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martinlest2

Alternatives to FS9's ATC?

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I did download a file year or so ago which changed the behaviour of FS9 ATC, so that they no longer cancel your flight plan if you don't do exactly as they instruct, and which has eliminated the dreaded word 'expedite' from the sim entirely! But having got used to the joys of that not-so-little tweak, I am dissatisfied again! The thing that irritates me most now is just how often I am switched from one radio frequency to another in flight (you all know how it is!) - sometimes more than twice within the space of a single minute. It can be just absurd.

 

I was waiting for Radar Contact 5, but after waiting years now (literally), I assume it will never happen. I don't want RC4 as I would miss the ground ATC, which I gather it doesn't have. Any other recommended alternatives these days? Something that won't be asking me to switch radio frequencies every couple of minutes, or worse. Preferably, something that one can try out before purchase too..

 

Thanks.

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I was waiting for Radar Contact 5, but after waiting years now (literally), I assume it will never happen. I don't want RC4 as I would miss the ground ATC, which I gather it doesn't have.

We're all still waiting for a decision on RC5. Not sure what you mean about no ground ATC with RC4. It can certainly recognise your aircraft and instruct you and Ai accordingly until you're switched to Tower and instructed to line up before take-off clearance. Have I misunderstood you?

 

In all other respects RC4 is a quality product that has stood the test of time. It has a few quirks but so do others but nothing that should stop you considering it.

 

And as you've posted this in the FS9 forum be aware that ProATC-X only runs with FSX.

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 The thing that irritates me most now is just how often I am switched from one radio frequency to another in flight (you all know how it is!) - sometimes more than twice within the space of a single minute. It can be just absurd.

 

 

Happens in REAL WORD, when flying in a busy Approach Airspace.

 

Been years since I used the built in FS  ATC  --  finding it far too "Dumbed down"  and unrealistic, but maybe they did not dumb it down quite that much,  if it is realistically simulating that many frequency changes.

 

Unfortunately, as I write this, it occurs to me what it might be doing . :rolleyes:

 

Rather than simulating the frequency changes between different Approach Controller's sectors,  (I don't think the Sim even has that sector info built into it), I bet it is switching you to your nearest  airport's "Sim-designated" approach freq  !!

 

If you want more realistic ATC,  try Vatsim, IVAO, FSMP  or Boston Virtual.

 

If you want the HIGHEST Realistic ATC, then the only current "non-real world" option is to fly in the West USA "SOCAL" area, and join the "PilotEdge" Multiplayer system.

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Well, my only experience of flying in the cockpit of large jets is my cockpit DVD collection! They aren't pestered there to anywhere near the extent FS9 keeps switching me around. But maybe you are right, this is more real than I realise, as it were. At least I can ignore it a while now without repercussions.

 

What is ProATC-X? In any case, if it's for FSX (which I also fly) I am not really interested, it's for FS9 I want a replacement. Maybe I should look again at RC4 and hope RC5 will emerge. I seem to recall there was no ground ATC, but maybe I got hold of the wrong end of the stick??

 

Oh yes, PFE. I did look at that, especially as I have FDC and use it for most commercial (jet) flights. I seem to recall the general opinion was that RC4 was better. RC5 was supposed to be a giant leap forward. If that came out I wouldn't hesitate..

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I used RC for many years, since before FS9 had its own atc. I was a beta tester and recorded one of the voice sets for version 3. While I appreciate the developers' commitment to "quality not calendar", as they put it, v5 is taking an absurdly long time to appear, and now it's not certain if it's even going to be finished or not. I decided to try PFE. After the expected learning curve and period of adjustment, I am very pleased with it and will not be going back to RC. Neither program is perfect, but I think PFE has the edge in features. If RC5 ever appears, I'll be eager to see what it does.

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Thanks for that. I think the RC developers have made a bit of a mistake in taking so long, though I suppose they have their reasons for not being able to produce the update.

 

I may well give up waiting and try PFE too but will look into it further before I 'splash out': I don't really need another flight planning programme as I have FSNavigator and PlanG. (PFE will be Ok alongside FSNav???). Is the 'meat' of PFE the ATC side or am I going to be using just a small fraction of its features? I don't really want another programme that I have to spend ages setting up before each flight either. If I just want the ATC features is there much to set up pre-flight or is it good to go?

 

I do like FDC, so that augers well I guess...

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Pls. check out the PFE manual, too (bottom of product page): http://www.aerosoft.com/cgi-local/us/iboshop.cgi?showd,6519595350,10544_1

PFE is all about ATC but the flightplan stuff in particular can be some subtle/proverbial PITA ...

Again, IMO RC provides the better user interface; I mentioned PFE rather for completeness than as a recommendation ...

 

The RC documentation can be found here: http://jdtllc.com/documentation.htm

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I was an FDC user also (long time ago), but the great support I got from Dave March was definitely a factor in giving PFE a try. If you want to keep it simple, you can have PFE set up and running in a couple of minutes. I don't use FSnavigator, but I believe PFE will work with any FS9 or FS2002 compatible flight plan. PFE has lots of options for configuring SIDs & STARs, waypoint altitudes, and other stuff, but you don't have to use them if you don't want to. For example, when flying a STAR you can indicate that you want approach to give you vectors to final, or you can fly your own approach at pilots' discretion. It's a nice touch.

