JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Suggestions, ideas and general discussion about JoinFS.
Bluebird1
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JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Bluebird1 »

Let me begin by thanking Peter for his work!
I am the Lead pilot for the FSX Bluebirds, and yesterday afternoon I was helping our brand new pilot get ready to fly with us. Every thing went well until it was time to connect to the FSX Direct Connection Based multiplayer session that I had set up. He could not connect! After considerable troubleshooting, I found that he was running the Steam version of FSX.
I hsd been reading about joinFS lately, but had no opportunity to put it to actual use - - - until that point in time. The client was downloaded by both of us, installed and I created a hub. He was able to model match our T-33A then connect to the IP with absolutely no issues. A short test flight led me to believe that this would likely be our new connection method for the Bluebirds...all I needed was buy-in by the remaining team.
Last evening at our regular practice proved no problem from the team to give JoinFS a try. In about two minutes the client was downloaded, installed and connection made to the hub.
All four of our aircraft were displayed as they should be, we fired up, taxiied out and went through our entire practice routine. There were absolutely no issues throughout the routine, and performance was absolutely smoothe. Astounding!
It is a pleasure not having to go through the old adopted multiplayer setup as a pilot simply joins right from Free Flight with the FSJ client running...simply plug in the IP Address. This connection method is very easy to explain to a new user - unlike the multiplayer version with its several screens.

I no longer have to turn away pilots using the Steam platform! That is huge to many formation teams as formation pilots as a general rule are not lined up wating to join a team. I would love to have opportunity to try a pilot running P3d now and whenever possible one running X-Plane. We will be checking out the other features of JFS very soon.

Peter..I Have already taken the liberty of giving you a shout-out on our website/blog at http://www.fsxbluebirds.simplesite.com

Once again, Peter - thank you so very much for this software
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Chris_P
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Chris_P »

I share the same enthousiasm with yours about the smooth JoinFS MP flying.
to have opportunity to try a pilot running P3d now
It will be the same experience... according to our cross platform mp flights experience !...

I checked your team's videos - nice ! keep it up - and I'd like to point at you the Recorder function
of JoinFS for your training purposes as also for your video making. It may prove handy for you.

Greets.
Bluebird1
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Bluebird1 »

Hi, Chris
Thanks for your comments re: our videos. We have finally gotten to the point of at least being in the same part of the sky :) through hard work and disappointment of lost pilots. We are far from perfect to say the least, but non the less proud of our accomplishments over the past few months.

Our next practice session will see us use the recording function, and like you say will be a bonus for analyzing the flight by all pilots during a debriefing session and in this way, see whats going awry during maneuvres.

Thanks again!
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Peter
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Peter »

Thanks for trying out JoinFS. The hardest part is deciding to give it an initial go, but once you realize how easy it is to use, you'll probably prefer it to normal multiplayer. You can easily have a large group of people connected up in seconds.

There's a couple of things about the recorder that are worth mentioning. First, there's a known issue where the recorded network aircraft might appear slightly jerky during playback. It's not too bad, but worth noting. I'll be fixing this in the next version, 1.1.7.

Second thing is that for aerobatics, there is an old bug in the stable version 1.1.4 where the network aircraft will appear to tumble when the plane goes inverted. The good news is that this is completely fixed in the current test version 1.1.6. The next stable version will also have the fix.

Peter
Bluebird1
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Bluebird1 »

Since we began using JoinFS, there have been a number of software updates, each one improving and fixing various problems of the version before.
However, the problem of aircraft in close proximity to one another (close being defined as a few meters) jumping forward and back seems to persist. This makes it next to impossible to properly fly a good tight formation. The problem presents itself when two aircraft get within 25 or 30 meters from one another, and worsens as the distance is decreased.
JoinFS is an excellent way of accomplishing multiplayer in the simulator and at last allows simple and reliable connection for at least FSX and FSXSteam. However, I think our formation team will have to revert to the old Multiplayer function of FSX which means that we will not be able to "hire" Steam pilots at least until this problems cause is found and eliminated. With the increase in popularity of Steam, this seriously limits the playing field from which we can draw pilots for formation teams.
In my own opinion, Steam should never have messed with the multiplayer function of their programming. They could have at least left the ability to achieve a direct connect via IP address. Their change was simply a ploy to force non Steam users over to their platform. Those with third party addons would suffer because for the most part, as I understand it many of those addons would not work.
If any statement that I have made here is incorrect, please let me know. My remarks are merely based on our experiences with JoinFS, and remarkes aimed at Steam are from what I have read on th subject via the internet. If any formation team using JFS can tell me why I am experiencing "jumpimg" aircraft and how to fix it, I am all ears. We fly very low framerates - no more than 20 - 25 FPS.
Tisor
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Tisor »

Bluebird1 wrote: They could have at least left the ability to achieve a direct connect via IP address.
You can continue to do that. We at Ala 12 Virtual have never stopped using this function, also in FSX Steam Edition. Just, on Multiplayer screen, instead of selecting steam select the Local Network (The right button, don't remember the exact name), then "Direct Connect" and done.

This is the way we've been doing that for a while.

The error you report... we are not experiencing it on us, flying 6 in close formation. No problem, no stutters.
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Dan-TXHills
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Dan-TXHills »

Tisor wrote:
Bluebird1 wrote: They could have at least left the ability to achieve a direct connect via IP address.
You can continue to do that. We at Ala 12 Virtual have never stopped using this function, also in FSX Steam Edition. Just, on Multiplayer screen, instead of selecting steam select the Local Network (The right button, don't remember the exact name), then "Direct Connect" and done.

This is the way we've been doing that for a while.

The error you report... we are not experiencing it on us, flying 6 in close formation. No problem, no stutters.
We have never been able to get this to work in FSX-Steam. Others also report that Dovetail has blocked this capability. This is what we are seeing when we try to connect directly, either using the Steam session connection or the Direct LAN connection then selecting 'Direct Connect' -

Image
Bluebird1
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Bluebird1 »

Thanks, Dan - thats what I was afraid of, and also a very good way to "P" off all of the users of FSX who have been supporting it for many many years.
This may even more incentive for Peter to have a look at the jitter problem.
To me, it sounds like the famous SimConnect issue - a problem that for some reason does not exist in the original multiplayer Direct Connect via IP function of FSX.

Back To square one ..... Unless ALA Virtual can explain how they accomplish this.
Tisor
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Tisor »

Dan-TXHills wrote:
Tisor wrote:
Bluebird1 wrote: They could have at least left the ability to achieve a direct connect via IP address.
You can continue to do that. We at Ala 12 Virtual have never stopped using this function, also in FSX Steam Edition. Just, on Multiplayer screen, instead of selecting steam select the Local Network (The right button, don't remember the exact name), then "Direct Connect" and done.

This is the way we've been doing that for a while.

The error you report... we are not experiencing it on us, flying 6 in close formation. No problem, no stutters.
We have never been able to get this to work in FSX-Steam. Others also report that Dovetail has blocked this capability. This is what we are seeing when we try to connect directly, either using the Steam session connection or the Direct LAN connection then selecting 'Direct Connect' -

We did it yesterday. Never had any problem. I see you have a active chat on the left side. Don't use the Steam tab. Use the one to the right. Be sure you have the necessary ports open (Use FSPortTest: http://www.chocolatesoftware.com/forum/ ... opic=737.0)

I can promise it is working.
Bluebird1
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Bluebird1 »

Once again Tisor - thanks for your reply.
Can you tell me if it is necessary to have Acceleration installed?
Dan's image in his reply looks like the FSX Boxed edition WITHOUT Acceleration installed. In FSX Boxed, when Acceleration IS installed, it shows as "Acceleration on all screens.

