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Chuck_B

PFE Deluxe v2.5 vs. Radar Contact v4.3

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Another thread here finally got me to investigating Pro Flight Emulator Deluxe while I await the release of Radar Contact v5, and what I read makes PFE actually look pretty cool, especially if one goes for the optional extra voice pack. Anything I need to be aware of before I press the "Buy Now" button on this product? Anybody whose used PFE, or switched from RC4 to PFE and has any guidance for me it would be greatly appreciated.I've been using RC v4 for a long time and frankly I never fly without it. I'll definitely buy v5 when it comes out next year, but the voices are a little robotic, and I think there are only 10 or 12 of them, so it just gets a little weird sometimes (especially when a pilot answers himself from the tower). I thought PFE Deluxe might be a good alternative every other flight or so.I'm not a real world pilot nor do I fly VATSIM much any more so I'm not all that hung up on letter perfect procedures and SID/STARS but I do want to feel as though I have a competent controller on the line with me. Do you feel PFE provides that feeling?

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IMHO, PFE offers a great deal more and is better suited for international ops than RC. RC has a very loyal following, however I believe it is somewhat overrated. There will be many that disagree with this opinion, but having spent several years with ATC in the real world, I believe PFE is the superior product; especiallly for ATC ops beyond the US.

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Then it is "full blown" ATC, spoken in the English language? How's the learning curve? I picked up Radar Contact pretty quickly, and learned the tough stuff easily enough as I went along. It's tough to tell for sure because all of the available documentation refers back to PFE 2000 and I haven't been simming that long.I assume you can use PFE along with their other (IMO) extremely underrated product FDC Live Cockpit?

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Yes, it is full blown and once you've used it a few times it becomes second nature. The biggest plus is all the varied accents that are at times, very difficult to understand. Now that's real world!PFE integrates will most or all other add-ons without issue that I am aware of.

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Does PFED so any VFR ATC or is it all IFR ops? Does it give any taxi instruction or just generic instructions like RC4.3 does?For IFR arrivals does PFED start vectoring you when you're closer to the airport than RC does? One thing that sometimes bothers me about RC is that many times it will start vectoring me much further out than would happen in real life, so I don't get to fly much of my STAR. Realistic arrivals and approaches is one of the things I most look forward to in FS and when I get vectored on to final 35 miles out and they started vectoring me 120 miles out, it gets annoying some times.I like RC4.3 but if there is a better product out there I'll make the switch.

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I recently started using PFE with the expanded voice pack after using RC4 for the last few years, and so far I am very impressed.Here's a few points/opinions/observations regarding PFE vs RC4: - ATC phraseology is more appropriate for those of use who fly extensively outside of the US. - The many varied accents add a lot to the immersion, not only will you hear accents appropriate to the region you are flying in, but you will also hear accents appropriate to the airline. - PFE doesn't interact with AI aircraft like RC4 does, it instead monitors the AI activity around you and generates its own AI chatter. For example if KLM1234 is given takeoff clearance by the FS ATC PFE will also generate the relevant speech, albeit with a slight delay, so you may see KLM1234 thundering down the runway before you hear PFE's ATC give him clearance to takeoff :) - You can fly SIDs and STARs with PFE in much the same way as RC4. However, PFE allows you to assign a 5 character alpha-numeric name to the procedure for each runway at a given airport. You will then hear ATC actually tell you you are cleared for that specific procedure. - PFE has a very cool "Taxi Guidance System" which is basically an invisible gauge you can add to any of your panels. The ground controller will give you specific taxi instructions, and your co-pilot will actually direct you along the correct taxiways and tell you which way to turn. Very cool indeed. - Like RC4 the quality of the voices varies a lot. Some sound robotic, some sound much more natural. What you do get in PFE is many more voices (especially with the expansion pack). - The expansion pack adds lots of new callsigns, giving you a wider range than RC4, but bear in mind the NEW callsigns are only available with the voices from the expansion pack. - The process of actually generating your flight is simpler and easier in RC4, you simply create your flightplan, open it in RC4 and then connect to FS. In PFE you must create the flightplan, then convert it for use in PFE, and then process it with ProFlight 2000, and then finally open the created ADV file with PFE and connect it to FS.As someone who likes to fly IFR in airliners I am VERY impressed with PFE. I hope the developers continue to add new features. I am also looking forward to RC5 which I will almost certainly purchase as realistic ATC is a hugely important feature for me that I think has been neglected for too long and I want to support the developers who bring us better ATC.

