RealTraffic Connectivity

Combine RealTraffic and LiveTraffic for real live traffic

RealTraffic of Inside Systems Pty Ltd "consolidates data from multiple international ADS-B and multilateration networks to obtain information about other airplanes near the position of your (simulated) aircraft – in realtime, live! ..., it then injects this traffic so you can fly with it, or follow it."

RealTraffic usually offers a trial license, beyond that it requires you to buy a license. Please see their web page for details. You'll find the trial license next to the buying options.

Quote:

"Please download the software and test whether it does what you want it to prior to purchasing a license. During the demonstration time the software is fully functional! If it doesn’t work during the demo, it won’t work after purchasing a license!"

From LiveTraffic's point of view, RealTraffic is just another channel feeding tracking data. LiveTraffic and its author are not affiliated with Inside Systems and don't receive any money or other means of kickback from Inside Systems.

How it works

RealTraffic receives tracking data from multiple networks and then broadcasts this data in consolidated form into your local network where it can be picked up from software like LiveTraffic, PSXSeecon, or Foreflight. This broadcasted data also includes weather information of the nearest weather station, which primarily is required for converting barometric altitude readings to geometric altitude.

To learn about the simulator's current position, RealTraffic connects into LiveTraffic, which triggers LiveTraffic to send regular position updates back to RealTraffic. RealTraffic then sends the traffic in a 100nm radius around this current position.

While all this might sound a bit tricky it is all well encapsulated in the implementations of both LiveTraffic and RealTraffic. It just affects configurations and status displays a bit.

S​etup

T​here are 3 steps to do:

  1. I​nstall RealTraffic and verify, „Spotter Mode“ is working

  2. In RealTraffic, c​hange Simulator in use to „PSXSeecon Traffic“ and shut down.

  3. I​n LiveTraffic, enable the new channel RealTraffic, then start up the RealTraffic app.

1. Installing RealTraffic

...is straight-forward. But I have to direct you to Inside System's instructions and ask for your understanding that I can't help with it.

If you installed it correctly then you should be able to see tracking data right within RealTraffic, i.e. even without starting X-Plane / LiveTraffic. The so-called "Spotter Mode" allows you to tell RealTraffic a location for which it then starts showing traffic:

  1. Set Simulator in use to "Spotter Mode", and

  2. select an airport of interest from the drop down Select airport (when the drop down is open then typing on the keyboard searches within the list)

RealTraffic in Spotter Mode to verify RealTraffic's operation

If you have trouble getting this far, i.e. you don't see traffic in Spotter Mode, then you won't see anything in LiveTraffic either. Seeing traffic in Spotter Mode is a precondition for successful setup. In case of issues up to here I ask you to check out "Fault finding / debugging instructions" at Inside Systems.

2. R​ealTraffic: Change Simulator in use

Change Simulator in use to "LiveTraffic".

This is the configuration to be used for sending traffic to LiveTraffic:

RealTraffic configured for use with LiveTraffic, using LT's current position and heading

Note that RealTraffic shows current traffic around your current location as soon as it knows that location...but not earlier. So X-Plane / LiveTraffic need to be connected, see below:

3. In LiveTraffic, enable the new channel RealTraffic

  1. Startup X-Plane with LiveTraffic.

  2. In LiveTraffic open Basic Settings.

  3. Enable RealTraffic and OpenSky Network Master Data, disable the other channels (OpenSky and ADS-B Exchange) for the moment (you may re-enable them later after you confirmed RealTraffic to work)

  4. Ensure Show Live Aircrafts is enabled so that LiveTraffic wants to show planes.

  5. Status below RealTraffic will switch to "Waiting for RealTraffic..." after a moment (screenshot below).

  6. Start up the RealTraffic app. The status of RealTraffic as shown in LiveTraffic should change to "Fully connected" and QNH of the nearest airport should be displayed, which is information received from RealTraffic. (If status only changes to "Connected passively", then see below.)

