Shockwave Light Install

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faultheo
Airman Basic
Posts: 5
Joined: 11 Sep 2008
Location: Perry, LA >> South- USA

Shockwave Light Install

Post faultheo »

I'm working on 2 planes right now - Lockheed Constellation and Bombadier Dash 8-400.
I've read the forums and some directions for how to place lights and the string coding but I am still at a loss on "the model origin point". I understand about the coordinates and fore/aft, left/right, and up/down. "Numbers have to be adjusted for each aircraft you add lights to and are measured in feet from the model origin point"; where does this point begin. It must be different for different aircraft. Please don't tell me this is a guessing game. I've already been guessing on the 2 planes I'm working on now. Still --- if the model(s) origin point is known -- the placement of lights would be easier and less confusing. Why - in all what I have read in your forums - no one has asked this question?? To have a known starting point, the placement of coordinates on 3 axises would be a big help and make this a whole lot easier.
I expected more than what I am seeing and the less impressed I am at the more I understand about this software.

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Tako_Kichi
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Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Location: SW Ontario, Canada (ex-pat Brit)

Re: Shockwave Light Install

Post Tako_Kichi »

As I understand it the model's origin point can be anywhere the designer feels like putting it, however, most seem to put it at the CoG location. I have added lights to many dozens of aircraft now and it really isn't that difficult once you get an understanding of how to do it. Here's what I do with a new aircraft I want to add lights to.
  • 1 ) Start your FS program (either FS9 or FSX), pick your aircraft and a suitable field (I also choose dawn or dusk as it is easier to see what you are doing with the little bit of extra light you get).

    2 ) Launch the sim and then set it to 'windowed' mode (hit <ALT+ENTER>) in full screen as this will allow you to easily switch between the sim and the config file in Notepad.

    3 ) Open the aircraft.cfg file and find the lights section.

    4 ) Check what locations/lights are already covered as you usually only need to change the effect called for things like beacons and nav lights etc. Landing/taxi lights usually have to be added from scratch unless you are very lucky and the co-ordinates are already in the config file.

    5 ) Make your changes to the existing lines first and save the config file but DO NOT close it.

    6 ) You now need to see the changes in the sim and most people do not realize there is a handy shortcut for doing this that is not assigned by default! Go back to the sim and do the following:
    • For FS9
      (i) If you do not see the menu bar at the top of the screen press <ALT> once.

      (ii) Select 'Options/Controls/Assignments' from the drop down menu and make sure the 'Buttons/Keys' tab is selected.

      (iii) Scroll down the list until you see 'Reload User Aircraft' and click once on the line to select it.

      (iv) Click on the <Change Assignment> button and in the pop up window press the key combination you would like to use for this function. I use 'CTRL+SHIFT+R' as this is not used for anything else and I can easily remember that 'R' is for 'reload'. Once you have entered your key shortcut click on <OK> to close the window and <OK> again to close the settings window.

      (v) Once back in the sim hit the <CTRL+SHIFT+R> (or whatever you picked) key combo and your aircraft will be forced to reload which also means that it re-reads the config file and picks up any changes made to it (provided you saved it first of course!) This is much faster than selecting 'Reset Flight' as it only reloads the aircraft and not all the scenery.

      For FSX
      (i) If you do not see the menu bar at the top of the screen press <ALT> once.

      (ii) Select 'Options/Settings/Controls' from the drop down menu and make sure the 'Buttons/Keys' tab is selected.

      (iii) Scroll down the list until you see 'Aircraft (reload)' and click once on the line to select it.

      (iv) Click on the <New Assignment> button and in the pop up window press the key combination you would like to use for this function. I use 'CTRL+SHIFT+R' as this is not used for anything else and I can easily remember that 'R' is for 'reload'. Once you have entered your key shortcut click on <OK> to close the window and <OK> again to close the settings window.

      (v) Once back in the sim hit the <CTRL+SHIFT+R> (or whatever you picked) key combo and your aircraft will be forced to reload which also means that it re-reads the config file and picks up any changes made to it (provided you saved it first of course!) This is much faster than selecting 'Reset Flight' as it only reloads the aircraft and not all the scenery.
    7 ) Check your changes and adjust any dimension values to get a good fit of the light effects on the model. Save your changes and hit the 'reload' key combo to reload the aircraft, repeat as required.

