Among the many questions we get from sim pilots who have downloaded our various R4D Freeware packages or purchased the donationware CD are a surprising number with the same general themes.  Despite the fact that virtually all of these questions could be resolved by a thorough reading of the manual, or other package documents, I thought it might be best to set down some of the most commonly recurring ones here in a FAQ document.  This, it is hoped, should help pilots in search of answers and save us a lot of time answering repetitive e-mails.  Salted here and there are a few useful tips, even for those experiencing no problems at all.  My intention is to periodically update this document as new questions and answers come to light.

Because everyone operates on a computer system that is unique by virtue of differences in hardware, specifications, setup and software, occasionally we will encounter a problem which we can neither reproduce on our test machines nor solve.  We try, though, and fortunately these instances are pretty rare.   We are always interested when users discover solutions to problems they have experienced.  In that way we can pass on this knowledge to others.

Please note that, for the most part, what follows pertains only to the version 4 dual panel and aircraft for FS2000.  This includes other DC-3 livery versions of the v4.* plane by Jan Visser.


Each of the subjects below is a link that will take you directly to the pertinent section of the FAQ. 

















A good number of these pleas for help go something like, "I have downloaded your R4D and I get the introduction screen but nothing happens when I click on one of the panels pictures",  and  "The plane works fine, but there are no gauges. Please help!"

All three of us have seen this time and time again.  In some cases, the person has ordered the self-installing donation-ware CD in desperation and invariably had no further problems.  It should not take despair to to inspire a purchase of the CD!  But for those who insist on doing things the hard way, read on.

If the two big oval picture buttons on the Intro Screen don't work, it's because they are actually a gauge, namely RCS-R4D-Combo-Switch-Intro-2k-v1sThe fact that the buttons do nothing (and presumably the little pointing hand doesn't show up either when you pass your cursor over the ovals) indicates the problem is with your gauge installation.  What we have discovered is that there are two recurring causes of this phenomenon:

1. After reading this installation instruction in the manual: "Copy the contents of the R4D_Gauges folder to the FS2000 Gauges folder", or perhaps not reading the installation instructions at all  (I know that's shocking, but some people can't be bothered, apparently ;-)  they move the entire folder of gauges, folder and all, into the FS2000 Gauges folder.   The result is that this extra Gauges folder within a Gauges folder hides the gauges from FS.   "Copy the contents" does not mean "Copy the folder".   In fact, there should be NO sub-folders in your FS2000 Gauges folder, at all.  Empty that folder into the main FS2000 Gauges folder and all will be fine.

2.  The cause of the  second type of missing gauges problem is tipped off by the writers who say they not only have no gauges, they can't find the dreaded v4 manual we are always going on about, either!   The problem this time is that only one of the two zips that make up the R4D package has been downloaded.  Both the Manual folder and the Gauges folder are in the second zip, entitled, wjrdc34b.zip which is 12.1 MB in size.  If you find you need it, get it in the PACKAGES section of this site, or back at the original FS site from which you downloaded the "a" zip. 

If you find that a download website is only carrying one of the two required zips, or that they don't make it clear that you need both for the package to work, please let us know so we can try to have the situation corrected.


"I seem to have a number of missing gauges on the First Officer's panel."

There is another "missing gauges" problem characterized by only some of the gauges not showing up, rather than all of them.  Most often, these missing gauges will be from the First Officer's panel.   This fault indicates you do not have the R4D patch, r4dv4pa2.zip installed.  It is actually a combination of our patches 1 and 2.  The patch corrects this problem, caused by competition for your computer's resources by the numerous gauges and other programs, including other third-party add-ons.   Roy accomplished this by incorporating the sixteen R4D engine instruments (eight per panel) into just two combination gauges.

The patch also does a number of other things, but you can read about it in the FIXES & PATCHES section, or the text file of the patch, itself.   Suffice it to say, it may make the R4D usable on systems that had trouble running it, before the patch.

