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Suggestion: option to have a random switch out of position at cold and dark

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    Suggestion: option to have a random switch out of position at cold and dark

    I thought it might be a nice idea to have the option (probably in the Failures menu) to have 0/1/ 2 random cockpit switches in a random position at cold and dark. It could represent the previous pilot accidentally omitting something from their shutdown checklist, something being knocked by cleaning, etc. By random nature, if it happens then most times it would be something trivial but very occasionally maybe something meaningful.

    I think this would give more realism and meaning to running the preflight checks in their entirety. At the moment I (usually) do them, but it is a bit less fun because in the back of my mind I know that these switches will ALWAYS be in the same correct position and could really be skipped, which is a shame given the depth of simulation behind each and every switch in a PMDG aircraft. What do you think ?
    Filippo Athleti

    #2
    Originally posted by PippoAthleti View Post
    I think this would give more realism and meaning to running the preflight checks in their entirety. At the moment I (usually) do them, but it is a bit less fun because in the back of my mind I know that these switches will ALWAYS be in the same correct position and could really be skipped, which is a shame given the depth of simulation behind each and every switch in a PMDG aircraft. What do you think ?
    My thoughts exactly. It's really kind of pointless to do all these checks when nothing will be out of the ordinary. This is also the reason why I fly with service-based failures enabled; even though it's not likely something is going to fail, the mere non-zero chance of it happening makes it more exciting.

    Now, as for the preflight scenario, a solution could be devised in quite a simple way, outside of the failure menu. A lot of variables relating to the state of certain systems, position of the switches, etc. are stored in the panel state .SAV file, like here:
    Code:
    [BleedAirSystem.0]
    Recirc Fan Switch L=1
    Recirc Fan Switch R=1
    Pack Switch L=0
    Pack Switch R=0
    Bleed Air Switch L=1
    Bleed Air Switch R=1
    APU Bleed Air Switch=1
    Isolation Valve Switch=2
    All it would take is a script that changes some of the variables to another value (i.e., 0 or 1 in many instances) with a certain probability, which you would run before loading a flight. Maybe some of our 737 drivers ( Aeromar , Emi) can tell us what switches they have found in the incorrect position most often – that would certainly be helpful to create a realistic scenario.

    Comment


    • Swaluver88
      Swaluver88 commented
      Editing a comment
      They probably have seen tons. But there is a reason checklists are around so things like this doesn't happen. However if you know the industry you know it's all variables lol

      I've been saving panel states from my last flight just so that way it's not like a brand new panel state and it's already been flown a couple times etc.

    • alex305v
      alex305v commented
      Editing a comment
      I can tell you that is more often than you can imagine. I see pilots leave the IRS aligned, window heat on, hydraulic pumps on, emergency lights armed...

    #3
    It may not be necessary for PMDG to devote any time to this. Once they are able to take the laser focus off of the 737 for MSFS products, they may be able to start putting a little bit more time into GFO and getting that project rolling along again. When GFO comes out (if you choose to use it), you will absolutely have to do your full preflight checks because you will be getting the aircraft in the same state that some other pilot left it. You'll never be sure about the position of the switches unless you verify them yourself.
    Tim Lincoln
    My YouTube Channel

    Comment


    • Mad_X
      Mad_X commented
      Editing a comment
      This must not be tied to GFO but I fear it will. I do not need GFO but I hate that features that other have implemented are purposefully hold back (ACARS, CPDLC, the random swithces etc.) in order to promote it. I do not need it. I want my set of liveries that I got from the painters I know are accurate down to the rivets, and I log my flights elsewhere.

    #4
    I recall that there was a user-created app that did this for one of the older PMDG 744s. As I recall you would run the app prior to starting up MSFS and it would generate a custom cold and dark state config file with some switches out of place, which you would drop into your PMDG folder, and then load it from the FMC. The app allowed you to set the parameters, ranging from a couple of switches, all the way to something ridiculous, .As I recall the extreme setting created a scenario resembling what would happen if you locked a toddler and a monkey together on the flight deck for about 20 minutes. After that, preflight became something akin to working a jigsaw puzzle.
    Andrew Jones

    Comment


      #5
      Great ideas! Yes, if the community can create this without stealing PMDG Dev time then even better.

      ​​​​​​Also I was not aware of the GFO plans, I have read a bit now and sounds very interesting 😀
      Filippo Athleti

      Comment


        #6
        Originally posted by StachM View Post

        My thoughts exactly. It's really kind of pointless to do all these checks when nothing will be out of the ordinary. This is also the reason why I fly with service-based failures enabled; even though it's not likely something is going to fail, the mere non-zero chance of it happening makes it more exciting.

