Installation of network version of Visual simulator

Succession of steps to install a networked version of the simulator :

Step 1 : preparation of local area network

Consists of connecting computers through a switch and setting IP addresses for all connected computers. Read this for details.

Step 2 : installing audio devices

If yout simulator uses radio equipment, connect audio devices: (better headphones) to computers.

Step 3 : installing the simulator on computers

  • Install sofware on a single master computer. Insert the installation CD in its CD drive and run setupmaster.exe.

  • Install software on one or several slave computers. Run setupslave.exe on all of them. Specify master computer name correctly!

    You will be asked to reboot every slave computer. Do it to run the simulator server.
  • Step 4 : is it all working?

    What we will get after installation?

    On master computer, the icon "Visual simulator"

    which will run
    exercise manager.
    On slave computers, small taskbar icons

    If you click it once, you will get a list of connected simulator components:

    from which you can make impression of the current state of simulator modules. Initially, the master computer is not in this list. It is started manually as the whole simulator by clicking the desktop icon on master computer.

    The server has a set of network tests modelling typical network operations used by the simulator. Show server window by clicking its icon on the taskbar:

    The server window appears:

    To make a test, select a computer from the above list - and the [Test] button becomes enabled. Click this button. The server connects to the selected computer ("pings") - sends some random data and awaits for a reply. The three checks are the following.
    UDP exchange is the basic mechanism to broadcast commands and maintain a distributed database of attributes over network. If it fails, nothing will work. This is a very strong failure. It may happen if there is no cable connection or server is not running on target computer (see the above pictures - it should display the server icon on the taskbar). Or a firewall or antivirus block everything.
    Another measure which may help is manual editing etc/hosts file by explicitly setting IPs to every network machine.

    The second test is TCP/IP test. This type of network exchange is used to transfer large amounts of data between computers, like digitized voice between radio stations. The possible reasons for it not working are the same as for the UDP failure - most likely a firewall.

    A failure of the third test means that the program is unable to write (or rewrite) a file onto the hard disk. The reason may be insufficient logon rights (try to logon as administrator) or file sharing or access to a folder.

    Running exercises on network version

    Click the desktop icon on master computer to run the simulator.
    Design new or load existing exercises with exercise manager. In the network version, you may have a number of active ships with equipment distributed over slave computers like that: