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rsrandazzo

FS 9 post patch TCAS

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Hello,I'm currently on my intitial flight with the new patch (KSFO ==> KSTL). Everything has gone well except for one thing. When first turning on TCAS (above and relative selected) there were many aircraft shown with 999 for altitude.Went into PMDG options and noticed "show all traffic" was selected by default. So I deselected that option. I left max aircraft (100) and FSUIPC selected as I normally do. In this mode I see no aircraft displayed. When I turned "show all aircraft" back on I noticed there were 2 aircraft within 1000 feet of me. But when "show all aircraft" is turned off I see nothing. Tried changing above/below and abs/rel but nothing ever shows up. So for now, I need to have "show all aircraft" selected all the time.Since I haven't seen anyone else mentioning this I would imagine I have something not set right. I would be grateful for any comments or suggestions.

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A little more information on this issue...With "show all traffic" off I will see very close proximity aircraft, solid diamond or yellow warning. But I never see aircraft other than these.I looked at FSUIPC settings and it set to show aircraft within 40 miles. I have exited FS and restarted to go on another flight. The TCAS situation is the same after this restart.Again any suggestions welcome.

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Just so you know that this isn't a quirk unique to your installation, I can report the exact same condition with mine.Regards,Walter MeierKPDX

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I'm confused as to why you guys are surprised that unchecking a box called "Show all traffic" causes the ND to not show all traffic... Seems fairly self explanatory right? :)Real TCAS is not like an ATC radar that shows you any airplane around you. It's only going to show potentially conflicting traffic when you have "Show all traffic" unchecked. You don't want your screen cluttered with meaningless traffic targets while you're trying to maintain situational awareness in a terminal area for instance. This is exactly how the real aircraft does it, "Show all traffic" is the unrealistic setting.

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Ryan,Thanks for the reply. I am not an airline pilot and never claimed to be. I only base my idea of normal on my experience with TCAS on the PMDG 737 and 747 series over the years. So I wouldn't know what a "real" TCAS displays.So let me say what I am used to seeing with "show all aircraft" off. If an aircraft was at the same altitude as I was 20 miles ahead I would see an unfilled diamond ahead of me on the screen with 0 displayed (I usually use relative for display). If that aircraft was heading toward me it would fill in to a solid diamond when it got close (within 10 miles I believe). Or if that aircraft moved well above or below me, it would disappear. As it stands now, I never see any aircraft unless they are filled in diamonds right on top of me. I never see an "unfilled" diamond.So if it is normal that I should not be able to see an aircraft 20 miles ahead of me at the same altitude (or within 1000 feet) with "show all aircraft" off, than so be it. I just didn't realize that the TCAS change was going to be that dramatic. But if that's the way it is in the real world than that's fine.

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Ryan, Forgive me but YES we are confused when the TCAS did in fact do this before the up-date so something did in fact change on the TCAS display. I may be mistaken and if so please for give me but I have used your product both B737 and B744 with FS9 and the B744X with FSX and I have always had aircraft on the TCAS that was in the range of the display that WAS NOT IN CONFLICT with the aircraft. As a matter of fact I believe that is why it is an option for the FSUIPC program because it expects to have aircraft to display around the airborne B744. I have always been able to select above, level with or below and had the aircraft on the TCAS change as I selected a setting. The update has changed that and now we are asking about it because it is different that what we have seen in the past. To be honest I'm confused by your answer because you make it sound like this change was clear to everyone and should have been expected. Are you telling everyone that the function of the TCAS before the up-date was incorrect all this time for the B737 and B744 in FS9 and the B744X in FSX? Ryan, please understand that I am trying to explain why this issue is being questioned and I do not in any way intend to be negative or attack PMDG or you on this issue. If this is the way that the TCAS now functions I understand and I would suggest that a more detailed explanation be posted about the change and why it was made so everyone will understand. On a final note the Up-date is great and I have found that the aircraft performance is improved and I look forward to many happy hours of flying it. Well done PMDG team and thank you.

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I'll get back to you guys on that, but if it was displaying non-conflicting traffic before, then yes that was incorrect.

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Maybe Alan Carter can explain this better:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiONfKaBNKMThe "open white diamond" that is more than 6 miles away that he refers to here is what I can no longer see (unless I want to see a million cessnas at 2000 ft. as well).The "filled in diamond" less than 6 miles and 1200ft that he describes is all I can see. Which at this point renders the above and below switch useless.Before the update, the TCAS was working exactly as Captain Carter explains here.What I'm not sure of now is whether this is something unique to my set up (and a few others), or does everyone see this.

