View Full Version : relative wind indicator (yarn)
07-15-2007, 07:09 PM
I haven't a clue how to build guages, but was wondering if anyone here thinks it might be possible to make a "gauge" of sorts, that would simulate a string/yarn taped to the windshield, so as to visulize relative wind.
This is useful for sailplane pilots, to keep their heads out of the cockpit, and also helpful for establishing a needed bank angle and coordinating rudder to offset yaw, when loosing an engine on a multi-engine aircraft.
I'm trying to teach my dad to fly saiplanes with some help with FSX first, and thought it would make an easier transistion to a real saiplane if he could watch the yarn, and not so much the tiny turn/slip indicator.
07-19-2007, 03:16 PM
I am sure it can be done much better, and I am not sure I got it bending to the right side (never been in a sail plane) ... anyhow
Put that .cab into your panel subdirectory and then place the yarn onto the windshield by adding something like this to your panel.cfg file:
gauge99=Yarn!Yarn, 200, 150, 79, 79
The parameters are X, Y, width and height.
A .cab file can be opened with winzip, so you can easily look at the source of the XML and the images used in there. A default Windows system also has a program makecab.exe, so if you want to create the final version yourself, you got all the tools already. I just used one transparent background that has the little piece of string under the tape, and 4 images that implement the wiggling string in the wind. The gauge quickly cycles through those 4 images used as an instrument "needle". The images vary a slightly curly end of the string, giving it an appearance as if it would wiggle in the wind.
There is a lot that can be improved on this gauge. First of all using actual wind information instead of the turn coordinator ball deflection. Second the color ... who'd use such a bright green "worm" on his windshield ... it is an example gauge after all. Third the gauge should have an "on the ground" mode where the string is just hanging down. And so on ...
But you get the basic idea of the gauge from this and should be able to work from there.
07-21-2007, 12:49 AM
Wow Jan, wasn't expecting someone to actually go out and build me a gauge! Thanks! I really appreciate it!
With the settings you suggested, I placed the line
gauge8=Yarn!Yarn, 200, 150, 79, 79
into the [VCockpit02] section of the panel.cfg file.
The result looked like this:
Notice the yellow arrow pointing to it. However, since I wanted it to look more like the red line I drew, I tried various other numbers, such as:
gauge8=Yarn!Yarn, 150, 500, 79, 400
but then the "yarn" would simply dissapear. About the only times I could make it reappear is if I used numbers like 300 or less... and even then, the yarn would appear partially obscured inside the panel, and smaller than with the original settings!
Anyway, I know I'm rather ignorant about all this... and don't mean to try one's patience... but if you or anyone can give me a reference point as to how to move and resize gauges, it would be greatly appreciated!
And, thanks again very much Jan for your time and effort to respond to my post!
07-22-2007, 07:37 AM
That appears as if either you didn't place the gauge on the main panel "Window00", or that one doesn't cover the whole screen. Your screenshot looks like there is a good chance that the panel developer didn't create a main bitmap covering the whole screen (including the class canopy), because there is nothing to show in the upper half of the screen. In that case the easiest way would be to add another window with a transparent background bitmap that contains the Yarn alone.
07-22-2007, 04:36 PM
Jan, how on earth can you view his screenshot when it was mistakenly tagged as a TEXT file (.txt)??? :+
07-22-2007, 07:21 PM
Oh yes, I had tried it under the [Window00] section before, but then it only shows up in 2D cockpit mode--which I don't like to use since it's highly distorted across 3 monitors, and TrackIR becomes useless.
It appears that Microsoft made two seperate panels that it combines into one, for the 3D cockpit in the DG808 sailplane. Is there a tutorial somewhere about how to make a transparent panel I could affix to the canopy?
07-22-2007, 10:46 PM
>Jan, how on earth can you view his screenshot when it was
>mistakenly tagged as a TEXT file (.txt)??? :+
Save link as ... open in WinVI and guess file type (in this case jpeg ... sometimes I need to use file(1) though) ... rename to correct extension and view it. :-)
07-24-2007, 06:53 PM
>Oh yes, I had tried it under the [Window00] section before,
>but then it only shows up in 2D cockpit mode--which I don't
>like to use since it's highly distorted across 3 monitors, and
>TrackIR becomes useless.
This will be a problem ... see below ...
>It appears that Microsoft made two seperate panels that it
>combines into one, for the 3D cockpit in the DG808 sailplane.
>Is there a tutorial somewhere about how to make a transparent
>panel I could affix to the canopy?
It is worse. The gauge configuration for the 3D panel is a separate entry in the panel.cfg under section "VCockpit01". That section defines the relative location of instruments in a panel area coded into the visual model of the aircraft (the .mdl file), which is a binary file and cannot be edited like the panel.cfg. I don't have the DG808, but if you look at the default Schweizer sailplane, the virtual cockpit has a separate VCockpit01 definition of 512x512 pixels with 6 gauges in it. You can't add anything to that virtual panel outside of that 512x512 pixel area unless the .mdl file is changed accordingly.
You could of course make a separate window for the Yarn that can be toggled on/off like the GPS, but like the GPS it would then stick to the monitor, rather than a position in the 3D cockpit. Something I'd probably find rather confusing when using TrackIR.
Sorry, but unless someone knows better than me, using the 3D cockpit kinda kills this attempt.
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