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FSX Planner - Connecting to FSX

Virus Software and Firewalls
Local Connections Using Auto Port Discovery
  Notes For Vista Users
  Trouble Shooting
Local Connections Using a Specific Port
  The SimConnect.xml file is blocking other applications
Remote Connections

The Plane Display
  Plane Icon Examples
  Making the plane in FSX automatically follow the plane icon
  Making the plane icon in FSX Planner automatically follow the plane in FSX
  The Right Click Menu
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FSX Planner provides the user with three ways of connecting to FSX: local connection using auto port discovery; local connection where you specify the port; and remote connections. This guide will discuss each in turn.

The type of connection used is set up in the FSX Connection dialog, accesible by selecting SimConnect -> FSX Connection Status. This dialog lets you choose either of the three connection types and then test the connection.


Virus Software and Firewalls
FSX Planner uses a direct TCP connection to connect to FSX using SimConnect. Certain virus software packages or firewalls, such Windows Firewall, may silently block this process, causing the connection to fail. If you are unable to connect the FSX using the methods described below and have a firewall or virus software running, it is suggested that you try turning them off and then seeing if you can connect to FSX. If you can connect with them turned off, then the problem lies with the firewall or virus software. You may be able to fix the problem by specifying within the firewall or virus software that certain applications or ports should not be blocked.


Local Connections Using Auto Port Discovery
FSX Connection Dialog The easiest way to connect to FSX is to use the local connection with auto port discover. This method is intended for users who are running FSX Planner and FSX on the same computer. You will need to have both applications running to create a successful connection.

Make sure the Local Connection radio button is selected, and that the Specify port checkbox is not ticked. Then click the Connect button. FSX Planner will search for the SimConnect port and, if found, will then connect through that port. The port number will be displayed in the text field to the right of the Specify port checkbox. Note, however, that the same port is not always used by SimConnect, meaning that the port used will most likely change each time you run FSX.


Notes For Vista Users
Due to Vista's security constraints, FSX Planner needs to be run as an administrator in order to determine which port FSX is using. Failure to do so will prevent FSX Planner from seeing the correct port, and therefore cause the connection to fail.

If you are using Vista and FSX Planner is unable to determine the port that SimConnect is using, then you will need to make sure the application is run using administrator rights. To do this right click on the FSX Planner application icon, or shortcut, and choose Run As Administrator. You will then have to confirm the running of the application to continue.


Trouble Shooting
If FSX Planner is unable to determine the port to use, first check the above Vista notice. If you are using XP, or the above doesn't fix the issue, you may try the following.

Having a SimConnect.xml file installed in your FSX data folder (C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Microsoft\FSX) may cause problems. It is recommened that you remove this file if possible.

Open a command prompt, by selecting Start -> Run, and then enter 'cmd'. This will display a command prompt window. Type 'netstat -b' (without the quotes) into the window, and hit enter. A display similar to the following should be displayed. There should be a line which included '[FSX.EXE]' in it. If this is not the case, then FSX Planner will be unable to connect using this method, and you will need to use the Specific Port method, as described below.

netstat -b


Local Connections Using a Specific Port
There is a secondary method for connecting to FSX from FSX Planner when both applications are running on the same computer. This involved checking off the Specify port checkbox and then entering a specific port number. This method will force SimConnect to use the same port every time is start, and is only necessary if FSX Planner is unable to automatically discover the port number being used by SimConnect.

The following steps should be taken to implement this method:
1) Copy the SimConnect.xml file from the FSX Planner installation directory into the following directory: C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Microsoft\FSX.

2) Note the port number being used in the following section of the SimConnect.xml file:
<!-- For local and remote FSX Planner connections -->
 <SimConnect.Comm>
  <Disabled>False</Disabled>
  <Protocol>IPv4</Protocol>
  <Scope>local</Scope>
  <Address>127.0.0.1</Address>
  <MaxClients>64</MaxClients>
  <Port>48447</Port>
  <MaxRecvSize>4096</MaxRecvSize>
  <DisableNagle>False</DisableNagle>
 </SimConnect.Comm>

3) You may change this port to suit your needs, or leave it as is.
4) Make sure the specified port is not being blocked by any firewalls or other software.
5) Select Local Connection and tick the Specify port checkbox in the FSX Connection Status dialog.
6) Specify the port used in the SimConnect.xml file above
7) Click the Connect button.

If everything is set up properly, and the port is not being blocked, then FSX Planner should be able to successfully connect to FSX.

Please note that some people have reported this method block certain other software packages from connecting to FSX.


