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brucek

Which functions do you have mapped to joystick buttons?

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I have a CH yoke and Saitek throttles. Other than the buttons I use to control EZCA views, I have already mapped for all aircraft (not just NGX) flaps (inc/dec), gear toggle, trim (nose up and down), autopilot on/off toggle, FSX ATC window #1 (most common response to FSX ATC), auto-throttle toggle, TOGA, engine 1 cutoff, engine 2 cutoff and pause toggle. (I also map through the axis menu in FSUIPC throttle, spoilers, reverse thrust and left and right brakes. In something as well done as the NGX, I like where possible to use the mouse to activate a function as it keeps some perspective as to where the particular function is located in the real a/c. But with several buttons remaining, I'm wondering what other NGX-specific functions people map to their yoke buttons. Thanks, Bruce Knight.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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I have a CH yoke and Saitek throttles. Other than the buttons I use to control EZCA views, I have already mapped for all aircraft (not just NGX) flaps (inc/dec), gear toggle, trim (nose up and down), autopilot on/off toggle, FSX ATC window #1 (most common response to FSX ATC), auto-throttle toggle, TOGA, engine 1 cutoff, engine 2 cutoff and pause toggle. (I also map through the axis menu in FSUIPC throttle, spoilers, reverse thrust and left and right brakes. In something as well done as the NGX, I like where possible to use the mouse to activate a function as it keeps some perspective as to where the particular function is located in the real a/c. But with several buttons remaining, I'm wondering what other NGX-specific functions people map to their yoke buttons. Thanks, Bruce Knight.
In general, I like to initiate more frequently used or harder to reach functions through my Saitek though I agree that there is much more authenticity with using the actual switches in the cockpit. Here are some functions I use through Saitek: SPD Inc/Dec, ALT INTVN, ALT Inc/Dec, ALT HOLD, CMD A, CMD B, V/S SELECT, V/S Up/Down, BARO Inc/Dec, Cockpit View Next/Prior, TO/GA. Zach

Zachary Kapsiotis

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In something as well done as the NGX, I like where possible to use the mouse to activate a function as it keeps some perspective as to where the particular function is located in the real a/c. But with several buttons remaining, I'm wondering what other NGX-specific functions people map to their yoke buttons. Thanks, Bruce Knight.
Long time no see/hear, Bruce ! Seeing your name here, takes me back to the good old CompuServe days and ATP / Airline Simulator smile.png. Great to see there are more people besides me who have a long-term interest in the hobby ! I've mapped the NGX HGS lever to the Prop lever on my CH yoke. Works really cool cool.png . I also have a second CH TQ, the levers of which operate nearly all of the external lights, and I have mapped all of the various cockpit lights to buttons on my primary CH TQ. Those cockpit lights are such a stunning rendition in the NGX that I really wanted to be able to work them individually. Furthermore I use a home-built "functional MCP" for all the autoflight functions and a former real-life CBT instrument to operate the NGX CDU. Like you I programmed the fuel valves to buttons (the toggles below the thrust levers) and a few other functions such as TOGA and autothrottle & autopilot soft disconnect. Hope that gives you some ideas. My setup, though modest by comparison with sophisticated home cockpits, enables me to fly the sim with only occasional use of the mouse which is what it's all about biggrin.png. If you're interested to see what it all looks like, I can try to take a photo or two.

Cheers,
Emile Bax.

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Thanks, Zach, it's good to see what else people are doing.Emile! Great to hear from you Those days of CS and ATP seem just like yesterday. I now have my instrument rating and enjoy flying in the Denver area, although simming is a lot cheaper, and I get to fly something like the NGX- which at my age of 60 is the closest thing I will get to sitting behind the real thing in flight! I never thought of slaving the HGS to an axis, must try that.....Thanks for the great ideas, guys. Emile, I would love to see a photo if you have time.Thanks, Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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Ahh customization threads! I like functions that are most often used but hard to reach on-the-fly in the VC cockpit (since I only fly the VC).On my yoke I have: elevator trim up/downpush-to-talk for FSINNautopilot soft disconnectforward/backward views for EZdok (to look at overhead/radio stack)CDU 2D panel (quicker to open then making another EZdok view for it)view zoom +/-N1 I have two Saitek throttle quads, which have:(axis assignments)parking brakespeed brakethrottleflapsgear (button assignments)CMD ALVL CHGHDG +/-ALT +/-LNAVVNAVlanding lightsnav lights/strobesA/T soft disconnectTO/GA


