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Jarkko

VoxATC and dynamic weather (FSGRW, Opus, ASN)?

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Hello,

 

I have been using VoxATC for quite a long time, but only recently started using it with FSGRW. That is when my problems with "wrong" STARs and tailwind landings started.

 

Based on what I have read here on avsim, VoxATC seems to "lock in" the destination weather when you first lauch ProATC. This seems to be quite strange and would explain my problems.

 

When I have the FSGRW injected to FSX before I launch VoxATC, there is no weather available at my destination. It will only be set, when I get about 100nm from my destination. I have confirmed this with Aivlasoft's EFB.

 

This causes VoxATC to report wrong weather in the arrival airport ATIS even after FSGRW has injected the real world weather (checked by having FSX ATIS and VoxATC play at the same time). Of course, in this situation, VoxATC assigns me the incorrect runway based on the "missing" weather info (during VoxATC start).

 

I seem to remember, that the situation was quite similar with Opus. The difference was that my destination airport had the origin airport weather set until I was about 100nm away from my destination.

 

Last but not least ASN. I haven't upgraded my AS2012 to ASN (yet), but how does ASN work with VoxATC do you experience similar problems as I'm having with FSGRW and Opus?

 

One more thing. I know, that many weather engines output the weather in a file, where external programs (like VoxATC) could read the weather that will be eventually injected into FSX. Would it be possible for VoxATC to read the weather from the weather engine generated files? This would remove the weather engine injection problems all together?

 

Thank you for the help!

 

- Jarkko

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Hi Jarkko,

 

ASN is exactly the same unfortunately and i am having the same issues as your are. Its quite frustrating one aspect of VOX that I really don't like which is a shame because the program as a whole is superb.

 

I have emailed the creator Tegwyn and he says there is no workaround or fix for this as present but I have read that restarting VOX just prior to TOD might fix the issue for now. Not had a chance to try out the theory myself yet though. As to whether he will eventually add the function to read the weather file I'm not sure, but it would be marvellous if he did.

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It is the same with ASN. As I mentioned on the other thread, the only solution is to restart VOXATC.

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It is the same with ASN. As I mentioned on the other thread, the only solution is to restart VOXATC.

 

Does this VOXatc restart cause any problems with your aircraft currently in flight?

 

Any problems syncing up again with VOXatc to continue the current flight?

 

I look for your previous "thread" but could not locate it.

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Does this problem exist with all ATC programs or just VOX?

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Does this problem exist with all ATC programs or just VOX?

 

This is a problem for all ATC programs, that dynamically assign STARs based on winds (and read the weather inside FSX, instead of the weather engine's/NOAA's/Vatsim's output file).

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This is a problem for all ATC programs, that dynamically assign STARs based on winds (and read the weather inside FSX, instead of the weather engine's/NOAA output file).

No, I own RC, PFE and PROATCX. And I never have this problem with them.

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No, I own RC, PFE and PROATCX. And I never have this problem with them.

 

No, RC doesn't assign you STARs at all and ProATC has ability to read the weather outside of FSX so my statement should still be valid. FWIW I own and use all of the mentioned ATC programs.

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Does this VOXatc restart cause any problems with your aircraft currently in flight?

 

Any problems syncing up again with VOXatc to continue the current flight?

 

I look for your previous "thread" but could not locate it.

http://forum.avsim.net/topic/445169-any-good-atc-addons/page-2 post #30

 

No it doesn't.

No, RC doesn't assign you STARs at all and ProATC has ability to read the weather outside of FSX so my statement should still be valid. FWIW I own and use all of the mentioned ATC programs.

Yeah, but you don't have a problem with them in regards wrong weather.

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Yeah, but you don't have a problem with them in regards wrong weather.

 

Except for the fact that ProATC support forum's most talked about subject is wrong runway assignments (especially on airports without SIDs and STARs).

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I haven't used it that much. But every time I did, I set it(proatcx)to read weather directly from the weather engine and never had a problem. As for other add ons, it is never an issue.

