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Hakkie

To anyone with Activesky having server timeouts

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Hi,I'm interested in communicating with owners of Activesky who have chronic problems with "failure to communicate with aloft server", "server timed out", ect. when using the Activesky program version 1.86 or earlier in online mode. I realize that there is a dedicated forum for Activesky here on AVSIM but I am looking more towards compiling a well established list of users of this software who are dissatisfied and fed up as I am with it's online server problems. Thank you.

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Eric,Once you have that list it will not fix your online server problems. Since at least May 30 you have not started a thread in the AS Forum stating such (yes, I did check). We have gone around and around about this topic and we have done the very best with what we have to work with, mainly public data servers. Every day hundreds of users successfully use Active Sky to enhance their FS experience.Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?JimActiveSky Support

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Jim,I'm not trying to 'attack' you or your company. I would like to simply compile a list of other users who are dissatisfied as I am with Activesky's online performance. Thanks.

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Hi Eric,prior to version 1.80, I too had a lot of problems connecting to those NOAA aloft servers, in online as well as offline mode. And yes, at that time, I do believe part of the problem might have been wxRe (based on the assumption, that if I can access NOAA/d'load fine manually, any program should also be able to access/d'load as well). With versions 1.8 and later, for me these problems have completely gone away, in online as well as offline mode, now that the NOAA servers have AFAIK also been consistently online.I realize the above info doesn't help you, but FWIW maybe this: before installing 1.8 I completely uninstalled/removed all prior updates and betas as well as the base version one by one. I also deleted all remaining files. Then reinstalled 1.0 and updated that directly to 1.8 and now 1.86. I'm running on WinXPpro, all SPs and hotfixes installed, with a DSL connection. Not sure whether and why it would help, but just in case you haven't done so already, you might want to try completely reinstalling wxRe to see if you can get the same results.Hope you get things set up alright as well and get any technical anomolies cleared with the folks at HifiSim in a constructive way, who IMO have been very responsive.Peter

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Hi,Try using Activesky this morning. Both myself here in Utah and another user in Georgia cannot access the winds aloft server through Activesky. It seems both he and I are using clean installs of version 1.86 and we both have DSL modems as well. I'm trying to illustrate that the developers of Activesky are fully aware of the chronic online winds aloft server inaccessibilities but are still deceptively marketing this program by attempting to convince we users the problems lies with our specific internet connections. So far I've received 3 separate emails from other Activesky users confirming the same issue across a spectrum of internet connections, computer platforms, operating systems and geographic locations. Thanks for your reply.

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I hate to say this as I do not own Active sky, but try this reload this uninstall this and relaod all the new patches along with the base version, Oh there is a new beta.Humm you are the only one with this problem.This sounds like what I went through when I PAID to be a beta tester (little did I know) for FSFlightmax and now after the money slowed up they are gone.Never again for me!When you guys have a product release it but not untill then.Never will I be the first on the block with any new FS addon.OK I feel better.This rant has nothing to do with Active Sky but it just set me off.I'm sure you have a great product but I'll stick with FSmeteo it's worked for 3 years.

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Fuuny that you'd have an opinion about a product you don't own or have never used. But having followed the FSFlightMax forums I'm quite familiar with your whinings about radar echoes/snow.

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Do I smell a class action lawsuit? :-lolAs much as you've been #### about ActiveSky for the past few months one would think you'd have found a better way to occupy your time by now.

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Hi Guys,You are so wrong! I was a beta tester for Wx Re and let us say I met seldom met a man who is so enormously committed to his work like Damian Clark. Most "beta versions" have been created because not all Metar stations were and are following the rules or were transmitting conflicting data and Damian had to find solutions for it. Have you read why version 1.86 was necessary ? I don't think you can blame Damian in any way for it. Of course, there were some troubles with some versions and Damian was very quick in solving the problems. Like I said some stations aren't following the coding rules or were transmitting conflicting codes, but when, where and which station is the question that can't be solved by Damian alone. Therefore you need the input of a lot of users in all parts of the world, and somebody to solve the implications. HIFI-Simulations is just doing that in a short time.I don't want to critisize other programs, I am only wondering : how iare othe "weather addons" dealing with changing codes ?In any case HIFI Simulations has developped a wonderful addon. I love it and I am looking forward to the versions for FS2004.hm

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Read my post and think about what I am saying Geeez.I am glad you remember me and my whinings with FSflightmax. I was just trying to get what I was TOLD I was buying.Lighten up man!

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Ummmm,It seems I'm hardly the only person experiencing these issues, that's the point. As soon as I obtain permission from the authors of the emails I'm getting I will post them publicly.

