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Day of mediocrity...

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I spent over $100 on flight sim stuff today. What I thought would be a banner day in flight sim land has turned out to be mediocre at best. First, the FSavionics Garmins don't work on my system at all (granted, they warn XP users that might happen but it's not like we're trying to run this on a Mac). To make matters worse, everytime I try to shut the Garmin down and restart it, as suggested, I get told I've timed out and have to register it. Well, I certainly paid for it (both Garmins actually) but I can only unlock the 430 I guess. It was a moronic system for Flightmax and it's moronic now. I can't evaluate it further because it just doesn't work. It thinks I'm in Kansas (the only good thing about my day is that I'm not really in Kansas ;-)) and the OBS and AP don't work either.Let's move on to the Seneca. Definitely promising. Seems to fly OK and the VC is good to excellent. The choice of subpanels though is bad for those of us with multiple monitors. Radios are stuck on the main panel, as are some of the other necessary gauges. The sound seemed great until I applied takeoff power and it started to sound like an RC plane - just like the Commander. Before someone starts in, my dad owned a Seneca while I was growing up so I think I know what they sound like. To their credit, though, the sounds are good at cruise power and you even get some of the out-of-synch noise if you don't adjust things properly. The worst part - someone thought we wouldn't notice the stock GPS gauge in the middle of the avionics panel. That's embarrasing! Thank goodness for the new Garmins - if I can ever get them to work.Where did I spend the remaining money? On CFS3, but honestly I just can't bring myself to install it because I'm afraid it will just cap off a perfectly mediocre day.David

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Be thankful you are not paying in Australian dollars:The garmin 530 alone is $70 and CF3 will be well over $100.Salaries in Australia are equivalent (if not less) to the USA for the same position so we are basically paying double in real terms.Ouch !!

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Greg,In all fairness, you will probably find others felt they got more for their money. I just seem to be having bad luck today.David

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I personally would rather wait for the Reality-XP version of Garmin 430/530. They seem to have developed superior graphics for FS avionics. Though I can't judge Seneca V since I don't have it but I suspect Meridian from Flight1 will be THE plane to have.Michael J.

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Oh well, David some days just suck. As far as the Meridian goes, the price is a bit steep, given the FSD Seneca is such a sweet plane for just 20 bucks. Great job FSD!! Tiny bit of a problem with a bit of the yoke remaining that blocks view of the VSI, Expanding the panel view, though makes quick work of that issue.

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>Oh well, David some days just suck. As far as the Meridian >goes, the price is a bit steep, .. like with everything else in life .. you get what you pay for ;-)Michael J.

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DavidName me any plane the you can purchase for 18.50 US with the quality of FSD's Seneca. Lets see not that one it was 35.00... Not that one its gonna be 35.00... No that one was crap, Gee I cant find any.Name me any company that releases a plane the quality of the T-38 and gives it away for free.Name me any company that sets the standard that all other developers try to emulate but never exceeds. How many Flight Management Systems have your purchased with a plane only to find they are missing a leg or a arm or worse yet crippled your system. How many gps displays that come with a plane works as advertised without crippling your framerates or worse yet crashing your system.I think it is a attractive innovative quality product enhanced even more by its price. Also you didnt buy a completely finished product like many other FSD Planes (the Commander as a example) it continues to be a work in progress. There are a few more surprised down the road for the SV that will do nothing but add value and excitement to it.By the way have you flown it a night yet. Its awesomeDennis

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>Oh well, David some days just suck. As far as the Meridian >goes, the price is a bit steep, given the FSD Seneca is such >a sweet plane for just 20 bucks. Great job FSD!! In all honesty................... I don't find the virtual cockpit of the new Seneca, up to the graphic levels of RealAir's SF260, Flight1's Cessna 421, or the Dreamfleet ArcherII and Cardinal.I'm kind of dissapointed. With the four aircraft I've mentioned, the VC's look almost as good as the 2D. This one doesn't IMO.L.Adamson

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>Greg, > Run the loadout utility that came with the Seneca and un >check the box "Yoke Visible by Default" then reload the >plane and it will be removed from the main panel and be out >of your way. >>http://www.ktone.org/images/FSD_ken.jpg Thanks Ken, My first flight with the Seneca was great. Touched down on the mains and just a bit of a squawk as the nose wheel touched. Can't imagine a more realistic landing. Great work. Please pass on my congrads to Steve, Tim and the guys.

