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How I Got My Three Monitor View Cessna Cockpit To Work...

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4674.jpg

 

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Left side window view

 

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Right side window view

 

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Hi Guys,

I thought I would share with everyone how I setup my three monitor Cessna flight simulator cockpit.

After many hours of research reading through the FSX and other multi-monitor forums I took to the task of installing and setting up my two new monitors in my already single monitor Cessna flight simulator.

 

The physical installation of the monitors was pretty easy, getting it to all function properly was another story...The trouble shooting was beyond frustration to say the least...But in the end through trial and error I found the right combination of settings and the system turned out to be a complete success!

 

My goal was to have one forward monitor with a forward virtual cockpit viewing forward and two side monitors, each one would have a 2D cockpit view expanded to full screen in window mode. All views being perfectly zoom scaled to eliminate any distortion. To have all the runway edges, markings/lines line up and view as close to perfect as possible while running REX4/Soft Clouds, Active Sky Next in overcast conditions and maintaining 30 FPS with no OOM's.

 

Please note, my system was formatted and setup following Nickn’s “The FSX Computer System: The Bible” from start to finish located here:

 

http://www.simforums.com/forums/the-fsx-computer-system-the-bible-by-nickn_topic46211.html

 

My System Specs:

 

Windows 7 64Bit
Sabertooth Z87
Intel Core i7 4770K Quad Core OC @ 4.2GHZ
Geforce GTX 980Ti 6 GB
Crucial M500 SSD 240GB HD
Skill Sniper 16GB DDR-1866
Corsair CX Series 750W PSU

 

Note: Hyperthreading is turned on in my Bios with the following entry in my FSX.CFG file:

[JOBSCHEDULER]
AffinityMask=84

 

Monitors used in my simulator:

 

I made sure all three monitors had the same resolution of 1920X1080!

42" Sharp Aquos LCD TV
27" BenQ GW2760HS LED Monitor
27" BenQ GW2760HS LED Monitor

 

After getting my two new 27" BenQ monitors installed, I connected them to my NVidia GTX 980Ti using DVI cables which would already have my 42" Sharp Aquos connected to it via a HDMI cable.

 

I powered everything up, went to the desktop, right clicked and went into "screen resolution" and made sure all three monitors were set to 1920X1080 and were in "Landscape" orientation. (I did not use "NVidia Surround", it won't work for my screen layout because I need 90 degree window side views).

 

I then positioned the monitors in the "screen resolution" panel so that my left monitor was #1, forward monitor was #2 and the right monitor was #3 making sure when I moved my mouse left and right, it would move to the monitor I was moving it to. (I moved all my icons to the forward monitor so they would all be front and center even know when the system was booting up the main #1 system monitor was the one on the left).

 

Now that all the monitors were setup I could move forward making changes to the FSX.CFG file and the NV Inspector settings.

 

These are the only entries and changes that I made to my FSX.CFG borrowed from Nickn's NV Inspector Guide:

 

[MAIN]
FIBER_FRAME_TIME_FRACTION=0.15
 
[TERRAIN]
LOD_RADIUS=4.5

 

[bUFFERPOOLS]
UsePools=1
Poolsize=8388608
RejectThreshold=126976
 
[Display]
TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=120       
 
[MAIN]
HideInfoText=1
DisablePreload=1
 
[DISPLAY]
WideViewAspect=True 

 

[GRAPHICS]
HIGHMEMFIX=1

 

[JOBSCHEDULER]
AffinityMask=84

 

[DISPLAY]
ForceFullScreenVSync=True
ForceVSync=True

[GRAPHICS]
ForceWindowedVsync=1

 

[GRAPHICS]
Texture_Max_Load=1024

 

Once again, the following information & settings were borrowed from Nickn’s “advanced NV Inspector guide” to setup all my settings using NVidia Inspector for my GTX 980Ti GPU.

 

NV_Inspecto_Vsync4.jpg

 

Nickn’s advanced NV Inspector guide is located here:

 

http://www.simforums.com/forums/drivers-nv-inspector-fsxcfg-complete-guide_topic36586.html

 

Now that I had all the information and setting changes entered into both my FSX.CFG file & NVidia Inspector, I was ready to move forward and setup all my slider settings in FSX.

Please note, if you see an option missing below, it’s because I didn’t check the box or bullet and left them empty or unselected.

