Air Manager 3.x User Manual

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This page will provide information on how to use Air Manger 3.x.
Air Manager is an easy to use tool that let's you create complete instrument panels.

Information on how to install Air Manager can be found here.

If you are looking for the release notes for Air Manager, go here.

X-plane, FSX & Prepar3d plugins

The X-plane, FSX and Prepar3d plugins form the bridge between your flight simulator and Air Manager.

Information on how to install the flight simulator plugins can be found here.

Tab: Panels

Panels tab

In this tab you can create or start panels.

Below the ribbon menu, the left side displays a list off all the panels. This is called the panel list. The right side shows detailed information about the panel or instrument you have selected in the panel list.

Ribbon menu: Actions

Adding a panel

Click the 'Panel' button and a new window will come up. The pop-up window has three options:

  • 'Blank Panel' : This will create a blank panel with the name that you specify.
  • 'Clone Panel' : This makes a clone of one of your existing panels. Give it a name and select the panel you would like to clone.
  • 'Premade Panel' : Lets you select one of the premade panels. The list shows the community panels and any premium panels you have purchased and downloaded from the Online tab.

When having selected one of the premade panels, you are able to select a layout and on which monitor the panel should show.

Adding instrument(s)

You will have to create a panel first if your panel list is empty.
Once you have created your panel, click the 'Instrument' button on the top, and a window will come up. In the pop-up window you can select the instruments you would like to add. You can select multiple instruments by holding the Ctrl-key on your keyboard or select a range by holding the shift-key. You can use the search bar to filter.

Removing panels or instruments

Select the panel or instrument(s) you want to delete from the instrument list and click the 'Remove' button, or by pressing the Delete-key on your keyboard. Select multiple instruments with the Ctrl-key or Shift-key to delete multiple instruments or panels at once.

Show / hide panels or instruments

Select one or more panels and press the 'Show' button to show, press the 'Hide' button to hide the selected panel(s). Hold the Ctrl-key or Shift-key to select multiple panels.

Info You can close a panel by right clicking on the panel and select Close panel. Right clicking also gives you the option to lock the panel, make it always on top and close Air Manager.

Resize a panel

Click the resize button if you wish to resize a panel.
You have two resize options, Scale or Resize.

  • 'Scale' : All the instruments within the panel will also be scaled to the new panel dimensions.
  • 'Resize' : The panel itself if resized to the new panel dimensions, but the instruments will keep there original position and size.

Backlight

The backlight menu lets you set the backlight properties for Flight Illusion instruments and possibly in the future some Air Manager instruments.

Panels

To the left of the panel name there's an arrow icon (triangle), which points to the right. When you click this arrow, the arrow will point downwards and the instrument list will show up. Click the arrow again to close the instrument list.

Click the light bulb icon to the left of the panel name, or select the panel and click the 'Show' button to start the panel. Click the light bulb icon again or the 'Hide' button to stop the panel.

Click the padlock icon to lock the panel position, which means that you cannot move the panel. This prevents you from mistakenly dragging the panel around, especially with touch input.

Layout

Panel layout

The layout area lets you configure your panel. You can drag or resize instruments in this area.

Move an instrument by dragging the instrument.

Resize an instrument by grabbing it by one of it's 8 white rectangles on the sides of the instrument.

Double click on an instrument to make the instrument scale itself to it's maximum dimensions without overlapping another instrument.

Right clicking on an instrument will show:

  • 'Configure' : Configure this instrument. This will move you to the configuration page of the selected instrument.
  • 'Move to front' : Bring the instrument to the front. (in front of all other instruments)
  • 'Move to back' : Bring the instrument to the back. (behind of all other instruments)
  • 'Aspect ratio' : Enable or disable if the instrument should maintain it's aspect ratio.
  • 'Scale' : Scale the instrument to a predetermined size. (50%, 75%, 100% or 125%)
  • 'Remove instrument' : Remove this instrument from the panel.

