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SB3 Info From Convention

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In a story on the VATSIM webpage about the conference in Toronto the following quote mentions that info on SB3 was released.Attendees also heard about the soon-to-be-released next generation of ATC software client, and the plans for SquawkBox 3.Any chance one of the conference attendees could fill the rest of us in?Thanks!! :)

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I am not in attendance but watched and listened to the speakers last night via web-streaming.Very little was said about SB3. The new version of SB is being re-written from the ground up and there is no indication of when it will be released ("when it's ready"). It will only provide a communications interface between pilots and controllers. Thus there will be no built-in TCAS or FMS. It is being written as a module in FS2002 and it will work only with FS2002. If you use an earlier version of FS, stick with the present version of SB, which will still work in the VATSIM environment.That's about all I remember. If I forgot anything, I'm sure someone will add to this thread.Doug

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Well, if that is true, that is very disappointing. Many of use were expecting features at least on par with what we now have. What happens when FS2004 comes out I wonder if it is only being written for 2002. I know it is free but if this is the case, I will stick with what we have now.

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The point of SB3 is to provide a link from your simulator to the network in order to pass information and communicate with others.Anything else you need is easily downloadable and in 9/10 cases free.They never said that it would not be FS2004 compatible, they merely said that it would not be comaptible with versions earlier than FS2002 - but that they would continue to fully support the current version of Squawk Box so that existing users who can not support the new SB3 due to system limitations or Flight Sim versions were not left without a chair when the music stopped. (and that is not a direct quote...)It sounds as if it is being built from the ground up and will run within the FS2002 environment as a module - much like FSUIPC and FSNAV which was apparently one of the largest complaints about the current version and FS2002 (though those who complain loudest are the ones who never take the time to realize how much worse it would be if no one ever took the time to build a patch so that we COULD enjoy SB with 2002).I can not recall what the release schedule was, and I think that they officially stated that they would make no official time lines. It will be done whenever it is done - regardless of pressure from the community - this is the only way that the developer(s) can ensure that the software will be stable - while at the same time keeping his (their) sanity.Looking forward to this - with all of the other annoucements this past month I know that by the fall we are going to be set up for a crazy season of flying.. let it snow, let it freeze, I'll be busy flying.Ian Elchitz CYWGZLA ARTCC

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I downloaded the 45MB video of Friday's banquet and watched the parts on the SB3 and the new Controller Client (don't remember the name).I also was a little shocked when Richard Critz (the presenter) said "no FMS or TCAS". However, I use PIC767, so I never use the SB FMS anyway. BUT, I do use the TCAS.I'm also concerned that when FS2004 comes out, PIC767 may or may not be compatibe. So, let's assume it's not. More than likely, FS2004 will have some new features "that I can't do without." So, now I'm ina dilemma: I can't use PIC767 and if I fly the default 737 (e.g.) I won't have an FMS. Frankly, you can't fly a heavy jet without an FMS, unless you file DIRECT all over the place, and insist on radar vectors instead of "fly direct to RIVER." Hopefully I'm wrong.Concern #2: I'm one of the luck few that have a 2 PC setup whereby FS2002 is on PC#1 and SB, RW, FSMeteo are on PC#2. Both PCs are linked across my network using FSUIPC and the wonderful WideFS. Now, I learned that SB3 will be a "module" much like FSUIPC. I'm assuming that means that it will no longer operate like another program and it has to be on the same PC as FS2002; therefore, so much for being able to use WideFS. If that's the case, I'm very concerned for the following:1. With SB on PC#2, and FS2002 on PC#1, my system is absolutely rock solid. I have NEVER had a crash or lockup when on-line. And I can attribute this to keeping FS2002 running "by itself" on PC#1 and SB, RW, and FSMeteo on PC#2.2. With WideFS, the CPU load of all the programs is handled by there respective PC's. You won't believe haw fast SB runs when it's NOT on the same PC as FS2002 (this is something I will really miss if SB3 is a "module" and is CPU hungry).3. Big concern: Richard Critz made some sort of reference to the way we would communicate with SB3. I didn't quite understand, but he said something like there will always be both voice and text for each transmission (?). I'm not quoting him. Anyway, Having SB on PC#2 prevents my panel from be blocked by the SB text window. I will have a real problem going back to anything that will block my panel and prevent me from flying the aircraft.Regarding the new Controller Client:It sounds awesome. It looks like a real scope. There are two versions: one for TRACONS and one for Centers. It's being privately BETA tested as we speak. As a matter of fact, I was handled by a controller the other night who was using it.How about some screenshots?James

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Concern 1- For TCASPMTCAS or other freeware TCAS modulesFOR help NOT Flying Direct -Do what Real Pilots do - use VORs and NDBsConcern2 -If you use WIDEFS - just stick with current SBRichard GreenVATUSA4Events and VA Director

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Richard:Thanks for your input.Regarding the use of VORs and NDBs: do you really think that pilots flying commercial airliners ever use VORs and NDBs when on a 1000, 2000, or 3000 mile flight? I doubt it. But this is lower on my "concerns" list.Regarding using the current SB with WideFS: I'm assuming that SB3 will have some significant advantages that I will want; therefore, it will be a letdown if I have to stick with the current version.James

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For those who have concerns about SB3 or any other SB program if your not happey just ask for your money back LOL.Kenny G.

