Connect Dialog

By clicking on CONNECT in the toolbar, the Connect dialog appears. At first, it seems more complex than the ones we have been using so far, but shortly you will understand the advantages.

Please pay close attention, because this is one or the most important chapter of this essential guide to master the complex EuroScope.

Select Connection Mode

First of all you have to select a connection mode:

  • Direct to VATSIM – connect to the VATSIM network. If you want go online on the VATSIM network than you will choose this one. Also use this option when you are connecting to any server as trainee.
  • To VATSIM via proxy – connect to the VATSIM network using a proxy server. If you have more than one monitor to control than you can setup here a better overview during your session as ATC.
  • Start Sweatbox simulator session – connect to Sweatbox training or EuroScope FSD server. A tool for training purposes.
  • Playback log file – playback a recorded ATC session. Like in the previous point most of this will be use for training purposes.

Please note that two modes that were originally available in v3.1 is now deleted. You can not connect using the following modes:

  • Start simulator server – be the host of a simulator session.
  • Start simulator server via proxy – be the host of a simulator session via proxy.

The internal FSD server that were used in the previous version is now moved out from the EuroScope.exe itself, but available as a stand-alone, but still light weight FSD server. Because of the server is external now, there is no change between the local EuroScope FSD server and the SweatBox server. That made my programming easier. When you would like to have a simulation session always start with SweatBox connection even if you run the server locally. And the external server can be connected by several clients and the old proxy connection is not required anymore.

Important: when joining a simulator session as a client (as trainee) the connection mode has to be Direct to VATSIM – just like with a normal connection – and the simulator host has to be selected from the server list or its IP address can be typed directly.

Server Connection

The rest of the connect dialog is divided into these 4 sections. The first is used for server connections:

This part of the window has fields that must sound familiar to you if you have been using other radar clients. But even for beginners, these fields are pretty obvious:

  • Callsign – There exist a name convention: If you want go only online to observe other stations or listen to the frequency maybe for training purposes than take your name like: GC_OBS, PETER_OBS. Otherwise take always the callsign from the station like: LOWW_GND, LHBP_TWR, EURE_E_FSS, etc.
  • Real name – your full name, as registered on VATSIM.
  • Certificate – your VATSIM controller ID (6 digit numeric).
  • Password – your secret password.
  • Logoff time – your estimated logoff zulu-time (displayed in your controller info, format: 2000, the z is automatically added to the value)
  • Facility – category of ATC service you are to provide (Observer, Tower, Flight Service Station, etc.). Note that certain functions are blocked when logged in as Observer!
  • Rating – your VATSIM controller rating (Student1, Controller3, Supervisor, etc.).
  • Server – list of servers (VATSIM and simulator host IP addresses are read from ipaddr.txt), when joining to a simulator session, simply the host IP has to be typed. Since the beginning of February 2023 it is highly suggested to select AUTOMATIC as your server.
  • Connect to VATSIMThis check-box is new in v3.2. When you are to be connected to normal VATSIM servers or to SweatBox, let the box checked. But when you are connecting to the local EuroScope FSD server, uncheck it. If you uncheck it but still connect to a VATSIM server you will be disconnected with an error message.
  • INFO line 2 – 4 – This refers to your controller information line, not the _ATIS frequency of each airport. Since VATSIM limits the number of lines used for it, only 3 additional lines are available (your voice channel is counted line 1). You may use aliases here in these lines. Check at [[Built In Functions]].
  • Range – set your radar surveillance range from 1 NM to 600 NM but remember the limits:
    • DEL/GND: 10 NM
    • TWR: 30 NM,
    • APP/DEP: 100 NM,
    • CTR/ACC: 300-600 NM,
    • FSS: 1500 NM. That can EURE_FSS shanwick or gander oceanic with a very wide range.

EuroScope limits the maximum possible range setting based on the facility and the rating you are specifying. These data are still higher than the values above:

  • Observer – 300 NM,
  • Clearance/Delivery – 100 NM,
  • Tower – 100 NM,
  • Approach/Departure – 200 NM,
  • Center – 600 NM,
  • Flight Service Station – 1500 NM,
  • Supervisors are allowed to set 600 NM range, independently from the actual facility.

Status – once successfully connected “Connected to VATSIM” is shown.


