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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2009, 01:44 
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Joined: 25 Apr 2009, 16:15
Posts: 17
Hi Tom,

Each aircraft's panel.cfg file can be found in their respective panel folder, usually <path to FSX installation folderSimObjectsAirplanesaircraft's folderpanel>

Note that aircraft that have multiple panel folders, with different 'extensions' (ie: aircraft's folder namepanel.gps as an example), need to have the panel.cfg file in both folders to be fixed separately from each other.

For helicopters, substitute 'Rotorcraft' for 'Airplanes' in the above path.

Just remember to backup the originals before you start editing, so you have something to fall back to in case anything strange happens. Also, take it slow with your first one or two aircraft. Do a couple of small edits, load up the plane and check it to see how things are affected by different settings. Then go back and do a couple more. This will help you get familliar (and more confident) in hand-editing the files. It will also make things easier to fix if things go wrong, because you'll know the last couple of changes that you did, instead of trying to find a problem amid a bunch of changes being done all at once.

Once you've done a couple, you should be able to make the changes in your sleep. lol. :)

Good luck, and let us know how you make out.

-George

edited to add:

I'd recommend using a text editor like notepad to make the changes.

The panel.cfg file may just appear as the word 'panel' in the folder. If this is the case, I'd suggest configuring Windows to *not* hide extensions for known file types. To do this, go to your Control Panel, and double-click on Folder Options. Click on the 'View' tab, then uncheck 'Hide Extensions for Known File Types'. Finally, click on 'Apply', then on 'OK'. You can then close your control panel, and your file extensions should all now be visible. Just thought I'd add this information in case you needed it. :)


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2009, 00:57 
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Joined: 26 Aug 2009, 21:29
Posts: 27
Thanks again, George. :D I found the panels folder and the cfg files just as you said. Why in the world did they ever put the Airplane folder in SimObjects I'll never know. Anyway, I am off to Cleveland this weekend to see the Browns and Packers so I won't get a chance to experiment with FSX until then. I'll keep you posted how I made out once I get back and edit the panels. Regards, Tom


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PostPosted: 23 Oct 2009, 16:41 
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Joined: 25 Apr 2009, 16:15
Posts: 17
Hi Tom,

Glad you found the panel folders and files, and I look forward to hearing how everything works out for you. Also, I hope you enjoy your trip to Cleveland, and I hope it's a great game. :)

Have fun!

-George


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2009, 00:48 
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Joined: 26 Aug 2009, 21:29
Posts: 27
Hi George,
Well, I am back and made some changes. The 2D panel .333 change works fine! :D I can't quite figure out some of the the subpanels though.
I made the first changes to to the FlightOne Cessna 172. When I first opened the radio stack, gps, etc. some opened stretched out and others did not. One or two locked up the sim and the cursor started its thing and I had to reboot. I tried experimenting with the sizes in panel.cfg but couldn't figure out what the changes were doing. I simply dragged the edges and stretched them to a new size and location and saved the configuration.

One panel opens a small icon panel to open the various windows. It is called the Panel Manager in Panel.cfg. No matter what changes I made within panel.cfg, it still appears stretched out and unchanged in the sim. I can't figure out why making changes did not affect the panels size. Anyway, at least now it is usable. If you don't mind, could you explain those numbers and how they affect the subpanels? I understand the .333 being one third of the three monitors, but what about the sizes and positions of the various subpanels such as the gps, radio stack, throttle quadrant, etc.? What is the second number in the pair for? I don't want to do the complicated planes like the Level D 767 until I understand changing the values and how they are affecting the panels first. Thanks again for the great ideas. Regards, Tom


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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2009, 16:18 
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Joined: 25 Apr 2009, 16:15
Posts: 17
Hi Tom.

The window_size= value is a scale based on a percentage of the game's current resolution with a maximum value of 1.0 (100%). It takes two values: percentage of the game screen width, percentage of game screen height. So, for example, window_size=0.333, 0.5 tells the sim to draw that panel to 1/3 the game screen's width (0.333 = 1/3) while drawing it at half the game screen's height (0.5).

A number of aircraft panel windows already have a window_size= value associated with them, so before editing additional panel windows, look to see if they have a window_size= set of values. If they do have an existing set of values, and the first value (width scale) is NOT 1.0, then you need to divide the first value by 1/3 (3) instead of using the .333 value.

