March 06 2002

A Wider-vieW

How to Network PC's for additional external views.

Why would you want to do this, because if you undock a view window on your PC and move it to a secondary monitor your FrameRates drop through the floor. With this setup the Client PC does all the work so your FrameRates stay high on the main PC and you can have a look around without useing the hat switch to change views.

We will start with the basic 1 PC, 2 Monitor setup( front view and instrument panel) and add 2 extra PC's for the Fwd Left and Fwd Right views, you can add more later.

If you don't know how to add another PCI graphics card then try this How To page: http://www.dse.nl/~troppo1/Tutorial.htm

We will be Networking the 3 PC's together useing a Network Hub, Cables, FS2002 and WidevieW software.

WidevieW Software is developed by Luciano Napolitano and distributed free from his Website. http://wideview.00server.com/

What does his software do?.

WidevieW is a powerful freeware utility for Microsoft® Flight Simulator™. It can be used to create a multi-monitor virtual cockpit using networked PCs. Each PC will run a copy of the simulator: usually one of them is configured as "Server" and the others as "Clients". The Server is the PC where the pilot actually flies, where the input peripherals are connected and where the instrument panels are displayed. The Clients will "follow" the server in real time using a highly reliable "network slew mode" and they can be configured as "virtual outside windows", or to show maps, external camera views, and more.

In layman terms it means that we can see out of the side windows when flying, by adding a PC and configuring the view angle to show left, right, up down or whatever view you want to see from your cockpit.
We will be makeing our side views:
Left -22.5 deg and Right +22.5 deg so that we will be able to see 22.5 degree's further on either side of our standard front view, all scenery will rotate in unison as one and when we turn the horizon will stay level on all PC's, thanks to a WidevieW user, Gerard Salden, who came up with a formula to set the monitors at an angle and the corresponding zoom settings to make it all come together.

For this Tutorial we will be useing Win98se, FS2002, 3 PC's with 2 monitors on the Server PC and 1 each on the Clients. The 3 main view monitors are 17' and a 15' for the instrument panel.
Networking is the same in all operateing systems and WidevieW works
in Win98x, Millennium, and XP

What we need:
3 10/100 PCI Network cards
3 Cat 5 Twisted pair Network cables
1 Networking Hub or Switch. A 4 Port if you don't expect to expand further but an 8 Port is Recommended, so you can add as many Views as you can afford later.
Beware! This becomes very Addictive.

Install a network card in each PC just like any other PCI card, install
the drivers and have your 98se CD available as it is needed when installing your network.

Once your network cards are installed, plug the Cables into the Cards and to the Hub. Read the Manual before you turn the power on to the Hub and then we are ready to install our Home Network.

Some info on a Network setup:
Each PC must have an unique Name and unique IP address on the network and all networked PCs are combined in a Workgroup. Meaning that they communicate only with other PC's within that same Workgroup.
They communicate via a Protocol, which is a computer 'Langauge'.
There must be the same Protocols on each PC so that they can communicate, in this case it will be TCP/IP and IPX/SPX .
When finished we will be able to see what PC's are on by opening our Network Neighborhood and be able to transfer files between the PC's on our network.

We will start with the SERVER .
This will be the PC that you fly on and has your FlightYoke/Joystick/Rudder Pedals, Fastest Processor,
most Memory, Best Graphics Card, in other words your number 1 PC.
This is because it must run FS2002 and control the clients, so it needs to be the fastest.
"It is said that the whole system runs best if you have Identical PC's but that is very expensive, so what I do is update the Server first with the newest hardware and use the old hardware in the Clients. That way I only update as I can afford it. I have 6 Pc's and 11 monitors and won't be happy until I get the 7th PC. My Server has the latest greatest that I can afford and the Client's get all the handme downs."

OK,
Right Click on your desktop Network Neighbourhood icon and choose
PROPERTIES from the menu.
( or Start/Settings/ControlPanel/Network )
You will see your network card in the Configuration window and Indentification, Access Control tabs at the top.
Click on the Identification Tab and type in a name for your PC on this network.
I use SERVER but you can use what ever name you like as long as it is NOT the same as any other PC on the network.
In the Workgroup Window, I leave it as WORKGROUP but you can name it anything you want as long as it IS the same on every PC.

Back to the Config window and click on the ADD button
click on Protocol
click on the ADD button
click on Microsoft in the left window to select it
scroll down in the right window to find TCP/IP, select it and click OK

TCP/IP is for the standard network communication between PC's

Now we will install IPX/SPX
click on the ADD button
click on Protocol
click on the ADD button
click on Microsoft in the left window to select it
scroll down to find IPX/SPX-compatable Protocol, select it and click OK

IPX/SPX is for the WidevieW software to communicate between the Server and the Clients.

