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Starting Engine & Take-Off

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Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby JDH » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:54 pm

I loaded FG a few days ago and have had some grief since then. I suspect it's the pilot... not the program <g>. After lots of reading, I'm still having a hard time starting the engine on the default Cessna. The program keeps reminding me to use the primer, but not being a pilot, I must admit to only vaguely understanding this control. Is the normal position in or out? Is priming a single stroke action, or is one prime a 2-step in and out on the prime knob? Sorry, newby-itus. Yes, I have read about the "cheat" of having the engine running when the program starts, but I'd like to know how to start the engine manually as well.

Here's my second problem: When I can more-or-less accidentally start the engine, and then begin my take-off roll, I experience strong veering to the left. I have calibrated my joystick (ThrustMaster T.16000M FCS) and checked its control functions -- it seems to be fine with all axis's zeroed. When I try to counteract the veering with the twist-control of the rudder, cranked to the right. I can see why I crash. I usually run off the runway, always to the left, and my air speed (more like ground speed!) is always 40 or less -- IOW, not enough to fly. I have read about torque reaction, but I just can't get the knack. I have flown in small Cessnas numerous times, always as a passenger, but I don't recall seeing my pilot friend ever having so much trouble fighting torque. Furthermore, with other flight sims, I can just nail the throttle and lift off with almost no control input at all (of course maybe these have woefully inaccurate flight modeling?).

As an aside, every time I go to calibrate my joystick, the program has not remembered my model. It always comes up with "Interlink Elite". I then reset it to "T.16000M" and seems to stay that way for the duration of a session. Next time, same thing. Is there a way to get FG to remember my controller?

Lots of words... sorry. I hope the answers are simple <g>.
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby wkitty42 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:28 pm

firstly, welcome to FlightGear!

the last time i checked the c172p, you had to click the primer twice... once to pull it out and once to push it in... the pull effectively sucks fuel into a reservoir and the push pushes it into the fuel chamber... the normal position for the primer is in so you don't get things caught on it and maybe bend or break it... i think the process has been changed to one click that does both the pull and push... that would be in the newer c172p when it is available the next time...

the strong veering left is a factor of the craft's engine spinning and the effect of the prop wash spinning and pushing on the craft's surfaces... this is normal in propeller driven craft... those with an engine that spins in the opposite direction from the c172p will veer to the right instead... so basically, when you are starting your roll, you do physically have to steer right to stay on the runway... as you go faster, you can reduce the amount of right steering you are applying... once you get airborne, it is a lot easier but it is still there... this is where trimming the craft comes in handy...

on your joystick, it sounds like it is a "T.16000M" but it is identifying itself as the "Interlink Elite"... that's because they changed the name in the ID section... FG simply asks the OS what the device is and then goes with what it is told... so, what you can do is to edit the file and add "Interlink Elite" to the list of IDs the devices is known to be... then it should "stick" for you... there have been discussions on editing the joystick files... hopefully a search will find them easily for you... that or maybe someone else will pop in with a more direct link to them... it is possible that there may even be something on the wiki about it ;)
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"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby legoboyvdlp » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:56 pm

JDH wrote in Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:54 pm:I loaded FG a few days ago and have had some grief since then. I suspect it's the pilot... not the program <g>. After lots of reading, I'm still having a hard time starting the engine on the default Cessna. The program keeps reminding me to use the primer, but not being a pilot, I must admit to only vaguely understanding this control. Is the normal position in or out? Is priming a single stroke action, or is one prime a 2-step in and out on the prime knob? Sorry, newby-itus. Yes, I have read about the "cheat" of having the engine running when the program starts, but I'd like to know how to start the engine manually as well.


You pull the knob out, then push it in. Repeat that in-out three or four times, then finally push the knob back in (and not simulated yet -> lock the knob)

JDH wrote in Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:54 pm:Here's my second problem: When I can more-or-less accidentally start the engine, and then begin my take-off roll, I experience strong veering to the left. I have calibrated my joystick (ThrustMaster T.16000M FCS) and checked its control functions -- it seems to be fine with all axis's zeroed. When I try to counteract the veering with the twist-control of the rudder, cranked to the right. I can see why I crash. I usually run off the runway, always to the left, and my air speed (more like ground speed!) is always 40 or less -- IOW, not enough to fly. I have read about torque reaction, but I just can't get the knack. I have flown in small Cessnas numerous times, always as a passenger, but I don't recall seeing my pilot friend ever having so much trouble fighting torque. Furthermore, with other flight sims, I can just nail the throttle and lift off with almost no control input at all (of course maybe these have woefully inaccurate flight modeling?).

