The Hotstart TBM-900 provides a custom mechanism to allow the PFD and MFD to be displayed on external monitors.  To use the RealSimGear G1000 PFD and MFD with the Hotstart TBM900, you DO NOT need to replace the G1000 bezel files native to X-Plane, nor do you have to “pop out” the PFD and MFD within the aircraft.Rather, follow the steps below after physically connecting the RealSimGear PFD and MFD to your computer and installing the RealSimGear plugin.

Configure the Display

Before starting, identify which monitors your computer is using for the PFD and MFD. In Windows 10, right click on the Desktop and choose “Display Settings”. You can also click on the “Identify” button to have each display labelled like in the image below, the PFD is monitor #2 and the MFD is monitor #3 but depending on how many monitors you have on your computer, the numbering may vary.

For each of the two displays being used as the PFD and MFD, select the display and ensure the setting are set as shown below. 

After making a change to any of the settings, be sure to select “Keep changes”.

After setting each of the two displays per the setting above, you will notice the display locations shown at the top of the setting page may be arranged strangely. At this step, arrange the two windows being used by the PFD and MFD to a position that makes sense for your cockpit layout. While the relative location does not really matter, it typically works best to arrange them below your main (and center) sim monitor. Once placed, hit the “Apply” button.

Configure HotStart TBM-900 Custom PFD/MFD

Start X-Plane and load the HotStart TBM-900 at any airport. Once the aircraft and scenery are finished loading, power up the TBM900 by moving the crash bar up and setting source to BATT or GPU (suggest using the GPU so as to not run the battery down). Wait for the PFD and MFD to be displayed in the airplane.

Once displayed in the aircraft, you will notice that the RealSimGear PFD and MFD displays still show images of your desktop. The following steps will enable the airplane PFD/MFD to be displayed on the RealSimGear PFD and MFD displays.

Open the X-Plane settings and go to the "Keyboard" tab. Once there, scroll down to the "tbm900" section, expand it by clicking on the “+” sign, find the “cockpit builder” section and expand that as well.

Map an unused key to the “Reload cockpit builder configuration” by clicking on the “+” sign to the right of the command and then hit any unused key (X-Plane will prompt you if a chosen key is already in use, typically the “\” is a good option to choose). Once set, click the “Done” button to return to X-Plane. This key will now force a reload of the configuration file we are going to modify below, therefore avoiding having to reload the aircraft. Leave X-Plane running during the remaining steps.

Using File Explorer, navigate to the root of the TBM900 folder, typically found in

<X-Plane Install Folder> \Aircraft\X-Aviation\TBM-900

Locate the file called “cockpit_builder.cfg” and copy it to

<X-Plane Install Folder>\Output\TBM900

Once copied to this new location, open the new copy using something other than Notepad (Notepad++, Wordpad, SublimeText, etc).

Read through the cockpit_builder.cfg file to familiarize yourself with the next steps. The basics of these steps will map the virtual PFD and MFD to the RealSimGear PFD and MFD and set the proper coordinates of the images on those displays to completely fill the screens. Because these coordinates are coupled to the display size, location, and configuration set above, a bit of experimentation may be needed as outlined below.

First scroll down to the Example section looking for something like this:

# popup/pfd1/x = 100
# popup/pfd1/y = 50
# popup/pfd1/w = 1400
# popup/pfd1/h = 900

Below these lines, copy and paste the following additions (note, the new lines should NOT have a leading “#” symbol):

popup/pfd1/x = 200
popup/pfd1/y = 0
popup/pfd1/w = 800
popup/pfd1/h = 600
popup/pfd1/monitor = 2
#
popup/mfd/x = 998
popup/mfd/y = 0
popup/mfd/w = 800
popup/mfd/h = 600
popup/mfd/monitor = 3

Note the “monitor =” should be set to the corresponding PFD and MFD monitors identified in the Windows settings above, in this case 2 & 3.

The resulting file should look like this:

# [EXAMPLE]
#
# Placing PFD1 onto the main monitor, offset 50 pixels from the bottom
# edge, 100 pixel from the left edge and the output screen measuring
# 1400 x 900 pixels (NOTE: in an actual config file, your config lines
# WOULDN'T start with '#', this is just for documentation):
#
# popup/pfd1/x = 100
# popup/pfd1/y = 50
# popup/pfd1/w = 1400
# popup/pfd1/h = 900
#
popup/pfd1/x = 200
popup/pfd1/y = 0
popup/pfd1/w = 800
popup/pfd1/h = 600
popup/pfd1/monitor = 2
#
popup/mfd/x = 998
popup/mfd/y = 0
popup/mfd/w = 800
popup/mfd/h = 600
popup/mfd/monitor = 3

Save the modified file (the editing program may prompt about losing formatting, please save as text only), but leave the file open. Change back to the running X-Plane window. When there, press the key that was mapped in the above steps, and you should see the virtual PFD and MFD screens become displayed on your RealSimGear PFD and MFD screen. 

However, the displays may not be perfectly aligned.

To get the displays to align properly, start “experimenting” with the screen placement by varying the x and y coordinates (the bottom, left side of screen) and the "w" and "h" (the width and height of the image) in the cockpit_builder.cfg file still open from before. Each time a change is made, save the file and hit the reload key in X-Plane that you previously mapped. Each time the reload key is pressed after making changes to the file, you should observe the display moving around on the RealSimGear displays. Repeat this process until the images are perfectly aligned on the RealSimGear PFD and MFD.

Once you have everything aligned, close the “cockpit_builder.cfg” file and enjoy using the TBM-900 on the RealSimGear G1000 suite!

Of note, the above settings will persist across reboots and restarts of X-Plane, meaning you only must perform the above steps once. However, if you adjust your display settings at all after setting up the file or disconnect a monitor, you will likely have to go back and readjust the settings in cockpit_builder.cfg file once again.

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