 

Below are my FSX settings:

 

[Graphics] Tab

Device:
NVidia GEFORCE GTX 980Ti.0
NVidia GEFORCE GTX 980Ti.1
NVidia GEFORCE GTX 980Ti.2

 

Target Frame Rate: 30 FPS

 

Full Screen Resolution:
Each one above is set to: 1920X1080X32

 

Filtering:
Trilinear

 

Global Options:
Global Texture Resolution: Very High

Advanced Animations is (Checked)

 

[Aircraft] Tab
3-D Cockpit (Bullet Selected)

High Resolution 3-D Virtual Cockpit (Checked)

 

[scenery] Tab
Terrain & Water:
Level of Detail Radius: Large
Mesh Complexity: 75
Mesh Resolution: 10 m
Texture Resolution: 7 m
Water Effects: Low 2.X
Land Detail Textures: (Checked)

Scenery Objects:
Scenery Complexity: Very Dense
Auto Density: Dense
Special Effects Detail: High

[Weather] Tab
Visual Settings:
Cloud Draw Distance: 60 mi/ 96 Km
Thermal Visualization: None

Cloud Detail:
Detailed Clouds (Bullet Selected)
Cloud Coverage Density: Maximum

Simulation Settings:
Rate at which weather changes overtime: No Change

 

[Traffic] Tab
Aviation Traffic:
Airline Traffic Density: 16%
General Aviation Density: 16%
Airport Vehicle Density: None

Land & Sea Traffic:
Road Vehicles: 0
Ships & Ferries: 0
Leisure Boats: 0

 

Now that I have all my FSX settings set, we can move on to my REX4 Settings.

 

REX 4 Configuration & Optimization Settings:

 

Texture Resolution:
1024 (Medium Resolution) Low-Level Clouds
1024 (Medium Resolution) High/Mid Level Clouds
1024 (Medium Resolution) Runways
1024 (Medium Resolution) Taxiways

 

Texture Compression Algorithm:
DXT 5 Low-Level Clouds
DXT 5 High/Mid Level Clouds
DXT 1 Wave Animation

 

DirectX:
Standard DX9 (FSX) Sun/Effects
Standard DX9 (FSX) Water
Standard DX9 (FSX) Wave Animation

Now that I have all my REX 4 settings set, we can move on to my Active Sky Next Settings.

 

Active Sky Next Settings:

Simulator Depiction Options:
Show in-sim text messages: False
Suppress Local Weather Changes: False
Depict hurricanes: On

 

Cloud Options:
Maximum Cloud Layers: 3
Maximum Cloud Turbulence: 100
Maximum Cloud Icing: 100
Prevent Thunderstorms When CB Reported: Unchecked
Minimum Cloud Draw Distance: 60
Maximum Cloud Draw Distance: 60
Force BKN to 7/8ths: Checked
Enhance Overcast Conditions: Checked
High Detail Thunderstorm Clouds: Unchecked
P3D Low Cloud Offset: 0

 

Wind Options (and effects):
Maximum Surface Wind: 100
Maximum Wind Turbulence: 100
Turbulence Effect Scale: 70
Maximum Wind Shear: 100
Force ATC Wind Lock: Unchecked
Disable Winds Aloft: Unchecked
Interlayer Wind Interpolation: Checked
Enhanced Turbulence: Unchecked
Wake Turbulence Strength: 0
Maximum Downdraft Rate (Feet per Minute): 800
Maximum Updraft/Thermal Rate (Feet per Minute): 800
 
Visibility Options:
Enable Wing Fade Effect: Checked
Disable Haze Layer: Checked
Enhanced Haze Simulation: Unchecked
Minimum Surface Visibility: 0
Maximum Surface Visibility: 15
Maximum Upper Visibility: 63
Auto Adjust Upper Visibility:  Checked
In Cloud Visibility Reduction: Checked

 

This completes all the settings that I needed to get my three monitor Cessna flight simulator cockpit to run with three screens with one virtual cockpit view and two side 2D cockpit views while running REX 4/Soft Cloud textures & Active Sky Next in overcast conditions maintaining 30 FPS.

 

I'll do another post later explaining how I scaled the zoom settings for all three monitors, lining up the edges of the runway and horizon.

 

I hope that this info can help save someone some time to get their setup up and running, eliminating a lot of the guess work and research I went through... 

Sam


"Speed is Life, Altitude is Insurance"

 

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Hi

Your setup is quite interesting. Thanks for your settings info.

I also run a 3 monitor setup in a generic GA sim, but with 4 pc's.

