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Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

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Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby barry.ballantines » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:55 pm

Hi FlightGear fellas,

after hours of coding, testing, bugfixing, ... I am proud to announce that the first official version 1.0 of "Barry's BlackBox" is released and I would like to invite you for testing...

What is Barry's BlackBox?

Well, short answer: it is an ACARS client for FlightGear.

Barry's BlackBox uses the HTTPD and UDP protocol of FlightGear to track flight informations like: position, speed, altitude, fuel consumption and landing rates. It uses the kACARS interface of phpVMS to read flight bid information and to submit PIREPs. It should work with every VA that supports kACARS and has been successfully tested with European Virtual Airlines, Historic Airline Group and WorldWide Virtual...

And of course, it is absolutely for free... and Open Source... like FlightGear itself.

If you like to try it out, here is the link to the project page on GitHub:

http://barryballantines.github.io/BarrysBlackBox

And there is a facebook page as well: https://www.facebook.com/BallantinesAvionics


How do I configure Barry's BlackBox with my favorite Virtual Airlines?

The configuration of FlightGear and Barry's Blackbox is described at

http://barryballantines.github.io/Barry ... ng-started

You need to configure your pilot ID and password at the "Configuration" tab of Barry's BlackBox.

The kACARS URL is "http://www.myFavoriteVirtualAirline.com/action.php/kacars_free".


Feedback?

Feedback is welcome! just visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BallantinesAvionics
And if you really like it, you are allowed to by me a beer :-)
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby legoboyvdlp » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:45 pm

Thanks! Just what I was looking for!
I will give it a test shortly ;)
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby Turnit » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:27 pm

Ill use this for my VA. I need ACARS.
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby barry.ballantines » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:40 am

Great!!!

please let me know if you have any problems...

I will keep on improving Barry's Blackbox - new features will be announced on the facebook page.

legoboyvdlp wrote in Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:45 pm:Thanks! Just what I was looking for!
I will give it a test shortly ;)
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby barry.ballantines » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:52 am

Great!

see you on Kiwi International Virtual Airlines soon...


Turnit wrote in Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:27 pm:Ill use this for my VA. I need ACARS.
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby Turnit » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:46 pm

Do you mean the windows command line, or one for FG that I don't know about?
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby tauchergreg » Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:40 pm

hello

I have tested on win7 RC3.4 it works but on 3.5 there is no connection to the HTTPD .
i have this also on Ubuntu 14.04 .

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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby legoboyvdlp » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:46 pm

Doesnt work on 3.7 either
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby Turnit » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:03 pm

The install says to put this into some command line: --httpd=5500 --generic=socket,out,2,localhost,5555,udp,blackbox to start FG. On 3.0 There's no "advanced options" that I found anywhere.

EDIT: Now I've found it, it just says advanced.
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby Turnit » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:13 pm

So now I've set it up in FG, but hop over to the .jar file and use the stuff it says to do, but it says connection failed. Do I need the launcher running or the main sim running for it to work. I've never used ACARS before, so this is all new for me...
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby legoboyvdlp » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:51 pm

Well you do need KAcars set up for your VA i guess
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby Turnit » Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:23 am

I could keep it manual...
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby barry.ballantines » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:56 pm

Hi tauchergreg,

I am sorry about that. I haven't checked out FlightGear 3.5 yet. I am still on 3.4, so probably there have been changes on the internal HTTPD properties protocol.

Barry's BlackBox uses the following URL to read properties from FlightGear: http://localhost:5500/json/{property-path},
(for the closest airport, it would be the following URL: http://localhost:5500/json/sim/airport/ ... airport-id)
You could verify this problem by checking the URL in your browser.

BTW, what OS are you using?


tauchergreg wrote in Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:40 pm:hello

I have tested on win7 RC3.4 it works but on 3.5 there is no connection to the HTTPD .
i have this also on Ubuntu 14.04 .

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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby barry.ballantines » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:14 pm

Hi Turnit,

I heard from others they have problems with FG 3.5 and FG 3.7. I only tested my BlackBox with FG 3.2 and FG 3.4. What version are you using?

Some information about the connection:

There are two ways of communication:

Barrys BlackBox talks to FG via HTTPD,
To achieve this, the FlightGear HTTPD port on the Configuration Tab in Barry's BlackBox must be set to the internal httpd port of FG (--httpd=5500 or Advanced settings).
You can check if FG has started the httpd service from your browser: http://localhost:5500/json/sim/airport/ ... airport-id should give you the ICAO code of the closest airport.
The HTTPD will only answer if FG is really running, so you need to start your simulation first. (Sitting in the plane). Starting the FG Wizard is not enough. If you check the connection prior starting your simulation, it will fail.

FG sends UDP flight data to Barry's Blackbox:
this is why you need to copy the blackbox.xml to FG and adding the UDP protocol stuff.
Again: FG needs to be started to send flight data via UDP.
Barry's BlackBox has an internal UDP server for receiving the UDP data. This server is not started automatically when Barry's BlackBox is started. You need to click on the first toolbar button on Barry's BlackBox first. To check if your UDP connection is working, just have a look at the Position tab at BBB, it should display your current position, altitude, heading and speed.

A tip:

If you want to help me with finding out, what is wrong, start Barry's BlackBox from the console with the following command: "java -jar blackbox-1.0.jar"
BBB will write log messages which will hopefully contain some more helpful information like URLs, error codes, etc...

P.S.: Please check, that the ports for HTTPD and UDP (5500 and 5555) are not blocked by another program or by your firewall.

I hope, this response contains some helpful stuff for you,

Greetings, Barry

Turnit wrote in Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:13 pm:So now I've set it up in FG, but hop over to the .jar file and use the stuff it says to do, but it says connection failed. Do I need the launcher running or the main sim running for it to work. I've never used ACARS before, so this is all new for me...
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Re: Barry's BlackBox - An ACARS client for FlightGear

Postby barry.ballantines » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:18 pm

legoboyvdlp wrote in Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:51 pm:Well you do need KAcars set up for your VA i guess


Right, If you want to submit your PIREP and the LiveUpdate stuff, than your VA needs to support KAcars.

The kACARS URL in the Configuration tab of Barry's BlackBox will then look like this: http://www.myvirtualairline.com/action.php/kacars_free
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