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Networked Configuration
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Networked Configuration

ASX can be used in a networked configuration where FSX runs on a different computer (FSX Deluxe version is required).

Allowing this to work requires proper networking and security configuration on both computers.  SimConnect will be used in networked client/server mode to facilitate the weather communications functions.  Networked file access will be used to pass data between ASX, X Gauge, FSX station databases and X Graphics (if installed).

Sharing Folders

To properly use ASX in a networked configuration, you must have three folders shared on your FSX pc.  If you are not familiar with how to share folders please search the internet as there are many helpful resources.

Folders to share

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Flight Simulator X (or your FSX installation folder)

  • C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Microsoft\FSX (or if on Vista, C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\FSX)

  • C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\My Documents\Flight Simulator X Files (or if on Vista, C:\Users\[username]\Documents\Flight Simulator X Files)

These folders should be shared with write permissions (Allow networked users to change my files).

If you are unable to locate these folders, you may need to enable "Show hidden and system files" in your VIEW options within Windows Explorer.

We recommend using the default share names for simplicity.

To confirm that you have sharing setup properly, attempt to access these shared from your remote/client computer.  You should be able to view the content of these folders through Windows Explorer (via the Network/[computername]/[sharename] path)
 

Configuring SimConnect

Important requirements for networked configuration:
  • FSX Deluxe version ONLY (standard does not include the SDK or required simconnect client installation files)
  • FSX Service Pack 1 update applied (http://www.fsinsider.com)
  • FSX SDK installed from FSX Deluxe Disk 1 (\SDK folder setup.exe)
  • FSX SDK SP1A update applied (http://www.fsinsider.com)
  • The computer to run FSX (hereby named SERVER) and the computer(s) to run SimConnect add-ons (hereby named CLIENT(s)) must be appropriately configured for normal IP networking
  • Firewall software must be configured to allow SimConnect communications on the port you set (we suggest port 500) – This includes windows firewall – and applies to all computers, both SERVER and CLIENT(s)

Step 1: Verify requirements

Look through the above requirements and ensure everything is setup properly and all FSX SDK & update installations have been run.

Step 2: Configure SERVER

There are two files which must be configured on the server.  They are:
  • [ApplicationDataFolder]\Microsoft\FSX\SimConnect.xml
  • [MyDocumentsFolder]\Flight Simulator X Files\SimConnect.ini

ApplicationDataFolder is:
For Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\
For Vista: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\

MyDocumentsFolder is:
For Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\My Documents\
For Vista: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\.

There are example files located in your FSX SDK installation folder (normally C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Games\Flight Simulator X SDK\SDK\Core Utilities\SimConnect SDK\config).  We suggest copying these files to the appropriate locations and then modifying as follows:

SimConnect.xml:

The values for Protocol, Address and Port must be modified.  The other values should be left default.

For Protocol,
IPv4 should be used.
Example: <Protocol>IPv4</Protocol>

For Address,
use either the computer name or the physical IP address of this SERVER.
Example: <Address>192.168.1.102</Address>

For Port,
use any port you wish to enable for SimConnect communications.  We suggest port 500.  This port will need to be enabled in any software firewall programs you are running (including windows firewall).
Example: <Port>500</Port>

Note: If you are using FSUIPC, you may need to perform the following steps for proper FSUIPC/ASX networked operation:

  • First set the SimConnect.xml as described above.
  • Next set the <Scope> variable to global instead of local (<Scope>global</Scope>).
  • Run FSUIPC install (again if already installed).  Your SimConnect.xml will then be properly configured.

SimConnect.ini:

The configuration values here are less important, however it is extremely helpful to have the debug console activated (console=1) to be able to see when SimConnect is appropriately making a connection and talking to the client applications.

We suggest the default values throughout:
Change console to 0 (console=0) to disable to debug console.

