FSX. On my main computer, I keep FSX separate from the operating system. The operating system is on a relatively small SSD (80GB), and FSX resides on Western Digital 300 GB VelociRaptor SATA 10,000 RPM drive. But I will probably take my own advice and put FSX on an SSD drive. They are blindingly fast! Win 7 takes all but seven seconds to boot. :-)


  2. Gianluca,

    Indeed! Check my specs, I have an SSD in there. It houses FSX, scenery and all of the other gubbins. The velociraptor has Windows on it. So far only had one test run, a "bay" tour of San Francisco with all of the display options in FSX set to high. Very smooth! Have yet to tinker with the overclocking features etc. It's a rainy day here in San Franciso - good chance I'll be spending some quality time on the sim.

    Will consider a second SSD for Windows. 7 seconds to boot up is very impressive. Thanks for the tip!