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I am a newcomer to the VRInsight MCP Combo product only discovering it a couple of few weeks ago.  As a dedicated Airbus flight simulator flyer (X-Plane JAR Design A320neo and FSX Aerosoft Extended X Airbus A320/A321), after some research, I ordered the MCP Combo Airbus FCU version.  The design and build quality is excellent but I immediately found the software support limited.  The VRISim driver replicates the Airbus functionality but I found the key mapper flaky and impossible to master.  Further research on the internet revealed the brilliant LINDA (Lua Integrated Non-complex Device Assigning) freeware which provides an easy and highly flexible interface for programming all the functions on the VRInsight Combo II MCP and other controller buttons (joysticks, yokes, throttle quadrant).  However, the LINDA developers have (at present) decided not to support the Airbus FCU variant. I was not going to let that stop me with my real-world airborne software maintenance background.  Hence, Project Linda2Airbus.

 

In the past week I have reworked the Lau code behind LINDA to program all the functions for reading and actioning all the buttons, switches and rotary knobs on the Airbus FCU and am in the progress of defining the display functions to replicate the Airbus displays.  The only problem is that modifications will be required to the LINDA user interface. My aim will be to present the developers of LINDA (Guenter Steiner and his colleagues) with a full set of code and data to upgrade LINDA to support all the VRInsight Combo variants.

 

There will be a short delay due to a hardware failure with my Airbus FCU (with a horrible electrical burning smell) but my replacement is on its way.

 

Watch this space.


Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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The first information I was able to determine was the coding for the buttons, switches and rotary knobs of the Airbus FCU.

 

These codes were extracted by use of FSUIPC4 and LINDA although on a couple of occasions I managed to switch the FCU into a hardware test mode where each button could be tested and its code displayed. Do not ask me how to repeat it.

 

Each code has a 3 letter prefix (e.g. EFI) followed by a 4 character alphanumeric button designation (e.g. BAR) and a single action symbol (e.g. *).  The prefix corresponds to the group on the FCU - EFI, FCU, USR and COM. The button designation is 3 or 4 characters packed out with a space (blank) character. The action symbols define whether the button or switch has been pushed/selected (. = full stop) or cancelled (: = colon), a rotary knob has been pushed (* = asterisk), pulled (^ = Caret - circumflex), rotated left or right slowly (- or +) or fast (-- or ++).  The switch Cancel action only applies to the ADF1/OFF/VOR1 and ADF2/OFF/VOR2 switches. The Airbus differs from Boeing aircraft (and the VRInsight MCP Boeing) in that the knobs can be pushed (Managed Mode) or pulled (Selected mode). On the VRInsight Airbus FCU you can push the knob with a small button beside the knob to give the pull function.

 

These codes are interpreted by LINDA to link to user defined function calls.

 



Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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Hi there ScotFlieger.

 

I myself have recently ordered the MCP Combo Airbus and am looking to use alongside Aerosoft Airbus X extended. I have already had some experience of using Linda LUA and as I am aware that there is no dedicated support for the combo, I was wondering how easy it is to reconfigure Linda to reflect the actions from the Airbus Combo unit?

 

I see from you previous posts that this is something you have had success with but in order for me to configure the buttons and the rotaries, what exactly within Linda do I have to do? I take it there's more to ensuring the LCD displays are functioning correctly?

 

It's a shame that this unit isnt supported as is the old and the new Boeing Combo!!!

 

Any help and advice would be welcome....

 

Kind regards

 

Jaystar (Wales)

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Hi Jaystar

 

So far I have managed to modify the Lua code and configuration (that comes with LINDA) and the Airbus Extended X SDK (see elsewhere on these forums) to work with the Airbus FCU buttons and switches.  I still have work to do on the display side to cope with the additional 32x2 LCD display and to provide the Airbus specific output (ie. SPD, HDG, etc).  While waiting for my faulty Airbus FCU to be replaced (something burned out inside), I managed to do all the artwork necessary for integration into LINDA's Graphical User Interface (GUI).

