Controlling Displays

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Ian
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:56 pm
Location: Reading UK

Controlling Displays

Post by Ian »

HI
I am working at the moment on controlling all my machines from a master station. so as to to be able to start/shut down and load the various programs needed on the sim, as I can see only portions of the monitors that will be behind MIP's.
KVM switches seem to be the answer. I am intrested to know how folks have overcome this aspect of bulding and what approaches are available

Cheers

Ian

Randy Holmes
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 3:01 pm
Location: Bells, Texas

Controlling Displays

Post by Randy Holmes »

I am planning on have a separate computer for the Captains ND/PFd and F/O ND/PFD and ECIAS I will install dual head video cards and run one cable to a 8 port a/b switch and the other cable to the appropriate monitor on the main instrument panel. The 8 port a/b switch will route to a central monitor I am thinking about installing on the left side table of the Captains seat. From that I will be able to run through the various displays for startup/shutdown without disrupting the main instrument panel.

Randy

Guest

Post by Guest »

Hi Ian

If I understand your inquiry correct, here are my suggestions.

Although I haven't tried it yet, a builder friend of mine uses the VNC Protocol to access all the PC's on the network (http://www.realvnc.com). Another solution would be using PCAnywhere software to access the desktops of other PC's.

See you around

Okan

Sam Verhoeven
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 6:06 am

Controlling Displays

Post by Sam Verhoeven »

Hello,

RealVNC is definitely the way to go.
Been using it for a few years now and works like a charm.
It's also FREEly available.
You can open a session for all your networked computers together, which is very handy while testing the different parts of your sim.
It also is very easy to install and the VNC-server-service does not effect performance, like PC-Anywhere sometimes does.

Open 'sessions' do have a considerable performance hit so you'd want to close them when you get 'off the blocks'.
Best,

Sam Verhoeven
www.b737ng.be

Ian
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:56 pm
Location: Reading UK

Post by Ian »

Hi Guys
Real VNC appears to be the way to go, I took your advice and down loaded and ran the software. and it runs well.
I have read there docs so....correct me if I,m right or wrong here
My control machine = VNC Viewer
Pilots PFD/ND machine = VNC Server
EFWD/SD machine = VNC Server
etc
etc
etc

At the moment I launch the VNC Server on the Pilots PFD/ND machine then connect via my control machine with the VNC Viewer this gives complete control of the PFD/ND
Disconection is achieved VIA the VNC viewer machine end leaving the VNC server software running on the PFD/ND machine (Ummmm)
This process is repeated for each if the other machines on the network. If this is the right approach launching the VNC Server from a desktop icon ain't a problem however this puts a icon into the notification area of the task bar which is out of sight and needed to shut the VNC server down Am I doing this right or have I read the manual backwards
Any ideas please

Ian

MOlieman
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 12:13 pm
Location: MyCockpit.org
Contact:

Real VNC

Post by MOlieman »

Real VNC is a pretty impressive program, particularly for free. Although, I've noticed it is a bandwidth hog. If you don't disconnect from the server it's pretty nasty on the display rate. Any ideas on this are appreciated.

What are you guys doing about mouse and keyboard, anyone able to hook up without mouse and keyboard attached?

Sam Verhoeven
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 6:06 am

Explaining VNC-setup

Post by Sam Verhoeven »

Hi all,

I will try to answer both Matts' as Ians' questions by explaining my own setup.

I currently have 6 PC's in my Sim-network and all are Win2K or WinXP:
1. FS-server (which holds FS2K2/FS2K4)
2. PFD/ND
3. EICAS + PMSounds
4. MCP (+CDU in the future)
5. Interface ("home brewn")
6. Workstation: Office 2K3, Visual studio etc (not used for any cockpitfunctions, besides flightplanning and "controlling" the other PC's)

ALL 6 PC's have a complete RealVNC installation, with the VNCServer-service running (automatically started at startup: you can choose this option when installing VNC, or enable it afterwards via the server-settings)

Running the VNCServer-service in the background (without an open section) does not have any significant (if any at all) impact on system performance AND it keeps you from "having to manage" VNC-Server startups & shutdowns on your clients.
You just start a VNC-viewer session from your "control PC" and when you close the VNC-viewer session, it automatically disconnects the clients server.
It's best to choose an easy/short VNC-password that is the same on all the PC's to keep things "easy".

