Ray Proudfoot

GoFlight MCP Pro V/S wheel issue

Recommended Posts

I’ve had a GoFlight MCP Pro for a few years now but had a break from it when I switched to Concorde. I’ve started using it again after buying the PollyPot GIT software. The MCP works really well with the aircraft with one exception.

The vertical speed wheel doesn’t increment and decrement the values smoothly. It can change from 1800 to 3000 if I make changes too quickly. I’m wondering if it has got dirty and needs cleaning. It shouldn’t be worn through use as it has only been used lightly for a couple of years before I switched to Concorde.

Has anyone had a similar experience and if so, what was the solution?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Having a similar issue with the VS wheel, whether moving up or down, only increases vertical rate down.  Don't know what's going on with it, and with the changes at GoFlight, I have not received an answer to my trouble tickets.  

Wait and see mode right now...

Rich Boll

Wichita, KS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a thought. Here in the states I use aerosol spray contact cleaner to repair many pesky electrical /switch issues. Dealing in used photo equipment I have fixed many cameras, lenses, flashes etc plus anything with a knob or switch that would be a pain to take apart. It's electrical safe so it either fixes the issue or just evaporates after. Sometimes just the spray action blows away dust and minor debris that can cause delicate electronics stuff to not work or quit working. 

Envious over that MCP Ray! Did it work well with the PMDG 737?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rich, unfortunate time to need assistance from GoFlight. The wheel seems to be the weak link in an otherwise excellent product.

Russell, I'm reluctant to start taking things apart when I don't know what I'm doing. I have an associate who knows about these things. I'll drop him a line. Don't want to bugger anything up. Yes, it works well in all other respects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

Rich, unfortunate time to need assistance from GoFlight. The wheel seems to be the weak link in an otherwise excellent product.

Russell, I'm reluctant to start taking things apart when I don't know what I'm doing. I have an associate who knows about these things. I'll drop him a line. Don't want to bugger anything up. Yes, it works well in all other respects.

Oh that's the whole point of the stuff.. NOT taking it apart. It has a thin red spray tube you insert in any crack you find and spray blindly inside. Might sound kinda slipshod but I've fixed Nikon cameras worth several thousand dollars that way! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, sloppysmusic said:

Oh that's the whole point of the stuff.. NOT taking it apart. It has a thin red spray tube you insert in any crack you find and spray blindly inside. Might sound kinda slipshod but I've fixed Nikon cameras worth several thousand dollars that way! 

It may be something other than dirt. I'd rather leave it to people who can diagnose it. Spraying blindly sounds somewhat drastic especially when you can't see where you're aiming! :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

It may be something other than dirt. I'd rather leave it to people who can diagnose it. Spraying blindly sounds somewhat drastic especially when you can't see where you're aiming! :wink:

Well not quite blindly.. You point the nozzle at where the switch mechanism or fuse or problem source is. In the case of a wheel. You'd spray pointing inwards from the wheel in several clockwise locations. It's either the hub that does the magic or the wheel works like a cog moving another wheel in which case spraying the actual wheel itself may help or more likely in that case spraying in the vague direction would be all you could do. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, sloppysmusic said:

Well not quite blindly.. You point the nozzle at where the switch mechanism or fuse or problem source is. In the case of a wheel. You'd spray pointing inwards from the wheel in several clockwise locations. It's either the hub that does the magic or the wheel works like a cog moving another wheel in which case spraying the actual wheel itself may help or more likely in that case spraying in the vague direction would be all you could do. 

Probably better that the case is removed and the wheel inspected. Only then can it be assessed and probably by someone with more knowledge than me.

