SPAD General Setup

After you have started SPAD you will see a little aircraft icon in your system tray.
Double click on this icon > and the General Page will open:

generalsetup2[If you don’t see the icon…go to >Control Panel > All Control Panel Items >Notification Area Icons : Set the SPAD icon to “Show icon and notifications”]

Here you can setup some general options. Select Setup in General Options. This will open the SPAD – General Options window with 2 tabs: General and Process Priority.

General: whatever you like, you can start SPAD when Windows starts and/or Quit SPAD when FSX stops.

When a new aircraft is detected: you can either ask for a profile to bind or bind to the default profile. If you use many different aircrafts the option “…ask for a profile to bind” may be useful to rapidly select the correct profile. In this blog there is a special page dealing with profiles.

Process Priority:
 No support is provided about process priority management, click only if you know what you are doing.

Short/Long click threshold: Pay attention to click threshold, using a very short threshold could make short/long click detection unreliable.
A short click is applied pressing down a button and releasing it immediately.
A long click is applied pressing down a button and keeping it pressed for a while.
The minimum pressing time to achieve a long click is customizable. By default this is set to 500 msec.  Long click press duration is configurable in the “General Options” window.

Another way  to Start SPAD when Flight Simulator starts
This method is only compatible with FSX or Prepar3D. You can’t use it for FS9 (Flight Simulator 2004).
To start SPAD automatically when FSX or Prepar3D starts you have to manually modify your exe.xml file.
This process is simple but not trivial.
Proceed only if you feel secure about what you are doing and in any case make a backup of the file before any modifications.

Exe.xml is located in your %appdata%MicrosoftFSX folder.
You have to add a Launch.Addon section like this:

<Path>C:Program Files (x86)SPADSPAD.exe</Path> </Launch.Addon>
Of course you have to edit the path to reflect your installation
The whole exe.xml file should look like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="windows-1252"?> 
<SimBase.Document Type="Launch" version="1,0"> 
<Path>C:Program Files (x86)SPADSPAD.exe</Path> 
Of course your file could be different if another section was 
previously added/modified.

Multi Panel


There’s not much to explain about autopilot section of the Multi Panel.
Select a position from ALT-VS-IAS-HDG-CRS using the Mode Selector.
Change the value of the selected function with the rotary knob.
Use the backlit buttons to engage/disengage the autopilot mode you need.

Acceleration value of the Rotary knob.
Best results are achieved fine tuning the rotary knob acceleration values. Each mode (ALT, VS, IAS, HDG and CRS) has its own acceleration value.
Try by yourself the best values that suite your needs. Consider, as a starting point, that ALT and IAS normally work better with a certain amount of acceleration.
VS works better without acceleration.

Pay attention to Auto Throttle. Multi Panel AT switch is not spring loaded, so it stays on the last position regardless the simulator has disengaged it.

Flaps steps are automatic and set by the aircraft is use. If you need you can reverse the flaps.

Note: since this is a wheel, it suggests that the function is like an axis. However it is a switch function, so whenever you start to experiment wit FSUIPC4 this will not work with the axes in FSUIPC.
The Pitch Trim wheel is the Multi Panel most valueable feature. With a good setup you can achieve a very realistic and comfortable pitch trim wheel.
Default Saitek driver lacks in sensitivity, so it’s impossible to set the trim very precisely.
SPAD let you set wheel sensitivity and acceleration, sensitivity is the single step trim value. The higher the sensitivity the smaller the single step.
Set trim sensitivity and acceleration to best suite your needs, consider that fast jet planes (like military fighters) work better with lower sensitivity and medium-high acceleration. Small single prop GA aircrafts like higher sensitivity and medium acceleration. Your mileage may vary.

Every switch, button or rotary knob is configurable. Every panel, even of the same type, has its own configuration, so it’s possible to setup different function to the same button of different panel.

Possible functions are:

  1. No Event: ‘No Event’ should be self explanatory. By default the panel functions selectors are set to ‘No Event’. 
  2. FSUIPC Offset Change: ‘FSUIPC Offset Change’ means that Spad internal logic is used to manage the given function. Spad writes directly into Flight Simulator using FSUIPC. 
  3. FSUIPC Virtual Button: ‘FSUIPC Virtual Button’ is a particular feature offered by FSUIPC. Basically it’s a virtual joystick buttons management. Pros of this function are the high number of buttons available (288) and the ability to work even if Flight Simulator application has not the focus on it. Cons is the speed. If you need to map rotary knobs functions the best way is to use keyboard emulation which is much faster. FSUIPC Virtual button requires the registered version of FSUIPC. 
  4. Keyboard Emulation: ‘Keyboard Emulation’ is all about sending keystrokes to Flight Simulator. Pay attention, if Flight Simulator is not the active application (in example if you are working with your charts) this function will not work.