  • Save Profile – This is something really cool! You can save various connect profiles, which store your callsign, facility, range setting and ATIS information. So, the next time you start a session, it will take just a second to connect; you just click the callsign you wish to login with (as shown in the screen shot above). Important: The changes in the profiles are not saved automatically. On exit you will be prompted to save them, or use the ”’Save Profile button”’ or the ”’Save all settings function”’ to store the current profile.
  • Delete Profile – delete selected profile.

Note: The name profile is a little ambiguous. It has nothing to do with the profiles stored in .prf files. Here we are talking about ”connection profiles”, which only hold your connection data. These are actually stored in the ”settings” file not in the ”profile” file.

Proxy Connection

The proxy connection was originally designed to allow multiple instances of EuroScope to be started on the same computer and share the VATSIM connection between them. As it turns out, the implementation is so general that the two clients don’t need to run on the same computer.

The proxy connection needs two parties to be set up: one primary and one secondary client. To start a primary client just press the Start Proxy Server button. That will make EuroScope listen on TCP port 6810 and accept incoming connections. To connect to a proxy server from another instance of EuroScope (the secondary client) select the To VATSIM via proxy connection connection mode; change the server if different from ”localhost” and connect.

When connecting to a proxy server the secondary client does not need any authentication setup as it uses all the data from the primary client. The primary client then can be connected to VATSIM and both clients will work with the same rights and under the same callsign. When you have a proxy connection the two clients are sending special messages to each other (e.g. when you type something in one client command editor it will appear in the second as well, when you select an aircraft it will be selected in the other as well etc.). To disable this feature uncheck the Enable advanced proxy communication menu item.

When you start the secondary instance of EuroScope on the same machine the voice subsystem will not be initialized. In the toolbar you will see that the voice dialog icon is flagged by two red lines. That is because only one program can listen to the appropriate UDP port. The secondary instance will not be able to produce any voice related functionality (and it is blocked by EursoScope). Therefore, always use the primary EuroScope instance for the voice functionality.

Since release 3.1 you also have an option for automatic proxy connection. This is really a handy tool. When your first EuroScope instance starts then it will start the proxy server immediately. Any additional instances will find that the proxy server is already running and connect to it immediately. When you regularly use multiple instances (e.g. in a multi-monitor environment) then it is really easy to connect them due to this option. The option can be enabled in the [[General Settings]] dialog with the check box Auto proxy connections.

Simulator Server

To start a simulation session select SweatBox connection mode, select the appropriate server (SweatBox or local EuroScope FSD).

To select the scenario file you have two options:

  • Click Browse and Select a local scenario file.
  • Leave it empty. It is possible to get the scenario file from the FSD server or just connect as pseudo pilot without actually simulating planes.

The Publish simulation data is also a new combo box in version 3.2. This option tells the simulator server how much data should be sent to the connected clients, most importantly to the pseudo pilots:

  • None – This option creates the less network traffic, but the pseudo pilots will not have access to the states of the planes. Use this option when the lonely pseudo pilot runs the session.
  • To pseudo pilot only – This option sends the state data of the simulated planes to the pseudo pilot who is flying the plane, but not to the others. This uses a bit more bandwidth, but still manageable by SweatBox.
  • To everyone – This case all simulation data is sent to all connected controllers. That is a huge amount of traffic, and test shows that SweatBox can not handle it. Use this option only when the session is based on the local EuroScope FSD server.

For more detailed information see the [[Built In Simulator]] section.

Logging And Playback

To save your current session and play it back later is just as easy with EuroScope as pressing two buttons. Enter the file path and name of the log-file to be created, or browse for it. Then press Start logging. From that moment all data around your session is saved to the selected file. Even your primary voice communication is saved to a file with the same name and an additional .vvl extension. When finished just press Stop logging.

You can change the default log-folder that EuroScope proposes in the Logfile field by setting the Windows environment variable ES_LOG_FOLDER with the folder you normally use.

Important: Your authentication information is never stored in the file so that you can send it to others without compromising your password. But beware: Everything else is stored in the log; even your private chat communications can be played back later!

If you want to review a logged session, just select connection mode Playback log file and select the file name in the Playback edit box. When you press the Connect button the file will be played immediately. With the speed buttons you can choose the playback speed. You can pause and restart the playback with the Pause and Stop buttons.

