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METAR Trough ACARS Function

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Hi to all,

 

Hi PMDG team, thank´s for the great products and support, is there any chance to implement the METAR function through the CDU ACARS page of the 737,747,and 777 with the upcoming Active Sky Next? I think it would be posible as you know other programs like TOPCAT, PFPX actually do it. 

 

It would  be a very awesome feature, as every flight during it we have to check the weather with a third programs loosing a Little of realism.

 

Hope to see this feature in next Service Pack.

 

Best Regards

Alberto

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Hi to all,

 

Hi PMDG team, thank´s for the great products and support, is there any chance to implement the METAR function through the CDU ACARS page of the 737,747,and 777 with the upcoming Active Sky Next? I think it would be posible as you know other programs like TOPCAT, PFPX actually do it. 

 

It would  be a very awesome feature, as every flight during it we have to check the weather with a third programs loosing a Little of realism.

 

Hope to see this feature in next Service Pack.

 

Best Regards

Alberto

I think this would be a great idea, we need someway to bring about a useful function to the ACARS system in the FMC. PFPX is able to present weather in METAR format I don't see why the FMC cant do the same.

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Because PFPX presents real weather in METAR format and ACARS would have to present FS data in METAR format. Probably not impossible, but not trivial either.

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Not that I have any connection to anyone, but over the past few months, I've been thinking of drafting up an ACARS/CPDLC design standard in hopes that it would become a sim-wide standard.  Like an SDK, designing such a standard would allow any developer to include the function and other developers could simply "tap into" it.  Of course, I'm sure many developers also have their own ideas as to how this should all be implemented, so who knows how that'll go.

 

Either way, currently, there's no central source to communicate with.  While it's true that the FAA systems include weather pulls from international locations, it's not all-encompassing, and even then, it still lacks the D-ATIS feature that so many would want.  That, of course, brings up the next issue of who creates the D-ATIS?  If you're on VATSIM/IVAO, it could be different from what the real world used based on the ever present "operational advantage."  Additionally, do you pull real world D-ATIS in all other cases, or should the computer somehow decide?  Where does it find the SOPs for each airport?  Who sets those up, and so on?

 

See why it's not implemented in FSX yet?  haha...

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There is actually one provider that has METAR data for most of the world.

 

Just checked, and, as much as I'd like to attribute awesomeness to hjemmelandet mitt, it didn't pass my quick test:

 

 

 

>>> ENZV (STAVANGER/SOLA RWY 18/36 11/29) <<<

METAR 121950Z 26017KT 9999 VCTS FEW015CB BKN053 08/03 Q1014 TEMPO
SHRAGS


>>> YSSY (SYDNEY / KINGSFORD SMITH) <<<

METAR NIL

>>> KJYO (LEESBURG EXECUTIVE) <<<

METAR NOT AVAILABLE

>>> KOKV (WINCHESTER RGNL) <<<

METAR NOT AVAILABLE

>>> FAOR (O R TAMBO INTERNATIONAL) <<<

METAR NOT AVAILABLE

>>> KIAD (WASHINGTON DULLES INTL) <<<

METAR 121852Z 32013G20KT 10SM SCT050 BKN110 04/M10 A3027


>>> END-OF-BULLETIN <<<�

 

FAA's AWC:

 

 

ENZV 121920Z 27016KT 9999 VCSH FEW015CB SCT028 BKN041 08/04 Q1014 TEMPO SHRAGS
YSSY 121930Z 28006KT 9999 FEW008 16/14 Q1013 RMK HZ FM1930 31008KT 8000 HZ FEW008 FM2000 29008KT CAVOK
KJYO 121935Z AUTO 35013G18KT 10SM CLR 03/M07 A3028 RMK AO2
KOKV 121935Z AUTO 33010G18KT 10SM CLR 03/M07 A3027 RMK AO2
FAOR 121900Z 31012KT CAVOK 20/09 Q1021 NOSIG
KIAD 121952Z 33014G22KT 10SM FEW055 OVC150 04/M12 A3028 RMK AO2 SLP254 T00391117

 

...and even the FAA AWC doesn't cut it for all of the aerodromes people will need data for.  Many operators contract commercial vendors who aggregate all of the data from the various international sources.