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Thank you all. I have purchased PFE AND the expansion pack. I'm getting very excited about this program.Unfortunately, Comcast is in the midst of an artificial bandwidth bottleneck, slowing my download speeds to less than 70 kb per second so I won't be able to use PFE today. Comcast has been doing this for over a week now.On Tuesday morning I will be calling both Verizon and the FCC.Thanks again for your help.

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>Thank you all. I have purchased PFE AND the expansion pack. >I'm getting very excited about this program.>>Unfortunately, Comcast is in the midst of an artificial>bandwidth bottleneck, slowing my download speeds to less than>70 kb per second so I won't be able to use PFE today. Comcast>has been doing this for over a week now.>>On Tuesday morning I will be calling both Verizon and the>FCC.>>Thanks again for your help.Chuck, is this Comcast's DSL? Just curious because I'm downloading a 1.4GB program right now. I'm fluctuating between 850KB and 1MB/sec. I'd be pretty PO'd with 70KB/sec too. I read some time ago that some providers were talking about doing this and that the NY/NJ area may be a testbed. I hope you'll keep us up to date on what happens going forward.Best Regards,Jeff

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Yes, Comcast C-A-B-L-E internet. I just upgraded to their "BURST" service last week. 90 bucks a month -- for dial up speeds. I am EXTREMEMLY ###### -- I've got screen shots galore and I'm definitely filing a complaint.More to come, but I'll probably have to post the topic in the Hangar Chat forum.

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I'll keep a lookout there then. Thanks for the heads up Chuck. For your reference, in Denver, my Comcast DSL costs me $45/mo for the speeds I previously mentioned. I downloaded that 1.4GB file in less than 28 minutesGo get 'em kid!Regards,Jeff

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Chuck, looking forward to your experience with PFE.Your thread caught my eye the other day as I too have problems with RC4 in Europe. Menno

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> - PFE doesn't interact with AI aircraft like RC4 does, it>instead monitors the AI activity around you and generates its>own AI chatter. For example if KLM1234 is given takeoff>clearance by the FS ATC PFE will also generate the relevant>speech, albeit with a slight delay, That is also exactly what RC4 does! ;-)Iain Smith

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I got PFE, too and I prefer Radar Contact. I just like it better!Dick Rea

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Yes, you can file VFR flight plans in PFE and have the applicable communication with ATC.It does also give taxi instructions. For Gate to departure runway instruction it is a life saver and worth the price for this alone in my book. I confess I still don't have a complete handle on Landing to parking, but the problem is me, not the program as it guides me sometimes, and doesn't at others (after landing only). Parking space designations are the problem I think and I just don't fully understand the fomat yet. Some of the time it simply tells me to taxi to the gate. At others it guides me all the way to a parking spot. In taxing for takeoff, it guides me all the way 100% of the time (Thank Goodness).The only other problem I have had is that occasionally, communication between AI Traffic and ATC will be repeated more than once, but that is certainly no biggie. Communication between my aircraft and ATC is flawless. Dave is aware of this and is working on a solution. I have used PF2000 back to FS2000 and FS2002 days. I was thrilled to death when Dave originated PFE and gave it new birth for FS2004 and FSX. On top of that, Dave March has improved the program significantly and gives terrific and immediate support help for any questions. I virtually use it for all of my flights. It continues to be a work in progress with periodic revisions by Dave with another improvement or added function.I highly recommend it. It is right at the top of my list of favorite addons.Respectfully:RTH

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I have used PF2000 since it came out, and now use it for both FS9 and FSX thanks to the PFE provisions. I love it and would highly recommend it. However, I have never had Radar Contact so cannot give a credible opinion on comparison.One ignorant question concerning Radar Contact that I have never been clear on:Does Radar Contact provide voice recognition, or is it only by keyboard command? Without voice, there would be no contest between the two programs IMHO.Thanks:RTH

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Hi,I also use RCv4 rather than PFE, well, I haven't installed the new PFE upgrades yet.But what voids me to use PFE often is the way you have to start up a flight (especially with this old PROFlight2000) and that you have to assign all your step climbs before you start flying. PFE does not - please correct me if I am wrong - give you climbing steps and descent altitutes on its own. This is what I like much more with RCv4, it can act according to RVSM rules, if you check it before your flight.The flight planning in PFE is annoying because it alters the waypoints in PROFlight2000 you have built with a flight planner before. Don't know if this is still the case, I must wait till I have my new system here and can install it, then of course with the new PFE upgrade and will give it a try again. Still wait for a raplacement of this PROFlight2000 Program.The many voices and accents are interesting in PFE but if you like it more realistic, I would prefer RCv4.Advise: you can try to listen to Liveatc.net while flying with RCv4, it is not monitoring your traffic of course, but it sounds more real.regards,Axel.