 

The good news is that, through the kind permission of the developer, I have today been granted access to the LINDA GUI source code.  I need to study his work to work out what I need to change to add in the functionality for the Airbus FCU.  I will also need to get hold of the IDE used and will need to fit in any development with main employment.  However, I will be looking for Airbus and Boeing Combo users to beta test the modified LINDA software.

 

Regards

 

Andrew


Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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Hi Scot. With your help, I finally got the MCP combo up and running and through Linda it's configured to manipulate the various buttons and knobs!! However, some of the buttons on the unit remain unmapped and I don't know how to go about mapping them via Linda or fsuipc?

 

When I have tried to map anything via fsuipc it simply doesn't recognise the key presses in order for me to select an action!! Is there a way of setting this up so that fsuipc recognises the MCP combo as another source of input??..much like a Joystick?

 

I did see somewhere that it might be the clash between the MCP using the same port as FSUIPC? It's all getting too technical!!!

 

Aside from that, where as I previously setup a joystick through Linda LUA to manipulate actions via key-presses, these no longer work so I'm wondering if it's the MCP combo over ruling everything whilst it's on?!! 

 

Sorry for the barrage of questions and info. I am very grateful for your support on the matter and hopefully I can have the use of the MCP Combo along with additional joysticks and other input boards that can manipulate all the necessary buttons and knobs on the Airbus X Extended program as part of my developing home sim!!

 

Kind regards

 

Jay

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Hi Jay

 

I now have my replacement Airbus FCU Combo back and today have been able to work on the LINDA lua code for the first code for some 3 weeks (due to other work) so I am having to read myself back into the topic.

 

Are you using VRSim software as well as LINDA?  These can work together but you cannot then use together to control the FCU panel due to only one being able to access the COM port (usually COM3).  In this case, VRSIM would control the main FCU knobs and switches and LINDA would interface with the joystick and other controls.  There is a Key Mapper supplied by VRInsight to make the User buttons work but I have not spent any time to get this to work. In this set up you simply need to set the tick box on the LINDA Combo Set Up to off.

 

What I am working on is to allowing LINDA to work with both the Airbus FCU Combo and Joysticks as it does with the Boeing Combo.  It will take me a little time to complete this work if you can bear with me.

 

One point to note is that you can either set a key/button to work in LINDA or in FSUIPC but not both.  The advantage of LINDA is that you can have 3 different configurations for each button instead of the single function with FSUIPC.

 

Andrew


Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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For those users with the VRInsight Combo Airbus FCU panel who have been frustrated by the fact that the supplied software is not the best and that LINDA is not designed to work with the panel, then you may be interested in beta testing the initial stages of the work I have been doing.  Using the excellent LINDA design and Aerosoft Airbus X lua files, I have been able to adapt the code to make the FCU work as close to the simulation.

 

The beta only deals with the back-end of the code and not the GUI front-end.  Some knowledge of what you are doing is required.  I would welcome feedback from Airbus FCU owners with reports on this forum.  Any original MCP and Boeing Combo 2 owners may wish to check that I have not messed up any existing functionality.

 

You can download my notes at:

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9205114/linda2airbus/Betab0/LINDA%20Beta%202.00b0%20notes.pdf

 

and the files at:

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9205114/linda2airbus/Betab0/LINDA%202.00b1.zip

 

Good luck.

 

Andrew


Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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Hi Andrew

 

Any luck with being able to map joystick buttons with Linda using the Airbus Combo at the same time? 

 

I played around with it and although the Combo is perfectly syncronized with Airbus X Extended, I still have no luck simply mapping buttons from a joystick? I unchecked the combo setup box but still none of the buttons I map through Linda work!!

 

I thought this Linda program would be far simpler, it recognised the buttons when I press them but when I select an Airbus x control it doesnt perform the task ....even when I save it and Linda confirms this in scrolled writing at the top of FSX!!!