 

You should be prepared for the fact that PFE does approach vectors differently than RC. You can set the distance of the final approach fix from the runway,and also the localizer intercept angle. I had to twiddle with those settings a bit before I found the ones that worked well. You should only have to do that once, though. Also, PFE is not aware of terrain elevation surrounding an airport like RC is, so if you're flying in mountainous areas you have to remember to specify a final approach altitude that will keep you clear of the granite.

 

Good luck. I don't think you'll be unhappy with either RC or PFE.

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This ATC issue has been around a long time i thought some developer would have developed a program for adding other voices with real life accents not 9 very mundane American accents,but that`s Microsoft for you! :angry:

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PFE has a variety of accents from around the world, especially if you buy the voice expansion pack. It will detect what part of the world you're flying in and use the appropriate voice sets, or you can customize assign voice sets to areas of your choice. I fly only in the US and Canada, but if an Air China pilot is in my airspace and talking to atc, it will be in a voice with a Chinese accent.

 

Speaking of real voices, I very highly recommend the liveatc.com site. It's free and allows you to listen to real time atc chatter from specific airports and control centers. Coverage is spotty, but it's incredibly cool to be hear real controllers giving taxi, approach, departure, etc. instructions for the airport you're at in FS. I bought an inexpensive little program also called LiveATC that acts as an interface between the LiveATC web site and whatever plane you're flying. It allows you to tune atc streams from the web site on your FS com radio. Usually what I'll do is have PFE atc on com 1 and liveatc on com 2. It's great ear training, and you get to hear some interesting and amusing real life exchanges.

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For example, when flying a STAR you can indicate that you want approach to give you vectors to final, or you can fly your own approach at pilots' discretion. It's a nice touch.

 

Which is also in RC4. First thirty nm for departure and last forty nm for arrival.

 

Does PFE still require running FS9 plans through a converter? Has it been updated to no longer being based on the FS2000 adventure format for the plans?

 

Just curious about the last questions.

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Yep: PFE development ended with v2.14. Still based on Pro Flight 2000.

 

I do like its regional voices and the 'firing' of clearances on final, though. Immersive and thrilling, but I prefer the user interface of RC.

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Hmmm . Swings and roundabouts it seems. I will look into both as soon as I get the time (and report back if and when I 'invest'). Thanks again for the input ...

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OK, I have just bought PFE from Amazon, the voice expansion from Aerosoft - and have also downloaded the "PFE Voice Set Enhancement Pack", as advised on the Oncourse page. I don't need any other updates I suppose (I have downloaded one called "pfe_accumulative_installer.zip" from a link on the PFE support forum pages?).

 

I imagine, being from the same developer, it's all going to fit seamlessly with FDC and the pilot voices/checklist callouts there? (The pilot voices I can hear on a demo video downloaded from YouTube, unlike FDC, sound very computer-generated - numbers in particular oddly 'spliced together', though the ATC voices are good, the few that I have heard).

 

I wonder what I will be doing for the next few weeks!?

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Yes, the voices are pretty disappointing, compared to FDC. Many seem very 'cut and paste', not at all realistic. Otherwise, a very good programme; I'll just have to learn which voices are best and avoid the worst. Anyone agree or disagree with this, or have any recommendations?

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I've always found this topic interesting as I still put up with the foibles of the default FS9 ATC, and as already mentioned the constant changing of frequencies etc., etc.  I must find an alternative, and am still betwixt and between Radar Contact and PFE, however one question, can these programs be run in full screen mode or only in windowed mode ?

Cheers , Echofox

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Not sure what you mean. They run in the background. FS can be run in either mode of course whilst PFE/RC4 do their stuff.

 

PFE is not perfect (much of the content comes from the FS2000 ProFlight Emulator), but the vast array of ATC accents as you fly across different air spaces is great! As is much else, but I have only been using it for 2 days, so am still rather a beginner of course. I chose PFE ultimately because I have FDC (from the same company) and know their support is second to none. RC may also have good support, but I gave up waiting for RC5. Had that been available, I'd probably have gone for it: now it appears it may never be issued (according to 'gossip'!).

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As soon as you have a flight loaded up and running (parked recommended but clock running and avionics on) you can press the Start button in RC and it will go to a minimized background level. There isn't much to change but once RC is running with a flight but you can bring up the panel with alt-tab and alt-tab out of it. Once started with flight and you wish to abort RC without using the in-flight Terminate Radar Services option, when you alt-tab to the RC window you will see the Start button has changed to the Quit button.

 

Be sure FS is set to continue running when you switch options.

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hi, please please please tell me where i can find this wonderful you speack of..........


I did download a file year or so ago which changed the behaviour of FS9 ATC, so that they no longer cancel your flight plan if you don't do exactly as they instruct

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I have checked and the source I used no longer has the file on their server. I searched for the file name on Google and nothing came up...  :-(

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Yes, but I already Googled it and no results come up at all, so it's not going to help you I'm afraid.

 

Send me a PM.... OK?

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