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PMDG-737 and RadarContact-4 compatibility

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Hello Boeing crews !I am getting a bit tired of using the simple and sometimes stupid FS9 ATC. As he/she does not recognize the FMC route, you only get continuous messages like:- Turn right heading 055- Turn left heading 215...Even, if you try to simulate SIDs or STARs in FS9 planner (which sometimes have sharp turns), ATC overrides the planned route and takes you the straight way...I have heard about a thing called "Radar Contact 4". They claim to be much more realistic than FS9 ATC, so I am thinking about purchasing that tool.But I have two questions for all of you who have installed it:1.- Is it fully compatible with PMDG-737 or perhaps a source of problems ?2.- Is it computer friendly or is it a memory-eater ?Thanks a lot in advance.Jose Luis


signed: José Luis

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I use it 99% of time and it goes well with Pmdg (and with one small glitch with Ld76)I make my fl.plan in Fsnav complete with sid and star/export this to Fs9 and Pmdg, Then when radar contact starts, I point it to the Fs9 plan, so there is exact co-ordination and apart from just needing to put in the departure height restrictions from the charted procedures, RC will take me all the way in a better fashion than BG could ever do!It needs a bit of a system to run, but it is ok on mine and it is tunable to fit your system. The RC support is one of the best in FS world.It ships on cd, (too big to d/l). Takes a couple of weeks to arrive. Its a good one to get if you don't fly online much and even has British voices. You can stop any painful accents(no offence intended to M/S) if they grate your nerves. You can record your own voice or the wifes....Go4it

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Thanks Ryan and Howie, just a question:I have read that RadarContact4 needs a flightplan in *.PLN format (the format of FS9 Plans).But FS9 PLN plans only admit legs between fixes (you can not enter "intercept radial 234..", or arcs, or custom waypoints, etc..)So, if you make your plan in FSnav or FSbuild, when you export the route to FS9 format, are those arcs, interceptions or custom waypoints preserved ? Thanks againJose Luis.


signed: José Luis

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RC4 is limited by it's reliance on FS9 pln format, and it misses sids/stars as well. I believe it is much better than the default ATC but it still has a way to go. In my opinion, if you are a hobby pilot then RC4 is a good add-in; however, if you are an active pilot and hope for a realistic simulation of real world ATC then it is a disappointment. Please note that this is just my opinion and many will disagree.


Dan Downs KCRP

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Guess what? I'm going to disagree :) .I use FSBuild 2.3. That converts SIDs (DPs)nd STARs to waypoints when it exports to the FS9 (RC) _AND_ 737NG (.rte) formats, the latter for loading into a CO_ROUTE into the FMC. This keeps RC and the 737FP matched.In RC if your first DP waypoint is within 30 nm of your departing point you will receive a "fly as filed" clearance on take off. You can also force this on the controller page of RC if you do not want departure vectors. This will allow you to follow the points on the LEGS page for departure. Since you can not export the FMC plan to an FS9 route (AFAIK) so you can use the FMC database SIDS, RC can not know what these points are to keep in sync. If the same SID could be placed in the flight planner so the PMDG SID could get into the FS9 format then this problem would be resolved.When RC Approach contacts you the option of flying an IAP can be requested. This prevents RC from issuing vectors and you can fly the FMC provided STAR and IAP. RC will still help in avoiding AI conflicts. The important thing is not to select or be willing to edit your STAR entries in the LEGS page until RC announces the anticipated runway at approach contact time.There is also a NOTAMS option for departure and arrival which allows you to deviate from the RC instructions without controller nagging.I do not know aboput FS NAV, but with the SIDS and STARS in FSB, I am using those for that functionality. There are many SIDs and STARs in the FSB database.I really hope that a utility will be written that converts the FMC SID/STAR database to one suitable for FSB to get an FS9 export so I can use your fine contributions. If not that, an .rte or .rte2 converter to FS9 .pln.Now what is nice about the FS9 .pln format is that all waypoints are read by lat/lon coordinates with name. This allows waypoints from anybody's database to be used regardless of FS9 scenery data.The one more thing I'll mention about RC is uses your installed scenery to build its runway and airport database. This keeps everything concurrent such as if you install updated AFCADS, etc., as well as additional sceneries.We are in the slow sometimes agonizing process of developing RC5, quite a while from release which will be yet more extensible and flexible. We are nailing down at this point in the process different communication standards and practgices for FAA vs. non-FAA environments. The beta team is international in scope and apparently non-FAA flight environments are handled much better in RC (including version 4.2 and the soon to be released 4.3 upgrade for FSX users) than FS9 and maybe FSX.So the only comment of your's I am addressing is that regarding SIDs and STARs. There are ways to do this but they are more complex. I don't believe FS9 or FSX flight planning does synchronous SID/STAR plans as well.BTW, your comments in the RC forum here on AVSIM have been noted by the development team and testers.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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FSB converts all those you mentioned to a waypoint route in the FS9 .pln format. If you look in the FSB route grid table, you will see the conversion before export.There is an option in FSB which you must select each session to rebuild and export from the grid table so after initially building your route from the route window you then check this option, edit the waypoint grid, and then rebuild and export.This method is used to eliminate the occasional waypoint location error in FSB as noted by weird paths in the route map display.Also see my reply further down.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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Guest speight