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Hi Eric,yes, sadly I too can confirm that the NOAA aloft server is indeed dead right now. So you're right, the current situation has nothing to do with installation or client/ISP connection problems. And also I now understand what you're getting at: the marketing and support side of the story.I believe the developers of ActiveSky are quite aware of the consequences of relying on public data servers. They have acknowledged that, although not with a headline, previously in some threads in their forum. Obviously my tolerance level as a user is higher than yours, but I wouldn't accuse them of "deceptive marketing" yet.All of the three major weather add-ons (Meteo, ActiveSky, and WeatherCenter) have to get real-world raw data somehow/somewhere. The NOAA server outages "only" pertain to winds aloft data. WeatherCenter offers real winds aloft only for the US, otherwise simulated (info taken from their website). FS Meteo and ActiveSky provide real int'l winds aloft, the difference being Meteo connects to a private server while ActiveSky connects to public servers. I think ActiveSky could switch to its simulation algorithms (as a backup) more gracefully when server connections fail, but I guess we just have to hang in there until version 2.x arrives, which was announced to connect to hopefully more stable private servers.Peter

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Hi Peter,My frustration stems from Activesky's developers being fully cognizant of the aloft server issue and yet still 'glossing over' this problem. "Don't worry, we'll fix the problem with the next release"No, they won't fix it with the next release nor any subsequent release of Activesky because today's outage is typical of the NOAA WMO winds aloft servers. The NOAA WMO server accessed by Activesky was simpy not designed with the bandwidth capability needed by a program such as Activesky; the server will never be reliable under such circumstances. I have serious questions whether it is even legal for a commercial program such as Activesky to access US Government servers after reading licensing agreements on the NOAA webpage for ROAB data. Activesky developers are aware of the ongoing server reliablity problem and have been aware of such for quite some time. This is what is irking me and so many other individuals. "We'll fix it soon", just is not cutting it anymore. We paid for a program and it doesn't work as advertised. It's time to band together as consumers and bring this issue into public scrutiny rather than confining the issue to the Activesky forum and continuing with the "the next update will resolve this issue" rethoric constantly being rehashed back to Activesky customers from the developers.This forum is a golden opportunity to champion consumer rights with commercial add-ons and I hope my efforts are regarded as being for the public good rather than one individual attempting a flame a product.Thank you for replying Peter, sorry I am so long-winded this morning!

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Hi Eric,yes, I fully understand what you mean. The reliance on this specific public server for winds aloft data is indeed the weakest point of ActiveSky, tarnishing a program that is otherwise really excellent. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any alternate public server available. (I scoured the web looking for one, as I'm sure wxRe developers have done as well, but either the servers are pay for access/no distribution or don't have world-wide data.)In the past (pre 1.8) I think there were two issues: unstable external/public server and wxRe specific d'load/timeout issues. The latter issue I believe is fixed with 1.8+, at least with my setup. The public server issue is another matter. I'm not quite so sure of the true reasons for its instability as you imply, possibly bandwidth, but possibly just as well tinkering by NOAA due to its "experimental/research status". As to the legality of accessing the server, I'm no lawyer, but I guess we all could be "weather researchers for flight simulation". But I do agree with you, public server stability is indeed unfixable for Hifi Sim. Of course wxRe could kick in its simulation routines more adaptly, but I guess that isn't what you're looking for.The only real remedy is, as announced for 2.x, to switch to a private client/server setup. Now that will get us a stable client/server connection, but HifiSim will still have to feed their server with raw data. Data they have to get/buy/license somewhere, passing down the costs to us users. If that is what's meant with the "Don't worry, we'll fix the problem with the next release" statement and current public server outages remain only intermittant, then it's still OK for me.You wrote: "We paid for a program and it doesn't work as advertised." Well, when I bought wxRe 1.0 it did do everything as advertised and remaining bugs were quickly eliminated. Int'l winds aloft were added free of charge at a later time. I guess one's viewpoint depends on when one bought the product initially. Possibly HifiSim could have stated on their website, that their product relies on data sources not under their control, but then again, show me a company that makes a point of advertising the weaknesses of their products...I believe any version 1.x of wxRe will remain just as reliable/useable as those public servers it's based on are. I expect version 2.x to be a new product in that it is based on new design decisions with new/more features and we're gonna have to pay for that. For that and for the near 100% useability/reliability. And I think that's reasonable. But what would you like Hifi Sim to do?Don't get me wrong, I'm all for consumer rights and I respect your efforts for the simming public. Public scrutiny and constructive discussion within any forum is fine, but I think we should keep it reasonable without busting a small company that IMO appears to sincerely do its best. Thank you for reading all of this - I guess it's the day for long-winded replies :-lolPeter

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Hi Eric/PeterI too am suffering from server problems frequently. I really like wxRE a lot and appreciate the efforts of Damian and Jim. I have stated before in the ActiveSky forum that the choice to rely on public data servers is not the best option. It's not only the poor reliability of the NOAA servers. It's also the frequent format changes of the info requiring another wxRE update. However, using public servers is a 'money friendly' option for us users.I too have searched the net for other sources. I even called our national weather service KNMI in The Netherlands. They provided many websites, but indeed none offering free global downloadable aviation weather info. :-( I guess we have to wait for the private server to arrive. Sure, this has to be fed with info. But it will act as a buffer to the clients. If the format changes, then 'only' the private server needs to be adjusted. No need to release another wxRE version then. I can only hope Damian picks the right source so he can focus on functionality instead of format changes.All in all I'm afraid I have to agree with both of you. I'm sure deep inside HiFiSim knows exactly what our 'feelings' are regarding this whole issue. I would say Damian has to make a decision now. Stay with the public NOAA server or go for a private server, even if we have to pay.It is clear to me: In order to use the full potential of wxRE the current public data source is not acceptable!

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