I recently uploaded the patch to Flightsim.com, the largest download site for our package, and indeed, the largest FS site in the world.  That and the fact that the patch is automatically applied, or re-applied , as the case may be, when you install the Visual Model Upgrade,  r4dv40up.zip, is decreasing the frquency  of this problem.



The converse of number 2 above is, "I can't find the r4dnatsv4 file the manual talks about.  What do I put into the FS2000 Aircraft folder?" and "There is no Pilots folder in the zip."

1.  If both apply, you did not download the wjrdc34a.zip of 11. MB.  Go get it (see #2, above). 

2.  If, on the other hand, you have both zips and have the Pilots folder but still can't find the file entitled r4dnatsv4, then you can blame me.  Somehow, when I wrote the manual I did not keep up with a title change that was made when an internal zip was scrapped.  The actual  title of the R4D Aircraft folder Douglas R4D-6 NATS v4.0.  Fortunately for me, most people have opened up this folder and found all the required subfolders and files that every FS2000 plane must have -- Panel, Textures, Model, and the rest -- and figured out what it was and where it goes.  I'll take the blame, though.  You should not have to cope with incorrect instructions.   Just copy or drag this whole folder, Douglas R4D-6 NATS v4.0, into the FS2000 Aircraft folder.  Everything is already in there, so that's all you must do to have a fully installed DC-3 and panel.



"Why don't the pictures and diagrams appear in my manual?"

You must leave the v4manual.htm file in its folder (also named "v4manual") in order for it to be able to find and call up the pictures.  You may move the folder in its entirety anywhere you want to keep it   on your hard drive, or a disc, but it must remain intact.

"I would like to print your manual for easy reference.  Can you provide me with a printed or printable version?"

Certainly!  In fact, I already have.  Look for the plain text version of the manual in the v4manual folder, called "v4manual.txt" designed for printing.  If you want the pictures, though, you will have to print it from your browser and I hope you have a good supply of paper and ink!  I have been told it runs to 60 some printed pages!  No, I do not have a PDF version of the manual, nor do I own the software to produce it or the time to do so.   The good news is, one is being produced now by a volunteer, along with PDF versions of the old version manuals and, for CD purchasers, PDFs of the WW-II Pilot's Manuals, too.   The R4D manuals will be available for free download at RCS, probably by the end of March, 2001.



"Why do some of the letters and features double or blur, or not align properly when I turn on the panel spotlights?"

This old bug has finally been fixed with the issue of Patch 3.  The files in Patch 3 are already included in the new fourth edition of the CD.  All others can download the self-installing patch from the RCS website or Flightsim.com.    If you don't know what I' talking about, read on:

Although it was covered in the v4 Manual in the KNOWN ISSUES section, here it is again for those who missed it or did not bother to read my beautiful manual!  ;-)

"Some systems show a slight (the number of pixels varies with different video cards) misalignment between the spot-lighted bitmaps (cockpit lights) and the underlying main, day, panel bitmaps. This glitch is caused by the non-standard way different graphic cards draw in the bitmaps.  It is only really very noticeable when the spot lights are switched on at dusk or dawn.  The effect may be lessened or disappear entirely in Full Screen mode (it does with my own Voodoo 5500).  When it is full dark it is not conspicuous at all.  Experimentation with different screen resolutions may help you lessen or eliminate the problem for your particualr system.   Note: Patch 3 has made this a thing of the past, happily.  It has worked on every system upon which it has been tested.

If you don't know what I'm talking about when I speak of the "spot lights", as opposed to the "panel or gauge lights", go look in the manual -- you are missing a unique feature of the FS2000 R4D panel. 



"The passenger door opens and closes uncontrollably!"

