PSX Router -- Network Architecture

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09-Feb-2010 07:47Z

PSX Network Architecture

One of the most attractive features of PSX is its network architecture. The simulator program is networked from the ground up, which enables it to perform several tricks that are a true blessing for cockpit builders.

We start with one single PSX. This is one program running on one computer.

PSX by itself, without any further add-on, supports attaching several copies of itself. Each copy normally runs on another computer, and each "PSX client" connects directly into the central "PSX server". To build such a network, you need standard network gear: Ethernet cables and a hub or switch, or wireless computers and an access point. Chances are that all your computers are already networked, and then this just works.

PSX in client mode feels nearly like a normal PSX, but it has no brain, it is just a bunch of panels and displays. The PSX server is the brain. But both server and client are exactly the same program: PSX.

If you would like to connect your PSX to somebody else's over the internet, just do it. You will need to open up a port in your router/firewall, which is independent of PSX. But for PSX, it makes no difference where the remote client is, as long as the TCP connection is fast enough.

When you like to connect extra programs ("add-ons") to PSX, you will benefit from one extra piece of software: the PSX Router. This program replaces the PSX server as connection point for the add-ons. The Router is more resilient against network abuse and provides more options to debug and fine-tune your PSX network.

In fact, the recommended way of connecting everything is by poining all non-servers (both PSX clients and add-ons) to the Router, and point the Router to the PSX server. This gives you the least headaches and the best flexibility.

If two people each run an extensive PSX setup (such as two fullsize cockpits), they will both have a PSX server as their "simulator brain."

If these two sims need to be hooked up over the internet, one of their "brains" needs to be deactivated and switched from server mode to client mode. And its Router needs to call the remote PSX server. But nothing else needs to be changed.

Full-size cockpits, or smaller setups with external hardware beyond a computer's mouse and keyboard, benefit from the network abilities of PSX as well. A typical setup will use a Router as central point, and one or more add-on programs that offer connections to hardware via built-in drivers.

The way PSX uses the network is vastly simpler than other simulators, so writing the hardware add-on is easy.

Suggested next page: Connecting to PSX >>

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