FSUIPC Virtual Buttons and Keyboard Emulation require the proper setup into Flight Simulator.

One of the best ways to integrate function not mapped on short keys or FSUIPC action is to use Mouse Macros.
Please refer to FSUIPC documentation to learn how to use Mouse Macros.

To use a virtual button simply select the virtual joystick number and the related virtual button number.

These numbers coincide with the ones you can find in FSUIPC interface.

Use “Send button to Flight Sim” for quick data entry programming FSUIPC.

To program keyboard emulation key click get keys and follow the guide prompted in the popup window:


The Maddog has no customizable options. When Maddog Special Mode is active please use only your Multipanel to set Heading, Course, Altitude, IAS and Vertical Speed.

NAV1 and NAV2 Radio Panel mode is also tweaked when Special Mode is active to emulate MD-8x Nav radios (no active/standby switch).

Activating the Maddog Special Mode any setting applied to the Multipanel are overridden with exceptions for the flaps and the trim wheel.

This is the function mapping:


PMDG Boeing 737 NGX
The NGX is a much more sophisticated “Special Mode” offering room for many customizations.

It’s possible to assign any 737 MCP button to each Multipanel button, so you can choose the most useful MCP functions you need.

Using both Short and Long-Click it’s possible to map 16 MCP buttons to the Multipanel.
Buttons backlit is linked to the function bound with Short-Click, so take care to choose short-click for those function where backlit is needed.

Course 1 or 2 is also selectable; this is useful if you own more Multipanels.

Acceleration sliders has different effects using the NGX Special Mode, the NGX manage the increments by itself, so a kind of acceleration in already embedded and, as far as we know, it’s not customizable.

Finally, consider that when the NGX Special Mode is active all functions are still overridable!

So be sure that “FSUIPC Offset Change” is set for each Multipanel function (unless you’re searching some special setup).

For example: using a yoke quadrant lever for the flaps frees the Multipanel flap switch for other functions (may be the landing light bar ?).
Same consideration is valid for the trim wheel, which could be used for the V/S MCP wheel as well).

For other specific SPAD Multi Panel Configuration settings read one of the articles.


SPAD Special Modes

Please refer to the Profiles page – in the “Special Modes” section if it’s no clear what a “Special Mode” is. In this section you can customize Multi panel specific options when a “Special Mode” is active. “Special Modes” are associated with a profile.
Edit the profile you are using to enable a “Special Mode”.

In the final release v0.5.1 of SPAD there is one Special Mode functional for the PMDG NGX. No other development is foreseen. Read the SPAD.neXt page

First of all choose a “Special Mode” to show the available options:
Normally Spad “talks” to Flight Simulator using FSUIPC standard Flight simulator offsets. In many cases FSUIPC interface is able to control every needed functions through common offsets, this is not true for aircraft that implement custom auto pilots or other special functions.

Using SPAD you are able to customize panel inputs remapping them to keyboard keystrokes or FSUIPC virtual joysticks buttons. Using these features together with FSUIPC Mouse Macros allow to address almost any input problems.

The problem are the panel displays. SPAD gets data to display on the panel using FSUIPC. But if the aircraft doesn’t expose the correct data using the standard FSUIPC offsets we have a problem.

Special Mode is a solution for the aircrafts “equipped” with an SDK (Software Development Kit).
Basically, if a Special Mode is enabled, SPAD stops to communicate through FSUIPC standard offsets and uses aircraft specific functions instead.
Obviously a specific Special Mode is needed for each aircraft (or at least for each aircraft “family”).

Special Modes are set within profiles.
If a profile enables a Special Mode, every panel changes the logic applied to many functions.
At the moment 2 Special Modes are available:
– Leonardo Maddog 2008 / 2010 – PMDG 737NGX

Known Issues PMDG 737NGX

VERY IMPORTANT: To enable the data communication output from the PMDG aircraft, you will need to open the file 737NGX_Options.ini (located in the FSX folder PMDGPMDG 737 NGX) and add the following lines to the end of the file:



SPAD.exe Installation

Run the included automatic setup tool (SetupSpad.exe). Before using SPAD you must uninstall all previous installed Saitek  drivers.

