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voodoo101

ATC Comparisons

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I have seen various threads over AVSIM asking for advice on ATC add-ons, so I thought I would make a comparison between the top three. The forth one has very bad reviews, is said to be unfinished and had rumours of bad support, so I cannot in good conscious recommend it.

 

Please note that although I have my favourite, I will not share that here as it is peoples own choice which one they prefer.

 

Radar Contact

Voices: Recorded voices, approximately 20. Re-recorded voices available on AVSIM.

Control type: Button controlled with menu's.

Uses SIDS/STARS: Vectors only. No altitude restrictions. No Navdata

Set up type: Flight plan loaded in Radar Contact program.

Networked: Yes by use of FSUIPC WideFS.

Taxi to runway instructions: No

Taxi to gate instructions: No

AI traffic control: No

Co-Pilot: Yes

Still be updated: No

Support: Forum on AVSIM.

 

Pro Flight Emulator

Voices: Recorded voices, a lot with different regional accents.

Control type: Button controlled with menu's

Uses SIDS/STARS: Yes. You can enter the SID or STAR name on setup. No altitude restrictions. No Navdata.

Set up type: Flight plan loaded in in PFE, then converted into mission and reloaded into PFE.

Networked: Yes by use of FSUIPC WideFS.

Taxi to runway instructions: Yes

Taxi to gate instructions: Yes

AI traffic control: No

Co-Pilot: Yes or can set to just set radios.

Still being updated: Yes

Support: Forum on developers website.

 

VoxATC

Voices: TTS voices. 5 Free voices are available. Better voices can be purchased.

Control type: Voice with text prompt to tell you what to say.

Uses SIDS/STARS: Can use vectors or SIDS/STARS with restrictions. Navdata provided by Navagraph Level D (available separately)

Set up type: Load flight plan in FSX.

Networked: No

Taxi to runway instructions: Yes

Taxi to gate instructions: Yes

AI traffic control: Yes

Co-Pilot: Yes

Still being updated: Yes

Support: Forum on AVSIM

 

Hope this helps

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Not a full add-on ATC product as such, but probably worth mentioning Multi Crew Experience, which allows you to talk direct to FSX default ATC or Radar Contact. 

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Level D (available separately)

Good write up Craig. Just so there is no confusion, the LD 767 is not required, only a dummy lvld767 folder to install navdata.

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DickB - Totally agree, MCE is an excellent program and excellent support from the developer. It does give voice control to ATC, including the default ATC. It also gives voice control of GSX and AES, however I would put MCE to be more compared to FS2Crew.

 

Badfinger - You are correct. It is only the Navdata that is needed, not the whole Level D 767, I should have made that clearer. Of course it does work without the navdata, although will not have the SID/STAR data and restrictions.

 

Thank you both for your comments.

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Title should say "My ATC comparisions" since it is incomplete, even if you personally do not like the other one let the reader decide.

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Not a full add-on ATC product as such, but probably worth mentioning Multi Crew Experience, which allows you to talk direct to FSX default ATC or Radar Contact.

 

And PFE.

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Uses SIDS/STARS: Vectors only. No altitude restrictions. No Navdata

 

For Radar Contact this is inaccurate! It essentially is the same as PFE, You must set it up in the program, then you can request direct to final.

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Pilot2ATC is a newbie in the mix now, constantly being updated.

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In answer to some comments;

 

StubbinMyToe - This should not be called "My ATC Comparisons" as I have not reviewed the ATC's, only given details of them. I explained why I have not given details of the other ATC, basically I cannot give full details of it until it is in a state where it is completed and working. I have also told people not to buy it, or mentioned my own problems with ProATCX in the forum for that exact same reason. I merely said that I cannot recommend it in good conscious. If you wish to give people details of ProATCX, then by all means do. I do not see it as a finished product, more as a general beta. Once it is finished, if I buy it then I can give a honest opnion.

 

tf51d - Yes, you can build your flightplan to include the SID or STAR and RC will let you fly it. It does not know that it is a SID or STAR just that it is points on the route. PFE is different in that you set the point on the flight plan where the SID ends and the STAR starts. You then tell it the SID name and STAR name and when you contact ATC they will tell you to fly them and only give you further instructions once you have completed them.

 

ohsirus - Thank you. I have not seen this and I will have a look, although I shall keep the excitement of an all new ATC at bay, as I thought ProATCX was going to be all ATC's in one and .... well I'll say no more as not to upset people.

 

As I said in my original post, people want different things out of an add-on the same was as people fly different aircraft. This was just to save people keep having to post the same questions as to what ATC does what.

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@Voodoo101:

Thanks for your comparison, this is really good. The only thing is: couldn't you have posted it two weeks earlier?  :wink:  Then I probably wouldn't have bought RC4. It does deliver what it promises, it is just more basic than VoxATC. I only got RC4 because I was interested in the combination with MCE.

 

As for the missing one (ProATC), I agree that it cannot be recommended at this time, my personal experience with it was bad. It should maybe be mentioned that the current version (released in May 2013) does not deliver on some features that are described on its web page and that there is no demo version available.

 

@Ohsirius: thanks for sharing this, most interesting, especially as they offer a demo.

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qqwertzde - Sorry it was not earlier, I only did as people seemed to asking the same post in various places. RC4 is a great piece of software, there was a few things that did not suit me personally. PFE can also be used with MCE to contact ATC via voice. The option with VoxATC is to pick a voice for the co-pilot and then use the same voice for the co-pilot in MCE. You can then turn off ATC control in MCE and use the co-pilot feature in Vox by press 'K'. You will have the same co-pilot voice both helping you out and contacting ATC.

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I might buy Pro-ATC/X just so that I can review it, plus it supports SID/STARs!  I can't buy RC4 though because it is no longer developed and I would like to see full SID/STAR support,  I would rather throw cash at someone who is still working on their code.

 

@qqwertzde - There is no demo version of RC4 or PFE either.  Which features specifically does it not deliver, and do you own it?

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I might buy Pro-ATC/X just so that I can review it, plus it supports SID/STARs!

I don't wish to appear rude, but I find it astonishing that you would be actively involved in three different threads on this subject, all of which give you a pretty good idea of what to expect with a product in its present state, yet you are willing to throw $70 at it just to see if we are missing something.

 

Have you taken advantage of the VOX ATC 7-day free trial at least?

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@StubbinMyToe:

Yes, I own Pro-ATC, but I haven't used it in a year or so because the present version is not satisfying to me. The issues that I found most annoying are:

 

- Taxi instructions are erratic. It regularly happened to me that I was instructed to go to an unassigned runway, or to a parking spot instead of a runway.

 

- AI recognition around airports (i.e., when you need it most) doesn't work. I got clearance for t/o with another plane in front of me, or with a plane on short final.

 

- Runway assignments do not match wind direction. There is a work-around for this, but it is somewhat involved. 

 

- Clearance to line up, then silence. If you are not at the end of the runway that happens often. Unfortunately, many taxiways do not meet the runway there, so you have to backtrack just to get clearance for t/o.

 

Yes, there is nor demo for RC4, but because there are many satisfied voices about it I took my chances. Generally I think that any addon that is more than $40 should offer the option to first evaluate it.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Have you taken advantage of the VOX ATC 7-day free trial at least?

 

I intend to.

@StubbinMyToe:

Yes, I own Pro-ATC, but I haven't used it in a year or so because the present version is not satisfying to me. The issues that I found most annoying are:

 

- Taxi instructions are erratic. It regularly happened to me that I was instructed to go to an unassigned runway, or to a parking spot instead of a runway.

 

- AI recognition around airports (i.e., when you need it most) doesn't work. I got clearance for t/o with another plane in front of me, or with a plane on short final.

 

- Runway assignments do not match wind direction. There is a work-around for this, but it is somewhat involved. 

 

- Clearance to line up, then silence. If you are not at the end of the runway that happens often. Unfortunately, many taxiways do not meet the runway there, so you have to backtrack just to get clearance for t/o.

 

Yes, there is nor demo for RC4, but because there are many satisfied voices about it I took my chances. Generally I think that any addon that is more than $40 should offer the option to first evaluate it.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

Thanks Pete!

 

Personally I think all addons should have trials.  I have a habit of spending too much money, for example flight planners I own:  FSBuild, FSCommander, PFPX, EFB, and Plan-G for VFR but that is free.  The only thing I don't own much of yet is scenery except for some Orbix in the USA west coast.  Own like 10 planes including the PMDG 777, 737NGX, 747, bunch of Cerenado planes,  F-18 Superbug.  This stuff gets expensive as you know.

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