For example, let's say the radio stack has the following entry:
window_size=.875, 0.5

We would need to divide .875 by 3, which would give us a value of 0.2916 (rounded up to 0.292), so the window_size value would read:
window_size=0.292, 0.5 (as an example).

For the position= value, the screen is broken up into nine segments <0 - 8> starting at the top left-hand corner of the screen and ending at the bottom right-hand corner . So an entry that reads
position=7 indicates the window's position should be centered along the bottom of the screen.

Adjusting those two values should allow you to change the starting size and position of each panel window.

For more information on editing values in the panel.cfg file, and what each value does, I'd recommend checking out the following link:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526956.aspx#window00_and_vcockpit00

For the Flight1 C172, I don't own that aircraft, and am not familliar with their panel manager, so I can't say why the changes you're making to it don't seem to be affecting that window. If the additional information here still doesn't help you get that window resized, you may want to ask over at the Flight1 support forums to see if anyone knows a work-around for their panel manager.

Hope this info helps, and let us know how everything works out. :)

-George


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2009, 05:33 
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Joined: 26 Aug 2009, 21:29
Posts: 27
George,
Thanks again. That was a beautiful explanation. I understand it perfectly. Now I can tweak a bit more and see what results I get. One more quck question if you don't mind. Why do we have to disable text with the "//" entry? I forgot to add this question in my last post. Regards, Tom


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2009, 07:23 
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Joined: 25 Apr 2009, 16:15
Posts: 17
Hi again, Tom.

The double-slashes (//) are used to tell FlightSim that the following text is a comment up until the next carriage return. It's typically used for developers to make comments about what a specific section of code does, or to document any changes that they may have recently made. Because of this, text that begins with a double-slash is always considered to be a comment, and as such, FlightSim will ignore the text following the double-slash up until it encounters the next carriage return.

Since FS will ignore any and all text that it considers a comment, if you use a // in front of a line that contains configuration information, then that information is ignored, as FS considers it a comment. It's very useful when changing values to comment out the original line and value, then replace it with a new line that contains your changes. Then you'll always have the original values available for points of reference. Naturally, as long as you backed up the file before editing it, you'll always have the complete, original file to fall back to for reference, or in worst-case scenarios, a replacement if things go wrong.

For example, say the original value for window_size for a particular panel window is:

window_size=0.75, 0.5

Well from that, we know that the panel will be 3/4 game screen width (to scale) and that it will be 1/2 game screen width (also to scale). If we want to make the window take up half the width of the screen instead of 3/4 of it, we know we'll need to change the first value to 0.5. Typically, in the panel.cfg, you would just make the change directly, so it would look like this:

window_size=0.5, 0.5

Now instead of just overwriting the existing values as shown above, you may decide that you want to keep the old values around for reference. You would then comment out the original line, then replace it (preferably directly underneath it, just for ease of your own reference). Here's an example using the values mentioned above.

// window_size=0.75, 0.5
window_size=0.5, 0.5

FlightSim will ignore the line with the 0.75 value in it because it believes that to be a comment and not an actual configuration option. This also works as an easy way to disable an option without having to delete lines, and then having to replace them if they weren't the cause of the problem or if you didn't get the desired result.

Hope this helps, and sorry for the long-winded response. I just wanted to make sure I covered everything I thought you should know about 'em. :)

-George


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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2009, 10:28 
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Joined: 13 Oct 2008, 07:06
Posts: 123
Hi Tom,

I refer you to my previous post, with the section "To resize the utility panels, eg Radio Stack, Throttle, etc" > "The panel.cfg method".

George's explanations are accurate. However, note that there are two ways to effect panel (including utility panel) position:

[list]* position=x // where x = 1 to 8 (as george explained); or
* window_pos=x, y

Where x and y represent the percentages of screen. x starts on the left and goes to the right for positive values, just like the convention you learnt at school. Counter to the convention you learnt at school, y starts at the top and goes *down* for positive values. [/list:u]
For example:
Code:
position= 8
   window_pos=0.682,0.42

If a window section has both "position=x" and "window_pos=x,y" then "window_pos=" prevails. It is never a good idea to rely on such quirky program behaviour. Standard practice is to comment out, in the manner george described, the technique you do not want to take effect. This makes things explicit and therefore the file is more readable. eg

Code:
//position=7
   window_pos=0.682,0.42

Note, too, if neither position technique is included FSX defaults to, assumes, position=7.

