Jump to content
The simFlight Network Forums
draci

Super Traffic Board Network Disconnects

Recommended Posts

Hi to all,

I use SuperTraffic Board on a Network Client and VoxATC as my ATC program. My Traffic program is MyTraffic 6.  Because VoxATC generates its own traffic, i can't use all features of STB, however, STB lists AI flights (probably using MyTraffic Schedules?) and correctly displays the user flight. But every now and then (every 20 minutes or so) STB disconnects which is very annoying. Changing the port or raising the Timeouts in the corresponding STB config file didn't resolve the issue. My network is fast (1GB and USB 3 network cards) and both the client and server computers are brandnew. It doesn't surprise me that during the busy phases of the flight (during departure or landing) the disconnections from the Data Server get more frequent, but they also happen during cruise on a regular basis. I think the problem might be due to VoxATC since the flights on the STB are not really created in the sim by VoxATC and thus get cancelled by STB a few minutes after scheduled departure time. Could it be that STB gets confused by the fact that none of the listed flights ever departs? The error message I get is that STB Data Server was disconnected, so I suspected a network connection problem first and thus tried to run STB on different clients but ran into the same disconnections all the time. Running STB on the Server (together with FSX) might work, but this is no option for me, as I would need to connect another monitor (I already run FSX across three monitors) and this would definitely ruin my frames. What else could I try to stop STB from disconnecting over the network? Do I need specific STB-settings? Does anybody successfully run STB networked together with VoxATC? Any help welcome.

 

Best regards

draci

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There sorts of problems are sometimes difficult to resolve as they often turn out to be environmental rather than something I have direct influence over in the code.  To get started on this one, would you kindly

1) Supply a screenshot of the exact error when a disconnect occurs

2) Describe the steps necessary to recover, so you can make a successful connection again

3) Report the version of STB and STB-DS you have installed

We will perhaps go one from there to run traces and look at utilities like currports, which can help us understand the port usage on your machine.

Thanks
Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the late answer, but those disconnections are driving me mad! Please read the whole (somewhat lenghty post) to see all my questions.

1. I can't provide a screenshot since I'm not at my Simulator right now but no matter what port I use I get a "Connection Timeout"-Message every 20 minutes or so. It reads "Unable to contact STB-Server, connection timeout..."

2. I simply need to close the error message and reconnect.

3. Latest version of both (v3.2.1.15)

I don't think it's a network issue since all other add-ons work fine over the network and the disconnects happen for all ports I tried (ports correctly opened in firewall).

Here's my usual way of interacting with STB, perhaps this helps to detect the problem:

When I start a flight I get a "No Data" message for the user aircraft (probably because STB cannot read the PMDG 747800i information?)  I override the message and force "Departure sleep" to get a "GO TO GATE" message displayed. Although I use VoXATC many other flights are displayed on the board because I added the MyTraffic 6 generated TrafficCommercial.bgl to the Scenery library and thus the file is read by the STB Data-Server. (If I don't do this, the board stays empty!)  I don't know whether the flights displayed on the board are really the Vox flights, however, if I click on them on the board, nothing happens, so AI-View doesn't work. All the AI-flights get cancelled after a certain time (because they probably don't exist?) and although I have configured STB to remove cancelled flights after 5 minutes they are never removed from the board (ugly!) and the list of cancelled flights gets longer and longer until around 20 minutes in the flight STB disconnects with the above message. When I open the PMDG747 aircraft door to board the pax, the message displayed on the board doesn't change to "boarding" unless I disconnect, open the aircraft door and reconnect. (This is probaly because the "Departure Sleep" which I forced already assumes the door to be open?") ("Is there a way to change the states of the aircraft needed to trigger a certain message on the board?")   Whether I switch the fasten sealt belt sign off or on is not recognized by STB (Is there a way to get it recognized?), so I never get a distinction between "BOARDING" and "FINAL CALL" which is a pity. When I make it to the runway without disconnections (very rarely!) and depart, STB recognizes departure and correctly displays the "DEPARTED" message. During flight, the list of cancelled flights gets longer and longer (and can only be reset by clicking "Settings") which removes the cancelled flights finally. But even if I click on "Settings" to remove the cancelled flights from time to time, STB disconnects with the above message every 20 minutes even in flight. Upon landing, STB sometimes correctly displays the "LANDED" message, but if I arrive at the gate and open the door the "BAGGAGE CLAIM" message is not triggered upon opening the door (probably because STB lost connection to the Data Server already but did not throw the timeout message yet?) I've also tried to raise the connection timeout in the configuration file to ridiculous values like 3 minutes or even an hour. If I do this, the timeout disconnection message shows up less frequent, but STB no longer recognizes aircraft state changes, so I guess that it has disconnected already but the message has not yet been triggered.

