Advanced Solutions for Flight Simulation

 

Installing The GNS 430/530 Into Other MSFS & P3D Aircraft

At the bottom of this page, you will find several examples of panel.cfg entries for the GNS 430 and GNS 530.  Please be sure you understand the panel.cfg entries and the 5th parameter described in the sections below before you try to modify your own cockpit panels.  You can read about the aircraft container system if you need a refresher on the basics of panel editing,

As with most things in flight simulator, it's better to take something that already works, make a copy of it, and then modify the copy to suit your needs.   This is especially true when modifying cockpit panel layouts.  Always backup your work, and leave a "clean" copy of files in a safe location so you can always reverse your changes and restore the sim to its original state if necessary.

Panel.cfg Entries For Adding Mindstar Aviation GNS 430 and 530

The Mindstar 430 and 530 are located in a gauge file named MPI_GNS.gau.   This file is automatically placed into the simulators' gauges folder at the time of registration.

The MPI_GNS.gau file contains two individual gauges named GNS430 and GNS530.  This means that your gauge lines in the panel.cfg would look something like this:

gauge00=MPI_GNS!GNS430, X, Y, Width, Height, [required 5th parameter]
gauge01=MPI_GNS!GNS530, X, Y, Width, Height, [required 5th parameter]



The 5th Parameter Is REQUIRED

The 5th parameter is required when using the Mindstar Aviation GNS gauges.  The format of the 5th paraameter is 3 numbers, separated by colons.

        Example: 1:1:225

The 3 numbers represent UNIT:INSTANCE:IDENT

UNIT is the GPS unit number.  For example, if you are simulating an airplane that has both a 430 and a 530, one of those units is considered GPS #1, and the other is considered GPS #2. (and this also means the radios in GPS #1 are considered COM1 and NAV1, while the radios in GPS #2 are considered COM2 and NAV2).  You can only have up to 2 units.  This is because there is no COM3 in flight simulator, and having 3 GPS's in an airplane would be very unusual.

INSTANCE is a sequential instance number for a particular unit.  Since flight simulator allows you to display the same GNS unit in more than one window, each repetition of the same GNS unit must have its own unique, sequential INSTANCE number.   For example, GPS #1 may appear in the main 2D panel, and also in a popup panel, and also in the VC.   Each of those appearances (instances) must have its own unique instance number. Instance numbers must start at 1, and increment by 1 for each additional instance.  (Please also refer to the section below regarding special considerations for the instance numbers)

IDENT marries the gauge to a particular window ident number.   Each [Window##] section in the panel.cfg file can have an ident= value.   The numeric value of this ident setting for a window must appear as the final number in the special parameter on Mindstar Aviation's GNS gauges.


Special Considerations for the INSTANCE number

If you are only putting the GNS units on a single popup window, then this section does not apply to you.  This special consideration is only relevant if you intend to make the same GNS unit appear on more than one window.

Because of the way the GNS uses threading to optimize performance, the number used for the INSTANCE number must be in the order that the simulator loads the windows.   Flight Simulator always loads the VC first, so if you plan on putting the GNS units in the VC, then those should be instance #1, then the popup should be instance #2.  

If however, you only use the 2D cockpit and a popup. then the GNS in the 2D cockpit should be instance #1, and the popup should be instance #2.

You will know immediatley if you got this wrong because the GNS units' CRTs will start to blink and flash and be generally unusable.


Special Considerations for the IDENT number

The ident value in each [Window##] section of a panel.cfg file is usually a number.  But there are a few special cases where the ident= line may be set to a word like GPS_PANEL or MAIN_PANEL.   For the GNS 5th parameter, you must always use the NUMBER, not the word. 

GPS_PANEL translates to the number 225. 

MAIN_PANEL translates to the number 0. 

GNS gauges in the VC should use -1 for their ident number.


Bezel and No-Bezel options

In most of the examples on this page, we use of the standard gauges named GNS430 and GNS530, which both exist inside the MPI_GNS.gau gauge file.  But there are two additional variations of gauges inside MPI_GNS that are specially designed for cockpit and hardware builders.  The gauge names are GNS430_nobezel and GNS530_nobezel.  These versions of the gauges do not display any knobs or buttons on the screen, and instead display only the LCD portion of the unit.  This is useful for hardware implementations where the GNS software is being displayed inside a hardware unit (such as the one from Emuteq) that has knobs and buttons to interact with the software.   In these causes, use the _nobezel versions of the gauges in your panel.cfg.

Using the _nobezel versions of the gauges would make your panel.cfg entries look something like this:

gauge00=MPI_GNS!GNS430_nobezel, X, Y, Width, Height, [required 5th parameter]
gauge01=MPI_GNS!GNS530_nobezel, X, Y, Width, Height, [required 5th parameter]




Example Cockpit Configurations

These examples are all using the FSX 172, which is the default airplane our installer puts the GNS units into.   
 
Since Lockheed-Martin does not put any Cessna aircraft into Prepar3D, you will need to modify your desired aircraft manually by following the examples on this page.
 
If you own FSX, consider dropping the C172 aircraft container and related gauges into your Prepar3D SimObjects\Airplanes and Gauges folders.  It seems to work properly, and gives you a way to have a Cessna 172 in Prepar3D.   .


Example - PANEL.CFG Section for Twin 430's In A Popup Window

[Window02]
size_mm=456,378
window_size=0.5
position=8
BACKGROUND_COLOR=0,0,0
VISIBLE=0
ident=GPS_PANEL
gauge00=MPI_GNS!GNS430, 0, 0, 456, 189, 1:1:225
gauge01=MPI_GNS!GNS430, 0, 189, 456, 189, 2:1:225





Example - PANEL.CFG Section for GNS 530 as GPS #1,  GNS 430 as GPS #2

[Window02]
size_mm=456,520
window_size=0.5
position=8
BACKGROUND_COLOR=0,0,0
VISIBLE=0
ident=GPS_PANEL
gauge00=MPI_GNS!GNS530, 0, 0, 456, 331, 1:1:225
gauge01=MPI_GNS!GNS430, 0, 331, 456, 189, 2:1:225