Right clicking outside of an instrument will show:

  • 'Add Instrument' : Add a new instrument on the selected coordinate.
  • 'Remove all instruments' : Remove all instruments from this panel

General Settings

  • 'Name' : The name of the panel, you can change this name to whatever you like.

Start mode

  • 'Manual' : Start the panel manually.
  • 'When starting Air Manager' : Start the panel when you start Air Manager.
  • 'When switching to a certain aircraft in your flight simulator' : Select an aircraft in the list. When you start flying that aircraft, the panel will start.

Automatic panel switching automatically starts the panel that is or panels that are linked to an aircraft. Air Manager remembers all the aircraft you've flown and puts them in the list. Place a check mark with the aircraft you would like the panel to start automatically. This can be multiple aircraft for one panel, and also multiple panels for one aircraft.

Window preferences

  • 'Do not show window' : Checking this option will not show the window. This can be handy when you have instruments without any graphics.
  • 'Show panel on display' : Select the monitor on which you want to show the panel.
  • 'Window left' : The X-coordinate of the panel, in other words: how many pixels from the left does the panel start.
  • 'Window top' : The Y-coordinate of the panel, in other words: how many pixels from the top does the panel start.
  • 'Resize window' : Resize the panel window. This is only possible when the panel is not showing.
  • 'Locked' : Locks the position of the panel, now it can't be moved by clicking and dragging.
  • 'Always on top' : Makes the panel show always on top of other windows.
  • 'Click through' : Makes it possible to click through the panel to any content behind it. Only works on Windows with DirectX enabled.

Info By dragging the panel on your desktop, the top and left coordinates are automatically updated.

User properties

This area will show settings that will further refine your panel. It depends on the panel if and what properties are available.

Hardware

Assign hardware pins to any hardware capabilities this panel might have.

Knobster

Select which Knobster you wish to user with this panel.

Background

  • 'Background color' : Select a color for the panel background.
  • 'Layout' : Select the default layout for the panel background.
  • 'Solid color' : Use a solid color for the background.
  • 'Transparent' : Make the background transparent.
  • 'Custom image' : Select an image for the panel background.

Instruments

Instrument settings

Select an instrument from a panel to change the settings for that instrument. To the right of the panels list you will see all the settings for the selected instrument

Removing instrument(s)

Select the instrument you want to delete from the instrument list and click the 'Remove' button in the Actions ribbon menu, or by pressing the delete-key on your keyboard. Select multiple instruments to delete multiple instruments at once.

Hardware

Assign hardware pins to any hardware capabilities this instrument might have.

User Properties

This area will show settings that will further refine your instrument. It depends on the instrument if and what properties are available.

Position within the panel

  • 'Name' : The name of the instrument, you can change this name to whatever you like. Default are the aircraft and instrument type name.
  • 'Left' : The X-coordinate of the instrument, in other words: how many pixels from the left of the panel does the instrument start.
  • 'Top' : The Y-coordinate of the instrument, in other words: how many pixels from the top of the panel does the instrument start.
  • 'Width' : The width of the instrument in pixels.
  • 'Height' : The height of the instrument in pixels.
  • 'Preserve aspect ratio' : Preserves the aspect ratio when you change either the width or the height.

Tab: Online

Online

The online tab lets you buy and download complete panels or download community instruments for free, from the build in 'store'.

After Air Manager has booted it will contact an online server, which contains all available panels and instruments. The number of available community instruments is displayed between the brackets next to the tab name.

The top right of every panel and instrument will show icons of the flight simulators that are supported for this instrument or panel.

The panels will also show for what aircraft model the panel is created for. These are the aircraft models that this panel is developed for. Other aircraft models might also work to a lesser extend.

This section let's you buy and download complete panels. These are high quality panels created by the engineers of Sim Innovations.

  • 'Download' : This button let's you download this panel. Note that you have to buy this panel first in our online shop first.
  • 'Buy' : This button will take you to this panel on our online shop, this is where you have the option to buy this panel.
  • 'More information' : Get more detailed information about this panel.

Free community instruments

This section let's you download community instruments for free. These are instruments created by our active community.