Yep, it's a bit strong. In the next version of the c172 it is corrected - just waiting for the next release of FlightGear. You can get it at github.com/c172p-team/c172p if you want to get it already.
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby ludomotico » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:46 pm

In order to start an engine, you need fuel in the carburator. Modern engines have fanzy electrical pumps or an electronic injector or something alike. The good old c172p engine needs injecting the fuel to the carburator manually. Pull the pump ("the primer"), push the pump. Pull the pump, push the pump. Pull the pump, push the pump. Too few fuel and the engine won't start. Too much fuel and the engine will be flooded and won't start. On a real c172p, you'll notice you need a considerable amount of force to push the primer when it is ready, but this cannot be simulated in a PC . If I remember correcly, the rigth number in FlightGear is between 2 and 5.

(If the engine is still hot, i.e., it was stopped less than an hour ago, there is already enough fuel in the engine and the primer is not needed. I can't remember if this is simulated)
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby JDH » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:53 pm

Thanks to all for the detailed explanation of the primer control. Armed with this knowledge, I'm sure starting the engine will be easier for me next time.

As for the joystick identification problem, every time I open the calibration screen, there are always 2 joysticks to choose from. The default seems to be the "Interlink Elite" . I can see from the pathing shown that the program is pulling this joystick from its own files. My Thrustmaster stick is in the list as well, but it's XML description file is placed in a Windows 10 folder (under Doc & Settings) which the program ignores. So I always have to overrule the program and select my actual joystick. I have no clue about to how to fix this.

Finally, I have found the most major problem of all -- I simply cannot figure out how to calibrate the elevators. I have them assigned to the correct forward-backward aspect of the joystick, and the up-down sense is correct. And when in the cal screen with the stick at dead center, the elevator deflection indicator reads 0.00, as it should (in fact, all the controls read 0.00). However I finally figured out how to get into chase mode, tried to take off, and found that the elevators are in the full up position. The best I can do to fight this is to pudh the stick fully forward -- and even then, the elevators barely get to their straight and level default position. So almost always I get the same thing on take-off: as soon as my speed gets up to 30-40 or so, the nose pops up, the tail drops down and scrapes the runway (my, what a wonderful scraping sound that makes!). So I tried sitting on the ground while in chase view mode, the engine idling, and played for quite a while with the elevator trim, but I just couldn't sort this out. BTW, I began to worry about my joystick hardware, so I found another flight sim and tried that. The elevators (and all the other control surfaces) work as expected in this other software. Once again, I'm stuck!
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby wkitty42 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:41 pm

i just ran a search for "Interlink Elite" and seeing it, i have to ask if you have more than one controller plugged into your system when you are running flightgear? earlier i had written that maybe it was another name for the thrustmaster but apparently it is not... from your description, it sounded like it was a rebadged thrustmaster... if you have another controller plugged in, unplug it and see if you have the same problems... in fact, see if maybe it has control over the surfaces as you described...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby JDH » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:59 pm

>> I just ran a search for "Interlink Elite" and seeing it, i have to ask if you have more than one controller plugged into your system when you are running flightgear? <<

Okay, now I feel like a dunce <G>. Yes, I do have another controller plugged in, but it is not a joystick per se -- it is a replica of an Radio Control transmitter for an RC sim (two control sticks, etc.). I would never have suspected that this could be seen by FG. I thought it was a totally custom controller for the other program, not general purpose in any way. Also, I didn't at all recognize the name "Interlink Elite" since the RC sim is called "Real Flight" (BTW, this controller has not been used in awhile, but I'm getting ready to install their latest software).

I really do not want to have to plug and unplug each controller since once I get the newest Real Flight installed, I want to go back and forth between the two programs at will. I wonder if there's a way to have FG disregard this other input device?
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby JDH » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:35 pm

I just installed the newer Cessna 172 version as was mentioned earlier: github.com/c172p-team/c172p. I had hoped that this might fix my elevator centering problem, but no such luck. Still the same -- even though all control surfaces show being centered perfectly (0.00) on the joystick calibration screen, my elevators are in the full up position when I start the sim. Any fix for this?
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby wkitty42 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:13 pm

have you unplugged that other controller? you cannot fix conflicting controllers without removing one of them or without being able to specify which one to use... FG does not offer a user setting like seen in some games where you can choose which controller to use and ignore others... however it may be possible to force this by setting a property... that will take more research, though, and there's no guarantee that it will work... for now, read on and see if the below solution works for you...

i'm envisioning this problem being like having two mice plugged in... when you move one, it grabs the pointer and moves it... if someone else moves the other mouse then it grabs the pointer and moves it... at some point, one has to be left alone and not provide any input at all...

so with your two controllers in place, it would appear that the radio controller levers and knobs are not centered so they are being used to set the surfaces before the joystick gets it OR that controller is being read all the time and used along with the joystick... the only thing i can think of would be to remove (aka rename) the file with the radio controller information in it... this way FG shouldn't see it and shouldn't use it...

eg: rename Joysticks/InterLink/interlink-elite.xml Joysticks/InterLink/interlink-elite.xml.hide

the file is in your %FGDATA% directory where ever that's located on your system... i don't know how the install on winwhatever looks...





