| SimVimX System | | HARDWARE CONFIG TOOL TECH TIPS | | Panels | Baron 58

Main Configuration and Conversion Tool

How it works, Configuration and Conversion

In our early interfaces, input and output functions had to be assigned directly by the user as X-Plane commands or datarefs.

Later, in the ArdSimX interface it became possible to select function descriptions from the table, and the configurator inserted the necessary datarefs into the lines when assigning them. The current SimVim/SimVimX interface has become the next level of input/output data unification. Each parameter is an "alias" of a specific control, aircraft system or device function represented in the form of a single "keyword".

SimVimX Parameter Keywords - What's behind them?

Here are some reasons for introducing special keywords instead of searching and directly specifying X-Plane commands by user to assign input and output functions:

- Clear names of the cockpit control functions with the required functionality, which you simply select from the list in the configurator and assign. The resulting config file is easier to navigate.

- Unification of control assignments for any aircraft model and use of the same configuration when you fly several aircraft models, including stock X-Plane models and custom models that use a lot of custom commands.

- Programming complex functions with a single keyword (see below).

1) Default SimVim Functions

About 1900 SimVim parameter keywords (out of 3200) are predefined using existing X-Plane datarefs and commands. In simple cases, one keyword can encode one X-Plane command, several commands or a dataref with a value that needs to be set or read.

To illustrate, here are examples where we have a simple link to X-Plane dataref with value behind the keywords. The first is a parameter keyword for the button that sets the specific dataref value (the EFIS map mode #3). The second one is the 5-position rotary switch that sets 5 vaues to the same dataref:

ND_Mode_Nav =
Value = 3
ND_Mode_Sel =
Value set = 0,1,2,3,4

This is a parameter keyword for the encoder that changes the dataref value by step 0.01 in the range between 28 and 38:

AP_ALT_Baro_Set =
Range = 28-38;
Increment = 0.01

These three examples show that some parameters simply represent single commands or a pair of toggle commands. Also it can be more complex logic with several commands and conditions:

Gear_Lever_UP =
Command = sim/flight_controls/landing_gear_up
Gear_Lever_DN =
Command = sim/flight_controls/landing_gear_down

Inverter_Switch =
Command 1 = sim/electrical/inverters_on
Command 2 = sim/electrical/inverters_off

But also a single SimVim parameter can represent a more complex logical structure with different input options, conditions under which the plugin uses different groups of commands/datarefs, and display format for different device types.

Example - Parking brake parameter that can be assigned as either an analog axis, a simple on/off switch, or a 3-position (off-half-full) switch. The plugin configures this setting according to the selected input type. This same keyword is also used to assign the parking brake LED indicator:

Parking_Brake =
Values = 0,0.5,1
Switch = 0,2
Axis Precision = 10, Range 0.0-1.0
LED = sim/cockpit2/controls/parking_brake_ratio
Range = 0.6,1

The RMI_Dist_1 parameter is used to display the DME1 distance on the screen in the correct format and for two different DME sources (NAV or ADF) depending on the selected RMI switch position:

RMI_Dist_1 =
Condition = RMI_L_Switch
Format = 000.0

Output LED function for left gear status: The LED is on and flashes when the gear is in transit, it flashes at a set time interval and only operates when power is applied to the bus (for models where this is not programmed):

GearL_Status =
sim/flightmodel2/gear/deploy_ratio i=1
Blink at 0.05-0.95
Timing = 150,800
Condition = Bus_States>0

Output Display function for the Baro indicator: The display shows the Baro value either in In/Hg or HPa in the correct format depending on the selected Baro Units switch position:

Stby_Baro_Ind = sim/cockpit2/gauges/actuators/barometer_setting_in_hg_stby Range = 27.9 - 31.5 Format = 88.88 Condition = Stby_Baro_Unit:0
sim/cockpit2/gauges/actuators/barometer_setting_in_hg_stby Range mapping = 921,1070 Format = 8888 Condition = Stby_Baro_Unit:1

Here is an example of complex Eng_Throttle function: the plugin selects needed dataref and its range accordingly with the system (throttle type) selected for this plane. Additional condition - A/T Motor control - if it is active the plugin doesn't read the inputs from the throttle

Eng_Throttle =
System = 20
Ranges = 0-1; -1-1; 2-1
Condition = AT_Control_On:0

2) SimVimX Custom Functions

More than 500 SimVim parameter keywords are custom functions programmed into the SimVimX plugin. These functions can be quite simple and included to simulate some functionality not found directly in X-Plane, but many of them are set of complex functions.

An example of a simple custom SimVimX function - automatic gear extension at a given minimum airspeed:

Gear_Auto_Ext =
SimVimX custom dataref = simvim/control/auto_gear

There are lot of complex custom SimVimX functions to simulate entire instrument types. Among them are all radio devices - XPDR, Com/Nav, DME, the functionality of which depends on the type of device you selected in the configurator, represented by such parameters as Nav1_Mhz, Nav1_Pull, Radio_Combo_Sel, Com1_Active, etc:

Com1_Standby =
simvim/radio/com1_stby_disp =
System = 2
Complex SimVim Function, defined by selected device type.

