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  • SimLink server setup

    As well as the FSX Boxed, Steam, P3D and DCS servers MSFlights also runs software known as SimLink.

    WHAT IS SIMLINK???

    SimLink allows pilots and ATC using various different simulators to connect together and see each other in one session.
    SimLink supports FS9, FSX Boxed, FSX Steam, P3D and Xplane and eliminates the issues created by pilots prefering to use a different simulator to friends.

    SimLink is very simliar to the VATSIM and IVAO networks, in fact it uses the same software although without the tweeks that the other networks have implemented. The difference between MSFlights and the others is that where they concentrate on ATC we concentrate on Group flights and flying together.
    This isn't to say that we don't offer ATC, WE DO (and anybody is welcome to setup as a tower with no additional tests or certification needed) but the majority here will normally be flying hops and not controlling.


    If you want to act as an ATCO you have a choice of either downloading a standalone ATC client (meaning there is no need to open your flightsim to control) or using the default FSX radarscreen.
    Both options will enable the controller to view everybody connected to the MSFlights SimLink network no matter what simulator the pilots have choosen to use.


    How it works..

    Voice..
    MSFlights run a Discord voice server which we use for general conversation to others whilst flying and ATC when one is active.
    Although it is recommeneded that you download the client, there is no need to download Discord if you want to try it as it can be opened in a browser window.

    Flying...
    Pilots start their simulator in freeflight mode and use a pilot client (listed below) to connect their simulator to SimLink.

    There are a number of SimLink nodes that MSFlights run and all are connected to each other so pick the node closest to your location.

    If a node is ever unavailable due to maintenance etc, pilots (and ATC) can connect to one of the other nodes and still see everybody in the session.

    I'm sure everybody has flown a long flight on multiplayer only to have the server crash before they could complete their flight.
    This will not happen on SimLink as if the node you were connected to did go down, there would be no interuption to your flight.
    All you would have to do is reconnect the pilot client to a node that was up and running.

    What is the best time to connect?
    There is a Map available here which shows both Pilots and ATC that are currently using SimLink as well as a program called servinfo which shows extra details.

    Aircraft..
    How many times have you connected to a server with a new downloaded aircraft only to be told by everybody else that they see you in something totally different?
    When connecting to SimLink you need to tell your pilot client which aircraft you are flying by inputting its ICAO designator code (PA28, C172, B737 etc etc), it will then tell all the other clients which aircraft to display you as.

    Mike (N404) has put together a list of aircraft codes (downloadable below) which will help you to display as the correct aircraft to others: Aircraft Codes


    Getting setup and connecting to SimLink.....

    I appreciate that this is a lengthy post but this is to cover connecting the various different simulators, so just choose the section that applies to you.

    Firstly there is a new pilot client being written called Swift which I believe will allow connection to this type of server, but as yet it is not completed and is still being developed.
    More details on Swift and it's progress can be found here.

    Ross of Metacraft has also mentioned that he does intend in the future to write a version of his Vpilot client to work with this type of setup.

    Until then I have included connection details below.

    ***ATC***

    If you want to control aircraft on the SimLink network then details of various ATC clients as well as how to connect the default FSX radar can be found in this thread.
    Everybody is welcome to start up a Tower and control at MSFlights.


    ***PILOT CONNECTION DETAILS!***

    FS9
    (and an alternative for FSX and P3D).
    FSINN
    Download FSINN AND FSCOPILOT and follow the instructions here.

    Client connection details for FSINN:

    CID:MSFPILOT
    Password: MSFPILOT
    Full Name: Your name/Gamer Tag.
    Home Airport: An airport you call your home if you want to.
    Server: One of the addresses below.

    Server Address : Location
    SimLink UK : roo.servebeer.com : Cheshire, UK
    SimLink US : 108.202.88.158 : Kansas City, US
    SimLink AU : 101.165.150.139 : Brisbane, AU

    FSX AND P3D USERS SHOULD ONLY INSTALL FSINN IF THEY HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE VPILOT INSTALL BELOW!


    Xplane
    Users will need to install Xsquawkbox and the MSFlights Proxy Client.

    I don't own Xplane, but if you read Page 4 of this thread you will see that Waterman981 has connected successfully and provided details on how to do this.

