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The iRDDU Control Window

Overview

The first screen you will see when you start iRDDU is the control Window.  From here you can start, stop, edit and download dashboards .

Description: C:\Users\Paul Thurston\Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Projects\irDDU2\Documentation\Manual Graphics\Control Window.png

The control window can be resized and moved to suit your requirements.  All windows within iRDDU will remember their last position and size for the next time they’re opened.

As you can see it’s split into three main panels:

  1. Dashboard selection panel.  This lists all dashboards installed on your computer.  Selecting any dashboard here will change the contents of the other two panels to reflect the selected dash.
  2. Dashboard preview - a thumbnail image of the currently selected dashboard.  This is drawn on the fly when you select the dash so will always reflect the latest version of the dash.  Complex dashes can take a few seconds to load and draw.
  3. Dashboard option panel.  Here you can swap between single and multi dash mode and set appropriate options for each.  In addition there are three buttons which open new windows to perform more complex functions.  These will be covered in detail later:
  4. Edit dashboard.  Pressing this button will open the currently selected dashboard in the editor.
  5. Get Dashes.  Opens the dash download window from where you can download and update dashboards from the central dash repository.
  6. Options.  Currently the options window allows you to map buttons to named identifiers that can be accessed from within iRDDU dashboards.

Single Dash Mode

iRDDU’s default running mode is “single dash”.  This is similar to the way iRDDU 1.3 worked in that you simply select a dashboard and click the “Start Dashboard” button to run it, the dashboard is loaded and resized to fit into the same space as the control window.  If the aspect ratio of the dashboard is different to the control window then iRDDU will leave a black bar to the right or underneath.

The three options do the following:

·         Target FPS.  iRDDU will dynamically adjust the dashboard’s update rate to keep it as close to the number of updates a second as it can.  This doesn’t affect the rate the API data is updated internally within iRDDU – that monitors iRacing at the full 60Hz – this is just the rate the dash is updated.

·         Show FPS Counter adds a control to the dash to show the rate the dashboard is being updated.  It’s pink and it tends to highlight the approximate nature of the Target FPS feature.

·         Start with sim.  Check this box and the currently selected dashboard will automatically be loaded if iRacing starts.

To close the dash and return to the control window, double click on it.  Remember that, it’s not entirely intuitive and you will probably forget it.  This only works when you start the dash from the button, in "Start with sim" mode the only way to close the dash is to exit the sim.

Another thing to remember is that if you’re using iRacing in full screen mode then none of the controls on the control window work while iRacing is running (it's a windows thing...) so make sure you start your dash before you start the sim or use “Start with sim”.

If you do forget then there is a simple workaround; use Alt-Tab to minimise iRacing and get back to the desktop then the iRDDU controls will work again.  Start your dash then click on the iRacing icon on the Task Bar to get back to the sim.

Multi Dash Mode

Many people will only ever use single dash mode but if you want to run more than one dashboard simultaneously then Multi dash mode gives you a great deal of flexibility.

An important concept to understand when  running multi-dash is the idea of “Run Mode”.  Each dashboard in the list is assigned one of the three values; Off, Sim or On.  The default is obviously off, sim means that the dash will be loaded if iRacing is started and on means it runs all of the time iRDDU is active.

When you select a dashboard in the list the multi dash panel updates to show the current settings for that dash.  The run mode is set by clicking on one of the three buttons.  Below the run mode buttons are various controls to adjust the position and size of the dash.  These are only modifiable if the run mode is SIM or ON.

At the bottom of the panel is a dropdown which lists the available ways you can display the dash.  The default is to run it as a normal form somewhere on your Windows desktop; the same as iRDDU v1.  With iRDDU2 though you now have the option of streaming dashboards to remote clients via the network.  Any client which supports Motion JPEG should work, good examples being Firefox, VLC and Safari.  I've had excellent results on my Android tablet using Firefox with the Full Screen add-in installed.  This feature is covered in more detail in the Hints and Tips section.

In Multi Dash mode the run status of each dash is displayed in the main dashboard list.  This makes it easy to see which dashboards are currently running or set to start when the sim opens and which port (if any) they are set to stream to.

The easiest way of moving the dash is actually to click on it and hold the button down till the border changes to yellow then drag it to where you want it but if you need finer control then you can use the Size and Position fields to position the dash precisely.

The top line of the Multi Dash panel allows you to filter the dashboard selection list according to the current mode of the dashboards.  A tick in the box above any of the three tells iRDDU to display dashboards set to that run mode.  A good use for this is to deselect “OFF”.  This tells iRDDU to only list those dashboards which are either running or set to run when the sim starts.

The bottom two settings are the same as their single dash equivalents.  The only important difference is that Target FPS applies to each dashboard individually meaning you can set real time dashboards where update rate matters to higher update rates and spotter dashboards which don’t need it to a lower number.