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Hi Bob:As in my post above, once again I can confirm that I'm seeing exactly the same thing you are: no "open white diamonds" irrespective of the position of the above-below switch. Rest assured you're not alone :-)Regards,Walter MeierKPDX

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Bob,That is an excellent example of what we are talking about. We appear to have two separate posts going about the same issue with the same observations of how we see the TCAS working in the past but not how it works after the patch. I find it very interesting that the video clearly shows traffic on the screen that is not in conflict and the captain clearly explains what will happen when it is in conflict which is what I always saw before so I am totally confused by what was changed and why with the patch. It would help if someone from the PMDG team would reply or at least let us know they are looking at it. I know it is a Holiday here in the states so a reply at some point this week would be great. I am also confused why more users are not reporting the issue. Are just a few of us able to use the TCAS this way? You are not alone with this issue and I am more interested as to what is going on after seeing the video than before.Have a good day!

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Hi James,Thank for the reply. With only a couple of us reporting this makes me think it could be an isolated incident. But I'll wait for the PMDG folks to confirm this.I'm sure they are taking a much deserved break after getting the update out. But I'm sure they'll take a look and respond when they get a chance.Yeah, I wanted to use the video because I didn't feel like I was explaining it properly. A picture is worth a thousand words as they say...

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"I'll get back to you guys on that, but if it was displaying non-conflicting traffic before, then yes that was incorrect."I'd check with the team on this one, Ryan. All proximate traffic should be shown (within your specified height ranges), not potential conflicts. For example, you could be on the ground (stopped) and the RW displays will show targets moving away from you... definitely no conflict there ;)Cheers.Q> イアン

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Gents-This could become a lengthy reply- so strap in. :-)I spent about 3hrs researching this last night, because as I see it we have a few questions that need to be answered, and a few different areas of confusion surrounding the operation of TCAS II V7 which is modeled here.First: Some users are claiming that they are seeing different behavior in TCAS after this update. I don't generally like to tell a fellow "what you think you saw isn't correct," but in this case I have to. I installed V1.0 of the FS9 747-400, ran some condition tests, then stepped through every version of the 747-400 up to FSX V2.10. Behavior in all versions was identical. I should point out that in earlier versions of TCAS (that I believe predated the 400 release three years ago) we modeled a few behaviors incorrectly, and we used an outdated protocol for other behaviors. But this pre-dated the 400....Second: Lets go over what precisely TCAS tracks, and what TCAS shows.WHAT DOES TCAS TRACK/SHOW?:===========================TCAS is capable of showing the following items:RESOLUTION ADVISORY: Red Square.TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Amber circle.PROXIMATE TRAFFIC: Solid White Diamond.NON-PROXIMATE TRAFFIC: Hollow white diamond.RESOLUTION ADVISORY (Red Square symbol on the ND) will be displayed when TCAS calculates that the aircraft are within 25 seconds of closest point of contact (opposing traffic will enter into collision protection airspace) and that adjusting the vertical track of both aircraft is required to maintain separation. RAs come with visual and aural guidance.TRAFFIC ADVISORY (Amber Circle on ND) will be displayed when TCAS calculates that the aircraft are within 20-30 seconds of entering the protected zone. The TA provides an aural TRAFFIC call and turns the aircraft marker into an amber circle in order to aid the crew in visually acquiring the intruder.PROXIMATE TRAFFIC (Solid White Diamond on ND) will be displayed when another aircraft is inside of the proximity airspace of the host aircraft. The proximity airspace is defined as +/- 1200 feet vertical separation and inside of 6.0nm.NON-PROXIMATE TRAFFIC: (empty white diamond on the ND) will be displayed when another aircraft is within the awareness range of TCAS but is not yet inside of the proximate, protected or collision protection airspace. Now- here is where it gets tricky:The awareness range for TCAS changes depending upon the mode of flight:All phases of flight: +/-2700 feet vertical and 6.0nm range.Climbing: Extends the awareness area to include up to 9900 above host aircraft within 6.0nm.Descending: Extends the awareness area to include down to 9900 below host aircraft within 6.0nm.TCAS THEN AND NOW:==================In earlier versions of TCAS- the crew was given an ABOVE/N/BELOW switch to set the biasing for the TCAS awareness range. Non proximate aircraft were displayed to the crew on the navigation display based upon this switch setting.It was discovered however, that more often than not, crews were neglecting to set the ABOVE/N/BELOW parameter selectors during climb/descent phases of flight. As such, the biasing was made automatic with Version 7, (might have been a late version 6.x... but i'm pretty sure it was version 7... as there was some hardware changines that went in here at the same time.)Currently, modern TCAS II V7 sets automatically adjust the awareness range bias based upon whether the airplane is in a +/- 500 fpm mode. The bias is set to climb/descend mode automatically with no input from the crew, and newer transponder equipment no longer offer the crew the ABOVE/N/BELOW switch capability. Additionally, TCAS now ignores the manual switches, so they effectively serve no purpose on updated sets.The other big change that came about with this change, was that it was determined that there was no true benefit to showing non-proximate traffic on the ND. As such, non proximate traffic was decluttered- and now only PROXIMATE, TA and RA traffic are displayed to the crew.I have spent hours and hours researching to determine if the non-proximate traffic declutter was an operator option, and I am unable to find any reference to it being something that individual airlines can choose. Operator options are always a headache to track- but TCAS is a pretty straight-forward system... so i think it would mention user options in the documentation if there were any.All of that being said- the PMDG 747-400 and the PMDG 747-400X are modeled based upon the most current TCAS II V7 standard.The ND TFC button:==================If you fail to press the TFC button on the EFIS control panel, you will not be shown any traffic on the navigation display. You will however be shown TA/RA information if it becomes necessary.PMDG'S Show All Traffic Option:===============================We added this option because some users liked having non-proximate traffic displayed to them on the ND. If you want non-proximate traffic displayed, then you should select this option. If you select this option OFF- you will not have non-proximate traffic displayed to you.Pilots and Imperfect Recall:============================One last item to point out: Forum users are often times under the impression that pilots know everything there is to know about their airplane and its systems. Before flying professionally, I too had this impression.I may get my membership revoked for revealing this- but: we don't. You can be on an airplane for ten years and still learn things that you didn't know, and you can unlearn things that you thought to be true. What separates good pilots from bad pilots is that good pilots recognize that they are continually learning and they aren't afraid to admit when they are not certain of the details. We saw this over and over again with our Tech Advisors on the 747-400. (They are all good pilots- I should point out!)When Ryan asked me to review this thread and help provide an answer- Heck... I pulled out all my manuals for the 400, my notes from class, manuals for the NG, the 777 and two other type ratings i've obtained, as well as a honeywell TCAS manual and a RYAN International TCAS manual before preparing this response. Just to make sure my understanding was correct before I wrote all of this. ;-)With all of that being said, the YouTube video that another user posted of Captain Carter describing items on the navigation display is a good demonstration of this how pilots sometimes don't have perfect recall of details. Captain Carter described the hollow white diamonds as "proximate traffic" but his description disagrees with all published materials on TCAS. Thus- in this instance- he was mistaken.So- there you have it. I hope that answers your questions regarding TCAS.