I’ve read similar posts about cleaning the pots on Saitek throttles. Some claim to have made them better but that seems doubtful when the pots are enclosed and no amount of spraying will do any good at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have the same problem, and it's been like that for a long time, it's very annoying with the altitude jumping around all over the place. Took the front cover off, but couldnt see anything obviously

wrong with it.. As a few people seem to be having the same problem, i would put it down to it just being a cheap rotary switch. Tried a clean with electronic spray cleaner, but it didn't cure anything. I doubt very much that Go-Flight would have an answer, except maybe a complete replacement, which isn't exactly helpful, unless you live in the States. As an aside, I now just use the V/S wheel on the sim itself, saves a heap of grief. 

Cheers

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Neil. When the rest of the components appear to be of high quality it's odd the V/S wheel should have this problem especially when it's not been used that much.

I've written to an electrical engineer asking for his help. Waiting to hear back from him. Maybe there's a component that can be changed. But, if all else fails then the control on the virtual cockpit will be the fallback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ray, I don't think there is much you can do regarding V/S. My GF MCP PRO is 3 years old and the V/S wheel has always behaved in the way you describe and I never found a way to change it. I don't think it is faulty, but rather a result of the way it is communicating with the simulator through GIT. I too opened the box to see if there was something I could do with the electronics inside, but everything looked OK (I would not want to spray anything in there, except may be compressed air, which is not really needed).

If I remember correctly, the V/S wheel does not change the value directly, but rather sends a "increase" or "decrease" command to the simulator via GIT, then the simulator returns a resulting value to the MCP. The faster you turn the wheel, the bigger the resulting increment. If I turn the V/S wheel slowly, I can increment by 100 ft for each "notch" of the wheel, but do it faster and the increment increases quickly (as you describe) and I find myself with a value much higher than what I want. I adjusted myself to this behavior and when I overshoot the required value, I simply dial it back slowly. The aircraft does not have time to pitch for the undesired value.

Since I mostly use V/S during descent when I switch from VNAV to V/S, I already have a starting VS value and slowly adjust it. Works well even if it requires more attention to adjust than it should.

Best regards.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Normand,

That's reassuring to hear, thanks. I think, given the response from you and others, we can safely assume it's not a dirty contact issue. Poor quality components also seems remote given everything else works fine.

Before I bought the PMDG737 I was flying Concorde so couldn't use the MCP Pro. But before that - I'm talking around 4 years ago - I used Project Magenta in FSX and I certainly don't remember having this problem with the wheel. Totally different software of course and far more expensive than GIT. The whole package was around 500 Euros.

Do you think the problem may be with Pollypot GIT? There are parameters that can be changed in that software but as I've only had it a few days it's far too early to make a judgement.

I'm going to test it with a default aircraft tomorrow which means limited functionality but crucially, the v/s is available and GIT won't be running.

Edited by Ray Proudfoot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ray,

It is possible that the problem comes from the interaction through GIT and the NGX SDK. May be it creates some latency that jumps the values all of a sudden.

I have not yet found a default aircraft with which the V/S function of the MCP PRO works. When I use it, I can see a smooth change of the VS values on the MCP (much less erratic than with the NGX, probably because it interacts directly with the simulator - no GIT/NGX SDK involved), but the default aircrafts do not react to it. That is probably because with most GA aircraft, the autopilot controls a pitch value instead of a target VS. With the NGX, we set a constant VS, so the autopilot adjusts the pitch to maintain it.

I've even tried with the Carenado Navajo, Carenado Piper Cheyenne II and Alabeo C421 and ... no joy. I must use the aircraft's pitch control. I don't fly GA much so I don't mind, but I noticed that with default aircrafts, beside AP ON/OFF, the MCP functions I can use are mostly limited to HDG, OBS, VOR/LOC and APP. Dealing with less sophisticated autopilots than what's on the NGX, I can understand why.

Most of my flights are done with the PMDG NGX and sometimes the PMDG 777-200. I rarely use VS with the 777 and when I do it is only to reduce the rate of descent a bit before catching the glide slope to avoid leveling off so my adjustments are small. Next time I fly the 777 I'll try using VS more to see if I get the same behavior than the NGX when turning the wheel faster.

