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LecLightning56

Radio communications in the tower with RCv4

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Hi,

 

I would like to watch AI aircraft from the tower in FSX. I would also like to listen to the airport ATC frequencies. This is possible using the default FSX ATC but I am wondering if there is any way that RCv4 could also act in this capacity. It would appear that RC requires the loading of a flight plan before it starts so one may be limited to departure frequencies, not incoming traffic. At Heathrow there are two tower frequencies: departure and arrival. Does anyone know how I could use RC to listen to arrivals, even if a departure flight plan has been filed? (It should be noted that the arrivals are on a different frequency from departures).

 

Paul Hermon

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I don't think it's possible.  Since you have to load a flight plan and RC expects you to talk to them, to me I don't think you could do that.  Remember that RC just mimics what the default atc does so in a way it makes sense why you couldn't.  Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you can.

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With a little experimentation, I have succeeded in listening to tower departures, departure frequency and approach with RC from the tower itself. Note that I have only created a flight plan for a nonexistent aircraft, since I only have the tower loaded. What does not work is handover from approach to tower whereby I do not hear any incoming flights being cleared to land and handing over to ground upon landing itself. So, some progress and I do prefer the more realistic voices in RC compared with the default ATC. If anyone else has any comments to add, please let me know.

 

Paul Hermon

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Paul,

 

This has to be the strangest use of RC  have come across. :BigGrin:

 

Try this...

 

Load a plan with one valid waypoint.
Listen to ATIS.
Request Clearance.

Contact Ground and once taxi instructions are given start slewing towards the runway. When you pass the half-way point from terminal to runway you will be instructed to contact / monitor Tower. Make sure other aircraft are taxiing ahead of you so you are told to monitor Tower.

Tune Tower and you will hear chatter with departing aircraft and inbounds. Don't block other aircraft from taxiing of course.

 

You'll only ever hear departure once you've been cleared to take-off and are airborne.

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Thanks for your advice, Ray.

 

Yes, it is a little unusual but I do like to plane spot a bit!

 

For anyone reading not familiar with what I am trying to do, in FSX there is a capability to setup a tower view position in Multiplayer, with a selection of controls to change airport frequency and even a radar screen of approaching/departing/overflying aircraft. This is unusual in the sense that no aircraft has physically been loaded into FSX, only the tower itself. I am experimenting with replacing the default ATC with RC since the messages in the latter are very much more accurate in trems of ATC standards. I shall carry on playing around a bit and see if I can perhaps 'fool' RC into enabling frequency changes outside of control of a loaded aircraft and if successful I shall report back.

 

Paul Hermon

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RC uses its own database of comm frequencies. You can however install a frequency data base pulled from your installed scenery. Here's how to do this:

 

1. First as a backup, from your rcv4 folder copy rcv3.dat and keyboard.dat to a safe folder outside of RC and FS. If you get a corruption of these files (RC error 62) you can replace the files in your rcv4 folder with the backups.

 

2.  Be sure your makerwys.exe is current (4.678 today) from:

 

http://forum.simflight.com/topic/66136-useful-additional-programs/

 

Start RC and run the scenery build utility and then exit RC. Do not restart it until the rest of this procedure is complete.

 

3. Go to your rcv4\data folder and rename f4.csv to f4.bak.

 

4. Go to your FS folder and locate f4.csv there. This was created by later versions of makerwys.exe pulling comm frequencies from your installed scenery.

 

5. Copy f4.csv from your FS folder to rcv4\data folder.

 

It is now safe to use RC.

 

What this does is match RC comm frequencies to your installed scenery including add-ons. RC will now show and use the same frequencies as your scenery and those will show in the RC Controller tab as well as well as those shown in an airport editing utility such as ADE. FS ATC will be using these frequencies as well so you can listen to RC (only on COM1) and FS ATC on COM2. If an airport has updated its ATC facilities in its updated scenery such as making an uncontrolled airport to controlled RC will now be updated to recognize that.

 

Disclaimer:

 

This is not an official update to RC and neither the RC developer nor support staff nor FSUIPC developer Pete Dowson takes any responsibility for any damage requiring the reinstall of RC. This is strictly a "volunteer" procedure to accommodate scenery additions and modifications after the original fixed data RC comm frequency database  was created.

 

Follow this procedure every time you add or modify airport scenery. Some airport updates have changed since the original RC comm database was created several years ago.

 

There is another option as well that can help you monitor ai status:

 

From that same link I provided download and install Traffic Look (free) in a folder of your choice. That runs in its own window and with FS running (be sure FS is set to continue running on Task Switch) you can alt-tab to Traffic Look. That shows the status of all aircraft in the air or on the ground (selectable) in range of where you are. You will then get an idea of what you should be hearing.

 

See if all of this fits together for your needs.

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Thanks Ronzie for your advice and instructions. I am now using RC comfortably for landing and departing aircraft, albeit with AI aircraft only from my lofty tower position at Heathrow. For Heathrow, I have managed to assign different tower frequencies for arrival and departure to cater for the volume of traffic involved.

 

One thing I have noticed which seems odd, is that RC only gives advice to AI aircraft to continue the approach but no clearance to land. Similarly, go-arounds are not seemingly handled by RC for AI aircraft. Is this a limitation of RC, or are there other settings or considerations which govern whether RC provides rather more extensive interaction with AI aircraft?

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To keep RC audio performance up if ai traffic is dense with communications, it was decided to thin landing ai communications a bit.

 

Regarding go-arounds, they just happen. I don't think FS ai requests those or FS tower issues those commands to ai but if so it is not reported as a status to RC. Either way monitoring ai via Traffic Look will show what stage of  take-off or landing ai are in as I recall.

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