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planenut

New to Simconnect

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Hi All,

 

When It comes to simconnect I don't have a clue as to what it is and how to begin using it although I have been using FSX from its beginning.  The only reason I'm inquiring about it now is because I just upgraded the Eaglesoft Citation X and they have switched from using FSUIPC to calibrate the throttles to using Simconnect.

I would appreciate any guidance on how to get into this thing.

 

I am using the FSX Gold Edition. 

 

Thanks.

 

Jim

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SimConnect is an integral part of the simulator like the graphics engine or the FDE. It is an API - an application programming interface - meaning, that it is the means of communication for external programs with the simulator. Very few software products offer an interface like this, because it is a massive effort to develop it and to make it reliable enough, so that the external programs using it won't be able to crash the main application that easily. Seen from the perspective of a software architect, then if a developer decides to rely on SimConnect, this would be the "clean", the "correct" way of doing things - every other approach would constitute a "hack". Hacks may be more powerful, but they are tied to a specific version of the main program - if that version changes, these "Hacks" mostly fail to work. In an ideal world, an external program using only the API would be independent from any version changes of the main application.

 

SimConnect has been part of the FSX/P3D = ESP platform since SP2/Accel IIRC. Microsoft implemented it, to make developing programmatic addons easier and "cleaner" and to provide a means to distribute these external processes over a network too.

 

Lucky for us, the SimConnect API itself (which is hard coded into the simulator and can neither be installed nor removed), still exposes the same methods as it always did, that is why it is largely compatible with earlier versions (since P3D V3 this is not really true, but close enough). The developer of the addon has to integrate the SimConnect library from the SDK to make use of the functionality. This is where the confusion starts, because these libraries are version specific - so the end user either has to install the correct SimConnect client to bridge the gap to his current simulator, or the developer has to recompile his addons with a different library version. (I chose the latter approach, so I am currently maintaining 5 different versions of every single one of my addons).

 

As long as the SimConnect API in the sim remains compatible, this will work. But the instant that someone (=DTG, LM) decides to change it or remove it, the whole SimConnect "principle" will fail - as you can see in DTG Flight School.

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SimConnect has been part of the FSX/P3D = ESP platform since SP2/Accel IIRC.

 

It's been around since FSX RTM. It's had a few changes with each version (SP1 included named pipe support) and therefore most devs just support the SP2 version since it's a free upgrade anyways.

 

Cheers!

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So in other words, when I calibrate my controls within FSX I am actually using Simconnect?   I  normally use FSUIPC for that purpose but when Eaglesoft updated their Citation X they state that FSUIPC was not to be used.  Must use Simconnect.  Maybe I'm just making this more complicated than it is.   

 

Jim

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So in other words, when I calibrate my controls within FSX I am actually using Simconnect?   I  normally use FSUIPC for that purpose but when Eaglesoft updated their Citation X they state that FSUIPC was not to be used.  Must use Simconnect.  Maybe I'm just making this more complicated than it is.   

 

Jim

No, control calibration has nothing to do with SimConnect per se. SimConnect is not a tool with dialogs for the end user to access. It is pure code and only addon programmers "work" with it.

 

SimConnect is for doing unusual and/or advanced things, that aren't implemented in the simulator as it is. Like Weather injection, camera control, aircraft systems simulation, complex gauges, traffic injection (UT2) or a myriad of other things that programmers may come up with. My addons are all based purely on SimConnect, so they can interact with the sim dynamically and are not bound to static elements like scenery or missions.

 

That Eaglesoft now uses SimConnect should not change a thing for you as the user. Your controls can still calibrated through FSUIPC. I think that the aircaft systems and gauges will now talk to the sim directly through SimConnect, while the old version used the FSUIPC API for a few things. Or maybe they implemented their own calibration process for the controls and you are supposed to use that. And that program would in turn use SimConnect - but that is invisible for you. You would only get in direct contact with SimConnect when it doesn't work...

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