The SimConnect.xml file is blocking other applications
On some systems placing the SimConnect.xml file in the FSX data folder can block certain other applications, such as FSUIPC or Level D, from accessing FSX. If you are experiencing this, then we suggest using the following fix.

Download this alternate SimConnect.xml file, and place it into your FSX data folder, located at C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Microsoft\FSX. Then follow the steps outlined below for connecting to FSX by a Remote Connection.


Remote Connections
FSX Planner can connect to a copy of FSX that is running on a different machine. To do this use the following steps:
1) Copy the SimConnect.xml file from the FSX Planner installation directory into the following directory: C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Microsoft\FSX on the computer that is running FSX.

2) Note the address and port number being used in the following section of the SimConnect.xml file:
<!-- For remote FSX Planner connections -->
 <SimConnect.Comm>
  <Disabled>False</Disabled>
  <Protocol>IPv4</Protocol>
  <Scope>global</Scope>
  <Address>192.168.1.100</Address>
  <MaxClients>64</MaxClients>
  <Port>48447</Port>
  <MaxRecvSize>4096</MaxRecvSize>
  <DisableNagle>False</DisableNagle>
 </SimConnect.Comm>

3) You may change this port to suit your needs, or leave it as is.
4) Make sure the specified port is not being blocked by any firewalls or other software.
5) The address needs to match the IP address of your computer. If you don't know the IP address of your computer, open a command prompt, and type 'ipconfig' (without the quotes). Then look for your IP address within the output from that command.
ipconfig screen

6) Select Remote Connection in the FSX Connection Status dialog.
7) Specify the IP address and port used in the SimConnect.xml file above
8) Click the Connect button.

If everything is set up properly, and the port is not being blocked, then FSX Planner should be able to successfully connect to FSX.

Please note that some people have reported this method blocks certain other software packages from connecting to FSX.


The Plane Display
Plane Data display The location of the plane in FSX Planner is displayed using the plane icon. This icon can be linked to follow the position of the plane in FSX, or conversely the plane in FSX can be linked to follow the plane icon in FSX Planner.

The default position of this icon is the airport reference point. You may need to zoom in to see it originally as it defaults to the size of a Cessna. Clicking on it will display the Plane Data properties. This properties display lets you choose the type of plane or helicopter to be displayed as well as the altitude, position and heading of the plane.

To adjust the position of the plane, simply click and drag it to a new location. Alternatively you can manually enter latitude and longitude coordinates for it.

The type of plane displayed can be selected from the drop down which includes all the default FSX planes. You can also choose a custom type, for which you can define the size and whether or not it is a plane or helicopter. Even if you are not connected to FSX, this option is very useful in determining the appropriate width of taxiways, runways and parking locations for a particular type of plane.


Plane Icon Examples:
The default plane icon showing the Cessna
A Cessna displayed on the runway An Airbus 321 displayed on the runway


Making the plane in FSX automatically follow the plane icon.
Ticking the FSX Plane Auto Follows Cursor checkbox in the Plane Data display will make the plane in FSX automatically move and follow the current position of the plane icon in FSX Planner. Whenever you move the plane icon to a new location and release the mouse button, the plane in FSX will be moved to that new location.


Making the plane icon in FSX Planner automatically follow the plane in FSX.
Ticking the Cursor Auto Follows FSX Plane checkbox in the Plane Data display will make the plane icon in FSX Planner automatically follow the plane in FSX. This allows you to fly or slew the plane within FSX and have FSX Planner constantly update the plane icon's location. The location of the plane is sampled and updated once a second.


The Right Click Menu.
Right Click Menu Right clicking anywhere on the airport in FSX Planner will display a drop down menu with several choices related to the location of the plane in FSX and the plane icon in FSX Planner. Some of these options are also available under the SimConnect menu.

Move Cursor to FSX Plane: This menu option will move the cursor to the current location of the plane in FSX. Unlike the checkbox option, explained above, which constantly updated the position of the plane in FSX Planner, this menu option does not make the plane icon in FSX Planner continually follow the position of the plane in FSX.

Move FSX Plane to Icon: This menu option will move the plane within FSX to the current location of the plane icon in FSX Planner. Unlike the checkbox option, explained above, this menu option does not constantly update the position of the plane in FSX.

Move Plane to Here: This option will move the plane icon in FSX Planner to the current cursor location. This is very useful is you want to move the plane over large distances in the airport. If the FSX Plane Auto Follows Cursor checkbox is ticked, then this option will also update the position of the plane in FSX.

Show Plane: This option displays the plane icon if it is hidden and hides the plane icon if it is visible.



We hope that this tutorial has explained how to establish and use the connection between FSX Planner and FSX. FSX Planner contains many more features, and we hope that you are able to explore and benefit from them.

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