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manhattan
12-04-2007, 11:25 AM
Hi.

Up until now, I have had great results using just one PC providing outside views, PFD and instrumentation over six monitors. I now want to provide left and right outside views, and my PC won't handle any more graphics cards!
Without masses of enthusiasm, I am having to consider networking to another PC. I know absolutely nothing about this procedure and would really appreciate some help to understand, and implement it. I know you don't just plug one into the other! When I have mastered networking, will I have to run another copy of FS2004? Sounds very complicated!!

Here's hoping.


TONY. U.K.

Geremy Britton
12-04-2007, 11:31 AM
Hi, i know hardly anything about this myself too and hoping i won't propably be coming to that stage (not yet anyway!:)) However have you tried the wideview software. this allows many monitors to be connected together to one pc. That's how i see it anyway take a look at their website (just google it) and that will tell you more. this is a whole lot easier than buying more pcs and taking them to bits etc. :roll:

Hope that helps!
regards
geremy

David Rogers
12-04-2007, 01:29 PM
First thing is that each PC must have a Ethernet Network Card installed. Most have one as standard, but I had to buy one for one of my older PCs. (only 4 from eBay).

If you are just linking 2 PCs you can buy something called a "Crossover cable" that goes from the Ethernet port of 1 PC into the other one.

If you want more than 2 in your network (I have 3, some have 6!), then you need to buy a router or a switch (I bought a Cisco Switch).

When using a Switch, you buy Cat 5 Ethernet Cables (NOT a crossover) to go from each PC into the switch.

Now is the painful part - setting up the network !

These following instructions were kindly provided by Trev Hale (I have added some areas of detail) :-

Go to Control Panel of each PC and select "Network Connections". Now Right click on the "LAN" or "Ethernet" icon and select Properties. Click on and highlight "Internet Properties (TCIP/IP)" and select "Proprties"......

Now - specify Ip address for each PC.

Set one up like this....

IP 192.168.1.1
Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
Gateway 192.168.0.1


Set the other up like this
IP 192.168.1.2
Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
Gateway 192.168.0.1

Your all set. On both computers goto My Computer, right click on your c:\ and click Sharing. Fill in the information. Goto my network places and add a network place search (browse) for the other computers c:\

After doing all this, I would advise running the "Network Set up wizard" from the Control Panel. This will finalize the set up configuration.

Geremy - Wideview is not for connecting many monitors to 1 PC ........ it is for linking multiple copies of FS that are installed on networked PCs - so that they all display the same views.

This sounds like what you need Tony.

If you are running other applications, rather than FS views (like project magenta, squawkbox) on the networked PCs, then you need WideFS by Peter Dowson. This tricks a networked PC (that DOESN'T have FS installed) into thinking that FSUIPC is present. It then gets the flight parameters from FSUIPC across the network, to feed those applications.


:)

AndyT
12-04-2007, 01:42 PM
If you have Windows XP, do NOT do any of that written above.

Get your switch and install it according to the directions. Go into the setup page for the switch and make sure DHCP is turned ON.

Plug in your computers and turn them on one at a time and they will set themselves up automaticly.

David Rogers
12-04-2007, 01:55 PM
Err .... with respect Andy that is a load of twoddle from my experience. I have Windows XP and what you are saying did NOT apply in my world !!

Many Switches are hardware only and have NO software or configuration - you just plug in your Cat 5 cables and then you NEED to set up your network manually, as per the above HELP.

You do not even refer to a Switch type above so I find your 'advice' pretty misleading in this case, and quite disrespectful to the help that I was trying to give in the above post.

There are better ways of saying things than to disregard all the help I gave above in three blunt lines of text.

That's all I'll say on this - I don't want a flame or argument so I will not revisit this particular thread again.

AndyT
12-04-2007, 02:24 PM
Sorry David, I never meant for it to come across in that fashion. My apologies.

I've been setting up networks since Windows 3.3 so I have a bit of experience to call upon.

In XP all you have to do is what I outlined above. Its actually a very simple procedure. DHCP is a function that assigns the IP addresses for you based on what is setup in your switch/router hardware. If you have to do more than this then there is likely something very wrong or non-standard with your hardware. What brand of switch/router should make little if any difference.

It works like this:
The switch or router controls the addressing of computers as they come online and identify themselves to the switch/router.

Connect your computers to the switch/router.
Turn on the switch/router.
Wait until it completes its boot and self testing.
Turn on one computer.
XP will look for network hardware as part of its boot sequence.
It will 'see' the switch/router and say hello.
The switch/router will say hello back by assiging an IP address to that computer.
XP will receive the address and finish booting. The computer is now connected to the network.
Start the next computer.

Now, if you want to share a folder or something, that you WILL have to setup by hand.

