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Guest LarryJ_KMSO

Questions on Radar Contact

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Ah-hem!Sorry to distract you guys from the various political and economic debates going on here, but I'm looking into buying RC V3. Before I do, I have a few questions for anyone who might know.How is RC V3 on frame rates? Does it take up a lot of resources. I'm pretty limited. I have an 800 mhtz Celleron, 256 RAM, and 11 MB vid card. Think there will be problems?Does RCV3 provide real separation? It seems like from the manual that RCV3 just gives traffic warnings. Will I get new vectors and altitudes due to traffic? Does the AI traffic fly at correct altitudes? ie Will I get a Boeing coming at me at 32,000 ft? Seems like I heard that on approach, you won't get speed or altitude restrictions for traffic. Is this true?Thanks for your time,Persephone

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I am not your best choice to answer your question as I have as of yet received RCV3 but not installed it. However before I bought it I gathered some information that may be sufficent to answer your question.RCV3 is what it is. A very realistic ATC program that does NOT take into account the FS2002 AI. It "sees" the AI but does not "know" what it does next, nor can it control any of the AI aircraft. So other than traffic warnings you will not receive any RCV messages or action that correspond to what is actually going on in your airspace.Alex

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Thanks Alex.For everything RC does have, it still sounds like a major improvement over FS2k2. One more question for anyone that might know:Does RC use more than just one runway at airports? There is nothing more annoying than flying into Albuquerque sunport on rwy 8 with winds at 170 when there is a perfectly good visual approach to rwy 17.

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Hi there,You can request any runway you want with RC :-)All the best,John

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Hey Alex!You are semi right. Just to add to some of the comments, RCv3 does not have any impact on Frames, so from the graphical aspect of things, you're pretty good to go. You are right in saying that RCv3 does not control the AI but it does see it, recognize it, and vectors you around it in the air and in the ground, unlike the older version 2, which did not see anything. In addition, RCv3 does the following:

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Sorry Dennis, but"RCv3 does not control the AI but it does see it, recognize it, and vectors you around it in the air and in the ground"is misleading. RC3 "sees" AI aircraft in the air, and will issue traffic advisories, but it doesn't vector you around them, as it has no way of telling what the AI aircraft is about to do. When RC3 vectors you for traffic, it is for imaginary traffic, which is not related in any way to AI aircraft. Also, RC3 does not see AI aircraft on the ground at all - it's up to you to avoid those yourself.Other than tat your list of features is spot-on, and I highly recommend RC3.Hope that clarifies things.Ian

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I went ahead and ordered RCV3, even though it doesn't support radar separation from AI traffic. It still sounds like a big improvement over FS2k2 ATC.But, an ATC simulator that provided actual separation would be the ultimate program, no? That's the main function of ATC- to provide separation from other IFR aircraft (and/or VFR in Class B and C). The traffic advisories are okay, but that's not true separation. It's just the illusion thereof.Something for RCV4 or FS2004.Thanks for all the info guys.Persephone

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I'm a beta tester for RC, and let me assure you we would have loved to include vectoring around AI traffic, and even better to have the ability to control the AI traffic as well. Unfortunatly we need the ATC SDK from MS to be released so we know how. But the worst part is MS says they don't have any intention of releaseing it :-(If you have additional AI traffic installed like from Project AI for example, you often get boeings coming at you at FL320. RC will give you a traffic advisory for those, then if appropritate, give the boeing a traffic call about you.Subs

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RC3 will pick the most appropriate runway based on wind, I believe aircraft characteristics (maybe!), and approach type starting with precision if available and working downward. As you near the airport, the menu will display offering you to chose an IAP, and if so then pick from the whole collection of approaches for that destination it knows about.Before the flight begins, you can open up a controller dialog box for your flight that allows overide options for each stage -- departure, enroute, destination. Such decisions might a change of altitude from the plan, preferred TO and Landing runways, and a NOTAMS option for departure and approach that allows you to deviate from ATC instructions, that is ATC advises rather than directs. I use NOTAMS for shooting IAPs because in some cases the IAF altitude is not appropriate for terrain or according to the plates. RC is programmed for arrival to use a fixed amount above airport evaluation.I suggest you browse the RC forum here on AVSIM to get a feel for this nice add-on. I also suggest if you do not have one yet to investigate the freeware NAV 3.1 flight planning application. Recommended flight planning apps links are on their website. You also should look at their features comparison table to see what you gain and the forum here to look at users pros and cons.For myself, I like it to a great degree. Be prepared for a learning curve but not a super difficult one. You should be familiar with instrument flight and have some TERPs around, possibly invest in a collection of enroute charts, to make planning realistic although much of the enroute info is provided by various FP apps.RC-3 itself does not provide flight planning but loads the plans you have created.

