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How to use FSX flightplans with the RXP GNS 530

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This may be old news to some (or most) of you but it was new news to me, so I decided to post some sort of tutorial about it. :wink:

 

I know: you can't load FSX flightplans in the GNS 530. That simple fact is one of the reasons I didn't buy the RXP GNS 530 up to now... I've been thinking about buying it for years and years. But I like to fly quite low, following valleys, and for that I plan my flights in Plan-G and those (often complicated) plans are IMPOSSIBLE to recreate in the RXP GNS 530, so... I never bought the GNS.

Last week I finally bought it to make the RealAir Lancair Legacy (even more) complete. I wanted the plane to be as realistic as possible. And all the things the RXP GNS 530 offers far outweigh the fact that it can't load FSX plans in it. But boy, If I had known what I know now I would have bought it years ago!

 

The thing is: no, you can't load FSX flightplans in the GNS 530 but that doesn't prevent you from using them anyway to follow the plan manually or even with the AP! (Well, if your plane has one.) A remark from someone in another topic made me do some tests and here are the results.

Obviously, this is a workaround...! It's not the magic solution for loading plans into the RXP GNS 530: that still is and probably always will be impossible. But at least now I can fly complicated FSX flightplans manually or on AP and still do (for instance) LPV approaches and check the Terrain page and use all the other RXP GNS 530 goodies!

 

Take note: I only tested this with the RealAir Lancair Legacy (the only plane I fly) but I see no reason why this shouldn't work with other planes. (If I should see them, let me know.)

 

To fly an FSX flightplan using the AP

- Create and load a flightplan with the planner of your choice (load the plan before or after starting the flight: it doesn't matter at all).

- Hover your mouse over the right Data card slot of the GNS 530 (some sort of 'button' directly underneath the VNAV button). You will see (with Tool Tips enabled) Active Nav Device: Reality XP 530 GPS.

- Right click on that spot. You will hear a beep and now the Tool Tip will show Active Nav Device: Flight Simulator GPS.

- Turn on the AP, set it to NAV and low and behold... the plane will follow the flightplan! Even if you entered another plan into the GNS 530!

 

In fact, while flying the FSX plan on AP (using the invisible default GPS) you can edit the plan in the GNS 530, select approaches, setup a direct to, check the Terrain page (terrain warnings will also work as they should!), check the Waypont pages, etc. etc. You still can do everything you want to with the GNS 530! In fact, it will actually seem like you are flying with the GNS 530 but you will only not see the (right) magenta flightplan line on it! Switching the NAV device does NOT make the GNS 530 inactive! You can also switch the AP to HDG mode and use the HDG bug on the HSI (to avoid a mountain that pops up before you :wink: ) or change the ALT mode of the AP. Whenever you press NAV again, you will fly the FSX plan once more (using the invisible default GPS).

 

When you decide to switch navigation back to the GNS 530, for instance to fly an RNAV approach you have selected in the GNS 530 in the meantime, simply rightclick again on that Data card slot! Easy as that.

 

To fly an FSX flightplan manually

Well, you obviously could run FSX in windowed mode and use GMap or switch to Plan-G to see if you are following the FSX flightplan, but I chose to add the default FSX GPS 500 to the RealAir Legacy as a popup window. This way I can check the flightplan while staying within FSX and running it in full screen mode. Also, following the plan on AP as described above is great but sometimes you'd like to check if everything is going according to plan :wink: and opening the FSX map takes too much time...Having the default GPS available as a popup also enables you to check the plan but also to follow the plan manually.

You might keep the GPS window onscreen all the time, but personally I like to only glance at it and fly as much as possible from memory (I create my plans in Plan-G and sort of know how it goes) and the Terrain page of the GNS 530 also comes in handy with this (because I like to fly low). It may feel a bit like cheating having that default GPS onscreen (and I use that popup as little as possible) but it's not different from using GMap or Plan-G or having Skyvector.com opened in another window or on a laptop...

 

To add the default GPS 500 to the Legacy (as an example: for other planes you probably need other [WindowXX] numbers!!!): open the Panel.cfg of the Legacy with Notepad and add the following red bold parts to it. (There is more in the cfg underneath the [Window03]-section but that's not needed for this.) After doing this you can toggle the GPS with Shift-F4 (unless you changed the default key assignements).