    8 ) Add new lines for missing lights. This is where most people have difficulties so I will break this area down further. Let's assume for this example we are adding a pair of landing lights in the wings. Now, trying to position the big, bright, landing lights can be difficult but here is a trick to doing it easily. Instead of positioning a landing light I will position a nav light and only when I am happy with the position do I change it to a landing light. So let's work through this example:
    • (i) Copy a nav light line and paste it at the bottom of the [Lights] section and then change the light number to the next available one so that
      • light.0 = 3, -0.15, -32.5, 0.66, fx_shockwave_navred
      becomes
      • light.10 = 3, -0.15, -32.5, 0.66, fx_shockwave_navred
      (ii) Now we need to roughly position the light. If we look at the model and assume that a pilot is 6 ft high we can fairly easily estimate how many 'pilots' we need to move the light in towards the fuselage. Let's assume in this case it's roughly two 'pilots' and that would be 12 ft so
      • light.10 = 3, -0.15, -32.5, 0.66, fx_shockwave_navred
      becomes
      • light.10 = 3, -0.15, -20.5, 0.66, fx_shockwave_navred
      (iii) The landing lights are usually in the leading edge of the wing which is usually further forward than the nav light location so
      • light.10 = 3, -0.15, -20.5, 0.66, fx_shockwave_navred
      becomes
      • light.10 = 3, 6.0, -20.5, 0.66, fx_shockwave_navred
      (iv) In the above example I moved the light just over 6 ft forwards. It doesn't matter how far you move it at this stage but more is better than less as you want to be sure the light is located OUTSIDE of the wing so that you can easily see it. Don't worry about the height yet as we can deal with that shortly. Once you have made the initial changes save the config file and reload the aircraft in the sim and check your results.

      (v) Check where the light is now in relation to where it needs to be and adjust ALL the distance values accordingly, save the config file and reload the aircraft. Repeat as necessary until you have the nav light located in the correct position for the landing light.

      (vi) Once you have the light in the correct position you can copy and paste the line to add the light to the other wing but you have to change the 'sign' of the left/right value and also increment the light number so
      • light.10 = 3, 4.5, -18.75, -0.5, fx_shockwave_navred
      becomes
      • light.11 = 3, 4.5, 18.75, -0.5, fx_shockwave_navred
      (vii) Save the changes and check the light position. A pair of landing lights in the wings are 'usually' symmetrical about the fore/aft axis but you should double check just in case your particular aircraft is different. If necessary adjust the values of the new light.

      (viii) Now you have both lights located you can change the nav light to a landing light. You will need to change the light type designator as well as the effect used so
      • light.11 = 3, 4.5, 18.75, -0.5, fx_shockwave_navred
      becomes
      • light.11 = 5, 4.5, 18.75, -0.5, fx_shockwave_landing_XX
      where XX is the landing light type you require (look in your 'Effects' folder for all the types available).
    9 ) Sometimes the landing/taxi light is mounted on the nose gear or on the wings of a naval aircraft that has folding wings and this presents a special case as the 3D light effect will remain lit and hovering in space when the gear/wings are raised/folded. To solve this we need to add a line to the panel.cfg file too. Open the panel.cfg file and scroll down until you see the [VCockpit01] section and then add the correct line to the bottom of that section as follows:
    • For Folding Wings
      gaugeXX=shockwave_lights!SW Lights_foldwing, 1,1,1,1 //shockwave light

      where XX is the next available number.

      For Landing Lights
      gaugeXX=shockwave_lights!SW_Lights_gear, 1,1,1,1 //shockwave light

      where XX is the next available number.

