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FGCom announcements

FGCom is a realtime voice communication system specially designed for FlightGear.

Re: FGCom announcements

Postby Johan G » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:42 pm

The FGCom server went down when the former maintainer, F-JJTH, (who bought bandwidth with his own money) left the community. A new maintainer, Saga, appeared shortly thereafter and added a new server, that by the maintainers of the FlightGear website have been added to the URL of the old one. See the topic [SOLVED] Status of Live FGCom Status Page.

The status page can be found at: fgcom.flightgear.org

EL-LOKO wrote in Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:48 pm:I may to try to configure another server for this.

Unfortunately, as FGCom is currently designed it relies on a single central server. I am quite sure that help to distribute the communication and add redundancy would be appreciated though (though I do not know if it is technically possible or not). ;)

Edit: Spelling
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby wkitty42 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:45 pm

Johan G wrote in Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:42 pm:Unfortunately, as FGCom is currently designed it relies on a single central server. I am quite sure that help to distribute the communication and add redundancy would be appreciated though (though I do not know if it is technically possible or not). ;)

if it is based on VoIP, as it seems to be from my reading, it may very well be a tough task to deal with... perhaps something more like IRC would be better but to exchange voice comms in that style may be rather tough, too...
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby PH-JAKE » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:02 am

Johan G wrote in Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:42 pm:Unfortunately, as FGCom is currently designed it relies on a single central server. I am quite sure that help to distribute the communication and add redundancy would be appreciated though (though I do not know if it is technically possible or not). ;)

Sure this is possible, but would require some tricks.
  • A round robin DNS server, to map fgcom.flightgear.org to 1.fgcom.flightgear.org, 2.fgcom.flightgear.org, etc (similar to NTP pool servers), or geographic based, like europe.fglightgear.org, us.flightgear.org, asia.flightgear.org, and select from there.
  • A multicast like VoIP distribution among the servers, which could be pruned based on range of the connected clients.
So it would take design and coding work, and I'm not sure about the possibility of the DNS service at all at the moment.
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby Saga » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:20 pm

Things have moved on since the last 2 months.

FGCom server

Henceforth, for realism reasons, I enabled all the frequencies and all the airports to contact the FGCom server.
So now the FGCom dialplan is ridiculously small compared to before. I use call numbers patterns now. So it takes less time for Asterisk to start.
The built-in FGCom client is not ready for this feature yet, but the FGCom standalone client can connect to an unknown airport (e.g. 'ZZZZ') and unknown frequencies (e.g. 999MHz).
The goal is to prepare what I hope, will come.

Plans

  • Add the possibility to transmit and receive voices on ATIS frequencies, and beacons frequencies (NDB, VOR, ...).
  • Dissociate airports and frequencies to implement noise when the distance between 2 aircrafts or between an aircraft and the tower is too far. Call numbers will only contains the frequency and no more the ICAO code of the airport.
  • Add the support of bandwidth. For example if someone is connected to the frequency 120.5 and another on the frequency 120.498, they will be able to hear themselves in spite of noise.

FGCom status page

The bug causing a big list of non-released connections of users has been solved.

And a new interface has arrived:
Image

New features:

  • If the frequency/airport is known, a description is displayed
  • The yellow rows display unknown frequency/airport
  • The new map displays circle around the airports of the users, the radius correspond to a very theorical transmission range
  • If you click on known frequency/airport on the users available table, the map zoom on the location

Links

FGCom status page
FGCom status page git repository
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby legoboyvdlp » Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:24 pm

Cool job, thanks for all this! I wish I had a mic, because I tried my in-computer mic once on mumble and nobody could understand me.

It is crappy, lots of background noise, and no possibility to buy a headset in Venezuela--- at least in the part I live. Maybe someday...
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby Johan G » Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:34 pm

These things in particular looks very promising, and seem to point in a direction I have long been hoping for, namely working in a way that is closer to how real radios would work: :D
Saga wrote in Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:20 pm:The built-in FGCom client is not ready for this feature yet, but the FGCom standalone client can connect to an unknown airport (e.g. 'ZZZZ') and unknown frequencies (e.g. 999MHz).
The goal is to prepare what I hope, will come.
...
  • Dissociate airports and frequencies to implement noise when the distance between 2 aircrafts or between an aircraft and the tower is too far. Call numbers will only contains the frequency and no more the ICAO code of the airport.
  • Add the support of bandwidth. For example if someone is connected to the frequency 120.5 and another on the frequency 120.498, they will be able to hear themselves in spite of noise.

Maybe the distance and noise could also in the future depend on frequencies selected, as for example HF radios can reach much further than VHF and even more so than UHF radios prominent in military aircraft. At the other hand HF radios tend to be more noisy.

Though in real life HF radios are very dependent on time of day and sunspot cycles, due to how important the ionosphere is for the transmission characteristics on those longer wavelengths.

Edit: The updated status page is rather good too. :D
Edit 2: Clarifying that HF radios reach further than UHF ones. :wink:
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby Saga » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:36 pm

Thanks.

Today, not many things on the status page but a big improvement of the FGCom server.
Now, you can speak and be heard on the following beacons frequencies: NDB, VOR, LOC, GS, DME, ATIS, AWOS, ASOS.
The morse code playback (before only VOR beacons had this feature) has been added for the NDB, LOC, GS, DME beacons.
Now, ATControllers can record a message also on AWOS and ASOS frequencies.

For the status page, you can now be located with points (apts and beacons but no fixes), and no more with just airports. FGCom client is not compatible yet, but you can test with Zoiper.

Arround 200 lines of code have been added to manage all that.

EDIT: This is still a little bugged for the moment. Let me 24 hours :lol:
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby legoboyvdlp » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:50 am

Wait, how can one record an ATIS? And how does one speak over the VOR NDB morse etc?
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby elgaton » Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:06 am

legoboyvdlp wrote in Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:50 am:Wait, how can one record an ATIS?

Open a terminal and launch FGCom as follows:
Code: Select all
fgcom --server=fgcom.flightgear.org --atis=xxx.xxx --airport=YYYY

(replace the radio frequency and the ICAO code of the airport with the correct ones).
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby Saga » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:56 pm

Hello everyone!

The FGCom server won't be available for next days, the server have HDD issues. I sent a ticket to my hoster.
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby Parnikkapore » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:05 pm

Now Up...!
Usable....!
So happy...
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby Saga » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:11 pm

I'm still working on the server, the HDD was replaced. But yes, FGCom should be usable. :)
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby Saga » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:02 am

Hi everybody!

After 2 years and currently 498 days of uptime (no bug since), the FGCom server reached the end of life. :(

It will be "expired" tomorrow (May 1st) but you can be assured that a new dedicated (and more powerful) server has been delivered (this time it's multicore :p).
It has been set up but:

The domain name "fgcom.flightgear.org" have to point over 163.172.95.233 instead of 195.154.82.117.
It'll take a moment to update it.

For the moment, I suggest all the users to add it manually:
    Windows: C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
    GNU/Linux: /etc/hosts
    MAC: I don't know

#Example 127.0.0.1 localhost
163.172.95.233 fgcom.flightgear.org


Cheers!
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby D-ECHO » Mon May 01, 2017 6:10 pm

Saga, thank you very very much for providing this service :D
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Re: FGCom announcements

Postby mickybadia » Mon May 01, 2017 6:46 pm

Hello,
Thank you too for the continued service. It seems to have been flawless for well over a year now.
For those using an ATC client, instead of fiddling with system files until the redirection is in place, you may enter the new IP directly in the settings from the GUI (in place of "fgcom.flightgear.org").
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