I love the STB add-on, but I also love VoxATC and MyTraffic 6, so there must be a way to make the three programs work together. Please help!

Ps. I didn't find the .ini file in the SuperTrafficBoard3 folder in AppData to initiate tracing (???)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/12/2016 at 4:46 PM, draci said:

1. I can't provide a screenshot since I'm not at my Simulator right now but no matter what port I use I get a "Connection Timeout"-Message every 20 minutes or so. It reads "Unable to contact STB-Server, connection timeout..."

I do need the screenshot to get an idea of the location of the failure in code.

On 30/12/2016 at 4:46 PM, draci said:

When I start a flight I get a "No Data" message for the user aircraft (probably because STB cannot read the PMDG 747800i information?)  I override the message and force

Not too surprising.  PMDG is very sophisticated they implement systems themselves rather than rely on systems themselves.  This makes it much more difficult if not impossible for STB to find out the disposition of the user aircraft.

On 30/12/2016 at 4:46 PM, draci said:

I don't know whether the flights displayed on the board are really the Vox flights, however, if I click on them on the board, nothing happens, so AI-View doesn't work.

I'll need screenshots and a trace to understand this problem.

On 30/12/2016 at 4:46 PM, draci said:

All the AI-flights get cancelled after a certain time (because they probably don't exist?) and although I have configured STB to remove cancelled flights after 5 minutes they are never removed from the board (ugly!) and the list of cancelled flights gets longer and longer

Flights are cancelled when STB has a schedule for the aircraft but the simulator never creates an AI aircraft to operate then schedule.  Again I'll need screenshots and a trace to understand this problem.

On 30/12/2016 at 4:46 PM, draci said:

When I open the PMDG747 aircraft door to board the pax, the message displayed on the board doesn't change to "boarding" unless I disconnect, open the aircraft door and reconnect. (This is probably because the "Departure Sleep" which I forced already assumes the door to be open?")

Correct.

On 30/12/2016 at 4:46 PM, draci said:

I didn't find the .ini file in the SuperTrafficBoard3 folder in AppData to initiate tracing (???)

 

You need to create the ini file in the AppData folder, or copy the sample in there.

In all of this the important thing is to establish a repeatable and portable scenario that I've some hope of reproducing here.  Your report is the only one I've received with a disconnect problem, so it's something specific to your environment.  If I can find something to change in the code of course I will, but I can't even consider that until I see the trace file showing the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok,

please find attached 3 screenshots  and the trace output (as a zip-archive because of file size 72MB!). Screenshot 1: Right after starting the flight, Screenshot 2: Flights getting cancelled more and more, Screenshot 3: The horrible disconnect message I get all the time.

Thanks for your help.

Startup.png

Flights getting cancelled.png

Disconnection Error Message.PNG

TrafficBoardFrontEnd.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really appreciate that you are looking into the issue. What I also do not understand is that I cannot trigger the standard STB state changes in the PMDG 747-400. I had the idea to assign dummy key asssignments to doors, seat belts, avionics master etc in FSX or FSUIPC just to trigger the state changes in STB but without avail. I learned that the Fasten Seat Belt Sign is not even implemented in plain vanilla FSX, so I wonder from where does STB read it?  Sorry for mixing up two different problems but I really have been longing for a solution for both of them for years now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The flights getting cancelled is normal as no AI aircraft are showing up in the simulator to operate the schedule.  Your trace file shows the connection breaks on various network requests, so there is a generic problem out there rather than something specific.  I suppose the obvious question I don't think I've asked so far is what happens if you don't run VoxATC?  Do you still get the disconnects?  Are you familiar with the cports application?