Another example of complex SimVimX functions are parameters for displaying data on the SimVimPanel FMS CDU:

16 SimVimX custom datarefs = simvim/panel/fms_line0 - simvim/panel/fms_line15

3) Custom Planes Conversion

And finally, many SimVim parameter keywords can be converted to any custom plane commands/datarefs:

For example here is how the landing/taxi lights switch is converted for the DDan Challenger CL300 - one toggle command is used + one reference dataref with 3 position values:

Landing_Lights =
Custom Command = cl300/lights/taxi
+Test dataref = cl300/xap_taxilight_h:0,1,2

The SimVimX parameter "keywords" are universal and used with any plane model for the cockpit you built. Having just one configuration for Baron 58 for example, you can use it with any free or paid B58 model, or any other similar aircraft, without changing configuration.

There are currently about 3200 available keywords in the SimVim database, covering almost all possible names of controls and devices that can be found in any aircraft panel:

1900 - keywords that include commands, datarefs available for these functions in X-Plain and additional attributes where necessary.
520 - SimVimX custom programmed functions not represented in X-Plane, universal functions for radio equipment and other devices.
750 - unassigned (not having X-Plane commands/datarefs available and not programmed as custom SimVimX functions). If you use those parameters in your cockpit, they require conversion.

Note that about 700 parameters relate to G1000, GPS, IRS, FMS, EMFD). Some functions that are not presented in the configurator yet for some reason will be added eventually (ask if you need some).

Configuration Tool

The Configuration Tool allows you to quickly customize any cockpit panel using convenient layout maps that represent aircraft systems, controls, instruments or modules with all parameters correctly preassigned. Just find the needed element on the image map, click on it and assign the appropriate control or output - switch, button, encoder, LED, display, etc. Once the configuration is ready (in any moment) click the [SAVE] button to download the data.cfg file (or plane-related cfg file).

Place this file into the SimVimX plugin folder and start your flight. If you need to add or change some parameter, just upload ypur config file to the configurator, make needed changes, and save again. Then click the [Reload Configuration] button in the plugin status window or press previously assigned "Reload" button.

When an aircraft is loaded, the SimVimX plugin reads the configuration and translates each keyword either into custom SimVimX function, that can use multiple X-Plane datarefs with other parameters and conditions, or directly to X-Plane input commands or datarefs for output with correct format, conditions and options depended on the assigned device type.

Default, Free and Custom Aicraft Models, notes

All aircraft models that are included by default in X-Plane, all their modifications, as well as all free and paid airplane models that correctly use the original X-Plane commands and datarefs to control the virtual panel, work with all assigned SimVimX parameters (keywords) without any other user action.

This means that you don't need to worry about simulator commands, datarefs, scripts, and internal structure of each parameter, simply assign all the necessary parameters in this Configurator as you need and fly.

If some parameter keyword assigned in the configurator is not working with your aircraft model, that means the loaded aircraft script overrides the standard X-Plane function replacing it by its custom dataref. Some plane developers define few or tens custom commands/datarefs for their plane models, and this is a very good practice because only few functions not implemented in X-Plane actually need additional datarefs.

But some models have a hundreds of custom datarefs and that is the problem for cockpit builder. It's a bad practice when developer creates a custom dataref for every simple switch, this is useless because they are perfectly modelled in X-Plane, and all these custom datarefs are created just for virtual 3D cockpit animations and after all, they change the standard X-Plane datarefs anyway. Actually, only few functions that are not modelled in X-Plane need to be programmed and have their custom datarefs.

Even if you have assigned some hardware switch but see that the same switch on your virtual panel doesn't flip, it doesn't mean that the system in X-Plane is not affected. It can work as needed and you just have no animation on the screen (that you don't need when you have a "real" panel). In some planes it is just animation of the on-screen switch for which the developer included additional custom commands/datarefs.

Aircraft Conversion

The SimVimX plugin can "remap" the parameter keywords to the related custom commands (datarefs) provided with specific plane model using special data conversion format.

First, you can use my predefined RSC_Planes database file that already includes completed or ongoing conversions for a number of different aircraft models. if your plane is listed there all your assigned inputs/outputs will work for it as-is.

Else, the conversion file for particular plane model can be created by qualified user in the Converter (you can acees it though the Config Tool), for those SimVimX keywords that had to be remapped to custom datarefs in this plane.

How it works: When a specific aircraft is loading, the plugin looks for replacement data table and remaps all needed standard input/output parameters located in the SimVimX database into this plane model custom data.

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RealSimControl / SimVim / SimVimX 2012 - 2023