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To help newly registered users get more familiar with the wiki (and maybe older users too) there is now a {{Welcome to the wiki}} template. Have a look at it and feel free to add it to new users discussion pages (and perhaps your own).

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SquawkGear

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SquawkGear allows you to fly FlightGear on VATSIM.

You can find all needed downloads and a good description how to do the setup at http://squawkgear.wordpress.com With Squawkbox 747 you show up as a Boeing 747 on VATSIM. Because of this you may want to use Squawkgear only in connection with airliner aircrafts to avoid confusions.

What is VATSIM?

VATSIM (short for the Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network) is a completely free online platform which allows virtual pilots, wherever they are in the world, to connect their flight simulators into one shared virtual world. VATSIM also simulates air traffic control in this virtual world, creating the ultimate as-real-as-it-gets experience for you, the virtual aviation enthusiast.[1]

You have to register on http://www.vatsim.net in oder to be able to connect yourself to the VATSIM network. Registration (and membership) is free and can be done easily. Flying on VATSIM expects you to have good knowledge of:

  • how to fly your aircraft properly,
  • how to set up correct flightplans,
  • correct ATC communication.
Cquote1.png What some people may not realize is that "FSD" predates VATSIM. VATSIM did not create, nor does it "own" the basic FSD design or protocol. VATSIM's FSD is slightly customized, but anyone can develop a pilot client that speaks the basic FSD language without signing VATSIM's NDA. You'll just need to do the NDA before your pilot client can be used on VATSIM.
— Ross Carlson[2]
Cquote2.png

Quick guide

Installation and setup

  • It is recommended to read the instructions on http://squawkgear.wordpress.com carefully.
  • Download and install squawkgear, Squawkbox 747 and Advanced Voice Client AVC from http://squawkgear.wordpress.com
  • Place the additional files into the Flightgear folders and edit the files as described. Read also the further instructions below.
  • Set Flightgear Input/Output options as described.
  • Set Flightgear Network options as described.
  • Set Flightgear Multiplayer options as described. You may want to disable Multiplayer output by setting no output port to avoid appearing also in Flightgear Multiplayer enviroment.

Startup

  1. Make sure that you have a working VATSIM ID and password by registering to VATSIM.
  2. File your flightplan on https://cert.vatsim.net/fp/file.php
  3. Start squawkbox, then Flightgear, then SquawkBox747, then AVC.
  4. Make sure that you are on parking position and not on runway!
  5. In Squawkbox747, blank out the Flightplan and enter the callsign you used to file your flightplan.
  6. Set Squawkbox747 online
  7. Tune your radio to the ATC frequency of your relevant controller and make the initial contact.

Setup details

There are some pitfalls when installing Squawkgear and trying to fly for the first time. This section tries to cover some of them:

Input/Output

Put the file squawk.xml into fgdata/Protocol folder. Because this protocol file uses a wrong property you may want to edit squawk.xml

search the line

<node>/position/altitude-ft</node>

and replace it with:

<node>/instrumentation/altimeter/indicated-altitude-ft</node>

Then either use command line options or edit the Advanced Options in FGRun to add the following lines:
--generic=socket,out,1,IP_OF_SQUAWKGEAR,1863,tcp,squawk
--telnet=socket,in,1,IP_OF_SQUAWKGEAR,5900,tcp
where IP_OF_SQUAWKGEAR is the IP address of the PC running squawkgear. Normally, this is the IP of your PC.

Multiplay

Advanced Options in FGRun - Network - Multiplayer Options should be set to:
Callsign: your callsign used for filing the flightplan
Multiplay 1: out,10,mpserver01.flightgear.org,0
Multiplay 2: in,10,,5000

Menu bar

http://squawkgear.wordpress.com describes how to edit the gui/menubar.xml, but the description is deprecated. Instead, insert the following:

<menu>
  <name>Squawkgear</name>
  <item>
    <name>DirectComms</name>
    <binding>
      <command>dialog-show</command>
      <dialog-name>sq_comm</dialog-name>
    </binding>
  </item>
</menu>

AVC auto tuning

You may find it helpful to have auto tuning on. When you set your COM frequency in Flightgear, AVC will automatically enter the corrsponding channel. In SquawkBox 747 type:
.rw a/on
You have to do this only once, SquawkBox 747 will remember the setting on next startup.

More Tips

There is an undocumented dot command in SquawkBox 747 that sets the transponder mode:

  • .xpdr standby: force squawk-standby, regardless of the code that is set
  • .xpdr on: force squawk-mode C (except when code is set as 0000)
  • .xpdr auto: squawk-standby when airspeed is below 120 knots, regardless of the code that is set, and mode C when above 120 knots. This feature is meant to reduce ATC's radarscope clutter.

http://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8816


History

Curt thinks it worth pushing towards VATSIM connectivity:

Cquote1.png ... a bridge acts as a FG multiplayer server ...
... FG users stand to benefit ...
— Curt[3][4]
Cquote2.png

Similar concept in 2006 (XPlane - FG)[5], the difference is that SquawkGear interfaces with SB747, not XSB.


References

http://forums.vatsim.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=47884

  • X-IvAp is a GPL'd IVAO client for X-Plane.
  • VAS Project is a GPL'd generic FMS for MSFS, X-Plane and (future) FlightGear.
References

See also

  • Swift A client currently (Mars 2019) under development