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FlyingsCool

Still need help with cockpit lights!!!

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I'm no expert designer....and the fx files aren't really giving me any hints on how to fix this issue...drives me nuts.... just want my regular old SP1 night lights back...The Airbus is impossible to fly at night...seriously..Here we see the A321 with a dark VC, a nice normal pre-SP2 VC (which comes on for a split-second, before turning into New York City!)I know there are some genius designers out there than know FX files better than I do....help please?http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/180002.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/180003.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/180004.jpg

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As I mentioned in my blog, this aircraft ( and the others I mentioned ) can be fixed with this simple procedure:1)navigate to the aircraft folder2)open the aircraft.cfg with notepad3)search for "fx_vclight"4)if that line is commented out ( prefaced with a // ) then remove the comment ( delete the // )does that not turn the cockpit light back on if you reload the aircraft?

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The reason why those were commented out to begin with was to keep it from doing just what he's showing in the third picture. The .fx lights are coming on and that's ruining the nighttime experience. For some silly reason, they are assigned to Type#4 panel lighting bus.Ideally, they would be assigned to a knob/switch that uses the "LIGHT CABIN,bool" electrical bus, and be turned on/off with the TOGGLE_CABIN_LIGHTS command.//Types: 1=beacon, 2=strobe, 3=navigation, 4=cockpit, 5=landing, 6=taxi, 7=recognition, 8=wing, 9=logo, 10=cabinlight.7 = 10, 47.60, 0.00, 3.00, fx_vclighth //assigned to cabin bus

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Thanks, but I did indeed delete the comments and this is where I'm at...So, apparently, as Bill suggests, there is another light source that usually has a key tied to it but the key doesn't exist?That's what I'm getting out of this...Do I need to add that line Bill?Here's the A321 LIGHTS section://Types: 1=beacon, 2=strobe, 3=navigation, 4=cockpit, 5=landinglight.0 = 3, -19.10, -54.15, 5.85, fx_navredm ,light.1 = 3, -19.10, 54.15, 5.85, fx_navgrem ,light.2 = 3, -83.60, 0.00, 7.60, fx_navwhih ,light.3 = 2, -18.60, -53.50, 5.75, fx_strobeh ,light.4 = 2, -18.60, 53.50, 5.75, fx_strobeh ,light.5 = 2, 3.70, 0.00, -2.80, fx_beaconb ,light.6 = 1, -3.30, 0.00, 11.50, fx_beaconh ,light.7 = 4, 53.41, 0.00, 4.50, fx_vclighth ,what needs to be done to get to the solution?

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>Thanks, but I did indeed delete the comments and this is>where I'm at...>>So, apparently, as Bill suggests, there is another light>source that usually has a key tied to it but the key doesn't>exist?>>That's what I'm getting out of this...>>Do I need to add that line Bill?>>Here's the A321 LIGHTS section://Types: 1=beacon, 2=strobe, 3=navigation, 4=cockpit, 5=landing, 6=taxi,7=recognition, 8=wing, 9=logo, 10=cabinlight.0 = 3, -19.10, -54.15, 5.85, fx_navredm ,light.1 = 3, -19.10, 54.15, 5.85, fx_navgrem ,light.2 = 3, -83.60, 0.00, 7.60, fx_navwhih ,light.3 = 2, -18.60, -53.50, 5.75, fx_strobeh ,light.4 = 2, -18.60, 53.50, 5.75, fx_strobeh ,light.5 = 2, 3.70, 0.00, -2.80, fx_beaconb ,light.6 = 1, -3.30, 0.00, 11.50, fx_beaconh ,light.7 = 4, 53.41, 0.00, 4.50, fx_vclighth ,>what needs to be done to get to the solution?This is the problem:light.7 = 4, 53.41, 0.00, 4.50, fx_vclighth Someone at ACES assigned the fx_vclighth (what we think of as an overhead flood light) to the "Type 4: cockpit" bus. This bus is controlled by the panel lights switch, and should only be used for - well - the instrument(gauge) internal lighting.Back in FS9 ACES created a completely NEW lighting bus specifically to allow seperate control of "overhead flood lights" and cleverly gave it the token variable name LIGHT CABIN. They also created a NEW key event named TOGGLE_CABIN_LIGHT. To this day not one, single default a/c from ACES has used this NEW (by now old) feature.The only time the "overhead floods" are needed of course is during the daytime to provide some light for the otherwise way too dark cockpit and panel, or at night if you accidentally drop your virtual pencil on the floor and need to find it... ;)The solution would be to create a small, hidden XML gauge that would allow you to "click on a screw head" or such, so you could turn on/off the fx_vclighth effect file using the Type 10 lighting.light.7 = 10, 53.41, 0.00, 4.50, fx_vclighth I hope this helps clarify both the problem and provide one possible solution! :)

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I like to fly the goose but the instrument lighting in v/c is so dim it is almost imposible to see-- forget the compass. I deleted the two // marks but it didn't seem to change anything. Are you saying that if I change my light 7 to read as per your message that they will work?

