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Nick Dobda

Navigraph opinions

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I ran a route last night (KBHM to KATL)... upon planning the route, the approach stars preloaded into the FMC into Atlanta were not even close to the current stars from airnav... so without any knowledge of any other way to do it, instead of using a star into Atlanta, I picked an RNAV approach from my last waypoint between BHM and ATL, which due to the runway I came in on had a U turn to make that first point of the RNAV into ATL.

 

I know the preloaded STARS must have been valid at the time PMDG created the database for the NGX 737 base package, but (for Atlanta at least), I couldn't get a visual of what the approach looked like.

 

Typically I'd plan the route ahead, as in go to flight aware, pick the real life route, and if any sids or stars are in the route, pick them off airnav and check them out, and then program the FMC. But if the sids and stars in the FMC are completely different, I have no way of knowing which STAR to use (it doesn't say in the FMC which star to use when coming from which direction, and with no chart to look at, all I can go by is the name.. which tells me nothing).

 

Anyway, I believe the way to fix this issue is to update the database in the FMC. To do that I need to create a Navigraph account (which I did) and pay for the update.

 

I am looking at the one time update (priced at EUR 5.90). I have two questions about this package

 

1. Will this solve my consistency problem with the FMC default database and sid / stars available at airnav? (at least until the next cycle comes out, but Im baking that changes between cycles is minimal)

 

2. Is the download easy to use? As in I download some sort of .exe file, one click and it's smart enough to know what I want it to do? (Update my FMC database for the PMDG NGX 737).

 

Thanks for your input

Nick Dobda

 

 

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Nick,

 

With outdated navdata it will be hard to match current routings with the FMC.

 

Have you tried viewing your flight plans in "PLAN" mode to see how it looks? That is an easy way to make sure your FMC routing flows correctly.

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1. Will this solve my consistency problem with the FMC default database and sid / stars available at airnav? (at least until the next cycle comes out, but Im baking that changes between cycles is minimal)

 

Yes. The issue is actually rather simple:

Nav data changes 13 times per year.

Since the NGX was released, the nav data has changed somewhere around 50 times.

In order to keep up with this, a service must be contracted (Navigraph is one example) to update the data to keep it in line with current real world data.

 

So, if you want to use current resources in the sim, then you'll need a service that keeps the data current.

 

 

 


2. Is the download easy to use? As in I download some sort of .exe file, one click and it's smart enough to know what I want it to do? (Update my FMC database for the PMDG NGX 737).

 

Even easier now, since they have a program that will find your add ons, and then offer a simple button to update (or restore the previous version if the update proves to be messed up - I've never had to use it, but it's always a nice feature).

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Yes. The issue is actually rather simple:

Nav data changes 13 times per year.

 

Thank you for the answers, $6 isn't too much to ask for updated data.

 

In general, how much do things change between cycles? Atlanta has completely changed between the time the base NGX came out and now. I suspect this question might be impossible to answer and vary from one cycle to the next.


 

 


Have you tried viewing your flight plans in "PLAN" mode to see how it looks? That is an easy way to make sure your FMC routing flows correctly.

 

Yes, a plan mode would be awesome. Because I haven't figured out how to do that, I can only play with the range setting, which is always centered at the current location (tough to see something 150 miles away as you can imagine, no matter how big you make the popout window)

 

Can you explain how to do this?

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In general, how much do things change between cycles? Atlanta has completely changed between the time the base NGX came out and now. I suspect this question might be impossible to answer and vary from one cycle to the next.

 

It's really impossible to say. IAD had the CAPITAL8 departure for years, and it recently got updated to the CAPITAL9. Meanwhile, several other procedures were added and removed. It all depends on where new procedures get developed and added. If you want realism (using real world routes as an example), you'll need to subscribe to a service.

 

For what it's worth, you could potentially just buy one update from Navigraph to use in the plane, and get an activation code for SimBrief and just use SimBrief for your routes for the rest of time.

 

 

 


Can you explain how to do this?

 

Change the knob next the RANGE from MAP to PLAN. Step through the flight plan on the LEGS page with the STEP> function.

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Nick,

 

The difference in cost between a one time update and the annual cost is very small, so I would recommend the annual package.

 

Additionally, you may find yourself flying to different airports and continents (especially once you discover VATSIM!!!), and you'll want to have the most updated NAVDATA for all of that.  There isn't a time in the past 10 or so years that I've not updated my NAVDATA to each cycle (before that i was primarily a GA and Combat Sim guy).

 

Hope this helps you!

 

Happy flying!

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Yes, a plan mode would be awesome. Because I haven't figured out how to do that, I can only play with the range setting, which is always centered at the current location (tough to see something 150 miles away as you can imagine, no matter how big you make the popout window)

 

Can you explain how to do this?

 

 

I know its in the included manuals and tutorials out there (and Kyle just gave you a textual version...but a pic is worth a thousand words sometimes, hehe)...but basically:

  1. Switch to PLN on the EFIS panel
  2. Put your FMC on the LEGS page
  3. Click the LSK shown below to "Step" through your route.

The <CTR> you see on the FMC is where your display is centered at the moment.....pressing STEP will center your view on the next waypoint.

And.....the PLN view is displayed as "North up" vs "Track up" as it typically is on the MAP view.  