Now, 99% of all switches, routers and most hubs will have a configuration page that you access thru your web browser by typing in the address of the switch/router/hub... Normally the address is something like 192.168.0.1 Type that in your address bar on your browser and you will get a login page. The usual login is;
Username= admin
Password= blank or 1234

After you login to the equipment, you go thru the settings and make sure that DHCP is turned ON. This is what gives the equipment the ability to setup your network for you. DHCP is usually ON as the default but I have seen it come set to OFF on occasion. In the setting section you can also specify what address range you want your computers to have.

For example, I want the switch to have the address 192.168.26.0 and I want all the rest of the computers to get sequential addresses starting with 192.168.26.1 Once you have defined these parameters, you only need to do the very simple steps of connecting each computer and turning it on to set it up on the network.

Hopefully this explains in greater detail what I was talking about and you will see that in reality it only took three short sentances to give the basic directions for doing this since 99% of it is automatic.

paulj
12-04-2007, 05:04 PM
Hi David and Andy

Hope you don't mind me jumping in here but I just want to say that you are "both" correct in what you are saying about setting up networks.

I'm now retired but was both a Unix and Windows systems analyst during my working years.

Andy what you are saying about DHCP is correct up to the point of issuing IP addresses. However these IP addresses are issued in the order that the client pc request them so for example if you start up your pc's differently each time they will receive different IP addessses each time.

This may or may not be a problem in flight simulation.

For example if you are using PM software you may have used PM's example of setting up the NETDIR for sharing the cdu info. In their example they show you using either the computer name or IP address in the path broadcast to the other PM clients.

Now if you have used the IP address this way then you most certainly want the PC's to retain the same address each session.

Just something to keep in mind.;)

cheers

Paul

magicaldr
12-04-2007, 05:45 PM
and just for fun here is a little detail of what goes on in the background:

IP 192.168.1.1
Subnet Mask 255.255.255.0
Gateway 192.168.1.1

The IP address is a unique number for your PC. It is actually a binary number, but for those of us who don't like to think in 0101010 it is shown as 4 decimal numbers, from 0 - 255. It actually has 2 parts, one that says which network you are on, and one to say which PC you are in that network. All the PC's on your network need to have the same 'network' part of the IP, and they all need different PC parts or they would get confused :)

I know it sounds complex, but hopefully all will become clearer as we go on. So now we know what an IP address is, whats a subnet mask? Its job is to tell the PC which part of the IP address is about the network, and which bit is about the PC. It can get complex (just google supernetting and have fun), but for the purposes of this rough guide think of 255 meaning use this part as my network, and 0 meaning use this one as my PC name.

So in our example IP from above the mask is: 255.255.255.0 Making the first 3 sets of numbers a network name, the last number is about the PC's on the network.

So for our IP of: 192.168.1.1, the 192.168.1 is our network ID, and we are PC 1 on it. All the other PC's on our network need to the same network part of the IP, so they will all start 192.168.1, but they will all need a unique PC number. So as we used 1 on our first pc, our next would be 192.168.1.'2', and so on. You cant use 0 or 255 (they are reserved numbers) so this layout gives us up to 244 different PC's.

So why do we care about which network we are on anyway? Well, all the PC's plugged directly into your router can be spoken to very easily. Using what is basically a shout on the network. As they are plugged into the same hub they will see it and you can speak. However if you try shouting to something remote, like google it wont get there. So we need a way to know what will need to be sent 'outside', and what can just be shouted at.

Basically if you have a mask, and an IP, but no gateway, your PC's can talk to all the other PC's local to them. However the rest of the world (or any PC not on their 'network') will be unreachable. This is because we need that 3rd bit of our network setup, a default gateway. This is the IP address of a router that knows the way to the rest of the world. Normally your own router or cable modem does this for you. It also normally takes the first IP address (192.168.1.1) for itself. So actually your PC is normally .2 :)

So now when you try to talk to another IP address we check out if it is local, using our mask to split off the network bit of the IP. If it matches ours its local, so we shout at it. If we look and it is different then it is remote, and we send everything to the default gateway IP and expect it to do the clever bit and find the other PC.

How we get the IP address is another chapter, google DNS if you are really bored, and just to really confuse things we actually use MAC addresses under all this. However you dont really to know any of that stuff. DHCP is a nice clever way for the router to tell your PC all the stuff it needs to talk on the net, and to other PC's. If it wont work (or you have a simple hub / crossover cable setup) then hopefully the above helps you understand the basics behind the numbers.

