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Questions about REX

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I was wondering if someone who has REX can tell me about the flight planner and weather engine in REX. Basically, just want to know good these are? Are the comprehensive enough that I don't need ASE or anyother flightplanner? Does the flight planner include DPs and STARS? Can it export to FSX flightplan format so I can use it in RC4? And any other valuable information you can share is appreciated, and I realize that for $40 the REX textures themselves are a great value, but to include weather and a flight planner is amazing. Thanks.

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The REX flight planner is probably not what you might think it is. To explain...First you install all the groovy textures and stuff that REX offers, which can take a while by the way, but can simply be done and then used in FS without ever actually firing up REX itself, so it's only slow that first time. After that it is not really that different from how you normally use FS, it just looks hugely better. It is massively customisable in the way it makes FS looks, so you are absolutely guaranteed to love what it can do looks-wise, because it can do so very much on that score, and you are right, that alone is well worth the price of entry. But...Having done that, you'll eventually fire up the main REX interface to have a look at what it can do in addition to adding nice textures, and when you do that, you will see that in addition to creating custom weather themes and stuff like that, you also have a flight planner of sorts. You click on the 'I want to follow a Flight Plan' button, which then takes you to another screen where you are asked if you want real world weather downloading or something else such as a saved weather theme or whatever. When it has downloaded the real world weather (if that is what you chose to do), it then displays a screen which lets you choose several parameters, these are:Your aircraft type (you can add new aircraft to that list by the way) Your departure airportYour destination airportYour alternate airportYour altitudeYour airspeedYour flight type (either IFR or VFR)You also have the option to load flight plans from several sources too incidentally, such as FS9/FSX, FSBuild etc (this is the important thing to note).When you've done all that, you hit okay and it calculates all the weather en-route and will let you view a nav log and install cloud sets for the route, show you a map and that kind of thing. What this tells you is that it is not really a Flight Planner in the sense that most Flight Planners are (i.e. picking route waypoints, fixes and nav aids, SIDs and STARs etc), but more like something that allows you to fine tune the weather along your route for a flight plan you have already created in a dedicated flight planning tool. So it is not really a substitute for a dedicated flight planner, but more like something which you could use to enhance the weather along a planned route by using the weather engine and cloud texture capabilities of REX.The weather engine in REX is not bad (note that it is a separate exe file from the main REX one, since it is in fact more like a radar weather gauge), it is actually a bit like having a satellite link gauge or stormscope that you can view a map on where it will display icing, hail, wind shear, turbulence etc, which is pretty cool, so it actually offers a lot more stuff than FS will by a long way. The trouble is, Active Sky Evolution does that too (and a lot more), and ASE does it better, with a really nice interface that is extremely comprehensive and very useful.What that all boils down to, is that many (including myself) use REX for the cloud textures and the other improved airport and lighting textures it offers (which are all bloody brilliant by the way). Then ASE for the actual weather generation and information about that weather. Then a dedicated flight planner rather than the strictly limited one that is part of REX.If you were only able to buy one thing, then I would certainly say that REX would be the wisest choice, since it is a massive amount of bang for your bucks, but in attempting to be a jack of all trades, inevitably it cannot be master of all of them. Having said that, it most definitely is the master of making Flight Simulator look a million times better both on the ground and in the sky, and that weather engine gauge is pretty cool.So, personally, I use the default FS planner to create an initial route, and then either tweak that up in EFB or FSBuild to add SIDS and STARs and to fine tune the odd waypoint, then export that flight plan from EFB and open it up in Radar Contact. I'll then use TOPCAT to suss out the weight and balance, fuel loading etc. Then I'll have Active Sky Evolution running to get the weather info along the route and the temps and pressures for the FMC. Then when the flight starts, I'll admire the lovely REX textures at the airport and in the sky, and I suspect that many people do something very similar to that.Of course just because that's what I do doesn't mean you have to, but I hope that the info helps.Al

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Ok, thanks for the detailed reply, it's mostly what I figured. I have my ATC, Aircraft, and Landclass squared away. On my wishlist yet, is GEX NA and Europe, REX, and finally ASE in that order, and then later down the road, maybe a flight planner.

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Once again,we simmers are indebted to you,Alan,for your immense depth of knowledge.I have got REX and have been baulking at installing it because I have heard so many contradicting tales about it that I thought best leave it out.Kind of 'better the devil.......'Now,thanks to you,I have the definitive low-down. I'll have to look into it again.

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Once again,we simmers are indebted to you,Alan,for your immense depth of knowledge.
I keep telling people I just make it all up, it's all lies. Why won't anyone believe me? :( Al

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I thought you HAD to run the weather engine with REX.I mean, you don't have to do it but if I don't the clouds don't look nearly as good. Once REX loads the weather everything looks so much better

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I was wondering if someone who has REX can tell me about the flight planner and weather engine in REX.
Hi Jeff,I'm quite fond of the weather engine in REX2 (I guess it's the same as REX) and it's what I've used for years. REX weather is plug and play, and it looks quite natural to me. I was not all that fond of the ActiveSky series, however I stopped upgrading after ASX so maybe missed the best one. One annoyance w/ AS series for me was that I would get layers of more cirrus clouds within cumulus clouds and the effect looked unnatural, with sort of striations 90 degrees apart from each other often enough to find it troublesome. It was maybe something I could have configured out of it but didn't try real hard. I can recommend REX2 with no reservations. The upgrade to HD caused problems for me after two installations, so I reverted back to REX2 prior to the most recent update I believe.Noel