 

I'm not trying to say it's impossible.  It's just going to be very difficult for simmers to get the appropriate aggregate data to cover all the airports.  Even though many data providers will cover most of where the 777 and 747 fly, the problem will be addressing all of the airports the 737 and other smaller aircraft with datalink/ACARS can fly into.

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Kyle, how about NOAA?

 

Anyway I support your drafting of a standart... I have started working on a tie-in based on hoppie network, but it is shelved for the time being - would be glad to restart.

 

Anyway - the problem stays, how to work with users who do not use realweather (either historic or themed) - there is an internal "METAR" reporting function, but the reports are non-standart

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Kyle, how about NOAA?

 

The AWC is a NOAA subdivision, working in tandem with the FAA, so it's essentially the same.  Either way, the larger issue will be the D-ATIS feature, as it would need to default to something while offline, and then that feature would need to pull whatever data feed contains the D-ATIS on an online network.

 

I'll PM you my thoughts in response to your message in a few!

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*snip*

 

Haha, crap! I ran a test before I posted, where I ran around 10 fields around the world, and they all came up. Even tried some weird ones in New Zealand that I remembered of the top of my head, but clearly wasn't a good enough test. :) 

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Haha, crap! I ran a test before I posted, where I ran around 10 fields around the world, and they all came up. Even tried some weird ones in New Zealand that I remembered of the top of my head, but clearly wasn't a good enough test. :) 

 

haha - I intentionally chose some obscure local fields near where I live to test it out.  Good site, though.  I'd forgotten all about it since I haven't flown over in Norway in a while (other than to test out various add on scenery to see if I could actually see Preikestolen, distinctly).

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@scandinavian13

 

Concerning the general topic of PC ACARS you may be interested to look at Hoppie's version, which has been in regular use for over a decade, and has its own dedicated server. It is the standard for WorldFlight, and has its own client for MSFS. Some aspects of it may therefore perhaps be relevant, and save you some time?

 

Details here: http://www.hoppie.nl/acars/

 

Cheers,

 

Brian

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Some aspects of it may therefore perhaps be relevant, and save you some time?

 

It's definitely something I'm looking at as an example of a current, workable solution.  Noting its limitations is also something that will further expand the concept of what still needs to be developed and investigated.

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I think it would be great if PMDG would include the ability to tap into the Hoppie ACARS System. I know it's heavily used throughout worldflight and is starting to become more common for oceanic controlling as well. Having this integrated into the FMC of a 777 or 747 would be amazing :P

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Uhhh D-ATIS would be beautiful

 

Point to a free/cheap source and the talks may begin...

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Uhhh D-ATIS would be beautiful. Maybe one day!

I would love that. Better than calling up a phone number every time for the ATIS.

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The AWC is a NOAA subdivision, working in tandem with the FAA, so it's essentially the same.  Either way, the larger issue will be the D-ATIS feature, as it would need to default to something while offline, and then that feature would need to pull whatever data feed contains the D-ATIS on an online network.

 

I'll PM you my thoughts in response to your message in a few!

 

Which also brings up another question of what happens when someone is using historical weather from Active Sky?  An ACARS system would have to pull whatever Active Sky is displaying for an airport at that time, as pulling real world weather in that situation wouldn't be accurate.

 

For pulling METARs it seems you would have to have a list of servers, in priority, to check for METARs and if #1 server times out or it isn't able to find a METAR for that station than proceed to #2 (which could be a different server database) for an attempt.  I'm not a software developer so I don't even know if that is possible to automate that into FMC logic.  Heck, even manually being able to select what server database you want to use would work too.

 

It'd be a very cool feature, though.

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Which also brings up another question of what happens when someone is using historical weather from Active Sky?  An ACARS system would have to pull whatever Active Sky is displaying for an airport at that time, as pulling real world weather in that situation wouldn't be accurate.

 

Good point.  I guess add-on developers would have to find a way to store and query the old D-ATISes.  That's my best thought anyway.

 

...I'm still stuck on where to find the original, current D-ATISes, though. haha

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