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Prepar3d version 4 64 bit

Hello guys,

As you know Prepar3d version 4 64 bit has been out for a while now and I decided to give it a go after investigating whether add on products that we as Lear 45 builders use would work.  So far I have not seen any issues with the following products: 

JET45AAS --- provides all of the avionics for the Lear

JET45 CDU software --- provides the software and interface for the hardware and software version CDU

InterfaceIT --- provides the link for the majority of hardware switches

Pokeys --- provides the link for rotary encoders and RMU radio units.

LINK2FS – provides the link to allow the interfacing of the pressure panel display

Dave Ault’s standby gauge package ---- provides a software version of the standby gauges

FSXFlight --- provides the communication between P3Dv4 and the FOREFLIGHT APP for Ipad

Ruscool Clearance Delivery Radio – provides the link to allow the Ruscool CDR Radio function/display

WIDEFS – provides communication from network computers. 

IMPORTANT!  YOU WILL NOT NEED TO MAKE ANY CHANGES TO THE ABOVE LISTED PRODUCTS IF YOU ALREADY HAVE THEM INSTALLED.

So if you are thinking of updating to P3Dv4 I think it is stable enough to move to the new P3D 64 bit platform.  Version 4 is an all new package as it is 64 bit now.  Some add on software/scenery will work . . . some won’t.  I’ve listed above the core items we as Lear builders use but as each of us are individuals, we all have different ideas as to the scenery and other add on products we wish to install.  I can say it seems for the most part all very popular add on products such as ORBX,  ACTIVE SKY WEATHER ,  REAL ENVIRONMENT EXTREME,  and many other add on developers have updated their products to work with the new 64 bit environment.

Now let’s talk about laying out the plan to upgrade to P3Dv4.    If you have P3Dv3 installed leave it in place if you have the room on your SSD / hard drive.  You will need to copy a couple files and if you leave in place you will have a sim platform that still works while you install the new P3D.  Also if you are using ORBX products and their FTX CENTRAL leave them in place.  This will make installation much quicker and easier.

Ok, let’s get started.  First we want to save a copy of our FSUIPC4 ini file from our P3Dv3 installation.  So go to your C drive, then Lockheed Martin, then Prepar3Dv3, then modules folder. In the modules folder you should see FSUIPC ini.  Make a copy of this and store it either in a folder on your desktop or as I did on a thumb drive/flash drive. You will need this later.

The FSUIPC4 ini files contains all the settings you have made in the sim whether it be thru FSUIPC or InterfaceIT.  This makes it a very important file. 

Next open up your current version of P3Dv3.  Go to the section where you can assign key inputs.  You should see on this screen a button you can select to export the current key assignments.  Go ahead and export the settings. It should save as an xml file and I think it will automatically name it as “flightchoices”.  Make note of this file location as you will reinstall this xml file in the new version of P3Dv4. 

By doing this you save yourself the trouble of needing to manually delete every single default key setting in the new P3D and you will retain any key settings you may have assigned.  If you have done this manually you will appreciate this tip!

Ok, moving on.  We now need to purchase P3Dv4 from the Lockheed Martin site. We will also need to purchase the new version of FSUIPC5 that supports the 64 bit platform.  If you already have purchased WIDEFS in the past you will not need to purchase again. It will work with the new FSUIPC5.

I highly recommend you to purchase the Lear 45 from Private Flights.  This add on can be found at sites like PC Aviator for around $19.00 U.S.  This is the default Lear from FSX updated to work with the new 64 bit version of P3D.  I have read that you can port over the old Lear but there may be issues with some of the gauges. I opted to purchase the Private Flights version to give me a clean install and not have to worry about getting all the files correctly placed.  It installed very easy.

Once you have purchased P3Dv4 go ahead and get it installed on your computer. Remember to make sure you install it directly to C drive or whatever your main drive is. Do not install it in program files. This may cause you issues later.

After installing P3Dv4 we will need to install FSUIPC5.  It installs as earlier versions did so not much different here.  You will need to enter your registration information to activate the product. You will also need to re-enter the registration information for WIDEFS.  Find your old registration information for WIDEFS and enter. This will activate WIDEFS for the new version of P3D.

Now that you have FSUIPC5 installed go to C drive, then Lockheed Martin, then Prepar3dv4, then modules folder. You should see the FSUIPC5 ini file located there.  Save this file to your desktop or thumb drive as we will need it later.   Next we need to go find the FSUIPC4 ini file we saved earlier from our old version of P3D.   Open up both versions (FSUIPC4 and FSUIPC5) ini file.  We need to have them both open so we can copy and replace some information from the version 5 ini file to the version 4 ini file.