    You will need to compete Steps 2 -5 below to install the MSFlights Proxy Client.

    You will also need the details below in order to connect.
    CID: MSFPILOT
    Password: MSFPILOT
    Full Name: Your name/Gamertag.
    Home Airport: An airport you call your home if you want to.
    Server: Local Proxy

    Ignore the Vpilot setup parts below as Vpilot is an FSX and P3D Client only.


    P3D and all FSX versions.

    Firstly if you were apart of the SimLink Test and have the BFSG Client installed then uninstall it as in the picture below.



    Otherwise....

    Please follow the below instructions step by step in order for you to connect both quickly and easily.
    If you have problems on one of the steps, stop and ask for help in these forums.
    If you were to continue without finding a solution, you wouldn't be able to connect and then we would need to work out at which step it went wrong.

    Step 1.

    Download and Install Vpilot
    Only
    the version above or older works with SimLink.
    If you have Vpilot already installed you will need to make sure that it is version 1.1.5851.23849 or older.
    The older versions of Vpilot still work with other networks like Vatsim.
    I have written a step by step to install Vpilot below.


    Step 2.

    Download and install the MSFlights Proxy Client.
    The latest version is always available from the above link.You may get an antivirus warning but don't worry the client is safe to install.



    Step 3.

    Start to install the proxy client by double clicking on the icon.

    Select where you would like to install the client and select Yes if you get the screen below.



    Click next and you will see a screen similar to below.



    I removed the msflights.net part of the address so that the folders in my start menu were only one tier.
    You can leave it as default or change it to what I have above.

    Continue to click the Next buttons until the Proxy Client is installed.

    Step 4.
    Start the proxy client from the Start menu.



    Once the Proxy is open select File at the top left and then Settings.



    THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT WHICH ONLY NEEDS DOING ONCE!

    Change Localhost to the IP of the SimLink server you would like to connect to.



    There are currently 4 MSFlights SimLink servers that you can connect to which are listed below.

    Server Address : Location
    SimLink UK : roo.servebeer.com : Cheshire, UK
    SimLink US : 108.202.88.158 : Kansas City, US
    SimLink AU : 101.165.150.139 : Brisbane, AU

    Click OK and check that the bar at the bottom has the server address you entered in the previous step.
    If it does not repeat the step above.



    If all is correct select Start Proxy and the bar at the bottom of the Proxy should turn Orange as below.




    The proxy is now running so you can minimise and ignore it now.

    Installing Vpilot step by step guide.

    1. Double click and run this Vpilot installer.



    2.Once the installer is complete Launch Vpilot.

    It will say that a new version is available.
    Click No as only the version we have installed will work with SimLink.



    3. You will then be asked if you want to configure Vpilot.

    Click Yes as we do.



    4. Configure Vpilot as in the pictures below.



    CID:MSFPILOT
    Password: MSFPILOT
    Full Name: Your name/Gamer Tag.
    Home Airport: An airport you call your home if you want to.
    Server: Local Proxy is selected for the server.
    Only this version of Vpilot and earlier has this option.
    This is why any newer Vpilot version can not be used.



    Voice through Vpilot is not used as we use the Discord server.
    But these settings must be filled in for Vpilot to work, even though they are not used.



    In the model matching rules tab select Add custom files to use the models created by Mike.
    It is advised to get the rules Mike created but if you haven't downloaded them yet, to get up and running select the tick box for FSX default aircraft and choose Download selected rule sets.


    Click apply and then OK to save all the settings.

    You'll only need to do the above on first install.

    5. Once all your Vpilot settings have been configured and saved start your Flight Simulator in Freeflight mode.
    Select an airport, weather and the time of day you would like to fly in and start up so you have your aircraft on the Ramp ready to go.

    6. Now you have your flight sim started select Connect (top left) in Vpilot.
    The connect button will be grayed out if your sim is not started.

    7. Input your callsign (the same as you input when starting your sim) and aircraft type as in the picture below.
    If you tick Connect as Observer nobody will see you but you will see them.



    8. You are now connected, you should see a message in Vpilot similar to that below and will now see everybody else in your sim that is using the SimLink network.



    Although voice doesn't work through Vpilot, you can type messages to anybody on the same frequency as you.

