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jcomm

VoxATC, Radar Contact, ... what shall I ?

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I have to choose an ATC program to use with FSX SE.

 

I believe that long ago I used Radar Contact, but I'm not sure...

 

I also know there are yet other alternatives (Pro Atc X ) . VoxATC from the videos I saw in youtube had a very interesting and didactic feature - it shows in a window what you're supposed to say next to the ATC agent you're contacting... 

 

Well, I look fwd for your suggestions :-)

 

Yes I know the best way would be to go VATSIM or the like, but, that's not an option for me right now ...

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I used practically every atc program out there at some point, but I always end up returning to Radar Contact. It just works everytime and it's easy to set up.

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I like to know too. I am planning to buy a good ATC program. Heard good things about Radar Contact and Pro ATC X apparently is now coming along nicely. i like to add to the OP which combo is best with a crew program aka FS2Crew or MCE ?

 

Cheers

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I would recommend Vatsim, Pro-ATC, or VoxATC. I recently wrote a comparison here: http://forum.avsim.n...plan/?p=3154965

Peter

 

Nice writeup.  VATSIM is always the best option...if you can find a controller.  I rarely find them and I've heard all the suggestions.  Scared to even try Pro-ATC after all the bad vibe and I don't know how realistic ATC can really be using button-click ATC.  Vox seems a good option and I'm thinking to give it another try.  Be nice if they used people's voices instead of Anna, etc. 

 

Another option under active development is Pilot2ATC.  It's good but has a ways to go.  PilotEdge is excellent if you are willing to fly SoCal for ATC.  Good for training. 

 

An aside:  Why does every app have to have a moving map????

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Here I am jumping back on the merry-go-round that is discussions on the 'best' ATC program. :smile:

 

jcomm, you say that you are not sure if you have used Radar Contact. Perhaps the first thing to do is to check if you have v4 and if so, install it. If it's an earlier version contact John Dekker and see if there's an upgrade price. See the locked topic on the RC Forum here on AvSim for his details.

 

My own view on RC4 is that it is old but still does what is required; has proper ATC language (Pro-ATCX doesn't); doesn't have a SID/STAR database but that can be circumvented; and is very easy to setup and use.

 

The biggest failing for me with Pro-ATCX was when I was instructed to climb to a higher FL and levelled off early to see if the controller noticed. He didn't. To me that's quite important because controllers control and pilots do what they're told.

 

You may have a different view but rest assured that if you don't do what the RC controllers tell you to do it will be noticed and you will get a right telling off at the end of the flight.

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You may have a different view but rest assured that if you don't do what the RC controllers tell you to do it will be noticed and you will get a right telling off at the end of the flight.

 

LOL...they can be quite testy.

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LOL...they can be quite testy.

Me especially! :BigGrin:  It would have been great to get a Basil Fawlty controller set. Even I would have broken the rules to be chastised by him in all his glory! :smile:

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Well, thank you all so far for your contributions!  They're all important in the long ( well, I hope not so long... ) process of choosing one for me :-)

 

I will probably test VoxATC demo first...

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Bought ProatcX 3 days ago, I was also ATC-less and was getting board of erroneous fsx atc approaces and annoying voice. So far I can say that I am really pleased with proatc, the background atc chatter really gives it a whole new level or realism. appraches are dead on, and the voice is miles better than fsx. very easy to set up, and it also has a flight planner which is a plus. Have tried voxatc but really didnt like the interface, plus is didnt have a flight planner.

 

forgot to mention that it automatically imports the flight plan into fms, also a lovely feature is the copilot and checklists and the heading assisted guidance to runways and gates...simply love it

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Well, there's something I have and didn't mention - PFPX.

 

Will the PFPX flightplans be exportable to VoxATC, ProATCX ?...

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I don't know how realistic ATC can really be using button-click ATC.

