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Author Topic: Tutorial - Getting the Civa INS into that fine bird  (Read 17635 times)
CoolP
Flight engineer
**
Posts: 37


« on: January 31, 2011, 12:45:34 AM »

Fellow A300 Captains,

with the approval of Björn (thanks for that), I'd like to take you into some Civa INS integration on the mighty A300.
With the new SP2 being available, there already is a Civa integration, but it's different to mine showing here, so I'll keep that tutorial online if you don't mind.  Smiley

This tutorial therefore is SP2+ or 2.01 ready if you use the default panel.cfg file for all modifications, not the panel_civa.cfg.

This modification on the Simcheck A300 does NOT receive official support as it's user made. So whatever happens to your bird, it's not Simchecks fault then.
Of course, this thing should work and the worst thing to happen is that you blow up your panel.cfg file with wrong entries.
Solution? Use your backup file and start again or leave the Civa out there if you don't trust it.
Otherwise, enjoy your even more complicated and "old" way of navigating a plane.


This tutorial adds the Civa INS gauges to the Simcheck A300. You'll need the version 2.0 of the Simcheck as older versions don't support the gauge and it therefore won't drive your Autopilot. If updates after 2.0 arrive, I'll probably check them and update this post to clearly state if the Civa will work there.


We'll add the gauge to the bird, so the original Simcheck INS stays intact and usable. Don't use both at the same time but, if you like, one after another.

The Civa gauges come as 2D popups only (see the screenshots), so the VC of the A300 stays the same, showing the Simcheck INS units.




You'll get two separate CDUs, working in "triple mix" mode, the highest Civa accuracy available. You also get two "Nav" switches and two DME update flags to show the DME update being in progress. DME updating works on both units, unit 1 comes from the Nav1 radio, unit 2 from the Nav2 radio of the A300.
For details, check the Civa manuals.

The other popup will show you two MSUs and one ADEU reader. This arrangement can be altered of course but I've found it to be sufficient to all my needs. Feel free to mod my setup there, I won't harm you then. Cheesy


For the Civa INS operation stay in "HDG select" mode of the A300 AP, not in the "NAV" mode (like you would with the Simcheck INS). The Civa will drive the HDG bug then, when enabled with the (Civa!) "Nav" switch 1 or 2. So these small switches actually turn the Civa AP driving on or off, the AP therefore should always stay in "HDG select" mode.
Of course, it has to be aligned first and some waypoints have to be entered. Otherwise those switches won't work, so don't scream towards the screen but start reading the Civa docs. Wink


Quote
Here is a free and useful tool to convert normal flight planes to Civa ADEU card ones which can be read by the ADEU reader attached to the MSUs. http://darkc.no-ip.org/planconverter/

Support the author if you meet him, this is under BEER-WARE LICENSE. Smiley

So you can't load normal flight plans into the Civa, you'll need that tool or enter every waypoint by hand, that's correct and intended.


Here are the steps now

1. Download the current 1.51 Civa INS installer from here (http://www.simufly.com/ins/download.html), install it and look into your new "Civa" folder to find all needed documents to operate it. It's freeware, so praise the authors.


2. The Simcheck A300 comes in two variants, cargo and passenger, so we will edit both of them, giving us two panel.cfg files to work on.
The folders for them are SimObjects\Airplanes\SimCheck A300B4-200\Panel for the cargo version and
SimObjects\Airplanes\SimCheck A300B4-200\Panel.pax for the passenger variant.

Make a backup of the "panel.cfg" file in both folders. "panel.cfg" will always be the name of file being used by FSX. All other names like "panelBACKUP.cfg" won't be regarded and therefore your backup file can stay in that folder if you like.


3. Open the panel.cfg with e. g. notepad or any other text editor of your choice.

First section to work in will be [Window Titles]. We'll add
Code:
Window17=INS Control Display Units
window18=INS MSU+ADEU
there, giving us two additional windows later (can be seen as 2D popup panels) which include all Civa INS stuff to operate.
Those popups can be accessed via the FSX menu or the quick access buttons which we will add to the Simcheck ones now.