    Or direct messages to users not on the same frequency by typing .msg callsign your message.

    eg: .msg SWA123 Hello.
    Last edited by N404; September 21st, 2017, 04:44 PM. Reason: Updated with latest details
    If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!


  • #2
    Go here for quick SimLink start CLICK
    Last edited by N404; September 21st, 2017, 04:40 PM.
    mike404

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    • #3
      I just followed the instructions and connected easily as well. I would love to test this further.
      Happy landings,
      Lazer


      Please visit my Onedrive here:

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      • #4
        Good news.
        What simulators were you both running?
        It will be interesting too see how different sims perform on the server.
        If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!

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        • #5
          Installation doesn't work for me. I am running Windows 7.
          1. The vpilot link takes me to a website. I have the choice of stable or beta. I choose stable, download vPilot-Setup-1.1.5638.40065.exe and virus check it. This seems to be an installer. Executing the installer leaves on completion a vPilot. That much seems OK.
          2. The BFSG Proxy Client link immediately downloads BFSG FSD.exe. My browser complains but I override that and virus check it. Executing BFSD FSD doesn't seem to do anything. I get a spinning circle busy icon over the file's folder. There is no Bristol Flight Simulator Group or BFSG FSD Proxy in All programs. There are BFSD FSD.exe processes visible as running on the Task Manager which do not seem to be capable of being ended; a reboot had better fix that or there'll be trouble.
          Follow our @msflights Twitter feed here for event reminders. Find out more about how our Twitter feed works here. Freeware aircraft and utilities in https://is.gd/StormsHangar

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          • #6
            I imagine a reboot would have fixed that Storm?
            I'm guessing (just a guess) your antivirus software may not have liked it as it's not common software and it has the word proxy in the title.

            It was written by a software developer who I trust and who also runs it on his own flight sim site, so I wouldn't worry about any kind of malicious software being installed.

            Or more probable that you had things running in the background of your PC meaning it didn't have the resources to continue running the installer, which is why there was nothing in your start menu as nothing had been installed.
            The process your saw running would have been the installer trying to run.

            Let me know if you managed to install the proxy program or if you're still having issues.
            If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!

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            • #7
              The reboot fixed the rogue processes. After download, I did a manual check with my antivirus and it said both processes were OK.

              There was nothing else running at the time at the time of attempted installation. I strongly doubt running out of resources.

              Rerunning produces three processes on Task Manager taking 0% CPU time but I observe the same non-installing symptoms as before. There are 12 Gigabytes of memory free and nearly 400 Gigabytes of disc space free. Average total CPU usage is between 1 and 3%. In other words, my machine has ample resources.

              It may be permissions related, but running as administrator makes no difference.
              Follow our @msflights Twitter feed here for event reminders. Find out more about how our Twitter feed works here. Freeware aircraft and utilities in https://is.gd/StormsHangar

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              • #8
                Yup very strange.
                As you say you've definately got the resources, so it rules that out.
                The only thing I can think of at the moment is a currupt download?

                Have you tried downloading the file again?

                It will automatically download due to me linking directly to the file above.
                If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!

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                • #9
                  BFSG FSD.exe always downloads with an md5sum of f735d83f45db41133e9744ca85e8c54d. Please confirm that is correct.
                  Follow our @msflights Twitter feed here for event reminders. Find out more about how our Twitter feed works here. Freeware aircraft and utilities in https://is.gd/StormsHangar

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                  • #10
                    I don't use any antivirus whatsoever.
                    After changing the Target in my shortcut of BFSG FSD Proxy.exe to {"C:\Program Files (x86)\Bristol Flight Simulator Group\BFSG FSD Proxy\BFSG FSD Proxy.exe" /remotehost=roo.servebeer.com}, during the first run of the BFSG FSD Proxy.exe, Windows firewall asked for permission, that was it.
                    Last edited by N404; November 25th, 2015, 04:51 AM.
                    mike404

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                    • #11
                      MD5 hash of file C:\Users\Roo\Downloads\BFSG.exe:
                      f7 35 d8 3f 45 db 41 13 3e 97 44 ca 85 e8 c5 4d
                      CertUtil: -hashfile command completed successfully.