Just thinking that this may be the reason why the connection cannot be made. I know that in the original version of FSX, "Cannot create connection" is the message that results if you do not install Acceleration.
Tisor
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Tisor »

Bluebird1 wrote:Once again Tisor - thanks for your reply.
Can you tell me if it is necessary to have Acceleration installed?
Dan's image in his reply looks like the FSX Boxed edition WITHOUT Acceleration installed. In FSX Boxed, when Acceleration IS installed, it shows as "Acceleration on all screens.

Just thinking that this may be the reason why the connection cannot be made. I know that in the original version of FSX, "Cannot create connection" is the message that results if you do not install Acceleration.
Everyone need to be in the same version. But I mean we are connecting all in FSX Steam. Before we were all on FSX Acceleration.

FSX Steam is very cheap and gives nice tweaks. Is worth it.
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Dan-TXHills
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Dan-TXHills »

The Steam version of FSX comes with everything that is needed to connect. I have port 6112 forwarded (the port shown in the Network Settings screen) and get the same error whether I go through the Steam session 'Connect Directly' or the LAN 'Connect Directly' function. Based on the aircraft that comes with the Steam session it appears you actually have the Acceleration version.

My box version includes Acceleration and connects to FSOpen sessions without the ports forwarded.

I would like to see a screenshot of your FSX-Steam connected directly via IP. No one I know has figured out how this works. A few step-by step screen shots or a link to a step-by-step guide would be helpful.

But - no problem if you don't want to do that. This is just idle curiosity. I have not flown on a "GameSpy-like" server including Steam sessions for years and since JoinFS came out I have only used it to connect. The ability to link FSX-box, FSX-Steam and P3D plus the flexibility of flying in Free Flight mode PLUS all of the amazing features that Peter has already built into JoinFS with more to come makes any other means of connection obsolete. (Just try having four people, all in different aircraft, join someone's plane in Steam, FSOpen or other 'GameSpy-like' server !! We did it in JoinFS - one day we're going to find out how many people we can stuff into a phone booth ... or a J-3 cub!). FSX-Steam works just fine on JoinFS without the hassle of the Steam "Multiplayer" function and it's restrictions regarding the session's time, weather and other settings - not sure why anyone goes on those sessions anymore. With the Hub function you do not even need someone in your group running a session. Just connect to an available public Hub and go flying!

Dan
Tisor
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Tisor »

Dan-TXHills wrote: I would like to see a screenshot of your FSX-Steam connected directly via IP. No one I know has figured out how this works. A few step-by step screen shots or a link to a step-by-step guide would be helpful.
I'll do it ASAP. I have FSX Steam uninstalled now due to some personal issues. Will get in touch with the Guys on Ala 12 Virtual to take some screenshoots for you, or even try to get that on video.

We use it everyday on instruction sessions due to the Shared Cockpit working better for now than JoinFS. JoinFS has replaced MP for our missions, but for instruction we still using the FSX:Steam multiplayer, as I said ALWAYS using Direct IP connection.

Give me some time until I can get some of them to do it for me :) Hope tonight or tomorrow I can have it for you.
Tisor
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Tisor »

I must add: We have not done anything special. Just opened ports, Firewalls and Antivirus.

Then, just get the public IP of our "server" (Is just a PC running a hosted session, but not in steam, also in the other tab "Direct Connection") and we connect to it. Nothing special we have done. All working as it was in FSX Acceleration...
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Dan-TXHills
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Dan-TXHills »

Thanks Tisor.

Maybe the 'magic' is that you are connecting directly to the server (not using FSOpen or similar connection).

Also - we have encountered the issue that not having exactly the same aircraft will cause FSX-Steam not to allow aircraft sharing (in some cases one gauge difference or even a non-standard paint will cause the join to fail). Has this been your experience also?

I understand that JoinFS does not have all the aircraft sharing issues ironed out. For our use we can at least easily do our check rides without the bother of the Steam session and 'exact match' issue. We have verified that headings, altitudes, frequencies etc. are reported correctly and have even verified that landing rates are reported correctly in both the PF's aircraft and for those observing (which is another very cool feature - more than one joining). Sharing controls has a bit of a way to go but I have great faith that Peter will iron out these issues.