FWIW: having two controller like you do, you might be able to use them together to fly some of FG's helicopters... but not if you hide the above file from FG...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby JDH » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:08 pm

Bear in mind that FG shows both controllers, and I always pick the Thrustmaster, so I never considered that there might be a conflict as you have outlined. However I now see your reasoning, so I look forward to trying some experiments. It's quite an undertaking to get to the back of the computer to actually unplug the "Elite" controller. However I can certainly run FG in chase plane mode, get out the Elite controller, and see if I can deflect any of the control surfaces using it. Likewise on changing the name to something like *.hide in the appropriate FG folder. Let me try these things and report back.....
Last edited by bugman on Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Please do not quote the entire previous post.
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby JDH » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:31 pm

Okay, I did some tests as regards my two controllers which might be in conflict. Answer: Yes, they are!

So I tried a number of things, but I'm still a bit shaky on understanding what I found........

First, I found that the RC sim controller -- the "Interlink-Elite" -- will control the Cessna in FG no matter which of my two controllers is chosen in FG! I did not expect that....

So next I looked at the pathing information shown under Joystick Calibration to see where the program was finding the XML files. When the Thrustmaster Joystick is selected in FG (the "T16000M"), the program shows: C:/Users/{username}/AppData/Roaming/flightgear.org/Input/Joysticks/T16000M.xml. This is more or less what was suggested here.

If I select the radio control sim controller ("Interlink-Elite"), the path shown is: C:/Program Files/FlightGear 2018.2.2/data/Input/Joysticks/Default/joystick.xml. This surprised me due to its location (not under Doc&Settings nor under Users), but also since it is inexplicit -- it just says "joystick.xml". When I inspected this folder on the HDD, I found 3 files there: four-axis-joystick.xml, joypad.xml, and joystick.xml.

Then I did some HDD searching. When I searched for the file "T16000M.xml", I found it in two places:
C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2018.2.2\data\Input\Joysticks\Thrustmaster\T16000M.xml
C:/Users/{username}/AppData/Roaming/flightgear.org/Input/Joysticks/T160000M.xml

When I searched for "interlink-elite.xml", I found it in only one location:
C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2018.2.2\data\Input\Joysticks\InterLink\interlink-elite.xml

So the FG program seems to show that it is finding the Interlink controller via one entry under C:\Program Files, however there is another explicit location nearby that, one the program does not seem to use..... (although I can't say this for certain).

So even though the FG program indicates that this might not work, I tried renaming the file as was suggested -- to this: C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2018.2.2\data\Input\Joysticks\InterLink\interlink-elite.xml.HIDE

Lo and behold, the elevators were in normal zeroed position, and the RC sim controller no longer had any effect on the control surfaces. Great! Except when I next looked at the joystick cal screen in FG, both controllers are still listed there -- just as before. And the FG program always still starts with the Elite controller selected. So it seemed that I must always reset the Joystick selection to the Thrustmaster before flying. Phooey! But wait.....

On one occasion I just happened to forget to make this joystick change -- I began to try to take off with the wrong joystick in play. It was then that I found out that it now doesn't matter which stick I choose -- with either one, only the desired Thrustmaster seems to work! More effort is needed to fully prove this in all respects -- for instance, will all the buttons on the Thrustmaster stick retain their settings even if the "wrong" controller is selected? Maybe I have tweaked thing wrongly, maybe rightly -- I sure don't know yet. Any thoughts or suggestions on how to improve things?
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby AndersG » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:11 pm

There is a "standard" way to make FG ignore a specifically named device which is used to ignore laptop accelerometer sensors that look like joysticks to the system.

That's by adding a <name>-tag with the device name (as reported by the system) in
$FGData/Input/Joysticks/Accelerometers/accelerometers.xml

and, possibly, remove the matching name tag from whatever other joystick binding file it might occur in.

Alternatively, you could just make sure that the <name> element (only) occurs in an empty joystick binding file (which is what accelerometers.xml is):

Code: Select all
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<PropertyList>
 <name>...</name>
</PropertyList>
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby JDH » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:07 pm

AndersG wrote in Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:11 pm:There is a "standard" way to make FG ignore a specifically named device which is used to ignore laptop accelerometer sensors that look like joysticks to the system.

That's by adding a <name>-tag with the device name (as reported by the system) in
$FGData/Input/Joysticks/Accelerometers/accelerometers.xml

and, possibly, remove the matching name tag from whatever other joystick binding file it might occur in.

