FBW A320 - How to change Cold & Dark Cockpit Settings

Can anyone please tell me how to change the initial switch positions when starting a FBW A320 flight Cold & Dark, and if that is even possible?
I like to start my flights Cold & Dark, but it does get boring having to turn all the display brightness settings up, and set my usual Autothrottle speed, Autopilot Altitude, External Lighting switches etc. every time I start a flight. Hoping there’s an xml file I can edit.
Apologies if this is a daft question, but I haven’t tried to make any changes under the bonnet before, so am new to the SDK / Aircraft models.

Not currently possible. In future when the systems are more complete this is something we’d like to look at doing.

If you really, really want to do it, you can get your hands dirty and edit apron.flt to set local vars to what you want… You would need to manage it with A32NX updates etc. though.

Thanks for that info Mike. apron.flt was exactly what I was looking for. Looking at the settings in there, and comparing them against the other .flt files in that folder should hopefully allow me to do (at least some) of what I’m looking to achieve. As you say, I will have to read-across my changes every time I install a FBW A320 update, but I can live with that. Thanks very much.

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Great idea. Would be a useful feature for sure. If there was simple option in the EFB to save/load the switch positions it would be great. Granted, low on realism.

Brilliant, I was also looking forward to this, thanks for the tip!

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Many of the local variables are documented at a32nx/a320-simvars.md at master · flybywiresim/a32nx · GitHub (dev version). Be warned that everything is subject to change in future and we can’t offer your support if it breaks ;).

Look for these entries and try them (as written here)


Thanks again @watsi01.
If I may suggest to the (awesome) FBW devs:

  • Please save the aircraft state (full set of vars), and load them automatically again on the next spawn. This would imply keeping for example the status of all switches, potentiometers, fuel in tanks, etc. etc.
  • Please add an “auto-save” of ALL vars, and an option to load those via the EFB. This would be very helpful to restart a flight after a CTD (we all know that the MSFS Load/Save flight is broken, at least with complex aircrafts)
    The FBW A320NX is getting better and better, amazing job!

We’re planning to implement several cockpit states into the EFB (to choose the configuration of your desire).

If you use Spad.Next you can likely program a button to set all the relevant variables at the same time. Wil give it a try today.

For the benefit of anyone else interested in this topic, the other web page I found useful, was this one: Flight Definitions which details some of the standard (i.e. non-FBW A32NX specific) .FLT file variables.
As well as having a .FLT file for starting up on the apron etc, a .FLT file gets created whenever you save a flight (as well as a few other files).
I also found the following method useful when I wasn’t sure which variables related to which control, for example it’s not obvious which of the Potentiometer variables related to which specific lighting brightness controls:

  1. Start a flight on the apron, and save the flight (to create a .FLT file);
  2. Change the control setting you’re interested in, then save the flight again (to create a second .FLT file);
  3. You can then compare the 2 .FLT files to identify the variable which has changed. It’s worth noting that quite a few variables will have changed (times, voltages, currents, temperatures etc), but by working through them it is in most cases possible to find the one you’re interested in.

I think editing the .FLT files probably need to be treated with care, as it’s not always obvious what the effect could be, and what the interactions between some of the variables might be, but in the case of something simple like a brightness control, it’s probably quite safe to experiment. You should always keep a copy of the original file, so you can revert if something goes wrong.
It’s quite interesting to have a look through a .FLT file to give you a good idea of the complexity of the sim and the aircraft models.

THanks, that is exactly what I did (save a file cold and dark without / with my settings) and compare both FLT files.
It does work for me, at least for the time being :slight_smile:

By the way, can anybody tell me what is the name of the VAR for “INT LT - DOME - DIM” (interior light, dome, Dim)?
I have not been able to set that to “Dim” upon start

I think that is: Potentiometer.7=0.5
Odd using a potentiometer for a 3 position switch, but it looks like that is how it has been implemented.
0 = OFF, 0.5 = DIM, 1 = BRT (can also be achieved by removing the Potentiometer.7 entry as I believe 1 is the default value if a float variable is not found).

That was my guess (Potentiometer.7=0.5), but this seems to set the lights at “BRT”, not at “DIM”…

I think that is probably related to the following FBW A32NX Bug report:

Hopefully it will get fixed at some point.
I found that with the following settings:
The light was on and DIM, but as you say the switch was in the BRT position rather than DIM.