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Guest BlackDog

FSNav vs. FSBuild

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Guest BlackDog

This is a bit off topic but I would be interested to hear from some long term users of PMDG's 737 fleet as to the pros and cons of each of these apps for the PMDG. Thanks.

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Guest

FSNav corrupted my FS2002 installation badly enough that a reinstall of FS was in order.A friend has recently traced constant disconnects when flying online to FSNav (which was not itself online at any moment).I'm extremely pleased with FSbuild though. Rock stable, excellent and flexible user interface.Sometimes (not often) it picks a wrong waypoint (if there's a waypoint with the same name elsewhere) but that can be corrected manually.

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Guest zip

I have both, and use both but in different capacities.I use FSBuild to generate flight plans, first because it's rather easy, and it generates FPs for just about every add-on format out there - navigation, weather, or FMC/CDU proprietary formats. One click and all add-ons have the same FP but in their specific format, which is an AMAZING feature. I like FSBuild because it knows about step climbs and aircraft performance, fuel profiles, SIDs and STARs and has a very significant database of pre-made flight plans. The FSBuild interface (UI) I find "kludgy" and I don't give it brownie points for style as some of the behavior is decidedly strange if you compare it to other applications. But, this minor problem is eclipsed by the quality of the FPs and the fact it supports everything out there, from PDMG's FMC to ActiveSky to any number of other add-ons. FSBuild is kept up to date on a regular basis, but that is decidedly not the case with the fSBuild web site. FSBuild already had support for the new SB3 for VATSIM, but one had to know to download the latest build to know that, and that little fact was burried into the forums and not on the web site. Updates are available from the same site you purchase FSBuild from. The forums are very helpful, and Ernie Alston (the author) a very frequent contributor, and supports his product. What FSBuild is not is a moving map. FSBuild is the next best thing to pure FP this side of Jeppesen subscriptions.I use FSNav for two things only: moving map and a glorified GPS navigation tool for the aircraft that do not have an FMC (pardon, CDU) and the default GPS doesn't cut the mustard. This comes in handy when I don't feel like using the IRS or punching in nav freqs. I like the map in FSNav, but the creation of flight plans is just not up to the level of FSBuild, although it does the job. Don't expect a one button affair for that but then again, FSNav is not a dedicated FP tool like FSBuild is. I load FSBuild made plans into FSNav.I read a while back on the FSNav forums in a post someone stating that FSNav's author was in a car accident last year and I haven't seen any updates in many months to the sotware - none since I bought it over a year ago as a matter of fact. I'm not sure if any updates will be forthcoming but the current release works well. There are a few annoyances in the FSNav "FMC" functionality that could use some fixing, but all main features are handled: new AIRACs and scenery get integrated in the map through a DB utility, and there is a plug-in interface to save FPs created in FSNav so support for new formats are usually quickly posted on the FSNav forums.Both products work well with this gem from PMDG. You may also want to consider FSCommander as an alternative to FSNav, but I don't think FSCommander works like an FMC very much. Both FSNav and FSCommander have a free trial period so I'd recommend you try both out before making your decision.Cheers,e.

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I also use both.I use FSBuild to plan my routes, because the Auto-Generate works remarkably well, it has a lot of built in routes, and first-off, you don't need to start FS to run it. I have been pretty happy with FSBuild for route generation, even if it does occasionally throw in a waypoint 2000 miles off (same name, messed up airway, etc). It's pretty obvious when that happens, and I just cheat and remove the waypoint. Every time it has happened so far has been a random airway point that removing it didn't actually change the flight path.I love the moving map in FSNav. It's great in VFR flight in a Cessna or whatnot if you don't own sectionals for every area you fly in, since at a glance you can see what VORs and such are nearby. The FS map tool requires you to pause, and it can't be up at the same time you are flying, not to mention it's difficult to read. I have a second monitor that I just leave the FSNav map up in. I don't do any flight planning stuff or anything like it's built in FMC or whatever with FSNav so far.FSNav is nice for in flight (especially in the PMDG that doesn't have the wacky GPS that the default planes have to see where you are), but I like FSBuild better for route building.I haven't tried FSCommander, but it seems pretty similar to FSNav. Maybe it will be better since FSNav development seems to have pretty much ground to a halt.-stefan


