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robertschiele9

Comparing Active Sky Evolution to FSrealWX

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I'm hoping that someone here will have tried both Active Sky Evolution and FSrealWX and is therefore in a position to comment on the relative merits/disadvantages of both.

 

It has been pointed out in this forum that MS is apparently no longer updating its real weather servers, and this seems to be the case. I cannot really blame MS for this, much as I might like to, since both FS2004 and even FSX both reached end-of-life status some time ago and no doubt it was costing MS money to keep their own weather servers constantly updated with real weather. However, this situation produces a quandary for those of us using one sim or the other, who are far from ready to give them up.

 

I am currently using FSrealWX to fill that void; however, I've found that that program, good as it is, does have some limitations, and while the developer is apparently working on an entirely new version which may (or may not) deal satisfactorily with existing issues, there is no way to know how long it will be before the new version has been fully tested and made available to the public.

 

Just last night, therefore, I decided to take the plunge and purchase Active Sky Evolution (or ASE for short), which has received glowing recommendations in this and other forums, especially since the current purchase price is listed at 29.95 Euros, which seemed a sharp decrease in price based on what it appears the developers had been charging earlier. But as I began the checkout process, I found that that amount works out to almost $45.00 US, which for me, on a strictly limited income, seems a very high price to pay. I am not contending that ASE's developers are overcharging, merely that I have no way of knowing if their product is sufficiently "better" than the freeware FSrealWX software to justify (for me) paying the price being asked for its purchase.

 

The "issues" which I have experienced with FSrealWX are as follows:

1) Apparent inability, at least at times, to download real weather as scheduled, which resulted in my trying to land at KSLC with an upper-level crosswind of some 29 knots at nearly ninety degrees from my flightpath, while the METAR from KSLC stated that existing conditions there were that I should have had a slight crosswind no more than nine or ten degrees off my flightpath of no more than 5 or 6 knots. I found out only after I'd essentially crash-landed the Boeing 757-200 I'd been flying at KSLC, as when I exited FS9, I found a dialogue box open produced by FSrealWX which stated that it had been unable to connect before I'd exited FS9.

2) The unrecoverable CTDs which in my experience can sometimes occur when running FSrealWX if one attempts to move one's aircraft to another airport via the FS9 menu system, or if one attempts to load a different flightplan, or, once one is already airborne and at some distance from point of origin, even to reload the same, original flightplan with which one started.

3) This may not be an issue at all, but I am wondering how the two programs compare insofar as flights out of range of any ground-based wx reporting station are concerned. Specifically, what do the two respective programs do when one is, for example, flying from, say, EGLL to KJFK? Or from KLAX or KSFO to PHNL? The "global wx" as implemented in FSrealWX seems to be much like flying with the "Fair weather" theme included in FS9. ASE claims to be able to simulate hurricanes, but AFAIK that could easily only apply if the hurricane in question is near some ground wx station or stations.

 

Any thoughts/comparisons anyone feels in a position to share would be much appreciated. If necessary, I will shell out the money being charged for ASE although doing so will impose on me some degree of hardship, but I would like to be as certain as possible that it can/will address the above-described issues/concerns before doing so.

 

Thank you for having taken the time to read this somewhat lengthy post.

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One reason for the somewhat higher than expected price for weather programs is part of what you pay is used to defray the cost of the publishers weather server.

 

Also, before deciding, why not try the free evaluation program of Pilots FSGlobal Real Weather?

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One reason for the somewhat higher than expected price for weather programs is part of what you pay is used to defray the cost of the publishers weather server.

 

Also, before deciding, why not try the free evaluation program of Pilots FSGlobal Real Weather?

 

Never heard of that software. It's apparently more expensive than ASE, but it looks interesting. I may download the evaluation version and try it. Your point about publishers having to pay costs of weather server(s) is also well taken. Thanks for the reply.

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I used FSrealweather before I had ASE. FSRW is good freeware, but the most obvious difference between the two is availability of historical weather in ASE.