This should not be happening to you since you are talking about a bug that has been fixed by the Visual Model Upgrade for the v4 aircraft., which you definitely should have!   In case you are interested, this was also addressed in the v4 Manual under KNOWN ISSUES and instructions were given to avoid this phenomenon.   But the solution now is to download and run the upgrade.   The upgrade, BTW, works for the MAAM Donation-Ware CD, as well as the Freeware version of the plane.  The third and fourth edition of the CD  already has the VMU installed.  (see the "read_1st.txt" to find out which CD edition you have.)  When you run the VMU installation, READ THE DOC that opens so that you won't have to ask the second question, below ...

"Since installing the visual model upgrade, I can't close the passenger door!  How does it work?"

Go back and read the v40upgrade.txt, a copy of which is in the Douglas R4D-6 NATS v40 folder that you will find in the FS2000 Aircraft folder and you will find two different paragraphs covering this question.  Also, the description of the R4D Start-Up Reading flight, which you should be using, (see the manual again) contains the sentence, "Remember to turn on the Nav Lights switch which will close the passenger door and call the pilots to the cockpit." 

Using the L key, as has been suggested by some users in the forums, is the WRONG thing to do!  It will cause a mess, by putting various light switches on the Overhead Electrical Panels out of synch with their functions. 

ALWAYS USE SWITCHES ON THE PANEL, rather than keyboard commands, when there is a choice.



"Why are the digits in my transponder (or other radio) missing and my ADF only showing 2 numbers?"

You have not installed the Microsoft FS2000 Patch 2B .  If you don't have this patch, you may not even be able to run this or other complex panels at all, or you may experience other odd problems.  There are seperate patches for the Standard and Professional version of FS2000.  Get the one you need at MS, Flightsim.com, or RCS in the  FIXES & PATCHES section or the Downloads Section of the VA's page.  



"Why is one (or both) of the magneto levers in the wrong position when I load the R4D-?"

Either you did not load the plane by selecting the R4D Start-Up Reading, or you used it as your Default Flight.  You should always start FS2000 with the Default Flight -   Meigs Field as your starting, default flight.  This is a good rule to follow for all add-on aircraft and panels.    Failure to do so may cause problems with the aircraft's electrical system, starting sequence, or other systems.


"Why is my ignition master switch in the ON (up) position when I load the start-up flight, even after following instructions to the letter?"

This seems to be a quirk we can't solve.   All the other switches in the R4D Start-Up Reading flight seem to be just where we want them, providing you followed the instruction to start FS2000 with the Default Flight -  Meigs Field first.  Just leave the switch on and proceed with the normal starting sequence, otherwise you will hear a bogus engine shutdown sound.


"When I load the R4D Start-Up Reading flight the engines are running but when I go to the cockpit the electrical switches (batteries and generators) are off.  How can this be?"

In order for the engine state (running or off) and the electrical and ignition switches to be properly synchronized, you should turn off the engine and switches of the plane you are using, whether it is the R4D or another aircraft, before loading an "Engines-Off" situation, such as R4D Start-Up Reading.   If you are starting with the default Cessna at Miegs, for instance, this is just a matter of turning off the ignition key.  Conversely, if you are moving to an "Engine(s)-Running" situation, leave the engine(s) running on your previous situation when you select the new flight.


"When I first load the R4D Start-Up Reading flight I see several gauges  that are oddly colored with needles in impossible positions."

Yes, a strange bug of unknown cause that sometimes makes an appearance.  All will be put right by turning on the Batteries switch.  You can turn it off again, if you wish, and everything should remain normal and correct, or just ignore it and proceed with the engine start sequence.


"Since installing Patch 3 I get an 'Aircraft initialization fault' when I select 'DC-3 Start-Up Situation' from the Flights menu. Why?"

This start-up situation was a modification of the default Miegs Cessna flight, modified to load the R4D, engines running, and edited to allow the starting system to operate properly.   The Visual Model Upgrade replaced this with a new one, "R4D Start-Up Reading" which placed the plane on it's home ramp at in front of the MAAM hangar with the engines off and the door open.   If you wish to continue to use the old "DC-3 Start-up Situation" you may.  After the Aircraft Initialization Failure" warning, the flight will load, but the Cessna or other aircraft (depending on what you used last) will be there.  Just go to the Aircraft menu and select the R4D.