                      Looks the same as the one I have so a currupt download is out then.
                      My money is now on somekind of antivirus stopping the install.
                      What security do you use?
                      If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!

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                      • #12
                        Mike, thanks, but that's exactly the same file (with the same md5sum).

                        Roo, I'm using Avast! Internet Security 2015. (I believe Avast! has become one of the most popular worldwide with around one quarter of the world market.)

                        HOWEVER... the program version of Avast! has just updated automatically! I was running a previous version of the program (v10.4.2233) when I tried the installation. It has just updated to v11.1.2241. (The virus definitions are always up-to-date anyway.)

                        Upon installer execution, Avast! now says it's analyzing the BFSG FSD Proxy.exe file (causing the installer to fail with a script error, as presumably it doesn't like the delay). Rerunning the installer (Avast! remembers it analyzed it before) it works and installs (with a second Avast! analysis just before completion). The program group is now in place from the Start menu.

                        I'll now continue with the rest of the set-up.

                        If anyone else has this installer hang problem, and they're using Avast!, please advise them to let their updater run and install the very latest version of the Avast! program (a free upgrade). The new version of Avast! has a home screen in Fall colors, changed from the previous green and white.
                        Follow our @msflights Twitter feed here for event reminders. Find out more about how our Twitter feed works here. Freeware aircraft and utilities in https://is.gd/StormsHangar

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                        • #13
                          The set-up seemed OK (but see below*). It's all running though, in the absence of any other aircraft, it's impossible to tell whether it's all running as expected.

                          *During the vpilot set-up, it insists that you fill in audio and model matching config before continuing. To ensure your installation instructions are complete, and with the assumption that Teamspeak will be used for audio, can you include recommendations in the instructions please, even if they are redundant because of Teamspeak.
                          Follow our @msflights Twitter feed here for event reminders. Find out more about how our Twitter feed works here. Freeware aircraft and utilities in https://is.gd/StormsHangar

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                          • #14
                            That's great Storm.
                            I was actually glad somebody had an error on install as it flags up problems for anybody else that might have the same issue.
                            And now anybody running Avast (or other antivirus) will know what to do if they run into the same problem, so thank you for the fix details.

                            I will update the Install instructions later today to include a more detailed explanation of the Vpilot install procedure as like you say voice will not be used but the model matching will be.

                            Myself, Sound and N404 Mike all flew for an hour or so on the server last night trying different things with Pops joining us just before I left.

                            I thought it went well with myself using the steam version and Sound using Boxed (I can't remember what Mike was using).
                            There was a delay as to where the aircraft were positioned in relation as to where the pilot thought they were.
                            This was put down to the server being in the UK and Sound and N404 being the other side of the water.
                            Although the positioning was not spot on accurate it was only a case of 0.3nm at most and there was no jumping around of the aircraft from place to place as with fshost and others.

                            I also took the opportunity to start the Euroscope radar client and say everybody on the scope and moving smoothly.
                            Later on I also started up a windows version of the server software to test the multiple server connectivity which was again a success, as I joined the windows server with my pilot and radar clients I could see the traffic on the Linux server running on a different machine and they could see me.

                            This would give us the option to run multiple servers if needed ie US, Europe and AUS meaning clients could connect to a server closest to them resulting in a better connection.

                            Overall I was pleased with the outcome and how simple everything seemed to be to setup and start.

                            I will now put an FSX Steam edition 747 circling EGCC at 6000ft for anybody that wants to connect and see traffic on the server.

                            And await feedback from everybody else.
                            If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!

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                            • #15
                              I am working on getting into my router. It seems that I have locked myself out somehow. Oh well, it's fixable and will continue again when I get home from work today.

                              What I am trying to do is run the server on my machine, that is always on anyway, to provide that others in the middle of the US can connect easier and with less lag. Hope that works the way it seems it should.

                              Other things to note are that while flying in group flights, we should try not to fly so close to each other. It does have that forward/backward jitter that other offerings had. This one is, however, much smoother so far. I am excited to get 20 or more flyers in a session to try it out.

                              I really like that we can add servers and that they will connect to each other. That may make our lag issues less important.
                              Greetings from Dale
                              Sound 4-U! - A Tulsa based sound company that provides sound reinforcement and mobile recording services.

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