We'll look at [Window11], which is the small icon panel for quick access buttons. We completely replace it, so delete the whole [Window11] entries and drop in the new ones from here.
Code:
[Window11]
Background_color=0,0,0
size_mm=228,25
window_size_ratio=1.000  
position=0
visible=1
ident=10022
window_size= 0.228, 0.025
window_pos= 0.000, 0.050
zorder=14

gauge00=BC_A300!BC_A300_SWITCH,  0,0,180,25
gauge01=../civa/INS!CduPanelIconB,   180,  0, 24, 24, 11041
gauge02=../civa/INS!AdeuPanelIconB,  204,  0, 24, 24, 11042
This new window (=popup) was resized (leading to slightly bigger buttons) and got two quick access buttons for the Civa INS added. Those buttons are backlit.


Now, as we've added two additional windows to the [Window Titles] section, we have to define them by adding these two completely new definitions. So scroll down to the end of the panel.cfg and just add those two new entries.

Code:
;CIVA
[Window17]
size_mm=420,223
background_color=0,0,0
window_size_ratio=1.000
window_size= 0.420, 0.300
window_pos=0.300, 0.160
position=0
visible=0
ident=11041
no_luminous=1
gauge00=../civa/ins!Cdu1,   0,  0, 200, 158
gauge01=../civa/ins!Cdu2, 200,  0, 200, 158
gauge02=../civa/INS!UpdateFlags, 150, 160, 115, 63
gauge03=../civa/INS!CduPanelIconB, 400, 0, 20, 20, 11041
gauge04=../civa/INS!NavModeDual, 270, 160, 50, 45
gauge05=../civa/INS!AdeuPanelIconB, 400, 138, 20, 20, 11042

[Window18]
size_mm=420,158
background_color=0,0,0
window_size_ratio=1.000
window_size= 0.420, 0.200
window_pos=0.300, 0.500
position=8
visible=0
ident=11042
no_luminous=1
gauge00=../civa/INS!Msu1,   0,  0, 200, 57
gauge01=../civa/INS!Msu2, 200,  0, 200, 57
gauge02=../civa/INS!Adeu1, 0, 60, 250, 101
gauge03=../civa/INS!AdeuPanelIconB, 400, 0, 20, 20, 11042
These are the actual Civa Units together with their buttons.


4. The last step remains the addition of the Civa config and initialization gauge. This one is important as it forces the Civa units to come alive and also to save some configuration stuff on the A300 then.

Scroll up the panel.cfg a bit and find the [Vcockpit02] entry. Add another gauge to it, namely No.16
Code:
gauge16=../civa/INS!Config,         0,    0,  0, 0, SCA300

See that "SCA300" at the end of the line? This thing defines how the Civa config file will be named.
You can find it in your "Civa" folder in FSX and it will appear as "SCA300.Isd". That's the file which enables and saves the Civa status for our A300 here.

Whenever you run into trouble with the Civa itself, just delete this "SCA300.Isd" file and start new.

IMPORTANT (for 2D flyers only!): The current placement of this gauge makes use of the VC to initialize. This means, that you have to "see" the VC at least once to trigger the gauge to work, otherwise the Civa will stay powerless all the time.
So if you're are flying the A300 in 2D panels only, you will have to switch to the VC once OR you will have to move the gauge itself to a 2D panel, e. g. [Window00] (Captain's 2D panel) and add it there as "gauge49". This should work although I haven't tested it since I'm flying VC only.


5. That should be it, the Civa INS is now working in that panel.cfg you've edited, you only have to save it now and make sure it's name really is "panel.cfg" and not "panel.cfg.txt" or something. Repeat all steps for the other variant of the plane and start using it.

The Civa INS now drives the HDG bug on the A300. So don't use the "Nav" mode but the "HDG select" one and turn the Nav switch on one of the Civa CDUs to on to allow the driving of the bug.


For further information on how to load flight plans or to allign the Civa, use the docs in the "Civa" folder or search the net.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 08:04:41 PM by CoolP » Logged
kamanba
Newbie
*
Posts: 20


« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 12:37:34 PM »

Hi Bjorn i'd like to do this. Do you  advice this or not. how is it in the real thang: the default one or the civa.