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Hi Bill,Some more detail would be helpful, but I think really we all just need to do some experiments to figure out what is going on (maybe you already know and we're all just too thick headed to understand).As I understand it, there are three lighting systems in a typical cabin, and probably multiple ways of creating them in FS:1. The cabin light - The light behind your head in the ceiling that acts like ceiling light in a room. Not a good idea to turn this on at night, even if they can be dimmed with a potentiometer (which I don't know if FS supports). My aircraft has a red filter you can move over this light, but I do my best never to use this light at all, either red or white. This I think is the light people used to turn on during the day to brighten the panel?2. Panel lights - Lights typically mounted underneath the overhang that shine down on the panel, again, normally controlled by a pot in real aircraft. I don't know how common this lighting is, or if FS supports dimming.3. Gauge backlighting - This lighting causes the gauges to light up, and are usually also controlled by a potentiometer. I don't know if FS supports potentiometer control of lighting. I believe there are multiple ways of creating this gauge backlighting.There seem to be two problems going on:1. The CABIN lighting is much brighter than it used to be(?). More realistic perhaps, but people are confused by this because they used to use it to brighten up a panel that was too dark? Is this the light controlled by the VCLIGHT in the lighting section of aircraft.cfg?2. The "lights" won't even come on until just before dark, and many people would like to turn these lights on during the day, in stormy weather or when it's cloudy out, or at early dusk. I'm not sure which lights these are that people are complaining about or how they are controlled.Perhaps these two problems are intertwined? Perhaps the backlighting doesn't turn on till dark, so people are hitting the "Cabin Lights" switch, turning on the too bright lights?I still don't know why a decision was made to comment out the VCLight lines? And now a product manager is suggesting that we uncomment the lines? What changed in FS in SP2 in regards to the 3 lighting methods above?One thing people can try is turning up the brightness of your monitor, this may work for some people, in others, not. In some cases, some monitors are just darker than others. I've never had a problem seeing my gauges in any lighting, but I've always bought bright monitors, both CRT and LCD. So I can understand why some people complain about this and others don't understand.People having problems seeing the gauges might also consider increasing the gamma levels I think it is in the color display section of your display properties. Right click on the desktop, select properties, go to "settings" and "advanced" and most display cards allow you to control how colors are mixed and how bright they are. Sometimes these can be set rather dim by default.Some explanation of what the various electrical busses are might help also, Bill. What's the difference between them? I assumed they were there so you could program in failures and perhaps control them with circuit breakers. Can you control the brightness of lights? I assume you could make a global change to brightness by modifying the effects file (vclight.fx). Perhaps different brightness levels could be controlled by creating multiple vclight effects files with different brightness levels and then allowing a slider or buttons to select these effects files?I don't have a clue about how panel backlighting is accomplished or how to control it, either on or off or how to control brightness. I think it has something to do with alpha channels and gauge bitmaps, but I don't understand it at all. If it is alpha channels, it would appear you would not be able to control brightness from a pot, it would be stuck at whatever alpha channel brightness you had, unless you could switch on different alpha channel bitmaps. I guess that could work.I wouldn't mind if the brightness could be controlled in steps and wasn't smooth. Some control is better than none.I plan on doing some testing myself when I get a chance, but I don't know anything about the electrical busses and what they do.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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One other point, and I think you hinted at it Bill. How come panel lighting comes on automatically? It doesn't work that way in my airplane.For intance, the AFG King Air 300, whenever I turn on any lights, the panel lighting comes on. Is this the way it works in the real airplane? What if I want to turn on the nav lights but not the panel lights?Is this related to what you said about bus #4?Can we create our own electrical busses that we can control when something connected turns on?Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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>One other point, and I think you hinted at it Bill. How come>panel lighting comes on automatically? It doesn't work that>way in my airplane.>>For intance, the AFG King Air 300, whenever I turn on any>lights, the panel lighting comes on. Is this the way it works>in the real airplane? What if I want to turn on the nav>lights but not the panel lights?>>Is this related to what you said about bus #4?>>Can we create our own electrical busses that we can control>when something connected turns on?Thomas,Thanks for your comments and questions. Quite honestly, this level of technical discussion is best suited to the "MSFS Aircraft and Panel Design" forum, however I will make some attempt to reply here with the caveat that any future questions should properly be asked in the appropropriate venue. ;)Anyone who's been around for the past six years or so knows that "lighting" has become somewhat of a passion and specialty for me. In fact some might call it a "Crusade..." x:-) I would refer any who're seriously interested in the subject to study the article I authored and which ACES has published at their FSInsider website: http://www.fsinsider.com/developers/Pages/...veTextures.aspxIncluded in that article is a link to my earlier paper for FS9, which the truly obsessed might wish to read first as requisite background.Frankly, without any disrespect to my friends in Redmond intended, "lighting" in FS in general and FSX in particular is something of a dog's breakfast. First of all, it is insanely over-complicated since it requires multiple techniques to be choreographed and synchronized between (1) 2d panel, (2) gauges (C and XML), (3) xx_L.bmp "lightmap textures, and (4) the "electrical system".A large part of the problem is simply because there is no unification to the "system" at all. It is a patchwork quilt of specific techniques and parameters that are scattered between multiple .cfg files and gauges. Here is a list of the most common elements:1. aircraft.cfg file - effect "lights" and their electrical bus assignments are specified here.2. panel.cfg file - entries for Day, Night, and Luminous "color and brightness" for the 2d panel are specified here.3. gauges - may utilize several techniques including "luminous" (old system typically rendered as "red glow"), "bright" (newer technique), or for new FSX specific gauges, "swappable bitmaps" (day/night).4. .mdl file (model) - VC gauge lighting must be purposely included, with explicit reference to a "lightmap" (xxx_L.bmp or xxx_L.dds), through which the color and brightness of gauge backlighting is defined. In addition, some .fx type lighting may now be specified in the model, as well as landing and taxi light polygons.5. light switches (gauge) - FS now allows ten individual "light circuts (busses)" which may be used (or abused). They also do not always and at all times do what is expected... ;)However, there are numerous exceptions, "gottchas," and conflicts which further complicate an already unwieldy "system," which could quite honestly serve as a poster child of the "Law of Unintended Consequences..." :-hahWhat all this means is that for any specific aircraft to have "proper lighting" it must be carefully planned and executed at the time it is created. Any attempt to "fix" a problem will necessarily be limited at best to a "bandaid," since the proximate cause of said problem is quite likely the result of a fundamental flaw in the development planning and/or execution itself.