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It's a real shame to restart voxatc to achieve correct winds, substract all grace. Sometimes, the STAR star before ~ 100 nm, so the assignment of STAR may not be good.

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IMO, weather programs like ActiveSky should be able to give VOXatc all airports ATIS information and place it in a specific folder for VOXatc to use during our flights.

Currently this is possible for SID and STARs.
Ever Navdata cycle changes the SID / Star database for all airports.

VOXatc needs this information and per the manual tells the pilot to set up a path to the SID/STAR data :

For VoxATC to use the Navdata SIDs and STARs, the path to the Navdata folder must be set. Go t
Start – All Programs – VoxATC X – Advanced settings. The Advanced Settings form is displayed.
Click the Browse button and navigate to the folder that contains the Navdata files. This is likely to
be C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\Level-D Simulations\navdata.

It seems to me the same thing could be done for ATIS information.

 

Edit:

The raw ATIS is available on the internet also. Active sky has to get the raw data so I would guess VOXatc could also.

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Correct. There are multiple places, where VoxATC could get the weather from.

 

The most likely is the NOAA as it is the place where most of the weather engines get their METARs from. The data from NOAA is in a nicely formated xml file with the winds, temperatures and visibility in their own fields so minimal parsing required.

 

Has anyone already pitched this idea to the developer?

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Wouldn't it be possible for VoxAtc to read the 'current_wx_snapshot.txt' file ASN generates? Unless Vox will simply not recalculate the route apart from when it's starting up.

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Hello Ken,

 

This is what I had in mind in my first post. Opus and FSGRW also generate similar weather files as ASN.

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Correct. There are multiple places, where VoxATC could get the weather from.

 

The most likely is the NOAA as it is the place where most of the weather engines get their METARs from. The data from NOAA is in a nicely formated xml file with the winds, temperatures and visibility in their own fields so minimal parsing required.

 

Has anyone already pitched this idea to the developer?

His email is on the website. He is active via email and approachable

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I posted on the ASN forums after I received an email from Tegwyn regarding the weather. He told me the following:

 

"I'm afraid that AS does not set the weather in FSX far enough away from the user so that the correct weather is set at your destination when VoxATC needs it (to determine which approach to assign). VoxATC needs to start to vector you when you're about 30NM from the airport. For some reason AS does not set the weather that far away, or at least it is not available to a Sim add-on through SimConnect"

 

I got this response from one of the developers:

 

Hi Dan,

There are some things I'd like to be clarified here:

- First, I assume you use a flight plan (let the auto-load flight plan option checked and whenever you load the plan in fsx, as I think is needed when using VoxAtc, this will lead to ASN being "flight plan aware")
- Second, make sure the winds at your destination are not calm. This may confuse the atc program (I know it does for the default fsx atc). There is an option called wind-lock for this forcing 6kts winds at your departure/destination/alternate.
- ASN updates the weather of your destination when the aircraft is at least 60 nm out. You can check this by comparing the ASN atis, xgauge, etc with the fsx weather map. If the 2 of them (ASN and fsx weather map) match, then this means that ASN is working ok and the problem is how/when VoxAtc "reads" them.
- Check the prevent downloads on approach. Normally (as in real) life, after the ATIS has assigned a runway, the winds *may* change and you may end up landing in non favourable winds. Checking this option will make things more predictable (it makes sure the weather is not updated if you're within 60nm from your destination).

In any case, please report the specific case with details (flight plan, saved flight situation, date/time, details such as if e.g. the fsx weather map is updated, but VoxAtc isn't) so that we can figure out what exactly is the issue and then attempt to improve things.

Thanks,

 

The post is here:

 

http://www.hifitechinc.com/forums/showthread.php?3230-ASN-and-VoxATC

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I posted on the ASN forums after I received an email from Tegwyn regarding the weather. He told me the following:

 

"I'm afraid that AS does not set the weather in FSX far enough away from the user so that the correct weather is set at your destination when VoxATC needs it (to determine which approach to assign). VoxATC needs to start to vector you when you're about 30NM from the airport. For some reason AS does not set the weather that far away, or at least it is not available to a Sim add-on through SimConnect"

 

 

 

This isn't true. ASN and FSGRW set the destination weather at least 100nm from the airport unless you reduce it for FSGRW from the options. EFB, PFE, Fscaptain and RC can read the FSX's weather at that distance.