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When you say that it was determined that showing non-proximate traffic was not beneficial, are you referring to the TCAS design standard or specifically to the 747 ND presentation?If you're referring to the 747 specifically, then disregard...I have no experience with that airframe. But if you're referring to the design standard, then I'm a bit confused.Like most operators, we fly with the v7 standard (v7 is required for RVSM participation), yet non-proximate traffic is certainly displayed on the ND, at least on the CRJ. TCAS will simultaneously track 30 targets out to a range of 40nm.EDIT: I should mention that, on the CRJ the ability to remove or include non-proximate traffic is pilot-selectable thru the RTU TCAS page. ON displays all in-range traffic, OFF displays intruders only.Regards,Nick

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Hi Robert,Thankyou for taking the time to give such in-depth reply.As you describe the TCAS II V7 standard, this is how TCAS is working for me so I'm glad to know all is well with my set up.I must say the confusing part of this for me is the bit about this having been this way. I'm certain now that I must have had "show all traffic" selected before and it was responding to the above/below switch. This seemed quite normal to me as it mimicked what I've seen on that Virgin video and also a 777 video showing non-proximate traffic near your level (obviously older TCAS versions).I'm sure you will not like to read this, but I kind of wish "show all traffic" worked like before as having "ALL" traffic really is too much clutter to be useful. And I do like seeing the non-proximate traffic... Sorry, just being honest.I can not complain however, with TCAS working properly and to the latest standards. Thankyou again for the clarification and 40 lashes for Captain Carter... That slacker.:-lol

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Thanks for the update, Captain ;)Seems that quite a few "professionals" are making the mistake of calling them proximate traffic :-lolI saw an unfilled diamond on one of our displays yesterday, so I'm looking into the matter further ;) (I heard that our aircraft were being updated, but that was some time ago).Cheers.Q> イアン

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Q>I logged some phone time with some friends of mine working in Flight Test at Boeing today- and they had three different answers. (yes- two guys...three answers. LOL)The are both snooping around to find out what the differences are... It might just be an operator setting someplace in the system config- but it definitely isn't a crew selectable option.Both of them new proximate from non-proximate, however- but neither of them could recall if they see non-proximates in the airplane... That made me feel good- i'm not the only one with recall problems.:-)

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Excuse my ignorance and/or lack of comprehension but, am I to draw from this that we should now uncheck 'Show all traffic' and just let the TCAS work as it does in the real world now?Thus giving us targets that are purely in the 'proximity'?Many thanks, and apoligies for being a tad wooly!Mark.

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Until the issue is clarified, it's your choice, Mark :)I'm still waiting for feedback from my technical experts (to see if all our aircraft have been modified to version 7). Our displays don't seem to have changed. I'm yet to see any of our RW aircraft without "other" aircraft (empty diamonds).Cheers.Q> イアン

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Just got work from our tech specialists, who said that v7 software has been installed on our 744's.However, I still see non-proximate traffic on our displays.Sounds like we have a few airline variations here :)Cheers.Q> イアン

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The stories we could tell (but probably shouldn't!)

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Oooops.. meant to say "Just got WORD...", not "WORK". I have plenty of WORK, thanks :)Cheers.Q>

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