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J G

Spad.Next

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Is anyone else using Spad.next?

 

Having used my VR set for a while, I have come to realise that flying in VR, although amazing, isn't something that you want to do all of the time.  Its immersive and fantastic in its perceived reality, and so I have set about building a rig that is good for both VR and the more traditional style of FS fun.

 

Spad.Next is a development of the good old Spad alternative drivers for Saitek panels, but is Spad on steroids. It allows for so much more, so much so that support for the Saitek panels is only a backwater in terms of its capabilities.

 

I have two PCs linked together to run my FS. Number one has the FS on it and is a Chillblast machine with plenty of grunt, the second is still a good PC (it was my previous FSX PC) and covers anything that I can run on a second PC to relieve the main PC of extra work.  Up until now I have only had Plan-G on this PC, so much of the capability of this PC was not being used.

 

Then I discovered Spad.Next. This provides support for Saitek stuff but is not limited to the Saitek panels. It can support FIPs, yolks, rudder controls and many more devices. It also can run on a second PC.

 

So here is my rig now:

 

PC1

  • Software. FSX, FSUIPC, SIM Connect, Fly inside (Oculus Rift software), Steves DX10 fixer*.
  • Hardware. Chillblast PC, VR headset, 36" curved monitor, 19" monitor. rudder Peddles Siatek X52 joystick & throttle.

PC2

  • Software. Spad.Next (registered version), Spad.Next virtual FIP addon (registered version), Several FIP gauges, Plan-G. Wide FS,
  • hardware. 1 x 19" monitor, 3 x 7" monitor.

 

rig2017.jpg

 

PC1 drives the main screen and the one to the left.  PC2 drives the right hand screen and all of the small screens.

 

Spad.next allows for the control of Siatek hardware from a second PC.  Furthermore it supports remote FIPs and virtual FIPs. This means that cheap 7" VGA monitors can replace expensive Saitek FIP and panels. or indeed any monitor can.  So I run FIP gauges on my 7" monitors, and yes you can set it up so that there are several virtual panels on each virtual FIPs so that you can scroll through them. I also have a virtual radio stack on the larger monitor together with Plan-G. Note that the 7" screens show green gauges, this is because I have military gauges showing. colour gauges are available and work just as well.

 

Total cost of Spad.Next with the virtual FIP software is about £60, so less than a single Saitek device. Each additional virtual FIP gauge is about £5 on average for a pay one but there are plenty of free ones. Spad.next comes with all of the Saitek gauges included.

 

* The latest version of Steve's DX 10 fixer comes with a control panel that allows you to switch the DX 10 fixer off and on. Very useful if you use VR Fly inside as the two are not compatible.

 

Edited by J G
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That sounds like a great success JG and looks good too.

 

Where do you get the 7" monitors from?

 

Joe

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yeah I have this JG, good bit of kit, I also have one of those monitors which I use for moving map, or did but with my new card I don;t have the correct connector unless I use HDMI for main monitor, not sure how well HDMI works from GPU to monitor though....

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HDMI works just fine.

In the photo above:

  • The RHS large monitor is connected to the No 2 pc via a DVI socket.
  • The LHS 7 inch screen is connected to the No 2 pc via a Display port to VGA adaptor
  • The centre 7 inch screen is connected to the No 2 pc via an HDMI to VGA adaptor.
  • The LHS 7 inch screen is connected to the No 2 pc via a USB to VGA adaptor.

All the above work fine on Windows 10, all hang off the same graphics card except the USB adaptor which Win10 found and worked without additional drivers.

 

All the connectors are cheap and can be found on amazon. As an example the HDMI to VGA adaptor can be found here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/TechRise-High-Speed-adapter-Converter-Charging/dp/B01E8DD6J6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505170917&sr=8-2&keywords=hdmi+to+vga+adapter

It includes a charging jack. I don't know why as I have never had to use it on my installation.

 

 

Edited by J G

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cheers JG, I have connected my monitor now with HDMI and the small one using a DVI/VGA convertor, also got a switch for the HDMI's so I don't need to unplug PS4 but for some reason I am not getting any PS4 visuals using switch, awaiting Maplins reply....

I have a paid version of SPAD.next but can you explain how you get those virtual Saitek panels on the other screen? I do still have the actual panels but I am considering getting rid and having a 2nd monitor....

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With the paid Spad.Next you can have one virtual FIP.  Go to where you set up your FIP and detach the gauge  then you can move it about on the screen. You need to buy an add-on for about £20 to do this with more than one.

 

Have a look at:

https://www.spadnext.com/discover/discover/virtual-fip.html

 

You don't need to buy the "complete edition" to get this, it is available on its own. I think you can get it from the Addons menu in Spad.Next

 

The gauges I use are available from:

http://www.fipgauges.com/

 

I sold all of my Saitek panels to fund a VR set, This is a good way of recovering from that at the least cost!

Edited by J G

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