PMDG 737 rebuild series, week 8: Center over head continued, preview releases, Navigraph support

Welcome to week 8 of our PMDG 737 rebuild series for Talking flight monitor (TFM). Last week, we introduced the main area of the center overhead panel and preview releases of TFM. This week, we will cover anti ice and hydraulics panels. We will also describe when preview releases are provided for download.

 

Anti ice panel

 

The anti ice panel isn’t complicated to use. On the other hand, it has many controls to go through. Since keyboard shortcuts are assigned for groups of controls, we will provide the groups with keyboard shortcuts here, then cover all of the controls in the provided demo video.

 

ALT+W – Group that contains all window heat controls.

ALT+P – Left/right probe heat switches.

ALT+G – Wing anti ice switch.

ALT+E – Group containing engine anti ice switches.

ALT+ 1- 5 – Indicator groups containing all panel indicators.

 

Hydraulics

 

The hydraulics panel isn’t complicated and has few controls on it. The 4 switches have no keyboard shortcut at this time. We want user feedback on whether to include keyboard shortcuts for these switches. The indicator groups do have keyboard shortcuts though. Here are the controls and groups of indicators.

 

Electrical ½ switches

Engine ½ switches

ALT+1 – Electrical indicator group.

ALT+2 – Engine indicator group.

ALT+3 – Electrical pump overheat indicators.

Next week, week 9, we will finish the center overhead panel and provide a new preview build for everyone to take a look at.

 

When are preview builds released?

 

Recently, we have been getting questions about the timing of preview releases. Preview releases are built when a major portion of the 737 is finished. Examples are the forward overhead, aft overhead, center overhead, glare shield, and others. This gives us time to finish a significant portion of work while fixing bugs identified in the previous preview build. If significant work means multiple areas of work, then the preview build may be delayed for a while.

 

Bug reporting and feature requests

 

When reporting bugs or new features, follow the following guidelines.

 

  • When reporting on 737 bugs or features, report them against the preview releases of TFM.
  • Any other aircraft, report bugs and features against the current release.

The above guidelines will change for the 777 and the 747. We are no longer taking bug reports and feature requests for the PMDG 737 series. Again, any new bug reports and feature requests should be reported on the preview releases.

 

Navigraph support in TFM

 

This past week, we discovered that Navigraph owns a public API for downloading the current and past Navigraph cycles. TFM is in the process of applying for access to their APIs. When approved, TFM will have the ability to directly download the Navigraph databases. Implementing the ability to download the databases will take time. When support is finished, TFM will have the following workflow.

 

  • TFM will offer the ability to download a new cycle.
  • The user is directed to a secure Navigraph login page.
  • The user signs in with their Navigraph username/password.
  • Navigraph will request permission to grant TFM access to the Navigraph account.
  • When granted access, TFM will download the current cycle.
  • Once approved, TFM will download the current cycle without intervention.

 

We hope you are enjoying the PMDG 737 rebuild series, and hope to see you next week for some new features and content. To report a bug or new feature request, press right bracket (]), then CTRL+SHIFT+I while TFM is running. To contact us, feel free to fill out the contact us form. One of us will get back to you soon.

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PMDG 737 rebuild series week 7: Center Overhead/main area

Welcome to week 7 of the PMDG rebuild series for TFM. Although We only have one panel for this week, there is a new key feature to be aware of when using panels with lighting knobs. We will now take a look at the Center Overhead panel’s main area.

 

Center Overhead main area

 

  • ALT+B – Circuit breaker knob. Use I to increase and D to decrease.
  • ALT+O – Overhead panel knob – I to increase and D to decrease.
  • ALT+E – Emergency lights – Use arrows to change.
  • ALT+U – Equipment cooling supply switch – Use SPACE or ENTER to change.
  • ALT+X – Equipment cooling exhaust switch – Use SPACE or ENTER to change.
  • ALT+C – Chimes – Use arrow keys to change.
  • ALT+S – Seatbelt sign. Use arrow keys to change.
  • ALT+ 1 – ALT+5 – Panel indicators.

 

We would like to remind everyone about a few important points.

