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Press Shift to activate CDU keyboard

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Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
This is an old Aerowinx tradition. But it cannot be carried over to PSX without some modifications because:

- There are three CDUs in PSX now, and there are only two Shift keys.

- CDU backlighting is now modelled, so it cannot be used as a "keyboard on" reminder anymore.

One could assign the left Shift key to the left CDU, the right one to the right CDU. But the center CDU would be left out. One could use a key other than the Shift key, but then the tradition would be broken. One could make a cycle function with the Shift key: CDU L, CDU R, CDU C, all off, CDU L etc. – I'll probably make it like this.

One could indicate an activated CDU keyboard by adding a graphic symbol (arrow, line, whatever) to the CDU. But that doesn't agree with my aesthetical sense, I want to have pure panels without shnickshnack. One could put a hint into the program window's title bar. But the title bar can be removed if desired. I think I'll add a small hint near the frame rate indicator, perhaps blinking at 1 Hz.

(All this doesn't affect the key assignment options for EPIC users. Those are independent and have always direct access.)

Cheers,

|-|ardy
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 958
Location: Chicago
Shift
Ctrl-Shift
Alt-Shift

Would that work?
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Hmm ... can you remember all combinations? And should the same combination also be used for deactivation? If so, it would require four keypresses for an on/off cycle. That would be not less hits than cycling through L, C, R, off.

Note that only one CDU keyboard* can be activated at a time, for safety reasons. If you would activate all three CDU keyboards at once and press, say, F1 for line select key 1L, then each CDU would get a keypress on 1L while three different pages may be displayed (e.g. VNAV on CDU L, LEGS on CDU R, ACARS on CDU C).

* Refering to the PC/Mac keyboard only. The three actual CDU keyboards are active at the same time and are always ready for mouse or network inputs without interrupting each other.

|-|ardy
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 214
Location: EDDM
Hi Hardy,

you are an experienced graphics expert, so my comment might be obsolete.

Cycling through the CDUs is a good idea. But then please make sure that whenever Shift is pressed "for the first time", the same (configurable) CDU becomes active.
It might become confusing, if Shift is pressed to enter something in the left CDU. Then some time later Shift is pressed again to enter more but the center CDU would be activated...

But for cockpit builders it might be intersting to have left and right Shift key available to support both seats. Left Shift key toggles between left and optionally center CDU, right Shift toggels between right and optionally center CDU.
Just an idea.

Holger
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Hi Holger,

I don't understand what you mean by "for the first time". Do you mean the order of the shift key sequence should be user selectable?

The default would be:

First shift key hit: CDU L active, CDU C & R inactive.
Second shift key hit: CDU R active, CDU C & L inactive.
Third shift key hit: CDU C active, CDU L & R inactive.
Fourth shift key hit: All CDUs inactive.
End of cylce. Next hit is the first hit again.

In other words:

To activate CDU L, hit Shift once. To deactivate it, hit Shift three times (to make sure all CDUs are deactivated).

To activate CDU R, hit Shift twice. To deactivate it, hit Shift twice (to make sure all CDUs are deactivated).

To activate CDU C, hit Shift three times. To deactivate it, hit Shift once (to make sure all CDUs are deactivated).

L .. R .. C ... allOff .. L .. R .. C .. allOff ... L .. etc.

You mean this order should be user selectable, e.g. R .. C .. L .. allOff .. R .. C .. L ... allOff .. etc.

?

Cockpit builders (EPIC) don't need to care about shift keys. They can assign any EPIC key directly to any key on the three CDUs. E.g. CTRL+E to the E key on CDU L, and ALT+E to the E key on CDU R.

Cheers,

|-|ardy
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Registered: May 2009
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Location: KTMB
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
I think, defining the word "twice" by a time delay would be too confusing, especially if you want to have quick, direct access to a CDU. I prefer to count my own quick strokes rather than waiting and counting seconds.

|-|
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2449
Location: KTMB
Left-Shift: activate/deactivate current CDU (last used).
Right-Shift: move to next CDU in round robin, irrespective of whether active or not.

Does TAB have a function yet? Tab as a CDU cycle key could be nice. It even has a CDU-related function in PS1.

In practice I think most CDU accesses would be to one and the same CDU in PSX (single screen, single crew). Having to press a key three times to switch a CDU off isn't very nice. Keeping enable/disable separate from cycle L-C-R feels better to me.
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers wrote
Left-Shift: activate/deactivate current CDU (last used).
Right-Shift: move to next CDU in round robin, irrespective of whether active or not.

Yes, that's better.

...