 

// RealAir Legacy 2012

 

[Window Titles]

Window00=Main

Window01=Reality XP GNS 530 WAAS - RXP_CONFIG_TOOL - DO NOT CHANGE

Window02=Blank

Window03=GPS

 

[VIEWS]

VIEW_FORWARD_DIR=0.000, 0.000, 0.000

 

//--------------------------------------------------------

[Window00]

size_mm=1024,1024

position=0

BACKGROUND_COLOR=0,0,0

visible=0

ident=15552

 

//--------------------------------------------------------

[Window01]

window_pos=0.739583,0.000000

window_size=0.260417,0.300000

visible=0

ident=15531

zorder=99

gauge00=rxpGNS!GNS530,0,0,100,100

 

//--------------------------------------------------------

[Window02]

size_mm=1,1

position=0

visible=0

ident=15600

BACKGROUND_COLOR=0,0,0

gauge00=RASLegacy!Blank, 0, 0, 1, 1

 

//--------------------------------------------------------

[Window03]

size_mm=456,378

window_size=0.5

position=6

BACKGROUND_COLOR=0,0,0

VISIBLE=0

ident=GPS_PANEL

zorder=4

gauge00=fs9gps!gps_500, 0,0

 

The GPS pops up in its default size which is rather large: you can change the size to your liking by changing the size_mm and window_size numbers. (I simply changed the size while in the VC of the Legacy and saved the flight as default.)

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Guest firehawk44

Excellent guide Jeroen! I hope this eventually gets moved into the The Students Hangar or FSX Tips and Tricks as I'm worried it will get lost here.

 

Best regards,

Jim

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GREAT GUIDE!!

 

Unfortunately in my case I bought the RealityXP gauges before reading this excellent guide. Had I done so I would not bought those gauges.

The errors of omission by RealityXP are too numerous to mention considering the high cost of their product. Rewrite the documentation!

Update the WAAS data. Consider alternative alternative UI. RXP has clearly a superior product, it's showing signs of neglect

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I wasn't sure I'd be saying this so soon - but look up Flight1's new GTN gauges, 750/650 - excellent product (still have issues with data update costs though) and not many devs have integrated yet but Realair plans to as well as future A2A GA aircraft.

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And touchscreen entry is just so much easier, no more rolling over your waypoint.

 

Although Rob and Sean of RealAir don't have much regard for my nerves. Every day I make the pilgrimage to their site only to be disappointed.

 

I'm sure when it's released it will be amazeballs.

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The errors of omission by RealityXP are too numerous to mention considering the high cost of their product. Rewrite the documentation!

Update the WAAS data. Consider alternative alternative UI. RXP has clearly a superior product, it's showing signs of neglect

 

No entirely sure what your complaint is about... the units work pretty much like the real Garmin units.

 

You can use the Garmin documentation..

 

Newer WAAS data is available if you look for it..

 

It is true that RXP is no longer providing support, but these are great gauges!

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Hello Burt,

You're right! great gauges but with old data and no support from RealXP. I have looked for updated WAAS data, what I found was not compatible with the gauges. If you have a source please enlighten us all. I certainly would appreciate it and I'm sure the others would as well.

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Just like expired paper charts, you need a pilot friend who can give you expired navdata for personal use..

 

Have sent you a PM.

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I wasn't sure I'd be saying this so soon - but look up Flight1's new GTN gauges, 750/650 - excellent product (still have issues with data update costs though) and not many devs have integrated yet but Realair plans to as well as future A2A GA aircraft.

 

I'm thinking of buying the GTN 750. Is AVTN_WW_DB.bin the same file as worldwide.bin?

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Nice tutorial but why do it backwards like that. I configure my flight plans in my RXP units first (I have both RXP 430 and RXP530). Then there is a right click spot on the RXP units that when executed saves the RXP plan as an FSX format flight plan file. Then simply load that saved flight plan file into FSX and it works flawlessly for me. Magenta line and all.

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I'm thinking of buying the GTN 750. Is AVTN_WW_DB.bin the same file as worldwide.bin?

Yes

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Nice tutorial but why do it backwards like that. I configure my flight plans in my RXP units first (I have both RXP 430 and RXP530). Then there is a right click spot on the RXP units that when executed saves the RXP plan as an FSX format flight plan file. Then simply load that saved flight plan file into FSX and it works flawlessly for me. Magenta line and all.

Can you describe the click spot location? This would save me so much time.

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Can you describe the click spot location? This would save me so much time.

 

It is in the RXP GNS Users Guide.

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Right clicking the FPL button does the trick, if anyone is interested. 

 

Exactly. When you execute the right click you should hear two quick audible beeps. On my system it saves the file in .../my documents/flight simulator x files/.  The filename should look like this: "rxpGNS.20141005.181501.pln".  I believe the RXP flight plan needs to be activated first in the RXP GPS.  Once the file has been saved you go into the FSX menus to - flight - flight planner, then Load and select the flight plan.  I make sure Direct-GPS is selected and that  IFR is selected as the flight plan type, which then allows the FSX ATC to recognize the plan. Also, after you have loaded the plan, but before you click on OK, you can click on NavLog to confirm the waypoints have loaded.   I usually have my plane parked where I want it, so when FSX asks me if I want to move my aircraft to the departure airport I select "no". Otherwise FSX will place you where it wants to place you.

 

I have RXP flight plans saved to FSX plans for my most common flights which makes it even more quick and simple.I rename them so I can recognize them.

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I'm gonna try it in FSX right now.  :BigGrin: This should make the process go a lot quicker. If I had paper or tablet VFR maps I think I could throw together a quick flight plan from inside the cockpit, and then just load the plan for ATC if I wanted to fly IFR. The only downside I could possibly see is that I might find it limiting to make a flight plan in the cockpit, and would have to open up the FSX map or a full fledged flight planner. Either way, it's a really nice feature, and thank you for mentioning it. My mind is coming up with all sorts of uses, like emergency diversions in bad weather where FSX ATC demands an IFR flight plan for the diversion, but I don't have one yet because I didn't plan for it. I'm excited to give it a shot.

 

btw, I also have some of my favorite flights in that saved flight menu. Of 20 available spots, I have about 10 populated, but they are really interesting flights. 

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btw, I also have some of my favorite flights in that saved flight menu. Of 20 available spots, I have about 10 populated, but they are really interesting flights. 

 
I learned the following tip when riding along right seat in a friends GNS430 equipped C310 last year.
 
Garmin GPS (and RXP) flight plans do not require departure or destination airports, so the tip is to store common major route segments as a flight plan in the GPS. Example: I frequently fly from eastern Maryland to a number of destinations in the Midwest USA. Places like Bloomington, Lafayette. and Indianapolis, Indiana; Chicago, St Louis, and Kansas City. Low Enroute flights to those destinations share a lot of common navpoints. For realism I avoid the tightly controlled Washington, DC airspace either to the north or to the south depending on current weather and winds. I pick up my southern route at PXT (Patuxent, Va) and northern route at DQO (Wilmington, Del).  I have stored the common navs from PXT to CVG (Cincinnati) as an RXP plan for my southern route, and have done the same with DQO to DQN (Dayton, Oh) for my northern route. All I have to do to use one of them is add the remaining navs from those two endpoints to my chosen destination.  I first in the RXP GPS make a duplicate of the route with the flight plan copy function, then edit the duplicate.  
 
I can also reverse those routes in the GPS for return trips.  
 
I’ve also stored a similar route from PXT to SSI (Brunswick, Ga) that I use when planning a flight from my base here in Maryland to any of several Florida destinations like Daytona, Orlando, Lakeland, and Ft Myers.
 
If you fly a good number of common route segments this adds a lot of efficiency.

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That C310 ride must have been fun. I will remember these tricks for the future, I have a lot of routes from around inland Southern California/Arizona that take the same airways (or atleast the same beginning and end waypoints as far as the GPS is concerned) to the coast. I might be able to integrate all those different routes into one saved plan. Route reversal is a great feature too. 

 

Loading the RXP flight plan went perfectly. I was wondering how it would register my requested altitude, but found that it chose the one I was actually thinking of flying at, FL100! (Unless the RXP unit is psychic, I think FL100 must be the default requested altitude, which is fine, and can still be adjusted later when you load the flight plan for ATC). All in all, it was a very smooth process and had I adjusted the plan or changed airports, I could have easily "notified" ATC of the new route. Brilliant.   

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Garmin GPS (and RXP) flight plans do not require departure or destination airports, so the tip is to store common major route segments as a flight plan in the GPS.

This is one of the primary features of the Universal FMS units as well. They are called "Company Routes" and may be assembled and added to and/or edited at will. It sure saves a lot of button pushing! :He He:

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and may be assembled and added to and/or edited at will.

 

Nice! Wish I could also do that with the GPS models. I have not found a way to add Garmin 430/530 plans together.

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