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As is probably common in FS...I learned to fly an ILS in Turbine aircraft before I fully understood basic aircraft operations.While using the Commander I notices after a few minutes after start-up my panel went dead. I noted no volts and switched on the alternator and the panel came back alive.When does one use activate the alternator and what does it do...charge the battery?I assume the master switch on the Commander is the BATT switch (left of alternator)??Also, when I start FS2002, my rudder pedals are always incorrectly calibrated. I have to go back into calibration and re-calibrate on every start-up no matter what aircraft.Thanks for everyone's help,

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An alternator provides electrical power from the engine in order to run the electrics in your aircraft (or car for that matter), it also charges the battery up at the same time !! I always turn it on at the same time as the battery (can't remember the correct checklist).It may be worth trying to calibrate your pedals in FSUIPC see if that makes a difference ?!?! (Not sure it will help, but worth a try)Hope that helps,

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Hi Greg,We are all familiar with a battery, but what is its purpose? First and foremost it provides the necessary power to start the aircraft engine. In some aircraft that do not have an alternator or generator it may be the only source of power for all electrical items. The battery also provides electrical power in the event the generator/altemator fails.Alternators are simply generators that produce alternating current. They are the most common forms of electrical power on aircraft today. An alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy that can power our electrical components.So now that you know what each part does, how does it all come together? Well, an aircraft's electrical system has its origin in the storage battery installed primarily for starting the engine and for serving as an initial power source for the aircraft's electrical system. After the engine is started, the alternator (or generator), is switched on to supplement and replenish the battery voltage expended in starting the engine. The alternator provides all the electrical power needed in flight. In the event the alternator fails, you'll be running on battery power alone so find yourself an airport to land at rather quickly :-)Hope this shed some light on the battery/alternator question?! In regards to your rudder pedals being out of alignment, maybe align them then re-save your flight so that way the next time you start FS2K2 they'll be centered.Mike

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Thanks for the response, that clears it up.What is UIPIC? I hear about that but don't know what it does or if I should install it??Follow-Up questions- why have an alternator switch? Wouldn't I always want to use the engine to charge the battery and run my electronics? Does it sap engine power??Thanks,

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Thanks for that very informative response!That clears some stuff up like when I hear an aircraft lsoing electric I'm always puzzled how they get the gear, flaps down and flight straight and level on a dark panel...I guess batteries only after an electrical failure.Thansk again,

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Just had another thought...My checklist just references a Master switch on command in the engine start up category. What abou the alternator switch...before or after engine start?Thanks,

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Hi Greg,I turn on the alternator after the engine has started. In this case I would have to assume that the Master switch in your checklist is referring to the Master Battery switch. Which checklist are you using?Mike

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I'm using the one included with the Commander.I did not see a command to turn on the Alt switch at any time as best as I can recall.I re-write them and use as flip charts when I'm flying...I'm not a kneeboard fan at all!!

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