        Now, as for the preflight scenario, a solution could be devised in quite a simple way, outside of the failure menu. A lot of variables relating to the state of certain systems, position of the switches, etc. are stored in the panel state .SAV file, like here:
        Code:
        [BleedAirSystem.0]
        Recirc Fan Switch L=1
        Recirc Fan Switch R=1
        Pack Switch L=0
        Pack Switch R=0
        Bleed Air Switch L=1
        Bleed Air Switch R=1
        APU Bleed Air Switch=1
        Isolation Valve Switch=2
        All it would take is a script that changes some of the variables to another value (i.e., 0 or 1 in many instances) with a certain probability, which you would run before loading a flight. Maybe some of our 737 drivers ( Aeromar , Emi) can tell us what switches they have found in the incorrect position most often – that would certainly be helpful to create a realistic scenario.
        I know some basic python and would probably be able to cobble something together to do this. However if other users wanted to run it it would require them to have python installed, or alternatively I could package it into a .exe using pyinstaller but then the source code would not be visible. Alternatively I could make a folder of 100 different "cold and dark random mistake" state files and then users could drag and drop one at random into their PMDG state folder and load it in the sim, so nothing to run on client side. But maybe a proper dev would have a better idea !

        I agree, if any real 737 pilot Aeromar Emi could suggest switches that could be out of place (even just a typed text list, roughly ordered from most common to very rare) would make it more realistic.
        Filippo Athleti

        Comment


        • StachM
          StachM commented
          Editing a comment
          I'll definitely take a closer look at it. Sounds like a nice summer project to take on.

        #7
        Things I've found fairly regularly. Crew are unlikely to leave switches in wrong positions but engineers often do.

        -Stab trim full forward (windy days)
        -Pressurization mode selector in manual (scary, but catched by checklist).
        -Recirculation fans off (not so scary, but not catched specifically by a checklist item other than "air conditioning and pressurization").
        -Engine driven hydraulic pumps off.
        -Cabin Utility/IFE Galley power off (Cabin crew would notice as soon as you get to the airplane).
        -Weather radar switches not in a standard position.

        When you're confortable in a type, a quick glance at any panel is enough to immediately spot something that is out of place provided you're not in a moment of very high workload.
        Last edited by Aeromar; 22May2022, 20:42.
        Omar Josef
        737 FO
        757/767 rated
        Spain

        Comment


          #8
          Thank you Omar! I have made a script that randomly throws in 0-2 of your common ones and then 0-1 of some other random ones I made, and generates a RandomColdDark.SAV file that I drop in my PMDG folder, and it is set as my default aircraft startup state. This will keep me on my toes on my startups 🙂

          I have not been able to do the Trim because when I load my custom state, whilst the custom forward trim is shown when I hover over the trim wheel, the trim wheel and indicator itself remains at default position, so it is no good for visual inspection. The trim then jumps to the correct state position if I interact with the trim wheel at all. I guess this is a bug with the state saving/loading, or a limitation of MSFS.

          If others are interested in this too I will try to think of the best way to share. Thanks again !
          Last edited by PippoAthleti; 24May2022, 13:08.
          Filippo Athleti

          Comment


            #9
            Guys.....you are missing the one perfect way to ensure a jumbled cockpit scenario before a flight:

            1.Let your 2 year old sit at your keyboard, mouse and flight controls for 5 minutes unattended before each flight. EDIT: Oh yeah...tell him in a very stern voice NOT to touch anything.
            2 Borrow your neighbor's 2 year old and apply method 1. 🤣
            Regards, Steve Dra
            Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
            Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

            Comment


            • Mad_X
              Mad_X commented
              Editing a comment
              If I do that I do not have to worry about my flightsim anymore, I need to worry about calling the fire brigade.

            #10
            I'd be interested in taking a look at this, I've messed around with both Python and C#/WinForms so could possibly cook something up requiring .NET 5 which should be available (at least Win 10+).

            If anyone else is working on it then absolutely fine but please let me know if this is something you'd like me to look at. Off work the next few days so can do it during cruise
            Andrew Curry BAW867

            Comment


              #11
              Hi Andrew, before I saw your message I have actually turned my script into a rough and ready web app, to avoid people having to install anything. But please don't let that stop you making something more advanced if you were planning it - Otherwise please let me know if any comments or suggestions:

              https://randomcd.eu.pythonanywhere.com/
              Filippo Athleti

              Comment


                #12
                Originally posted by PippoAthleti View Post
                Hi Andrew, before I saw your message I have actually turned my script into a rough and ready web app, to avoid people having to install anything. But please don't let that stop you making something more advanced if you were planning it - Otherwise please let me know if any comments or suggestions:

                https://randomcd.eu.pythonanywhere.com/
                All I had envisioned (in the broad strokes) was a Windows .exe that would check that a) it was in the correct folder (community) and if not inform the user that it needed to be in that location, b) if the random panel .sav file already existed (and remove if so) then copy the COLDDARK.sav as a template c) randomise some of the values based on the above suggestions and save the randpanel.sav file. In that way the randpanel.sav could be saved as the default startup file.

