G5 GPSS, AP Modes and more

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JackZero
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:31 pm

G5 GPSS, AP Modes and more

#1 Post by JackZero » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:02 am

Hi @Ralph,

I just tried to configure the G5 premium panels in my Sim Pit (Piper Arrow with a KAP140 AP and Reality XP GTN/GNS) and ran into a few issues:

1) The PFD shows the currently active autopilot modes even though this should only be the case if the G5 is driving a GFC500 Autopilot. As detecting the autopilot via the preconfigured AP dataref in XP is rather unreliable (as most planes just habe it set to custom) and some users may even want the Display even with different autopilots it would be great if you would add a user property to enable or disable the autopilot mode display.

2) The G5 has the option via a user property to enable the GPSS menu entry in the PFD mode (“on supported configurations”). However, I could not get this to work on my setup. What are the prerequisites for GPSS with the panel?

3) Now that I think about it, if I remember correctly (not on a PC currently), the user properties for the Flight Director only offered the choice between single and double cue. But when connected to a analog legacy autopilot like the KAP140 there shouldn’t be a flight director at all. So it would be great if you could add a third option to disable the FD completely. This might also an issue for the Aspen premium panel, if I remember correctly, it doesn’t have a option to disable the FD as well.

4) Regarding the bearing pointers, in the example of the appropriate section in the G5 POH the pointers are set to GPS1 and VOR2, so I assume it is possible to connect two GNS receivers (the G5 equipped planes I fly IRL only have one GNS so I can only guess). Is there a specific reason that you have limited the G5 only to NAV1 and GPS1?

I know that the G5 isn’t meant to be a full replica of the real unit. But 1) and 3) shouldn’t take long to implement and would be a real added value for some of the users. And 2) and 4) are only questions anyways.

Best regards
Florian

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Ralph
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Re: G5 GPSS, AP Modes and more

#2 Post by Ralph » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:54 pm

1. There are millions of options here, and eventually no one is ever gonna be 100% satisfied. As I mentioned before, it is not our intention to make a 1:1 copy of the G5, so we go with a configuration that suits most situations. If we were to go in such detail, that would mean we would only be working on the G5, that's just not possible.

2. I did a little work on implementing a GPSS mode, but never got around to finish it as I ran into some problems (can't remember really). The user property shouldn't be there, I'll remove it. I'll probably add it in a later stage, but I have to work on the autopilot modes for FSX/P3D/FS2020 first.

3. Same answer as 1.

4. Same answer as 1.

I know my reply is the same as with the EFD1000 for example, but you cannot expect to buy complete G5 functionality for €20. Or full EFD1000 functionality for €10...
If you want full 1:1 functionality, then I'll have to forward you to this website ;)
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/570665

JackZero
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:31 pm

Re: G5 GPSS, AP Modes and more

#3 Post by JackZero » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:44 pm

Hi Ralph,

thanks for the quick reply.

1) That's why suggested something simple like a user property to disable the AP MODE bar... that shouldn't be to hard to code after all. Basically there are only three potential configurations in regards to the AP mode bar... planes that use a GFC500 and therefore should show the mode bar, planes with all other autopilots where the mode bar would not be visible but where the user wants it for convenience (basically the same as configuration #1) and planes with all other autopilots where it shouldn't be visible. But as AP type detection will not reliably work anyways a simple boolean property to show/hide the group would do the trick. Of course, we could just as well add a black bar as overlay or resize the instrument but that would only work if we don't switch the PFD instrument to HSI mode and vice versa.

2) At least for XP this shouldn't be to hard to code at all... the way the G5 works is exactly the same as with the Aspen, when GPSS is selected it will send the heading from the GPS instead of that from the heading bug to the autopilot. X-Plane does support this natively. All you have to do is set the dataref "sim/cockpit2/autopilot/heading_is_gpss" to 1. You can ignore the gpss_mode that x-plane also offers (sim/cockpit2/autopilot/gpss_status + accroding commands) as this is for GPSS as a dedicated mode by compatible autopilots like the STEC 55X (where it's activated by pressing NAV twice). I did use it that way successfully with the Aspen by writing a overlay instrument which sits on top of the Aspen and is triggered by the side key #4 instead of the original instrument, and it works like a charm.

3) Again, this should be something very simple as it's just disabling stuff that is already there anyways... I'd assume that the code already contains appropriate IF blocks that show or hide the single- or dual-cue FD depending on both the user property to select between single and dual cue as well as the XP FD-Mode dataref. I do admit that this is partially a problem on how the FD is implemented in X-Plane, as X-Plane only knows 3 Modes, FD/AP off, FD on + AP off, FD/AP on... so for planes/autopilots that don't have an FD, there's no way to override this. Adding a third user property do simply disable the FD would probably just consist of changing a few ELSE statements to ELSE IF...

4) Again, I think this would be fairly simple, but I asked more out of curiosity because in contrast to the Apsen, the POH isn't very clear in regard to possible configurations.

I know you are busy in regards to AM 4 and compared to other products, the Apsen and G5 (actually all payware panels) are extremly cheap. But there's quite a bit of room between a 10$ software and the real 3000$ Garmin. Maybe it would make sense to have a Enhanced version of the instruments (G5 and Aspen) which are closer to the real ones for a increased price.

The main disadvantage I see with both is that compared to freeware instruments (some of which are quite complex on their own), is that we users cannot easily extend the functionality on our own. On the other side, creating our own versions of those to instruments wouldn't make much sense as we'd have to start from scratch.

Best regards
Florian

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