Air Manager 3.x User Manual

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Contents

Introduction

Installation

Information on how to install both Air Manager and the X-plane or FSX/P3D plugin, please go here.

Release notes

If you are looking for the release notes for both Air Manager and it's plugins, go here.

X-plane and FSX Plugin

The X-plane and FSX plugin are the bridge between the simulator and Air Manager. The plugin acts as a TCP/IP host, this can be either local or remote. Multiple instances of Air Manager running remote may connect to the same plugin. The FSX plugin works with both FSX and Prepar3D.

Air Manager

Tab: Panels

Panels tab

In this tab you can create (instrument) panels, start panels or individual instruments.

Below the ribbon menu, the left side displays a list off all the panels (empty by default). 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 new panel

By default there are no panels in the panel list, you will have to create one. 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 specified.
  • '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. All the necessary instruments will be downloaded automatically.
Adding new instrument(s)

You will have to create a panel first if your panel list is empty. Select the panel you would like to add your instrument(s) to, click the 'Instrument' button, 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 control-key on your keyboard.

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 to delete multiple instruments at once.

Show / hide panels or instruments

Select panel(s) or instrument(s) and press the 'Show' button to show, press the 'Hide' button to hide the selected panel(s) or instrument(s). Hold the control-key to select multiple panels or instruments.

Ribbon menu: Other

Import

Import an instrument or a complete panel. Clicking the button will open up an explorer window, which let's you select a .ami or .amp file.

Submit Panel

If you think that your panel is absolutely fabulous, and you want to share this joy with us, then select the panel and press the 'Submit Panel' button. This will send your panel layout to us, and we might add it to the premade panel list. Note: This only works with the instruments that come with Air Manager, not with instruments you've created yourself, as only the layout configuration is send and not the instruments.

Panel list and settings

Show the instruments in the panel

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

Show / hide a panel

Click the small light bulb icon to the left of the panel name, or select the panel and click the 'Show' to show all the instruments in the panel at once. Click the light bulb icon again or the 'Hide' button to hide all the instruments in the panel at once.

Lock panel

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

Panel name

You can change the panel name to anything you like.

Aircraft

By default this is 'Default'. This field is not being used at the moment, but will be in a later version.

Show panel on Air Manager boot

Check this to make the selected panel start automatically when Air Manager has booted, uncheck to turn it off.

Aircraft switching

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.

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

Show / hide instrument(s)

Click the light bulb icon on the left of the instrument name to individually show or hide the instrument, or select the instrument and press the 'Show' button to show and the 'Hide' to hide. Showing and hiding multiple instruments at once can be done by selecting multiple instruments in the panels list, and then pressing the 'Show' button. Hold the control-key to select multiple instruments.

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.

General (instrument) settings
  • 'Name' : The name of the instrument, you can change this name to whatever you like. Default are the aircraft and instrument type name.
  • 'Window left' : The X-coordinate of the instrument, in other words: how many pixels from the left does the instrument start.
  • 'Window top' : The Y-coordinate of the instrument, in other words: how many pixels from the top does the instrument start.
  • 'Window width' : The width of the instrument in pixels.
  • 'Window height' : The height of the instrument in pixels.
  • 'Preserve aspect ratio' : Preserves the aspect ratio when you change either the width or the height.
  • 'Window lock' : Locks the position of the instrument, now it can't be moved by clicking and dragging.
  • 'Always on top' : When selecting this the instrument will always be on top.

Notes:

By dragging the instrument to the right place on your desktop, the X and Y coordinates are updated.
 Window lock, Always on top and closing the instrument can also be done by right clicking on the instrument.

Tab: Online

Online

You can download instruments online for free, from the build in 'store'.

After Air Manager has booted it will contact an online server, which contains all available instruments. The number of available instruments is displayed between brackets in the tab.

Instrument information

Click the instrument preview image to show a pop-up windows which contains more information about the instrument. The simulator icons on the top of an instrument tile show you which simulators the instrument is compatible with.

Download an instrument

Click 'Get' to download an instrument. The button will display 'Downloading', and 'Remove' as soon as it has finished downloading. The instrument is now available for use.

Removing an instrument

Click the 'Remove' button of the instrument you wish to remove. This can only be done with instrument you already have and are on the latest version (don't require an update).

Updating an instrument

If there is an instrument update available, the button will show 'Update'. Hit the button to update this instrument. To update them all at once, click the 'Update All' button in the Online ribbon menu.


Tab: Create/Edit

Create/Edit

In this tab you can create new or edit existing instruments. On the left you see a list containing all the instruments 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 contains. Here you can send data to the instrument 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: Instrument

Create an new instrument

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

Clone an instrument

Click the 'Clone' button to clone the selected instrument. This creates an exact copy of the selected instrument, without a preview image. Comes in hand when creating for example left and right engine instruments, clone the left engine instrument, make a few small changes to the code and you have yourself a right engine instrument.

Delete an instrument

Not satisfied with your creation or whatever: select the instrument 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 from the list, but it deletes the whole instrument from your computer.

Submit an instrument

Want to share your creation with other Air Manager users? Select the instrument 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 will be added to the store, we will have to approve it first.

Ribbon menu: Test

Run

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

Stop

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

Ribbon menu: Edit

Open Instrument 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

Ribbon menu: Help

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 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 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 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.

Zoom and consoles

Zoom

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

Variable / dataref console

The console below the zoom slider shows all the variables and datarefs the selected instrument is subscribed to. You can send data by filling in a value and pressing 'Send'. This can be used to test your instrument, without the need for the simulator to be running.

Debug console

When you use for example print(variable) or print("Button pressed") in the code, this data will be printed in the debug console. Don't let it run for too long, because it takes up more memory the longer you let it print. The list of printed items is reset when you press Run.


Tab: Settings

Settings

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

  • 'Flight simulator' : Select the flight simulator you are using, this can be X-Plane, FSX or Prepar3D. When you choose a different simulator, be sure to switch this setting, or your instruments will not respond.
  • '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.
  • 'Snap instruments' : This toggles the option to let instruments snap to screen corners and to the edges of other instruments.

Flight simulator connection

  • 'Flight simulator and Air Manager running on the same computer' : Use this option when Air Manager is running on the same computer as the flight simulator software.
  • 'Flight simulator running on remote computer...' : Use this option when the flight simulator software is running on a different computer than Air Manager. You will only have to fill in the IP address of the computer that is running the simulator software, Air Manager will automatically setup a connection with the plugin. 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.

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.

Communication between the plugin and Air Manager

Communication between the plugin and Air Manager is done by using the standard UDP protocol (Ethernet).

The plugins will act as a server using UDP port 5555 for the X-Plane plugin and UDP port 5556 for the FSX/P3D plugin. Air Manager acts as a client, which will try to connect on "localhost", using the same ports. If you are not running the simulator software and Air Manager on the same computer, make sure both computers are connected to the same network, the correct IP address is set in Air Manager and there is no firewall blocking the UDP ports. You can have as many copies of Air Manager as you like connecting to the same plugin.