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VATSIM TUTORIAL - Part 01 (Downloading - Installing & Configuring FSCopilot/FSInn)

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  • VATSIM TUTORIAL - Part 01 (Downloading - Installing & Configuring FSCopilot/FSInn)

    In this thread we will walk through a detailed, step by step instruction on downloading, installing and configuring FSInn & Copilot for use in connecting FSX or FS9 to the VATSIM network.

    Before taking the steps listed below, be sure to do the following:

    • Go to the VATSIM website and complete the registration procedure as a new pilot. Make note of your VATSIM ID and password. They will be e-mailed to you after registering.
    • Ensure that your User Account Control if using Windows 7 or Vista is set to "Never Notify".
    • Be sure to have an up to date copy of Peter Dowson's FSUIPC installed.
    • Make sure your Flight Simulator is not running.

    Firstly you will go to the buffalo website, ensure that you are logged in and go to the downloads section as shown in the shots below.

    You will download FSCopilot and FSInn from the Buffalo Website. Once the downloads are complete navigate to your downloads folder and find the 2 files "FSCopilot 17-1 & FSInn 13".

    Unzip/Extract both files to a temporary folder.

    Open the FSCopilot folder first! IT IS IMPORTANT to install FSCopilot FIRST!

    When running the FSCopilot installer do not make any changes to the tick boxes or settings.

    Next we will run the FSInn Installer

    When running the FSInn installer as with the FSCopilot installer, we will not make any changes to the settings or tick boxes. When asked to provide items like Name, Callsign, VATSIM ID & Password etc we will NOT enter them here. We will cancel past each of those options until completing the installer.

    Before we start Flight Simulator we need to take steps to ensure we avoid a chat box initialization error by opening the chat box for the first time outside of the Flight Simulator environment.

    In order to do this you need to go to the folder list in your start menu and find a folder called "FSFDT" Inside this folder you will click on FSInn UI and you should see the Inn Control Panel as seen below.

    Click on the chat button to open the chat window. Once you see the chat window you can close it and then be sure to close the Inn control panel. You will not normally open the Inn control panel in this fashion. It is only done this once in order to initialize the Inn Chat window.

    Start your Flight Simulator and be sure to choose a gate as you should never spawn in the air or on a runway when flying online.

    Before we hit the fly now button we are going to configure the FSFDT control panel.

    You will find an icon in the system tray at the bottom right section of your computer monitor (the same area where the volume icon is). This icon looks like 6 tiny lights green yellow and or red. It's called the FSFDT control panel.

    Right click on the FSFDT icon and choose the "Ensure Visible" option. You will see a panel as shown below.

    Navigate to the Voice/RogerWilco section on the left and then be sure to add a tick box at the top on the right that says Enable RogerWilco on this computer.

    Next we will navigate to the VATSIM/Key mappings section on the left and set a push to talk key for ATC in the top section. You can set a key on both your keyboard and on your joystick. I use "right control" and "button 8" for mine.

    Next we will navigate to the VATSIM/Volumes section on the left and note the fact that the VVL internal mixer slider will adjust the receive volume on the Comms in your aircraft. If ATC is too quiet, slide it right. If they are too loud, slide it left.

    Hit the Fly Now button and load up at the gate.

    On the Flight Simulator tool bar you will notice under addons an option for FSCopilot. Navigate to the Inn Control Panel and left click to open (you will need to do this each time you wish to connect to VATSIM).

    Once you click on Inn Control panel it will run through a series of loading procedures. The first time this is done it can take a long time depending on how many aircraft and AI aircraft you have (up to 10 - 15 minutes). After the initial cataloguing of aircraft in the Inn repository this process will happen in 30 seconds or less on each future connection attempt.

    Once the process is complete, you should see the Inn Control Panel.

    Hit the set button in the bottom right corner and you should see a box as shown below.

    In the general or basic section complete with your details as shown below.

    In the Various section be sure the tick boxes appear as shown.

    In the VA Voice section use the settings shown below in order to use the Buffalo private voice frequency on VATSIM and chat to your fellow Buffalo pilots.

    In the Weather section be sure to tick the box that says Disable Weather by Default. This will ensure that you can continue to use your own Real World Weather and over-ride the VATSIM Weather.

    Next you will navigate to Network and then to the Peer to Peer section. Be sure to tick the box on the right in Peer to Peer to the left of the text that begins "Disable Peer to Peer Establishing etc, etc. as shown below.

    Before we proceed to the VATSIM section under Network we will need to retrieve a valid VATSIM server address. You should use the IP address closest to your home PC used for flying. Be sure to save this link in case the server you choose goes down for maintenance and you need to temporarily select another. Make a note of the server address closest to you. I use the Vancouver Server which is

    Now that we have a VATSIM ID and password along with a valid server address we can populate the VATSIM section under network as shown below. Be sure NOT to hit the load servers button after keying in your server address. Simply close the box and we are ready to try connecting to VATSIM.

    If you left click on the VATSIM box and you've followed these instructions carefully your VATSIM box should light up neon green as shown and you will hear a doorbell sound in your speakers. You are now successfully connected for Online flying. Congratulations!

    Before going anywhere be sure to fill in your flight plan and submit to tower along with checking your ATC window for controllers, your chat box for messages and your active radar for traffic in the vicinity.

    Be sure to check out some of the other features including the mini-control panel and be sure to find the mini launcher under your addons and play with the pushback function.

    Let me know if I've missed any steps or if you've tried all of these things and still cannot connect.
    Last edited by BFL0002 - Randy Kearnes; 05-22-2012, 11:12 PM.

  • #2
    Great work buddy, you might want to add this below which I picked up and had to use for a reinstall:

    Just in case someone else failed to see the fix to this problem: While installing or reinstalling FSCopilot it cannot open/write to the fscopilot.DLL. There is a small file fsxfix.exe available at Apollo III Downloads ( which worked instantly for me.
    I cleaned and recleaned the Registry of all traces of VATSIM software but no luck . Same problem with every install attempt.
    The fsxfix.exe worked without a hitch.

    Pete C.


    • #3
      Excellent Peter. I had to use that myself once.


      • #4
        Excellent Tutorial Randy !


        • #5
          Very well done Randy and a BIG help to me as I had to do a re-install of FSX and my entire computer so having the step by step really helped..A LOT !!


          • #6
            Thanks Randy, helped me connect very good job, greetings friend.


            • #7
              Glad to hear it Yako.