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VPilot vs SquawkBox in FSX (including traffic)

Started by blueskydriver, November 16, 2014, 05:41:31 am

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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
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

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.
Ray Sotkiewicz

Bob Reed

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

rprather

Quote from: RayS on November 17, 2014, 04:04:58 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.


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...

| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Trevor Hale

LOL John,

I am just Happy Robert is around and still willing to participate in our little hobby and our site :)

:2cw:
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

Bob Reed

Hey John. FreeFD was actually written by a couple of friends of mine, Don Lafontaine and our very own RayS.  ;)

Trevor Hale

Quote from: Bob Reed on November 18, 2014, 05:50:39 am
Hey John. FreeFD was actually written by a couple of friends of mine, Don Lafontaine and our very own RayS.  ;)


Would that be RayS <-- The Builder?  LMFAO  :huh:
Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

Bob Reed

Quote from: Trevor Hale on November 18, 2014, 06:11:08 am
Quote from: Bob Reed on November 18, 2014, 05:50:39 am
Hey John. FreeFD was actually written by a couple of friends of mine, Don Lafontaine and our very own RayS.  ;)


Would that be RayS <-- The Builder?  LMFAO  :huh:


Why, yes.... Yes it is ... Ray the builder!  :o

RayS

November 18, 2014, 12:23:33 pm #9 Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 12:24:07 pm by RayS
Quote
Why, yes.... Yes it is ... Ray the builder!  :o


That's now RayS the Builder/Flyer/Programmer/Janitor now... (with an emphasis on "Flyer") (Whatever those are...) :-\


...don't make me hack your database again... :o
Ray Sotkiewicz

Sam Llorca

And the Canadian water flight attendant!  Lol.

blueskydriver

November 18, 2014, 08:29:11 pm #11 Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 02:34:46 am by blueskydriver
Well Mr RayS you're the man! Thank you for making the program, as it helped me get going. However, I owe it to Robert because it was his web pages and discussions about his B777 that got me really interested into going bigger beyond the desktop.

In either case, I am glad the both of you are members here on the CB website, as well as some of the other ground breakers or cloud parters...into this hobby. You guys still inspire many people to this day, so a big thank you for being here for all of us.

John

edited later for misspelling
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

RayS

Well, I can't take most, if any credit for FreeFD. Don Lafontaine is the braintrust behind FreeFD.. And it is a rather funny story as to how I got involved in the whole thing.. However I'll save that story for another time.. and another beer. I did add a few enhancements to it and all other sorts of nonsense back in the day. ;-)
Ray Sotkiewicz

Trevor Hale

Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

Sam Llorca

lol, just missing the miniskirt.

And for V-pilot lovers here's another video of WFT2014, check minute 47:40 maybe you will recognize the voice , that's how clear it was on the other side. cheers .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qhHlIL45Io

blueskydriver

Who is that speaking, Sam? Is that you?

The audio was very clean and clear!

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Trevor Hale

Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

Sam Llorca


KyleH

Kyle

Chief Pilot
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

rprather

December 13, 2014, 11:10:08 am #19 Last Edit: December 13, 2014, 11:51:47 am by rprather
Quote from: blueskydriver on November 18, 2014, 04:39:29 am
Hi Robert,

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!


Thanks for your kind words John and Trevor! I still stalk the forums when possible ;D and I'm definitely still working on the project.

I developed a FSX/P3D multiplayer client for a project a while back, but never moved it beyond beta (time was too limited). FSUIPC is extremely powerful, and allows you to read traffic, but is limited in its ability to inject traffic into the sim. From what I've seen, SimConnect is the only way to make an app like this for FSX/P3D. So one would have to develop and maintain a separate multiplayer routine for X-Plane. I've worked quite a bit with Ross Carlson who created V-Pilot. He really knows his stuff, so I'll probably end up using V-Pilot myself for VATSIM flying.

Robert

rprather

On a different note... I saw Ray's response and made sure to fix the "Sim History" graphic on my website to properly credit Ray as the first 777 sim builder. Before, it said hybrid, but has been corrected.



Robert

Trevor Hale

Thats pretty incredible,  I came into the picture in 1999, With my A320/A330 following Okan Sacli guy from Europe.  Its not on your list, but I am sure he should be.  Geeze Thats a blast from the past, I think he would have appeared right under Peter Cos.  I guess MattO Bought Peters first Airbus, and this guy and Matt would have been under Peter, then I would have been under him.  Wouldn't it be great to be able to complete that tree.

Trev


Trevor Hale

Owner
http://www.cockpitbuilders.com

Director of Operations
Worldflight Team USA
http://www.worldflightusa.com

VATSIM:

Sam Llorca

I build my first 747sim using Epic cards back in 2001, I never had a webpage, John Dunkley was my inspiration, and  Ted Deller from CSI my panel supplier, good old days! Cheers.

RayS

I actually flew down to California way back when to help Randy Eskow with his EPIC setup. He started with that 707 but later transitioned to a Learjet I think

Ray Sotkiewicz

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