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Turbine777

VATSIM advice

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Hello once again gentlemen, I know many have asked VATSIM questions here in the PMDG forum, and many questions have been answered, and some people have just said go to their forums and ask. Well, I've spent the better part of the day looking through posts here as well as on Vatsim's forum and am going to ask here, regardless. Since the VATSIM community always says they want to see more people online with them, then this shouldn't be an issue.That said, I am posting this for several reasons, one of which is that I actually get PM'd about it now and then because some think I've done it and they also don't want the public ridicule. Me personally, I'm shallow and insensitive so don't mind so much :PMainly I'm just confused since I see a lot of PMDG users on here now and then with issues with some of the recommended programs and then see people say what they recommend for PMDG users and heads up on conflicting addons.I have been checking out their forum and am still awaiting a reminder email on my old log in, doh. I see their site has gotten a nice new look since the last time I visisted but one thing I liked on the old site was the main information page that was right in the open, not quite the case now from where I'm sitting. But again, I'm hoping people can maybe point to some good resources as well as any addon issues, weather tips, links, anything at all to help peops in my situation out a bit.I've been hoping for a while for someone like Rob Prest (or anyone) to make a tutorial for us but hey, that's just me :Big Grin:Thanks,

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I'm not gonna write a tutorial, as that would take way, way too much time, besides, im really lazy :( BUT, luckily somebody has already written really good documents about VATSIM. The most important document, or shall I say collection of documents is the Pilot Resource Center. This can be considered the vatsim "bible" and is essential reading. Its very comprehensive and reading through it and understanding everything will take days. There's also a quickstart guide available at http://www.vatsim.net/pilots/quickstart/. There are no conflicts with the pilot client and PMDG products, at least as far as I know. However, there IS a conflict between FSInn's (the most fully featured pilot client) weather module and FSX, the temperatures shoot through the skies when you climb, so its highly recommended that you use a third party weather addon that is capable of using VATSIM weather. Also the VATSIM forum is full of knowledgable people that is very willing to help someone out, so if there's something you dont understand after reading through the pilot resource center then post your questions there. Remember, VATSIM is a learning environment and you are not expected to know everything right of the bat, however, you are expected to have read the PRC and show and interest in learning stuff you dont understand. And you are expected to know the aircraft you are flying "in and out" so that you can comply with any instruction the ATC is giving you

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Wims has it right, and I would add only that flying online with VATSIM is not that difficult so long as you spend the time to get familair with the VATSIM basics via the links wims has provided, install FSINN and disable its own weather option (easy to do through the program's options menu), and, finally, get familiar with the basic concepts of ATC.Another thing that helps is to be prepared before the online flight with flightplan, necessary charts, and patience...have fun and relax.

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Dan -One of the things that I found most confusing about the Vatsim experience is the software interface. I use FSInn and have had no problems with it. Here is a link to the FSInn downloads and set up. There is a program called VatSpy which is a stand alone program that shows all of the controllers/pilots online. I'd check it out and then load up a 172 and just sit on the ramp at an active field. When you feel comfortable with the lingo and the process, go to flightware's pilot resources to get RW routes. I have found all of the controllers to be exceptional and extremely helpful. Cheers!Buddy Morgan

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I'd recommend Squawkbox as your vatsim client. I'm sure there will be those that disagree, but I think FSInn is fiddly and difficult to get functioning

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Dan -One of the things that I found most confusing about the Vatsim experience is the software interface. I use FSInn and have had no problems with it. Here is a link to the FSInn downloads and set up. There is a program called VatSpy which is a stand alone program that shows all of the controllers/pilots online. I'd check it out and then load up a 172 and just sit on the ramp at an active field. When you feel comfortable with the lingo and the process, go to flightware's pilot resources to get RW routes. I have found all of the controllers to be exceptional and extremely helpful. Cheers!Buddy Morgan
I would love to write a basic guide for any PMDG pilots thinking of diving into the world of online flying. For me it's like TrackIR, I couldn't imagine flying without it :( There is a wealth of information online written by people far more talented then me. Hopefully I will be taking a well earned break from the rat race with my girlfriend for six months in November so will have a lot more time on my hands to dedicate myself to helping others and learn a few new things myself.As stated above the best advice I received was to load up the default 172, park myself at a busy airport like Heathrow or Frankfurt and just listen to the action for a few day's.Initialy Squawk box was the most simple client to get on quickly without hassle but FSINN is now my prefered client.Regards

