I, like many, use a flight stick & throttle combination for control in FS2004. The beauty of this is it allows you to concentrate on flying and not trying to search for the right buttons to press on the keyboard.
For flying online I prefer to have the communications software set up on a second PC on my home network. This helps in that it reduces the load on the FS machine. The problem with this set up is that it your flight controller is plugged into your main PC with FS on (or Server to use the correct networking jargon) but your comms software is on the second PC (or client machine). Should you wish to use buttons on the controller to act as Push To Talk (PTT) buttons then a solution is needed. I do this by using Peter Dowsonís FSUIPCandWideFS utilities. I suspect any flyer with a home network (or LAN as it is known) will probably have one if not both of these utilities already.
So, how is it done? Iíve adapted a diagram Peter distributed with a previous version of WideFS to explain.
You can get it here: