Wednesday, October 21, 2015

FlyEngravity CDU v.2

Together with CPFlight FMC and NAV2, I bought a FlyEngravity CDU v.2.
The product is quite expansive but does not need an additional display.

It has been shipped with a good packaging and once opened it lookd very solid and robust. The feedback of the switches is very good as well as the back light. Sorry for the poor quality of the photos..



The connection is very easy: it needs the power supply and a ethernet cable. The manual is pretty clear and the process quite easy (it took me around 5 minutes to have the CDU up and running).
However note that the network connection procedure described in the manual is not correct as it assigns a static IP number to the device regardless if it is connected to a DHCP as normally happens with modern modem/routers.


It is possible to assign the CDU a dynamic IP number even if the procedure is not described in the manual.
I suggest to assign a dynamic IP to the CDU. Then associate the device to a static IP in the DHCP server.

I am planning to use the device with PMDG 737 initially. Later n with ProSim.

FlyEngravity claims that a driver for PMDG will be available soo.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

MCP backlit

The MCP and the CPT EFIS have been mounted into the wooden frame sitting below the monitor.
The quality of the product is impressive compared to the 10 years old RS232 model I was using before.
The picture below shows the MCP with backlit on.


I have mounted also the auto throttle off button and the T/O GA on the left side of the MCP.
The feedback of buttons, switches and toggles is worst the money I spent for this toy.

Insallation has been very easy as well. The picture has been taken while flying with P3D v2.5 and PMDG 737.

After many years I replaced the 2 old monitors with a new one, the BENQ B2711U 4K UHD 3840x2160 pixel with IPS tecnlogy. The quality is very good but have to reduce the screen resolution with my PC and graphic card that I will replace soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Project restarted

It is long time I am not updating this blog. In fact the project was on hold because I could not decide if it was the case to phase out FSX in favor of P3D or XPlane.
Finally I decided for P3D 2.x that is a great product from my point of view. Never ever had a crash till now.

I had also decided to develop the cockpit of a B737 instead of the 767. The reason is that 767 D has never been updated for years and is compatibility with P3D and new operating system is very limited. It is pity: I really loved that plane. I will get rid of the panels I built and sell the FMC.

I tried the PMDG 737 and B777 . Both are great products but the hardware available on the market offers much more for the 737. My plan at the present is to develop for the PMDG 737 and switch to ProSim when possible. I have tried ProSim demo and it is great but without a throttle is difficult to use. I have bought one for the 767 that will adapt to the 737 and it makes me closer to ProSim.

I still do not have enough space for the simulator and it limits my setup. But we are now actively looking for a new apartment so.. cross the finger.

In the mean time I have decided to renew my CPFlight MCP and EFIS devices and add the second NAV. All these parts arrived few days ago and I am now installing them. The MCP pro seems a very good. Unfortunately I have not yet tried on the simulator. The MCP has also few buttons more then the old 737 (speed and alt intervention for instance) and buttons commanded by a relays that disengage depending on the status of the plane. Look the picture below:



The A/T and the disengage buttons  will move to the OFF position autonomously depending on events from the simulator. Switches and buttons have a much better feeling then the old ones.
The MCP connects to the sim through a USB. As I said I have not yet installed the device but it seems that the device internally has a serial port and there is a intgrated converter serial to USB to interface with the computer.
I wish to report once more that CPFlight staff, Paolo for instance, are very kind and professional as usual. Their products are quite expansive but the quality and reliability is very good.

I am also going to replace the open cockpit FMC with a FlyEngravity one. It arrived at home at the beginning of this week and well be the topic of a another post.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Annunciators

After so long time looking for a easy way to implement annunciators, I believe I finally found something very interesting. I am talking of squares plastic boxes. The fit into the holes of the cards for soldering; in the middle go the LEDs and on top you can fit a strip with the written of the annunciator. Finally on top of that goes a protectiv plastic cap so that it is not possible to damage the written with the finger tips.
I fount them at conrad after a long search.
The first model has a transparent cap that for me is the best solution. You can find the with the ID number 705332. An image says much more:

The second model, 702237, has a diffusor on top i.e. it is not transparent:
They have a surface of around 1x1cm, maybe a little more (1 inch?). But I think they are good enough even if not perfect. Perfect for me would be 1x1,5.

Another interesting piece of hardware that I bough just for testing are momentary buttons with the surface coloured by 2 LEDs. The exists in greem (704423), in red (704415) and orange (704431) and yellow. About the same size of the annunciators:
I finally mounted the landing gear on the wooden frame. It is the biggest panel I have in mind so it will take a long time. I thin to place there the flaps (a rotary with annuciators and the gauge I bought from opencockpits), auto brakes, ILS and so one.
I also planned a littler panel having only a rotary for the APU with its 2 annunciators and the push button to communicate with cabin attendandts and ground services. Ok this last part is not very interesting to fly but it is used more often then other controls in the header panel. The other are just set on departure and turned OFF at the apron. I will use this panel to practice with the rotary before using severalof them in the other big panel.

I did not yet bought the gauges from flightillusion: I wrote a email but they never replied...

One word to must be said about my CPFlight MCP. After I upgraded the driver there are several problems. But I am in contact with the support for fixing. I have to say that CPFlight support is always very good. On the other hand I suspect to be the only using their products with the 767: it is something I have to keep in mind for the future.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Planning for new panels

First snow arrived last Saturday and that definitely means that this summer is gone and cold winter is arriving. And when this happen I start planning the new improvements for the home cockpit.

I am planning three panels right now but I have not yet decided their layout. One panel will go on top of the second monitor: there will be all the annunciators from the header panel and from the glare shield. They will be realized with OpenCockpi because it is very easy and fast. I have also noticed that the new version of LekSeeCon has improved a lot during the summer. In particular the part regarding the proximity warnings of the glare shield. The library now connects to FSUIPC too and there are new status bits that, according to Niko, make the behavior of annunciators more similar to the real 767. Current version is 9.2 and there are a lot of improvements and changes comparing to the 8.2 I have installed at home. So I have to upgrade as soon as possible.


Last winter I prepared the wooden frame to put the landing gear and other instruments but at the end I bought and installed the FMC from OpenCockpits and I am really satisfied of this device.
In the frame, I will install the landing gear and something else as I have free room there. The problem is that this panel goes just in front of the joy so it is not very easy to reach. Should I put there some gauge instead?

The third panel will go in the far left side aside of the main monitor. I want to put there some of the controls. For example flaps and brakes but maybe also the switches to communicate with the flight attendants and that to ask for the pushback. The layout is not decided yet, of course.

At this point I have to plan carefully what to put and where because my available space is finishing: I have to concentrate on the most important (i.e. most) used switches, leds and gauges. And for the same reason I have to plan all the panels at the same time even if I have to admit that the panel with the annuciators is almost stand alone and I can start working on that.

I have no room for installing more monitors but I could greatly improve the realism by installing gauges. I have found those produced by flightillusion quite interesting even if very expansive. There is a card to be connected to the PC with a US, the GA-55. It is possible to connect gauges to this card like for example the altimeter (GSA16) and the attitude indicator (GSA34),  and the Radio Magnetic Indicator (GSA-RMI-DME). Quite expansive I know but they seems really good and easy to interface with the simulator. To make the system good enough I would need also a vertical speed indicator.
Considering that I already bought the OpenCockpit gauges for the flaps and the digits and knobs for the ILS tuning, with this gauges and the panels I wish to build I could probably fly without keyboard and without the glareshield in the main monitor.

I started a survey with the hardware producers and I found a very interesting post in MyCockpit.org with a  List Of Third-Party Rudder Pedals, Yokes, TQs, etc... I put the link here as I think is a great reference for everybody.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

10th flight simulator conference

I have been at the 10th flight simulator conference, held in Germany on saturday, March the 24th. Sorry if I am writing this report with a huge delay... 

The first report have been written in one of my posts in the VoloVirtuale forum so what you read below is more or less a plain translation from italian to english.



There were a lots of exhibitors and between them VATSIM, IVAO, AEROSOFT, Saitek, VRinsight just to name some of them. And there was also a lot of people, actually much more then I expected. The conference has been held inside the Deutsche Musuem of Aviation.


Aerosoft was selling all of its products and had a virtual cockpit that people could enjoy. The cockpit seems a real replica based on XPlane and having a big flat screen The queue for playing was really huge!



Also Saitek and VRInsight were present with a lot of products. VRInsight was offering an interesting 20% discount. But the most interesting things was to see and touch the hardware they produce.

VRInsight was selling a 737 header panel for 1600€ but to be honest I did not like so much because it looked like little game instead of a serious device for flying.



Very interesting instead the gadwet produced by Saitek for altutude, speed and so on... unfortunately I read some comment saying that suck widgets are very useful for the standard FS planes but less interesting for liners like the LevelD or PMDG. I still believe that they could help creating a good home cockpit in a short time.


Due to the lack of time, I followed only 2 talks: the presentation of XPlane and PMDG. 

Almost all the stands run XPlane, FSX was used in a very limited places while Prepare3D was absolutely missing.

XPlane

The first coming product is DC3 for the lovers of vintage planes.The graphic details of the cockpit and the interiors comes from around 6000 photos.
XPlane and his future developments have been presented in an interesting talk. The was a lot of people following the talk and they had a lot of questions. Unfortunately the talk was in german so I could understand only part of the presentation and almost nothing of the questions...

With XP10, Laminar tried to develop what they called a reasonable world not a 100% reproduction of the reality. 
In XP10 there are different type of roads like highways, one way, normal streets and so on. These different types come from OpenStreetMap. There are also different types of residential areas like cities, villages, industrial, business.

The autogen, the ATC, the rendering engine, the lighting and the textures have been rewritten or greatly imprioved from version 9. Actually, a lot of very amazing screenshots have been presented especially regarding the lighting system.

For the future, Laminar wants to focus on big liners that they called "High Fidelity Aircraft Addons" by adding FMS data (from Navigraph that at the present is the only one available), idraulic system, electric system, high resolution textures and visrtual cockpit.

Laminar XPlane 10 releases LFMN, ELDP, LPFR, EGLL, LFPO, EDDF. LSZH in collaboration with Aerosoft.
Apart of airports, XPlane 10 has severla new common objects avalable for scenery designers like hangars and water towers among the others.



PMDG

Randazzo presented the new products from PMDG in a 30 minutes talk with a great series of screenshots . His complete presentation, in english, is available in you tube.



The second product is the 777 . Randazzo showed the level of detail of the instrumentation that arrice to reproduce the dust of the original planes from which PMDG took the pictures..The cockpit of the 777 was turned off because the stem did not work 100% yet in fat, in the only active instrument, there were chinese chars that they don't know from where they come from.

Randazzo also announced that PMDG will develop a 747 whose release date is foreseen between 4 and 6 months after the 777.

Randazzo spent quite some time talking about the 737 'HUD. It is now widely used but was a real technological challenge for PMDG.

The selling of the MD11 was not as good as expected. People buys the plane that sees in the airport regarding if it is a good produt.
He believes that 'MD11 is a wonderful plane both in reality and simulated.
Randazzo reaffirmed that there is no interes in PMDG to develop airbus birds.

PMDG is developing a plane for XP but he did not tell us which one because they could change along the way depending on the diffuclties they have to afford. According to Randazzo, it is not a project to sell but to investigate XP potentiality and estimate the porting effort so it will not be a new product but the porting of an existing one.

Home cockpit builders were a little bit upset for the lack of SDk but it seems that PMDg is going to change its policy. Apparently, the SDK released by PMDG for the 737 are not good enough because the software houses found some glitches and functions not implemented as they should.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

FMC installed - final review of the device

The FMC has four LEDs already connected on the grren board and the manual from OpenCockpits describes very well how they are wired.  The cables to light the LEDs are available in the 40 pins connector: the ground is common and there is one wire available for each of the four LEDs (However in the picture of the manual there is an error in the way the holes of the 40 pins connector are numbered....)
I preferred not to scrape the gumi of the cables but instead to put another thin cable in the hole before inserting the 40 pins connector in the socket.

Actually, I ended connecting in this way only the LED for the MSG and preferred to wire the EXEC in a different way. The reason is that for the EXEC I had to put a LED with a resistor and, at least for me, there is not enough space for that. I suggest to use a LED with a incorporated resistor for the EXEC. They costs a little bit more but for this specific case I think they are of a great help to reduce the cabling and the space needed for the resistor. I did 2 new holes in the board just below the black BRT pin, as you can see in the following picture of the rear side of the board:



There is enough room for one of the holes but for the second one it is a little bit risky.... As you can see at the bottom of the right big hole there are 2 little holes one close to the other. They are the holes supposed to to be used for this LED and that are wired in the 40 pins connector of the board. The reason I did not use them is because I need to mount the LED in the frame, then put the keys in place and only in the final step to close the box. I need the LED to be moveable and to be able to turn left and right the frame before closing. It might be that I am not skilled enough ;-)
Note that the LED must be connected to a master card or to an output card to be lighted because the FMC as an OpenCockpits key card that has no output lines.

Pay special attention to the position of the keys because is very boring to dismantle the device only for that.  And pay attention to the keys also. Each key is composed of two parts: the black upper side with the engraved letter and a transparent squared frame at the bottom. They are simply glued and in my case the glue went banana on its own and I had to fix the pieces again... I hope these pieces are glued well because it is a lot of time to dismantle the device, glue and remount!

I put the FMC into a box. The cable run out of the box from the bottom. The box itself has been fixed on the left side of the monitor. As I said, unfortunately I have no room to build a pedestal. The following picture shows the FMC in its final position:


Theis shows part of the cockpit during a flight:


And the last one shows the FMC during a flight:


As you can see the quality of the image is quite good and the written are placed exactly in front of the left and right keys. Some light comes out of the upper side I have to better seal the frame): it is produced by the screen of the FMC.

Flying a liner with the FMC improves the feeling of the reality so I really suggest you to have one in your home cockpit. The feeling of the OpenCockpits one is quite good. I mean the screen is very good and if I press a key the reaction time is very good.
But is is not perfect. As I said the glue of one of the keys failed without having done anything. The keys are too loose; this is not a problem normally unless you mount the device in a vertical position as I did.
Very good to have the lines to connect the LEDs but why are they in the 40 pins connector together with all the other wires? It would be better to have a dedicated connector considering that they must be connected to an external board.
Finally a couple of words about the missing EXEC LED. IMO the other LEDs are not very important. In the 767LD for example there is an annunciator in the cockpit showing that there is a message in the FMC. But the EXEC LED is really important because it is used very often and it is the only way to know that the FMC is waiting for you to press the relative key. 
I consider a big lack the absence of such LED. I appreciate the wiring in the board (even if I preferred not to use).. But where one is supposed to put the LED? And IMO it is very complicated to wire....
Why don't have the LED in the place of the BRT black pin? It is a fake and useles... The best solution would be to have the LED incorporated in the key of course...
We must take into account have to consider the price that is very low compared with other similar devices on the market. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

OpenCockpits FMC

Few days ago I received the FMC from OpenCokpits and I am going to write down here my first impression.

The box was very well sealed and the FMC was packed with soft paper to protect from damages. 
When I saw the new toy I was surprised to find it much bigger then expected. The upper panel is 100% plastic and the keys move slightly in their holes. To be honest the first impression was not good. It really looks like a cheap toy for kids.



The sides of the FMC are not covered and show the electronics that drive the FMC. The bottom side, showed in the next picture has a connector for the power supply, in yellow, and for the USB (in white). Note that the connector of the power supply offers a socket in the rear side (in black at the right of the yellow inlet) that can be used to back light the device. The black cable is for the TV out.


The lateral view: the display is on the right side; the rear side of the FMC is on the left of the picture.


The keyboard is fixed to the electronic by means of screws so it is quite easy to remove the upper side and check how the keyboard is done internally.


The keys are simply put on top of micro switches and three brown plastics frames, one on top of the other, hold them in position. That's the reason why they moves slightly. However pressing the keys is smooth and they emit a nice sound of click.
There are 4 LEDS, 2 on the left side (on top in the picture) and 2 white at the right side (better visible in the next picture). They correspond to the 4 alerts that the FCM can show during a fly. I am particularly interested in the led on the right upper side of the device that lights when the FMC shows a message.
The EXEC button instead has no light and that's really a pity because we need that otherwise we have to remember when the FMC expects us to press EXEC. There is also no available place to fix a LED in the EXEC button. What I plan to do is to remove the BRT black plastic of the mask and put a LED there. Note that the BRT does not work in this version and the black plastic item is simple a place holder. I took this idea looking at Nico's pedestal.



The following picture shows the keyboard of the FMC with 2 of the three frames in position on top of the keys. You can hardly see a hole in the plexiglass on the right side of the EXEC key. It corresponds to the BRT black plastic pin. It really seems to have been planned for housing the LED for the EXEC after removing the BRT pin.


Before closing the the device I removed the BRT pin. Now I need to find the best way to fit a LED there and also the way to light the for LEDS in the green board.

After looking at the inside of the device I changed my opinion. I think it is well done and ready for being back lighted. There is the place for the LED of the EXEC and four LEDS ready for being lighted.
What I completely miss is the documentation on how to turn on/off the LEDS. Are they available already or do I have to connect them by myself to the master card?
Lekseecon provides variable to light the MSG and the EXEC. And I will ask Nico how he configured his device.

The connection to the PC has been easier then I thought. To avoid problems I bought from opencockpits the VGA to video converter. I guess it was overpriced but at least it worked immediately.
I needed to add a new screen to my PC and I could use the onboard video device of my ASUS P67 pro. I set the screen resolution to 800x600 and started the 767LD.
It took me quite some time to position the window inside the new screen. I had to hack the panel.cfg to find the right parameters. The trick has been that to set the size of the widget as fixed and then the classical trial and error procedure. It took me quite some time but finally I had the green written in the display in the right position.

To test the device I had initially to move my SIOC from one single file to multiple files configuration. I splitted my config file in 2 files, one for the light panel and one for the master switch. It worked immediately.
Finally I added the FMC config file provided by lekseecon after setting the opencockit device in the SIOC config file.
Unbelievable it worked immediately with no intervention from my side. I really did not touch Nico's config file and everything worked in the first shot.
It is really great to interact with this device. It is smooth and I like the click when I press a button.
I will add more picture the next time I connect the device to the 767LD.

Now I need to connect and light the 2 LEDS I mentioned before and build a wooden frame to suite the device. I will hold it in the wall at the left side of my home cockpit. As I said I have no room to replicate a real 767 cockpit so for the time being I have to arrange the devices where I can.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bought the FMC

It is a long time that I want to have a FMC for flying the 767 because the device is essential and one of the most used device during the simulation.

There are several items on sold from a pletora of producers. I started surveying the products long time ago and ended with 2 devices. One is the B747 FMC from FlyEngravity. It is quite expansive, at the present it costs aroubnd 1200€. It is fully compatible with the 767LD and easy to connect as it uses only one USB cable and a power connector.
The second interesting product is the OpenCockpits FMC  that costs around 350€ plus taxes.  It requires a USB connectr, a video out and the power. The problem is that I already have 2 monitors connected to me PC.

After a long time I decided for OpenCockpits FMC especially because I am afraid that the FlyEngravity one is too tight to the 767LD and FSX.
The market is in a transition phase right now. Flight seems not to be good enough for simmers. XPlane 10 seems quite interesting but sttill not supported by the software houses. Prepare3D is very interesting and expansive but I am afraid that LevelD will never port there the 767 or will do but only in a very far future. Sad to say but LevelD is very slow releasing products. They promised the 757 years ago and still nothing is moving. I asked the official forum about P3D and they replied that they are aware of this simulator. Difficult to say what it means exactly.

So, for the first time since long time, I am not anymore 100% sure to stay with the 767LD and FSX. This is the main reason I preferred the Opencockpits FMC. To be free of using it with other planes simply changing the SIOC script.
If I will switch to another plane, it will be a 737 because it is much more easier to find cockpit's stuff for that model. PMDG 737 seems very promising so it is worth to wait for its SDK. It will be compatible with my CPFlight modules that are designed for the 737 and I will customize my hardware for that plane.
In this moment, I believe that it is better to stay quiet and see what the software houses will do.

Having bought the OpenCockpits FMC, I need a video out connector. I am thinking to add a new graphic card to my PC. It could as well be USB. But I prefer to have the device at home and think better about the connector. I bought also the VGA to video converter sold by OpenCockpit. I believe that I can found a cheapest one on the market but I do not want to have problem for a connector if possible.

Given that the FMC was cheaper then the other (that I was very close to buy to be honest), I bought some other interesting stuff. Especially the flaps indicator. This is again for the 737 but I will customize for the 767. The number of flaps positions differs between the two planes.