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>>Oh well, David some days just suck. As far as the Meridian >>goes, the price is a bit steep, >>.. like with everything else in life .. you get what you pay >for ;-) >>Michael J. Yes, and so far I'm not sure that the Meridian will give me what I will "pay for". 65 bucks with the manual?? I don't know!

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>>Name me any company that sets the standard that all other >developers try to emulate but never exceeds. >FSD has set standards, PSS has set them also. Along with some raising of the "bar" by Dreamfleet (Archer/Cardinal) and Flight1 (C-421)which produces some very nice aircraft. At the moment----------- I give my highest rating to RealAir Simulations. The flight model is phenomenal, in that it models the flight envelope far beyond what's been done with MSFS to this point. The slips and spins are an example. The VC also has some of the best gauges and surrounding cockpit lines, that I've seen, in both graphics and clarity. I rate the Dreamfleet Archer and the RealAir SF260 highest in the VC graphics department.L.Adamson

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>65 bucks with the manual?? I don't 35 to be exact (if you want to compare apples with apples).Michael J.

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I gotta agree, the RealAir SF260 is gotta be the best so far. As far as setting the bar, it does.

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Improve your day...throw the CFS3 disk in the CD drive and install only the Directx 8.2 from it. It will improve your frame rates nicely in FS2002 based on my experience. You can decide later on the sim itself.The Seneca is a nice plane. You'll like it over time.Eric

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Howdy Larry,I thought the VC was looking pretty good. I use the VC most of the time, as I fly in Stero. On my 19" monitor I had to redo the eyelevel, as I was sitting a bit high for me. I have to keep in mind though that this is a pretty big panel, reduced it to a zoom level of 75 percent, changed the eyelevel to suit me, (1.65), and it works pretty well. With IR tracker it is very realistic in my opinion. All in all I am fairly well satisfied with it. The VC looks better than the Commander did. Doesn't it?

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Because I replied to your post above, I will have to say that on the subject of this post I will agree with you 103%

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Thank You. I too was disappointed in the VC. I did get a response but they all had FSD logos so I didnt take it too seriously.BobG

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>Thank You. I too was disappointed in the VC. I did get a >response but they all had FSD logos so I didnt take it too >seriously. >I had to run for cover at Flightsim.com after making such a suggestion! :)L.Adamson

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Totally agree, but watch out, the FSD Folk don't take kindly to criticism.Can't wait for the Meridian. Hopefully you will be able to turn it on the ground with out using left/right break as you have to do in the Seneca ;-)

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Hi David, I spent $75.00 in Canadian money for a sim that I consider inferior to CFS2. Don't open the box and get a refund...

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Well, instead of installing CFS3, I made an impulse buy and purchased Strike Fighter Project 1. It's actually a lot of fun but it's only half-baked. Many features simply don't work but rumor has it the author is still hard at work. I think it will be a winner...someday.So, then I broke down and installed CFS3 (despite many warning here against it!). I agree completely that CFS2 was a better product right off the shelf. It doesn't work well with my Ti4600, yet it sounds like lesser cards don't run it very well either. No mouse-view support, so forget TrackIR support anytime soon (for those of us who have evolved beyond the joystick hat ;-)). Even little things like toe brake support - none! They couldn't even use an interface that most of their longtime users could waltz right into. It's as though they started over completely from scratch. It's FlyII with guns, IMO.So, I paid over $100 this week to be a beta tester for these 4 products. Will they get better over time? Probably, if they actually listen to their "beta testers" instead of abusing them in the forums. But that's a whole 'nother story (and really only pertains to 1 or 2 companies). Actually, I do want to point out that the folks at fsavionics are working their tails off to get their Garmins working.David

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