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RW Quality - Is it always this flaky??

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I had my first experience of VATSIM last night using RW. I have to say I was moderately disappointed because I had real problems picking up what some of the controllers were saying and their clarity was definitely wanting. I'm sure it's not their fault, but I missed a few important instructions and generally felt a little foolish because of it. It's put me off voice-controlled ATC a bit.I just wondered if the quality of RW is always like that and people just get used to it, or whether there are obvious steps to ensuring the clarity can be improved. Just for the record, I'm ex-RAF and well used to real radio communication and it's normally a whole bunch clearer than RW was.Andy/EGTR

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Hi Andy:RW quality is dependent on a number of things but, for the most part, is quite good and if everything is working as it should, will give you few problems.I noticed that you said your first experience was last night. I was speaking in a private room with several people and the quality was horrible for a few hours. Mainly, it was individuals who have broadband connections and who usually have great voice quality. Last night, however, they were very choppy and broken for those few hours. I heard reports from other controllers on other RW servers complaining about similar troubles. At the same time, I and several others began losing our server connections as well. We concluded that the internet itself 'burped' and around 0200Z, things settled down and we had no further problems.As I said, RW quality depends on a number of things including the power of your system (obviously, its going to work better on a P4 2Ghz box with 512MB of RAM versus a P2-300 with 64MB), your sound card, your and everyone else's internet connection and the setup of RW, especially microphone settings. Make sure you are using Push-To-Talk (PTT) and NOT Voice Activated (VOX). The current SquawkBox and ProController environment does not allow VOX to work well and causes many problems.Other than that, I would suggest finding someone on a channel who has a good connection (i.e. they hear everyone else and everyone hears them fine) and do some testing. Play around with your mic sensitivity settings and its position in relation to your mouth until you find a good combination. Also make sure you set your PTT key to a neutral one (i.e. one that by itself has no functionality in Windows or Flight Simulator...a common one used by many is one of the CTRL keys). I would also suggest that you set the appropriate Internet Connection Speed (in other words, don't set it for ADSL if you use Dial-up) and allow RW to run at High CPU Priority. Your connection speed shouldn't make too much difference. RW works fine in broadband and 56K dial-up. If you still have problems and it only seems to be you, then it *might* be your connection to the internet. Call your phone company for line testing if you determine that's the problem but, in the vast majority of instances, this is not the case and is a last resort measure.Give it another chance. RW, for the most part, is a very good program that works well for most people. I'm sure you will get it working and enjoy it as much as the rest of us do.Best Wishes.George S. MarinakisVP Operations (VATSIM6/VATGOV2)VATSIM Board of Governors

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To add to what George is saying.. if you have a NAT router, set your RW speed to "Slow Modem", no matter how fast your connection... Anything else will very likely cause a routing gap, and some people on the channel won't be able to hear anyone else.Mike

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George,Thanks for the very helpful reply. We tried again last night and this time things were much better. EGLL-EGGP and although my aircraft developed a snag during the taxi, all the commands were crisp and understandable. I guess it was just a Murphy that my first attempt was during an Internet 'bad comms' periodCheersAndy/EGTR

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Good to hear Andy. I'm glad its working a bit better for you. I know you will find RW to be a great enhancement to your VATSIM flights.George

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Another question regarding using RW. Has anyone found a way to couple the talk button (F12 as default) to a button on the ch yoke? I tried assigning the "use item 1" in the assignments setting in MSFS2K2 to F12 and then couple that function to a button on the yoke, but it didn't work.Thanks for any suggestion!Krister

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If you use WideFS, it can be done. I have button 1 on the CH Yoke set as the PTT.James

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