  7. LiveTraffic is now receiving tracking data and will displaying the first planes after the usual buffering period has passed.

Settings > Input Channels > RealTraffic, waiting for connection

In normal operations it should not matter if LiveTraffic or RealTraffic starts first. Both should connect to each other. If LiveTraffic keeps reporting "Waiting for RealTraffic..." or "Connected passively..." over more than a minute try switching RealTraffic's Simulator in use to Spotter Mode and then back to LiveTraffic mode, or even restart the RealTraffic app.

Connection Status

You can always check your connecitvity status in the Basic Settings:

Status Text

Meaning

Action

(empty)

RealTraffic is not activated as a channel.

Activate it by placing a checkmark next to it.

Starting...

LiveTraffic is preparing connections to RealTraffic.

Just wait a second...

Waiting for RealTraffic...

LiveTraffic waits to receive data and a connection request from RealTraffic but has not yet received either.

Start up or restart RealTraffic.

Connected passively

LiveTraffic has received tracking and weather data from RealTraffic. But there is no connection to RealTraffic for injecting LiveTraffic's current position. So the received tracking data might be from somewhere else in the world and not match your current position in X-Plane. You might not see planes in X-Plane.

The time of the last traffic message received is added (like "last: 5s ago").

Verify that RealTraffic's Simulator in use is configured to be "LiveTraffic", maybe restart RealTraffic.

Connected, waiting...

LiveTraffic has an active connection to RealTraffic and can inject the current position. But it has not yet received any actual tracking or weather data.

This should be extremely rare a status. If it persists there might be an issue with transmitting broadcast data.

Fully connected

All set up perfectly: LiveTraffic receives data and can inject its current position to RealTraffic.

The time of the last traffic message received is added (like "last: 5s ago").

Enjoy watching planes in X-Plane.

Stopping...

Shutdown is in progress because display of aircrafts has been disabled, the channel RealTraffic has been disabled, the entire LiveTraffic plugin has been disabled, or X-Plane is being shutdown.

(Just wait...it'll pass...)

Technical Details

The following details might come in handy when analyzing network issues, e.g. when different application seem to get in conflict:

The connection to RealTraffic needs no less than 3 ports. Find all the details in RealTraffic's developer's documentation. The gist is:

  • TCP/10474 is a direct TCP link from RealTraffic to LiveTraffic: LiveTraffic has to open a TCP port (10747 by default) to which RealTraffic connects. Once established, LiveTraffic then periodically sends its current location via this link back to RealTraffic so that RealTraffic can filter and send the traffic data of that area.

    • That port number is configurable in RealTraffic's UI, called Simulator Port, standard is 10747

    • In LiveTraffic, it can also be configured, but only by directly editing the preferences file (while X-Plane is shut down!) <X-Plane>/Output/preferences/LiveTraffic.prf. The relevant entry is

      livetraffic/channel/real_traffic/listen_port 10747
  • UDP/49003 is the port RealTraffic sends its traffic on: Actually, there are two UDP ports on which RealTraffic sends the actual traffic, which are

    • 49002 (ForeFlight format) and

    • 49003 (extended format, used by LiveTraffic).

  • UDP/49004 is the port on which RealTraffic periodically sends weather data (necessary to convert baroemtric altitudes).

I am not aware of a possibility to configure the UDP ports on the RealTraffic side. For LiveTraffic, also the UDP listen are configurable in LiveTraffic's preferences file:

livetraffic/channel/real_traffic/traffic_port 49003
livetraffic/channel/real_traffic/weather_port 49004

There would be errors written to Log.txt if data arrives on these UDP ports that LiveTraffic doesn't understand, ie. if they don't comply with RealTraffic's formats ("RealTraffic: Discarded invalid message"). Such errors would happen if some other device sends other data on 49003/4 while LiveTraffic listens. These messages wouldn't do any harm to LiveTraffic except for Log.txt output. But they do indicate a network conflict that should be solved.