Some other basics you may want to know:

* cat 5 is a type of cable that support 100MB networking.
* Crossover cables 'cross' the send and receive wires. This enables 2 network cards plugged directly into each other to talk. Think of the send like the mike, and receive as the speaker. In a straight through (normal) network lead it would be like connecting the 2 mikes, and the 2 speakers and trying to talk. A crossover swaps the connections around, so the mike from one card is connected to the speaker from the other.
* Hubs / routers do the crossover for PC to PC connection for you, so you use straight through cables with them. Hub to hub is different, find a netowrking guy and chat about it if you get this complex :)
* Routers / Switches are intelligent. They will only send 'traffic' to places where it is relevant. So when you talk to another PC a switch will only send the packets to its network lead. Makes them more efficient and less likely to get clogged up. Routers are also often equipped with a DHCP server to sort your IP stuff for you.
* Hubs are basic ways to connect network leads together. Everything seen on any port is sent to every other port. In a small network this is not likely to be a problem. However these days switches and routers with built in switches are so cheap most people have them anyway.

10 / 100 / 1000 10 meg, 100 meg, gigabit are all network speeds

With apologies to the other MCSE blokes here, hope the above is not too confusing as I tried to leave out what wasn't needed. Hopefully that helps, if it confuses you more was not my intent, just ignore it as really this is just some background and you dont need to know it to get a simple network up and running.

magicaldr
12-04-2007, 05:56 PM
Andy what you are saying about DHCP is correct up to the point of issuing IP addresses. However these IP addresses are issued in the order that the client pc request them so for example if you start up your pc's differently each time they will receive different IP addessses each time.


As a further aside most routers have an option to setup the DHCP to 'reserve' an IP for a specific machine. All network devices have a unique MAC address built into them when they are made. You tell the DHCP system the MAC address you want to get a certain IP, and whenever it sees that MAC address it always passes the same IP to it.

we getting way above basics here, but it may be worth a nose in your routers manual. To find the MAC address of a network card go to a command line and type IPCONFIG / ALL

This will bring up all the raw info on your network connection, including the MAC address of your network card, or cards. The MAC address is also known as the physical address and looks something like:

Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-19-D1-53-1C-3B

or far more simply set static IP addresses using the info from Andy and below. Just be sure if you set up statics to start around the .100 upwards mark. If your router is DHCP capable it wont know you are using statics (if you don't tell it). So a new PC joining your network would get assigned the first IP it didn't assign. Normally 192.168.1.2, this will certainly upset things if you used this on your main PC by assigning it statically ;)

AndyT
12-04-2007, 06:04 PM
Thanks guys.

I started to write a long disertation on MAC addressing thru UDP and how it uses Network announcing to ID and tag machines with an IP address and what the IP, Subnet and gateway IP all break down into. But I did'nt because I retired from Network Admin a few years ago and I have not kept up on it so it could have been different from what I was familliar with.

I dont use PM so I have no clue what network requirements it has but if you can use machine names instead it works, but its not as fast as direct IP addressing. For anything less than 100 machines, not really a problem, but there it is.

Hopefully all this will give everyone a better understanding on what is really happening behind the screen in the wonderland of Networking, and that using some very basic built-in functions they can have their network up and running with a very minimum of fuss.

Michael Carter
12-04-2007, 06:12 PM
When I got my new machine a couple of weeks ago I thought I would have to configure it for the router.

After it booted it configured itself and I was on-line in a matter of minutes.

However, it would not talk to the other computer through the router without setting up both machines as described above. That was a two day hair-pulling session I don't wish to repeat.

For network ignorant people like me it was very frustrating to get these two computers talking to one another through the router.

AndyT
12-04-2007, 06:15 PM
Hmmmm.... I'd volunteer but I dont use PM so...

Maybe a couple of the other MCSE's floating around here could get together and write a short tutorial on the easiest way to configure your network for Flight Sim with PM.

Then upload it here for everyone to use.

BSW,
All you really had to do was share a folder and set permissions. Simple if you know what to do. A serious pain if you don't.

Michael Carter
12-04-2007, 06:26 PM
I often jump in to do things I don't know anything about. I figure as long as it can't kill me or burn down the house I'll try to do it.:D

AndyT
12-04-2007, 06:34 PM
Thats the attitude that got planes flying in the first place! Go for it brah!
(But leave the matches alone...:roll: ;))

zenandzen
12-04-2007, 07:57 PM
Hi all
Tony , with respect to all replies so far, i would advise you read the documentation that goes with the software because it has a lot of info & diagrams & at worst you'll learn a little about networking & what the software does & does not do.

http://www.wideview.it/downloads/manual.zip

I found all of it a bit daunting but after a while some of it stuck in my head to the point it is now up & running (after success in demo mode i bought a licence online).
I used a yellow crossover cable because i wanted only two pc s connected (four monitors).

This has been a cost effective solution for me, .... i could afford an old PIII 1ghz pc ( to be the slave) with network card & had a spare 128mb dualhead agp card to upgrade it & as a slave having to run only outside views is ok.
Good luck
Gerry

NicD
12-05-2007, 12:32 AM
The PM manual also has fairly instructions on configuring your PCs for using PM across a network. Best not to re-invent the wheel if its already rolling somewhere :).