Last week I bought the Reality-XP Sandel SN3308. Getting it to work in my beloved A36 (which is the only plane I've been flying since I bought in June last year!) required some editing in the panel.cfg, which I had never done before. It wasn't as easy as I thought, but thanks to the help of some forummembers (specially alastairmonk) I got the job done.
By that time I knew a bit more about the panel.cfg. So I decided to change the default size and position of the SN3308 pop-up. After that I also changed the position of the GNS430 pop-up, because I never liked the position it has by default (blocking the outside view of my VC). And when that was done I also repositioned the airspeed pop-up, so I had all the info I needed at busy moments (like landings), ready to be changed/altered etc. (I always dial my own freqs in the COM, which is a lot nicer than just pressing a single number in a menu...). The result of my first panel.cfg editing can be seen in the first attached picture. (Not quit realistic but very functional.)
After that I got adventurous: I never liked (and quit honestly was frequently irritated by) the radiostack pop-up. The order was different than on the panel (WHY?) and it had the COM1/NAV1 radio, which isn't on the panel at all). So... I decided to rearrange the radiostack pop-up so it would have the same order as in the panel itself (leaving the GSN430 out because that had it's own useful big pop-up and that would also make the radiostack too big, blocking the outside view again).
I thought about buying FS Panel Studio, but because I only fly the A36 and have no need for changing any other panels, I decided to try it all just with the notepad.
It was quit simple, really. I took a note of all vertical positions (simply changed various numbers first, to find out what was the vertical position number), used the calculator to add up and substract etc. etc. and came up with the final list of positions. I changed the numbers in the panel.cfg, loaded the plane and... YES! Awesome! It worked! Everything was in the right order!
After that there was no stopping me: I decided to switch the WX500 (which I never use because I always fly in nice weather) with the stuff at the right of it: COM2/NAV2, ADF en Squawk. The 'box' they were in was just a little bit bigger than the WX500 space, so I thought swapping them should be possible. And it was! After again changing various numbers to find out which numbers were used for various positions (which gave some scary results at first!) I knew how to get it done. The gauges had to be resized a little, which was great because they were a bit too big: after making them a bit smaller they also were less high, and in the end they fitted nicely between de GNS430 and the DME gauge. I had to change the vertical position of the other gauges too, and also had to make them a bit smaller (which was even better because by default some edges seems to be cut off). The WX500 had to be stretched a little, bit nothing noticable. After every change I reloaded the plane in FS, so I guess I've loaded the plane about a hundred times today, making small adjustments of sometimes just 1 unit (pixel?) at a time.
The result of all my work on the radiostack and the cockpit panel itself can be seen on the second picture! I really love it that the pop-up is the same (apart from the GSN) as on the panel itself! (If someone could tell me why the default radiostack has a different order, please do so!).
All in all I'm quite happy (and proud!) of my notepad-editing! At the beginning of this week a simple edit for the Reality-XP SandelSN3308 already scared me (and made me quite frustrated, really), but by now I feel like a master of the panel.cfg! ;) Now everything is exactly as I want it! This really is MY own A36! (Did I already say I have been flying NOTHING but the A36 since I bought it last June?)
O, no, wait, I got one more wish: I'd like to make the Radar Altimeter the default one instead of the ADF gauge... The ADF gauge is called ADFind in the Panel.cfg, but I really cannot find the name of the Radar Altimeter to replace it (if that is possible)... If someone could help me with this one, I REALLY have it all the way I want and like it! Thanks in advance!
All in all I'm having big fune with FS2004 and my beloved A36! :)