 

Both ASN and FSGRW download the weather for the whole world and present it in a file which other add ons like EFB and FScaptain can read. It is VOX's shortcoming.

 

As I said before, restarting VOX after the weather has been set at destination which is around 100nm from the airport will give you an accurate weather reading.

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Jarkko,

 

"The data from NOAA is in a nicely formated xml file with the winds, temperatures and visibility in their own fields so minimal parsing required."

 

Well that would be a good source then.

 

VOXatc can read the LevelD Navdata for SID/STARS which is in XML format so reading NOAA ATIS / weather (XML) should also be possible.

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Just another thought.

 

"restarting VOX" during flight is a possible work around was previously mentioned.

 

If true, then the VOXatc developer could code the VOXatc program to do the same thing "internally" when its time for STAR / arrival runway assignment and post a message to the pilot  saying that destination ATIS is now available or just say weather updated .. something like that.

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great idea. I switch off vox during cruise and listen to live atc and switch back at tod

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Just another thought.

 

"restarting VOX" during flight is a possible work around was previously mentioned.

 

If true, then the VOXatc developer could code the VOXatc program to do the same thing "internally" when its time for STAR / arrival runway assignment and post a message to the pilot  saying that destination ATIS is now available or just say weather updated .. something like that.

Now, that's a great thought.

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If true, then the VOXatc developer could code the VOXatc program to do the same thing "internally" when its time for STAR / arrival runway assignment and post a message to the pilot  saying that destination ATIS is now available or just say weather updated .. something like that.

 

doesn't really solve the underlying issue though. in a lot of STARS in the usa the transition is more than 120nm out (the radius in asn). if you are flying high and fast you could also conceivably hit your TOD before the destination weather is accurate. so that 'reset' would be happening too early to be useful.

 

really it seems to me the best option is to just read the weather from the snapshots files instead of querying the airport. dunno how tricky that is but it's basically just parsing a text file so shouldn't be too crazy.

 

i emailed with both the asn devs and vox dev about this issue a few months ago. there are basically two assumptions being made..

 

1. asn assumes that you don't need to know your weather more than 120nm out because it's not realistic that ATIS would go that far anyway, which is technically true. however, it's not realistic that controllers at your desination wouldn't know their own weather just because you are farther than that.

 

2. vox assumes that the destination weather is always correct, which is true if you are using default weather. but of course, not true with a lot of the weather addons.

 

ultimately i hope one of them can figure out a solution, it's the most annoying thing about vox for sure. i highly encourage people to use the support form for vox, it may help encourage a solution if he's aware that A LOT of people are having this problem and using the workaround.

 

as far as the workaround goes, the 'reset around 110nm' trick works pretty well, but only if the transition is closer than that, which is common in europe but not so common in the usa. the mod transition into KSFO for example is around 140nm out, and you would get mod3 or locke3 depending on which runways are in use, right now if you reset after getting closer you've already been vectored a bit on the wrong star and then it's confused and just gives you vectors.

 

i tried forcing the issue by adding star-specific waypoints for this situation and it re-directed me back onto the correct star but then it crashed when it tried to vector me off the star when i got closer. not sure if that's a reproducible issue i haven't investigated it fully..

 

cheers!

-andy crosby

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really it seems to me the best option is to just read the weather from the snapshots files instead of querying the airport. dunno how tricky that is but it's basically just parsing a text file so shouldn't be too crazy.

 

 

Actually, you don't have to read the snapshot files. You can get the weather from the weather add ons interface and incase of ASN, you can get it from its own ATIS.

 

And it is true what you say about the US's STARs. I should have mentioend that.

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