  • 'Download' : This button let's you download this instrument.
  • 'More information' : Get more detailed information about this instrument.

Tab: Create/Edit

Create/Edit Tab

In this tab you can create new or edit existing instruments or panels. On the left you see a list containing all the instruments or panels that you have. When you select an instrument and click 'Run', you will see a list of all the datarefs (X-Plane) and variables (FSX/P3D) that the instrument or panel contains. Here you can send data to the instrument or panel to simulate incoming data from the simulator. Fill in the necessary data and press send. The third screen, bottom right, is a debug console. When using print(variable) in your script, the printed data will be visible in the debug console.

Ribbon menu: General

Create an new instrument or panel

Click the 'New' button to start creating an new instrument or panel. The pop-up window gives you the option to create a blank instrument or panel, this means no images and code whatsoever, you'll start from scratch. By choosing to clone an existing instrument or panel, you will get a exact copy of the instrument or panel you chose to clone.

Clone an instrument or panel

Click the 'Clone' button to clone the selected instrument or panel. This creates an exact copy of the selected instrument or panel.

Delete an instrument or panel

Not satisfied with your creation or whatever: select the instrument or panel you want to delete and hit the 'Delete' button or press the delete-key on your keyboard. Note that this not only removes the instrument or panel from the list, but it deletes all associated from your computer.

Submit an instrument or panel

Want to share your creation with other Air Manager users? Select the instrument or panel and click the 'Submit' button. Air Manager will check if all necessary files are in place, if you agree with the license statement, then fill in all details and press submit. We will contact you as soon as possible. There's no guarantee that your instrument or panel will be added to the store, we will have to approve it first.

Import instrument or panel

Instruments and panels in a .siff file format can be imported trough the import window.

Export instrument or panel

Instruments and panels can be exported in a .siff file format, to backup or import in another copy of Air Manager. Please note that .siff exported panels only hold the layout and not the instruments.

Ribbon menu: Test

Device selection

Select where you want to run your instrument or panel. You can choose between this computer or an external Air Player compatible device.

Run

Select the instrument or panel you want to test and click 'Run'. When the instrument or panel is running, click Run again to reload. You can now send data to your instrument or panel trough the datarefs and variables.

Stop

Click the 'Stop' button to stop the currently running instrument or panel.

Ribbon menu: Edit

Open instrument or panel folder

The 'Folder' button will open the folder containing the selected instrument. In this folder you'll also find the resources folder, which contains all the resources (images, sounds, fonts).

Edit the logic script

The 'Script' button opens the instrument logic script in the script/text editor that you've selected as default Lua script editor. If pressing this button gives an error, you've most likely not selected a default program to edit Lua script.

Edit instrument information

The 'Info' button opens the instrument info editor window. Instrument details may be edited from this window. This information is automatically written to the info.xml file in the instrument directory.

  • 'Aircraft' : The name of the aircraft this instrument is part of
  • 'Type' : The type of instrument (e.g. speedometer, altimeter)
  • 'Author' : The name of the author
  • 'Version' : Version (1 = V0.01, 100 = V1.00, 200 = V2.00)
  • 'Preferred window width' : Default width of the instrument in pixels
  • 'Preferred window height' : Default height of the instrument in pixels
  • 'Compatible with...' : This tells if the instrument is compatible with a specific simulator
  • 'Description' : Extra information

Edit panel information

The 'Info' button opens the panel info editor window. Panel details may be edited from this window.

A panel consist of 4 different layers. Panel -> Aircraft Models -> Layouts -> Instruments. All these layers are configurable within the info editor window.

On the left, a tree view of the layers is visible. Selecting one of the items there will reveal its settings on the right.

See youtube video here with more information.

