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ActiveSky vs WeatherMaker vs FSMeteo...

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What's the difference. I was looking for smooth transitions in a weather program. I fly 1-2 hour IFR flights and WeatherMaker transitions were not exactly what I would call smooth - a few clouds, then suddenly really low vis. Plus, the wind direction would change on me at the last minute on final and I'd be sent to the reciprocal runway. Not complaining as there are features that I really like about WeatherMaker.For those of you using the new ActiveSky, how does it compare?Are transitions smooth?And ultimately, how does it stack up to FSMeteo?I want a really good program for weather with SMOOTH TRANSITIONS - and willing to pay, of course, if need be.Thanks a bunch,Adam:-)

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I believe FSMeteo is the only one out there to smooth the transitions between weather stations. Also I have Flightmax which FSMeteo talks too. I can't give up my Flightmax!Cas

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Nothing against freeware efforts, but FSMeteo really gets the job done well and will likely remain the benchmark for this kind of add-on. There is still much room for improvement, even in FSMeteo, with interpolating weather between stations. The added competition is good, of course - things can only get better because of it.J

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From what I heard (though I don't own FSMeteo) there is really no weather utility yet that would do weather transitions right. What apparently is currently happening that weather changes "around" you as a function of time rather than as a function of you flying into the new weather which is ahead of your current position. It is a subtle point but in fact the biggest weather change around an aircraft is not because of passage of time but because of change in position. There are still plenty of significant improvements like this waiting for their implementation. Michael J.

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In one word, FSMETEO. While the two other progrmas are the best freeware weather programs out there, you just can't beat FSMETEO IMHO. Well worth the money. :-)Ryan-Flightpro08 :-cool VATSIM Pilot/ControllerZLA ARTCC Controller 1 (C-1)SAN TRACON Lead [link:www.taxiwaysigns.com]Taxiwaysigns.com Scenery Designerhttp://members.cox.net/santracon/images/san_logo.jpg-----------------------------My "Home Made" System Specs:Intel Pentium 4 2.2GHz ProcessorTurbo Gamer ATX Mid-Tower with 420W Power SupplyEPoX 4G4A Motherboard with Intel 845G ChipsetVisiontek XTASY GeForce4 128MB Ti4600 (Det 29.42 WHQL Drivers)512MB PC2100 DDR RAM40GB Matrox 7200RPM Hard DriveWindows XP Home Edition SP1*No CPU or GPU Overclocking*3dMark2001SE Score: 11298

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jerrycwo4I'm just trying Active Sky now. It has given me a new look in clouds that I have never seen before. When you go throught a layer of Stratus and your in the 'spot plane view', you see you plane and the whole screen is 'whited out' just like you would paste the plane onto a black "WORD document. Also going throught a stratus layer, a bit of the cloud goes in between you and the plane.(like the plane is being obscured by some of the cloud). It's differant. I do not have FS Metro.jerry

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I bought FS METEO 5.2 like 2 weeks ago.....well worth the money!!No other one (right now) can reach the level that Fs Meteo offers = 1st place :-)Best Regards,Bruno Francescoli.Miami, FL.

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What Michael J. wrote seems to be right on the money--all of these weather programs are a function of time rather than position. I haven't tried Weathermaker or FSMeteo, but I have downloaded ActiveSky and have used it on every flight since downloading it. I'm quite pleased with it. I wish I had the available dollars to purchase many of these add-ons, but since I don't I can make do very well with freeware that does the job right. If it doesn't, it hits the recycle bin and I live without. Just my two-cents.Regards,HarryKey West, FL

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I have FSMeteo I think it works great, I really do, but now unfortunately I'm told I need to pay again for an update. I can't seem to get past this sick feeling I have knowing that there may be no end to it. I'm not sure for all it does that it's worth the cost in Canadian dollars. I don't know maybe I'm wrong(?), but for now I think I'll do my best to use and continue to support the new ActiveSky "freeware" program. Maybe with our support this program will fullfill all our expectations by the time FS2004's new clouds roll around.SteveCYYZ

