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I have started to fly across the Atlantic Ocean more frequently recently and found that position reporting is pretty annoying sometimes as you maybe do some other thing when flying such a long flight. So I started to browse for CPDLC clients (I do know FSLabs A321 does have a CPDLC system but I don't think I can do a trans-Atlantic flight with an A321) then I found Hoppie and it's pretty nice but it's a bit unrealistic cause that's only connected to the simulator but not the aircraft system. And I found an article from FsElite talking about the development process of the Aerosoft A330 and here is some of the content. "The post goes on to say that work on the CPDLC is on hold because there is no stable server available to reliably run the data service. Kok touched briefly on the possibility of using Hoppie, praising the service, but saying that it is potentially unstable and relies on a small group of people to keep it running." Link to the article: https://fselite.net/news/aerosoft-releases-update-on-a330/

This means the system is already here but it need a stable and reliable server to run all the data process. So is there any chance of VATSIM will somehow make it possible for the CPDLC system connect to VATSIM directly?

(sorry if there's any grammar error)

Regards, 

Mark

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A321 from fslabs is capable to fly across the Atlantic with some additional center tanks installed and some payload adjustments. Fslabs uses hoppie for both acars and cpdlc functions. Recently I saw that aerosoft are adding hoppie cpdlc as well see this https://forum.aerosoft.com/index.php?/topic/158053-cpdlc/

vatsim has some development in this area I think but it is not ready yet. So currently some centers provide cpdlc over hoppie network through their controller client plugins like topsky. And provide pre departure clearance (pdc) via topsky and vSMR.

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So AFAIU, the situation is that the Hoppie system is the closest to a working system that we have, and probably the one that enjoys the most adoption. But it has a couple of intrinsic problems:

  • It is a third-party effort, not linked to or affiliated with VATSIM in any way, and this means that there is no proper coordination.
  • The Hoppie system isn't exclusive to VATSIM, or even linked to the VATSIM network in any way; Hoppie traffic from other networks, or even people using ad-hoc connections between their sims, cannot be distinguished from Hoppie traffic intended for the VATSIM network. AFAIK, it's not a big issue right now, because callsign clashes across networks are relatively rare, but if VATSIM traffic and Hoppie adoption were to pick up, this won't scale well.
  • The people (might even be just one person) running the system is keeping it alive, but there's not a lot of active development, and the server could go away anytime.
  • Hoppie clients tend to be standalone, so that means you need juggle 3 applications at once: the Hoppie client, the VATSIM client, and your sim. Doable with a decent multi-monitor setup, but if you don't have that luxury, it can be a hassle.

And then there's the rumours about VATSIM getting CPDLC support built into its protocol in the (near?) future, which makes it less attractive for developers to sink time into Hoppie support - after all, once VATSIM-native CPDLC is rolled out, it will immediately render any such effort obsolete. Then again, it may very well take a year or more to get proper CPDLC into VATSIM, and if you already have a generic CPDLC implementation in your aircraft model, adding an HTTP backend to connect to Hoppie isn't actually that big a deal (and once VATSIM CPDLC is a thing, adding another backend would be relatively straightforward too).

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My (intelligent?) guess is that PMDG Global Flight Operations will have an interface with VATSIM to obtain its booked flights, pre-departure clearances, and to support the CPDLC  conversations.

If I am right, this will enable FSLabs A32x, Aerosoft A330, PMDG B73x and QualityWings B787 to have a CPDLC function, thus at last removing the need for Hoppie's software. PMDG are probably struggling to get this complex mix of commercial and private organisations to march in step with a need to release GFO in the near future.

I hope that I am right😁

 

Cheers, Richard

You are the music, until the music stops. T.S.Eliot
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42 minutes ago, Tobias Dammers said:

And then there's the rumours about VATSIM getting CPDLC support built into its protocol in the (near?) future, which makes it less attractive for developers to sink time into Hoppie support - after all, once VATSIM-native CPDLC is rolled out, it will immediately render any such effort obsolete. Then again, it may very well take a year or more to get proper CPDLC into VATSIM, and if you already have a generic CPDLC implementation in your aircraft model, adding an HTTP backend to connect to Hoppie isn't actually that big a deal (and once VATSIM CPDLC is a thing, adding another backend would be relatively straightforward too).

the way fslabs has set it up is that you can select the provider in the comm page of the atsu which would be fairly easy to add a new backend system connection once that is available. also pmdg had something similar i recall on the atc comm page when selecting connection with a station but that might all be through GFO.

9 minutes ago, Richard McDonald Woods said:

My (intelligent?) guess is that PMDG Global Flight Operations will have an interface with VATSIM to obtain its booked flights, pre-departure clearances, and to support the CPDLC  conversations.

If I am right, this will enable FSLabs A32x, Aerosoft A330, PMDG B73x and QualityWings B787 to have a CPDLC function, thus at last removing the need for Hoppie's software. PMDG are probably struggling to get this complex mix of commercial and private organisations to march in step with a need to release GFO in the near future.

I hope that I am right😁

 

the developers will still need to implement it plus we do not exactly know what features will be free and what might be paid with GFO. some devs might be satisfied with hoppie till vatsim releases their own protocol. and with GFO we might also not know what politics are at play between the developers themselves. pmdg showed off which developers they were intending to give the tiered access back in 2017 during a flight sim show. however things could have changed between than and now.

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3 hours ago, Tobias Dammers said:

The people (might even be just one person) running the system is keeping it alive, but there's not a lot of active development, and the server could go away anytime.

It is actually a Dutch gentleman who created the Hoppie server and keeps it running. VATSIM staff is in direct contact with him and he has assured VATSIM that he is not intending to close the service any time soon.

On top of it, some efforts are being made in the background, something's coming. It won't be tomorrow, nor in two weeks (tm).

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
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On 1/4/2021 at 11:24 AM, Andreas Fuchs said:

It is actually a Dutch gentleman who created the Hoppie server and keeps it running. VATSIM staff is in direct contact with him and he has assured VATSIM that he is not intending to close the service any time soon.

On top of it, some efforts are being made in the background, something's coming. It won't be tomorrow, nor in two weeks (tm).

Well, I, for one, am holding back on diving into Hoppie support for the Flightgear E-Jet I maintain; it's all unpaid open-source work, and I'm unwilling to sink a lot of time into a project that might be obsolete a few months from now. If those "background efforts" were happening in a more visible way, I could make more informed decisions, and maybe even add Hoppie support now, but design it such that a switch to a different backend would be easy (if not trivial) - but knowing nothing at all means it's better to wait and see.

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