I received the MCP from CPflight. They changed the knobs and returned the item in a very short time. I will never get tired to repeat that CPFlight support is quite good.
The MCP works well and I connected also the TOGA button but it seems useless unfortunately.
I upgraded the firmware to the last 3.05 version but I have a problem now. I have an out of memory when launching the connection to FSX. I have to restart the connection and seems ok apart that it does not iconize. Ok not a big deal! I warned the support just in case it is the symptom of an underlying problem that could arise while flying.

Unfortunately the power supply I built for the electronics stopped working yesterday. I discover that I can avoid a power supply if I take the power out of the USB expansion card. I will use that as a temporary solution but I believe that a separate power supply is better. And I will probably need it for the backlit of the FMC and maybe for the bar of leds of the landing gear.
On the other hand, if it works well then it is not the case to add the complexity of another power supply to the system...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Logitech G940 review

The device is very well packed and all the items have their envelope to protect from water and humidity. The box contains the pedals, the throttle, the joystick and the power supply.

Cabling is quite easy. The main device is the joystick that has the USB cable to connect to a free port of the PC. It has also 2 DSUB9 ports where the throttles and the pedals have to be connected. Cables are long enough at least for my setup. Close to these connectors there is also the connector for the power supply. Neither the DSUB9 not the power supply connectors have screws to lock the cable. I think that a device so expansive should have better connectors especially the DSUB should be different between pedals and throttles to avoid to connect a device to a wrong socket. The missing of the screws is also a lack for me. At least in my setup I will have to connect and disconnect the devices every time I flight so I am afraid the the connectors could brake with the time.

All the devices are plastic made but they lock very solid and heavy. The joy and the throttle device have holes that allow to screw them to the table. However they have gum below and never move even without locking. Pedals have gum below and some locking when used with carpet. They also never moved but I wonder why they do not have any locking mechanism that I find more useful for this device then for the others.

Installation proceed as usual: launch the setup of the CD and connect the device when requested. When the G940 is powered the buttons in the throttles lit up first in red then in green then off. The joystick wake up and the lever goes to the center. The software loads up a profile manager from which it is possible to select a specific profile for the flight simulator. Note that at the present there is no support to light the buttons of the throttle. It is a pity as it would be nice to have them working. I think for example to have red/green color for the landing gear and so on.

The profile manager resembles other profile manager like for example that of the saytek joystick. It is possible to select the device, a button of the device and then associate a key or a macro (i.e. a sequence of key to press). In the case of the Flight Simulator, the profiler shows a list of commands. Thrusting the default profile for flight simulator I started the sim and tested the device. I had to configure the axis from the controls tab of the simulator. Some of them has to be inverted, like the rudder, but it has been quite easy. I used one of the saved situation of the 767LD for that purpose so my sim started with the pane powered at the parking.

In my case this simple configuration did not work, The plane had the brakes always on and crashed during the taxi or was impossible to take off. I never understood the reason as there was nothing assigned to the brakes. I configured the pedals with the differential brakes and no assignation for the brakes (the dot of the keyboard) and nothing for the parking brakes. When I released/set the parking brakes everything seemed to work well but as soon as I touched and released the pedals the brakes engaged and was not possible to release. I spent quite some time with this issue but no solution. Another problem I noticed was related to the spoilers:: the lever moved constantly from released to around middle range.
After spending some hour, I gave up and get rid of the profiler by selecting an new, empty profile. I deleted all the assignation to the devices in the flight sim. and start from scratch. What is annoying in this phase is that in order to save the settings in the flight simulator you have to exit the program. It seems that FSX only saves the settings during shut down. Note that to get rid of all the assignation, I had to select the right device in the settings tab. SO the same operation had to be repeated for all the three devices. FSX assigned to each devices some command/axes by default. But this assignation is not clever enough so that there were more device controls assigned to the same axis or keyboard command. I guess this, together with the profiler settings, could have been the reason of the problems.
I resasigned all the axes and commands to the buttons as I liked and after that everything works well. However this operation has been very time consuming and for awhile a thought to have a problem in the G940 too.
The profiler has now an empty profile. I tried to assign some commands from the profiler but it does not work anymore. First when I select a button it does not offer the list of FSK commands as it was doing before. And even if I assign a command, nothing happens in the simulator. So I guess that now the link between the simulator and the profiler is broken. I also guess that there is a way to fix but I am not really interested as I think that the profiler is useless unless it allows me to do something I can't achieve with the setting of the simulator that is not the case.