"When I try to download Real Weather with the R4D loaded, the program crashes."  or  "The R4D refuses to work in Multi-Player mode."

You do not have the R4D patch, r4dv4pa2.zip (or Patch 3 r4dv4pa3.zip, which includes and supercedes it) installed.   The patch, among other things, reduces the number of gauges competing for system resources with other features of FS or other add-on programs.  It does so by replacing 16 individual engine instruments with two multi-instrument gauges.   Remember, when you install the Visual Model Upgrade, r4dv40up.zip , you will get patch 2 automatically.



"Since installing the R4D, my ATIS, morse radio identifiers, and (or) OMI marker sounds no longer play."

This one is pretty rare, in fact for quite some time I thought I was the only sufferer!  It seems to be sound card related (I have the Sound Blaster Live, and so does another fellow sufferer I eventually heard from) but is caused by something as yet unidentified about the R4D Start-Up Flight.  The solution is to download an install Patch 3 (r4dv4pa3.zip) which contains a new "R4D Start-Up Reading" that corrects the problem.  Owners of the Fourth Edition of the CD  (see the "read_1st.txt" to find out which edition you have) already have the patch installed, so they should never see this bug.



"My landing lights don't  work"

They sure don't.  Lights that actually illuminate the ground  are not supported by FS2000, even though they were in FS98.  Blame Bill Gates.   Jan has incorporated landing light lamps that glow when the Landing Light switches are on in the VMU, but that's all we can do at the moment.



"When I turn the Radio Master Switch on, the radios go off! (or vice versa)"

If this happens to you, there is a secret button to set things right.   The large screw between the Sperry Pilot and the Captain's Altimeter is a hot button.  Incidentally, the Radio Master switch only operates the radios on the Captain's side because of a programming difficulty.  Also remember that the batteries must be on, as well for the radios to work, and if you forget to turn on the generators the batteries will soon go flat. 



"My landing lights (or other lights) are on, but the Landing Light (or other) Switches are off."

You used the L key, didn't you?   Using the L key, for instance to close the passenger door, will turn on all the lights - landing, navigation, beacon, and panel - at one time, the end result being that all their switches will be out of synch.   Reset the R4D Start-Up Reading flight to reset the switches and lights to off.  Don't use the L key!



"When I turn on the modern autopilot master switch (or the Z key), the plane immediately yaws (or rolls, or climbs, or dives), even though I have not turned on any of the hold buttons." 

You must turn the three Sperry Pilot speed valve wheels to zero before engaging the "modern" auto-pilot.  Turning on the AP Master switch engages the Sperry, so if these wheels are not zeroed out, the aircraft will respond to the inputs from the Sperry, overriding or causing erratic behavior in the other auto-pilot.  See the v4 manual for a detailed explanation of how the auto-pilots are used.  This is not the typical FS auto-pilot setup!

One user has reported a Sperry which failed to work properly until he eventually discovered the culprit was changed control sensitivities (Options/Controls/Sensitivities) in FS2000.  Keep in mind that the R4D flight model and instruments were designed with FS2000 default sensitivity settings.  If you have altered these sensitivities to compensate for a joystick's peculiarities or personal preferences, you may experience unusual or less than optimum behavior in the R4D.  FS 2000 provides a handy "Reset Defaults" button in the sensitivity menu, so it's easy to find out.  Since this one and only one report was received, though, I don't think this is a widespread problem. 

Even if you do things the historically accurate way, shunning that new-fangled thingy up there on the OEP and using the Sperry, here's a tip:  It is very useful as a bearing repeater for the Sperry.  The numbers in the modern AP's Heading readout will tell you the exact magnetic bearing that you have set on the Sperry's heading indicator dial.  You will find the digits much easier to read accurately than that little Sperry DG double scale.