Useful decimals for x values in window_pos at 5040 are:
1/3 -> 0.333
1/2 * 1/3 -> 0.166
1/9 -> 0.111
1/27 -> 0.037

1 px -> 0.000198 (100/5040)/100
50px -> 0.0099
70px -> 0.0138
100px -> 0.0198

You can add pixel values, expressed as a decimal percentage, to fractional values, expressed as a decimal percentage. Eg
* 2/3rds of a 5040 screen places you on the left edge of the right monitor. window_pos=0.666,y
* Add 70px to allow for bezel management (if 70px is your setting like me), pushing the utility panel further right. window_pos=0.666 + 0.0198,y. That is, window_pos=0.686,y

This gives you theoretically approximate positions. You may like to nudge a panel left or right via trail and error.

The C172sp is a bit of a bitch as there are several main panels ("main panel", "IFR panel", "Landing View") that, if you do not get right, will cause the crazy, hourglass, cursor problem.

So here are my differences (additions and changes) for the C172sp. I thought I'd throw in B737-800 values at no extra charge. They represent changes from the default panel.cfg files for a 5040 resolution. They generally place the radio stack on the right hand monitor, the gps on the left, open them by default, and allow for 70px bezel managment. You can guess what "visible=0" and "visible=1" means.

Code:

   // Cessna 172sp
   
   [Window00] // Main Panel
   window_size= 0.333, 1.00
   //view_window_rect=0,0,8192,4000
   view_window_rect=0,0,8192,3600
   
   [Window03] // IFR Panel
   windowsize_ratio=1.000
   window_size= 0.333, 1.00
   
   [Window04]  // Landing View
   window_size= 0.333, 1.00
   
   // You could ignore changes to Window01 as the main panel already has a radio stack panel embedded
   [Window01] // Radio Stack Panel
   embedded.
   //position=8
   window_size= 0.050,0.58
   window_pos=0.682,0.42
   visible=1
   
   [Window02] // GPS Panel
   window_pos=0.157,0.52  // x,y
   window_size=0.163,0.48  // width, height
   VISIBLE=1


Code:

   // Boeing 737-800
   
   [VIEWS]
   //VIEW_FORWARD_DIR=-1.000, 0.000, 0.000
   
   // The following rotates the nose down a little to see over the dash. Also use Ctrl + Q and Ctrl + Shift + Q in flight.
   VIEW_FORWARD_DIR=5.000, 0.000, 0.000 
   
   [Window00] // Main Panel
   window_size= 0.333,1.00
   
   [Window01] // Radio Stack
   //position=8
   window_size= 0.050,0.58
   window_pos=0.682,0.42
   visible=1
   
   [Window02]  // GPS
   window_pos=0.157,0.52  // x,y
   window_size=0.163,0.48  // width, height
   VISIBLE=1
   
   [Window03] // Throttle Panel
   window_pos=0.734,0.45  // x,y
   window_size=0.10,0.55  // width, height
   visible=1
   
   [Window04] // Overhead Panel
   window_size=0.166,0.7  // width, height
   
   [Window05] // Trim Panel
   window_pos=0.839,0.80  // x,y
   window_size=0.060,0.20  // width, height


John.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2009, 00:31 
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Joined: 25 Apr 2009, 16:15
Posts: 17
George's explanations are accurate. However, note that there are two ways to effect panel (including utility panel) position:

[list]* position=x // where x = 1 to 8 (as george explained); or
* window_pos=x, y [/list:u]


Hi Tom,

I just wanted to point out that if you want the most accurate method of placing the panel windows where you want them, then you should use John's method that utilizes window_pos=x, y. The methods that I use are typically quick and dirty, to get things to appear relatively near where I want them with as little effort as possible. I'm in the habit of resizing and repositioning my panel windows as a part of my pre-flight, so I'm satisfied with the windows being close to the size and position where I'll want them. John's method is much more in-depth, and can give you much greater flexibility and control over the exact placement of your panel windows, which, once configured to your liking, will always open to the size and location you want them for each aircraft that you edit this way.

Hope this info helps. :)

-George


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2009, 05:14 
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Joined: 26 Aug 2009, 21:29
Posts: 27
Wow, Thanks again George and John. You guys really explained it in easy to understand detail. I'm sure it will help other simmers besides me. :D Now I can start enjoying FSX again. Regards,
Tom


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