GPL and VROC Troubleshooting
Timed Out Opening Communication Channel
'I keep getting a "Timed Out Opening Communication
Channel" message when I try to join a race. What's the problem?'
Randy Cassidy says:
Do you have more than one IP address
on your machine (both a LAN, and a dialup connection, for example)?
If so, after clicking on the host's IP address, look at the "Connect
Via" address on the left side of the screen and make sure
that it lists the IP address for your dialup. If it doesn't,
select your dialup IP address from the dropdown list.
You can also examine the route from your machine to the GPL
server using WinVROC's
Inspect feature. This will help you determine if the problem
is that you have a poor connection to the Internet, or that the
host has a poor connection. Look for a high percentage of packet
losses and/or a very high ping time on one or more of the routers
(aka "hops"). Note whether the problem tends to be
at your end (near the top of the page) or at the server end (near
If you have this problem with many different GPL servers,
inspect the route to several of them. Most likely you'll find
that there tends to be a bad router or two near the top of the
list. If this is the case then the problem is at your end.
If you see a lot of packet losses on the very first hop, this
suggests a problem with your connection to your ISP. You might
want to tune your connection, and also consider switching to
a USB modem.
You can find tips on tuning your connection in the VROC Technical
Notes and Eagle Woman's GPL Online FAQ.
If the bad hop is near the top, but is not the very first
one, this means that your ISP has a problem. You might want to
copy one or more of the route inspection reports and email it
to your ISP. If you get no help, consider trying another ISP.
If the problem is one or more bad routers at the server's
end, you might want to copy one or more of the route inspection
reports and email it to the host, if you can find him or her.
Some hosts put a URL to their web site or their email address
in WinVROC. You can access this URL by right-clicking on the
server in WinVROC's race list. Also sometimes you can locate
the host in the chat after the race they hosted is over, or someone
in the chat will have an email address for the host.
If your machine is behind a gateway, see the Internet Plus LAN section of Eagle Woman's
No One Joins
'I host a race, but no one joins it.'
This may be due to an incorrect IP address. Note that Netscape
does not reload your IP address when you close your DUN connection
to your ISP and reopen it later. If you have a dynamic IP address
(most people connected to the Internet through a dialup ISP do
have a dynamic IP address) and you disconnect and reconnect while
keeping Netscape running, Netscape will continue to report to
VROC the same IP address which you had when you started Netscape.
Thus, the VROC server will not be able to see your GPL server,
and will forever report you as "Starting".
To check this, run Winipcfg.exe in your Windows folder, and
compare it to the IP address reported in the upper right of the
VROC race list. If they differ, stop and restart Netscape, and
If VROC consistently shows an incorrect IP address, you can
override this on the applet. See the Options
Explanation for more details.
JavaVROC Debug Information
If you are really convinced you've found a bug in the JavaVROC
applet, then please copy (click-drag to select all, ctrl-V, new
text file, Paste) the contents of the Java Console and mail it
To get the Java Console:
IE: View | Java Console
Netscape: Communicator | Tools | Java Console
If it isn't in the menu, then enable it:
IE: Tools | Internet Options | Advanced | Java VM | Java Console
Netscape: Always enabled in current versions of the browser.
See also the VROC Technical Notes,
WinVROC Help, the known
issues section of the VROC Development
Notes, and the VROC Tech Support