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STUART_H

RC4 or PF3 with MCE?

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I've been an ardent user of RC4 for years and using it with MCE, despite some shortfalls, is great. However, as RC4 is no longer in development, I am interested in giving PF3 a try out as, looking at the user guide, it appears to have alot more going for it - sids&stars, more regional ATC than RC4, and better ground taxi. However, I was wondering whether anyone has experience of using it with MCE and voice, and how well it fairs in comparison with RC4?

 

I also noticed whilst searching this forum, that there was talk in November last year of having the MCE VCP fully handle the radio communication to PF3. I'm not sure if this is possible or is in development?

 

Cheers,

Stuart

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I've been an ardent user of RC4 for years and using it with MCE, despite some shortfalls, is great. However, as RC4 is no longer in development, I am interested in giving PF3 a try out as, looking at the user guide, it appears to have alot more going for it - sids&stars, more regional ATC than RC4, and better ground taxi. However, I was wondering whether anyone has experience of using it with MCE and voice, and how well it fairs in comparison with RC4?

I also noticed whilst searching this forum, that there was talk in November last year of having the MCE VCP fully handle the radio communication to PF3. I'm not sure if this is possible or is in development?

Cheers,

Stuart

Hello Stuart.

 

Sound like you are having the same thoughts as me!

 

My RC4 experience over the years has been great. However, I am seeing some increasing glitches rearing their ugly head on my P3dv3.4hf2. Notably RC4 will freeze, or stop responding. If I use or attempt to use the PTT during a flow, RC4 will stop responding permanently. The "use FO voice" is ok though, he/she will keep responding during a flow, no matter what.

 

Now, I tried the demo of PF3. It worked for 10 minutes then I had a fatal crash! Interestingly, PF3 apparently had a built in error trap algorithm and flashed up an error box/email request for me to complete, with the details of my activity preceding the crash! I duly submitted the error report, but havnt herd anything since.

 

 

I have since read that the demo PF3 is rather unstable with PDV3.4 etc.... Also I read that the full version (paid up version) is ok?

 

Since I am financially compromised at the moment, I am not willing to take the plunge (risk) and go for the full version PF3.

 

I must say though, for the 10 minutes while PF3 worked, I was getting rather interested in its features!:-) I think it needs a few of us to use it with MCE and then perhaps a trend will develop? We know it works with MCE. But the auto FO reply is unavailable......Perhaps the MCE team will find time to integrate this in future?

 

I read that the folks who use PF3 like it a lot, so may be worth having a dabble if you are able.

 

Regards,

 

David

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Thanks David for your initial insight to PF3.

 

Unfortunately, my time is not quite my own at the moment, but I'll try and give the demo a run out in my FSX when I can. Like you I am loath to fork out the dosh only then to find it doesn't cut the mustard!

 

I would be very interested if the dev team were working on integrating the FO being able to handle the comms in PF3, as this mimics real life operations, and something I use alot with MCE/RC4 using William, Lorna or of course me as FO!

 

Cheers,

Stuart

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I would be very interested if the dev team were working on integrating the FO being able to handle the comms in PF3, as this mimics real life operations, and something I use alot with MCE/RC4 using William, Lorna or of course me as FO!

 

I have no idea, however I read that with the advent of voices like CereProc, it may be possible to use those, more readily, in an "auto reply" FO in PF3.

 

 

I actually use the FO RC4 reply option most of the time now. It's the only sure way to keep RC4 "Up"! (In P3dv3.4hf2) I would like to use my PTT to reply, but with "silent" flows, if I tx in the middle of one, I crash RC4.

 

If your on FSX, there may be no issue at all. The ever increasing complexity and departure from FSX code in P3d, I am sure is causing some headaches for the devs! I'd be more confidant to spend the doe if it was for FSX....:-)

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David,

What do you mean by "FO RC4 reply option".

 

What I currently do is that I have set up a Voxkey 'ctrl-shft-k' called "Your comms". I then usually say "your comms" when taxiing and William then handles all responses to RC4 commands changing radio settings as well when requested. I still set all actions requested by RC4 myself, although of course I could still ask FO to do so if I wanted.

 

Cheers,

Stuart

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I am using MCE with PF3 and I am very happy with it. I never used RC4 so I can't compare. but the immersion of MCE and PF3 together is just great. I never had stability problems with the full version of PF3. And the support on the PF3 forum is as great as it is here.

 

You can have the FO talk to PF3-ATC with MCE right now if you create the appropriate commands in a voxkey profile. For example assign "Please contact Tower for landing" to the appropriate PF3-hotkey. Also PF3 offers different modes of automization for the FO ATC handling to choose from (off; just changing frequencies; contacting and responding automatically; and handling the autopilot accordingly).

 

I created a quite extensive voxkey profile for that and it works fine. The only problem is that you have both the PF3 voice and the MCE voice for the FO. But you can find some fair matches.

 

I think I have read recently the MCE devs plan to include this feature soon.

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Ralf,

Your solution sounds like a good work around. As I'm currently unfamiliar with PF3 keys etc and their effect, and to save me some time, would you be able to zip up your Voxkey files and send them to me, so that I may better understand how these work.

 

Hopefully the dev guys may be able to soon integrate the MCE FO handling the comms.

 

If your willing to, send me an email.

Cheers,

Stuart

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Email sent.

 

Now better delete your email adress before it gets caught by any bots...