Panel
  • 'Name' : The name of the panel
  • 'Author' : The name of the author
  • 'Version' : Version (1 = V0.01, 100 = V1.00, 200 = V2.00)
  • 'Aircraft' : Aircraft type
  • 'Cockpit' : Cockpit type
  • 'Engine count' : Number of engines
  • 'Supported platforms' : Select which platforms this panel is compatible with
  • 'Description' : Extra information
Aircraft model
  • 'Make' : The manufacturer of the aircraft
  • 'Model' : Aircraft model
  • 'Generic aircraft': Check if it is compatible with all aircraft within the flight simulator
  • 'Compatible with X-plane' : (generic) Compatible with X-plane
  • 'Compatible with FSX' : (generic) Compatible with FSX
  • 'Compatible with Prepar3D' : (generic) Compatible with Prepar3D
  • 'Compatible with FS2' : (generic) Compatible with Aerofly FS2
  • 'Developer' : (not generic) The developer for this aircraft model
  • 'Version' : (not generic) The version of the aircraft model
  • 'Flight simulator' : (not generic) The flight simulator of the aircraft model
Layout
  • 'Name' : Name of the layout
  • 'Position' : Position this layout would have in a complete cockpit
  • 'Width' : Width in pixels
  • 'Height' : Height in pixels
  • 'Click thru' : Should click thru be enabled
  • 'Editable' : Should the instrument positions be configurable by the user
  • 'Background mode' : Default background mode
  • 'Background color' : Color of the background
  • 'Background image' : Select PNG image for background
  • 'User properties' : Default value for panel user properties
  • 'Description' : Extra information
Instrument
  • 'Instrument' : Select the instrument to be used
  • 'Left' : Left position within the panel in pixels
  • 'Top' : Top position within the panel in pixels
  • 'Width' : Width of the instrument
  • 'Height' : Height of the instrument
  • 'User properties' : Default value for instrument user properties

Ribbon menu: Help

Data viewer

Flight Simulator data viewer

The 'Viewer' can be used to monitor incoming data. It only shows the variables and datarefs that Air Manager has subscribed to. An instrument or panel has to be started first before Air Manager will subscribe to the variables and/or datarefs that are listed in the code.

The different tabs in the data viewer

The data viewer has 3 tabs. The first one for X-Plane, the second one for FSX and Prepar3D, the last one for Air Manager variables. Air Manager variables can be used to let instruments or panels communicate with each other.

Add subscription

If you want to subscribe to a dataref or variable, there's a 'Add subscription' button on each tab.

  • Key: For X-Plane this is the dataref for FSX and Prepar3D this is the variable name.
  • Type: For X-Plane this is for example FLOAT, FLOAT[8], INT, etc... for FSX and Prepar3D this is for example Knots, Number, Boolean, etc...
Get available LVAR's

This is only for FSX and Prepar3D. It shows you all the LVAR's that are available at that moment. LVAR's are so called Local Variables, which are commonly used in add-on aircraft. When you have an add-on aircraft, and you want to see which LVAR's are available, then select (and open) the aircraft in the sim and press the 'Get available LVAR's' button in the data viewer. A list will build up, showing you all the LVAR's that are available for the aircraft you have selected in the sim.

Creation tutorial

Press the 'Create' button and your browser will take you to the instrument or panel creation tutorial page on our wiki.

Logic API

Press the 'API' button and your browser will take you to the Air Manager logic API page.

Simulator data

This opens a drop down list with links to various simulator data pages on the internet.

X-Plane Datarefs

Press the 'Datarefs' button and your browser will take you to a page containing all the X-Plane datarefs. This is a non-official dataref page, click this link to go to the official squawkbox dataref page.

X-Plane Commands

Press the 'Commands' button and your browser will take you to a page containing all of the available X-Plane commands. This list is hosted on our wiki, you can also find the commands list in your X-Plane folder: X-Plane 10\Resources\plugins\commands.txt

FSX and Prepar3D Variables

Press the 'FSX Variables' or 'Prepar3D Variables' button and your browser will take you to the Microsoft Developer Network page containing all the FSX variables, or the Prepar3D SDKv3 variable page.

FSX and Prepar3D Events

Press the 'FSX Events' or 'Prepar3D Events' button and your browser will take you to the Microsoft Developer Network page containing all the FSX events, or the Prepar3D SDKv3 events page.