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The above 'sit and listen' advice is spot on. Follow that with circuit bashing ('pattern work' to our colonial friends) to get used to flying, navigating & talking at the same time and then stretch the wings a bit further. You won't crack it in a weekend but you will break the ice which is the biggest hurdle of them all. Less than 1% of controllers will be annoyed by people out for the first time who are clearly trying to get it right, the other 99% will help, encourage and be happy for you to be there! Everyone on Vatsim was a newbie once and most of them remember it :( By the way, once you've done it, you won't ever go back to offline flying. You will also lose your wife and your house, but you won't mind :( Addons:PMDGs or 'the other really good big twin' - no problems, in fact they make life easierWeather: Active Sky is the most commonPilot Clients: Squawkbox is the easiest to set up but FSInn is the better of the two for featuresVatspy or Servinfo to see who is online and where, dead simple to use and incredibly usefulFS Commander is also great for new people since you get a radar view of the other traffic and airspaceBiggest Tip: Tune and test your headset mic. Nothing hacks people off more than unintelligable sound!

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And icing on the cake would be if the PMDG NGX supports shared cockpit! Find yourself a good co-pilot to help with the check-lists, handle the ATC comms, hand-offs, nav radios, frequency changes, etc. while you manually fly the approach into a busy VATSIM "Fly-In" event.Then switch roles and do it again! Talk about "as real as it gets" :(

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Thanks for all the info gents, I as well as others I'm sure, really appreciate it. If I were a Vatsim flyer I would push it every chance I could to get others motivated to try it and share Rob's enthusiasm as well as some of yours.On that note Rob, the only reason I mentioned you was because when I think of Vatsim, I think of how many times you mentioned it. Definitely not a bad thing and is the same I would do to spread my enjoyment of it. You just seem like the best canidate since you obviously really enjoy it :wink:Sorry to cut this short, and honestly had little time to even read everything here so far since I'm heading out to shoot some stick.From what I see the only thing I think that people don't agree on is FSinn, but again, need to give this all some proper attention.Thanks again,

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FSInn was really easy to install and configure imo, it has an undeserved reputation of being difficult. I'd say if you have average computer skills then installing and configuring FSInn would be really straight forward

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The ones who struggle with FsInn tend to be the ones who don't follow the installation instructions & tuning tips. After I first used v.1 back in 2004 I never looked at SB again, almost 4,000 Vatsim hours ago!

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I never have looked into FSInn, heard about it of course, but after some more headaches with SB4, I think I will give FSInn a go on my next online flight.And in my experience, there was no learning curve to flying on VATSIM. If you have any clue on how to interact with ATC, as I am sure you do Dan, as any Aviation-phile will have certainly listened in on ATC at one point or another, you will jump right in with no problems. Just get used to flying with no coverage, which is always a bummer, because flying into O'Hare with no ATC is just not as fun as doing it with radar coverage. But you get really good at flying the whole IAPs, that is for sure.And some of the controllers lose control over their sector, not really their fault, as when coverage is weak, you have a guy acting like Center, App/Dep, Ground, Twr and Clr Delievery all at the same time. A few times I get cleared on a DP and the controller comes back to me and asks me what I am doing, and I have to remind him I was cleared for a certain departure. And when on Unicom, you always have to watch out for other aircraft, as a lot of them have a tendendcy to never declare where they are, what they are doing, or where they are going. Can make taking off and landing while in UNICOM very interesting and aggrevating.

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