                So essentially very similar to your script but with a little extra checking etc. Essentially press one button and it does it all for you.
                Working on it as we speak - will have a test version ready asap.
                Andrew Curry BAW867

                Comment


                  #13
                  Ok I've got the guts of it working with the first option (Eng Pump Switch A)
                  Essentially for each option it generates a random number (0-100). If the number is greater than 70 the value is changed, if not it moves onto the next option.
                  I could make the probability as a sliding scale so you could set your own threshold for the random number generator.

                  The rest of it should be straightforward copy/paste but I'm going to grab some sleep first
                  Andrew Curry BAW867

                  Comment


                    #14
                    The reality is that any switch in the cockpit could plausibly be out of position if mx has been playing with the airplane. As a crew arriving at a new aircraft, you may not know that they've been there at all, or what they've done, unless it's documented in the logbook. Any actual maintenence certainly will be, but systems testing, crew precautionary inspections, training, and even maintenance taxis / runups, or tows, won't be in the book.

                    It's plausible that any of these folks could have moved almost anything, intentionally or otherwise.
                    Andrew Crowley

                    Comment


                      #15
                      Making good progress this morning. Will aim to have a test version available in the next few hours.
                      Andrew Curry BAW867

                      Comment


                        #16
                        Test version available at the link below (ZIP file shared from my OneDrive).
                        MD5 hash: 48A2E4B188F53E106333679C8E74029E

                        Installation
                        Download the archive from the following link:
                        https://1drv.ms/u/s!AiPksbwkr--zhv1H..._L-XQ?e=3giRmm

                        Unzip the archive into your community folder. The EXE MUST reside in a subfolder i.e. Community\PMDG Randomiser (name is irrelevant but it must be in a subfolder of Community). If the EXE is in the wrong place you will be prompted as such when you click the "Randomise" button.

                        Once randomisation is complete (is practically immediate) you can close the EXE and load the sim. Once in sim load the "RandPanel.sav" panel state.

                        Features
                        This version has the following features:
                        a) EXE will check that it is located in the correct folder - user will be advised if not
                        b) Check for existence of the COLDANDDARK.sav panel state and copy this to a new panel state file "RandPanel.sav"
                        c) Randomise the following settings:

                        Eng Pump Switch A
                        Eng Pump Switch B
                        GALLEY Switch
                        Recirc Fan Switch L
                        Recirc Fan Switch R
                        Cabin Press Mode Selector
                        Bleed Air Switch L
                        Bleed Air Switch R
                        APU Bleed Air Switch
                        L Wiper Control
                        R Wiper Control
                        Pack Switch L
                        Pack Switch R
                        Left Inbd DU Brightness
                        Left Inbd DU Inner Brightness

                        For each item the EXE generates a random number between 1 and 100. If the number is greater than 70 the item state is switched.

                        Once in the sim RandPanel can be loaded as the panel state (and even set as the default).

                        Future plans
                        a) Obtain feedback from fellow pilots and troubleshoot any issues
                        b) Include a sliding scale from 1-100 so the user can set their own probability threshold for items changing
                        c) Include tickboxes to set fuel and payload to very low quantities
                        d) Include other items to be randomised
                        Andrew Curry BAW867

                        Comment


                          #17
                          Ok just one thing. Don't get too crazy with this either. Maybe 3% of the times I find switches in the wrong position. The majority of the times I arrive to a cold and dark airplane, the switches are where they need to be.
                          Omar Josef
                          737 FO
                          757/767 rated
                          Spain

                          Comment


                            #18
                            Just getting my head around the panel relationships since there are two locations where panel files can be found:

                            Community\pmdg-aircraft-737\Config\PanelState
                            %userprofile%\appdata\local\packages\Microsoft.Fli ghtSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\packages\pmd g-aircraft-737\work\PanelState\

                            The panel state loaded seems to come from the second folder and any that exist within Community are copied when the sim is loaded. Subsequent changes to the panel file within Community are not reflected until the sim is loaded again.
                            Andrew Curry BAW867

                            Comment


                              #19
                              I honestly don't understand why this isn't a standard feature for for all study level aircraft. To add something like this would surely be very little work if it was on the design board at development stage; its essentially just adding in a random number generator.