Alternatively, you could just make sure that the <name> element (only) occurs in an empty joystick binding file (which is what accelerometers.xml is):

Code: Select all
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<PropertyList>
 <name>...</name>
</PropertyList>


I only partially understood your suggestion -- sorry. Maybe you can rephrase those instructions using my specific paths and files? If this is too much trouble, no problem, I will understand.

Rephrasing my own words..... I have found 2 files referencing my desired joystick ("T16000M.xml"):
C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2018.2.2\data\Input\Joysticks\Thrustmaster\T16000M.xml
C:/Users/{username}/AppData/Roaming/flightgear.org/Input/Joysticks/T160000M.xml

The file shown in the FG Calibration screen for the above controller is the 2nd file listed, the one under C:\Users.... However I presume that both of these files can stay as they are.

When searching for the undesired controller ("Interlink-Elite"), I found just one XML file:
C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2018.2.2\data\Input\Joysticks\InterLink\interlink-elite.xml

I expected to find this under C:\Users..., but no such file was found. So regardless of location, I changed the filename to "interlink-elite.xml.HIDE", and this partially helped.

I simply do not get why the file shown by FG for the above controller in the calibration screen is:
C:/Program Files/FlightGear 2018.2.2/data/Input/Joysticks/Default/joystick.xml.

The above is a small file (about 1.7k) and its contents seem to be completely generic -- it has no references to the Interlink controller (nor to any others).

How FG finds my Interlink controller at all is beyond me, and why it points to a generic file seems odd.

If you believe that all of the above is of no importance, just disregard all this message and maybe try to be more explicit about your suggestions. What I'd love to see is that FG finds just my proper joystick (yet the other one - the "Elite..." controller is still available to the other program, the RC sim). Thanks!
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby wkitty42 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:39 am

JDH wrote in Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:07 pm:Rephrasing my own words..... I have found 2 files referencing my desired joystick ("T16000M.xml"):
C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2018.2.2\data\Input\Joysticks\Thrustmaster\T16000M.xml
C:/Users/{username}/AppData/Roaming/flightgear.org/Input/Joysticks/T160000M.xml

these two are OK... the first one is the default one that is used for the T160000M... IF you make any changes to button or axis assignments, then the second one is the one used... it is the first one copied and then altered with the new assignments... it is stored in your user directory because you can't write to the program's data directory but you can write to your user directory...

JDH wrote in Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:07 pm:When searching for the undesired controller ("Interlink-Elite"), I found just one XML file:
C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2018.2.2\data\Input\Joysticks\InterLink\interlink-elite.xml

this one you should be able to rename as i suggested OR you can do as anders suggested... the problem is that you will need admin permissions to rename it or to edit it...

BUT what i think anders was suggesting is for you to create a file, C:/Users/{username}/AppData/Roaming/flightgear.org/Input\Joysticks\InterLink\interlink-elite.xml and just leave it empty other than putting your controller's name in the <name> tags... this way FG will find it in your user directory and not really be able to do anything with it other than matching the device to it and then not bind any of the buttons or axis...

Code: Select all
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<PropertyList>
 <name>InterLink Elite</name>
</PropertyList>

just make sure you get that name right... look at your T160000M.xml file and see how the name is listed in there and then so the interlink one the same way... all you want in the file is the name...

JDH wrote in Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:07 pm:I simply do not get why the file shown by FG for the above controller in the calibration screen is:
C:/Program Files/FlightGear 2018.2.2/data/Input/Joysticks/Default/joystick.xml.
[...]
How FG finds my Interlink controller at all is beyond me, and why it points to a generic file seems odd.

because FG probes your hardware when it starts... it finds that controller listed in the OS response to its query... i'm guessing it selects the generic file because there's no other file that fits it... some folks actually use those types of controllers with their FG instead of joysticks or yoke and pedal setups...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Starting Engine & Take-Off

Postby JDH » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:11 pm

I have already renamed this file:

C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2018.2.2\data\Input\Joysticks\InterLink\interlink-elite.xml
to:
C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2018.2.2\data\Input\Joysticks\InterLink\interlink-elite.xml.HIDE

Would implementing the second idea (creating an XML file which is almost empty inside) afford me any additional benefit(s)?

If so, I found this inside the current XML file for the Elite controller (found in another folder):

<?xml version="1.0"?>
-- Many other lines under "InterLink Elite Controller Bindings" --
Then:
<PropertyList>
<name>GREAT PLANES InterLink Elite</name>
<name>InterLink Elite</name>

Therefore in the new version of this file, delete everything except retain these lines:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<PropertyList>
<name>GREAT PLANES InterLink Elite</name>
<name>InterLink Elite</name>

Note I have left two name lines in the file since these are there now. Okay, or delete one of the <name> lines? Just want to get this right!
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