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Apron => Accessories => Topic started by: Berndo on Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:16

Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:16
PSXonMCP2 interfaces the VRinsight MCP2 Boeing type with Aerowinx PSX.
Changing the speed of your 747 or dialing in the minimums has never been as easy as before (at least if you haven't used a HW MCP with PSX  :P ). You also get the read-outs you'd expect from your faithful metal bird.

It is only available for Windows machines that support .NET Framework 4.5, that means Vista SP2 and up. All functions are hard-coded and not user-configurable.

I thank the following people:
Hardy for making the best simulator ever. It is simply amazing and inspired me to do some programming of my own again.
Michael (mikeindevon) for his XView plugin. Although some want to fly without eye candy, I like it too much.
Carl (cavaricooper) for being my Alpha tester and giving me the idea of using the User buttons of the MCP2 for EICAS pages.

And everyone else on the forum, this community is really helpful and a treasure trove of aviation related knowledge.

You can get the current release here: Current Release (http://www.mcdu.net/psxonmcp2/PSXonMCP2-current.zip)
Included is a short manual that explains the configuration and usage of the MCP2.

Use 7-Zip to unpack!

Update History

v 0.13
Values for Speed, Heading, Altitude and Vertical Speed now show above the respective knobs as far as the LCD display allows that.

Have fun,
Bernd
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: brian747 on Wed, 11 Feb 2015 19:50
Hi Bernd!

Wow!   :-D

That sounds wonderful. I wish I could take advantage of it, but sadly I was an "early adopter" so I bought version 1 of the VRinsight MCP combo.

I believe that the display capacity is the only significant difference between v1 and v2: is there any hope at all that you might be able to help those of us with the previous version?

Whichever way it goes, though, congratulations on your excellent work with the v2 version of the hardware!   :-)

Cheers,

Brian
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Wed, 11 Feb 2015 20:28
Thanks Brian!

As I had to reverse engineer the serial communication protocol for the MCP2 I'm not sure if the MCP1 is the same.

I uploaded a quick hack - disabled the check for version 2 & the main display. Configure like the released version. No guarantees though and I don't have the time or the hardware to debug this if it doesn't work. Sorry.

Cheers,
Bernd

Edit: Link removed as it doesn't work for the MCPv1
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Hardy Heinlin on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 07:54
Hi Bernd,

is your add-on still in test mode? Do you want me to put it on the Add-ons page? If so, what name should I enter? Full name or just Bernd, Berndo ...? :-)


Thanks!

|-|ardy
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: brian747 on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 08:35
Hi Bernd!

I get the "Connected to PSX server!" message, but unfortunately none of the controls seem to have any effect (other than the fact that rotating the SPD or HDG or ALT knobs changes the main Combo display, although the display doesn't reflect the current PSX values, and nothing changes within PSX). Also — when I operate the controls, the Rx LED flashes, but not the Tx.    :'(

Many thanks indeed for trying, and for your sterling efforts.

Cheers,

Brian
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: nawarren on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 09:36
Hi Bernd,

Many thanks for doing this, i have been waiting for it, so thanks for your hard work. I am unable to open the zip file, tried a few times. Can anyone else open it?

Cheers

Neil
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: FBO on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:52
Quote from: nawarren

Can anyone else open it?


Neil,

working fine here. I used 7-zip to open it.
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 14:42
@Hardy

It is out of testing, thanks to Carl. If you'd put it on the Add-ons page that would be awesome and "Bernd" suffices.

@Brian

As you wrote: "It was worth a try." Thanks for understanding.

@Neil

I created the zip with 7-Zip as FBO guessed. Checked to download and tested the zip, it is a-ok. So please use 7-Zip to unpack it.


Cheers,
Bernd
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: nawarren on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:20
Hi Bernd, FBO,

Must have been finger trouble :)

Working fine now. Many thanks. Awesome work.

Thank You

Cheers

Neil
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:25
Glad you got it sorted out and that you like it!  :D
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Wed, 18 Feb 2015 15:32
Version 0.13 uploaded, see first post.