Of course when a VNC-session is initiated from another computer (in my case from the N° 6 PC) there is a significant performance hit on the VNC-server-PC.
This is because VNC needs to compress the "screen capture" to send it over the network. The network load itself is pretty low compared to e.g. PC-Anywhere.
With non-graphical applications on screen the performance hit is also very low, but as we all use Magenta glass cockpits etc., this means constantly updating major parts of the screen, which explains the performance hit.
If I like to keep a certain VNC-session open while running Magenta, I usually minimize it on my "control"-pc, as this prohibits the VNC-server from sending screen updates, which results in a very low performance impact and is handy when you are testing.

Only PC n° 6 has a keyboard and mouse in my setup.
PC N° 4 and 5 don't even have a screen attached to the VGA port.
If disconnecting mouse/keyboard/display gives you trouble at system-startup, you should edit your BIOS/CMOS to NOT "hold" on these errors.

PC n°1 (FS-Server) has a wireless keyboard/mouse attached which stands 'inside the cockpit' without the hassle of wires.

I only use my PC N°6 (workstation) to manage ALL PC's in my cockpit-network. I also do my flightplanning on this pc.
PC 6 stands "outside" the cockpit and its very handy to manage all cockpit-PC's from one station.

To people that not yet have RealVNC (and didn't give up reading this proza till the very end) I can say that "explaning VNC is more difficult than working with VNC".
Just experiment a few minutes with and you'll see that it is very easy,handy, and FREE!
Best,

Sam Verhoeven
www.b737ng.be

MOlieman
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 12:13 pm
Location: MyCockpit.org
Contact:

Post by MOlieman »

Sam, thank you for that wonderfull information. It helped.

Thank You!

Ian
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:56 pm
Location: Reading UK

Post by Ian »

Hi Sam
Thanks for the reply. I will get on and do some tests based on what you have mentioned
Ian

Ian
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:56 pm
Location: Reading UK

Post by Ian »

Hi
All installed and running , works like a dream and certainly the way to go
Ian

Norbert Bosch

Post by Norbert Bosch »

If you use the PM cdu it is possible to shut down all pc's in the LAN via the CDU.
Startup of all the PC's is offcourse easy with links to the programs to be started in the startup folder.

Another problem is the current to the monitors. If they are in standby modus they will light up when the PC starts up. But how do you do that when the monitors have been shut of off current completely?
I know there are current dividing boxes (do not know the real englich word for it) with master and slave positions. When there is a device on the master slot that is going to use current (PC starting up) the devices in the slave slots will startup too. (this is normallt used for PC addon hardware like scanners and printers or hifi devices).

Anyone experience with this?

Norbert Bosch

Post by Norbert Bosch »

If you use the PM cdu it is possible to shut down all pc's in the LAN via the CDU.
Startup of all the PC's is offcourse easy with links to the programs to be started in the startup folder.

Another problem is the current to the monitors. If they are in standby modus they will light up when the PC starts up. But how do you do that when the monitors have been shut of off current completely?
I know there are current dividing boxes (do not know the real englich word for it) with master and slave positions. When there is a device on the master slot that is going to use current (PC starting up) the devices in the slave slots will startup too. (this is normallt used for PC addon hardware like scanners and printers or hifi devices).

Anyone experience with this?

Norbert Bosch

Post by Norbert Bosch »

Sorry for posting twice.

What are KVM switches. The threadstarter talks about this as a solution for the problem he describes.

Ian
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 3:56 pm
Location: Reading UK

Post by Ian »

Hi
This is a unit which has a master keyboard and mouse input, and master monitor output. Along the units two sides are the inputs for mouse.monitor and keyboard for 4 computers( the number of computers that can be controlled vary depending on the model of KVM switch there is a cost implication here). On the top of the unit is a Selector button from which you can select which computer you want to control,indicated by LED's once a computer is selected, control is passed to the Master monitor, mouse and keyboard.
The only problem with this setup is that with ONE video out from a client computer's video card who's output is going to the KVM switch then on to the master monitor, no display is available on another monitor when this computer is not selected.I imagin that the answer would be to install double headed cards.
I am using one together with Real VNC but only with the mouse/keyboard aspect as VNC controls the monitors.so I can disreguard three keyboards and mice and it works well.
Ian

MOlieman
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 12:13 pm
Location: MyCockpit.org
Contact:

Post by MOlieman »

Norbert, you said:

>>If you use the PM cdu it is possible to shut down all pc's in the LAN via the CDU.
>>Startup of all the PC's is off course easy with links to the programs to be started in the startup folder. "

Not sure what you mean by "PM cdu" and could you elaborate how to set this up. I know there is a way of turning on and off other computers within a network, I've never done that.

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