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Request help with GNS430-530 GPS-NAV Switching and Autopilot Control

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Hi guys,   I need to get to the bottom of some issues that I've immediately experienced in both the provided configs that come default with the installation of the 430-530 as well one I have been designing on my own over the past few weeks.  I'm using Prepar3D v3.3.5 in Windows 10.  This is all installed on a reformatted PC so everything has been a fresh install over the past two months.  I have the gauges working now but am trying to overcome some extended issues.


I first built a custom 2D panel set on my own which contains 5 instances of the GNS530 only.   The gauge is located on the following;

1-VFR panel,

2-IFRv1 panel,

x-IFRv2 panel (not on this one),

3-CoPilot panel,

4-RadioStack panel

5-PopUp panel.  


Yes, I know it may be a little extreme but I'm trying to cover several options between single monitor sim use and cockpit building use. And if I need to break this panel down into two separate panels instead I can do that too.


For example; using the VFR panel with the radio stack or using IFRv2 panel with the radio stack undocked or use the IFRv2 the copilot panel undocked which has the radio stack built in (and so you then don't use the radio stack popup).   A planned 6th instance was going to be for the virtual cockpit but seeing that there is no other model provided that could accommodate a single GNS530 I immediately deduced that this isn't possible so only 2D it shall be. 


I'm pretty sure I've set everything up properly as far as window positions, zorder,  and especially the unit:instance:ident  values as I can see the gauges, can turn them on, and when one turns on the rest turn on etc.


I am however having a problem with the old C172 Nav / GPS switch.   It works once and then just stays locked on GPS and cannot be toggled back at all.  This immediately creates a condition of not being able to use the autopilot properly or perhaps only being able to use it with the GPS.  


At first I figured this was a possible issue with either my autopilot and radio setting in the Aircraft config or was the old FSX Cessna gauges (Cessna NAV/GPS annunciator as well as the NAV/GPS switch)  But....BUT....  a big red flag for me was when I looked into several of the included panel config files that Mindstar has tweaked for the C172 and I see that these same two gauges in particular are masked out so that they are not used.  Oddly though it was retained in the VC, but not anywhere else on the panel.  I think one of the  panel sets still has it on one window, but that one to me looks much more like it was overlooked and that it too was really supposed to be erased or blocked as most all of them have the // masking to hide these two gauges.


What's most disconcerting however is that I also see there are no included replacements in the configs for the nav-gps switch nor are any included with the gauge purchase.  


Now, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy hand flying small aircraft and realize from a training perspective that is what is done most often but in doing IFR work, various commercial practice, and long cross country flights I would greatly appreciate having a functional autopilot replete with a functional NAV/GPS switch.  I think most flight simmers would agree that this is a very basic necessity we've all been accustomed to for a very long time.


So either I'm missing something here or is this package is purposefully sold (*and not advertised*) as being autopilot incompatible?   I seriously hope this is not the case and that I've just overlooked something simple.   Ideally I wanted to install a UHF1 - GPS - UHF2  gauge that allows you to also operate a Nav 2 with glideslope.    I think learning how to bounce off two VORs with the autopilot is an equally good training experience as hand flying between two are, especially if you are a more advanced pilot.  I also have several larger aircraft I would like to install the GPS430/530 into such as a few business jets as well as a King Air, a Metroliner, and maybe a DC-3, etc.


In short, having autopilot control and the ability to switch between NAV-GPS mode in larger aircraft is obviously crucial.



Lastly, another immediate issue I noticed is that the two knob zones for radio tuning seem too small and narrow for touchscreen use and I was really hoping to try this out with a touchscreen, particularly an iPad mini because its screen is the exact size of a Garmin 530.  I don't want to use my mouse and keyboard and I also don't want to have to invest into a hardware unit as I really like to keep everything virtual. 


Thanks for the help.

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when one turns on the rest turn on etc.
If you are seeing all of them powered and rendering at the same time, your installation is incorrect and is not going to work.
The NAV/GPS switch is not part of this system.  The CDI button on the GNS controls whether your nav instruments are getting their needle values from the nav radio or the GPS.  The reason for the NAV/GPS switch in older aircraft was because the GPS unit didn't have built in NAV radios and thus there had to be a separate electrical switch to swap the needle inputs on the NAV display gauge (CDI).  Both the 430 and the 530 have NAV and COM radios and thus don't use an external switch.  If you are seeing this NAV/GPS switch in your panel.cfg, simply remove it.  It shouldn't be there.  You also should not have a separate NAV1/COM1 radio head in your panel.cfg either.
As for touchscreen, we are not going to make large mouse input areas, sorry.

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If you are seeing this NAV/GPS switch in your panel.cfg, simply remove it. It shouldn't be there. You also should not have a separate NAV1/COM1 radio head in your panel.cfg either.


As for touchscreen, we are not going to make large mouse input areas, sorry.


Ok, well, I'd like to point out a few discrepancies within your product then.