I assume you have 3 windows open but I didn't notice any window borders in your photos.

I would be interested to see your FLT file if you could post it...I assume you start up with a flight configured for your 3 views?

Cheers

Ian


Ian Cameron

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Hi Ian,

 

Yes I saved the flight, when I set things up for the first time, I had the first view (Virtual Cockpit), then opened a new 2D cockpit view and dragged it to the monitor in one of the doors. Then did the same for the other side.

 

I then grab the edges and pull them out to the edges of the monitor to fill the screen.

 

If you look closely you can see the thin white frame in the second and third picture showing the left side monitor.

 

When I click on the active window I get a small thin 1/6" or 2mm white boarder around the screen, I can barely see it when I'm flying and usually keep it on my left side monitor because it's hardest to see since I'm so close to that screen.

 

Note: Whenever I first open the flight all my views are stacked on top of each other on the front larger LCD TV screen, I then have to drag the side views to their respective monitors on the side views. 

 

Sam


"Speed is Life, Altitude is Insurance"

 

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One other thing I finally figured out was how to scale the zoom correctly for three different size monitors.

 

I don't know why I thought I could just set the zoom setting all the same for all three monitors and it would look right, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize this doesn't work because all three viewing areas are not the same, one is 42" and the other two are 27".

 

So when I realized this wasn't right, I found that I needed to zoom the side views in more to match the lower zoom setting of the forward 42" screen.

 

At first I was just guessing using the plus and minus keys to zoom in and out trying to get the scale setting right, the human eye is pretty sharp and I was surprised how close I got it without actually using some math to get it almost exact.

 

After some thought, this is what I came up with:

 

If I take a 27" screen and divide it by a 42" screen:

 

27/42 = .6428 

 

I get approximately 64%

 

I then take 1.00 and minus .64

 

1.00 - .64 = .36

 

I get .36 which is 36% that needs to be added to the zoom setting on the large 42" screen.

 

So if my zoom setting on the forward 42" screen is .56 which is common for widescreen monitors, I would then need to take .56 and multiply it by .36

 

.56 X .36 = .2016

 

I get approximately .20

 

I then take .56 and add .20

 

.56 + .20 = .76

 

So now I know that both my smaller 27" monitors need to be zoomed to .76 to match the same scale as my 42"

 

After doing this I can then use the various movement keyboard keys to line up the edge of the runway with my front and side monitors. 

 

Sam

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"Speed is Life, Altitude is Insurance"

 

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One slight error I found in my NV Inspector settings image, make sure that you select in the section where the line says:

 

Multi-Display/mixed-GPU acceleration          Select -------------------->   Multi display performance mode 

 

If you leave it in single, it doesn't seem to have the oomph!

 

Sam


"Speed is Life, Altitude is Insurance"

 

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Very well done !

Looking good .

 

Happy flying


Gerard

7940x ( 14 cores ) : 14 cores @ 4.7 - Gigabyte X299 Gaming 7 - 32 Gb G.Skill Trident Z 3200Mhz Cl 14 - Inno3D RTX3090 X4 iCHILL 24 Gb - 1x SSD M2 1800/1800 2TB - 2x  Sata 600 SSD 500 Mb - Thermaltake Level 10 GT case - EKWB Extreme 240 liquid cooling set push/pull - 2x 43” Sony 4K tv's in NVSurround

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My flightsim vids :  https://www.youtube.com/user/fswidesim/videos?shelf_id=0&sort=dd&view=0

 

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Thanks Sam

I use the same method of hiding the 3 scenery window borders on my 767 simulator using 3 projectors, and running FS9...one pc runs 7 displays on that sim (good old FS9 :wink:) and still averages 30FPS.

On the FSX GA sim I initially ran two of its three LED screens using one pc. I was able to set up the second (undocked) window to load on the second screen connected to that pc by configuring the FLT file but It would never retain its size on reload regardless of the FLT file configuration. I just had to grab it on the corner and stretch it out to fill the screen each time. I did quite a bit of research on trying to retain the window size on the extra scenery window on reload but couldn't find anyone who had achieved that with FSX. Panel windows weren't so bad as closing and reopening them bought them back to size, and there is also a panel save and restore freeware program that does that quite well. I use push buttons and Autohotkey to resize the panel windows after loading (it just closes and reopens the windows). P3D doesn't have that window resize issue, at least with its panels it doesn't...don't think I ever tried the extra scenery window.

