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Dear collegue virtual aviators. In this post I would like to share with you my successful troubleshooting session while having problems exchanging flightdata from one PC to another PC using simPlugins Panel Builder and simPluginsPrepar3D40.exe interface for Prepar3Dv4.

For the impatient reader: the problem I faced was caused by an active "Virtualbox Host-Only Network" ethernet adapter by Oracle Corporation (version: 5.1.26.0, date: 2017-07-27). De-activating this adapter brought the flightinstruments on PC2 immediately to "life".

I saw a post from GauthierH from February 15, 2016 here on Vatsim forums. He mentioned also have a PC with a "Virtualbox Host-Only Network" adapter, but he reported that it was not in use.

As far as I know until now, the source of the problem I encountered has not yet been published. This is the reason I feel free to share my experience with you.

My PC setup:

PC1 and PC2 operating under Microsoft Windows 10 Pro. PC1 is has a 64-bit i7 processor. PC2 a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3735F processor.

Both PC's via ethernet cable connected in a local area network.

PC1 running a flightsimulator Prepar3Dv4 (bought recently) and a SimPlugins interface app: simPluginsPrepar3D40.exe.

PC2 running SimPlugins Panel Builder v 2.99.

My problem:

The flightsim data from PC1 is not arriving in PC2. The standard 6 flightinstruments of the Panel Builder application in PC2 are not moving.

I checked / tried:

a1) When I run Panel Builder on the flightsimulator PC (PC1) then it works O.K. Panel Builder receives and shows correctly the flightdata from the Prepar3Dv4 flightsimulator;

a2) The "Comms Checker" program from simPlugins, installed on PC2. did not show reception of flightdata;

b) all the problem solutions I found on internet and in this forum, like: setting same language; setting decimal point as the decimal indicator;

c) MS Windows Homegroup and filesharing working O.K.;

d) stopped (temporarily) the Firewall of an Antivirus program running on PC1 and PC2;

e) created portforwaring for all the Panel Builder and interface ports on the router (from my ISP) in the LAN towards PC2;

f) checked the Windows 10 Firewall that it was not blocking traffic from Panel Builder and the interface app;

g) on PC1 I had the Wireshark app installed. For those readers that are not familiar with this application: Wireshark is a Network Analyzing Tool.

With this tool I analyzed the UDP traffic that was seen by Wireshark. I saw that many UDP packets were sent from an IP address: 192.168.56.1 to the multicast address 224.11.5.62, to UDP ports in the ranges: 41001 to 41010, and so on. These are ports in a range used by the simPluginsPrepar3D40.exe.

The address 192.168.56.1 is an address that is used with a local area network (LAN), but none of my PC's has this address. But in the beginning of seeing all this: no bells rang in my mind. With Wireshark I was able to see the content of the UDP packets sent. They contained data that I recognized as data of flightinstruments, radio frequencies of radios and navaids, etcetera.

The information presented by Wireshark helped me to build up my knowledge of how flightdata and data of radios, navaids, settings of switches was being communicated to a Panel Builder app, it did not bring me (yet) a solution to my problem: the data is not arriving in PC2. What I further discovered through Wireshark was that it was seeing a "Virtualbox Host-only Network" (in the list of network adapters like "Ethernet1, Ethernet2" and so on). I know Oracle's Virtualbox application. I used it a while ago on my PC1. It is still installed in this PC. 

h) Because I came not much further in this troubleshooting session, I decided to install Wireshark also on PC2. When running Wireshark on PC2 I saw that on PC2 Wireshark did not report the existance of a "Virtualbox Host-only Network" adapter.

i) I googled on internet for an explanation of what is a "Virtualbox Host-only Network". I found a useful instruction on YouTube, address: "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k6u8bFKGHA". According to this instruction video a Virtualbox Host-only Network blocks traffic to the LAN.

Next I checked the status of my "Virtualbox Host-Only Network" adapter. I saw that it was Activated.

j) For the sake of this troubleshooting session, I de-activated the "Virtualbox Host-Only Network" adapter (Microsoft Windows 10 Control Panel -> Network and Sharing center -> Network connections).

 

As soon as the "Virtualbox Host-Only Network" adapter was de-activated, I saw that the "standard six" flightinstruments panel of the Panel Builder application running in PC2 were working.

In PC1 I turned the flying aircraft to another heading. I saw the Heading indicator on PC2 was changing according to the heading indicator in the cockpit of the aircraft in Prepar3Dv4.

I also experienced that pushing the "Start" and "Stop" buttons on the interface app simPluginsPrepar3D40.exe had the intended result of starting and stopping the flightinstruments in the running Panel Builder application on PC2.

A test with the "Comms Checker" application on PC2 was now successful.

For the moment I have no necessity to have the "Virtualbox Host-Only Network" adapter to be activated so I leave it de-activated.

Sofar this troubleshooting report.

Paulsk

 

Edited by paulsk
addition of info

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