Knowledgebase: Active Sky Next
Instructions for Networked Configuration with SimConnect
Posted by Damian Clark, Last modified by Jordan Jafferjee on 19 November 2015 07:34 PM

Detailed SimConnect Configuration Steps

 

Active Sky Next can be used in a networked configuration where FSX/P3D runs on a different computer (Deluxe + SP2 or Acceleration version is required if using FSX Boxed).

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 ASN, XGauge and FSX/P3D station databases.

Sharing Folders

To properly use Active Sky Next in a networked configuration, you must have three folders shared on your FSX/P3D 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/P3D installation folder)
  • C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Microsoft\FSX or Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3 (or if on Vista/7, C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\FSX or Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3)
  • C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\My Documents\Flight Simulator X Files or Prepar3D v3 Files (or if on Vista/7, C:\Users\[username]\Documents\Flight Simulator X Files or Prepar3D v3 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 (and write to) these folders through Windows Explorer (via the Network/[computername]/[sharename] path)
   

Important requirements for networked configuration:

  • FSX Gold + Acceleration/Deluxe version ONLY if using FSX Boxed (standard does not include the SDK or required SimConnect client installation files)
  • FSX Service Pack 2 (or later) update applied (http://www.fsinsider.com) if using FSX
  • FSX SDK installed from FSX Deluxe Disk 1 (\SDK folder setup.exe) if using FSX Boxed
  • FSX SDK SP1A (or later) update applied (http://www.fsinsider.com) if using FSX Boxed
  • FSX SDK SP2/Acceleration update applied (http://www.fsinsider.com) if using FSX (all SDK updates must be applied in order: Standard, then SP1A, then SP2/Acceleration
  • The computer to run FSX/P3D (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)
  • Remember to also open up port 19284 for radar data communication
  • Shared Folders must be properly configured

 

Step 1: Verify requirements

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

 

Step 2: Configure SERVER

There are two files which must be configured on the server.  They are:

  • [ApplicationDataFolder]\Microsoft\FSX (or Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3)\SimConnect.xml
  • [MyDocumentsFolder]\Flight Simulator X Files (or Prepar3D Files)\SimConnect.ini


ApplicationDataFolder is:

For Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\
For Vista/7: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\

MyDocumentsFolder is:
For Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\My Documents\
For Vista/7: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\.

There are example files located in your 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:

You will need a local and global comms section in the simconnect.xml file.  The local is for local add-on connections (including the ASConnect component of ASN) and the global is for remote/networked connections (including the ASN client software).

The local section should be set as follows:

<SimConnect.Comm>
    <Disabled>False</Disabled>
    <Protocol>Auto</Protocol>
    <Scope>local</Scope>
  </SimConnect.Comm>

For the global section:

<SimConnect.Comm>
    <Disabled>False</Disabled>
    <Protocol>IPv4</Protocol>
    <Scope>global</Scope>
    <Address>YOUR SERVER IP ADDRESS HERE</Address>
    <MaxClients>64</MaxClients>
    <Port>500</Port>
    <MaxRecvSize>4096</MaxRecvSize>
    <DisableNagle>False</DisableNagle>
  </SimConnect.Comm>

The values for Address and Port must be modified.  The other values should be left as shown.

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>

 

Step 3: Installing SimConnect client on CLIENT(s)

For FSX, 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 SP2/Acceleration (if using FSX) before doing this.

For P3D, there the simconnect.msi is located in the P3D "REDIST" folder instead of "SDK" (use the XPACK/SP2 version).

 

Step 4: Configure CLIENT

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/7: C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\.

There is an example file located in your 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/P3D on the server.

 

*** NOTE:  SIMCONNECT.CFG should NOT exist in any other location(s).  It needs to be placed only once in your "MyDocs" folder.  Any extra simconnect.cfg files (i.e. in your FSX appdata folder, or ASN install folder) will cause confusion and invalid configuration.

 

Step 5: Test the configuration

Using the samples provided in the SDK (FSX), 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/P3D 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 using P3D, AI Traffic.exe is not included.  In this case, a successful ASN connection to the simulator is the best indicator of a proper simconnect configuration.

 

Step 6: Configuring ASN

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

ASN needs to know the location of the main Simulator installation path as well as the FSX/P3D Appdata path.  In addition, you may want to load FSX/P3D flight plans on the FSX/P3D computer into ASN on the client.  Since your shares are already configured you simply need to point ASN to these locations.  To do this, simply run ASN.  ASN will identify that FSX/P3D 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 set them using the Settings screen in ASN.  This should be done with the sim closed and not running.

 

Step 7: Configuring X Gauge

XGauge needs to be installed into the FSX/P3D installation.  To do this, you can run the XGauge Installation Wizard (from the ASN Tools menu).

 

 

Need help?  For troubleshooting and helpful tips related to common simconnect/networked configuration issues, please see this knowledgebase article: http://hifisupport.kayako.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/35/0/simconnect-networked-configuration-technical-support

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