 

Desperate for help here, I'm eager to finish my cockpit build with all the buttons etc integrated!!

 

Cheers again for your time and patience.

 

Jay


Hi Andrew

 

Another thing to add to the frustration is that even when I close the VRIsim program down and disconnect the combo, I still cant map any buttons from joystick via Linda!!!

 

I dont know why Linda shows the buttons I'm pressing yet doesn't action them when I select an Airbus X extended action?

 

Cheers again

 

Jay

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Hi Jay

 

Have you downloaded and installed the second beta above? It works without Vrisim running (just the VRINSIGHT.DLL). You should be able to programming your joysticks in LINDA as before. It only works with Aerosoft's Airbus X A320/321 with all FCU controls and knobs should work. MAKE SURE YOU BACK UP YOUR OLD LINDA INSTALLATION (see notes).

 

Andrew


Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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BETA 3 DOWNLOAD

 

This is the third beta release of the Linda2Airbus LUA files for the VRInsight Combo Airbus FCU panel providing full compatibility to Aerosoft Airbus X A320/A321 v1.16.  It corrects some issues where some of the overhead light panel selections were cancelling the Dome light.

 

Instructions and details of the beta can be downloaded here:

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9205114/Linda2Airbus/Betab3/LINDA%20Beta%202.00b3%20notes.pdf

 

and the replacement LUA files here:

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9205114/Linda2Airbus/Betab3/LINDA%202.00b3.zip

 

REMEMBER TO BACKUP YOUR EXISTING LINDA FILES BEFORE INSTALLING THIS BETA.

 

Post any queries and feedback on this thread.

 

Andrew


Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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Hi Andrew

 

With regards to your email, is it better for me to download Beta 2 or the new one I see posted which is - Beta 3? Also, shall I simply remove all previous versions of Linda?

 

At the moment, I run Linda 2.4 version and the VRIsim software for the MCP Combo!

 

Could you email exactly what to download and what to run at the same time to enable me to use the MCP Combo with all buttons mapped and allow me to map further buttons via Linda?

 

<Maybe you could email me a list in order of what to install and run>?

 

I dont run anything  but the Aerosoft Airbus X Extended program - A320

 

Hope this makes sense!

 

Thanks again

 

Jay

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Hi Jay

 

You should use the latest Beta 3 which changes and adds only a few files in your Linda 2.4 installation.  Beta 3 resolves an annoying problem where some overhead panel lights affected the Dome/Cabin light.  You need to download and read the instruction installation/notes I have posted.

 

To help you further, do the following:

 

1.  Back up the existing Linda 2.4 installation in your /FSX/Modules folder (namely, folders /linda and /linda-cfg).

2.  Download and unzip the Beta 3 files.  The zip file contains the file structure where the new/replacement files should reside.

3.  Copy the files/folders from the unzip folders as follows:

a.  Copy folder Aerosoft Airbus X FCU folder and its contents to your /FSX/Modules/linda/aircrafts folder.

b.  Copy files common.lua, handlers-mcp2a.lua and init.lua to your /FSX/Modules/linda/system folder.

c.  Copy folder Aerosoft Airbus X FCU folder and its contents to your /FSX/Modules/linda-cfg/aircrafts folder. NOTE - this is different Aerosoft Airbus X FCU from that in Step 3a.

d.  Copy file config-vri.lua to your /FSX/Modules/linda-cfg/system folder.

 

Then start your Flight Sim as follows:

 

1.  Connect and switch on your VRInsight Airbus FCU (and any other joystick) hardware.

2.  Start FSX and LINDA.  NOTE - you do not need to run VRiSim - the necessary DLL should already be installed.

3.  FSX displays a dialog "VRinsight's IPC software module based on Aerosoft AirbusX Extended SDK loading SUCCESS" and the FCU should flash and display the "Press Fly Now" message.  Click OK on the dialog. NOTE - as you are not running VRiSim there is no Fly Now button to press.