If you have a Dial-Up adapter in the Config window you will now have
IPX/SPX for that card also and it is not needed, so we will remove it by selecting it and then clicking on Remove.

Underneath that you see the Primary Network Logon window and under that is the File and Printer Sharing button, click on this button and Tick/Check the box
"I want to be able to give others access to my files"

This is so that we can transfer files between the PC's, very helpfull when adding A/C , Scenery and the WidevieW files. You can copy the files from the Server and paste them into the Clients without haveing to touch the Client PC's.

Now Click on OK and follow the instructions to insert the Win98se disk and/or reboot the PC.

Now that our Server has a Name and is part of a Workgroup we have to give it it's own unique IP address.
Open the Network Properties window again and click on the TCP/IP protocol of your network card to select it, now click on Properties to open the TCP/IP Properties window, Click on the radio button to select
"Specify an IP address" and in the IP Address window type in
192.168.0.1 and 255.255.255.0 in the Subnet Mask window.

This is your Server PC's Address on the network and we will do the same with the Clients by useing 192.168.0.2 ,,, 192.168.0.3 and so on. You cannot use the same IP address on 2 PC's because they will be in conflict and won't show up in the network.

On the 2 Client's.
We can name the left Client "FwdLeft" with IP: 192.168.0.2 and the
right client "FwdRight ", IP: 192.168.0.3 Subnet 255.255.255.0 on both. Enable File Sharing on the Clients also.Then follow the instructions and reboot when asked.
We now have a Network and to check we just Open the Network Neighborhood and we should see the 3 PC's on our network, if not
right mouse click in the empty window and choose Refresh from the menu and/or recheck that you have followed the setup correctly, make sure the cables are connected and the Hub has power. Reboot all pc's.

If we click on one of the PC's in our network we won't see anything because we have not enabled any Harddrives to share files to and from.
We open up Windows Explorer by Right clicking on the Start button and chooseing Explore from the menu
or Start/Programs/Windows Explorer
Right click on the C drive icon in the left window and choose Sharing from the menu.Go to the Sharing Tab and check the radio button next to Shared As, then change access to Full and click on OK.
Do this on all PC's, now when you click on a PC in the Network Neighborhood window you will see a folder which is the Harddrive you shared on that PC. We can now read, write, copy and paste files between the PC's on our Network.

Next we install FS2002 on our Clients.
The trick with Wideview is to have Identical FS2002 installation's on each PC. Meaning that if you update scenery files on the Server you need it to be on the Clients as well. Remember, to get the best out of this you need the same setup on all PC's, but, in the battle for framerates I use the default 747 and 737 on the Clients and only put the Processor hungry Addon planes on the Server.
This is because the Client's Framerate decreases with load, both from load on the Server and on the Client. So experiment with your Slider Settings to get the best Performance on all PC's.
The Display Settings are to be the same on the Client's as on the Server apart from ATC, Sound and Aircraft Texture which we don't need unless you are useing the Virtual Cockpit view on the Clients
( I prefer to edit the original sideview bitmaps to use in my Cockpit).
I normally just copy the Microsoft Games folder from my Server over to the Clients but for your first setup maybe it's better to install FS2002 on each Client from the original disks then update the scenery and aircraft folders from the server.

It's time for the WidevieW software to be installed.

Download the latest WidevieW version from the WidevieW website and on the Links Page follow the link to the Peter Dowson's page to download FSUIPC.dll which is the Module that lets addon software interact with FS2002.
Turn on all your PC's and the Hub so we can transfer the files to the Clients from the Server. Unzip Widev2k2.zip to a temporary folder, unzip the zip files in the Wv2k2.zip into their respective folders. Extract the FSUIPC.dll from it's zip file into the same Temp folder. Read the WidevieW File List documentation first to give yourself a good idea on what comes next.

Open your Network Neighborhood window and navigate your way to your FS2002 folder on the Server, place it on the second screen or make it half the size of your main screen, now open Explorer and open the Temp folder with WV2k2. Make it small enough to be able to see both on the screen as we will be copying from one into the other.

Right Click on the FSUIPC.dll and choose Copy from the Menu.
Now Right Click on the Modules Folder of your Server FS2002 and choose Paste from Menu. Navigate to your 2 Client PC's and Paste the FSUIPC.dll into the Modules folder in both the Clients FS2002. If you want you can have all 3 PC's Network Neighborhood windows open on the Server at the same time to make it easier, just minimize them when not in use.

Ok, we have the FSUIPC.dll in all 3 pc's, now to work on WidvieW. First we have to copy the "server_sample.ini" file into the main FS2002 folder on the Server and it Must be renamed to "wideviewlt.ini"
It is the sample initialization file for the Server PC.