I use Fsnav, I build a route with aircraft and flight level. I check the weather to know pretty much the dep and arr runways, enter these in RC, then put the appropriate sid and star into fsnav. Then save, and export to Fs9 and Pmdg. Then I point RC to the Fs9 plan, it reads it ok. I check "notams" in Rc, which allows me to fly the sid(though I have to enter the charted dep altitudes in the fmc). Rc lets me get through the sid and when safely onto the route, with the next waypoint in te fmc agreeing with the one in adv disp, I tell RC I am back on course.If I am coming to an airport with no hills, I let RC vector me and usually goes ok. If it is mountains or big hills, I elect for the IAP/ILS app and RC lets me get on with it.I like RC, takes some getting used to, but it is good when you have no online atc, but of course cannot touch real atc when that is available.With Level D, just make sure not to check "pause at xxxnm" or a conflict occurs that crashes the sim.Occasionally, leaving frequecy to get weather, will crash fs9, I think this has something to do with afcad files/frequencies in conflict, but that only occurs in certain geographic locations.I always run the databases for RC/Fsnav after every change to my scenery add-ons.

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The frequency conflict things were resolved in recent FSUIPC releases. It was not internal to RC and FSUIPC works around that FS limitation. I have never had it happen with the recent FSUIPC versions. It had to do with duplicate frequency assignments in succession and I believe the problem resided in atc.dll.If you use Active Sky I highly reccommend not enabling METAR writes to the text window in FS while enroute as that might interfere with other applications using it causing a crash.I have not specifically encountered a crash when leaving the controller for weather.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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>1.- Is it fully compatible with PMDG-737 or perhaps a source>of problems ?Such questions are constantly being asked and I am always amazed how illogical they are. How can you even ask whether an ATC program is compatible with a given aircraft? Its a shear nonsense. It is like asking if a radio in your car is compatible with your seats. :-hmmmMichael J.


Michael J.

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Michael, you can call me ilogical or what you want...But after many years dealing with computers and programs (FS9 included) my experience is that installing a new addon is a kind of lottery. One never knows if there will bw some strange interaction that will spoil everything....Or don`t you read the S.O.S. posts in this forum starting? :" Please help!, after installing xxx..."Yours faithfullyJose Luis.


signed: José Luis

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Sorry, I have to disagree with your statement.Some add-on installers are incorrectly designed and will overwrite interfaces such as FSUIPC with an earlier version. I had one weather add-on that did this and the installer was corrected.Another add-on changed FSUIPC.ini so it caused RC4 to malfunction.RC does not cause these problems but it certainly is worth asking.I always attempt to research compatibility issues in support and general forums before buying a product. The question is legitimate.The PMDG products to my knowledge are not causing issues. But some complex aircraft products may replace or modify some .dlls in the modules section in order to extend the FS9 control interface outside of the standard functions. This might interfere with yet other complex products needing these unmodified modules.To the OP:If you decide to acquire RC4 check the RC Support Forum here on AVSIM regarding FSUIPC to get your proper version. In the CD delivery system, which is batch produced by an outside company, it is not possible to provide the latest working FSUIPC. I also suggest downloading the additional voices and upgrading to version 4.2 of RC, then FSUIPC 3.70 or 3.71., keeping a safe copy of the versions delivered on the CD. The upgrades will provide additional features. Version 4.3 to be delivered within a few weeks will offer some additional features and improved voice handling for both FS9 and FSX.There is no charge for incremental point upgrades.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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Support Team

 

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