  • TFM is owned and developed by Jason Fayre and Andy Borka.
  • The preview versions are ‘use at your own risk.’ Neither of us will take responsibility for its current affect on pilot’s flights.

To report a bug or new issue, press right bracket (, then CTRL+SHIFT+I while TFM is running. If you would like to contact us at TFM, fill out the contact form. We look forward to seeing you during week 8!

PMDG 737 rebuild series, week 6: Electrical, APU, wiper panels; preview releases

In week 6 of our PMDG 737 rebuild series, we will cover the Electrical, APU, and wipers panels. We also introduced preview builds of TFM, so keep reading to find out more. Unfortunately, I lost my laptop to a Windows crash and am still putting it back together. Now, on with the panels.

 

Electrical

The electrical panel is much like the rest of the panels we covered so far. The methods of access are present: tabbing through the controls and using keyboard shortcuts. We will go over the keyboard shortcuts below.

 

  • ALT+B – battery selector. Use arrows to change.
  • ALT+R – Ground power switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
  • ALT+C – Cabin utility switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
  • ALT+F – Passenger seats (IFE) switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
  • ALT+D – DC power group. Has 3 controls.
    • DC power selector. Use arrows to change.
    • DC volts – Indicator.
    • DC amps – Indicator.
  • ALT+A – AC power group. Has 3 controls.
    • AC power selector. Use arrows to change.
    • AC amps – Indicator.
    • AC volts – Indicator.
  • ALT+S – Standby power selector. Use arrows to change.
  • ALT+I – IDG disconnect group. Has 2 controls.
    • IDG #1 disconnect switch – Toggle with spacebar or enter.
    • IDG #2 disconnect switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
  • ALT+G – Generators group. Has 5 controls.
    • Generator #1 switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
    • Generator #2 switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
    • APU generator #1 switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
    • APU generator #2 switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
    • Bus transfer switch. Toggle with spacebar or enter.
  • ALT+N – Indicators group. Has 14 controls in this group.
    • Battery discharge
    • TR unit
    • Elec
    • Drive #1
    • Drive #2
    • Standby power
    • Ground power available
    • Transfer bus #1
    • Transfer bus #2
    • DC source
    • AC source
    • Generator #1 bus
    • Generator #2 bus
    • APU generator bus

 

APU

The APU panel is self explanatory. It only has 6 indicators listed below.

 

  • ALT+T – EGT needle. Indicator only.
  • ALT+M – Maint. Indicator only.
  • ALT+O – Low oil pressure. indicator only.
  • ALT+F – Fault. indicator only.
  • ALT+S – Overspeed. indicator only.

 

Wipers

Wipers is a simple panel that has 2 controls listed below.

 

  • ALT+L – Left wipers. Use arrows to change.
  • Alt+R – Right wipers. Use arrows to change.

Restart TFM!

 

We added a new keyboard shortcut to restart TFM. You can use it by pressing right bracket (]) then Ctrl+Shift+X.

Preview versions of TFM

 

We started releasing preview versions of TFM last Monday. This gives users the ability to get hands-on experience with the new features before they appear in the normal release. Since we started offering preview versions of TFM, people have been asking some questions about the process. We will answer the most common questions in this section.

TFM is open source. This means that anyone who has an interest in new features can get the source, build it, play around with the new features, then report back in the GitHub issue queue. Some users aren’t interested in the source or don’t have the technical skills needed to run TFM from source. So, we offer preview versions that are installable and ready to use. The preview versions can be installed side by side with the official release.

You can access the preview versions from the preview releases section of the website. When a preview version is out, it will have a higher version number in the release notes than the official release. When the preview build becomes the official release, the preview releases page will offer the official version. There isn’t a schedule for the preview releases, so we will make announcements when they are released to the public. As a friendly reminder, preview builds have no support attached to them. Use at your own risk. On the other hand, the official release does come with support.

If you need to contact us, feel free to do so on the contact page. If you need to report a bug or new feature, press right bracket (]) then Ctrl+Shift+I while TFM is running. We hope to see you during week 7 of the PMDG 737 rebuild series.