G940 is plenty of joysticks and buttons, hats and sliders and all of them easily configurable with FSX. In my case I used only controls for the landing gear, flaps, trim, one to engage the spoilers for landing and a hat for the view in 3D cockpit. So in my case there are more controls then what I need. What I would like to have is the possibility to invert the axis of the throttle to simulate the reverse. It should work in this way: when landing move the throttle back to idle; press a button (or better switch the configuration button from position 1 to 3, this button is in the throttle lever) this button inverts the axis so when I accelerate the throttles the reverse is applied. When finished with the revers, move back the throttle, press the button and the axis return normal for taxiing. Not sure if it can be done with the profiler. That would be a good reason to resuscitate the profiler.

The pedals are quite solid. Even if they are plastic made, I am not afraid to put my heavy shoes on it and move them. Instinctively I do not apply big forces on them but there is no need as they react immediately and smoothly. I found taxing and landing a new experience. The pedals add a lot of realism. Differential brakes together with the 2 throttle levers greatly improves maneuvering. Differential brakes are progressive so it is not a process all/nothing but it is easy to modulate the amount of brake to apply to the left and side side.



The throttles are easy to control with he 2 levers. Very useful during taxi and maneuvering and to experiment single engine fly without turning off one of the engines. The levers do not move smoothly along all the range. There are 2 points where they offer some resistance. For me it is not disturbing but for a three-hundred-euro device they should be better IMO. The throttle has to be put on the left side while I hoped to use them on the right side because this is the position of the throttle in respect to the captain seat. The levers have an inclination and the button in one side of the lever so that their position is the right side.
For my way of control the throttles, the button in the pad are disturbing. I am used to lie my left arm on the pad and in this way it presses the buttons in the pad. This is my fault of course. I solved by setting buttons that I do not press by mistake with the arm. Fortunately the device is full of buttons...



The joystick is really great to control the plane. It is very smooth, really nice to move. The hand fits quite well. This device must be controlled by the right hand. Same consideration I did for the throttle...
The lever is quite big and to press some button or use the topmost hat I have to release the lever, move the hand and operate the control. This is again not a big deal because there are buttons and  a hat I can control without releasing the lever. There are so many controls that it is very easy to customize.
I almost can't feel the force feedback. It has been activated in the simulator and I also increased from 100% to 110%  but up to now almost can't feel it. I should feel some vibration during taxi, landing and moving up and down the gear but nothing. I would also expect the force to be applied when the plane needs trim. But nothing or very little force. I have to investigate more. What I can say is that I had an old microsoft side winder years ago and when the plane needed trim it was quite hard to handle the lever of the joystick. I have to experiment more probably.

To close this long review, just few words about the centering of the devices. It has to be done with the standard windows controls, the same we are used to use for the other joysticks. This is easy and familiar but surprising for the throttle as the 2 throttles are seen by the system as a 2 axis joystick so both the levers must be moved while centering.

The following picture shows my little home cockpit as it appears today (pedals at the bottom are not visible).


G940 is just in front. Behind almost invisible the keyboard and the mouse in the right side. The lighted instruments are CPFlight (MCP, EFIS, XPNDR, NAV, ADF, COM). On the right side of the MCP, the master caution button I built starting from two pieces of aluminium. In the top right side the light panel. 
I took this picture flying on IVAO with the 767LD. The right monitors shows the FMC and IVAE.
Below the monitor on the right side, there is the wooden frame for the next panel. I am planning to put there the landing gear and other controls, not sure yet which ones.
And I am also planning to put on top of the monitor in the left side, a set of annunciators. Probably the ones in the overhead and maybe those in the glare shield.

Last saturday I sent the MCP to CPFlight for maintenance. The knobs for the heading and the altitude do not work (consumed). But talking with CPFlight support, I found that there is wire connector in the back side of the MCP for the TOGA button and it works with the 767LD. I will probably add a button close to the master caution for engaging the TOGA. In this way I save one input line of the master device and the cabling should be very easy.