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Peter Lürkens

Simple tow-plane control

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For owner of the Deluxe version there is a simple method to control the tow plane, in combination a joystick macro facility.

Program your joystick that some left button generates <Bsp> <Bsp> <Bsp> 1 5 <enter>, when pressed, and repeating <enter> ... , when hold. Prgram some right button to <Bsp> <Bsp> <Bsp> - 1 5 <enter>, when pressed, and repeating <enter> ... , when hold.

Set your launch situation and press shift-ctrl-y to spawn the tow-plane, then pause. Switch to windowed mode. Activate the "Traffic explorer", select the tow-plane which is usually the last one with a "?" as identifier, type Maule etc. Right click and select "Stick and Rudder". Remove all checkmarks except from "Bank" and set the cursor in the bank field. Move the box into some corner of your field of view. Alt-Tab back to FSX and unpause. When you need a course change Alt-Tab to the "Stick-and-Rudder" window and press the desired joystick button. As long as you hold it the Maule will bank with 15° into the desired direction.

If 15° is to hefty, reduce to 10° or 5° by patching the above code. It should also work with some keyboard macro recorder and two arbitrary keys. Since FSX window is in the background, they don't need to be free. I used Saitek Joystick prgramming utility.

Cheers,

Peter

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Thanks for that bit of info. I may give it a try later on next week as I should be back home.

sf4JC

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"Program your joystick that some left button generates <Bsp> <Bsp> <Bsp> 1 5 <enter>, when pressed, and repeating <enter> ... , when hold. Prgram some right button to <Bsp> <Bsp> <Bsp> - 1 5 <enter>, when pressed, and repeating <enter> ... , when hold."

Peter, can you give some more detail on this programing? I use a Saitek Flight Control system.

Also does anyone have an answer for this one?

Could some one could tell me why the tow plane always seems to crash in my set up. I press 'control + shift + y" and sure enough, just as advertised, there's a tow plane in front for my 1-26 (fsx c and e under development) and then, for reasons unknown to me the tow plane just starts to move and then promptly noses over in a crash in the middle of the runway. Then, if you wait, another tow plane shows up with the crashed one and both of them tow me to altitude. It gets me up but looks a little odd..................... It's probably something simple, just unknown to me. I assigned the tow plane call and tow release to buttons on the joystick thinking that it might have something to do with my usp keyboard but no difference.

Thanks,

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Hi Ray,

it's the available from the Saitek Site and comes usually also with your Saitek game controller. It's normally found as "Profile Editor" and "Profile Launcher". You have to use the "Extended Command" (or so) rather than the simple command or macro function. I attach my profile to this message, than you can see yourself. Put the .dat file into the software directory of Saitek then the profile editor and the launcher will find it.

In addition to my explanation above w.r.t to the "Stick and Rudder" box, you can leave the checkboxes at throttle and pitch on and modify the settings there for -10° pitch and 80% throttle, to avoid reduced climb in turns, but make sure to leave the cursor in the bank field. Otherwise you expect dramatic reactions of the tow (going to idle power or steep dive, good exercise anyhow).

Cheers,

Peter

fsx.zip

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Hey Peter! I tried this procedure a few days ago with the little time I had and found it enjoyable. At first I didn't think I would like hitting the pause button and also seeing the other window overtop the FSX window, but it's not that bad. In fact, I don't even have to hit pause to enjoy it. I have the Saitek CYBORG evo joystick with all 30 button commands filled, I even got rid of 2 to add the above left and right commands. I just need more time so I can really enjoy this procedure.

THANKS!

sf4JC

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I don't use pause either. I use Alt-Tab to bring the control window to the foreground, and to send it back when I don't want control. To get back your initial functionality, you can also try to switch the profile after releasing the tow.

Cheers,

Peter

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I installed the SDK, of course, just to get the Traffic Explorer so I could control the tow plane. Works great, thanks!

Except, I've had on a few occasions since, after a few minutes into the flight, the frame rates start to plummet, eventually bottoming out at 1 FPS. I'm not sure if it's something unrelated, or something to do with Traffic Tools, or other Tools that got added. I read something online about enabling the things added in the dll.exe, and I edited two items there, changing the <Disable></Disabled> tags to False:

  <Launch.Addon>

    <Name>Traffic Toolbox</Name>

    <Disabled>False</Disabled>

    <ManualLoad>False</ManualLoad>

    <Path>..\Microsoft Flight Simulator X SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\Traffic Toolbox SDK\traffictoolbox.dll</Path>

  </Launch.Addon>

  <Launch.Addon>

    <Name>Visual Effects Tool</Name>

    <Disabled>False</Disabled>

    <ManualLoad>False</ManualLoad>

    <Path>..\Microsoft Flight Simulator X SDK\SDK\Environment Kit\Special Effects SDK\visualfxtool.dll</Path>

  </Launch.Addon>

Do I really need both of those items to control tow plane, or can I turn the Special Effects off again?

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I'm unsure as to why it happens for you. But I'm almost 95-100% sure I have both enabled with no problems. I'm away for a while with family, so I cannot check to be sure of that at the moment. By mid week I should be able to tell you how mine's setup, and maybe to see if there might be a misspelling or space in the address that shouldn't be there. If you have time, maybe... I forgot that you said it only happens once in a while.

I'm running Windows 7 operating system with the program running in "Run as administrator" mode. Not sure if that wouold even help, but maybe.

Scott

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I'm unsure as to why it happens for you. But I'm almost 95-100% sure I have both enabled with no problems. ... I'm running Windows 7 operating system with the program running in "Run as administrator" mode.

Thanks for input, Scott. No. I'm running XP SP3, so don't have to worry about those sort of issues. This may have happened one time *before* I installed the SDK, but it was such a bizarre indicent that I'm not sure. On that occasion, when I spawned in, somehow I was in slew mode (don't ask me how, maybe a typo invoking the towplane Ctrl+Shift+Y), and after whizzing sideways and up and down a bit, with no idea how to make it stop, I ended up at cloud level, and the frame rates down to single figures. At the time, I thought maybe it was proximity to clouds.

The more recent occurences of FPS dropped coincided with using the Traffic Explorer and controlling the towplane. So, not really enough data to point fingers yet.

So, just reading your sig banner...B21 has been bringing me up to speed with soaring tasks, but it seems the multiplayer aspect has been largely abandoned. It sounds like everyone flies the tasks by themselves offline, and then just submit IGC, or fly with everyone else's "ghost". I see you are in SD, which is what...Central Time?

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By the way - Cx has some towplane options worth looking at.

B21

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Sorry for not getting back to this one Bulau, I've been kinda sick lately.

The more recent occurences of FPS dropped coincided with using the Traffic Explorer and controlling the towplane. So, not really enough data to point fingers yet.

Recheck your keyboard/joystick commands to make sure there is no exagerated input (like too many BACKSPACE's or something, not totally sure if that would make a big enough difference or not either)

I see you are in SD, which is what...Central Time?

Yep, NOT Central but Mountain Time, but I think you already said that in an updated post. Hope to get to feeling better soon to go soaring sometime.

Scott

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I ran across another post by SlaminSam, who was having the same sort of FPS drop issue, and appeared to have isolated it to the sounds for the SOAR DG-808S, or rather some conflict between those sounds and Windows. I can't recollect offhand where that thread might be...

Every time this has happened to me, I was flying that glider, but it doesn't always happen, and I've had hour plus long flights without it happening.

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