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This discussion has gone on for some time. I was a long time user of FSNav back in the FS2000 era. However with more complex flight planning, it did not take long for me to make the switch to FSBuild V2. Ernie Alston has done just a subperb job developing this program. It has links to external FAA routes, hundreds/thousands of stored flight plans and a very powerful autogenerate route planner. When you hop the pond it has both a standard NAT routes and a function to download the current NAT routes. Really handy, and it is easy to link the tracks to your proposed routes.As a ex-USAF navigator, I can state that FSB does a very professional job. In my book can't be beat, plus it makes an excellent .rte plans for the PMDG 737.Bob JohnsonKDEN


 

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Guest tmetzinger

In my opinion, FSBuild is the best payware FS flight planning tool available. If you fly the PMDG 737 or other add-ons with good nav systems then you don't need FSNav.For other, less-gifted aircraft, FSNav offers a basic flight management system that gives you simple LNAV/VNAV capabilities.

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I think what I enjoy most about FSNav is flying around in the Cessna and treating it as my sectional for the area. I am cheap as far as paper goes, so I only have sectionals for my home airport region and one adjacent one. The FS GPS is annoying and looking up VORs and the like is difficult, and pausing and using the horrible FS Map is even worse. I just set up FSNav in undocked mode and fill most of my 2nd monitor with it (along with the ActiveSky Radar for local weather).I haven't really needed FSNav with the 737NG, but it's great doing VFR or IFR practice stuff in a small plane. I guess it's also kinda nice in the 1900s too. I never use any of the autopilot/fly-to-here/fmc stuff with it. I don't like to do flight plans and have the autopilot GPS it, nor do I like the direct to GPS stuff. I'd rather dial in the VOR and hand fly it in those planes...if I want autopilot I have my 737!Personally, if you can find a good moving map that may not be as full-featured with the autopilot and such/flight planning for cheaper than FSNav, get that along with fsbuild and you'll be a happy person. I didn't really look for other moving maps before I got FSNav, so I don't know if there are any.-stefan


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Same thing here, I only use FSNav as a moving map - all flight planning duties go to FSBuild 2.2...


Ryan Maziarz
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For fastest support, please submit a ticket at http://support.precisionmanuals.com

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Guest BlackDog

Thanks to you all. If I may, the concensus appears to be FSBuild unless you want a moving map inflight which with the PMDG NGs seems to be not that important (IMHO). Thanks agin for your help.:-)

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For me it's not a question of either or, since I use both but for different purposes. If you fly in unfamiliar territory and don't have the maps, fsnav does a wonderful job regarding spatial awareness. You get all the frequencies for VOR's, NDB's and ILS approaches and I can assure you that fsnav has many times saved my a*s when flying online and atc clears me to this and that VOR.There is also another alternative to FSNAV whics is FSCommander. I do use it also, but in my book FSNAV is much more polished. One advantage FSCommander has is that you can run it from another computer using widefs.


Krister Lindén
EFMA, Finland
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Guest Buck Bolduc

>This is a bit off topic but I would be interested to hear>from some long term users of PMDG's 737 fleet as to the pros>and cons of each of these apps for the PMDG. Thanks.>I dont use FSNav anymore, wont work on my newer systems, no updates for a year or so.FSBuild is about the best you can find. Once set up properly one click puts the FPlans(plural) in the proper directory's.What you need to do is get the performance files for whatever addons you use.To do that go here.---> http://www.fsbuild.com/aircraft_performance.htmlAll you need to do is put these files into the FSBuild "Aircraft Folder".Hint, copy it over to the TOP of the file list and you wont have to scroll down for it.FSBuilds a .pln, .rte, .fnav, 1 click, thats all it takes.Erni Allston did a grat job here!Regards

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