#1  You guys have in fact have left several unmasked instances (no //) for the Cessna NAV/GPS switch and or the NAV/GPS annunciator in your tweaked C172 configs. This is the first reason I thought it was possibly ok to continue using them, but was obviously a little confused as the instances of these two gauges within your config tweaks are sporadic. When test flying these aircraft I instantly noticed the switch issue there too which I had experienced in my own panel set so it quickly led me to further explore your own stock tweaked config files. So FYI, what you are telling me to NOT DO is in fact occurring in files you have provided and have likely provided since your product release three years ago. I will list where if you would like me to. I've seen a few other posts in forums with people having this same issue and I guess that's why.


#2  I myself am not using a Com1/Nav 1 radio on any part of my own panel config (aside from the GNS530 itself of course which I know is providing Com1/Nav1 for me). But again, just as I said in #1, I see that you folks still have a Com1/Nav1 in several places within your own C172 panel configs alongside the GNS gauges. Again, I will list where if you'd like me to. So if this is an issue too, why are you still doing it?


#3  Aside from the two links provided on the Mindstar website for the 430/530 installation and INI file data I've not found an actual single PDF manual for how all of this works, as well the possible limitations, as well things like the GPS switch issue which I'm sure is something any experienced (or non experienced) flight simmer would instantly head scratch over especially if they have no experience with the Garmin 430 or 530. I've repeatedly looked on the Mindstar website as well as the Mindstar main installation folder on my PC which include it's two sub folders of Flight Simulator Addons and Tools. Nowhere on the website, nor within these folders have I found a more formal, more detailed user manual. I've only found a single Readme notepad file and Technical_Info file for the G1000 only in the Flight Simulator Addons folder. I found absolutely nothing there for the GNS430-530. Lastly, there is also no link to a user manual under the main Start / All Apps / Mindstar folder either. Why not??? And furthermore there is no manual to be found anywhere in the main FSX, FSX Steam, nor Prepar3D folders, nor any of their sub-folders. All I can say of this is you folks really do leave a great deal of guesswork to be had by your customers which obviously leads to great frustrations.


#4  I'd like to call attention to the time of my first post. It was posted at 5:00 AM pacific time which is my time zone. I posted that when I was going to bed, not waking up, because I've been struggling with these issues for days and now several long nights thinking I'm just coding things wrong, or using bad or incompatible gauges, when apparently that's not the issue.  Therefore I have come to the realization of what I see as a gross lack of clear and direct information from Mindstar.  My point here is that I shouldn't have to repeatedly sound off in any forum for very simple answers that could easily be provided in a comprehensive user manual.  It would save us both, as well numerous others, a great deal of time, hassles, and headaches would it not? I have quite literally lost a great deal of time and sleep over this for several days simply because I don't like to have to constantly bug people for support especially when it may be a minor thing.  When you are having to do so it often makes you feel like an idiot because you assume the answers are easy or obvious.  But even if they are, the reality is you, the developer, have not effectively provided these answers for myself nor anyone else.


#5  As for the widening the mouse click zones I cannot imagine that would be very difficult to do and re-release quickly.  Again, I didn't even know where these zones are because no user manual is provided which explains or illustrates where these zones are!  What I did think however is that I may have had a faulty installation, not just overly narrow click zones that are actually part of the current product release.  This had me thinking I should do a re-installation and again, there is no manual with illustrations in place to tell me otherwise.  Secondly, with so many people today using touchscreens, something I'm a huge advocate for, I would hope you would maybe want to help accommodate that as it also helps people to save upwards of $500 or more for a hardware interface. And if your goal, like myself, is to only use touchscreens then you may not even want a hardware unit regardless of cost. I don't!   I think having added touchscreen capability could be a major selling point for Mindstar and would help expand marketshare, a new "look what I can do" if you will.


#6  You still haven't actually answered my questions.  If the GPS / NAV switching mechanism for autopilot slaving is internal, inside the gauge, how then do I switch between these two modes on the 430 or 530 so that I can use the autopilot?  Again, I found no details on this subject anywhere..... since you have no User Manual.   Can I also assume that with Nav mode enabled in the 1st instance of the 430 or 530 that I could additionally use Nav 2 with glideslope enabled via a second GNS unit if it too has nav enabled?  My first goal was to use a single 530 for com1/nav1 and a Bendix radio for Com2/Nav2 but then use an autopilot slave toggle gauge for uhf1 - gps - uhf2.  Maybe this will be possible once the 530 is set to Nav mode?


#7  My final thoughts on this are that you can have the best products in the world but if you cannot instantly and accurately provide all the details of use, implementation, and limitations within a single user friendly document that is plastered all over your site as well within the product folders, you are doing a great injustice to both yourself and your customers. People will get frustrated, they will talk about it badly, post long winded questions in forums like I am now, and ultimately may not recommend your product and or will look elsewhere.  An unfortunately reality though is as you know, I can't look elsewhere.  You guys are it.  You have a monopoly on the G1000 and GNS430/530 especially since Reality XP flew the coup some four years ago.  And because of that fact alone, because you are the only shining beacon of light for thousands of people, and as a much greater service and honor to the flight simulator community at large,  I humbly ask that you take to heart everything I've said and then review your products and policies as I am definitely seeing a little room for improvement.


Thank you for answering my questions and I do greatly appreciate the support. I'm not here to bag on you guys. I don't want to be that guy. I just want my sim to work with the software I have purchased from you and would like to be able to get it working within a day or two, ...not two weeks.





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The only modifications we provided to the panel.cfg files was the addition of our 430/530 units.  The existence of the switch has not come up as an issue in the past.


This product was created for use in commercial flight training systems.  It was not intented to be made available to the public.  That was not in our plans at all.  However, as you have stated, the only 430/530 available will not function in Prepar3D.  Thus there were some who were aware of our units being used in trainers and they requested that we make them available for home purchase.  To be honest, we almost didn't.  For exactly this reason.  We don't have time to deal with writing any documentation.  If you want to know how to use a 430 or a 530, get Garmin's PDF on the unit(s).


Changing mouse click zones is just not going to happen.  I've been clear on that.  We have a web page that shows how the mouse areas are laid out, but we are also getting web page updates/upgrades and I have checked and can not find that page.  I will look into that.


Beyond that, I did answer your question regarding how to control what signal goes to the NAV indication gauge needles:

The CDI button on the GNS controls whether your nav instruments are getting their needle values from the nav radio or the GPS.


Correct me if I'm wrong... but I believe you are using our units to design panel layouts for your own products, are you not? At this point any further support should be requested via our support email, of which you are already familiar.  These forums are not for commercial user support and you appear to be a commercial user, despite purchase of a home use license.

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Ed, I am setting this up on my own personal home PC because I'd like to be very familiar with how to install and configure these things long before I would pass the knowledge and information on to anyone else. Some people do in fact trust me exclusively to provide them with right answers so I do my best to give them that data whenever possible.


As far as my little "business", my "office" is my living room. My "production facility" is my garage. I maybe build 4 to 6 shell kits for people per year and maybe sell 3 to 5 books and blueprint sets per month if that. I wouldn't exactly call what I do a "commercial enterprise". It's more like a philanthropic hobby to help the desperate and needy and is a "business" which I am more than ready to walk away from on any given day due to the constant hassles associated with a computer, software configurations, as well the huge lack of business in the home market. I think I paid out $24 in state sales tax this week for the past year if that provides a clue as to how commercial I am. In other words I have a website and not much else. I drive a 1992 Toyota truck that I get to install a clutch into this weekend myself because I can't afford to pay anyone else to do it. So please understand, time is definitely money to me right now which is why I'm a little aggravated when it comes to finding thorough information for any given subject in a short amount of time. Time is in fact something I have very little of and as we all know, time is money. I have little of either.


Take for example the past three weeks that I've worked on this panel set for the Cessna 172. The last week has been filled with undue head scratching over the avionics issues for both the GNS set as well the Milviz weather radar. With the GNS issue (or what I thought was an issue) I tried at least 3 different nav/gps toggles along with three different autopilots in thinking surely I had missed a step and that surely, the two lone pages of data on the Mindstar website gave me all the most pertinent information I would ever need to know ...except that all important fact about the CDI button. And sure, I guess I should have known that having used the real thing many times but that was years ago when I dumped $70,000 into my commercial pilots license and after this last week of very long nights staring blankly into a computer screen and trying no less than 13 different panel configurations trying to iron out a problem that again, could have been resolved with a simple, yet thorough user manual, I kind of let my real flight experiences of the past fall by the wayside. And then we have the other two weeks prior working on artwork and mapping out the new panel config. So please excuse my frustrations as they are obviously many layers deep.


The end results, if I can ever get there, will be a public freeware offering which in turn will actually help sell Mindstar products much more than any of my own since I'm giving this away for free, mostly because the majority of the gauges used are not my own. So that's three solid weeks of work for what? Yeah, nothing. I really don't know why I do it either and at this point it looks like I'll also be writing the new "Officially Unofficial Mindstar User Manual" since in all your years of business you guys have never been able to find the time to do so. I've obviously got to be able to pass on solid information to my customers somehow so that they can avoid the same mis-steps I have. This is the main reason why I wrote my book called the UGTAFS. It's filled with tips that have helped a lot of people but with FSX being pretty much dead now I really need to finish updating it for P3D. And I really love to if I didn't have to spend weeks trying to iron out a panel design. ;) Time. Never enough.



Lastly, I'd also like to point out that one of the Mindstar web pages, the page on the .INI section suddenly ends with it about to instruct how to create user defined waypoints. At the end says "If we wanted a user defined waypoint named ABCDEF, it might appear like this:



...but then doesn't say anything at all. It's blank. I'd really like to have that tutorial as well please. Can you provide that here, or should I request it via the support email?

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As I've stated... commercial support is via our support email.  Topic closed.

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