 

One option for this is to use VAC - http://www.dwvac.com/

 

I am just coming back but when I was an avid FSX flyer I created a VAC profile that included everything:

Radar Contact, GSX, AES, Ultimate Traffic, ENB, Track IR, Microsoft Commands, and FSCrew.

 

It was nice because you never had to press buttons to communicate - well outside of "push to talk" mapped into the flight controller. I have since lost the VAC profile but have the base of it saved so going to recreate it. If anyone else wants the base commands and build off of those feel free to PM me.

You can see them : http://www.dwvac.com/vac_phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=602&p=2032#p2032 (I was "Working Dog" on their forums)

 

I like Radar Contact - program in your SIDS and Stars. Also there is a cool Meatwater pack that adds a little noise to the transmissions making them sound even more real. Also those RC guys are really on the ball since they have probably heard all of the wacky support questions before. RC is not perfect and does some wacky annoying stuff sometimes but all in all it is the best automated option IMO.

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Well, there's something I have and didn't mention - PFPX.

 

Will the PFPX flightplans be exportable to VoxATC, ProATCX ?...

 

dont know what that is, but proatc has an option of importing flight plans in various formats, so I would say yes

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One option for this is to use VAC - http://www.dwvac.com/

 

I also use VAC with Radar Contact and it works very well. I use FSuipc to send the PTT keypress mapped to a button on my yoke.

I would recommend VAC to anyone looking to add voice control to FSX/P3D.

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Well, there's something I have and didn't mention - PFPX.

 

Will the PFPX flightplans be exportable to VoxATC, ProATCX ?...

Yes.

 

Pro-ATC: you take the route from the release document that PFPX produces, including SIDs/STARs, and paste it into Pro-ATC. The only problem is that the cruising FL is not automatically imported, but that's just one mouse click :)

 

VoxATC works with the flight plan that is active in FSX.

 

 

So here is a question to all Radar Contact Experts: I wasn't so impressed by it because it hardly does anything. My normal flights with it were of the form: clearance for flight plan, taxi (but no instructions), line-up and takeoff. Then it tells you altitudes and complains if you miss a waypoint or are at an improper altitude. With SIDs and STARs, it tells me once to follow the published procedures and then remains quiet until the end of the flight. Am I doing something wrong, or am I simply such a good pilot that RC4 doesn't find much to complain ;) ?

 

Cheers,

Peter

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I've used VOXATC in combination with LiveAtc.net chatter four years.  I tune in Live Atc for departure, center, and arrival airport, then fire up VOX going and coming.  Plenty of Live Atc chatter in the background for larger US airports. VOX incorporates flight plans automatically and the 90 page manual says you can add sids and stars, but I've never tried it.  If you buy the VOX dvd (instead of the download) it comes with four good ATT voices for the same price as the download.  I then updated the dvd to the latest download version of VOX which keeps the 4 ATT voices.  If you've got the $ you can also use IVONA voices, which are the best.  Over time I've built up an IVONA collection of ten voices, including ones with pronounced British, Australian, Welsch and Indian accents as well as Amercan.  With Anna that's 15 voices total, so things never sound the same.Tegwin (the developer) has been very resonsive to e-mai support.

 

Really sorry if I sound like an advertisement, but I've been very happy with this set up for years.  One of these days I'll get off my butt and use VATSIM or Pilot Edge, but until then my present setup is great.

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So here is a question to all Radar Contact Experts: I wasn't so impressed by it because it hardly does anything.

 

What more were you expecting it to do ?

 

Basically you contact clearance, then ground, then departure, various Centers then approach. just like any other ATC program.

Radar Contact will be with you through all these stages, It will give you the departure runway and atis (you will need your airport charts to get to the active like in the real world)

It will advise you of other aircraft in your vicinity, It will give you the landing runway and will give vectors or let you choose to follow your IAP plates.

 

The difference with Radar Contact is that it will do this 100% reliably on every flight whilst delivering the correct ATC phraseology depending on where you are flying.

 

ProATC falls down on both of these points.

