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Where should I go from here in terms of add ons

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Hi all,


I'm still very new to fsx and I am making a real attempt to learn as much as possible. I have fsx gold (with acceleration). I spend almost all my time flying jets. My primary plane is the pmdg 737 ngx (and I intend to pick up the pmdg 777 when it comes out). For addons I have Rex plus with OD, flytampa Montral airport, aerosoft JFK airport, fs2crew, gsx (and aes for montreal) and UT2. I have also downloaded something like esmb to help with night lighting and an external frame rate controller.


I am considering at some point to pick up Opusfsx (also looking at active sky 2012) for the weather generation and run it using the rex textures. I do not have ezdok camera and was wondering if the opus cameras would remove any need for ezdok?


For flight planning I have been generating flight plans using flightsim commander (trial version) and then putting them into simroutes.com to generate a pmdg flight plan. I get to the destination airport ok, but I am having a heck of a time trying to setup my landings. I think the issue I am having is that when I select a STAR I am having a real problem getting the alt down in time to make the landing etc. Its been very frustrating and FSC is a bit difficult to use.


I saw a video on AivlaSoft EFB which looked really really useful. I was thinking of running it on my laptop and network it to my main computer as the taxi map looks awesome and I see it does have a flight planner utility in it. My flights would be IFR so I have been considering VOX for ATC. I considered pro-atc, but it seems like there is a general notion that while it has a lot of potential it is still developing and its not clear when it will be up to par. I would like to be able to submit my ifr flight plans to the atc and get guidance.


In summary, I am looking for addons that will enhance my flight and pre-flight experience and work well together. Eventually I would like to move into online flying through vatsim, but I still have a lot to learn. 

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You'll hear different opinions on EZDOK and AS 2012 vs Opus but I've tried all of them and I went back to EZDOK for cameras and AS for weather as I find the interface nice and simple and I couldn't get on with Opus's cameras. EZDOK takes a bit of setting up but once you hit the sweet spot it's great. Easiest thing to do is just import a bunch of camera presets (I think Angle of Attack did some good ones for the NGX) and delete any you don't need. You many also find Track IR enhanced your flying. I tend to use it mostly for taxiing, takeoff and landing but you can pretty much use it anytime. With EZDOK it works wonders.


Flight planning can be a pain if you don't keep it simple. I just use EFB now to generate me a plan using its built in interface with routefinder. You just pick a flight level (quick rule of thumb for the NGX is route distance = flight level up to max ceiling so 300 nm = FL300, 200 nm = FL200 etc, obviously the NGX will only go up to around FL390 so beyond 400nm route that's a high as you can go) and it plugs the whole route in for you. It'll give you the preferential runway for the wind (you can point it to look at your active sky weather, another good reason to go that route!) and show you the SIDs and STARs for your route plus you can see them and how they join up with your route on the screen. Really simple. You can export that route back to the NGX but I just enter it into FMC manually, as it only takes a couple of minutes using airways, add the SID and STAR and away you go.


If you're having problems getting down then you need to think ahead a bit more. In the real world you'll rarely fly the whole STAR, although doing so is probably easier while you're new to it all. In time you can vector yourself off the star to align yourself with the ILS as ATC do real life. Slow down, you should be under 250 knots by 10,000 feet and looking to be at 200-180 knots by 15 miles out and 160 knots up until 4 miles out on the ILS. Takes practice but you'll get there.


ATC wise Pro ATC isn't there yet and the developer has been poorly and gone slightly AWOL. Save your money for now. VOX ATC baffled me. Good luck with that one. Radar Contact is old and clunky but works. Pro Flight Emulator has a very steep learning curve and is a temperamental old nag but works well when it works and the variety of voices and accents are nice to have. It's by far the most 'effective' if you can live with its foibles.


An yes, one other tip for an easier life - make sure if you get EFB that it and your NGX are running the same Airac cycle. If the two don't match up you'll spend hours trying to figure out why the procedures in the plane don't match the ones on the moving map!

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