Having purchased the CPFlight MCP as the 'Autopilot of Choice' it
seemed logical to also buy the MCPEX1 Expansion Board to complement
this amazing piece of equipment.
The MCPEX1 duly arrived. It is very well made, very simple to connect
too and in all fairness is very easy to setup and get
running. All you need to do is connect the board to the
MCP with a Data Cable and you're up and running once the CPFlightTools
software has been installed. The CPFlight 'system',
that is all the pieces of CPFlight Hardware you have attached to your
computer, communicate with FS via FSUIPC and the FS_COM utility.
Lets assume that you have installed
In the package comes a small setup program called MCP_CONFIG. It is
this utility that you use to setup the inputs and outputs from the
MCPEX1 using a basic 'What You See Is What You Get' menu system (which
you can add to when you get more
advice is GET
& READ THE MANUAL so you understand what type of inputs and
outputs are possible with the MCPEX1.
This is what i am doing on the PMDG737 with my
PARKING BRAKE -
(INPUT) The Parking Brake switch is connected to Input A1 and assigned
in MCP_CONF to the Parking Brake. When the switch is closed,
FS_COM sets the Brake to ON and when it is opened, the Brake is set
OFF. (OUTPUT) One of the Digital Outputs has
been assigned to the Parking Brake, so when the Brake is set, the Red
Indicator on the TQ Illuminates.
IDLE/CUTOFF LEVERS - (INPUT) My Symulatory TQ has
microswitches fitted to the Idle/Cutoff Levers. These are connected to
two Digital Inputs on the MCPEX1 and then assigned to Eng 1 and Eng 2
respectively. The PMDG responds to the 'Toggle Fuel Valves' command in
FSUIPC. I then found out that these offsets are 'writeable'.
3590 for the Eng 1 Fuel Valve and 3954 for Eng 2. The parameters
are 0 for closed and 1 for open. Now we have an accurate On/Off
state on the levers. That being said, it also makes it possible
to read the state of the offset and based on the value, an output line
can be written in the MCP_CONF digital output file to illuminate the
corresponding overhead annunciators. (note: this is
standard MCP_CONF assignment. You have to write the lines in the
DigitalIn.cfg file so they will operate based on the position of your
ENG. & SPAR VALVE ANNUNCIATORS (OUTPUT) Two of the Digital Outputs have been
assigned to Eng 1 and
Eng 2 Fuel Valve OPEN. Again, this is not a standard MCP_CONF
assignment, you have to write the lines in the DigitalOut.cfg
file. RESULT, when the Idle/Cutoff
Lever for either engine is moved to the Cutoff Position, the Engine and Spar Valve
Closed Annunciators for the corresponding Engine Illuminate on my Hardware Overhead.
GEAR LEVER - (Input) My Gear Lever is connected to the
Board and one of the Digital Inputs is assigned to Landing Gear.
There is a microswitch on the lever which is closed when it is moved
to the Gear Down Position which in turn requests the MCPEX board to
switch the offset and lower the Landing Gear.
GEAR LIGHTS - (OUTPUT) Three of the Digital
Outputs operate the Gear Down Annunciators on the Rear Overhead Panel.
Result when the Landing Gear is down, the 3 Green Annunciators are
Illuminated on the Rear Overhead (The Main Panel Lights are driven
from the MIP737 Board).
LIGHTING PANEL (Overhead)
All the switches on the Lower Lighting
Panel are connected to the MCPEX board. The MCP_CONF (as
standard) allows you distinct ON/OFF control of all the lighting on
the PMDG. It even turns the Wing Lights on the PMDG on and
off. LANDING LIGHTS - TAXI LIGHTS - LOGO LIGHT - POSITION
(NAV) LIGHTS - STROBE - ANTI-COLLISON (Beacon) and WING LIGHTS are all
controlled from the board.
Two Rotary Switches have been connected to Inputs on the
board. These are assigned to send keys (in my case F11 for eng 1 and
F12 for eng 2) which FSUIPC sees and invokes the FSUIPC Mouse Macro
for the Overhead Starter Switches (no they don't auto shut off, i'm
not that rich). Now remember the fuel valves. Theses have to be
opened in the Start Proceedure otherwise it's a non-starter (so to
speak). I've bridged the GRD and FLT pins on the switch so we
can invoke an In-Flight Start if we have to.
TO COME (No Time, Got to Go Service the Lawnmower :o)
for teaching me how to Manipulate the Offsets in FSUIPC
PAOLO at CPFlight for
teaching me how to write the lines in the Digital In and Out .cfg