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Active Sky all the way.. Damian Clark has done just an outstanding job for the Flight Sim community. I'm very happy with version 1.2, and it looks like Damian plans on adding even more goodies to this outstanding freeware program. The support we've seen from Damian is just outstanding.... Do you ever sleep Damian?Thank you Damian... :-wave

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Thanks for the many responses people!I have read very positive things about ActiveSky and fully intend to give it a try! :( Is there a date set for the release of the updated version of FSMeteo, or has it already been released?Thanks again, Adam

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Unless you need the extra features of FSMeteo 5.2, it isn't that much different than 5.1 - so hold onto your dollars until you have a compelling need to make the upgrade.I held off for some time, but the bottom line is: I use this software every single time I start my sim. It's an excellent product that works very very well and comes with first class support. That's such a rare find in software these days. I don't need the extra features, but for $15 it was difficult for me not to support Marc in this effort, especially since I had the birthday $ to spend.Cheers,J

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I have used FSMeteo and been very impressed. It is human nature to defend your purchasing decision, however I am going to buck the trend here. I am now supporting ActiveSky due in part to the fact that you only get limited update support now from Marc. However, I suspect that this will change and Marc will be forced to go back to ongoing support in return for the $$$$$. Such is the nature of competition, which is great (from a consumers point of view) to see.But most importantly and most influential in my decision is the very simple fact that if I am to continue using the payware product, FSMeteo, MSFS2002 ATC will give me incorrect vectors on finals whereas the freeware product interacts wonderfully with ATC.Combine this with the planned features of ActiveSky (yes he still has a way to go with this product and a few things to iron out), it will be quite simple to work out which product offers the best value.

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I think FSMeteo is very good and well worth the price.The support by Marc is fantastic and it is the only FS-addon-software I know of where I get regularly the updates by mail from Marc.Walter

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When I found out about FSMeteo needing recharge for update, I complained to Marc. This was his reply, judge for yourself ;-)--------------------------------------------- Original Message ----- From: "Marc Philibert"To: "Kyprianos Biris"Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 7:18 AMSubject: Re: FS_Meteo - Marc ?> Why i decide to charge this version.> The metar server #1 of previous version of FS_Meteo was a NOAA server.> Since fiew months they have major problems to update there weather > stations and> many stations was not updated anymore, some part of the world wasn't> there and new stations aren't there at all...> > So to keep the top quality service, FS_Meteo needed big changes!> You know FS_Meteo it's not only the program you run at home...> There is a lot of others program i create to support the FS_Meteo> client.> > FS_Meteo need mirror servers, switch, router, ups, backup system and a> new T1, do you know the cost to rent a T1? Now the new FS_Meteo V5.2 use> new systems to provide the top quality services.> All thoses system cost a lot of $ and i never thought that i need to buy> them when i start selling FS_Meteo.> > When i talk about quality...> > Today i was reading my email went the my pager bip...the FS_Meteo server> failed in less then 2 minutes (remotely) all FS_Meteo user was route to> a new server that was in standby, that's very fast no, that's top> quality!> > When i arrived on the site, it was the mother board of the FS_Meteo> server that burnout ...> > So if you said "well just thoses new fonctions in the new FS_Meteo and> he want us to pay for that"> Think of all new hardware the new FS_Meteo need to be the best system> software...> > I dont want that you buy it, but please understand my decision.> > Kind Regards,> Marc> Kyprianos Biris :-cool[link:avsim.com/greece/hvacc]Hellenic vACChttp://vatsim-eur.org/images/VATSIM-EURs.gif

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I have to agree with Marc. I bought FSmeteo over 2 1/2 years ago I think I was one for the first to get it. So after 2 1/2 years a $18.00investment is well worth it for me, if your not using FSflightmax or do not want to spend the $18.00 your FSmeteo still works.