      For Taxi Lights
      gaugeXX=shockwave_lights!SW_Lights_taxi_gear, 1,1,1,1 //shockwave light

      where XX is the next available number.
    NOTE:
    PANEL.CFG DEFINITIONS
    • SW Lights_foldwing – Turns off LANDING lights when placed on folding wings and wings are folded
      SW_Lights_gear – Turns off LANDING lights when placed on retractable landing gear and gear is retracted
      SW_Lights_taxi_gear - Turns off TAXI lights when placed on retractable landing gear and gear is retracted
    SW Lights and SW_Lights_taxi are actually not needed since the lights will operate ON or OFF via the AIRCRAFT.CFG entry alone, so disregard these.
Hopefully the above information helps you to position your lights more easily.
Larry
E8400 Core2Duo 3 Ghz, 4 Gb DDR2 PC6400 RAM, GTX460 (1 Gb), Realtek HD O/B audio, XP Pro (SP3)
Saitek X52 HOTAS, Saitek Yoke/Throttle, Saitek Rudder Pedals, TIR 5 Pro, LG 22" WS LCD, B-K Gamer

faultheo
Airman Basic
Posts: 5
Joined: 11 Sep 2008
Location: Perry, LA >> South- USA

Re: Shockwave Light Install

Post faultheo »

I "Thank You " for your reply. I was hoping for a more precise method of doing this; I had a feeling though that this would be a guessing game.. Ok - so this is what this is. I've printed out your directions and I am going to work on an Airbus319 that has no working lights {the person who said he fixed it - can't screw in a light bulb}. I'll get them to work one way or another.
Thank you again for your help.
Later >> TheO 8)

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Tako_Kichi
BDG & A2A
Posts: 2185
Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Location: SW Ontario, Canada (ex-pat Brit)

Re: Shockwave Light Install

Post Tako_Kichi »

Unfortunately it is a guessing game and due to the nature of the sim there is no other way of doing it. However, it does get easier the more you do and you soon get a 'feel' for how far the lights need to be moved. Just remember that all dimensions are in feet and the number groups represent the fore/aft, left/right and up/down axes respectively.

EXAMPLE

light.0 = 3, -0.15, -32.5, 0.66, fx_shockwave_navred

3 = Light Type

-0.15 = Fore/Aft Dimension

-32.5 = Left/Right Dimension

0.66 = Up/Down Dimension

fx_shockwave_navred = Effect Used
Larry
E8400 Core2Duo 3 Ghz, 4 Gb DDR2 PC6400 RAM, GTX460 (1 Gb), Realtek HD O/B audio, XP Pro (SP3)
Saitek X52 HOTAS, Saitek Yoke/Throttle, Saitek Rudder Pedals, TIR 5 Pro, LG 22" WS LCD, B-K Gamer

FlyingAxx
Airman
Posts: 10
Joined: 25 Jan 2011

Re: Shockwave Light Install

Post FlyingAxx »

Larry,

Nice description. However, I do not understand how the sim can react on a gauge that does not exist. If fact, it doesn't for me. After starting to look into it you will find in the shockwave.cab just three gauges that can be addressed in the panel.cfg:

* SW Lights.xml
* SW Lights_foldwing.xml
* SW Lights_gear.xml

The last one might switch off taxi lights in a retractable gear if they are declared to be landing lights (light.nn = 6) in the aircraft.cfg. I think this might be a compromise solution in many cases.

Regards,
Axel

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Tako_Kichi
BDG & A2A
Posts: 2185
Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Location: SW Ontario, Canada (ex-pat Brit)

Re: Shockwave Light Install

Post Tako_Kichi »

Are you sure you applied the v1.2a patch available here.....

http://a2asimulations.com/forum/viewtop ... 32&t=10499

I have five XML gauges in my 'Shockwave_Lights.cab' file.
Larry
E8400 Core2Duo 3 Ghz, 4 Gb DDR2 PC6400 RAM, GTX460 (1 Gb), Realtek HD O/B audio, XP Pro (SP3)
Saitek X52 HOTAS, Saitek Yoke/Throttle, Saitek Rudder Pedals, TIR 5 Pro, LG 22" WS LCD, B-K Gamer

FlyingAxx
Airman
Posts: 10
Joined: 25 Jan 2011

Re: Shockwave Light Install

Post FlyingAxx »

Larry,

Interesting question as Shockwave Lights Megapack have been a Xmas gift - downloaded and installed a month ago. You might agree when you would not expect to need an update being much older, right?.

I just followed your link and will check it during the weekend (it's quite late here now). However, your hint was right I definitely got something outdated. :?

EDIT: Ok, a similar gauge is included as I wrote myself, linked to the position of the left gear (I used the gear handle position). It works in principle the same way and does not solve all cases (like PMDG's Queen in both, FS9 and FSX).

Cheers,
Axel

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