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Hi Jeff,I'm quite fond of the weather engine in REX2 (I guess it's the same as REX) and it's what I've used for years. REX weather is plug and play, and it looks quite natural to me. I was not all that fond of the ActiveSky series, however I stopped upgrading after ASX so maybe missed the best one. One annoyance w/ AS series for me was that I would get layers of more cirrus clouds within cumulus clouds and the effect looked unnatural, with sort of striations 90 degrees apart from each other often enough to find it troublesome. It was maybe something I could have configured out of it but didn't try real hard. I can recommend REX2 with no reservations. The upgrade to HD caused problems for me after two installations, so I reverted back to REX2 prior to the most recent update I believe.Noel
Fair enough, I've always wondered what the deal with favoring cirrus clouds in weather engines is.Also, it is my understanding that REX for FSX is HD no matter what, are you speaking of Over Drive for REX?Thanks.

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I have been eyeing ASE over the last 6 months, and I have to ask:What does ASE do for me that the Rex2 weather engine does not? Do I get more realistic weather? Do I get more accurate weather for my specific location(KGPI). Does it do a better job of transitioning weather between changes?( you know, FL340 and all of a sudden your aircraft is in an over speed condition due to the abrupt weather changes). Why do I need to spend more money on another weather engine?

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Fair enough, I've always wondered what the deal with favoring cirrus clouds in weather engines is.Also, it is my understanding that REX for FSX is HD no matter what, are you speaking of Over Drive for REX?Thanks.
Oops, yes it was OverDrive that caused troubles for me. Mine is REX2 and includes HD cloud sets.

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I have been eyeing ASE over the last 6 months, and I have to ask:What does ASE do for me that the Rex2 weather engine does not? Do I get more realistic weather? Do I get more accurate weather for my specific location(KGPI). Does it do a better job of transitioning weather between changes?( you know, FL340 and all of a sudden your aircraft is in an over speed condition due to the abrupt weather changes). Why do I need to spend more money on another weather engine?
What you have to consider with FS add-ons is that there are certain experts in various fields: want the best airliner? Go to PMDG, want the best prop engine simulation? Go to A2A. Want the best cloud textures, REX is indeed what you want, but when it comes to wanting the best weather engine, it is HiFi Simulations that are the experts, and that shows in ASE. The Evolution part of ASE's name is not in the least bombastic, it genuinely highlights where their years of developing Active Sky have led to. Specifically, where ASE is concerned, it does wind smoothing better, it does vertical air mass movement better, it does flight planning better, the weather map is better, the briefing data is better, it can network user reports worldwide, it interpolates distanced METARs quadrantially to create better localised conditions worldwide. As if all that were not enough, it has a very useful 'X Gauge' for your aircraft and it works with both FSX and FS9. On top of all that, it has one of the best user interfaces of any application, let alone simply FS applications, being intuitive, clean and easy to understand in spite of all the complex things it can do, which are laid out in a fashion whereby you can dive into its abilities or let it handle everything for you in a uniquely flexible way.So in short, yes, it does those things better. This does not mean REX is no use, REX is great, but its greatness lies in the textures and not the weather engine. That's why I use REX and ASE, because they are both the best at what they specialise in.Al

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Thanks Alan! It sounds like I need to get up to speed own weather engines. I will go ahead and purchase ASE.

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I have to say this is why I did Ideal Flight. I wanted weather without setup. I wanted to press a button and have the lot prepared for me and know it would be interesting weather, and not get flung around by winds. Also to do the automatic press button thing, create a flight and launch, IF had to do that properly too, with the best automatic plans available. The plans had to include top of descent and a relible ETA, a briefing, and a debrief, needs to run with REX, ASE, MyTraffic, etc. etc. Now I fly many more hours than before, and with IF's complex winds working with any weather engine, not having IF running is obvious, the planes feel rather dead...Regards;Steve

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What you have to consider with FS add-ons is that there are certain experts in various fields: want the best airliner? Go to PMDG, want the best prop engine simulation? Go to A2A. Want the best cloud textures, REX is indeed what you want, but when it comes to wanting the best weather engine, it is HiFi Simulations that are the experts, and that shows in ASE. The Evolution part of ASE's name is not in the least bombastic, it genuinely highlights where their years of developing Active Sky have led to. Specifically, where ASE is concerned, it does wind smoothing better, it does vertical air mass movement better, it does flight planning better, the weather map is better, the briefing data is better, it can network user reports worldwide, it interpolates distanced METARs quadrantially to create better localised conditions worldwide. As if all that were not enough, it has a very useful 'X Gauge' for your aircraft and it works with both FSX and FS9. On top of all that, it has one of the best user interfaces of any application, let alone simply FS applications, being intuitive, clean and easy to understand in spite of all the complex things it can do, which are laid out in a fashion whereby you can dive into its abilities or let it handle everything for you in a uniquely flexible way.So in short, yes, it does those things better. This does not mean REX is no use, REX is great, but its greatness lies in the textures and not the weather engine. That's why I use REX and ASE, because they are both the best at what they specialise in.Al
So how do you use them together? Do I disable weather in REX? Are they both easy to use together?

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FSX will load the REX textures if you have installed them, and ASE will do the weather if you fire that up. Or, if you want REX to do the weather, you fire up the REX weather engine.Al

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