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Mmmmm....I guess the last few posts summed things up, Payware = FSMeteo or Freeware = ActiveSky. Except that, well, thats about all there is!?!Being a "Scrouge" type I have (tks to FSUIPC) been able to continue to use Flight Director 99 (yes I know, I should never have PAID for FD99!!!) for generating the weather in FS, so I have never shelled out the

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FSMETEO the best money ever spent for a FS2002 Add on :-)awfEHAM

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I have only used ActiveSky, and FSMeteo, and I cannot really say that I have used a later release of FSMeteo since about 4.87 version, but I would prefer one of the freeware versions anytime. Even with less features & a bit less in the quality of transitions, I say free is the best way to go.I do have a biased opinion though, as FSMeteo updates ceased to be in my mailbox after 4.7x & I had to beg to get my updated versions. Eventually, I stopped emailing the writer of the program after I heard of every new update, & of course, never received anything further.The worst part of that is that I purchased FSMeteo when it first came out, and I never thought I'd need to keep the receipt, so it was lost in the move a few years after i purchased it.Anyways, I will never re-purchase FSMeteo, & have run out of patience with not receiving the product. I refuse to beg for it, after I paid by money, so I say freeware all the way!!

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Well I installed ActiveSky v1.2 last night and gave it a go. I did an IFR flight from CYQM (Moncton, NB) to CYUL (Dorval Montreal. PQ) in my DF734. All was fantastic until about 40 minutes into the flight and the winds aloft changed from 45 degree crosswind of 22kts to a direct headwind of 89 kts. Man you want to see that puppy go into hyper overspeed. :-eek In real life are winds that erratic? It's based on metar, so I guess it's gotta be right. Also the plane climbed about 500 ft in less than a second and ATC started barking at me. Tonight I'm gonna try it without winds aloft simulated. The transition from overcast to about 3/8 broken was instantaneous. After reading the many informative responses to my first query, it seems that time is the factor in determining weather and not a/c position. So it appears that it may not be possible to have smooth transitions. If my limited understanding is correct, your update is immediate from one reporting station to another.I read somewhere that FSMeteo 'interpolates' the data from two adjacent weather stations and makes an 'estimated' transition. Those that use FSMeteo, please tell me about how smooth the transitions are. Most of my flights are IFR at high speed so I will always be crossing at least a few different reporting stations.Thanks again for all the valuable help!Adam:-) P.S I love having different Alt settings and the cloud effects with ActiveSKy seem better than default FS.

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The transitions in FSMeteo are user-configurable. I can't remember exactly offhand, but I think I have it set to change winds at 1kt/sec, clouds such that it takes about 30-60 sec to go from overcast to clear (or vise versa), and barometric changes of 1" Hg/sec. Again, all these numbers can vary either through FSMeteo or FSUIPC.

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You can smooth-out transitions using the FSUIPC (for winds). But going from clear to overcast - this sort of transitions really sucks regardless what product you are using. You should be seeing the overcast in front of you and you should fly 'into it' rather than having the weather all of a sudden change around you. This is the biggest drawback in my opinion of the whole weather generation in FS2002. If someone could deliver this sort of realism - I would be willing to pay $$$ but until then - I use freeware.Michael J.

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Thanks guys!Ken G, how do you find this transition with the setting to 60 sec for cloud changes. Does it seem fairly realistic?And Michael, that's exactly what I'm looking for - your description of flying into clouds you see on the horizon!Adam:-)

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Hi all,I've never used FSMeteo so I can't tell anything about it. But this morning I made several tests with Active Sky v1.3, just downloaded from the author's site (link on Avsim's homepage).It looks great and is quite easy to use, but I have noticed a bug I'd like to share with you: when the visibility is very low, and/or when the cloud overcast is low too, the program doesn't seem to reproduce these weather conditions. For example, this morning in Zurich we had 2500 metres visibility (that is, less than the main runways' length), but the visibility in FS was way more than 20km...regardless of any FSUIPC "visibility" settings.Has anyone had the same experience?Many thanks,Nicola

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