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"Frankly, you can't fly a heavy jet without an FMS, unless you file DIRECT all over the place,"In fact it is the opposite :-)To be able to "file direct all over the place" you must have an FMS on board. If you do not have one, you simply fly via Airways.Stamatis

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"To speculate about FS2004 is worthless,"I agree. Heck, nobody even guarantees that SB3 will be released ahead of FS2004, right? :-)"Regarding the lack of TCAS and FMS, I

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AHH HAAA...Yes, you got me!! You're exactly right: you can't fly direct without an FMS. But you know what I meant: pilots in heavy jets always use the FMS for the majority of the flight.And yes, I agree, I really don't want SB3 to have an FMS or TCAS. SB should concentrate on it's primary task of connecting to the network and being the interface for communication. BUT... I just pray my beloved PIC767 is functional with future versions of MSFS.Truly, my main concern is the WideFS issue I mentioned above. If SB3 must run on the same PC as MSFS, then I insist that it be stable and fast. I can't begin to tell you how much better SB operates when running on a separate PC using WideFS, and it's just hard to be excited about going back to running SB and MSFS on the same PC. I truly hope that WideFS can still be used.James

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It actually isn't news that it's coming without TCAS or FMS. 9 months ago, it was news. Now it's just a reiteration.

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Screenshots will be coming soon. It's up to the developer to make the first ones available.

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WOW! I never started a thread this long before. :)As others have stated, I do not mind the lack of FMS or TCAS in SB3 as I don't use either of these now. I usually fly with commercial addons that have one or both of these in the panel. It's also good to hear that SB3 will run from within FS2K2 as opposed to an external program, (I hate alt-tabbing). My biggest hope for SB3 would be to see an end to the jerky plane movements of the other MP aircraft. I'm not sure if this is an issue with the SB software or the servers. It would be nice to see the aircraft land without disappearing into the ground and popping back out again 50 ft in the air.All shorcomings aside, flying online is fantastic and it's the only way I fly!Regards,

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Actually, it's neither. It's related to the fact that it just isn't practical to send position updates more than once every 5 seconds. The SB3 developer is working on ways to improve it but there are some limitations that just won't go away.

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Richard,I thought the jerkiness in MP a/c was a Microsoft flaw inbedded into the program itself and nothing to do with SB?Eric

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"the fact that it just isn't practical to send position updates more than once every 5 seconds."And in between these 5 second updates the program projects/calculates the position of the other aircraft assuming a constant vector, i.e. constant vertical speed, airspeed and heading as recorded in the last update. This is why you see aircraft dipping below ground level on finals etc. The program simply projects them flying along the glidelope, until the next update arrives showing them level on the runway.Stamatis

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Richard,Just so you and the team know members response to the news of the new SB, like James I have concerns over SB becoming a module.I too fly on line with 2 PCs so that one PC can just handle FS and nothing else.With the current version of SB we can run 2 PCs with Widefs and keep FS seperate from all other programs and thus help FS run smoother.I appreciate those running 2 PCs can use the existing version of SB but will we miss out on new features of the new version of SB?I would not have thought any new version of SB would have no impact on PC resources and thus contribute to less resources for FS.There is also the question of the SB window intruding into the cockpit view.I am not a programmer so have no idea of the differences between SB being a module or a seperate program but I would ask the team to consider keeping SB as a seperate program or at least having that option...if a all possible.Regards

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"the fact that it just isn't practical to send position updates more than once every 5 seconds."I guess that makes sense as it would probably bog down the servers to send continuous updates.While I have been flight simming for quite sometime (SubLogic Flight sim on a TRS-80 Model 1), I never flew online until FS2K2. Now I always fly online. VATSIM has greatly added to my enjoyment of this hobby. The developers of this software deserve a heart-felt thank-you for the time it must take to bring this technology to us.:-beerchug

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Vulcan,No, my understanding is that it's pretty much a done deal that SB3 will be a module. If you want to run it on a second PC, you'll have to continue to use 2.3.5. That's not going away and will continue to be supported. The issue is one of having trouble drawing in the FS window as an external program.cz

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Well, it's probably related to the MP implementation in FS but there's also the issue of the rate of position updates. As Stamatis rightly points out, if the aircraft remains in unaccelerated flight for the entire 5 seconds, it should be possible for FS to interpolate the positions smoothly. The problem is, I think (and I'm not a FS internals guru), that FS wants to see updates more frequently than once every 5 seconds.

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"The issue is one of having trouble drawing in the FS window as an external program."But I thought that part of the benefit of running SB in a separate PC is not having to draw in the FS window...I am definitely nothing near to being a programmer but I believe that all that is required of SB to satisfy Vulcan's needs is the ability of SB to communicate via WideFS. No other change is required, like the ability to draw in the FS window etc.But of course I amy be 100% wrong in this.Stamatis

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