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Do I need WideFs?

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Hi There,

A very basic question this one, but I can't find an answer anywhere, so here goes.

I'm about to buy FSCUIPC to take advantage of the autosave and weather smoothing, but it wouldn't cost much more to get WideFS too... is there any benefit for me in doing so? I run ASX and SB4 with SimConnect... all works fine.

What addons cannot use SimConnect? What are the pros and cons of WideFS compared to SimConnect?

Thanks for any help!


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... it wouldn't cost much more to get WideFS too... is there any benefit for me in doing so? I run ASX and SB4 with SimConnect... all works fine. What addons cannot use SimConnect? What are the pros and cons of WideFS compared to SimConnect?

SimConnect and WideFS are not exactly alternatives. Lets take one step back a moment:

FSUIPC provides an interface for applications, an interface which has remained backward compatible now since FS98 -- i.e. through FS2000, CFS1, FS2002, CFS2, FS2004 and now FSX and ESP (though with two new independent versions in the latter two cases).

With FSX and ESP, Microsoft finally "saw the light" and officially supported an application interface. This is "SimConnect."

Both FSUIPC's and SimConnect's interfaces are used on FSX. In FSUIPC's case this is partly because there are still a lot of add-ons which have been carried forward to work on FSX/ESP (because the FSUIPC interface is compatible), and partly because some folks find it easier, more powerful, or just more suitable for their applications.

This is all true for a single PC running FSX or ESP. Now add other PCs in a Network, and both interfaces have extensions to take advantage of this.

WideFS is the extension to the FSUIPC interface for other PCs on a Network, whilst for SimConnect you install the SimConnect package on those other PCs and configure a couple of files.

Neither is better or worse than the other. They are different. If you want to run FSUIPC client programs over a Network link, you need WideFS. If you want to run SimConnect clients over a network link, you use SimConnect.

[bTW, FSUIPC itself uses SimConnect internally too, amongst other things].

In answer to your question "what addons cannot use SimConnect?" all I can say is "all addons which have not been programmed to use SimConnect", which of course means at least all those written before SimConnect was available, and, indeed, some written or released since.

Gradually more and more SimConnect add-ons are appearing, but there are still many many more which are FSUIPC clients instead. If you have none you wish to run, and don't think you will be getting any, then you probably* don't need WideFS.



* I say "probably" because there are a couple of uses of WideFS which don't involve FSUIPC clients:

1. Button screens, aimed at touch-sensitive screens, for an array of touch-buttons, and

2. The ability to use a GPS-sensitive moving map on another PC using the Network link rather than a "null modem" serial cable.

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Many thanks for your frank and detailed reply - you've really answered my question. Actually, you've whetted my appetite with the talk about a GPS moving map... could you give me more details (a link would do!)

Pretty much any mapping program which accepts NMEA data from a real GPS, in order to show your position and other data, can accept the same formatted GPS data output by my freeware GPSout module for FS9 and before, or by the GPSout feature included in the Registered FSUIPC4 (for FSX).

Personally I use Jeppesen's FliteMap (which I understand is no longer available by that name) and Memory Map Ordnance Survey maps of the UK. I think you can use Microsoft AutoRoute, and other assorted programs, such as those made by DeLorme. For flight-oriented maps, apart from Jeppesen, there's a program called "PocketFMS", which also works via a USB link to PocketPCs like iPaqs.

GPSout (and FSUIPC4) can send the NMEA GPS data to a serial port (COM or USB), or can send it, via WideFS, to another PC, where it can, in turn, be sent to a serial port there. The serial port link to the PC running the map program can be a real wire (a "null modem cable", basically three wires needed) or, to keep the program in the same PC as FS or WideClient (on the client PC), by using a pair of linked virtual serial ports. These look like real ports to programs, but merely pass data internally. There are a couple of freeware programs which can do this, and some more sophisticated payware programs too. Google is your friend! ;-)



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