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R Hardman

Standalone Full ATC?

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The default ATC in FSX not only controlled AI ground movement, holding at intersections, but overall, pretty decent ground control (in flight less to be desired). This is from a program released in 2006. So almost 10 years later after all the other add-ons to FSX why is there not a fully functional standalone ATC that I can find?  I'm not interested in online programs that I have wait for someone on the other end. I already have RC4 and ProAtc. I like RC4 but no ground control and there are no future releases. ProAtc, is... well... good in concept but updates are too slow coming and are too buggy. Does anyone know of another ATC program that is not required to be online, yet controls ground AI, tells you to taxi via A B C D1 and to hold if other aircraft are passing, and gives quality instructions in the air and can cope with SID STAR procedures, and provide info for the small airports that have no AIRAC charts?  Thanks.

 

 

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I agree, it's disappointing we don't have better options for reliable, realistic ATC addons in FS.     But unfortunately, RC4, ProATCx, VoxATC and PFE remain the best around at this time.

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I found that default ATC has been the best option for me. There's the occasional bug, but I can live with it.

 

I read that FSX-Steam has less bugs, but I'd have to test the validity of such claims.

 

I'm waiting for GoFlight to add support before I give FSX-Steam another go.

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The ATC is FSX:Steam is identical to the ATC is MS FSX.

 

I personally find default ATC perfect for VFR flights.   It's actually really good in this regard.   But for IFR flights, the arrival and approach vectoring is just awful.   And the way climbs are managed is poor too (default ATC waits until you are almost levelling out at each climb altitude before giving the next climb clearance - very annoying!).

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As an avid listener on ATCLIVE.NET I have no problem with using VoxATC.   I think it provides a very believable and reliable experience from Delivery to the arrival gate and it's voice controlled.   It handles SIDS/STARS, IFR, VFR, AI Traffic Management and emergencies.  I mean what else are you needing from your ATC system?

 

The only complaint I have with VoxATC is its Handoff Happy when you get to cruise.   I am fairly certain you aren't handed off to 6 different ARTCC's in one zone.   The author is aware of the problem but has not found a solution.   He actively develops and responds fairly quickly to e-mail inquires.

 

If you find that planes are taxing weird at an airport its not the ATC software either.  It's the AI pathing in the AFCAD.   The ground movements are only as good as the AI path setup.

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Before this gets out of hand yet again: #TeamRC4forIFR

What on earth does that mean??

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My vote goes for VoxATC and Pro-ATC. Both are fairly good but have their downside. Pro-ATC is still a bit buggy and occasionally crashes during a flight, and VoxATC takes over your AI traffic and sounds best only after you bought some additional voices from third-party companies. However, if you can live with one of these problems then you will get a good ATC experience.

 

Peter

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What on earth does that mean??

In the first part, I believe he was predicting that this thread will go downhill and eventually lead to arguing and being locked. In the second part, he was stating that he thinks Radar Contact is the best ATC program for IFR flights.

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Before this gets out of hand yet again: #TeamRC4forIFR

 

Please can we avoid this twitter type hashtag rubbish on this forum.

 

I have no idea, like the other poster what you are on about.

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I've been lurking on these addon ATC topics for years.

 

The one common theme: there is no addon that is equal to FSX ATC.

 

Let me keep lurking...

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All,

 

Thanks for the feedback and I did take a look at PFE and VoxATC.

 

VoxATC from initial looks, does not have a keyboard interface but looks like a major step in the right direction... but 99% of my flights need to be seen and not heard (headphones on and quiet for family). PFE, I'll dig more into reading it's capabilities and user reports to see if that may fit my needs. Thanks again!

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Vatsim

Couldn't agree more! Other than occasional test flights, I don't ever fly single palyer. In addition to VATSIM, there are a number of Multiplayer networks that are available via the in-game multiplayer function.

 

Most of the "sessions" are listed at http://www.fsopen.co.uk Boston Virtual is more focused on IFR ops. Despite their name they do not limit operations to Boston. FSFlyboys also does a lot of ATC and some off of the cuff stuff. MSFlights is my home and personal favorite. Group flights and random flights involve a little of everything with ATC ops being the least common type of activity.

 

The big advantage of the multiplayer is community. Every network has a system of communcating via voice. TEAMSPEAK 3 is free software and used by almost 100% of the networks. A microphone is of course useful but text comms works to some degree as well. It's available at http://www.teamspeak.com

 

Enjoy the automated ATC for what it's worth. But don't think that all that FS is.

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I have been using Pro Flight Emulator (PFE) together with FDC Live Cockpit (FDC) for a number of years now and I can highly recommend them. PFE replaces the default ATC and includes many voice sets with different English accents, taxi guidance system both verbal and visual and many other improvements. FDC acts as a copilot, performing checklists ext. also has cabin crew announcements, again with different accents. You can buy them individualy or together. They have been tweaked to work together.

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I read PFE can control your taxi across active runways to hold until clearance is given to cross. Big plus there. Does it control your movement on taxiways? Big killer is taxing in the J41 only to find a 747 AI just pulled into your path and you either have to zap it or go through it! I read the PFE manual and didn't catch any mention of that issue.

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Hi Richard, yes PFE will control this. It has an option in the program to "Rebuild Data PFE Database" which checks all the airports and runways in your FSX.

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And the way climbs are managed is poor too (default ATC waits until you are almost levelling out at each climb altitude before giving the next climb clearance - very annoying!).