SPAD is not compatible with UAC (User Account Control).

If you want to run SPAD on Windows Vista or Seven you have to either disable UAC or run SPAD with Administrator rights (right click and select “Run as Administrator”). spadcompatibility

OR: right click on the spad.exe file and select Troubleshoot compatibility. Let it run as Vista SP2. You can check the properties of the file > Compatibility tab

Connecting USB devices

You must connect the Saitek modules to on board USB.: Radio Panel(s), Switch Panel and Multi Panel. All other: TPM, TQ, Trim wheel can be connected to the USB positions of the Yoke.

Check in the device manager if the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power checkbox is UNCHECKED ! …and check ALL the HID interfaces.



Using profiles you can bind specific settings for each aircraft you use. When Spad is running for the first time, only 1 profile is available called “Default”.
Profiles are managed directly from this main window:

Press the button Manage Profiles.
Here you can add the profiles you need and bind your aircraft to the correct profile double clicking the desired aircraft.

Aircraft cannot be added to the list since the list is populated automatically when a new aircraft is used in Flight Simulator.

If the option “When a new aircraft is detected …ask for a profile to bind” is selected, you’ll be prompted every time a new aircraft is loaded for the first time.
In this window you can select an existing profile or type in a brand new profile name.

If a new profile is selected it will be filled with default values. The next time this aircraft is used the profile will be selected automatically. You can set the current profile from the main SPAD window as well.

In the beginning…there is one -default- profile which is shown in the Profiles List. Next to the Profiles tab, you will find the detected aircraft with an overview in the Aircraft List. When you single left click subsequently on the aircraft, you can read the profile that is assigned to this aircraft.

When you double click an aircraft you can change the link to its profile. When there is only the default profile you must make a profile before you can attach an aircraft to it.

So, back to the previous window and select Add new Profile which profile name must be inserted in the pop-up window. Close with OK, the new profile will be listed. Now go back to the Aircraft tab, double click your Cessna and attach it to the profile as required.
Note: no spaces or special characters!


If you want to bind a PMDG NGX to a (new) profile, set the radio bullet to PMDG NGX and press Add new Profile in the SPAD Profile Configuration window. After that action you can address the functions in the Multi Panel Configuration window.



The BIP is the only panel that doesn’t work without configuration. There’s no default so you have to setup which “tiles” are installed on your BIP. Press the Setup button and you will enter the BIP Panel Configuration page.

First you have to select which “tile” you want to edit by clicking on it.

Currently selected tile is highlighted with a thicker border –> When a “tile” is selected the lower part ot the window shows detail about the currently selected tile.

Let’s explore in what happens selecting the FUEL LOW tile in the first tile.

“Tiles” functions are grouped by sections like: Engines, Fuel, Gear and so on.
When a function is clicked the description frame shows a brief description of what that function does.
If description starts with “Custom tile” means the selected tile is not included in the standard set. Meaning you have to build it by yourself.

“Standard mode supported “ means the function is read through FSUIPC so it should be available to standard aircrafts, this mode is used when no “Special mode” is active.

“NGX mode supported” means the function is read through the PMDG NGX SDK so it’s available when NGX “Special mode” is active in current profile.

If a function has a tunable threshold the range is described here.
The threshold slider is shown only if the selected function is threshold based.
The “Tile Color” buttons are shown only for standard (not combined ) tiles.
Combined tiles use more color for the same function: for example see: LEFT GEAR
In previous example we have set the first tile to turn on yellow light if the total fuel level drops below 15%.


Understanding thresholds
Some annunciator panel lights are related to discrete events like DOOR WARNING or PITOT HEAT. Other are related to changing values. Let’s take ENG OIL TEMP by example.
ENG OIL TEMP turns on if the engine oil is hot. But what does “hot” mean ? It depends on the aircraft specs, “hot” may have different values on a Cessna 172 or on a Boeing 737.
This is the reason for thresholds.

In this example we can see the ENG OIL TEMP case.
Description tells us than the threshold scales from 0°C to 200°C.
We set a 65% threshold, this means that the light is switched on (yellow) when oil temperature exceeds 130°C (65% of 200°C) which is correct for a Cessna C172.
Using a Boeing 737 the correct value would be 82% (164°C).