5th April 2012 - XPDisplay is now updated to work with X-Plane 10.
Austin and his colleagues at Laminar Research make an excellent flight simulator called X-Plane.
Every Sunday, a group of enthusiasts meet online at a different global destination at organised fly-ins.
While bumbling around the virtual skies of Croatia, I began to wish that I could use my underpowered laptop (sitting next to my main
machine that I use for X-Plane) to display my speed, altitude and heading. Maybe even my position on a map.
Thus XPDisplay was born.
As you can see from the screenshots above, XPDisplay offers a view of raw data, a dashboard of certain values, a moving map display
and an experimental radar screen.
XPDisplay is pretty basic and there's plenty of scope for improvement, so I offer the source code as well.
If you have any improvements
or comments that you'd like to contribute, please email me at:
X-Plane needs to be version 9 or above.
The computer that you run XPDisplay on needs to be networked to the computer running X-Plane. XPDisplay runs on Windows, Linux or Mac.
XPDisplay is written in Java, so you need to have Java 5 or above installed on your computer - read on for details.
If you have any questions about the source code, please contact me at:
Q: Why don't you implement X? A: I have very (very) limited time. Rather than wait until all possible features were implemented, I decided to offer XPDisplay
as it is so that others could use it. I'm therefore relying on others to add features that they wish to see implemented.
Q: Why doesn't XPDisplay show X? A: If X-Plane can send the data, then theoretically XPDisplay could show it. Please feel free to download the source and try changing it. :-)
Q: Isn't this cheating? A: Yes! Wholeheartedly! If you are a big fan of simulator realism then you'd probably want to avoid using XPDisplay. If, however
you want to fly a realistic simulator, but with the aid of an extra display to make fly-ins easier, then XPDisplay can help.
Q: What's with the funky colours on the Dashboard screen? A: Hopefully a more dangerous value is associated with a more dangerous-looking colour, to attract your attention. It's not perfect, but it's a start.
Q: My radar and map do not display other aircraft. Is this a bug? A: It might be a bug in X-Plane. Set everything up, then go to X-Plane's data input/output settings page and first change the UDP data rate slightly, then untick the three 'other planes' checkboxes, from top to bottom. Then tick them again from bottom to top. This seems to work.
Q: Why does the Dashboard time display in GMT, not my local time zone? A: Fly-ins are organised in GMT.
Q: What's with the FL values on the Map and Radar screens? A: They are Flight Levels - altitude in multiples of 100 feet. FL350 is therefore 35,000ft.
Q: The radar screen looks wrong. What's up? A: This screen has north at the top and displays aircraft positions from their latitude and longitude. There may be a bug in the lat/long maths in XPDisplay,
therefore making the screen distort at high latitudes. The radar screen also auto-scales, so the distances are all relative.
Q: My VSI (vertical speed indicator) values are displayed as -999. What's wrong? A: I've no idea. It's happening to me too with X-Plane 9.21. Maybe it's a bug in X-Plane?
Q: Why are other aircraft displayed as #1, #2 etc? A: X-Plane doesn't expose their tail numbers or ICAO codes (aircraft type) over the network, so XPDisplay can't display anything useful.
Q: Have you thought of writing a plugin for X-Plane? A: Yes. I've tried writing a plugin with an integrated JVM, but haven't had much success getting a working build environment up and running. Maybe in the future?
Q: I have multiple monitors. How do I run XPDisplay on the same machine as X-Plane? A: You need to run XPDisplay using the command above, but add '49001' to the end. This tells XPDisplay to use port 49001 rather than 49000 (which X-Plane also tries to use). You will need to tell X-Plane to send data to port 49001 rather than 49000 on X-Plane's 'Data' tab.
e.g. 'java -Xmx256m -jar XPDisplay.jar 49001' (without the quotes)
Q: No data seems to be coming through to any of the screens. What could I have done wrong? A: First, check that the 'raw data' screen isn't displaying any data. If that's blank then the data simply isn't getting through
to XPDisplay. Go back through the instructions and check that the right boxes in X-Plane are ticked, and that the 'Data' tab has the
right IP address and port for your XPDisplay machine. Try 'pinging' one machine from the other (see Google for how to do this). Check
firewall settings on the XPDisplay machine aren't blocking port 49000. Check that you're running X-Plane 9 (or greater).
If there are still problems and you're trying to get XPDisplay working on the same machine as X-Plane, try specifying 127.0.0.1 as the IP address
from the command-line:
e.g. 'java -Xmx256m -jar XPDisplay.jar 49003 127.0.0.1' (without the quotes)
.. and the same in X-Plane ('Settings' -> 'Net Connections' -> 'Data' tab).