4.  After the Airbus cockpit appears on FSX, the FCU should initialise and display the SPD/HDG/ALT/VS information.  If not, you need to set up LINDA.

 

Setting up LINDA:

 

1.  Select LINDA settings page and ensure that the VRinsight MCP Combo entry is showing Everything is OK!.  If not, select the correct COM Port (you will get the port number from the Windows Device Manager).

2.  At the top of the LINDA window, select Aerosoft Airbus X FCU as the aircraft.  NOTE - the MCP Combo button will still show the Boeing panel and any changes may effect the Airbus FCU set up which are behind the scenes.

3.  Again select the LINDA settings page.

4.  Tick the Developer mode and Associate with *.lua boxes under LINDA Advanced settings.

5.  Open the LINDA Editor (press F2).

6.  Open the file /FSX/Modules/linda-cfg/system/config-vri.lua.

7.  Ensure the second line reads VRI["ENABLED"]=3.  If not change it and save the file.

8.  On the LINDA settings page, click on Reload Lua engine.  This should reset the Airbus FCU panel and display the SPD/HDG/ALT/VS information.

 

All the functions on the EFIS and FMCU sub panels should replicate the functions on the simulated cockpit in FSX. The only difference is that I have defined the METRIC ALT button to toggle the Altitude height steps between 100 to 1000. The EXPED and V/S Pull buttons are undefined as there is no corresponding functions in the Aerosoft AirbusX model.

 

The USER sub panel buttons have been defined as per the notes PDF under Beta 3 above.  I do not recommend you try changing these with your current level of knowledge.  Once I have found time to change the GUI for the Airbus FCU this will be as easy as setting up the buttons for your joysticks and throttles.

 

Let me know how you get on.

 

Andrew


Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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Hi again and thanks for the extensive notes and guide!!

 

I followed everything you suggested including all folders and files in the correct place but as soon as I run FSX and Linda the Combo states 'Fly Now' but doesn't go no further. (I.e - Switches to heading, speed etc)!!!

 

I followed the notes on ensuring Linda was setup and even when I change the 

VRI["ENABLED"]=3 via the editor it doesnt change the combo status!! 

 

As it stands the line you mentioned above shows up on line 1 and not 2!! Plus, if I did alter it to read =3 as opposed to =1 by default it then flags up a message which reads:

 

'There are some errors in your code'!!

 

So, I cant get the combo to sync to the software!! Any ideas where I go from here?

 

I tried resetting and re-starting FSX, Combo and Linda but it simply wont change the Combo status.

 

On top of this, I still cant map the buttons to the Aerosoft Airbus X actions!!!

 

God this hobby is hard work!!!

 

Please help!!

 

Regards

 

Jay

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Hi Jay

 

Don't worry you are getting there. First, you have changed the VRI type to 3 and saved it. You will get the code error message at the bottom of the Editor window as these lines are not true lua code. Does that line persist once you save it and call it back into the Editor?

 

Once you have changed the config-VRI.lua file as above, you need to click on reload lua engine. This causes Linda to restart the configuration process. The FCU should flash again and display LINDA Init... in the left hand display. You also need to ensure the Aerosoft Airbus X FCU is select from the drop down.

 

If it does not work. Try closing down FSX and LINDA. Switch on the FCU and then start LINDA first followed by FSX. DOES IT WORK NOW? Under LINDA does it say that everything is ok with the MCP?

 

As I mentioned, the GUI (at present) is unchanged and will not show that LINDA is connected to the MCP2a or FCU. Neither can you assign or change any of the buttons to functions through the GUI. This is all behind the scenes in the file config-mcp2.lua.

 

I cannot do anything more tonight. PM me with your contact number or Skype address and we can set up a one to one session.

 

Andrew


Andrew Gransden

Scotland, UK

LINDA Support/Developer - VATSIM and BAVirtual - Airbus Flyer

i7 1TB SSD GTX980 - FSX/P3D - Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 - FS2Crew

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