Thanks

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I run generic FSX ATC instead of VoxATC I don't get the disconnects and STB runs as expected.  But this is no option for me, since VoxATC in my opinion is closest to reality when it comes to ATC although it's a shame that it doesn't use real world schedules, however,  I've been using it for a decade now. I wouldn't care so much about the flights listed on the board not representing real flights and I could also accept that they all get cancelled but I still don't understand what confuses STB so much that it disconnects and why the cancelled flights are never removed from the board. This should happen after the time preset on the Settings tab, no? My goal is to run STB and VoX side by side without STB disconnecting from preflight preparation at the departure airport until Baggage Claim at the arrival airport. I've used cports before and I'm willing to make any effort to get rid of the disconnects.

Thanks, draci

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's deal with one topic at a time and see if through to resolution before moving on to the next.  When STB disconnects it does so because it can't reach STB-DS and really there's no other option at that point.  I tried to reproduce the problem for several hours tonight, but VoxATC, STB and STB-DS all worked perfectly together.  I need to think about what to do next, but it's likely to be a trace on the STB-DS side and the observations of the PC port usage on the FSX PC using cports.  At the point of failure, I'd like to see who is using the STB-DS ports.  More later!

 

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Simon, I appreciate your efforts and wait for further instructions. I'm surprised that Vox, STB and STB-DS work for you. By the way, I've already tried randomly changing default ports although I didn't know which choices are suitable. Please remember that I use the commercial schedules of MyTraffic 6 for STB-DS besides the default FSX traffic.bgl. Could it be that these are the culprits although - at least I've always thought so - they are not used by VoxATC at all? And Simon, do you think there is a way to make STB display the VoxATC flights? Add-ons such as EFB read at least the correct airline info, aircraft type, speed etc, so I guess thos should also be possible for the schedules? I guess you would only need to read Departure and Arrival Information to display correct board information.

draci

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Without knowing all the port usage on your PC, it's hard to know what to choose.  Generally though there are so many choices it's unusual to get a collision.

2) No good way to display AI flights created by third parties through simconnect I'm afraid.

3) I don't think MyTraffic is a factor.

4) For your problem, I need to see the cports output on the STB-DS/FSX PC, and a trace of both STB and STB-DS trace showing the problem.  Please make the real world time on both PCs is the same otherwise it's impossible to correlate the traces.

To set up tracing in STB-DS:

·         Navigate to the STB for P3D Application Data Folder appropriate to your simulator:

o        %appdata%\FlyingWSimulation\STB Data Server\Flight Simulator X”

o        %appdata%\FlyingWSimulation\STB Data Server\Prepar3D V2”

o        %appdata%\FlyingWSimulation\STB Data Server\Prepar3D V3”

·         Locate file “StbDataServer.ini” and edit it.  If it does not already exist, create it first.

·         Add then following lines:

[Trace]

True

[Trace Flush]

True

[Trace Schedule]

True

·         Save the file and restart STB-DS. 

·         Tracing information may be found in

o        %appdata%\FlyingWSimulation\STB Data Server\StbDataServer.txt

currports

On your FSX PC, please screen capture the port usage for FSX and STB-DS as soon as you have connected STB and everything is working fine, e.g.

STB Conn.PNG

stbds Conn.PNG

Then as soon as you get the disconnect, press the refresh button in Currports and capture the screenshots again.  Please sort on "local port" to see if there's anything else interfering with your STB-DS port.

Thanks
Simon

STBDS Before Conn.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will do all this and report back, please give me a few days as unfortunately I have to work from time to time which keeps me off the sim :)

Thanks, draci

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, Simon, I've run a few tests and played with the settings.  It seems that the first disconnect usually happens when the aircraft is pushing back and the board state should change from "closed" to "taxi". For later disconnects I haven't found a pattern yet. However, please find attached the files you asked me to provide. STB is the only add-on running on a client called "DIGICOMP" whereas FSX runs on the server with static IP 192.168.192.34 called "COOLERMASTER". There are a few other computers in my network all of them  running one or more add-ons. I'm willing to run further tests if required. In any case I really do appreciate your help.

draci

 

 

 

TrafficBoardFrontEnd attempt 1.zip

StbDataServer attempt 1.zip

connecting attempt 1.PNG

disconnect attempt 1.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Simon,

since you obviously think that it is a port collision problem, I'd like to share with you the idea that came to my mind yesterday evening when playing with currports. Perhaps you chan quickly comment on this.  Do you think it could help if I 

1. set the port in STB-DS and STB-client to an arbitrary number (within the allowed port range, of course)  like 8779.