This can be initially confusing (at least it was for me when I was 1st learning)...but it's a better view than Track up for the simple reason (what I use it for)...is to make sure my easterly flights advance from left to right as I "Step" through the waypoints, and vise versa on my westerly routes!  :LMAO:

VRq1zG.jpg

 

As for "Because I haven't figured out how to do that, I can only play with the range setting, which is always centered at the current location "...I'll let you find that one yourself. (HINT: the "CTR" in the "Center" of the knob my yellow arrow is pointing to above is very relevant if you're referring to your map mode)  :wink:

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You guys are awesome, thanks!

 

I've got some crappy graphics on the virtual cockpit and have a tough time reading the EFIS and never made the connection to click the knob to "PLAN" because PLAN to me looks more like a smudge.  (Don't ask about frame rates... good lord). And I don't want to use the 2D cockpit cause well thats archaic.

 

But my plan is to learn and some day down the line upgrade my comp to get all the goodies. This is kinda good cause if I had all the goodies going I would get distracted too easily. At least thats what I keep telling myself. Hey, man I remember the old days flying the sim with the keyboard... I remember having to go to the library to print out maps of the country on 8.5 x 11's, taping them together, and drawing routes from VOR to VOR to get from one city to another.

And prior to that (having no idea how to use the ILS) lining up with a runway by zooming the view into the runway.... knowing if I was lined up if the single pixel width line representing the runway was straight. Remember when the clouds were infinately thin, and you knew you cross them when they vanished for a split second and reappeared below you. And they were square shaped... Clicking the Fkeys to move the throttle, and using a nintendo like keypad to fly.. they've come a long way.

 

As for the one time update vs year subscription, I think I'll opt for the one year to get everything back to semi close. I'm not completely deflated if I can't fly the exact route, I just want to be in the ballpark. This plan / route thing will help if I come across a discrepancy after the update.

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I've got some crappy graphics on the virtual cockpit and have a tough time reading the EFIS and never made the connection to click the knob to "PLAN" because PLAN to me looks more like a smudge.  (Don't ask about frame rates... good lord). And I don't want to use the 2D cockpit cause well thats archaic.

 

This is usually one of the easier things for the computer to render, sim-wise. Check your graphics settings to see if you can make it more crisp.

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As for the one time update vs year subscription, I think I'll opt for the one year to get everything back to semi close. I'm not completely deflated if I can't fly the exact route, I just want to be in the ballpark. This plan / route thing will help if I come across a discrepancy after the update.

 

If you fly offline (ie not with VATSIM or IVAO) and don't mind having an outdated navigation data, you can just buy a one time update.

You will have up to date/accurate nav data for this month, and the data will just slowly become a bit inaccurate every month, but at least all you add-ons (FMC from PMDG, flight planners, ATC, ...) will use the same data, based upon your month of subscription/update.

 

You only need a yearly subscription if :

1) you want to fly online because online ATC will use freshly updated nav data

or

2) you want to fly the most recently updated sid/stars/routes.

 

I just bought a 1-time (1 month) suscription in August, allowing me to update my nav data for : Pmdg 737 and 777, Aerosoft Airbus, PRO ATC-X, and PFPX. All those add-ons now share the same nav-data.

 

Chris

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If you fly offline (ie not with VATSIM or IVAO) and don't mind having an outdated navigation data, you can just buy a one time update.

You will have up to date/accurate nav data for this month, and the data will just slowly become a bit inaccurate every month, but at least all you add-ons (FMC from PMDG, flight planners, ATC, ...) will use the same data, based upon your month of subscription/update.

 

You only need a yearly subscription if :

1) you want to fly online because online ATC will use freshly updated nav data

or

2) you want to fly the most recently updated sid/stars/routes.

 

I just bought a 1-time (1 month) suscription in August, allowing me to update my nav data for : Pmdg 737 and 777, Aerosoft Airbus, PRO ATC-X, and PFPX. All those add-ons now share the same nav-data.

 

Chris

+1, good point!  Get it one time per year maybe, just to keep everything relatively current.  I got a reminder the other day from Navigraph and while I don't subscribe, I may opt for the one time update.  Thanks for the very helpful response!

 

-Jim

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There are a range of subscriptions available at Navigraph and before you spend more money, it's worth thinking through the whole of what you need.

 

Firstly, Navigraph offers updates for many add-on FMC's.  Secondly, it offers updates for other FS tools such as flight planning software and add-on ATC programs (although not for the FSX ATC itself).  Lastly, you can also subscribe to access en-route and airport charts either by specific download or by looking at them on-line via the Cloud Charts facility.  

 

Everything has a price but the advantage of taking a bundle subscription is that in theory, your FMC(s), your flight planner and  your charts are all working off identical data all the time.

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It was $6 for a one time update. You pay for the subscription, then download the update program offered by them and install it. Install -- run the program (it searches for your addons, verifies that you want to update... click ok and the magic happens). 

 

Extremely easy, extremely inexpensive, and sure as heck in my case Atlanta was up to date.

 

I will only be flying offline for the forseeable future, I think I would surely embarrass myself going to a vatsim or something like that.

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Hi,

 

For further updates, (not to advertize but to inform!) you may also have a look at the Aerosoft Navdatapro and compare the offers to check what suits you the best.

This just to give you the choice between two providers...

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