The voice data is stored in the logfile in 30 seconds slices. Whenever a new slice is to be played it is copied to a temporary file and its playback is started. So that when the speed of the playback is accelerated, the voice will be played at normal speed but parts of it might be missing.

In v3.2 EuroScope automatically saves your session log into the memory. When you exit you will be prompted if you would like to save it to a file or not. The automatic session LOG does not hold your voice communication data.

The buttons are really self explanatory:

  • Play – It starts playing a paused or stopped playback, and also returns to a normal 1x playback after fast forward.
  • 2x-32x – Increase the playback speed.
  • Pause – Suspends the playback. During the suspended playback the timeout checking is disabled, even position update for airplanes are halted.
  • Stop – Stops the playback, and reverses the file pointer back to the beginning of the logfile.
  • +1-+120 – Jump the given number minutes forward. Be patient when skipping longer time intervals. EuroScope must still executes all entries in the logfile and compute all necessary data along with it. Hence, a one hour skip operation in a busy session may take a few minutes to be executed.
    Since v3.2.4 the theses buttons work asynchronously. It allows you use EuroScope during the advance operation, including pausing the playback.

Bottons – changed in 3.2.4

The connect button connects to the selected server and via the entered user credentials. It automatically closes the connect dialog and returns to the main screen.

Not really visible, but since v3.2.4 the connection is made in two separate steps. First your name and password is authenticated via a secure connection to VATSIM, then the actual connection to the server is made using the token received. It is a slightly slower and you may see four messages in the Message TAB:
[10:06:06] Authenticating on VATSIM …
[10:06:06] Authenticated on VATSIM
[10:06:06] Connecting to server …
[10:06:06] Connected to server

You stay connected until you either press Disconnect or terminate EuroScope from the main screen.

The Close button closes the Connect dialog without changing the connection status.

I kept the following lines here to show that this feature is now deleted from code:

New feature in v3.2 that when you press Disconnect or you accidentally disconnected from the server, EuroScope saves all tracking information about the planes. When you reconnect it offers (after 30 seconds) to track all the planes that were tracked by the same callsign before the disconnect. The feature can be used when you accidentally went offline and you reconnect with the very same callsign. But it can be further used for station shift changes during a event.

In this case be sure that the new upcoming controller disconnects first, then the current controller. When the new controller logs in with the old callsign all planes will be tracked automatically. Be sure to be connected for minimum 60 seconds. The save is enabled only after the first minute.

Instead of this there is a better support of shift changes.

Normal shift change

You can use the normal shift change in the following case:

  • There is another controller online in the desired position.
  • You are online as observer – you can see the traffic, but all planes are unconcerned.

You can use the following steps:

  • Press the Prepare for shiftchange button in the connect dialog.
  • It makes it possible to change your callsing in the server connection part. So select the desired new position.
  • Your screen will change immediately. You will see the radar as you were online as the target controller. All TAGS are colored and shown as the other controller see. Only the pending coordinations are not visible as these messages are controller to controller and other clients have no access. Even you see the TAGs as the other controller, but you have no chance to manipulate as you are still just an observer.
  • When ready, press the Ready for shiftchange button. In this case EuroScope is monitoring when the other controller goes offline.
  • When the other controller goes offline, your client saves all states, disconnects immediately and waits for about 4 seconds to ensure both disconnects are published along the network. Then tries to reconnect you as the shift change controller.
  • When successfully connected your client starts tracking all the planes that were tracked by the other controller before disconnect.
    Note that prior versions of EuroScope may send drop target messages before disconnecting. Because of that it might happen that not all the planes are assumed automatically.
  • Do not forget to connect/disconnect your audio connection as AudioForVatsim connection is independent from EuroScope.

Hot shift chanage

You can use the hot shift change in the following case:

  • There is another controller online in the desired position.
  • You are online in different position.

You can use the following steps to interchange your positions:

  • Both party have to press the Prepare for shiftchange button.
  • Both party have to select the new to be callsign (I select the other callsign, while the other controller selects mine).
  • Both party have to press the Ready for shiftchange button.
  • Then only one of you press the Reconnect button.
    The one pressed the Reconnect button disconnects and after 4 seconds it tries to connect as the desired callsign.
    From the point of view of the other controller, it is the same as the normal shift change.

Note: Try to do the shift change in a moment where there is no pending coordinations. v3.2.4 will refuse all coordinations before the disconnect, but older versions and different clients may work differently.