Using FSHost and client along with FSX or P3D multiplayer for ATC and RADAR

Started by Screwbottle, August 30, 2016, 12:42:33 PM

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Hello moderators, dev/s of FSHost and others on the forum here

My first time joining the forum, and my second post, my first a few minutes before this one in connection with jerky aircraft in formation.

But I need to share something with all of you, and possibly I am the first to do this, but if not I retract this placing. I belong to one of the oldest virtual aviation clubs here in South Africa, VACS (Virtual Aviation Club of Swartkops), Swartkops AFB being the oldest working military base in the world, since 1920. We have another old club in Cape Town called Cape Virtual, based in another very old military base Ysterplaat. I am the technical officer at VACS on the committee. We meet twice or more a month, the last weekend of the month to have a full ATC and planned session as a LAN party. The other session/s are for training and tech get togethers to resolve issues, new findings, ideas etc. and to help new members.

Well, what I have been trying to do, and I have used FSHost for a number of years, was firstly looking for tools that run locally (LAN and WiFi), not hooked up to the Internet, and allowing other simulators besides FS9 and FSX to work together in a session, such as the now more popular Prepar3D, and X-Plane currently at version 10.50. Firstly it was good news to see FSH version 1.4 and 1.5 beta3 working with P3D along with the older FSX and FS9. But I could never find a way or a tool that would run satisfactorily, an ATC with RADAR screen function, like the native FSX and P3D one, which are not bad in themselves. I've tried FSCloud with a little success and one heck of a learning curve for not so technical users, but had issues connecting other SIM's, along with IVAO software, nothing really worked easily or the way we wanted it to, and not without its own headaches, especially for me in maintenance.

Well only as of today I have figured it out. I created a collection of five computers, one acting as a server, our actual club server I have built and is quite a powerful system running Windows 10 Pro with the latest 1607 anniversary update. It has a decent video card and 8GB of RAM, but not too much over the top addon scenery or addon aircraft. The other four as client systems, running FS9, FSX and P3D 3.3.5. I started FSHost on this server, and then FSHost client as well, and FSHost client only on all of the other PC's. This server currently only has FSX Acceleration with DX10 patches applied, so I started FSX and hosted an ATC session, so only this one running a multiplayer session, bringing up the RADAR screen. The airport was the default FSX one, on the the ground at parking bays by Friday Harbour. I then started a variation of FS9, FSX and P3D on the other four PC's. I know FSHost Client is not needed on FS9 systems, but I tested with it on and off, no difference.

Well to my great delight I found that ALL sessions connected and were visible on the RADAR screen as well as viewed outside the 'tower windows' in their parking spots, via the server with it hosting the ATC. I had the issue with different aircraft being seen other than the selected ones, but read here on the forums, it was an issue with version 1.4 of the client and 1.5b3 resolved this. So what I am getting at is I have retained the use of the built in multiplayer ATC with RADAR screen (I have just completed a succesful test with another system set up as a server and ATC using P3D, same as the FSX server, it then becoming a pilot client) and can get other simulators to join. This has huge positive implications for our members current and future to come along with any SIM they have or can afford.

And without having a complex setup as I explained, running and using built in MP facilities, while lightening the load on users PC's. I have also found that I can setup multiple MP sessions at other airports with active RADAR, making an even more intense and realistic ATC for our current 25 plus members. Along with tieing in the radio frequencies to TeamSpeak 3.

So I hope this info helps others running closed LAN setups at clubs and you have wanted to bring in other sims with working ATC. Now devs of FSH, please can I make a request, I'll move this part to the correct forum, that you have a bash at trying to add X-Plane to FSHost and client. I may be asking too much due to a completely different system, but I see FSCloud are getting it right with a plugin for XP. Maybe you can come up with a similiar or even completely new and radical way of incorporating XP. We have a segment of members, myself included, that use this SIM over and above the mainstream, so it would be nice, just asking.

Thanks for tolerating my second longish post, I hope it is of some use to others, and THANK YOU for a great app. I'll definitely send on a couple of postcards from our country, I'll find some unique ones. I can send some screenshots later if requested. I am going to spend the next few days polishing and thoroughly testing this. I am an Exhibitor along with my club members, at our yearly long running local Hobby X Exhibition from Thursday to Sunday, and I am going to set this up there, and demonstrate it. So you might find an influx of users from my country soon.

Anndrew Brown
alias Screwbottle