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So here is a question to all Radar Contact Experts: I wasn't so impressed by it because it hardly does anything. My normal flights with it were of the form: clearance for flight plan, taxi (but no instructions), line-up and takeoff. Then it tells you altitudes and complains if you miss a waypoint or are at an improper altitude. With SIDs and STARs, it tells me once to follow the published procedures and then remains quiet until the end of the flight. Am I doing something wrong, or am I simply such a good pilot that RC4 doesn't find much to complain ;) ?

 

That sounds like it's working as it should. "Fly what you file". If you tell RC4 you're going to fly over waypoint XXX and don't it would be remiss of any ATC software to ignore the fact. If it's not given you credit for overflying one there is the option to Request Direct To (press 9) and you have the choice of telling RC which waypoint will be your active one.

 

Regarding being "quiet until the end of the flight" you won't hear instructions given to aircraft much higher or lower than your own aircraft. That's how the real world works. If you're cruising at FL370 you will only hear instructions for aircraft above FL320. As you descend so you will hear more.

 

Presumably you hear instructions to contact APP once 40 miles from arrival airport. Thereafter you will also hear instructions to fly headings and to descend so you can intercept the glidepath thereafter hearing the instruction to contact TWR. If you have requested to fly your own STAR it's true you won't hear ATC with other aircraft from that point but since that time is quite short it's not a major issue for many.

 

After turning off the active runway you should also hear the instruction to contact GND and to taxi to the gate or terminal depending on how you have configured RC.

 

So all in all, you will be hearing quite a lot.

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What else were you expecting it to do ?

Hi Glynn and Ray,

 

I guess I am simply missing a bit more interaction. The other ATC programs that I use have more going on, especially while on the ground. There are more frequency changes, more contacts with other planes. I am not a real pilot and cannot tell how quiet it is above FL320, but I am simply more entertained by the other programs, so to speak. They are also closer to my experience with Vatsim when all stations are covered.

No question, RC4 does what is says, and it does it well. It is also true that Pro-ATC and VoxATC are not flawless, but they are both under active development and improvements are coming all the time. 

 

Peter

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Hi Glynn and Ray,

 

I guess I am simply missing a bit more interaction. The other ATC programs that I use have more going on, especially while on the ground. There are more frequency changes, more contacts with other planes. I am not a real pilot and cannot tell how quiet it is above FL320, but I am simply more entertained by the other programs, so to speak. They are also closer to my experience with Vatsim when all stations are covered.

No question, RC4 does what is says, and it does it well. It is also true that Pro-ATC and VoxATC are not flawless, but they are both under active development and improvements are coming all the time. 

 

Peter

 

Peter, I think RC4 has an option to allow pre-recorded ATC messages to play in the background.  If memory serves, it's a check box in the upper right corner of the option screen. 

 

Also, have you considered using RC4 coupled with MCE?  The latter gives you voice interaction/recognition so you can "talk" with ATC; moreover, it gives you an amazing interactive and customizable copilot.   That combination has increased my immersion level by a factor of 10. 

 

Finally, I'd be hard pressed to classify Pro-ATC development as "fast."  Updates are somewhat slow; thus, improvement are not "coming all the time."   

 

Let us know what you decided, Peter! 

 

Matt

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I guess I am simply missing a bit more interaction. The other ATC programs that I use have more going on, especially while on the ground. There are more frequency changes, more contacts with other planes.

 

You only need 3 ground frequencies - Clearance, Ground and Tower. Plus ATIS of course. Not sure why other programs would give you more. Perhaps you can expand on that. The amount of ground chatter also depends on how much Ai you have. EGLL is very busy for me as I have MyTrafficX with Ai at 40%. Quieter airports will generate less - obviously.

 

 

 

I am not a real pilot and cannot tell how quiet it is above FL320, but I am simply more entertained by the other programs, so to speak. They are also closer to my experience with Vatsim when all stations are covered.