2. configure the simconnect.ini on server and client to use this port.

3. on both computers (server/client) allow the local port 8779 only to connect to the remote port 8779 through the firewall.

This procedure should prevent another program on another computer in my network  from using port 8779 at least if I start STB-DS and client first before connecting any other add-ons to the sim or even before starting the sim itself. Right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing is rules out yet.  I have gone through some of the traces and need to cross check with the code - nothing definitive yet.  That may take a while.

14 hours ago, draci said:

1. set the port in STB-DS and STB-client to an arbitrary number (within the allowed port range, of course)  like 8779.

2. configure the simconnect.ini on server and client to use this port.

 

Two different ports are required for all this to work.  A port for STB and FSX to talk to each other, with one value, and a port for STB and STB-DS to talk to each other, with another value.  If you are using the same port value for all, I can't imagine what might happen.  For certain, please send me:

1) From your STB PC, the My Documents\SimConnect.cfg file and the TrafficBoardFrontEnd.exe.config file from the STB install folder.

2) From your FSX PC, the simconnect.xml from the FSX Application Data Folder and the STBDataServer.exe.config from the STB-DS install folder.

 

Thanks
Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simon,

I've tried to raise buffer values in the config file on the client and obviously the disconnects seem to happen less frequent. They mainly happen if the board is full of cancelled flights. Can it be that it is a buffer overflow issue because the cancelled flights never get removed from the board although I've set this to happen after 5 minutes in the settings? Is this an STB bug that the cancelled flights never get removed or is this a problem specific to my setting?

draci

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a buffer problem was responsible there'd be a more obvious error message.  Since you use VoxATC, I think you'd be best of disabling the traffic BGLs in your simulator and recompiling the STB airports database.  These flights are never going to happen and just take up space and effort.  STB is designed with the expectation of most AI flights showing up at some point.

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your reply, Simon. But this would mean that I don't see any traffic on the board except myself which would make STB pretty useless and unrealistic. I imagine it would be easy for you to adapt the code slightly such that it would work for my puropse. Here is what I would like to have: For all AI flights listed on the board (no matter whether they ever materialize) let's say 30 min before departure time the board displays "preboard" and 20 min before dep time it changes to "Boarding" and let's say 5 min before departure time it says "Final Call", at Departure time the state changes to "taxi" and let's say 15 min after departure time the state changes to "departed at xx:xx" and - very importantly!- then the flight is REMOVED AUTOMATICALLY from the board. This more primitive version of STB would work for imaginary aircraft and nevertheless look very realistic although I use VoxATC. There is no reason for the"cancelled" message and the fact that the flights never get removed from the board, right? The same would work for landing aircraft: 5 min before scheduled landing time the state should change to "landing" and at landing time the state changes to "landed at xx:xx". Perhaps you could even add some small random variation such that flights do not always depart and land exactly at scheduled times and some get delayed with a "delayed" message etc. This much more primitive version of STB dealing with imaginary flights taken from the traffic.bgl should be easy to implement from the code you already have. I would be willing to pay for it and I imagine that there would be more users interested in such a version of STB since many don't use default FSX traffic or UT2 which hasn't been updated for years now. What do you think?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any other issues, let's deal with another time.  What I can see from the trace is you are suffering far more communications problems than you realise.  For most of the commands that need to go over to STB-DS, there's an inbuilt retry function if a timeout occurs.  It's a safety measure and on a healthy system it should never be tripped, but you are seeing it quite a lot.  You probably don't notice any disruption (STB may freeze for up to a minute), because the retry succeeds.  I think it succeeds because it first closes and reopens the connection before retrying again.

