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DickB

Changing XML Gauges

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A question for the panel gurus - I have a payware aircraft on which the Altimeter needles are incorrect (historically and aesthetically) - the 100 needle indicates the thousands and the 1K needle indicates the hundreds. I would like to change these round.I looked around and found a zip file in the panel folder which contains all the xml and bmp files for the VC cockpit, including the bmp files for the needles. Now, it would be very easy to unzip this file, swap the needle file names and zip it all but again, but I don't think this will work. I tried renaming the zip file to see if ot was being called at FSX load time or aircraft load time and it doesn't seem to be.So the question is - when is this file processed ? It seems to me there are two possibilities:1. At product instal time. If that's the case, then I'm probably stymied, since the instal package is a self extracting exe file. But if this is the case I'm puzzled as to why the zip file should be installed in the panel folder at all, since it will never be needed.2. The first time that FSX is started after product instal. If this is the case, then I can uninstal, then re-instal and change the zip file before starting FSXI've read the xml gauge section of the SDK and am still no wiser as to when/how the xml scripts are processed or what is created and where.Any help appreciated !

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A question for the panel gurus - I have a payware aircraft on which the Altimeter needles are incorrect (historically and aesthetically) - the 100 needle indicates the thousands and the 1K needle indicates the hundreds. I would like to change these round.I looked around and found a zip file in the panel folder which contains all the xml and bmp files for the VC cockpit, including the bmp files for the needles. Now, it would be very easy to unzip this file, swap the needle file names and zip it all but again, but I don't think this will work. I tried renaming the zip file to see if ot was being called at FSX load time or aircraft load time and it doesn't seem to be.So the question is - when is this file processed ? It seems to me there are two possibilities:1. At product instal time. If that's the case, then I'm probably stymied, since the instal package is a self extracting exe file. But if this is the case I'm puzzled as to why the zip file should be installed in the panel folder at all, since it will never be needed.2. The first time that FSX is started after product instal. If this is the case, then I can uninstal, then re-instal and change the zip file before starting FSXI've read the xml gauge section of the SDK and am still no wiser as to when/how the xml scripts are processed or what is created and where.Any help appreciated !
.xml and .bmp files are processed each time you load the relevant aircraft. These files don't need to be zipped in a .cab file. They work perfectly well when unzipped.For example, when I'm developing an aircraft I keep my .xml and .bmp files in the aircraft folder in <aircraftname>/Panel/Gauges and reference them in panel.cfg asgauge01=gauges!<gaugename>...etc FS9 certainly finds them there - I've no experience with FSX.

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Thanks MGH - apologies, I should have said this is an FSX aircraft in my post. I'm guessing that FSX is different in this respect but no doubt someone will be able to confirm. The file containing the xml and bmp files is a straight zip file, not a cab file. And I have proved by renaming/removing it that it is not processed (or at least not required) at aircraft load, since everything works just fine without it. From what you say, though, it might be possible for me to unzip the file to a folder and call the modified altimeter gauge from the VC panel.cfg. I might tinker with that and see what happens.

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Hi Dick,unzip the file and place the XMLs and BMPs into a folder let's say : XYZ Place the folder into the main gauge folder of FSX or into your panel folder. The place in the panel folder is new at FSX. Now put your entry into the panel.cfg like : gauge11=XYZ!gaugename That's it.Dietmar

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I find the best way is to just UNZIP the CAB file into a folder of the SAME NAME in yourpanel folder for the aircraft.That way you already have a 'backup' ( the CAB file ) and you can easily do your editingon the xml gauges in the folder without having to re-cab anything. FSX will load thexml gauges from the folder since that is the search path it uses before resorting tolooking for gauges in a CAB file.Also, you won't have to mess with the panel.cfg file. Once your xml file changes are doneyou could re-cab the working folder or, as I do, just leave the folder in place and FSXwill continue to use it.To test changes as you go, assign a key stroke to the "Reload user aircraft" function inthe FSX Controls menu. I use Ctrl + '. Hitting that key combo reloads the gaugesthat you may have changed. I have found on occasion that I had to execute thatreload twice to be sure the changed gauges reloaded but in any case it is a time saver.In the event that the CAB folder was originally in your main gauges folder, for use by otheraircraft, then simply move the folder containing your updates to the main gauge folderand FSX will use that for all aircraft that used the CAB file.The important nthing is that the folder name be the SAME as the CAB file."Some-gauges.cab" becomes a folder named "Some-gauges" Paul

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Thanks for your suggestions guys. I was playing with Dietmar's idea before I saw Paul's, but I don't think it will help. I discovered that going through this process only changes (or mainly crashes) the 2D panel, and it is the VC that I need to change (I realise I didn't say that, and it looks like that may now be key.) In fact I now see that the gauge is correct in the 2D cockpit - which explains why the XML and filenames all looked OK.Changing panel.cfg appears to have no effect on the VC, even though there is a panel entry called (unhelpfully) vcockpit01. But this doesn't have entries for all the gauges, and changing it just crashes the 2D cockpit.I am guessing now that the VC doesn't use the panel.cfg file or the xml/bmp files I found. Can anyone confirm this ?

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That depends on the actual model. It may well be that this particular aircraft release is using some XML 3d scripting for some -if not all- of the VC, in which case you can NOT make any modifications other than bitmap substitution...

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That's what I feared. Oh well, I've learnt quite a bit in the process anyway. Many thanks to all for your help and advice. Much appreciated !

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