Of course I don't have that problem now with each scenery screen being on its own pc (expensive fix! LOL)

I enjoyed seeing your sim. I imagine it would be quite immersive with no outside distraction. On my GA sim I positioned the window posts to hide the screen bezels. This make a big difference to the immersion and feeling of motion, as no doubt your setup would give. I like the way you can look out under the Cessna wing on yours!

Thanks for sharing your info

Ian


Ian Cameron

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Hi Ian & Gerald, thanks for the nice feedback!

 

Ian, I'll still post my FLT file for you, I just need to get it from the simulator, I do all this forum stuff on my office computer and have the simulator computer exclusively for the simulator.

 

Thanks again,

Sam 


"Speed is Life, Altitude is Insurance"

 

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Hi Sam

Looking at your FLT file you could edit it such that Windows 2 and 3 are undocked (Undocked=true) and then set the UndocCoords to the appropriate monitor position. Also set Maximise=true for these monitors.

For example if your first side screen monitor is immediately right of the main screen monitor (in Windows screen resolution settings) then you would have UndocCoords=1920, 0, 1920, 1080

If the third monitor was to the right of the previous one the it would have UndocCoords=3840,0,1920,1080

These settings will position your side views to their appropriate screens, so all you would have to do on start up is stretch them back to full screen size (as unfortunately although the position will be retained on reload the size will not, as I previously discussed.

By the way if your left side screen is to the left of the main screen in the Windows resolution settings then you would have

UndocCoords= -1920, 0, 1920, 1080

These edits should at least save you having to move the windows to the side monitors, even if you have to resize them.

Cheers

Ian 


Ian Cameron

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Hi Ian,

 

Thanks for the info!

 

Ok so I just went in, fired up the simulator, right clicked on the desktop in screen resolution and checked the order of my monitors, the order is:

 

42" forward monitor is #1

Undocked=?

UndocCoords=?

 

27" Left door view monitor is #2

Undocked=?

UndocCoords=?

 

27" Right door monitor is #3

Undocked=?

UndocCoords=?

 

Can you help once more with the "Undocked & UndocCoords"  edits for what they should be in the above order?

 

I don't understand what undocking does (Undocked=True), when the flight loads up and all the views are on the forward #1 monitor, they are all stacked on top of each other before I move the two side views to their respective monitors are they not already undocked because I can drag them around?

 

Thanks,

Sam


"Speed is Life, Altitude is Insurance"

 

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Ok so I think I understand...

 

#1 42" is UndocCoords=1920, 0, 1920, 1080 forward view

#2 27" is UndocCoords=3840, 0, 1920, 1080 left door view

#3 27" is UndocCoords=5760, 0, 1920, 1080 right door view

 

and make them all Undocked=true

 

is this correct?

 

Sam


"Speed is Life, Altitude is Insurance"

 

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Hi Sam

Yes I would have thought (as you said) if you are able to move the side views to other monitors that they are undocked.

Has the flight been saved with the windows in their side positions? That usually retains their positions if they are undocked, but not their size after reload. Try that and then check what the FLT file says for undocked cords.

I should have told you to do it that way first...I'm so accustomed to setting things up in the file itself I forgot the most simple way.

I actually told you a bad in regard to the comment I made about if the monitor to the left of the main screen in Windows Res Settings..then of course it would be the zero pixel position (not -1920) and the main FS screen would be at 1920.

 

From your setup the Undoc Coords should end up as follows:

 

Window 1 remains as is in your FLT file (docked)

Window 2   1920, 0, 1920, 1080   Undocked

Window 3   3840, 0, 1920, 1080   Undocked

See how that goes

Cheers

Ian


Ian Cameron

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Hi Ian,

 

Thanks again for the info, I've been working nights and will get a chance to try these edits later today!

 

I'll let you know how it works out....

 

I've been setting up each plane in my collection, do you know if there is a way to copy the view settings (coordinates) to each livery so that I don't have set each one up manually?

 

Example: if I have a Carenado Cessna 172 with 8 different textures, how can I save time to copy the side window views to all of them instead of trying to guess how I position the first one?

 

What info determines what plane is being used in the FLT file?

 

Thanks,

Sam  


"Speed is Life, Altitude is Insurance"

 

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Hi Ian,

 

I ran the numbers and I had both my side views open on the right side door monitor in the small unexpanded size...

 

Not too sure why the other one didn't go to the left door?

 

Sam


"Speed is Life, Altitude is Insurance"

 

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