TAB is reserved on the Mac. I have no access to TAB in Mac's Java.

|-|
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 214
Location: EDDM
Hardy Heinlin wrote
I don't understand what you mean by "for the first time". Do you mean the order of the shift key sequence should be user selectable?
....
To activate CDU L, hit Shift once. To deactivate it, hit Shift three times (to make sure all CDUs are deactivated).
...

Let me try it this way.
I wanted to address two issues:
1.) The toggle sequence using two shift keys.
2.) Selection of a "default" CDU that would open when all CDUs are inactive.

Ref. 1.) Toggle sequence:
The left Shift key only toggles L..C..all off.
The right Shift key only toggles R..C..all off.

Hitting left Shift once will activate left CDU.
"Double hitting" left shift key then deactivates that CDU again.

This might reduce the Shift hitting "complexity".
This might be more compatible to the known usage of the mouse keys: Either single click or double-click, no triple, quadruple... clicking.

In PS1.3 I personally never became really familiar with the methodology to cycle through the checklists hitting the R key multiple times (although selected once it then advanced automatically). It is somehow "inconvenient" or "not very economic" (to me) to hit the same key more than 2 times.
I would have preferred a "simpler" way, allthough I have no spontaneous idea.

Re. 2.) Default CDU:
I have not yet thought about this topic very thoroughly :oops: So I hope I do not confuse you.

But I could imagine it might be interesting if two people simulate a cockpit crew on one computer with only one keyboard (a low cost cockpit :D ).
Pilot on left seat could open the left CDU by hitting the left Shift key (once) and see his "favourite page".
Pilot on the right seat would use right Shift (once) to open his favourite page.
Both would have to double-hit their Shift keys to close the CDU.
Honestly, I do not know whether such a scenario is useful for some customer or whether it is realistic. And I see a confict: Hit left Shift once and then the right Shift... This also needs to be solved somehow then.

It was just an idea...

If this turns out to become too complex or not useful forget about my comment.

Regards, Holger

P.S. But I also like Hoppies idea to use one key to activate/deactivate a CDU and annother key for toggling though the CDUs. Clever :)
« Last edit by Holger Wende on Wed, 03 Jun 2009 21:04:49 +0000. »
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Not bad. I'll think about it ...

Cheers,

|-|ardy
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 269
Location: between EDDF and EDDN
Holger Wende wrote
Pilot on left seat could open the left CDU by hitting the left Shift key (once) and see his "favourite page".
Pilot on the right seat would use right Shift (once) to open his favourite page.
Both would have to double-hit their Shift keys to close the CDU.
Honestly, I do not know whether such a scenario is useful for some customer or whether it is realistic. And I see a confict: Hit left Shift once and then the right Shift... This also needs to be solved somehow then.


How does the keyboard -> computer -> PSX know which CDU is addressed e.g. for a new waypoint input if e.g. the left CDU is in LEGS page 3 and the right one in LEGS page 5 or in a complete other program.
You might need another key combination to address one of the both already activated CDUs.

You also could say the last press (e.g. right) of the Shift key has higher priority. But in this case this certainly would confuse the guy who pressed the (e.g left) Shift first and for some reasons did not notice the right Shift press and tries to enter something.

Perhaps here we see the limit of the single computer simulation with 2 pilots. This could be to much.

If you have the CDUs separated on 2 (L, C+R or L+C, R) or 3 computers, so that each pilot has his own keyboard for this this would be much easier.

Just my thoughts
Peter
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Hi Peter,

only one CDU keyboard can be assigned to the PC/Mac keyboard at a time, in order to avoid conflicts. If you would assign all three CDU keyboards to the PC/Mac at once and press, say, F1 for line select key 1L, then there might be a conflict: Each CDU would get a keypress on 1L while three different pages may be displayed (e.g. VNAV on CDU L, LEGS on CDU R, ACARS on CDU C).

Note: The CDU assignment to the PC/Mac keyboard is just a hot key function for "normal" users. It doesn't affect EPIC users who can assign any keys to any CDU keyboards (L, C, R) at the same time (but the keys need to be different, of course). TCP/IP networkers have even more freedom.

And there is the mouse. The mouse has direct access to everything all the time.

Quote
If you have the CDUs separated on 2 (L, C+R or L+C, R) or 3 computers, so that each pilot has his own keyboard for this this would be much easier.

Sure. If you have PSX clones on several networked computers, the mouse and keyboard of each computer controls only its own PSX clone. All you need is a network cable. Plug and fly.