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Is that what you use, Appliance?

 

Hi Jon.

 

For many years I used AS 6.5 and was happy. I'm still happy.

 

BUT ... several months ago there were rumours  that Hi-Fi were about to 'pull-the-plug' on AS 6.5 so to speak. Now I didn't like that prospect particularly as I was not enamoured of spending hard earned on ASE for little more than a pretty face IMO.

 

When FSGlobal Real Weather arrived on the scene I downloaded the eval program, it worked after a fashion though the potential was evident, and in a leap of faith took the plunge. There is no doubt that complacency affects us all and Damian, nice guy that he is, is not immune. I like Bernd ... he is hungry for success, even porting to X-Plane. BTW a coupon enables a discount if you already own a competing program ... makes the purchase a little sweeter with the Euro at 70 rather than 80! LOL

 

Hopefully the next update will cure the pretty savage change in visibility that occurs between cloud layers and then, and only then, will I be able to unreservably recommend this product to members of this forum.

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Might wait a little longer and see how next update goes.

 

Wise decision Jon.

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Hi,

 

I'm very interested in FSGlobal Real Weather, thanks Appliance for your advice regarding the coming update.

 

When looking at Pilot's website, I found a modified weather station database, which is recommended to use together with FSGlobal Real Wheather: My question is: Will it be useful with other weather applications, too? I use FSRWLite.

 

EDIT: I have learned that other applications can override the updated station database, so to use it will probably not be useful. I will test the behaviour of FSRealWX...

 

Thanks and regards,

Harald

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I have learned that other applications can override the updated station database

 

Hi Harald.

 

Yes I can confirm at least AS 6.5 will overwrite that database in favour of its own ... pity.

 

Best

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Hi and good (middle-european summer-)evening

 

now I can report, that FSRWLite will not overwrite that database.

 

But...: FSGlobal Real Weather seems to have a database with less METAR stations in favour of his own (secret) database. When I loaded the weather via FSRWLite at TNCM with FS2004's own database all was fine. With the database provided for FSGlobal Real Weather, the next available weather station was TISX. Pity, too.

 

Regards -

Harald

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Hi and good (middle-european summer-)evening

 

now I can report, that FSRWLite will not overwrite that database.

 

But...: FSGlobal Real Weather seems to have a database with less METAR stations in favour of his own (secret) database. When I loaded the weather via FSRWLite at TNCM with FS2004's own database all was fine. With the database provided for FSGlobal Real Weather, the next available weather station was TISX. Pity, too.

 

Regards -

Harald

For what I understood when I interviewed Bernd, the difference with FSGRW is that it loads the weather into its own servers, applies its logic there, and then applies the "full picture" to your sim. This can take quite a while, due to the size of the data being manipulated.

 

If you don't see too many metars stations around doesn't necessarily mean it is interpolating. FSGRW will not change your weather picture as you fly from one metar to the next, as it has already been loaded as one massive input. The idea is, you are able to see the weather at a distance and fly to it or around it.

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Hi Will,

 

o.k., I understand that. FSGRW simply needs less METAR stations because it uses other sources.

 

I will definitely test FSGRW when its V. 1.7 Build 004 comes out. Seems to be the most advanced weather application available.

 

Thanks,

Harald

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Build 007 ( :P) has now been released.

 

It is a substantial build with many improvements/additions.

 

I have been VERY busy and have only one flight to experience the latest version but, says he cautiously, visibility smoothing in FS9 seems to have been achieved.

 

My only concern now relates to the harsh treatment of the horizon in CAVOK conditions. This might be less an FSGRW issue than (REX) texture. Will try and dig out Soft Horizon again.

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G'day Jon.

 

Yes there is a visibility slider. Mine is set on the recommended 250 Km  (!) I note the latest manual has omitted ANY reference to visibility settings ... an oversight perhaps. I shall experiment with the minimum setting of 80 km and get back to you.

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Just curious, if I install FSGRW's WX station file to test the program, will this screw up ASE when I use it?

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