Important ! please make sure that the Option "Hide file extension for known file types" is UNCHECKED in the Operatiing System.
( Start/Settings/Folder Options/View). If this option is enabled, the file will be actually renamed to wideviewlt.ini.ini (with twin extension).
Check the "Show all files" Radio button while your in there.

Do the same with the "client_sample.ini" file by copying it into the Clients
Main FS2002 folder and Renameing it to "wideviewlt.ini"

Now Copy and Paste the "wideviewlt.dll" and "widevutil.ext"
into the FS2002 Modules Folder on all PC's

The English.fll is OPTIONAL -
It is used for removing the annoying "Simulation Paused..." and "Slew" that appear on the Clients. For English FS2002 running under Windows 98, 98SE and ME only. NOT for Windows XP or Windows 2000.
For other languages, please contact the author.

Make a backup of your "english.fll" on the Clients by Renameing it to english.bak or whatever, then Copy and Paste the new "english.fll"
into the Clients Main FS2002 folder.

We are ready to start up FS2002 and Configure WidevieW and FSUICP to work together in the game.

Click on Modules,Wideview, Config... Open them on all PC's to make sure you have them looking the same before starting Wideview.

Everything you need to know is in the Documentation files that come with theWidevieW Zip files, READ THEM and follow the instructions in the "Configuring and using WidevieW" section. They will end up looking like these. Start with the Default Settings and then experiment if needed. Just make sure they are the same on all 3 PC's, if you set Control surfaces/mobile parts on the Server set it on the Clients also. Accept Date/Time setting is not needed on the Server as it is doing the updateing.( logical I know, just testing)

For FSUIPC Configuration:
In the client PCs open the FSUIPC configuration window and turn off all the options. The only useful ones are Wind transitions (if enabled in the Server), allow gusts, wind shear sharp (if in the Server), and apply attempted white-out fix. The others should all be off, otherwise FSUIPC will interfere with the weather that wideview is trying to duplicate.
All Settings are to be the same on all PC's.
Thanks to Peter Dowson for the info.
Same thing here, experiment to get the best setup for your System.

OK, you have setup WidevieW and FSUIPC according to the Documentation files, but when we start Wideview the 2 Clients are still showing the same Front view as the Server, and the main Instrument panel is blocking the view.
This is because we now have to reset the View angle and Zoom in the FS2002\aircraft\c182rg\panel\ panel.cfg file to make it show the required view for each Client and change which windows you want open or not at startup. Open the panel.cfg in Notepad

Read the "reorient.htm" and it will reveal all,
but I will run you through it here also.
We will work with the Default Cessna 182RG and because we are useing 17' screens and we are going to add more later we are going to set the Views at 22.5 deg left and right, you can change this to whatever suits your setup by just changeing the numbers in the CFG files.

In our Server Cessna 182 rg Panel.cfg
we need to find the [Views] section down at the bottom and change the VIEW_FORWARD_DIR= 3.0, 0.0, 0.0
to
VIEW_FORWARD_DIR= 3.0, 0.0, 0.0
VIEW_FORWARD_ZOOM=2.50
Click on Save and Reload the Plane to Activate the Change.

In our Fwd Right Client change it to
VIEW_FORWARD_DIR= 3.0, 0.0, 22.5
VIEW_FORWARD_ZOOM=2.50

And on our Fwd Left Client change it to
VIEW_FORWARD_DIR= 3.0, 0.0, -22.5
VIEW_FORWARD_ZOOM=2.45

In the Client's 182rg Panel.cfg change all the
[Window0x]
visible=1 to visible=0

This is to stop the Instrument panel and other windows
from displaying at Startup.
If you want a sideview to show up on the Client
then make that window Visible like this:

[Window04]
file=+45r.bmp
visible=1
render_3d_window=1
window_pos=0.0,0.0
window_size=1.000,1.000
ident=+45right

Everytime you make a change in a Panel.cfg make sure you Save it and then reload the plane to activate the change.
TIP: If you are makeing cosmetic changes to a Sideview/Panel Bitmap you only have to switch between Fullscreen and Window Mode to make the change apparent.Great for when you are trying out your skill in the art of .BMP editing and Virtual Cockpit building.

The one thing that Wideview does not do(at the moment) is to show
IA planes and Dynamic Scenery on the Clients.
But Luciano is working on it.
Remember that this brilliant piece of software has taken lots of
blood sweat and tears, a lot of hard work and is given to us free of charge. We thank Luciano everytime we fly and we all wait eagerly for the next version.

Other issue's are that the software works well in one PC and not in another, so you have to experiment with the configuration to suit your PC. There are heaps of Post's on the Forum to go through and see what settings work best for some people and what works best for others.
The whole Wideview Community helps out with questions and answers.

The Forum is at
http://www.escapeairlines.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=WV

Happy Networking