AJ Pongress

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Thanks for the additional ideas.Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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Emile! Great to hear from you Those days of CS and ATP seem just like yesterday. I now have my instrument rating and enjoy flying in the Denver area, although simming is a lot cheaper, and I get to fly something like the NGX- which at my age of 60 is the closest thing I will get to sitting behind the real thing in flight! I never thought of slaving the HGS to an axis, must try that..... Thanks for the great ideas, guys. Emile, I would love to see a photo if you have time.
Hi Bruce, Great to hear you've got your instrument rating. But yes I can imagine that it can be a problem at times to keep it up in real time. That's where our hobby comes in ! This is what my little setup looks like : It's modest, but it works for me. I built and programmed the "functional MCP" (below the CDU) myself. All autoflight functions can be accessed here with the push of a button and the double-deck rotaries really work, too. There are 16 unused inputs on the keyboard encoder that's the heart of the "MCP" and I have some plans to build a second box with buttons to put those to use as well. The levers of the upper of the two CH TQs operate the external aircraft lights and its toggle switches, the COM and NAV radios. I've got several CH Control Manager maps to serve the aircraft in my "fleet", i.e. the PMDG B1900D and now the NGX, the Level-D 763, and the HJG DC8-63. Here the "cockpit" is set up for the Level-D763, for which I move several undocked windows onto the second monitor since with the LD763, the CDU in the virtual cockpit is only a bitmap and I like to be able to see it "live" without having to change cockpits (all the buttons of my CDU work, but the display does not). But of course for the NGX that won't be necessary, with a VC of that high quality. I made a simple CHCM CMS script to generate a "virtual button" depending on the movement of the CH yoke prop lever to deploy or retract the NGX's HGS, and I similarly managed to program the yoke's thrust lever to operate the gear lever (with even an OFF position in the middle smile.png ). I recently learnt that this can be done with FSUIPC as well, but the CHCM way does work for me. Oh and BTW as far as being 60 goes, from tomorrow I'm only one year behind you so I'm well aware of the associated "compromises" unsure.png ... But hey, it's still only a number biggrin.png !!

Cheers,
Emile Bax.

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Well, I've been flying on FS for so long that the keyboard feels just normal to me.When I started on FS95, I didn't have a joystick, so I mastered the keyboard flying (I had to) on the NumPad. And since the simulator default commands never really changed much, I never had this urge to bind everything to my joystick.Nowadays I've got a X-52 pro, but still, all that I have are trim comands, and the brakes on the trigger, witch I think it's pretty much default. For VC flying, Space + mouse does the trick for me, easily. Only thing I added to the throttle was the A/T Arm and the TOGA button, AP disconnect on the stick and that's all. All the rest, keyboard.After all, FS isn't a Falcon BMS or maybe DCS A-10C where we definitely need a proper hotas configured to fly it right. Can't feel what I mean? Try TMS UP in a dogfight only with keyboard bindings....


Jefferson Santos
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When I started on FS95, I didn't have a joystick, so I mastered the keyboard flying (I had to) on the NumPad.
Hats off to you, Jeff - I think that if I tried keyboard operation now, I wouldn't be in the air for longer than a minute or two blush.png ...

Cheers,
Emile Bax.