"What is that instrument next to the flap control, just below the clock, and what do all the readouts and knobs do?"  

This instrument has odometer type readouts which, from top to bottom, are the DME 1 expressed in nautical miles and tenths, the Bearing Indicator for OBI 1 in degrees, and the DME 2 in nautical miles and tenths.   Rotating the knob beside the second readout will rotate the direction ring of the OBI, and the reverse is also true.  Tip: Whichever of these two knobs you use to adjust the OBI, the digital readout on this gauge will give you a more accurate indication of the radial to which you are tuned than the OBI's small scale.  

The test button and knob will operate the red and yellow lights, but perform no other function.  The actual instrument in the original plane is an RNAV and we did not get the programming for it done, although we had once hoped to.  If you care to read all about how the real RNAV in #819 works you can find this information in the Manual for version 2 of the R4D.  (All the previous version manuals are on the donationware CD in the folder "v1to3doc")


"What is a VME, and why is there a hole in the left side of the gauge face?"

The Vertical Measuring Equipment is a radio altimeter (RA).  Also called a Radar Altimeter, this instrument measures actual height above ground in hundreds of feet.   That's not a hole, it's a shield from behind which the needle will appear after takeoff and disappear at 3000 feet AGL (Above Ground Level).   The VME is not dependent on barometric pressure and is a wonderfully useful instrument, especially when used with the new mesh sceneries for FS2000.  Tip: Go get Eddie Denney's  Freeware New England Sceneries if you don't already have them!

Also, note that this gauge does not have a uniform scale.  In other words, the arc on the dial between 100' and 200' is larger than that from 200' to 300', and so on.   A non-uniform scale is not so unusual.  Look closely at other gauges on the panel and you will discover a number of others.  But this one is non-linear to a really radical dgree!  In fact, while 100' to 300' takes up a 90 degree arc on the dial, the next 90 degrees will take you from 300' to 750' -  or 250 feet more.   The final 45 degrees on the dial, before the needle goes into hiding behind the shield, will take you all the way to 3000'.   So what does this mean to you?  It means  a steady rate of descent, or more to the point, a steady rise in the terrain below you,  will produce a needle which appears to accelerate as it rotates toward zero behind it's protective shield.   This can be a handy and sometimes downright startling little eye-catcher when you are approaching a "granite cloud" lurking among the cumulus!   When that little needle starts to unwind ever more quickly, you better climb even faster!


"Why are there two different fuel controls and how are they used?"

The short answer is, one monitors the fuel, the other controls it.  The left one is the Fuel Quantity Gauge.   Turning the knob determines from which of the four tanks the instrument reads the quantity.   The "clunk" sound you hear when you turn that knob is the authentic, unique sound of the real thing.  In reality, the instrument has four different faces which are rotated beneath the glass by turning the knob.  But we cheated a bit and depicted just one of those faces (had you noticed it says "RH MAIN 202 GALLONS" on the face?).  Making this four-in-one gauge function exactly like the real one would have been possible, but it would have been a lot of KB's!  Other than that label, it works and sounds just like the real one. 

The right-hand one is the Fuel Tank Selector.  This one controls which tank the engines are drawing from.  We had to compromise with reality on this one too, because of a limitation and a quirk in Flight Simulator.  FS does not allow for more than one fuel selector, whereas the real DC-3 has one such control for each engine.   I also considered this control important enough to move up on the panel when the actual selectors flank the quadrant down low, out of sight on this panel.    Turning the knob causes the fuel to be drawn from the indicated tank --- except for that quirk I spoke of:   FS will always draw from an Auxilliary tank before a Main tank.  So, if you select RH MAIN, the RH AUX will empty first, followed by the RH MAIN.  In practice, it's best to set the selector to ALL and fuel will be drawn evenly from both AUX, then both MAIN tanks, maintaining lateral balance.  Yes, if you drain from only one side until you have a substantial imbalance, the plane will fly in a circle!