                              Doing the full checklist procedure does become tedious after a while when you know for certain that every switch will be in the correct position.
                              Last edited by Blood_Monarch; 26May2022, 11:57.
                              Mike Cannon

                              Comment


                                #20
                                Originally posted by ace2029 View Post
                                Just getting my head around the panel relationships since there are two locations where panel files can be found:

                                Community\pmdg-aircraft-737\Config\PanelState
                                %userprofile%\appdata\local\packages\Microsoft.Fli ghtSimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\packages\pmd g-aircraft-737\work\PanelState\

                                The panel state loaded seems to come from the second folder and any that exist within Community are copied when the sim is loaded. Subsequent changes to the panel file within Community are not reflected until the sim is loaded again.
                                Yes I had been using just the second folder as that was what was mentioned in the manual. I'm not sure what the differences are. Maybe the Community is intended to be the unedited default states and the Work folder is for user edits?
                                Filippo Athleti

                                Comment


                                  #21
                                  The mod has been updated and submitted to Flightsim.to for approval. Once verified I'll post the link here.
                                  This is the first mod I've created for the community so would appreciate likes/comments etc - it'd also be gratifying to know that others are getting use out of my work
                                  Andrew Curry BAW867

                                  Comment


                                    #22
                                    https://flightsim.to/file/33887/pmdg...nel-randomiser
                                    Andrew Curry BAW867

                                    Comment


                                      #23
                                      I will be downloading this and using it .....excellent work ...thanks Andrew
                                      Mike Cannon

                                      Comment


                                        #24
                                        Originally posted by Blood_Monarch View Post
                                        I will be downloading this and using it .....excellent work ...thanks Andrew
                                        Glad to hear - my pleasure Mike! Glad to be able to give something back to the flight sim community, however small.
                                        Please let me know if you have any probs or if you'd like any features added!
                                        Andrew Curry BAW867

                                        Comment


                                        • ace2029
                                          ace2029 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          Blood_Monarch The app has been updated for .NET 6 - please see the latest file available from flightsim.to

                                        • Blood_Monarch
                                          Blood_Monarch commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          Great thanks Andrew...have downloaded the new file and it runs fine. Will give it a cockpit test later Just out of interest is there a maximum number of switches that can be out of place, a good addition might be to have a selectable range in addition to the % chance, where if the chance of switches being out of place is met, another random generator selects the number to set incorrectly from the user defined range

                                        • ace2029
                                          ace2029 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          Blood_Monarch Good idea! I'll investigate that Sounds like a great addition!
                                          Thanks for the feedback - glad the .NET 6 version is working for you.

                                        #25
                                        Originally posted by Steve Dra View Post
                                        Guys.....you are missing the one perfect way to ensure a jumbled cockpit scenario before a flight:

                                        1.Let your 2 year old sit at your keyboard, mouse and flight controls for 5 minutes unattended before each flight. EDIT: Oh yeah...tell him in a very stern voice NOT to touch anything.
                                        2 Borrow your neighbor's 2 year old and apply method 1. 🤣
                                        Option 1 wouldn't work for me since I don't have kids. Option 2 wouldn't work, either, since I don't know my neighbors.
                                        Originally posted by Blood_Monarch View Post
                                        I honestly don't understand why this isn't a standard feature for for all study level aircraft. To add something like this would surely be very little work if it was on the design board at development stage; its essentially just adding in a random number generator.
                                        But how do you know for sure it would be very little work.
                                        Captain Kevin

                                        Kevin Yang

                                        Comment


                                        • Steve Dra
                                          Steve Dra commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          ..."Option 1 wouldn't work for me since I don't have kids. Option 2 wouldn't work, either, since I don't know my neighbors.>

                                          1. Get some. 2. Get to know them. Problem solved.

                                        • Mad_X
                                          Mad_X commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          If your neighbour happens to be a nice female you could combine option 1 and 2.

                                          If you are not into women, still an option. So many possibilities!

                                        #26
                                        Originally posted by Captain Kevin View Post

                                        But how do you know for sure it would be very little work.
                                        Because they have already created the Panel states, and from there it is just a matter of including a random number generator and altering a few switches in the saved panel state. Plus, as proof, Andrew coded it in a few hours
                                        Mike Cannon

                                        Comment


                                          #27
                                          Originally posted by Blood_Monarch View Post
                                          Because they have already created the Panel states, and from there it is just a matter of including a random number generator and altering a few switches in the saved panel state. Plus, as proof, Andrew coded it in a few hours
                                          I don't know anything about coding, that's why I asked. I've been around the forums long enough to have seen that what some people think is simple and takes very little work is, in fact, far from that and a lot more complex than people think.
                                          Captain Kevin

                                          Kevin Yang

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