Microsoft FSX > FSX - Utilities Discussion

VPilot vs SquawkBox in FSX (including traffic)

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blueskydriver:
Hey Everyone,

After watching the World Flight streams from Sam's cockpit, and learning about vPilot through this, I spent the last two days changing over from Squawkbox (SB4) to vPilot. I used SB4 for years and although it vocally worked on VatSim just fine and I could export flight plans into it from PFPX, I was never really happy with the traffic representations. After loading Ultimate Traffic 1, World of AI traffic, I still got a lot of the default SB4 traffic representations or the huge glider with the big ? mark within FSX.

Plus, most times the traffic would be wheels above the ground like a plane floating in the air or 3ft into the ground rolling along. Then, there were no lights during the day and crude ones at night. In spite of all that, SB4 was better then FSINN in my opinion. The interface of SB4 was easy and seeing the ATC frequencies was really nice. And, the text chat part was okay...

Now, with vPilot, it is a much nicer interface. Albeit, setting it up took a while and that's because I read the manual, but didn't make sure I had the requirements in place beforehand. The great thing though, is that I got error messages telling me what I needed too do and not some vague code messages. Once I got it going I had to solve a lot of minor problems. Examples are: I run my headset mic into the FSX box first, then it goes out via line level into a client PC with vPilot, then the output from that client returns to the FSX box via line level, then out to my headset speakers. Why do this? Well, it's not a vPilot requirement, but I do this so I can use the headsets to interact with FSPassengers or whatever else and still have VatSim online. A little extra work, but it works really good for me.

As for the traffic representations from VatSim traffic, I purchased Ultimate Traffic 2 since vPilot does not work with UT1. Of course you do not have to purchase anything at all, as there is the default FSX traffic, World of AI is free and you could use a free program called VRM Generator to produce the traffic inside vPilot to project into FSX. I just wanted UT2 for my own reasons... The big thing is reading about and doing the traffic matching setups in vPilot correctly. Also, make sure you open the port forwarding if you use a router in your network prior to your DSL box; if no router, but your DSL has forwarding, you need to open the voice ports there.

Lastly, if you have a cockpit big or small, I think you'd be happy with vPilot and using it on VatSim. As a bonus, you can import PFPX flight plans into vPilot, as well as use your old SB4 plans you might have, if you kept them like I did.

If anyone has questions just send me a PM.

John

RayS:
...was going to ask if it was compatible with X-Plane via XPUIPC but I just saw that it uses that abomination called SIMCONNECT.

I wonder if there are any plans in the works for X-Plane and vPilot. I used it during WF at Sam's place and loved it.

Bob Reed:
We are going to make you switch from X-Plane.... lol     :idiot:

rprather:

--- Quote from: RayS on November 17, 2014, 08:04:58 PM ---...was going to ask if it was compatible with X-Plane via XPUIPC but I just saw that it uses that abomination called SIMCONNECT.

I wonder if there are any plans in the works for X-Plane and vPilot. I used it during WF at Sam's place and loved it.

--- End quote ---

It will be very challenging to write a VATSIM app that works in X-Plane and FS, because of the need to inject (not just read) multiplayer traffic. Unless something has changed, you have to do this through SimConnect, and the position calculations have to be able to update at least as fast as the frame rate to keep things smooth.

Robert

blueskydriver:
Hi Robert,

Everytime I'd see your name here on Cockpit Builders I couldn't stop thinking about this, but back something like 10 years ago you had FreeFD available for folks to download. That was my very, very first use of a something to do with avionics or even deciding on what simulator to choose, along with ProMFD, I started with the B777. However, that was short lived because the B737NG were so much more common and easier to acquire stuff for it...

Anyway, knowing that you're that same guy from way back then and who knows a great deal about this crazy hobby of ours, I figure if anyone could come up with a way to write a program for XPlane and vPilot or even your own interface, it'd be you! You likely know SB4 was done using FSUIPC and WideFS, so would XPlane work with that via XPUIPC? Yet, SB4 is old and outdated, but with that program in mind, couldn't you figure something out to make a new program?

Just imagine how good that would go over? Unless, I am wrong, but there is no other program(s) that let's Xplane users interact with VatSim, so there certainly would be a good monetary market for something new. Thus, with your expertise, you'd be the perfect person for this task.

What do you think?

John

Okay, I stand corrected. There XSquawkbox of Xplane...sort of. Here is the link and it looks like they need a programmer now:

http://www.xsquawkbox.net/xsb/

Still, I rather see something new like vPilot for Xplane...

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