Development

Zoom

The zoom slider can be used to re-size an instrument or panel. This is convenient when creating instruments or panels that have a larger resolution than your screen, or when creating a very small instrument or panel. Pres '1:1' to reset the zoom level to 100%.

Console

The console contains all errors, warnings and info messages from the script. The output of a 'print' function call in the script will show up in the console as well.

Subscriptions

This view contains all flight sim data subscriptions. It also contains user properties and hardware properties.

Debugger

Debugger

Air Manager has a build in debugger. A debugger can pause the execution of the scripts, and help diagnose bugs or issues.

See youtube video here on how to use the debugger.

Breakpoints

By clicking to the left of the line numbers, you will add or remove a breakpoint. A blue circle will appear when a breakpoint is enabled.

Once the code hits the line where the breakpoint is set, it will halt execution.

Resume, step and pause

Resume will continue execution of the script. Step will go to the next line in the script. Pause will halt execution of the script.

Variables

When the debug is halted, the variables within that scope will shop up here.

Watch

Same as variables, only now you can configure which variables you wish to see.

Call stack

When the debug is halted, the function call stack is shown here.

Tab: Devices

Devices tab

The devices tab will show you all external devices that are connected to Air Manager and let's you configure them.

These include:

  • Air Player on Windows, Mac, Linux or Raspberry Pi
  • Knobster
  • Arduino boards
  • Flight Illusion hardware

Air Player

Air Manager will automatically scan your network to find any Air Player applications. They will show up in the devices tab.

Selecting one of these Air Player applications will give you the following options:

General settings

  • 'Input mode' : This lets you choose between different input modes. By default this is your mouse, but if you have a touchscreen, you can control buttons, switches and dials with your touchscreen. Choose 'Off' to disable any input.
  • 'Aircraft switching' : This toggles the automatic aircraft switching. Automatic aircraft switching starts and stops panels that are selected for a certain aircraft.
  • 'Automatically connect to Arduino's' : This toggles if Air Player should automatically connect to Arduino's connected over USB.
  • 'Automatically update Instruments' : This toggles if instruments on your computer should be automatically updated.

Flight simulator connection

  • 'Automatically search and connect to your flight simulator' : Air Player will search for your Flight Simulator on the local network and connect to it if found.
  • 'Manual connection mode' : Use this option if you want to manually configure the network address of your Flight Simulator. You have to fill in the Flight Simulator type and the IP address of the computer that is running the simulator software. Air Player does not have to be installed on the computer that is running the simulator software, only the plugin needs to be installed on the computer that is running the simulator software. In the text field you will have to fill in the IP address (IPv4) of the computer that is running the simulator. Note that this is not your internet IP address! You will have to fill in the local (network) IP address. Alternatively you can fill in the computer name, that should also work and is easier when you don't have fixed IP addresses.

Graphics

  • 'Graphics API' : Select the Graphics API (openGL, DirectX, Metal) you wish to use.
  • 'Show FPS' : Show the Frames Per Second (FPS) on the top left of each panel.
  • 'High FPS' : Choose between 30 and 60 FPS. A higher framerate will make the instruments animate smoother, but will require more resources from your computer.
  • 'Image Prescaling' : Scale images to the panel size before rendering. This will increase image quality but will require a bit more time initializing instruments.
  • 'Anti aliasing' : Enabling anti aliasing will reduce sharp edges on the rendered instrument or panel. Disabling anti aliasing will improve performance.

Caching

  • 'Cache OpenStreetMap data' : This toggles the option to cache OpenStreetMap data. If you fly in the same area as the cached data, then Air Player does not have to download OpenStreetMap data anymore. This can be useful when you have a slow or unstable internet connection. Here you can also see the amount of cached data.

Info Adding instrument and panels works the same way as it does in the Panels tab. More information about configuring panels can be found here.


Arduino

Devices tab, Arduino
  • 'Channel' : Displays the configured channel for this Arduino.
  • 'Mode' : This can be Pin mode or Message Port. More information can be found here.
  • 'State' : Displays if the Arduino is connected or disconnected.