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Hi Bruce, Great to hear you've got your instrument rating. But yes I can imagine that it can be a problem at times to keep it up in real time. That's where our hobby comes in ! This is what my little setup looks like : It's modest, but it works for me. I built and programmed the "functional MCP" (below the CDU) myself. All autoflight functions can be accessed here with the push of a button and the double-deck rotaries really work, too. There are 16 unused inputs on the keyboard encoder that's the heart of the "MCP" and I have some plans to build a second box with buttons to put those to use as well. The levers of the upper of the two CH TQs operate the external aircraft lights and its toggle switches, the COM and NAV radios. I've got several CH Control Manager maps to serve the aircraft in my "fleet", i.e. the PMDG B1900D and now the NGX, the Level-D 763, and the HJG DC8-63. Here the "cockpit" is set up for the Level-D763, for which I move several undocked windows onto the second monitor since with the LD763, the CDU in the virtual cockpit is only a bitmap and I like to be able to see it "live" without having to change cockpits (all the buttons of my CDU work, but the display does not). But of course for the NGX that won't be necessary, with a VC of that high quality. I made a simple CHCM CMS script to generate a "virtual button" depending on the movement of the CH yoke prop lever to deploy or retract the NGX's HGS, and I similarly managed to program the yoke's thrust lever to operate the gear lever (with even an OFF position in the middle smile.png ). I recently learnt that this can be done with FSUIPC as well, but the CHCM way does work for me. Oh and BTW as far as being 60 goes, from tomorrow I'm only one year behind you so I'm well aware of the associated "compromises" unsure.png ... But hey, it's still only a number biggrin.png !!
Hi Emile, "Almost Happy Birthday" to you! Thanks for the pic, looks like you have everything that you need there- sometime could you post a head-on of your "functional MCP"? When you say you have set up some virtual buttons on the prop lever (I do know that FSUIPC- registered- will do this but have yet to try it)- did you map a certain range of the lever for the HGS retracting/opening, then further segments of the lever for other functions? I'm assuming that multiple functions from one axis lever using virtual buttons would all need to be related to an extent, since you would be moving the lever through some of them to get to other ranges/virtual buttons. Thanks for the description of what you have done, impressive. Bruce.

ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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Hi Emile, "Almost Happy Birthday" to you! Thanks for the pic, looks like you have everything that you need there- sometime could you post a head-on of your "functional MCP"? When you say you have set up some virtual buttons on the prop lever (I do know that FSUIPC- registered- will do this but have yet to try it)- did you map a certain range of the lever for the HGS retracting/opening, then further segments of the lever for other functions? I'm assuming that multiple functions from one axis lever using virtual buttons would all need to be related to an extent, since you would be moving the lever through some of them to get to other ranges/virtual buttons. Thanks for the description of what you have done, impressive. Bruce.
Hi Bruce, Thanks ! I attach a more close-up picture of my "functional MCP" : Hope it comes through OK. Yes I did map two ranges of the prop lever axis (at each end) to open or retract the HGS itself, but hadn't thought of programming more segments of the lever's range. Thanks : you've just given me an idea Applause.gif !! You're right that it would make most sense for the buttons to be related to the one function and I can think of a few HGS shortcut buttons that would be very useful to have there. What's more, I wouldn't then need to take my hands off the yoke which would be very handy when hand-flying finals, as is my preference. Now to wait for SP1 so that I can finally spend some time flying the NGX !

Cheers,
Emile Bax.

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Thanks for the upclose pic on the functional MCP, Emile. I must try doing something like this too one day. How did you learn to make something like this? I would love to have a manual trim lever for when I fly GA aircraft manually- I believe there is one available commercially, but making one also sounds like fun, especially if it would actually work! I don't know about you, but nothing in my "hanger" is getting much of any airtime since the NGX came out. I will always like flying GA stuff for short flights- I learned my instrument in a "steam gauge" single with a GPS (430), and always like to keep those skills going- it's cool to do a flight in IMC where there are lots of changes to VOR / ILS and Comms frequencies- keeps me "on my toes"..... Good to hear from you. Oh for those good old days of ATP! :) Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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I'm using a simple Thrustmaster HOTAS X for my flying. On the stick I have the elevator trim, the brakes and carb heat (not applicable for the 737) and on the throttle I have spoilers/airbrakes, gears, flaps, autopilot disconnect and TO/GA, so basically everything that I need to actually fly the aircraft, as opposed to navigation and system handling. wink.png


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Emile, if you built that yourself, do you have plans/schematics/parts list for that? I've been toying with putting some switches together as a lark, and wondering how others do it, especially if they use USB parts. To answer your initial question, my buttons, in addition to the usual gear/flaps/trim has:Hat switch, brakes, A/P connect, A/P disconnect, A/T disarm and TO/GA. There's something nice about lining up, spooling up and then hitting the TO/GA button and watching it take over.


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Doug Orvis

PP-ASEL-IA (USA), Based at KHEF

 

Picture courtesy of Kyle Rodgers

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