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>Does Radar Contact provide voice recognition, or is it only by>keyboard command? Without voice, there would be no contest>between the two programs IMHO.For voice recognition, I use Flight Assistant (available here in the Avsim library) with RC4. It works super well!One thing to remember about PFE is that you cannot save flights and then reload them later. RC4 recognizes whenever you save your FS flight (even if through the Autosave.dll addon) and then creates a save file for itself so you can continue the flight. Something to think about if you have occasional FS crashes like I do.

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Axel,PFE now offers a very quick way to change any of your waypoint altitudes if you wish without the need to use ProFlight.PFE has also been providing step climbs/descents for a long time... we're currently on version 2.5 with 2.6 about to be released and the feature set is growing weekly ;-)The only time waypoints are dropped from your flight plan is if they are (a) too close together (less than 10 miles) or (:( too close to your departure/destination airports (10 and 15 miles respectively). All of which are configurable by the way.CheersDave March


http://www.oncourse-software.co.uk/forum_i...fdc_pfe_dev.jpgEmail:dmarch@oncourse-software.co.ukWebsite:http://www.oncourse-software.co.uk

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As I said previously to either your post, or another persons, I respectfully do not share your opinion relative to "what voids me to use PFE", nor "wait for a replacement of this PROFlight2000 Program". I find that it takes a very brief time once you get in the habit of useing it, particularly with shortcuts in your toolbar or onyour desktop. However, I do respect your opinion regardless of what my own may be.Forgive me, but I am not clear as to exactly what you are saying relative to "you can try to listen to Liveatc.net". Do you have voice recognition communication between yourself and ATC with this program coupled with Radar Contact? By that I mean both ways. Does ATC respond to your voice as well as you responding to ATC's audio? Do you have two way voice communication?Thanks for your input.RTH

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Dave, you make me wonder what else I am overlooking in PFE. I have been still changing my waypoint altitudes in PF2000 and did not realize there was an upgraded feature for this purpose in PFE. I sure will look for that feature. Guess I need to read the manual again.Thanks for the good work. Keep it up, I love the program.Respectfully:RTH

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Thanks for the information relative to "Flight Assistant". I assume this means two way voice communication.I may not understand exactly what you mean by, "One thing to remember about PFE is that you cannot save flights and then reload them later." Do you mean "flights" or "flight plans"? Flight plans are saved in the Program files>PfE>FS2000>PF2000>FlightPlans" folder. The PF2000 plan is saved in the Program Files>Pfe>FS2000>Pilots folder. To reload, all one has to do is "Select New ADV" and pick your flight in the Oncourse Software provisons to reload the desired saved flight. I see no difference in restarting an "autosave.dll" flight from any other format. Edit: Let me re-word that. I would confuse me too. Re-starting a flight plan saved by autosave after a boo boo seems to be the same to me whether flying with PFE or without PFE. I assume that what you are saying is that PFE will not pick up where you left off before the computer crash although I have not tested that (thankfully). If RC does, I agree that may very well be a plus. If I remember correctly, there are a number of other items that negate much pleasure in such conditions as well (FMC recovery to the place where we left off). Forgive my ignorance.RTH

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Two things that PFE doesn't seem to have that deter me from using it is the save flight feature where you can pick up a flight from an autosave point, and (this next one is the REAL deterrent) the "proceed direct to waypoint" feature. I know you can "Warp To" another waypoint but on ong hauls Radar Contacts ability to skip 5 in a row is a big plus.

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>Thanks for the information relative to "Flight Assistant". I>assume this means two way voice communication.>>I may not understand exactly what you mean by, "One thing to>remember about PFE is that you cannot save flights and then>reload them later." Do you mean "flights" or "flight plans"?>RTHI use Flight Assistant for two-way communication with RC4. Meaning I can answer virtually every reply to RC4 with my microphone instead of the keyboard.With regards to PFE, I mean you can't save a flight in mid-flight and go back to it with PFE picking up where you left off. You can re-load the saved flight and continue on, but PFE won't continue on with the flight as per normal. It's like Trelane just wrote in his most recent post. RC4 has that ability. Unless I'm wrong on this last point...

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With respect to the step-climb, it would be helpful to be able to request a specific alitude/FL on a tactical basis. The way I know to do this is to "request higher due to clouds", or "request higher due to turbulence"; both of which, is usually not really the case. Is there a better way to accomplish this? David, did you say this issue is going to see an improvement?

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