Step 3: Installing SimConnect client on CLIENT(s)

There is a simconnect.msi installation file located in the SDK installation folder\SDK\Core Utilities Kit\SimConnect SDK\lib.  This file should be copied to each CLIENT machine and run in order to install the appropriate SimConnect client files.  Remember to update your SDK to SP1A (or latest) before doing this.

Step 4: Configure CLIENT(s)

There is a single configuration file needed on all clients:
[MyDocumentsFolder]\SimConnect.cfg

MyDocumentsFolder is:
For Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\My Documents\.
For Vista: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\.

There is an example file located in your FSX SDK installation folder (normally C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Games\Flight Simulator X SDK\SDK\Core Utilities\SimConnect SDK\config).  We suggest copying this file to the appropriate location and then modifying as follows:

The values for Protocol, Address and Port must be configured exactly the same as you have configured for the server’s SimConnect.xml file.  We recommend the other values be left default.

Here is an example SimConnect.cfg file:
[SimConnect]
Protocol=IPv4
Address=192.168.1.102
Port=500
MaxReceiveSize=4096
DisableNagle=0

The SimConnect.cfg file needs to be set for all client computers that will be running addons that need to connect to FSX on the server.

Step 5: Test the configuration

Using the samples provided in the SDK, you can easily test for proper networked simconnect configuration.  The AI Traffic.exe example program (located in the SDK Installation folder\SDK\Core Utilities Kit\SimConnect SDK\Samples\AI Traffic) should be run after the SERVER’s FSX has been started.  If successful, the AI Traffic program will bring up a console window indicating “Connected to Flight Simulator!”.  If unsuccessful, the program will run and end immediately without any “Connected” message shown.  If you have the debug console enabled on server (console=1 in the SimConnect.ini file) then you’ll see some messages indicating connection and communication with the client.

Troubleshooting SimConnect:

If you are unable to get things working properly, please check for the following common issues:

  • Standard networking not properly configured between computers
  • SimConnect.xml, SimConnect.ini and/or SimConnect.cfg not properly existing or configured properly and in the proper locations
  • Port not enabled via software firewalls
  • Improper computer name or ip address set in the Address fields of the .xml and .cfg files
  • Protocol not set for IPv4 in .xml and/or .cfg files
  • SimConnect.msi installer not run on client machine
If you have continued problems, contact Microsoft support for assistance.

Step 6: Configuring ASX

Once you have the shares and SimConnect configuration complete, you can configure ASX to properly work in networked configuration.

ASX needs to know the location of the main Flight Simulator X installation path as well as the FSX Appdata path.  In addition, you may want to load FSX flight plans on the FSX computer into ASX on the client.  Since your shares are already configured you simply need to point ASX to these locations.  To do this, simply run ASX.  ASX will identify that FSX is not installed on the client machine and automatically ask for and save the correct network share locations.

If you need to manually specify these locations, you can edit the registry key values (on the client machine) as follows:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\HiFi\XEngine\LastPlanPath: Set this to your desired flight plan folder, which should be shared on the FSX computer as \\fsxcomputername\Flight Simulator X Files
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\HiFi\XEngine\FSPath: Set this to your desired Flight Simulator X installation path, which should be shared on the FSX computer as \\fsxcomputername\Flight Simulator X
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\HiFi\XEngine\AppDataPath: Set this to your desired FSX AppData Path, which should be shared on the FSX computer as \\fsxcomputername\FSX

Step 7: Configuring ASX

X Gauge needs to be installed on into the FSX installation.  To do this, you can run the X Gauge Installation Wizard and point it to the proper shared locations.

Alternatively, you can copy the entire XGaugeWizard folder (located in your ASX/XEngine installation folder i.e. C:\Program Files\HiFi\XEngine\XGaugeWizard) to the FSX machine (any location) and run the XGaugeWizard.exe file inside there.  The files will be appropriately copied into FSX and the gauge will be installed into the aircraft.

ASX, when running, will automatically update the imagery as requested by X Gauge, even when on the other computer.