EasyFMC - Introduction
What is EasyFMC?
As its name says, EasyFMC is a simplified Flight Management Computer that can be easily installed and used with any aircraft in FS2004 and FSX. As a simplified FMC, it does not provide all the advanced features of an realistic FMC, but it lets you enter a flight plan from scratch (departure and arrival airports and runways, waypoints along the route), it provides lateral navigation to guide your flight along the programmed route and also provides fancy additional features, such as full support for DIRECT operations and radio-nav autotuning. Any flight plan created with EasyFMC can be saved and can be used for flying with the FS2004/FSX virtual ATC.
EasyFMC is provided with different look-and-feels that are supposed to handle the different ways of using an FMC, especially the differences between Airbus and Boeing philosophies. All the variations of EasyFMC provide the same main features, with some slight differences explained in this manual.
After EasyFMC has been installed through its automatic installer, you need to install the device itself in the panel of the aircraft(s) of your choice. The 'EasyFMC Panel Updater' is a specific application provided for this purpose. It automatically updates the necessary aircraft file (panel.cfg) to make EasyFMC available in its panel.
Run the application through the Windows start menu (in EasyFMC folder). Then follow the instructions as shown in the image above:
- The Panel Updater automatically detects the Flight Simulator installation folder, shown in 'location'. If it is wrong or empty, you can specify it manually by pressing the 'Change' button.
- The Panel Updater reads your aircraft collection and lets you select one of them using the manufacturer, model and variation.
- When the aircraft is selected, you can select the size of the panel window that will be created for EasyFMC. If you don't know what size to put here, use the default values, they can be changed later.
- Check the 'visible' box if you want to have the EasyFMC window visible as soon as the panel appears.
- Select the look-and-feel among the available ones.
the 'Add to Panel' window. As soon as the operation is executed, a
confirmation window appears, which informs you about the changes in the
panel.cfg. A backup copy of the panel.cfg file is always done before
modifying the original file. It is named panel.bak.
Whatever the look-and-feel you have selected, EasyFMC is composed of a alphanumeric keyboard, specific page keys, a screen and 2 lines of select keys on the left and right side of the screen. These keys are called “line select keys” (LSK) and they are identified as 1L to 6L on the left, and 1R to 6R on the right.
When you type something using
the keyboard (letters or digits), they appear on the bottom line of the
screen, called the “scratchpad”. Any character entered in the
scratchpad can be deleted using the CLR key. The Boeing look-and-feel
also provides a DEL key that entirely deletes the scratchpad content.
To enter any information into the FMC, you have to type it in the scratchpad, then press the appropriate LSK to enter the information at the right place. If you press the CLR key (Airbus) or DEL key (Boeing) while the scratchpad is empty, a deletion message appears on the last line (CLR on Airbus, DELETE on Boeing). This means you are in delete mode, which will be used later to delete information, i.e. deleting a waypoint from the flight plan.
The FMC may have to display messages for you, such as error or warning messages. They are displayed on the same line as the scratchpad, at the bottom of the screen. Once you have seen the message, you can erase it by pressing the CLR or DEL key, and the scratchpad is displayed again.
The page keys exist to provide direct access to some specific pages, such as FPLN/RTE (for the flight plan display), RAD NAV for the radio nav settings, etc. They can be seen as “shortcuts” for a quick and direct access to pages that are usually used during the flight.
In order to enter information more easily, EasyFMC lets you use the PC keyboard instead of clicking the FMC keyboard with the keyboard mode. A "hidden" clickable area is defined on the top left screw, which activates/deactivates the keyboard mode. When the keyboard mode is activated, ANY key that comes from the PC keyboard will go to the FMC until is is deactivated. When the keyboard mode is active, a 'K' appears in the top left corner of the FMC.
You can use your PC keyboard
to enter characters in the scratchpad and use also function keys: F1 to
F6 for LSK 1L to 6L, F7 to F12 for LSK 1R to 6R. Backspace key can be
used like the EasyFMC CLR key, and DEL key can be used like the EasyFMC
DEL key (Boeing only).
|WARNING !! When the keyboard mode is active, all the key press actions are sent to the FMC and ignored by Windows. It means that even the famous Alt-Tab key combination that is commonly used to switch to another application is not operative until you deactivates the keyboard mode by clicking the FMC screw area.|
The page navigation is not exactly the same in the Airbus and Boeing philosophy:
|Any page that displays more items than the 6 lines displayed on the screen can be scrolled up and down using the up and down arrow keys. Two arrows are drawn in the right bottom corner of the screen to indicate if the page can be scrolled up or down.||If a page has more items to display than the 6 available lines of the screen, you can see more by pressing the NEXT PAGE button. The total number of pages is displayed in the top left corner of the screen. If you press NEXT PAGE on the last available page, you come back to the first page. Conversely, you can press PREV PAGE to see the previous page and if you are on the first available page, you access the last page.|
As soon as EasyFMC is added in an aircraft panel through its installation application (see paragraph above), you can select this aircraft is FS2004/FSX and see EasyFMC in the panel. Depending on the option you have chosen in the installer, the EasyFMC device may be visible at startup or you may have to make it visible through a Shift-? key press or through the “View” menu of FS2004/FSX.
|The MENU page appears, the first option (FMC) is the
only valid option, which leads to the INIT page.
||The INDEX page appears first, giving you access to the
most important FMC pages.
|Next Section : Flight Plan Management|