Kaman

Regards Cool
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simcheck
Administrator
Senior Captain
*****
Posts: 536


« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011, 11:44:07 PM »

Hi Kaman,

There are different configurations in the real aircraft, some use the CIVA, other use the Litton and other have even other INS systems. The standard INS is based on the CIVA but is simplyfied in some areas.

So feel free to use the CIVA in the A300! Note that you will have to use the HDG mode on the autopilot and the HSI will not show distance or off track needle indications etc... 

Björn
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Björn Comhaire
Lead Developer
Gauge programming - Project management
CoolP
Flight engineer
**
Posts: 37


« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 08:06:30 PM »

I've checked the compatibility with the current SP2+ (2.01).
This tutorial is SP2+ or 2.01 ready if you use the default panel.cfg file for all modifications, not the panel_civa.cfg.
If you use this default file, there are no changes from the last version of the tutorial, everything stays the same.
Logged
CoolP
Flight engineer
**
Posts: 37


« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2012, 02:58:28 AM »

I've integrated the CIVA in the VC now, with only slight downsides. One being the fact that you can either have a VC instance of the gauge or a 2D one. Means that all your data input has to take place in the VC now. Not a problem with EZCA or a dedicated camera setup.

So pick your favourite.  Smiley Here are some pictures showing the modification.

Day.


Day with the panel lights on.


Night with the lights on.


Note that I've replaced the TOGA button in the panel with the "ADEU" icon. Pushing it will trigger the ADEU and extra controls to come up. Very similar to the 2D popup variant from the above posts. Now I could not make any VC MSU to work for the Civa, so this popup currently is the only way to load flight plans and things. But the Civa (CDU) units itself work fine in the VC, fully operational.

I've mapped the TOGA function to my hardware, so I don't rely on the VC button. If you need it, leave out the replacement and operate the popup window through the FSX dialogue or flip the window order to allow for a popup with a Shift+number keyboard command.


Here's how it's done. If you've read the tutorial for the 2D popup above, you already know a bit or two. So here are just the entries needed. Use the default panel.cfg file as the basis for all modifications, not the panel_civa.cfg.

Add an extra window.
Code:
[Window Titles]
..
window17=MSU+ADEU

With this definition.
Code:
[Window17]
size_mm=420,158
background_color=0,0,0
window_size_ratio=1.000
window_size= 0.420, 0.200
position=4
visible=0
ident=11042
no_luminous=1
gauge00=../civa/INS!Msu1,   0,  0, 200, 57
gauge01=../civa/INS!Msu2, 200,  0, 200, 57
gauge02=../civa/INS!Adeu1, 0, 60, 250, 101
gauge03=../civa/INS!AdeuPanelIconB, 400, 0, 20, 20, 11042
gauge04=../civa/INS!UpdateFlags, 285, 60, 115, 63
gauge05=../civa/INS!NavModeSingle, 251, 60, 25, 45

Replace the TOGA button
Code:
[Vcockpit01]
..
//gauge49=BC_A300!BC_A300_TOGA,  740,155,31,31
gauge49=../civa/INS!AdeuPanelIconB,  740,155,31,31, 11042
..

Add the Config gauge to
Code:
[Vcockpit02]
..
gauge16=../civa/INS!Config,         0,    0,  0, 0, SCA300

Replace the Simcheck VC INS.
Code:
[Vcockpit06]
Background_color=0,0,0
size_mm=1024,1024
visible=1
pixel_size=1024, 1024
texture=$a300_vc_gau04

gauge00=../civa/ins!Cdu1,  4,0,326,246
gauge01=../civa/ins!Cdu2,  701,0,326,245


OPTIONAL.
Delete any 2D reference to the Simcheck units by using // in front of their gauge entries.


This modification on the Simcheck A300 does NOT receive official support as it's user made. So whatever happens to your bird, it's not Simcheck's fault then.
Of course, this thing should work and the worst thing to happen is that you blow up your panel.cfg file with wrong entries. Solution? Use your backup file and start again or leave the Civa out if you don't trust it.

Enjoy!  Smiley
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 03:15:32 AM by CoolP » Logged
simcheck
Administrator
Senior Captain
*****
Posts: 536


« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 07:23:19 AM »

Nice job!

Björn
Logged


Björn Comhaire
Lead Developer
Gauge programming - Project management
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