Here is the information sections we need to copy from version 5 ini file and place in the version 4 file:

Updated by version line needs to be updated

FS version used (may be more than one section this needs to be updated check all of ini file)

SimConnectUsed (may be more than one section this needs to be updated check all of ini file)

Under the sounds section we need to replace the Path= section so we have the correct path to the sound folder

Once we have updated this information in the version 4 folder we need to rename the version 4 folder to FSUIPC5.ini     

Now what we should have is the old version 4 folder with all of your settings and updated with the information above and re named to FSUIPC5. ini.   We can now delete the FSUIPC5 ini folder located in the modules folder of P3Dv4 and copy the version 4 folder now re-named FSUIPC5 into the modules folder of P3Dv4 and all of our settings for buttons, switches, etc. should be retained.

But before trying any of your switches we need to do one other task.  Remember that xml file we saved for the key assignments . . . we need to install that.  So open up your new version of P3Dv4 go to your key assignment section . . find the “import” button and navigate to the location you saved the xml file that should be named “flightchoices”. Import those settings.  This should overwrite the default key assignments in the new P3D with the old assignments you had in your earlier version.

Now time for a test flight if you have already installed the Lear 45. If so Check to see if all of your button and switch assignments are working.  You may need to pull up the default main panel of the Lear to make sure switches are in sync with each other.  I had an issue where the ADF was not tuning correctly. I pulled up the panel where I could see the ADF as I tuned. Once I had it tuned correctly it worked as it should.  I highly recommend doing some test flights before adding scenery in.  Just to make sure everything is working correctly.  Much easier if you need to do a reinstall now versus after you have added all the scenery in.

Now that we have all of our switch assignments ported over to the new version of P3Dv4 it is time to work on your scenery.  Here are a few notes about the scenery I have. You may have different scenery than I. If so I would recommend you do some searches on installing scenery into P3Dv4 to make sure it is compatible and to find tips that may help you install.

Onto the scenery . . .

Most of us have ORBX scenery and ORBX has made it simple to install their scenery you purchased for P3Dv3 thru their FTX Central. ORBX also decided to update this scenery free of charge.  Open up and make sure FTX Central is updated to the latest version. Make sure in the settings section you have checked so you can see all scenery add ons.  Once you have opened FTX Central you should see an option for Prepar3Dv4.

Click on this option and you should see all of your add on scenery you have purchased and it should say something like “not installed”. Click on an area to install it. This will install that scenery area into P3Dv4.  It does not take very long as it is simply copying files over to P3Dv4 instead of having to download then install them.  

I install one scenery area at a time then start P3Dv4 and allow that scenery area to load into P3D.  Close P3D and go back and load another scenery area. This takes a few minutes doing it this way but I think it is less likely to cause you corrupted file issues.  That is it for ORBX . . simple and no cost to update!

I also used ActiveSky 2016 with P3Dv3.  If you purchased ActiveSky 2016 you can update to ASP4 free of charge. ASP4 is the new version of ActiveSky updated to 64 bit that will work with P3Dv4.  All you will need is to download ASP4 and activate using your activation code from ActiveSky 2016.  As a note ActiveSky 2016 will not work with the new P3Dv4 so you will need to update.  

That is it guys!  My install of Prepar3Dv4 went very smoothly. I will add any updates if I find any issues.  If you decide to update to P3Dv4 I recommend you take a look at all of your scenery, do some checking online to see if it is compatible, then find a day when you have plenty of time and not be interrupted!

Hey guys,

As a continuation of the above tutorial, I wanted to add some more information that you may find useful.  When I decided to upgrade to P3Dv4 I decided to leave P3Dv3 on my computer until I was satisfied v4 was going to work for me.  Last night I made the decision that v4 was working well and it was time to remove v3 to free up some disk space.

I removed all of P3dv3, Active Sky 2016,  all REX products I had for v3.  I DID NOT delete any ORBX related products. I left FTX Central in place as this is the loader/installer for all ORBX products.   Any ORBX files used by P3Dv3 will be deleted when you delete P3Dv3.

What you will notice once you have deleted P3Dv3 is FTX Central will no longer show a selection for P3Dv3.  This is the result I was hoping to achieve.

After I deleted all files for V3 in the Control Panel / Uninstall programs, I then checked in C drive where I installed P3Dv3.  In C drive I looked in the Lockheed Martin file and deleted any remaining V3 files that may still be there.   After uninstalling P3Dv3 , Active Sky, and REX products I was able to free up over 100 GB of space on my C drive.

I have not found any issues with using P3Dv4.   If your computer was running P3Dv3 with good frame rates then you should have no trouble with V4.   If your computer was having trouble with running v3 then I think you will still have trouble.  Unfortunately I think P3D will always require a high end computer build to give satisfactory results.

One observation I have noted and am still monitoring is the performance of rotary encoders used in the sim.  Prior to switching to v4 I observed the encoders were not very smooth/fast when dialing in a setting.  For example when trying to set the altitude it would take many turns of the encoder to adjust altitude from 1000ft to 20000ft.  I now see very smooth performance of the encoder in adjusting altitude and can quickly adjust altitude. I am not a computer expert so I cannot explain why we would see a difference unless switching to the 64 bit architecture has helped in this area but I will take it.   I will continue to monitor the performance as I add in additional scenery to see if there is any impact on the encoder performance.

 


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