 

RC is not there to entertain. It will react to actions of other aircraft controlled by FSX. Once airborne if real-world ATC was not divided into vertical sectors there would be chaos. I'm surprised VATSIM doesn't work that way. How on earth do you get a word in?

 

No question, RC4 does what is says, and it does it well. It is also true that Pro-ATC and VoxATC are not flawless, but they are both under active development and improvements are coming all the time.

 

What developments do you want from RC4? It's a mature program that was developed using the input of real world pilots and controllers. Pro-ATCX has been out for a couple of years and is better now that when it first came out but still lacks the realism of the real-world in its communications.


 

 


Peter, I think RC4 has an option to allow pre-recorded ATC messages to play in the background. If memory serves, it's a check box in the upper right corner of the option screen.

Indeed it does. I provided recordings for Manchester (EGCC). They are several years old and the runway designators have since changed but they do add another degree of realism as you say. All part of the program available for no extra charge! :Big Grin:

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Hi Ray,

 

You only need 3 ground frequencies - Clearance, Ground and Tower. Plus ATIS of course. Not sure why other programs would give you more.

Sorry, my post was written ambiguously. They don't have more frequencies on the ground, but in the air there are more frequency changes (like Denver Control 1 to Denver Control 2 ).

 

RC is not there to entertain. It will react to actions of other aircraft controlled by FSX. Once airborne if real-world ATC was not divided into vertical sectors there would be chaos. I'm surprised VATSIM doesn't work that way. How on earth do you get a word in?

It does, but the levels depend on your location. Upper airspace in North America is above FL240. And on Vatsim you get quite a bit of radio chatter because often a Center also takes care of the the approaches within its area when the airport controllers are off-line.

 

While I am thriving for realism in my flight simming, I also want to keep it fun. So yes, that entertainment factor is important to me.

 

 

What developments do you want from RC4?

One example would be that SIDs and STARs are assigned dynamically. It often happens on long flights that the wind direction has changed at destination. ATC would then normally assign you a different arrival, but in RC4 you have to do that yourself. Other examples would be ground directives, or Airac cycle support.

 

I am not against RC4, I simply enjoy VoxATC and Pro-ATC more.

 

 

As for RC4 and MCE, I have tried that, but I learned that voice recognition programs in general have a hard time understanding me.

 

Peter

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I have just recently installed Voxatc 6.49. Check this out if you like. I like the voice recognition feature you can talk to the atc rather than pressing button. This is a good way for practicing before you go vatsim or IVAO.

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Sorry, my post was written ambiguously. They don't have more frequencies on the ground, but in the air there are more frequency changes (like Denver Control 1 to Denver Control 2 ).

But are those real world frequencies or made up ones? The file f4.csv (from memory) contains all frequencies used in RC4. Those are updated when you run MakeRunways by Pete Dowson. How do the other programs you use derive their data?

 

It does, but the levels depend on your location. Upper airspace in North America is above FL240. And on Vatsim you get quite a bit of radio chatter because often a Center also takes care of the the approaches within its area when the airport controllers are off-line.

While I am thriving for realism in my flight simming, I also want to keep it fun. So yes, that entertainment factor is important to me.

 

Understood. I  can understand the attraction of VatSim but it has its drawbacks if you want to fly to the less populated parts of the world.

 

One example would be that SIDs and STARs are assigned dynamically. It often happens on long flights that the wind direction has changed at destination. ATC would then normally assign you a different arrival, but in RC4 you have to do that yourself. Other examples would be ground directives, or Airac cycle support.

 

We did start to look at SIDs and STARs but development ceased before we got anywhere. It's a pity that there will be no further development of RC but at least v4 does give you the option of flying your own approach. Something is better than nothing.

 

I am not against RC4, I simply enjoy VoxATC and Pro-ATC more.

As for RC4 and MCE, I have tried that, but I learned that voice recognition programs in general have a hard time understanding me.

Of course. No problem with that at all. Voice recog programs are far from perfect and for those with a strong accent they can be quite hard to 'train'. Nothing is perfect - you just choose what suits you best.

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