PACX with Custom / Third-party aircraft in X-Plane

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Hi there,

I picked up a copy of PACX at Cosford and so far so good... As an X-Plane pilot, I'm a little disappointed with the immersion though - I like doing things through the cockpit switches and so on rather than through selections in other programs!

I do appreciate that support for native aircraft using the PACXBridgeXP plug-in is on the horizon (I'd be happy to help out with this in any way I can), but am I correct in thinking that, for the time being, the method of communication between sim and PACX (with the exception of the in-flight messages going from the program to the sim) remains as being through XPUIPC?

If so, then it is possible to map X-Plane datarefs through to FSUIPC offsets in the XPUIPCOffsets.cfg file which can be found in the "<XPlane>\Resources\plugins\XPUIPC folder". The problem is, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution and it's almost certain that different changes will be required for each aircraft type.

By way of example, for the FFA320 the following configuration snippet maps the seatbelts switch on the overhead through to the same offset that FSX andP3D use... In my XPUIPCOffsets.cfg file I've put it right at the end (I'd recommend taking a backup before playing with the file as there are other things in there that, if they get broken, could stop things from working).

Dataref	ffa320Seatbelt a320/Overhead/LightBelts float
Dataref alt sim/flightmodel/position/elevation float
Offset	0x341d	UINT8	1	r	$ffa320Seatbelt $alt 3048 < + 1 >

In short, when the SEAT BELTS switch is "On", the lights are reported through XPUIPC as on, when it's "Off" they're reported as off and when it's "Auto" they're reported as on when the aircraft is below 10000ft and off otherwise (there is some discussion online whether this is the correct "Auto" behaviour for an Airbus, but I couldn't find a definitive answer).

Unfortunately, there's a bit of playing around required when you start up a flight to get it to work. Because that "a320" dataref doesn't exist when the XPUIPC plugin is first loaded, you need to force XPUIPC to restart after you've loaded the aircraft. That's achieved through the "Enable/Disable" option of the "Plugin Admin" selection on the "Plugins" menu. Look for "XPUIPC/XPWideFS" in the list (you may need to click "Next" to find it), disable it by clicking on the green tick (it takes a few seconds to turn off) then re-enable it.

I'd be keen to understand if this works for others, so please let me know!

Are there any other data offsets required to provide the full level of immersion that the program offers? It's likely that a similar technique could be employed to get them working in other X-Plane aircraft.

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First off, thank you for sharing the process! We are looking to improve this for more aircraft as time goes on. As our understanding of how third party aircraft manage this in X-Plane grows, it will become easier to handle and we can do so natively (without the need of per-aircraft tweaking by the user).

Regarding communication, yes, XPUIPC is the foundation of the simulation data.

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