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Retrieve Mode C and TX status


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Hi,

I am wondering if there is a way to retrieve the Mode C and TX status using the plugin system or another way? I looked through the IBroker interface but did not see any way to GET the status, only to set it, which I already have working. If not, could you possibly add it to your feature request list? Would these always match the SB data area in SimConnect  and/or the FSUIPC offsets for SB?

Much appreciated,

James

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Well by experimenting I have eliminated one option: FSUIPC. And I found an old post you mentioned the SimConnect data that you support, so that eliminates that. I guess my only hope is you adding it someday to the plugin architecture.

James

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1 hour ago, Ross Carlson said:

You should be able to get the ModeC status by reading either the client data area or FSUIPC offsets. Is that not working?

Hi Ross, 

It appears to be the only one that does work. The critical one for me is TX status. 
 

James

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37 minutes ago, James Price said:

Hi Ross, 

It appears to be the only one that does work. The critical one for me is TX status. 
 

James

Yeah, I only update the transponder data (mode C and ident) and the connected/running booleans. I don't update any of the voice-related stuff. That's mainly because all the voice stuff can be running on a remote computer.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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I can't read the offsets in that pic, but I imagine you have it right. I'm a Sim-A user also, by the way. :D

When I said it worked for me, I was referring to setting the values in the SimConnect client data area (CDA). My understanding is that FSUIPC copies changes from the CDA to FSUIPC offsets and vice-versa, but maybe that's not the case. Maybe it only copies them from FSUIPC to the CDA and not back again. I'll fire up my sim and check and get back to you.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Ok, no problem. I was using 7B80. I got a bit overzealous shrinking the pic I guess LOL, sorry.

I love SA, best suite I've ever used. Mine is the MAX and a bit customized 😉 I have found however that the SB stuff for the transponder is unreliable. I don't believe it is SA, as Prosim has the same problem where mode C is hit n miss. I am going to program my own interface via the vPilot plugin I wrote but Mark has to fix his SB checkbox interface as it does not persist between runs. I can't turn it off!

Do you have any plans to update vPilot? Just curious...

James

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I haven't had any issues with the squawkbox integration in either ProSim or Sim-A, so it's probably something with your hardware, right? I use JetMax 777 hardware, including their transponder, and it works fine for switching the mode as well as for triggering ident.

I do plan to update vPilot, yes.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Hi Ross,

So, feature request for a future version: A way to disable vPilot's using the SB data area in SimConnect, either via a plugin or ini setting, so that a plugin can control the TXPDR modes, mode c, etc, via a plugin. As it stands now some of them get overwritten by, I'm assuming, the SB data. This way I can interface with my OEM radios more reliably.

No need to reply, just throwing it out there...

James

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You can already control the transponder via a plugin. If this isn't working for you, then there is probably something else in your setup that is overriding any value that you set via the plugin. I know that if I try to change the Mode C setting via a plugin (or just by clicking the Mode C toggle button on the vPilot window) then it immediately toggles back to the previous setting, because SimA is constantly setting the offset based on the position of the transponder mode switch in my hardware.

So, unless I'm missing something, I think you just need to figure out what part of your setup is overriding the value that you set via the plugin.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Yes, exactly. I do control the transponder via my plugin, my exact point was that it gets overridden by the SB data area since SA is sending that data. If I turn off the SB data sending in SA then all is ok, problem is the checkbox in SA for disabling this has a bug where it resets to checked after a restart of SA. Also, there is no way I know of to turn off the transponder interface to SB in Prosim when using an internally supported FDS transponder. So, I thought if your app could simply ignore that data then there would be no conflict. Again, not a huge deal for me, as I can untick the "Send TPDR to SB" setting in SA every time I start it, problem is remembering! I've told Mark about the bug, but no idea if it will get fixed or when. As for my friend who uses Prosim (and my plugin) there is no such option that I am aware of.

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Ahh, the full details are helpful.

I can't say that I'm likely to add such a feature. I'm not fond of cluttering my code with workarounds for bugs or lack of features in other people's software. :) I'll add it to the wishlist, though. The way I might handle it is to add a property to the plugin that tells the broker that the plugin wishes to take exclusive control of the transponder.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Well, the SA part I'm sure will be fixed at some point and I agree with you completely regarding workarounds, I was looking beyond that though more towards not being reliant on very old technology in regards to SB. I would think any simmer using custom hardware would surely prefer to interact directly instead of hardware-to-software suite-to-FSUIPC-to-SimConnect-to-vPilot. Surely seems more efficient going direct, but hey that's just me. It's your gig and I certainly won't make any demands, these are simply ideas. I mean another good setting is the modern OFF/AUTO/ON settings in many transponders these days. Your app already does this in a fashion of course, but it requires that it's either on or off, instead of determined by hardware. A property in the plugin would be ideal, and that way anyone who doesn't want the functionality doesn't have to be bothered by another setting. Again, just throwing ideas out in case you want to expand the software. Feel free to tell me to stop 😉

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1 hour ago, James Price said:

I would think any simmer using custom hardware would surely prefer to interact directly instead of hardware-to-software suite-to-FSUIPC-to-SimConnect-to-vPilot.

Most simmers don't write vPilot plugins, though.

It's actually a good thing to have FSUIPC as the middle man, because it's so pervasive. The SquawkBox transponder offsets have become the de facto standard and they have thus gained widespread adoption among aircraft and avionics developers. The benefit of having the middle man as the "single source of truth" for the transponder mode value and ident trigger is that anyone can control or react to changes to the values, such as a transponder gauge. If you were to go direct, you'd have to write a vPilot plugin, and then it only works for vPilot, not any other software like the aforementioned transponder gauge, other VATSIM clients, clients for other networks, etc.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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36 minutes ago, James Price said:

Point well taken. I shall cease and desist. 
Thanks again for the cool app... 👍🏻

James

Ideas are always welcome. And I'm not saying I wouldn't add the option you suggested ... I'm just responding to your comment about going direct being more efficient.

Edited by Ross Carlson

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Hi Ross,

Working a theory here about the intermittent behavior of the TPDR and could use your expert help, as I am not intimately familiar with the SB data area in SimConnect. 
If FS, Prosim, and vPilot are running and then FS only is closed and restarted, would that void the SB data area memory and cause a disconnect unless vPilot was restarted? Or does vPilot reconnect to SimConnect automagically? Same for Prosim? 
Thanks for any insight. 
James

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