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X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:29 pm
by joe@mcknight.de
Hi,

I'm still on X-Plane 9 and can't really upgrade to 10 for performance reasons. I was wondering if there is a software solution to get the simulator's GPS position to Foreflight running on an IPad mini. So far, I don't have an IPad nor Foreflight but might consider getting both if I can also hook them up to the simulator...

I know there is a cable as a hardware solution but it's a bit expensive and a wifi connection would be a lot more convenient... I also know it just works with XPlane 10 and also on FSX but I'm specifically interested in XPlane 9... Oh and of course I know that it works on Android, which is what I'm using right now.

Thanks guys!

Re: X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:48 am
by Keith Smith
GPSSimCable is the only retail solution that I know of for X-Plane 9. Some of the commercial sim developers have added support to their XP9 implementations to support ForeFlight wirelessly, so it's definitely possible.

GPSSimCable was developed prior to ForeFlight having the ability to receive GPS data through wifi.

Basically, a developer would need to ask ForeFlight for the protocol, or they could reverse engineer it using it a packet sniffer monitoring the output from X-Plane 10 when the ForeFlight option is enabled. I would take it a step further, though, and add traffic like Jacob Eiting has done with FSXFlight.

Re: X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:25 pm
by joe@mcknight.de
Hi Keith, thanks a lot for your reply... Seems to confirm my google search... :cry:

I was hoping that there was a solution similar to the ones on Android where the software can just fake an arbitrary location for the whole system. I know there are other external GPS sources like Bluetooth GPS receivers or Wifi GPS receivers and their drivers must also override the system location somehow. I assume that this can technically be done but it might require special authorization from Apple...

Re: X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:52 pm
by matt
joe@mcknight.de wrote:Hi,

I'm still on X-Plane 9 and can't really upgrade to 10 for performance reasons. I was wondering if there is a software solution to get the simulator's GPS position to Foreflight running on an IPad mini. So far, I don't have an IPad nor Foreflight but might consider getting both if I can also hook them up to the simulator...

I know there is a cable as a hardware solution but it's a bit expensive and a wifi connection would be a lot more convenient... I also know it just works with XPlane 10 and also on FSX but I'm specifically interested in XPlane 9... Oh and of course I know that it works on Android, which is what I'm using right now.

Thanks guys!


I've already made a plug-in for this. But, being selfish I never publicly released it. In fact, I hard coded my iPad's IP address (stupid I know); it was just a quick fix. Let me find the source and I'll modify it to multicast the message and give it away.

- Matt

Re: X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:24 pm
by joe@mcknight.de
Matt, that would be awesome! :-)

Re: X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:10 pm
by matt
Found it, modified the code to multicast to the subnet. So, just make sure your iPad is on the same subnet as your computer. One last thing, I can only compile it for Mac and/or Linux. If you are on Windows, I would need a volunteer to help compile the software for the Windows version.

So, if you're on a Mac, let me know and I'll give you a link to download the plugin.

- Matt

Re: X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:13 am
by Keith Smith
Matt, I'll get you in touch with Jim Price, I think he'd be happy to build this for ya. Nice work on this!

Re: X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 6:46 pm
by joe@mcknight.de
So I ended up implementing this myself, I got the current GPS position and the attitude working fine with ForeFlight. Then I got a bit too motivated and tried to implement other traffic as well... This gave me several problems...

My first problem is that I don't know how to identify an airplane uniquely, what shows up as sim/multiplayer/position/plane1 can be sim/multiplayer/position/plane2 when I'm called next (often, it's the same though, my theory was that plane1 is the one closest to me, then plane2 and so on...).

The ForeFlight help page http://www.foreflight.com/support/network-gps lists the data fields, here are the ones that give me trouble:

- ICAO address... I guessed it's the aircraft type, but I haven't found that in the XPlane datarefs or is it a unique-ID like the Mode-S number?
- vertical speed: Tried to use sim/multiplayer/position/planeNUM_y but it's always 0
- airborne flag: no idea how to calculate it, xplane has an agl dataref only for the own airplane. Thought about combining throttle and speed...
- heading: always 0, I can calculate it based on the last seen position and it's quite accurate, but only if I see the plane in the same slot when I run next...
- velocity, all speeds seem to be always 0... I assume the PilotEdge plugin doesn't set the speeds. Could calculate it off of the last seen position but it's very inacurate, could use a longer interval to make it more accurate but that sounds like a lot effort
- callsign, xplane seems to have the tailnumber only for the own airplane, of course I can set anything here for now

Any hints about getting it more precise? I'm still using the pilotedge plugin V0.7.7, in case that matters.

Thanks

Re: X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 9:44 pm
by Keith Smith
It's a mistake to try to use the multiplayer variables. Those are being set for x-plane's TCAS and not much else. The plugin will eventually have an API to allow you to extract traffic data but we're not there yet.

I can give you a URL to pull an XML feed of all the aircraft, either with or without drones (the list with drones is quite large, though) to use in the mean time, it's updated every 10 secs. Drop me a PM if you'd like to discuss.

Re: X-Plane 9 and Foreflight

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:54 pm
by Hawkeye0914
Could anyone shoot me a windows plugin to do this? I would appreciate it very much!