Running Flight Instrument Panels (FIPs) will drag the performance of the simulator to some extent. To minimize the impacts on some not so high-end PCs, off-loading them to a spare computer isn’t a bad idea.
To those who are “network-phobia”, here’s an example how I put the FIPs (with some help from Ricardo in the first place) to work on a spare computer in my family network.
Server/Master Computer — the Computer that runs FSX or P3D
Client/Slave Computer — the Computer that runs the FIPs
SimConnect — a special utility that allows information exchange between the simulator and the addons.
FIPs must be installed and running properly with FSX or Prepar3D on the Master Computer first.
Both Master and Client Computers must be in the same network (for example, connecting to the same router).
Install Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package – x86 or x64, if it is not found on the computer. (search Microsoft Download or Click Here)
Go to the directory of fsx.CFG — %appdata%\Microsoft\FSX
Go to the directory of Prepar3D.cfg —
%appdata%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2 (v3 or v4 or corresponding version)
Look for SimConnect.xml from the directory mentioned above and make changes to it as following shows:
<Address>192.168.1.xxx</Address> <– (IPv4 address of the Master PC)
1. See the last part regarding IPv4 address
2. Port number refers to any available port on the Master PC. Just use 747 if you are not sure.
Install Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package – x86 or x64, if it is not there.
Copy and Install Simconnect.msi from the Master Computer.
The file is in the \SDK\Core Utilities Kit\SimConnect SDK\lib folder under FSX program directory. If it is not there, install the SDK package from FSX’s program DVD.
The file is in the redist\Interface folder under P3D program directory.
Install FIP drivers
Under the Documents (or My Documents) folder, create a file called SimConnect.cfg with the following content:
Address=192.168.1.xxx <– (IPv4 address of the Master PC)
DO NOT put this file onto the Master Computer; otherwise, it will cause errors to the simulator.
On the Master Computer, Start up FSX or P3D
On the Client Computer,
Connect FIPs (better use ONE FIP only for the first connection) to the Client computer
Then execute SaiFlightSimX.exe
The file could be found from either directory below:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Saitek\DirectOutput
C:\Program Files (x86)\Saitek\ProFlight FSX Plugin (when using new Saitek drivers)
The gauges should now show up on the FIPs.
Gauges don’t show up on the FIPs
Check if above Set Up procedures are prepared correctly.
Note that both Master and Client computers have to use the same SimConnect version. It means that if FSX Accelerator is installed on the Master PC, then the same Accelerator SimConnect.msi is required on the Client PC.
Lagging on the Gauges
Modify the value of the Gauge Timeout=”100″ in the SaiFlightSimX.xml on the Client computer.
Timeout value refers to the time the FIP reacts to the signal received from the simulator. The shorter the timeout, the more responsive of the FIP, but more system resources will be eaten up.
Since FIPs are directly connected to the Client PC now, reducing the value won’t drag the performance on the simulator.
However, it’s still required to be adjusted in order match the “strength” of the Client PC. A value of “20” is a good start.
Finding IPv4 Address
Open Network and Sharing Center under Control Panel on the Master Computer.
Click on “Connections” and then “Details…” will show up the IPv4 Address.