Bernd
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: kev32b on Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:07
Hey Berndo,

Excellent add on for my mcp2 thought i was going have to splash out on a 747 mcp

Brilliant keep up the good work
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:13
Thanks kev32b!
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: RonnyT on Wed, 25 Feb 2015 21:04
Hi Bernd,

I have an error in the zip Archiv. I can`t unpack the zip

Regards Ronny
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:51
Quote from: RonnyT

Hi Bernd,

I have an error in the zip Archiv. I can`t unpack the zip

Regards Ronny


Ronny - just checked. The file has no errors. Please try downloading again and as already mentioned, use 7-Zip to unpack.

Cheers,
Bernd
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: pcpilot on Mon, 6 Jul 2015 18:54
I do not have the MCP V2 hardware but I am seriously considering buying the MCP V2 hardware just to run with the software from Berndo.

I would be eager to find out others experience using the MCP 2 Hardware and software combination before my investment.

For example how much functionality remains and how usable is the combination.

I still have and use to use the VRinsight MCP Panel with FSX so have an idea of the solid construction of VRinsight kit.

my email is softcisco-fly at yahoo.co.uk

Thanks in advance.

Graham.
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: cavaricooper on Mon, 6 Jul 2015 20:46
Graham:

As an early adopter of this bit of kit, I am very pleased with it.  The EFIS is completely controllable as is the MCP.  All EICAS pages are selectable, Cancel & Recall works, and the Radio portion tunes the RCP....I use it every time I fly PSX on my PCs and couldn't imagine not having it.  Indispensable for me.  Your needs/mileage may vary.

Best- Carl
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: pcpilot on Mon, 6 Jul 2015 21:06
Thanks Carl for your feedback.

The Euro Pound rate at the moment makes it an attractive buy.

I just need to sneak the purchase past the accountant ;-), and sell my current solution, MFD Cougar Panels.

All the best.

Graham.
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Tue, 7 Jul 2015 18:01
Thanks for your interest Graham and to Carl for an enthusiastic response! :)

Just a heads up: During the last weeks several of the encoders on my panel started spiking (e.g. turning the ND range knob one click produced several commands).

The problem should be solved with better quality encoders on newer builds by vrInsight according to an Avsim forum thread.

So I'm starting the RMA process to exchange my MCP for a new one. /crosses fingers

Bernd
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: cavaricooper on Tue, 7 Jul 2015 18:42
Bernd-

How old is your unit? Mine is about 1 year old... And no spiking at this time (fingers x'ed).
Lmk if you make any progress please!

Best- C
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Tue, 7 Jul 2015 18:49
Carl,

I bought mine nearly 2 years ago, no idea what the production date is though.

Link: http://forum.avsim.net/topic/379156-vrinsight-mcp-combo-knobs-sloppy/

Will report back once I know if I can get the unit exchanged.

Cheers,
Bernd
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Sun, 9 Aug 2015 16:03
Got my replacement MCP2, completely NIB.

This new unit doesn't show any spikes whatsoever.   :D
So I can recommend to try for a repair/replacement should one of your units also show this behavior.

Bernd
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: cavaricooper on Sun, 9 Aug 2015 17:13
That's great news! Will email you shortly. ENJOY the MCP, it may not be beautiful, but it FUNCTIONS brilliantly!

Best- C
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: pcpilot on Mon, 10 Aug 2015 09:11
I have yet to buy the unit, but it is great to hear of such good customer service.

I was delaying the purchase until I heard about your outcome. I have since purchased a touch screen but I don't think it compares to physical knobs and buttons. So once the accountant has forgotten the purchase of the touch screen I will be placing my order. :-)

Graham.
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: brian747 on Tue, 11 Aug 2015 08:31
I suppose there's still no hope for those of us with version 1 of the MCP Combo, Bernd?    :(
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Tue, 11 Aug 2015 14:59
I'm sorry Brian, but as I don't know the protocol the first MCP version uses it won't be possible to add support for it.

Bernd
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: brian747 on Tue, 11 Aug 2015 21:14
Thank you, Bernd: I understand. But I'm sure you can sense my frustration, since apart from the number of characters in the displays there would appear to be few other physical differences. If I knew what you meant by "the protocol the first MCP version uses" then maybe I could help, but there we are.

By perhaps little coincidence, the development of the LINDA software has similarly been taken over by someone who never owned version 1 of the MCP combo, so I'm facing a similar problem there.  

Congratulations to those who waited until v2 came out!     :?

Cheers,

Brian
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Wed, 12 Aug 2015 16:06
Quote from: brian747

If I knew what you meant by "the protocol the first MCP version uses" then maybe I could help, but there we are.


I speak of the protocol the MCP uses to speak over the serial port. Examples:

Code: [Select]
What do I have to send to the unit to initialize it?
How does the unit answer to that initialization?

What does the unit send when knobs are turned slow and fast?

How is the display cleared?

Can I send a whole string to the display or do I have to separate it somehow?


As VRinsight didn't really communicate with me at all I had to reverse engineer the communication for the V2. There was much trial and error, especially as the unit freezes when you send wrong or incomplete commands.

Even when I finally figured out the protocol, developing the interface with PSX ended in many unit freezes. That is why doing it without having access to the HW isn't easy.

As you've read the thread you've seen my troubles with the V2 encoders. So even though I bought the second version I didn't wait long enough either.


Hope you now understand the issue better,
Bernd
Title: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: brian747 on Wed, 12 Aug 2015 22:48
That's very helpful - thank you.

(I was never under the illusion that this was a simple matter).   ;)

I used to be in touch the the Russian gentleman who coded LINDA for version 1 of the MCP combo: if anyone knows the answer to your questions, then it will be he. Unfortunately he has dropped out of sight recently, but I'll see if I can track him down.

Until then, thank you!  :)

Cheers,

Brian
Title: Re: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: pcpilot on Fri, 20 Nov 2015 22:41
Hi Bernd,

I wonder if you could help me.

I took the plunge and purchased the VRinsight MCP. I downloaded your latest software (V0.13) but it just gave me the Windows spinning circle when I tried to launch it.

I had an older version of your software either V0.11 or V0.12 (exe dated 10/2/15) and it works just fine :-)

I was keen to exploit the new features you added in V0.13 ie alignment of the displays.

I am using Windows 10 but I did try the latest version (0.13) on Windows 8.1, it did not bring up the console just the Windows circle.

Any ideas where I might be going wrong ?

I am using version 10.0.6a of PSX.

Thanks in advance.

Graham.




Title: Re: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Sat, 21 Nov 2015 05:18
Hi Graham,

sorry to hear of your problems with Windows 10. Haven't heard of any incompatibilities yet.

I myself upgraded to Win10 a few weeks ago, though I didn't do a fresh install and I have no troubles at all.

To check I downloaded the package from my website and started the executable, everything worked.

So I can only recommend the following:

Check the filesize of the latest version executable, it should be 122.880 bytes big.
Try to run another .NET 4.5 executable to verify prerequisites (though they should be fine if previous versions work under 10).
Redownload the file after clearing your browser cache and use 7-Zip to extract, the Windows built-in function will not work. File size of the archive is 245.376 bytes.
Check whether your AV/FW somehow restricts the program.
Verifiy the COM port with the VRiSIM program.

If no command prompt windows appears and there's only the spinning mouse pointer circle it points to a corrupted file.

Cheers,
Bernd
Title: Re: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: pcpilot on Sat, 21 Nov 2015 07:06
Hi Bernd,

Thanks for your very quick response, you have solved my problem :-)

Added the new .exe as an exclusion to my Anti Virus (AVAST) and it works a treat.

I really appreciate the time and effort you have put into your excellent interface for the VRinsight hardware into PSX.

The placement of displays above the buttons in the latest version looks really good.

Now I have a whole weekend of flying to look forward to.

Once again many thanks for your assistance.

Graham.

Title: Re: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Sat, 21 Nov 2015 07:44
Glad to have helped and thanks for the praise, Graham! :D

Have fun flying!

Cheers,
Bernd
Title: Re: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: EHAM747 on Mon, 4 Apr 2016 09:56
Hi all,

This add-on is great. After quitting with FSX this is a good reason to dust off the old MCP2 and I use it with pleasure with PSX again!

Greetings,
Alex
Title: Re: PSXonMCP2 - Interface for VRinsight MCP2 Boeing
Post by: Berndo on Mon, 4 Apr 2016 14:37
Hi all,

This add-on is great. After quitting with FSX this is a good reason to dust off the old MCP2 and I use it with pleasure with PSX again!

Greetings,
Alex

Glad you like it, Alex! :)