This is my biggest pet peeve about FSX ATC. If there was a way to force it to give the next altitude clearance 1000ft before instead of 200ft before a level off I'd be happy. So tired of having to catch up to VNAV path because ATC gets me off of it. Especially in descent.

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I read PFE can control your taxi across active runways to hold until clearance is given to cross. Big plus there. Does it control your movement on taxiways? Big killer is taxing in the J41 only to find a 747 AI just pulled into your path and you either have to zap it or go through it! I read the PFE manual and didn't catch any mention of that issue.

Just to clarify, PFE does control your ground movements, It will assign runway for departure, Gates or parking on arrival Note it doesn't consider assigned airlines of gates, like default ATC can so you may not like the gate it assigns you. That said there is an option prior to flight that you can force an assignment of a gate. There may be an AI plane occupying it when you arrive there. What I usually do is use the closest open gate at that point using GSX. If your path takes you across a runway it will clear you to proceed. In some cases though you won't get a clearance. In this case, you can hold short at the line, and request clearance by pressing the 0 key. Note though, like most ATC programs, PFE does not actually control the AI aircraft, just interact with it to give verbal commands. so you still may run into situations where AI will get in your way. All that said overall I would highly recommend PFE also, especially if you buy the voice pack, that plus the free voice pack on their forum, gives you 99 voices to choose from, with regional accents. Most sound very good, but you may find a couple you may think needs improvement. In addition to the normal ATC features, it can handle emergencies, Oceanic Positioning reports via SELCAL,  and it has 3 methods of ground taxi guidance. One it has a gauge you can set up on your aircraft, which will give you an arrow which way to turn on a taxiway route. Two it can takeover the heading bug during taxi to direct you. Note this feature doesn't work on complex aircraft like PMDG, because of the custom systems they use. The best way though is by voice instructions from a virtual FO.  Another nice feature, is when you fly without AI present (For performance reasons, whatever). Most AI programs use canned AI recordings to simulate air traffic in this case, PFE will actually create and control  PFE  virtual AI. This has the benefit of having a seamless ATC session with air traffic using the same controller as you are, giving you the impression that there is air traffic when there is none, especially in the air.  Here's a flight I did using it. It also demonstrates the Oceanic communication as well.

 

This is my biggest pet peeve about FSX ATC. If there was a way to force it to give the next altitude clearance 1000ft before instead of 200ft before a level off I'd be happy. So tired of having to catch up to VNAV path because ATC gets me off of it. Especially in descent.

What I usually do to get a smooth climb is set my MCP altitude about 1 or 2 thousand ft higher (or lower) then assigned, since the default ATC will usually give you clearance about 300ft above or below this gives enugh time to increase/decrease your mcp alt without VNAV disengaging, and is low enough to get back down if you don't get clearance right away, usually when ATC is too busy with AI aircraft.

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Tom, bit the bullet and tried PFE. After a lengthy install with a directory structure bugs (ADV verses Adv subdirectory) got it working. 1st Flight was from an uncontrolled field. Strike one. Could not get past "Open flight plan" when contacting ATC. Then tried it from CYYC. Made it all the way from clearance to taxi (like the verbal directions) to the assigned runway, Was told to line up and hold... then line up and hold over and over and over and that never stopped. Strike two. Oh well, we can only dream someday we who need to fly quietly and not disturb the family will have a workable ATC. Thanks everyone for the advice.

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Tom, bit the bullet and tried PFE. After a lengthy install with a directory structure bugs (ADV verses Adv subdirectory) got it working. 1st Flight was from an uncontrolled field. Strike one. Could not get past "Open flight plan" when contacting ATC. Then tried it from CYYC. Made it all the way from clearance to taxi (like the verbal directions) to the assigned runway, Was told to line up and hold... then line up and hold over and over and over and that never stopped. Strike two. Oh well, we can only dream someday we who need to fly quietly and not disturb the family will have a workable ATC. Thanks everyone for the advice.

Did you do the MakeRnwy and rebuild PFE DB step? Never had or heard of an issue like that in PFE before. Sorry it didn't work out for you.

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In the first part, I believe he was predicting that this thread will go downhill and eventually lead to arguing and being locked. In the second part, he was stating that he thinks Radar Contact is the best ATC program for IFR flights.

Exactly.

 

Major advantages over default ATC:

- Different sounding voices than default. You can do something else on longer flights and just have to listen for a different voice to grab your focus instead of actively monitoring FSX (ATC window and callsign). I've lost count of the times I've used this advantage to clean my apartment or cook or do something on my laptop during longer flights.

- Virtual F/O, i.e. autoreadback

- Better approach vectoring

- Less handoffs

- Flight critique

 

Major drawbacks over default ATC:

- Limited amount of available callsigns

 

 

 

Please can we avoid this twitter type hashtag rubbish on this forum.

 

I have no idea, like the other poster what you are on about.

#No

 

See Buziel-411's post.

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Its incredible that after 10 years we can't use a stable and complete ATC software. I can't believe why there is no interest in this kind of addon.

 

- RC4 imho is the best, but discontinued and with old voices

- VoxATC is good, but if you want decent voice you have to purchase new nuance and are limited to 3 or 4 voices

- PFE is quite old, and similar to RC4, but less flexible, ever in imho

- PATCX is good in the concept but as you reported a bit bugged

 

I'd like to have a complete and stable software, in PMDG style, because ATC is an essential part of our hobby and can't always fly online.

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