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>One other point, and I think you hinted at it Bill. How come>panel lighting comes on automatically? It doesn't work that>way in my airplane.This is one change in FSX that I strongly opposed. "Panel lighting" is now hard-wired in the FSX core to be "automatic." Unfortunately, there is a disconnect between the "timers" used for aircraft and scenery lighting, the net result of which is that the panel lighting is sometimes wildly out of synch with the exterior "world's time." >For intance, the AFG King Air 300, whenever I turn on any>lights, the panel lighting comes on. Is this the way it works>in the real airplane? What if I want to turn on the nav>lights but not the panel lights?No, it is not. There are as I stated above many "gottchas" in the lighting system that result in unintended consequences. For example, in FS9 the Alpha Channel of a lightmap determined whether it would respond to either the landing light switch - or any other light switch..."In FSX, the Alpha Channel isn't used at all. Instead, light maps respond to any switch except landing lights. Hence models which were carefully crafted for FS9 may well not work as designed in FSX.Since I have to design gauges and lighting systems for two wildly different platforms, I now have to spend quite a bit more time planning than I've ever needed in the past.

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>This is one change in FSX that I strongly opposed. "Panel lighting" is now hard-wired in the FSX core to be "automatic." What possible reason did they come up with to turn lights on automatically?I could understand an OPTION that allows the system to turn lights on for you automatically, kind of like the choice to have the rudders controlled automatically or user controlled. But I cannot understand why they would FORCE my lighting to be turned on at their choice and not mine.Is that what you are saying?P.S. I'm reading your articles.Hmm, I should have read your FSX article before responding. But I think my question and comment still stands.I'm wondering if you can assign a switch to a particular light?Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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