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Hi All;This is probably a dumb question that's been asked and answered, but I can't seem to find it in the archives.I'm fairly new to flight simming and wanted to change panels in a few planes. I used Addit, and also tried FlightZip 2000 to do this. What I noticed is I lost my original exterior views when using the utility. I tried to get the exterior views back manually, but obviously didn't know how to do it because it never happened. Anyone else have this problem ? How can I use a panel that I want and still see my aircraft's wing, nacelle, and whatever when I look out the window ?Thanks in advance.Baron.

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Hi Baron,I'm not sure what went wrong with your specific setup since I don't use any addon manager - I rather like to tinker with that stuff myself, at least I'll know it was my fault when things go astray...I assume you would have to edit the panel.cfg file of the new panel and add the missing views from your previous panel.cfg file. You can do this with any text editor like notepad. Note that there are some differences whether a panel is defined for a plane with or without a VC (virtual cockpit).This takes some understanding of what panel.cfg files do and what they contain, more than I could write up in a few sentences. If you are totally new to this but want to get started, then I suggest you first read this article: (There are plenty more "how to" articles [link:www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?ugPLh02l=main/m-howto.htm|here])Then get the panel SDK from MS [link:zone.msn.com/flightsim/FS02DevDeskSDK06.asp]here (You only have to read the chapter "Panel Configuration File" in the doc "Panels SDK.doc" to understand what goes where)Hope that'll get you set up, but be careful ;) when you know what you're doing, customizing get's addictive. Sometimes I find myself spending more time tweaking than flying... :-lol Oh, and always be sure to make a backup first... :-lolGood luck, Peter

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Thanks Peter !I've tried all kinds of different ways manually and automatic as well, so I clearly just don't know what I'm doing. I'll look at the references you gave me and try it from there. To be specific on what I'm doing, I am trying to take the Maxview Cessna 310R (which has no virtual cockpit) and use the Flight 1 Cessna 421 panel on it. It works great like this with the exception that my left tach needle doesn't work and the obvious exterior views are not there. The Maxview 310R flys very close to the real thing when using the 421 panel. (The instrument panels are almost exactly the same in reality with the exception of the tach markings). Its so much a pleasure to fly this way, its a shame I can't get the realism of seeing my wing and tip tank when I look out the window. Also the 310R doesn't have the problem of "studdering" or pausing as bad as the 421 does when flying close to large cities.Thanks again,Baron.

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ah, now I understand, but... sorry to break the news: adding the panel of a plane with a vc to a plane without a vc will not add the vc. The vc is part of the model, not part of the panel. A plane w/o a vc will stay that way, no way to change that. (The "inside to outside view" of wings, tip tank, etc are part of the vc)I don't own the planes you mentioned, but what you'll basically want to do is:1. Make a new 310R panel directory in your 310R aircraft directory(name it with an extension, something like panel.421hack)2. Copy all 421 panel files to that directory3. Edit the copied (former 421) panel.cfg with notepad- remove the vcockpit sections (the 310R doesn't have a vc)- add the static view sections of the 310R panel (fixed windows) which will at least get you the "bitmap views" in 2D4. Edit your 310R aircraft.cfg- Change the line panel= to panel=421hack (that's the extension)That way you'll keep both your original 421 and 310R panel directories intact and just reference the new panel directory within your 310R directory containing the tweaked panel.cfg.Can't debug the tach needle thing for you, since I don't have those planes. If the panels are so similar, you might try and exchange the reference to 410 tach gauge for the original 310R tach gauge in the tweaked panel.cfg.Much fun, Peter

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And a couple of other thoughts:The stuttering you're getting with the 421 is caused by its being a more complex model (with the vc and such), thus more taxiing on your system. So if you like the optical realism of the 421 over the 310R, then you'll have to tweak your PC to get better performance for the 421.Flight characteristics shouldn't really change by changing panels, I believe. Flight characteristics are defined within the binary .air-file and the values in the aircraft.cfg, not within the panel.cfg.And lastly, if you want to exchange individual gauges within your tweaked panel.cfg, then you might want to read this to get started.Cheers, Peter

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Thanks again Peter;You understand exactly where I am with this. The only thing is that I did not want VC in the 310R. I mean, I want it, but I know its not possible. What I wanted was the fixed window views to go with the 421 panel. Also, you are correct in it being a more complex model. The 310R has a simpler .air file and aircraft.cfg (I blieve) that's why it seems to fly better (less studdering). I think once I get the outside views the way I want them, I can fix the tach problem by opening the panel and installing another tach right over the one that's there now. Should give me a one-tach-with-two-needles vision. Doing the modifications as you have suggested in the earlier post, I may fix this problem on its own. We'll give it a try.Thanks,Baron.

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Baron,Peter's advice is correct. However, if you want to go to a little more effort and perhaps get a little closer to your goal, you could derive new 2-D static view bitmaps by editing discrete screenshots you capture from the Flight 1 VC model in the pertinent viewing directions. Once you have the screenshots, the easiest way to do this is with the MS Paint program which most people have. You can make as few or as many of the seven 2-D views as you desire. To do this, first create the screenshots. Then, load each screenshot into MS Paint one at a time and paint over just the scenery parts of the shot, i.e., the parts you DON'T WANT to keep, with any uniform color. Next, go to any panel bitmap and copy a small rectangle from the transparent part of that bitmap. This will place the copied rectangle into your system's clipboard. Quit the panel bitmap WITHOUT saving it to make sure you do not accidentally change the panel and go back to your modified bitmap with the uniformly colored areas. Now, paste the small rectangle into each uniformly colored part of this image and use it as a source to change the whole newly colored area to the transparent color using Paint's Fill Tool. Finally, save each screenshot as a 24-bit Windows bitmap. To use these views, add the appropriate references into the new panel.cfg file. When you fly with this panel, you should be able to look around using the new 2-D views and at least be close to what you saw with the Flight 1 model.Hope this helps ...Stan V.

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Thanks Stan ;I'm still having a bit of trouble. What the deal is now is I can get the outside views that I want, but when I get it, I loose the instruments. I still have the panel bitmap, but where the instruments are, there's just black holes. Also, I lost the ability to click the glareshield down to the "approach" view. If I get the panel, instruments, and approach view to work properly, I loose the outside views. It seems I'm able to have one or the other but not both at the same time. Maybe if I keep working, I'll get a little closer. Thanks,Baron.

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Hi Baron,good to hear you got the outside views working. I'm very positive that you can have both, the 310R static views and the 421 2D panel and 2D "approach view" (possibly triggered by a switch on the main 2D panel?). Two things: Are all the ident=xxx idents of the forward panel windows listed in the views section on the VIEW_FORWARD_WINDOWS=ident1, ident2, etc.? And are you sure that you don't have a typo in the main window definition before the gaugeNN=gaugename lines that might break the parsing of the file?I'll send you an email. If you like and don't get it set up this evening, you could send me the panel.cfgs and I'll take a look at it tomorrow morning. (Gotta catch some sleep now - it's 1:30 at night here).Peter

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