Now the reason you do see errors is there are certain commands that cannot be retried if they fail.  That was a design decision on my part 6 years ago, and I'm afraid the reason for that is lost in the mists of time.  It might be possible to change that, but it might make matters worse in doing so.  The real interesting question is why are you seeing so many network problems.  Whenever the STB client is struggling, STB-DS is there quite happily waiting for something to do.  The failing requests STB is making are never seen by STB-DS, all it sees is the client being closed and reopened, and then the request being retried (which succeeds because STB-DS answers).

Let's not forget that VoxATC seems to be implicated in all of this.  What I'd like you to do next is to run a good long session of STB without VoxATC being involved.  I know that may be totally alien to you, but I'd like to see the traces (both STB and STB-DS) in the scenario for comparison.  Would that be possible?

Thanks

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Simon,

thank you for your revelations. I was not aware of any network problems since all my numerous other add-ons work flawlessly.

Of course, I can do what you require:  I will do a longer flight on Thursday and report back.

My latest discovery might be worth telling you:  I tried playing with the network config files on STB-DS and STB client again a little using these settings: (changes in black)

closeTimeout="00:01:00" openTimeout="00:10:00" receiveTimeout="00:10:00" sendTimeout="00:10:00"transactionFlow="false" transferMode="Streamed" transactionProtocol="OleTransactions" hostNameComparisonMode="StrongWildcard" listenBacklog="10" maxBufferPoolSize="2147483647" maxBufferSize="2147483647" maxConnections="10" maxReceivedMessageSize="2147483647"


And you won't believe it with streaming instead of buffering not a single disconnect in 1h 30 minutes flight time! I will try a transatlantic crossing on Thursday without Vox to verify whether it won't disconnect for 9h and to collect the data you require. I keep my fingers crossed...

Thanks again for your precious help, patience and time. I appreciate your support.

 

draci

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, where computers are concerned i am always glad to listen to new ideas.  If you think transferMode is a winner, keep flying with it.  I'd rather have trace files with that and VoxATC running, because that will enable me to study what goes on inside.

 

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Simon,

after a whole week of testing the disconnection problem can finally be considered solved! No more disconnects in 20h flight time. Hence changing the "transferMode" eventually did the trick. I also achieved that no more cancelled messages appear in the board by changing colors (displaying the messages in black on a black background :-D) But still the board looks boring, since I get no state changes for the listed AI airrcaft. So once again my question: Would it possible to adapt the code as I outlined in an earlier post in this tread to automatically trigger state changes at fixed times although they never materialize? That should be easily be possible given the code you have. Thanks for alll your valuable help so far.

 

Cheers, draci

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Draci

I'm very pleased to hear the problem is resolved for you.  I looked into "streaming" and it didn't seem to do anything more spectacular than the other options, but when things work I don't worry too much.

For your request, please email me a description of how you think it should work and I'll consider it.

Thanks
Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again for your reply, Simon.  Here is what I would like to have: For all AI flights listed on the board (no matter whether they ever materialize) let's say 30 min before departure time the board displays "preboard" and 20 min before dep time it changes to "Boarding" and let's say 5 min before departure time it says "Final Call", at Departure time the state changes to "taxi" and let's say 15 min after departure time the state changes to "departed at xx:xx" and - very importantly!- then the flight is REMOVED AUTOMATICALLY from the board. This more primitive version of STB would work for imaginary aircraft and nevertheless look very realistic although I use VoxATC. There is no reason for the"cancelled" message and the fact that the flights never get removed from the board, right? The same would work for landing aircraft: 5 min before scheduled landing time the state should change to "landing" and at landing time the state changes to "landed at xx:xx". Perhaps you could even add some small random variation such that flights do not always depart and land exactly at scheduled times and some get delayed with a "delayed" message etc. This much more primitive version of STB dealing with imaginary flights taken from the traffic.bgl should be easy to implement from the code you already have. I would be willing to pay for it and I imagine that there would be more users interested in such a version of STB since many don't use default FSX traffic or UT2 which hasn't been updated for years now. What do you think?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. Guidelines Privacy Policy We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.