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Tutorial How to Set Up a Dual-PC Installation of SimTools

Discussion in 'SimTools DIY Version' started by value1, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. value1

    value1 Nerd Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    Rather than running the game on one PC and SimTools on the other, we will split SimTools into GameManager on the GamePC and GameEngine on the other PC controlling the actuators/wiper motors/winches/…


    In my opinion using a dual-PC setup has a lot of benefits. You can run the game in full (tripple-)screen mode on one PC while at the same time messing around with the GameEngine on the other PC without disturbing the visuals. Or you can fiddle with the settings of your JRK's without minimising or exiting the simulation, etc., etc., etc.
    You don't need a strong PC to run GameEngine. I actually use an old Pentium®4 @ 3 GHz, Windows XP, 32bit.

    So here's a Quick Setup Guide for Dual-PC:

    Install SimTools on both PC's.
    Install the game plugins you want on both PC's with the
    SimTools_PluginUpdater.exe
    Check the IP address of your 2nd PC with ipconfig.exe:
    [Windows key]-R → type cmd → on the prompt type ipconfig → read the the ip address
    IPConfigXP.jpg
    Start GameEngine on the 2nd PC.

    Start GameManager on the game PC
    GameManager1.jpg
    GameManager should read "Not Connected".

    Click on Tools and an additional Game Manager Tool set will appear.
    GameManager2.jpg
    Click on IP Setting and read and internalise the warning.

    Warning.jpg
    Enter the IP address of the 2nd computer:
    IP Address.jpg
    Click on Save. The IP Setting dialog box will disappear and the GameManager will now read Connected:

    GameManager3.jpg
    Make the Game Manager Tools disappear by clicking on Tools again.

    Patch the game on the game PC where also GameManager will run.
    You can now minimise the GameManager and run your simulation.
    When everything went alright, the GameEngine on the 2nd PC should receive the telemetry data from the game running on the first computer. Check this by opening the Tuning Centre and watch if the Game Data - Input actually receives data.





    @glenche
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  2. glenche

    glenche DarkMan

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    Hi Value1,
    ta for the info.
    I will set it up tonite and test
    I have a Win95 (Dual Core) that should be sufficient for the GameEngine.
    It will hopefully release some resources to allow my games to run better too...
    Thanks so much for the instructions.
    I will update you on how I fair.
    Cheers
    Glen
  3. glenche

    glenche DarkMan

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    Value1,
    I have another question re: another topic.
    If you suggest I will start a new thread.
    I have ordered the occulus rift which is on it way.
    I was wondering whether I could get info on how to develop plugins.
    I would like to try to develop plugins for some of the Rift supported games that we do not already have plugins for.
    Let me know your thoughts.
    Thanks
    Glen
  4. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    Plugin 'how to' is being worked on right now :thumbs
  5. prodigy

    prodigy Burning revs

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    You got Win95? You got to be kidding :)
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  6. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    I don't think we have tested in Windows 95 but I can confirm Window 98 works well with SimTools , Up to Windows 8.1 x64 which I personally use , the other software wont even run on Windows 8, lol.
    Only one we had issues with was Vista and we didn't even look into it, lol.
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  7. value1

    value1 Nerd Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    :D :D :D Not worth it! :D :D :D
    not sure if I could find a PC in my home that was capable of running W95 or W98 :D
  8. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    I still have a single core laptop that I use to run my Jrks on in the other software and did a test with it, running Windows 98 and XP which is what it normally runs, 1.7g , bloody painfully slow, but once booted and settled (about 7 mins) it ran SimTools GameEngine with no noticeable differences than running on my AMDx8 3.9g. Makes my old laptop look like a dinosaur. But worked fine.
  9. RaceRay

    RaceRay Administrator Staff Member SimAxe Beta Tester

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  10. value1

    value1 Nerd Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    Thank you, René!:thumbs
  11. Ceresoli

    Ceresoli ceretz

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    A little help for using two pc's connected on LAN without Hub or switch.
    ONLY a cross-over cable

    cabcr.jpg
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  12. yobuddy

    yobuddy Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator SimAxe Beta Tester SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    A cross-over cable is the best way to run a 2 PC sim setup for sure!!
    Very fast communication!

    Nice Work @Ceresoli!

    yobuddy
  13. Ceresoli

    Ceresoli ceretz

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    And remember the tcp/ip configuration, for best performance (and in old computer for best startup) to config 2 pc's in static IP non in DHCP!
    Example:
    PC - 1
    • Go to My Computer > Properties > Computer Name.
    • Change the computer name to "A" and workgroup name to "Simulator", and click OK to save changes.
    • Go to Control Panel > Network Connections.
    • Right click on your LAN connection and select Properties.
    • Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) > Properties.
    • Enter these values:
      • IP Address - 192.168.0.1
      • Subnet Mask - 255.255.255.0
    • Leave the other fields blank and click OK to save changes.

    PC - 2
    • Go to My Computer > Properties > Computer Name.
    • Change the computer name to "B" and workgroup name to "Simulator", and click OK to save changes.
    • Go to Control Panel > Network Connections.
    • Right click on your LAN connection and select Properties.
      • Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) > Properties.
      • Enter these values:

    IP Address - 192.168.0.2
    Subnet Mask - 255.255.255.0
    • Leave the other fields blank and click OK to save changes.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  14. RacingMat

    RacingMat Well-Known Member Gold Contributor

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    hello!

    I have updated the FAQ with these two pictures and @Ceresoli 's instructions

    Here a single computer setup:
    simtools-part1.PNG

    Here a dual computer setup:
    simtools-part2.PNG

    Nota: you have to install plugins on both computers! ;)
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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  15. MagicEdge

    MagicEdge Active Member

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    This is good information. The question I ask is for best case operation. How many computers to use when running simtools game manager, game engine, SMC3, and SMC3 utility. One of the computers will be dedicated to 8 seperate displays for instrument panel and usb inputs from 8 groovy game gear GPwiz40 controllers.
  16. MagicEdge

    MagicEdge Active Member

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    The way I see it is to install Game Manager, SMC3 , all cockpit switch controllers and high end graphics cards on one computer and intall Game Engine, SMC3 utility and all motion control interfaces into the other computer.
  17. MasterYoda

    MasterYoda Active Member

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    It would be really nice if the second PC allowed us to change our profiles settings (which is running in the Game Manager on the Game PC) while the Game Engine settings are locked out in the 2nd PC!
    I have a Surface Pro 3, which I would love to use to control the actuators, in case it was possible to change the settings/profile on the fly as I said... :-(

    Are there any plans to change this?
  18. bsft

    bsft

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    not sure, I know you can change tuning centre numbers on 2nd pc (game engine) with game manager running on 1st pc, but as you say, to adjust actual percentages of DOF forces, yes you need to stop game manager first.
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  19. MasterYoda

    MasterYoda Active Member

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    I know people use the 2nd PC to save processing on the game one, but at the same time there is a time delay introduced by the network... So, I don't know how much you gain or loose.
    I remember it was smoother with 2 PCs for the X-Sim 3.0, but with Sim tools I didn't notice any gains with the 2nd PC.

    If we could edit the profile while in game, than that would be HUGE! :)
  20. MasterYoda

    MasterYoda Active Member

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    Or, maybe, (just wondering), we could have a remote profile control running on a tablet? ;-)