Regards,

|-|ardy
« Last edit by Hardy Heinlin on Thu, 04 Jun 2009 11:53:41 +0000. »
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 269
Location: between EDDF and EDDN
Hi Hardy,

Hardy Heinlin wrote
only one CDU keyboard can be assigned to the PC/Mac keyboard at a time, in order to avoid conflicts.


Thats what I wanted to say. As I understood Holgers input, he wanted to activate left and right CDU with the left and right Shift key at the same time.

Peter
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 214
Location: EDDM
Hi Peter.

Peter Lang wrote
...As I understood Holgers input, he wanted to activate left and right CDU with the left and right Shift key at the same time...


No, this was a misunderstanding, sorry.
My input was based on my assuption that only one CDU is active at a time.

Assume PF is on the right seat, PNF on the left.
PF(right) would like to peek into PROG page for some reason, thus he just hits Right-Shift. Double hit Right-Shift to deactivate his CDU.
Then PNF(left) would like to update the DEP/ARR pages or LEGS pages. He would just hit Left-Shift key and see the page he viewed recently.

But I am still thinking about Hoppies idea...
Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers wrote
Left-Shift: activate/deactivate current CDU (last used).
Right-Shift: move to next CDU in round robin, irrespective of whether active or not.


My 2-man scenario would then be as follows:
PF(right) would like to peek into PROG page for some reason, thus he just hits Left-Shift to activate a CDU.
Then he may need to hit Right-Shift to go to his preferred CDU.
Then Left-Shift to deactivate the CDU.

Then PNF(left) would like to update the DEP/ARR pages or LEGS pages. He would hit Left-Shift key and see the page PF viewed recently. So he has to use Right-Shift to go to his preferred CDU.
And then Left-Shift again to close the CDU.
Hmmm... Sounds a bit more complicated.

Anyway the PSX author has to solve that... :P

So long, Holger
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Holger Wende wrote
He would just hit Left-Shift key and see the page he viewed recently.

The last viewed page is visible all the time. The three CDUs are always visible at the same time. You probably are aware of this, but I'm not sure :-) ("see the page he viewed recently").

...

I'm not 100% convinced by the three solutions so far. I'll try another one:

Left Shift: CDU L
Right Shift: CDU R
Both Shift: CDU C

No counting anymore.


Regards,

|-|ardy
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 958
Location: Chicago
Two fingers? Ouch, I don't like that idea.
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
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Left Shift: CDU L
Right Shift: CDU R
left or right CTRL: CDU C
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2449
Location: KTMB
You must try it, but Ctrl may have uncatchable special functions with some keys on some platforms.
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Posts: 2449
Location: KTMB
Will Cronenwett wrote
Two fingers? Ouch, I don't like that idea.

Just for the center CDU. That is nearly never used for flying, if at all during flight.
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 269
Location: between EDDF and EDDN
Will Cronenwett wrote
Two fingers? Ouch, I don't like that idea.


With both Shift I would need two arms... two fingers, why not?

Hardy Heinlin wrote
Left Shift: CDU L
Right Shift: CDU R
left or right CTRL: CDU C


-> left or right CTRL + Shift: CDU C?

Hardy Heinlin wrote
No counting anymore.


This sounds good. Simply turn it on and off with left and right Shift.

Peter
Moderator
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Actually, I'm not a fan of two-arm key combinations either. Not nice for disabled computer users.

Click L shift: CDU L
Click R shift: CDU R
Hold 2 sec any shift: CDU C

|-|
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 269
Location: between EDDF and EDDN
To avoid another misunderstanding:

the two arm key combination I also dislike. Just the two finger key combination would be ok for me.

...and I'm sure the PSX author will solve that ;)

Peter
Member
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 958
Location: Chicago
This is the best idea so far:

Click L shift: CDU L
Click R shift: CDU R
Hold 2 sec any shift: CDU C

It's a great idea because it's so wonderfully extensible. Holding a key for 2 seconds could globally mean "activate a similar function to the main function, but one that's very rarely used and never needed instantly." That triples the number of key-presses you can program, whilst sacrificing very little in the way of intuitive-ness.

Nice solution.

Will
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Registered: May 2009
Posts: 5140
Also, the 2-sec time is a pretty common value on the real flight deck, i. e. good to remember. E.g. the CVR test (newer version) starts after holding the button for 2 sec., ... the ISFD attitude reset starts after a 2-sec. delay, ... also the APU start switch should be held for 2 sec., ... just to mention a few ...

|-|


And we had it here already :-)
Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers wrote
... any non-shift keystroke or a timer of about 2 seconds makes the ...
« Last edit by Hardy Heinlin on Sat, 06 Jun 2009 00:45:29 +0000. »

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