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claviermichel

Topcat - Acars

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Hi ladies and gents,I have searched this forum but much to my surprise could not find any discussion about this topic.As most of you know Topcat is a very fine software available here: http://topcat.ofplan.net for those of you who haven't heard of it.Now, Topcat as an Acars tab which apparently can be used in conjunction with some small apps available at http://www.hoppie.nl/acars/Question: has anyone tried it? is it of any use? and how does it fit into the PMDG 747-400?Thanks for any commentRegards.


Best Regards,

 

Michael A. R. Clavier

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Dear Michael-Yes, TOPCAT is brilliant and an indespensable part of flying the fat girl. I am surprised you could not find discussion about ACARS integration- some of us here have pleaded for this for years.It is my understanding that Jerome H's ACARS program works well with the PMDG 744. We were hoping that at some point PMDG would do something similar, or better yet, integrate that module with their CDU. Even now, there is no reason you cannot run the other, assign a keystroke to bring up that CDU (in FSUIPC) and use it all together in your cockpit.As a BA Virtual pilot, I am fortunate to have a fairly wonderful ACARS program of my own (that runs on a laptop on a WideFS wireless network)- but the thought of integrating it into the PMDG CDU does sound very appealing.I would urge, as I have always, gentle but constant clamor for further development of the 744 platform!Best-Carl F. Avari-Cooper BAW0225http://online.vatsimindicators.net/980091/523.png


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Carl Avari-Cooper

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I use TOPCAT for every flight and its a great bit of software. The ACARS was a bit of a pain to set up as my sim is networked over 3 computers. The main problem with the ACARS system is you need the BASE station online for it to work and it's not always online (British Airways) I am now enroute OBBI - EGSS and the only messages I get are from CNN news station!? So I just stick to my BAV ACARS which is perfect for Vatsim. I could not fly without TOPCATS Takeoff perfomance calculations now and I would recommend it to all PMDG 747 Pilots.Rob


Rob Prest

 

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Thanks for your encouraging comments gentlemen. Far from me the idea of opening a debate about Acars as an update to the PMDG 747-400. I guess the PMDG developers had good reasons not to include it from day one and I don't want to open a can of worms here.I guess I will have to try and download the 3 or 4 apps necessary to activate Acars from Hoppie's site as I am not a member of your valued virtual airline.A bonus question here: is there any other acars software available which fits with PMDG even if it does not integrate perfectly with the CDU? I mean of course compatible with Topcat.Best regards


Best Regards,

 

Michael A. R. Clavier

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The best ACARS program I have come across is FSFlightkeeper (Payware) I used it when I was flying with Cargolux Virtual. I was in Singapore for a few weeks and I had the chance to study my fathers 744F operating manuals, the ACARS section alone was massive and I can now fully understand why PMDG left it out. There are far to many outside variables in my opinion to make it realistic.Rob


Rob Prest

 

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Rob,Thanks, I have been using Flightkeeper for years and you are right it is a good program. I do agree with you the acars system is a very complicated one and to render it accurately in a sim environment would be difficult. Carl,Thanks again I will follow your advice also.Best regards


Best Regards,

 

Michael A. R. Clavier

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Hi Carl!Jeroen's ACARS is, as far as I know, the only complete ACARS system available. It supports a complete CPDLC system as well. It would be great if Jeroen's ACARS could be integrated into PMDG, and I have asked for it. But we would also need the support of VATSIM ATC to use the ATC end of CPDLC. Otherwise, ACARS is reduced to only an OOOI system for VAs.Cheers, Richard (still not a BAV pilot!)


Cheers, Richard

Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.2 GHz, 16 GB memory, 1 TB SSD, GTX 1080 Ti, 28" 4K display

Win10-64, P3Dv4.5, PMDG 748 & 777, ASP4 + ASCA, vPilot, Navigraph, PFPX, ChasePlane, Orbx 

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Richard,You raised the right issues here. Integration into the PMDG 747-400. Has someone of PMDG development team already commented on that issue? if not could their honor us with a substantiated comment in this thread?As to the cooperation of VATSIM ATC I feel confident as they have always been cooperative and open minded to innovative ideas.The third major issue would be to convince virtual airlines to use it too. I am not talking of course about BAV and a few others who have developped their own ACARS.Well I'll get blamed for discussing issues not directly related to PMDG so I better keep quiet.Thanks to all for your valued comments and in the hope the PMDG team will add a comment on the integration possibilities.Best regards


Best Regards,

 

Michael A. R. Clavier

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Would of course be a good point for realisme, if an acar module would be fully integrated in the PMDG CDU itself. But ATC certainly can't be limited to Vatsim, as IVAO is much more developped in Europe.B. rgdsMichel

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Hi Michael,I was not referring to any non-cooperation by VATSIM. The CPDLC elements (i.e. the majority of function usually loosely referred to as 'ACARS') would be used either by oceanic ATC to compensate for lack of HF comms (which we don't suffer from), or to reduce ATC workloads which are perhaps not sufficient in VATSIM to warrant the use of CPDLC.I would still love to see the implementation of CPDLC as an option for controllers because of the added realism for pilots.Cheers, Richard


Cheers, Richard

Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.2 GHz, 16 GB memory, 1 TB SSD, GTX 1080 Ti, 28" 4K display

Win10-64, P3Dv4.5, PMDG 748 & 777, ASP4 + ASCA, vPilot, Navigraph, PFPX, ChasePlane, Orbx 

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Hi Michel,Of course, my comment was not intended to be limited to VATSIM. IVAO could be an excellent candidate too. By the way the software used by IVAO serves also as a kind of ACARS or am I totally wrong on that?Best regards


Best Regards,

 

Michael A. R. Clavier

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Hi Richard,My apologies if my comment seems to implicate that VATSIM is non-cooperative. To the contrary they are extremely cooperative and open minded. One question though: to implement the CPDLC elements requires only the involvment/decision of VATSIM/IVAO or does it require a major development work of the aircraft developers ie. PMDG?Best regards


Best Regards,

 

Michael A. R. Clavier

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Hi Michael,I am not at all sure of the workloads to implement CPDLC. I just know that Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers has a complete implementation of CPDLC developed and in use with PS1 and ACARS. It is easy for me to say that I wish that PMDG and VATSIM should 'just port it to their environments'. I do understand that this may not be a straightforward process. It still doesn't detract, though, from being a real requirement.Cheers, Richard


Cheers, Richard

Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.2 GHz, 16 GB memory, 1 TB SSD, GTX 1080 Ti, 28" 4K display

Win10-64, P3Dv4.5, PMDG 748 & 777, ASP4 + ASCA, vPilot, Navigraph, PFPX, ChasePlane, Orbx 

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Hi Richard,Fully agree with you I have - with some difficulties - setup a working ACARS with PS1 and I really command Jeroen for this masterpiece.I am surprised that none of the PMDG developer has commented on this thread so far. Is there any chance to get a substantiated comment on whether the CPDLC components can be integrated in the PMDG development program or if not for what technical reason. I would appreciate an answer from one of the PMDG team member.Best regards


Best Regards,

 

Michael A. R. Clavier

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