If you ever find a way to smooth out the VS selection with the NGX, I would be curious to know how it is done. I am not comfortable enough with GIT to start building a custom config.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Normand, I think your point about the interaction via GIT and the SDK for the PMDG737 is probably right. I can’t remember how Project Magenta worked but the routing was quicker. Probably why I didn’t have the problem.

I have asked the question on the PollyPot forum so I’ll wait for Steve’s reply and take it from there. It would be odd if I was the first to query it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Normand, out of interest which version of GIT are you running? Three are available with no clear indication of which should be used for P3D v4.

I installed the one named P3Dv4 but there is also a 64-bit version. It seems reasonable that there would be an advantage in running that version over a 32-bit one so I shall try that one tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ray, I am currently using the latest 64-bit version, GIT P3Dv4 64Bit v3.6.3.1. 

Always used the 64-bit version since installing P3Dv4 (never tried the 32-bit with P3Dv4)

Edit: Just been informed that a new GIT version is available, 3.6.5.3. Have not tried it yet.

Edited by NBouc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine didn't work properly before I even started using GIT, and since using it, it hasn't made any difference

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, NBouc said:

Hi Ray, I am currently using the latest 64-bit version, GIT P3Dv4 64Bit v3.6.3.1. 

Always used the 64-bit version since installing P3Dv4 (never tried the 32-bit with P3Dv4)

Edit: Just been informed that a new GIT version is available, 3.6.5.3. Have not tried it yet.

Thanks Normand. I'll get the new version and give it a test.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried the latest 64-bit version of GIT today and no difference. I suspect it's the software and not the hardware. Still waiting for a reply from Steve at Pollypot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ray. I too did not notice any difference with the new 64-bit version of GIT. I tried the PMDG 777-200 using V/S instead of VNAV and the VS wheel increment is smoother and more linear than the NGX. It still can jump quickly to 6000 FPM if I turn it very fast, but with moderate movement, it is easier to set on the 777 than the NGX. But in either case, I should not turn the VS wheel with the same strength as with the HDG or IAS rotary switch 😉

Curiously, when using the HDG or IAS rotaries with the 777, the value does not increase as quickly as with the NGX, but still in a satisfactory fashion. I don't overshoot the desired value when setting it on the 777 as often as with the NGX. 

This for me rules out the hardware as the cause. The difference in smoothness between the NGX and the 777 must have to do with GIT itself, or the way it interacts with the corresponding PMDG SDK. Lets see what Steve will come up with.

Best regards,

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Normand. I have no plans to buy the 777. Not heard back from Steve yet. Probably tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a reply from Andy at Pollypot and he said I was the first to mention this. I did say a couple of others had reported it and gave him a link to this topic.

He provided me with a GoFlight utility for checking the MCP Pro. It records each movement of every switch, knob and dial. The IAS, Heading and Altitude knobs were fine but the V/S one was jumping about. Now whether that means a problem with the actual device as opposed to GIT we will know after Andy runs some tests.

To me it suggests a problem with the actual wheel since GIT wasn't running.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"To me it suggests a problem with the actual wheel since GIT wasn't running."

That's exactly what I wrote in  my last post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Freo said:

"To me it suggests a problem with the actual wheel since GIT wasn't running."

That's exactly what I wrote in  my last post.

I needed a way of narrowing down the problem without GIT running. Until Steve provided the GF program it wasn’t possible to see the effect of moving the wheel.

Depending on what Steve says I may ask a friend who is an electrical engineer for his opinion after examining it and if it is a poor quality switch whether it can be replaced.

Did you ever contact GoFlight about it given you’ve had it a fair while?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ray, one thing it might be is the polling of the sensor by the driver. I believe that pollypot might still use the goflight dlls so you might have an issue with both pollypot and the goflight utility. It could be the sensor but that sort of behaviour has been seen by a few of us on different hardware/software set ups and when changing software it has disappeared. Shame GoFlight haven't commented yet.

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now