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Hey everyone,I just joined a virtual airline and I was wondering what I need to get or download to fly online. I went through the Vatsim site and signed up, but lots of it seems like chinese to me. So if someone could give me a hand in telling me what I need and a step by step instruction it would be greatly appriciated. Thanks to everyone in advance.Nick Rockbrune

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You will need ROGER WILCO and SQUAWK BOX. Here is part of a "how to" a good friend did for me to get started. Of course this was for PIC767 but you get the idea.1. Get a preliminary idea of the flight. Where do you want to flight from and to?2. LOAD FS, Go to destination airport and place it by the gate,3. Use the option: PIC, load a panel from flight, transit, or cold&dark, so your engines are off and possibly just APU running,4. Plan your flight. Write the flight plan data down. No need to play with SIDS and STARS now. We will do it later. Just the origin, waypoints, destination,5. If you feel like ready to go, go to www.vatsim.net and choose option 'file flight plan'. Enter all the data called for. Flight plan will be active in the system for an hour.6. Go back to FS and choose 'flights', 'multiplayer', 'connect'7. Window will pop up. Enter your player name (preferably your callsign you entered in the flight plan) and click 'host' in the lower right corner. Another window pops up called 'multiplayer host server'. Enter our session name (I use codes of my flight plan for that: KOAKKLAX for instance). Make sure you set max.pilots to 16 and max observers to 8. Press OK. It will connect to the session now.8. Choose 'modules', 'HostSB', 'run' (you need to have it installed into your modules folder. When you press 'run' grey window will pop up. Leave it where it is or minimize it, but do not close it. This will be your communication interface throughout the whole flight.9. Now find the 'squawbox main program' (depending on where you installed it you might have it on a desktop, or in the Programs, or wherever else) Just find it and start the application.10. Window will pop up named 'squawbox multiplayer-multiplayer connect'. Enter your player name (your callsign again) and make sure TCP/IP option is highlighted. Then press OK. Another window comes in. In the upper right hand corner click 'start search'. Very small window pops up. You should have 127.0.0.1 for IP host entered in the dialogue window, but if not then enter it exactly as shown. Press enter and it brings you to previous window with your session name highlighted (KOAKKLAX (1/24)). Click join and wait!11. Squawbox 2.3beta window activate with a nice picture of a tarmac and several planes there. Click on a button at the bottom saying: 'click here to get into action'12. Now, the previously grey box of HostSB in FS turns black and you can see welcome note there. 13. Right click on it and menu opens. Check 'Squawk standby' and go down to 'atc functions' and 'change callsign'. Change your callsign here to reflect your planned callsign.14. Now, down to 'option', 'multiplayer range' choose 40. Then further down in 'options' menu make sure you have checked the options of 'ignore joins/parts', 'communicate with roger wilco' and 'extract voice details from ATIS'.15. OK. You can minimize your HostSB window now, go full screen mode if you fly it that way. Do all the preflight checks, have PIC ready for engine start, including programming the FMC. Enter flight plan but wait with the dep/arr page and runways. You don't know what active runway going to be.16. Now, go back to HostSB, make sure you have 'squawk standby' ticked and press connect.17.Window pops up titled 'connect to PC/SB server. Fill up all informations there. Internet address/server should be there, you need to enter your VATSIM ID and password, as well as Roger Wilco server. I always put: '212.19.195.26' there and it works. Enter your callsign again and check the 'use Roger Wilco voice' option on the right hand side. Press OK18. Number of things happen now. You should see Roger Wilco small square window pop up and minimize to tray. In the black field of HostSB you see lines of blue text welcoming you to the session.19. You can see the weather has changed, as Squawbox gives you the real world weather of much better quality than FS default. Including winds aloft. 20. Now, we are ready. Right click black background of HostSB and choose ATC directory. You should see the number of active controllers in your area. Choose the one nearest you, or if you have more than one go with the most logical pattern. You want to be talking to ground first, then tower, then departure/arrival then center. In your area there is usually one 'Center' controller who deals with all this tasks. 21. Now - very important!!! When you know who to switch to DOUBLE CLICK ON THIS POSITION. Do not just highlight it and press OK. it will do nothing. You must double click on it. You can see that the lines of text appear. There should be local ATIS upon which you can conclude what is a departure runway. Enter it into your FMC. You can also see some yellow text indicating that the controller is on voice. 22. If a controller is on voice, then generally it is pretty straightforward. You talk to him (make sure you have set press to talk button and volume within Roger Wilco program) and he replies to you. Just like in the real world. You will know if he is on text by recognizing a '_V_' in the middle of his callsign.23. If he is text only, then use you little text window at the top to write a message to him. Remember everything you write in there goes to the system. If you want to send him a private message (so nobody else sees it, then before typing your message enter: ' .msg OAK_V_CTR then your message, where OAK_V_CTR is your controller you are connected to. Very simple. It is really fading away now and people mostly use voice nowadays.Best Wishes,Randy J. Smithcrvm@sbcglobal.net" A little learning is a dangerous thing"

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In addition to Randy's excellent tutorial I would like to add a few notes. First of all, HostSB doesn't come with squawkbox. Just search around for it and you will find it. It's definately a must have.Second, when I first started I found a controller and airspace that wasn't really busy. This allowed me to learn and get used to managing the system and workload and not worry to much about making mistakes. Basically, don't let an LAX event be your first time on VATSIM...not going to be pleasant.Lastly, if you don't have servinfo you need to get it. It allows you, among other things, to log onto a voice server without being on the network and just listen. You can also check out sights such as atcmonitor.com to get used to the phraseology and pace of live ATC. Hope this helps!Jeff

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