Knobster

Devices tab, Knobster
  • 'Name' : A configurable name for this Knobster.
  • 'Inner rotary encoder type' : Choose the type of rotary encoder for the inner knob.
  • 'Outer rotary encoder type' : Choose the type of rotary encoder for the outer knob.
  • 'Channel' : Displays the configured channel for this Knobster.
  • 'State' : Displays if the Arduino is connected or disconnected.










Flight Illusion hardware

Click Device to add Flight Illusion hardware. You can either add an interface board or an engine cluster. Go the Flight Illusion hardware page to find out more.

Tab: Settings

Settings tab

Change all Air Manager settings from this tab. On the top you see two buttons:

  • 'Clear Cache' : Pressing the Clear Cache button deletes all the cache. Cache is used to store (OSM) map data and data from the instrument store. Normally you wouldn't have to press this button, unless you think the amount of cache becomes too high.
  • 'Clear Persistence' : Persistence data is data that is stored by user input. Stored frequencies in a Com radio for example. Press the Clear Persistence button to reset all persistence data to it's default value.

General settings

  • 'Language' : Choose your preferred language.
  • 'Style' : Choose between a light or dark interface style.
  • 'Input mode' : This lets you choose between different input modes. By default this is your mouse, but if you have a touchscreen, you can control buttons, switches and dials with your touchscreen. Choose 'Off' to disable any input.
  • 'Automatic instruments snapping' : This toggles the option to let instruments snap to screen corners and to the edges of other instruments.
  • 'Automatic aircraft switching' : This toggles the automatic aircraft switching. Automatic aircraft switching starts and stops panels that are selected for a certain aircraft.
  • 'Automatically update instruments and panels' : This toggles if instruments and panels on your computer should be automatically updated.
  • 'Automatically connect to Air Player devices' : This toggles if this instance of Air Manager should automatically connect to any Air Player application on the local network.
  • 'Automatically connect to Arduino devices' : This toggles if Air Manager should automatically connect to Arduino's connected to a USB port.

Flight simulator connection

  • 'Automatically search and connect to your flight simulator' : Air Manager will search for your Flight Simulator on the local network and connect to it if found.
  • 'Manual connection mode' : Use this option if you want to manually configure the network address of your Flight Simulator. You have to fill in the Flight Simulator type and the IP address of the computer that is running the simulator software. Air Manager does not have to be installed on the computer that is running the simulator software, only the plugin needs to be installed on the computer that is running the simulator software. In the text field you will have to fill in the IP address (IPv4) of the computer that is running the simulator. Note that this is not your internet IP address! You will have to fill in the local (network) IP address. Alternatively you can fill in the computer name, that should also work and is easier when you don't have fixed IP addresses.

Graphics

  • 'Graphics API' : Select the Graphics API (openGL, DirectX, Metal) you wish to use.
  • 'Show FPS' : Show the Frames Per Second (FPS) on the top left of each panel.
  • 'High FPS' : Choose between 30 and 60 FPS. A higher framerate will make the instruments animate smoother, but will require more resources from your computer.
  • 'Image Prescaling' : Scale images to the panel size before rendering. This will increase image quality but will require a bit more time initializing instruments.
  • 'Anti aliasing' : Enabling anti aliasing will reduce sharp edges on the rendered instrument or panel. Disabling anti aliasing will improve performance.

Caching

  • 'Cache OpenStreetMap data' : This toggles the option to cache OpenStreetMap data. If you fly in the same area as the cached data, then Air Manager does not have to download OpenStreetMap data anymore. This can be useful when you have a slow or unstable internet connection. Here you can also see the amount of cached data.

Menu

Air Manager

The menu item Air Manager holds various options:

  • Welcome window: This guides you trough the welcome window again.
  • Activate Air Manager: Use this to active or re-activate Air Manager.
  • Orders: In the orders window you can reset your Air Manager and Air Player licenses. For more information go to the License reset page.
  • Import: The import function can import instruments and panels in the .siff file format.
  • Quit: Close the application.

Help

This menu item holds various links to useful websites and an overview of third party libraries used by Sim Innovations software.