That said, we are also interested in linking FSX-box and FSX-Steam (we still have some hold-outs that haven't moved to JoinFS yet). Will watch for further information.

Dan
Tisor
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Tisor »

Dan-TXHills wrote:Thanks Tisor.

Maybe the 'magic' is that you are connecting directly to the server (not using FSOpen or similar connection).

Also - we have encountered the issue that not having exactly the same aircraft will cause FSX-Steam not to allow aircraft sharing (in some cases one gauge difference or even a non-standard paint will cause the join to fail). Has this been your experience also?

I understand that JoinFS does not have all the aircraft sharing issues ironed out. For our use we can at least easily do our check rides without the bother of the Steam session and 'exact match' issue. We have verified that headings, altitudes, frequencies etc. are reported correctly and have even verified that landing rates are reported correctly in both the PF's aircraft and for those observing (which is another very cool feature - more than one joining). Sharing controls has a bit of a way to go but I have great faith that Peter will iron out these issues.

That said, we are also interested in linking FSX-box and FSX-Steam (we still have some hold-outs that haven't moved to JoinFS yet). Will watch for further information.

Dan
Oh yes of course, Maybe I missunderstood you. We don't use FSOpen or nothing. Just FSX Multiplayer system and anything else.

For us the exact match between aircraft is not an issue. All our pilots have a custom installer with our custom jets and they are of mandatory use. It's true that we are just 10 pilots and is easy to keep everything on the same versions/configs.
Bluebird1
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Bluebird1 »

We did it yesterday. Never had any problem. I see you have a active chat on the left side. Don't use the Steam tab. Use the one to the right. Be sure you have the necessary ports open (Use FSPortTest: http://www.chocolatesoftware.com/forum/ ... opic=737.0)

I can promise it is working.
Tisor..did you need to create any exceptions in the Windows Firewall?

Tried to connect again via DC tonight, but no joy.bif your group can accomplish it, we should be able to sa well.
Bluebird1
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Bluebird1 »

We did it yesterday. Never had any problem. I see you have a active chat on the left side. Don't use the Steam tab. Use the one to the right. Be sure you have the necessary ports open (Use FSPortTest: http://www.chocolatesoftware.com/forum/ ... opic=737.0)

I can promise it is working.
Tisor..did you need to create any exceptions in the Windows Firewall?

Tried to connect again via DC tonight, but no joy.bif your group can accomplish it, we should be able to sa well.
Last edited by Bluebird1 on Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Bluebird1
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Bluebird1 »

Tisor wrote: We did it yesterday. Never had any problem. I see you have a active chat on the left side. Don't use the Steam tab. Use the one to the right. Be sure you have the necessary ports open (Use FSPortTest: http://www.chocolatesoftware.com/forum/ ... opic=737.0)

I can promise it is working.
Tisor
Is it possible that exceptions have to be added to the Win firewall?
I really do not understand how your group can connect and yet we cannot.
Tisor
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Re: JoinFS - First Use report from the FSX Bluebirds

Post by Tisor »

Bluebird1 wrote:
Tisor wrote: We did it yesterday. Never had any problem. I see you have a active chat on the left side. Don't use the Steam tab. Use the one to the right. Be sure you have the necessary ports open (Use FSPortTest: http://www.chocolatesoftware.com/forum/ ... opic=737.0)

I can promise it is working.
Tisor
Is it possible that exceptions have to be added to the Win firewall?
I really do not understand how your group can connect and yet we cannot.
Yes, of course. We have the Firewall disabled and use Antiviruses one, which we disconnect while flying to try avoid any problems.

Yesterday I couldn't get any screenshoot. As I told, I'm lacking my main PC now so I have to wait for someone to give me a pic. Will try ASAP.
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