How does simulator panel building with FsXpand work?
With FsXPand you can leave the native sim panels behind you and open a world of new possibilities and flexibility: Build your own panels outside your sim.
You do not need to use additional hardware to connect controls. Neither do you need state-of-the-art client PC's or need to run multiple copies of FS.
FsXPand runs on your simulator pc with FSUIPC. It connects to FsClient running on one or more PC's (or even the FS PC).
Displays on dual-head or extra video card outputs are supported. No WideFS or Wideview required.
FsXPand can display almost any aircraft gauge needed. Each gauge (or instrument) in the toolbox can be shown anywhere in your network, selected on the FsClient PC.
FsXPand supports General Aviation cockpits as well as glass ones.
You can select analog gauges or complete displays like 737 PFD, ND, and EICAS, also in condensed mode.
FsXPand allows EICAS panel modes swapping (primary, secondary, condensed...)
You can customize the panel gauges to suit your needs. Change appearance, drag and drop, edit values etc. If you can lay hands on a picture of your favourite cockpit, you will be able to set it up in minutes using FsXpand. It supports a total of 4 engines, piston, jet, and turbine.
The gauges are script driven. The gauge elements are created on-the-fly. Of course it is better to use the original bitmaps for the dials and the needles. Do so at your leasure using the incuded Gauge Editor.
FsXPand can be run on a second PC via WideFS. This can be useful if you want to transfer the FsXPand workload from your FS PC to another one in your network.
MoviesTwo FMS clips for you, one changing course and another changing from FL100 to FL150.
The PFD shows your plane changing heading from 276 to 301 degrees
The PFD shows a level change from FL100 to FL150
More FsXPand video's of our customers:
Taking a flight in the 737ng.co.uk simulator, using PMDG for the PFD/ND and FsXPand for the EICAS and standby instruments
And part 2...
An extensive tutorial on how to build a 737 flight deck is on their website.
FsXPand software gauges in a Beech Baron simulator
Taking a flight in the same
Linking aircraft controls
You do not have to buy additional hardware right now to connect your controls. Standard game ports, USB game devices are all you need (see compatibility list). Controls are configured by assigning functions from a droplist to any button/switch/analog you wish to use.
You can setup controls for any aircraft you wish. It is up to you which controls you want to run over FsXPand. Take a look at the current assignments lists (analogs , switches , buttons , encoders). They allow the choice of almost any function required for controlling the aircraft. More is yet to come - the libraries are under constant development.
You can even assign keystrokes to the functions if you want.
And you might create your own controls by using switches and variable resistors, and some skills with a soldering iron. Anybody can do it.. FsXPand supports the use of rotary encoders (full cycle like the CTS 288), connected directly to your game port.
Joystick values send through analog game ports tend to change (jitter) due to various causes. If your home-made controls are connected to USB ports via a USB joystick converter, like the Rockfire RM-203, the values will as stable as a rock and allow you to control very precise settings. Flyware is working to create compatibility with most USB products on the market with a high resolution to allow the use of precise controls.
You will not run out of controls very soon, for FsXPand will allow the connection of 8 joystick devices per PC, bringing the amount of analog channels to an amazing 24 per PC. Each device may have as much as 15 buttons, 120 in total per PC. All input is routed to FS.
- The use of analog brakes is possible. Here comes in handy the sensitivity graph you can modify with each channel. It is easy now to make the brake pedal start braking exactly at the deflection you want.
- FsXPand can make use of non-linear scales on some instruments (IAS, VSI) by a custom sensitivity curve (to allow for the use of bitmaps on these instruments)
- FsXpand can take care of realistic touchdown sound and ground rumble effect using low frequency rumble dependent on the speed, while touchdown sound depends on the vertical velocity at landing. This is in stereo, so you will really hear and feel the touchdown at one side when the wings are not fully level. Some basic sounds are provided, but you will certainly want to add sounds to your own liking.
The .wav file and the volume settings can be configured for each separate cockpit you wish to emulate. (More... )
- Panels can be resized to match any screen resolution
- For specialists: use specific FSUIPC offsets......