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>That's the main function of >ATC- to provide separation from other IFR aircraft (and/or >VFR in Class B and C).Even FS2002's own atc can't maintain proper seperation of ai traffic. If the level of traffic is fairly low this is not a problem and the illusion of seperation is created. Use something like MyTraffic or PAI to create a more realistic amount of traffic, however, and you quickly get a loss of seperation and lots of go-arounds at the busier airports. It would seem that FS2002's ai capabilities are not sophisticated enough to maintain proper seperation. That's not surprising considering the amount of data crunching it would have to do...probably slow the program down to a crawl. Maybe if MS figures out how to implement proper ai seperation, programs like RC will be able to utilize that. Until then we'll have to keep our eyes open. :)I think you'll like RC. It's way better than the default atc for just about everything except VFR flying.Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]Horizon Flights--flight plans and scenery for FS2002http://sidneyschwartz.homestead.com/index.html

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I'll throw this into the mix. I have RC30 installed and this is based on my experienced. I am hoping for a patch that will fix these problems.RC30 has two major problems:1. The controller's speech (and pilot speech) is choppy. I've likened the effect to something like this. Nine, short pause, Five, short pause, etc instead of the rapid fire that is customary during real ATC coms. The AM radio noise that is continuous during a a real transmission is also interrupted by the short pauses lending a less than natural effect. The developers of RC30 will probably tell you to (1) buy a new audio board and/or (2) run RC30 at higher than normal priority. I've done all that and I'm still not satisifed with the way the contoller speech sounds. In this respect, RC30 is NOT as good as the default FS2002 ATC. FS2002 ATC sounds more realistic to me. And yes, my system is current: P4 2.4 GHz, 1 GB DDR XPPro etc. If you wander over the the RC30 support form, you can find a link to a .WAV file so you can listen to the RC30 audio yourself. (Unless it's been pulled down!) Compare this to the default FS2002 ATC and I think you'll see what I mean.2. When you are using RC30, it's as though you (and the contoller) are the only two on the frequency. You never hear tower give instructions to other aircraft on the field such as the oft repeated overused "xxx turn next taxi way". RC30 will tell you to "hold short" but you never hear directives to anyone else.RC30 supporters will tell you to turn up the pre-recorded chatter. For me, that doesn't help. The pre-recorded snippets are usually out of context and don't apply to aircraft in the area. These gratuitous comms are simply a distraction for me. I want RC30 to include directives to AI aircraft. Something which I understand is impossible until M$ issues FS2004 or a ATC SDK.RC30 has many other features, however. I give it good marks otherwise. I just think that for $44 we should have these problems fixed.Larry

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>2. When you are using RC30, it's as though you (and the >contoller) are the only two on the frequency. You never >hear tower give instructions to other aircraft on the field >such as the oft repeated overused "xxx turn next taxi way". > RC30 will tell you to "hold short" but you never hear >directives to anyone else. As has been explained to you a number of times now on the RC forum, it is not possible for RC or any other add-on program to control the ai traffic because MS has not released the information that would make this possible. What part of this don't you understand?>RC30 has many other features, however. I give it good marks >otherwise. I just think that for $44 we should have these >problems fixed. I suggest that anyone interested in buying RC visit the RC forum. Not only do the developers of RC make every effort to address any questions or problems that are brought to their attention, but quite a number of RC users give generously of their time and expertise to do the same. I challenge Larry or anyone else to find a company that provides better support for a measly $44.Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]Horizon Flights--flight plans and scenery for FS2002http://sidneyschwartz.homestead.com/index.html

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P.S.--You can listen to fsatc on com 2 while using com 1 to communicate with RC. This way you can hear the ai aircraft around you being instructed to hold short, taxi, takeoff, whatever, while using RC. The "problem" with this is that the controller voices for RC will be different that the fs atc controller voices.Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]Horizon Flights--flight plans and scenery for FS2002http://sidneyschwartz.homestead.com/index.html

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Sidney,JD does offer timely support and several others on the Radar Contact forum were responsive and helpful. But I standby my criticism of RC30 in the current iteration. My advice: Read my post concerning what I think are two "killer" limitations in RCv30. Then listen to the .WAV file. If you like what you hear and you don't mind being the only one on freq, buy the program. If not, wait for a patch or a future version. I'm hoping the program can be fixed, despite all the apparent difficulty that would entail. Maybe it will take some one like Pete Dowson to "mine" the FS2002 heap and find out where the AI aircraft "stuff" is kept and make it available to JD and all of us. Otherwise, we might be waiting a long time for a ATC SDK from MS!Just my opinion,Larry

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