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Ralf,

I have successfully set up Voxkeys to effectively request the MCE FO to activate the necessary PF3 keys, as per your great suggestion. However, when I try and use voice myself using the MCE PTT button I don't get any response from PF3. Do you know if this is a quirk of the PF3 demo. Are you able to use voice via MCE to interface with PF3 in the full version, and are there any specific settings needed in either PF3 or MCE to enable this?

 

Any thoughts would be appreciated, as I'm not aware of others currently using these programs.

 

Cheers,

Stuart

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Hi Stuart,

 

I thought I would just add my experience of MCE and PF3.   I pretty much purchased MCE and PF3 withing days of each other, after some discussions on our VA forum about ATC options. Now I have not gone down the route that Ralf has and used Voxkey to get my FO to request ATC stuff, mainly due to the fact that I inquired a while back to the guys at MCE about them adding support for MCE to handle ATC coms. This feature is due at some point and I am looking forward to that being added.

 

Now what I do is this, If I want to use my FO to take charge of my comes I use ctrl+shft+V, this key strokes allows PF3 to switch modes. So you can switch in flight or on the ground from your PF3 FO handling the coms to me taking over voice control of coms.

 

Although its not perfect it does mean that if I want to handle all the ground coms I can, if I am feeling lazy I can get my PF3 FO to run through the coms. I have been using this method for a while and it fits with what I need, but obviously once the guys get a spare moment to get the MCE FO to control the ATC then I would make the switch.

 

I have never used RC4, but from what I can see its a very similar beast but at least PF3 is still being developed and new functions added all the time.  If you want to find out any specifics Stuart I am happy to jump on the VA's TS and answer any further questions. 

 

Cheers Rob

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Many thanks Rob for your experience with both MCE and PF3.

When you say you use ctrl-shft-V to switch FO mode, I guess you have initial setting with pilot voice set and FO mode = 0. Are you then able to use PTT button set in MCE to commuicate directly with PF3?

 

You might want to try setting up a Voxkey profile for MCE, instead of having to use the ctrl-shft-v key press. Makes it more realistic. You can then say to the MCE FO something like "your comms" or "you handle ATC" (whatever you want) and MCE will send the associated key press. After setting up a Voxkey profile make sure it is the only one in the folder, delete other default ones. Call yours FSX or P3D for instance. Voxkey is quite useful and can be used for all sorts of things with a little imagination.

 

You might also want to investigate David Herky videos on youtube and his MCE Voxscript flows on Avsim, as these are great for requesting other things like having the FO run through various cockpit preparation sequences or, using various sound files for flight attendants, have them run through safty briefings etc. etc.

 

Thanks again for your advice,

Stuart

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Thanks for the reply Stuart,

 

What I'm going to do is see what happens once the guys at MCE have worked their magic on adding PF3 FO control integration. Their work is superb as you already know, I'll only set up Voxscript if I find something falls out side of what they have achieved.

 

And yes I've looked at David Henky's and put them to good use on creating some custome commands for my Dash 8.

 

Rob

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Ok Rob, no worries.

BTW, you didn't comme t on my initial question:

"When you say you use ctrl-shft-V to switch FO mode, I guess you have initial setting with a pilot voice set and FO mode = 0. Are you then able to use PTT button set in MCE to commuicate directly with PF3?"

 

Cheers,

Stuart

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Hi Stuart,

 

Sorry yes I didn't answer the first question. Well as I only really do short flights I don't use the FO function that much, just for trips to get drinks etc. So I have my PF3 set to no FO voice, just like you would if you do a full voice flight, if I go AGK then I switch to PF3 FO via the key press. No I don't hear my FO talk, but I check the PF3 display tool to check messages when I get back.

 

So really I only need my FO when I'm not at the keyboard, I much prefer doing coms myself. I hope that answers the question.

 

Rob

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Thanks Rob for the clarification. I was trying to establish if one can still use voice via MCE when PF3 pilot voice is set to something other than 'none'.

 

Stuart

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I was trying to establish if one can still use voice via MCE when PF3 pilot voice is set to something other than 'none'.

Stuart

Yes, that works fine for me.

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Hi Stuart,

 

I tested this last night, yes you can have a voice selected in PF3 and switch modes and PTT voice still works.

 

Rob

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Rob,

Just purchased PF3 and installed, and I still can't get it to recognise voice commands / requests via MCE PTT button. MCE recognises my commands and PTT button working (buzz noise), but nothing from PF3.

 

Is there anything specific you did related to either PF3 or MCE to get voice working?

 

Cheers,

Stuart

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Hi Stuart,

 

Installation for me was straight forward, the only thing I remember I had to change was the hotkey in PF3 for the "roger" command. I believe this was possibly due a key conflict, if you search the PF3 you might dig up the info.

 

The only thing I can think of, and I'm sure the guys at MCE will correct me if I'm wrong, maybe if you have been using RC4 and now you have switched to PF3 you might need to restore to factory settings in MCE and start afresh so it picks up the PF3 key config. Obviously you won't need to do the voice training again!

 

I assume you have switched MCE to PF3 in the ATC tab?

 

If your still unsure drop the MCE guys a support email, their fantastic as you know.

 

Rob

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Thankx Rob, few things for me to check, but think everything is set correctly.

BTW, did you map the MCE PTT button to the PF3 PTT key in fsuipc4?

 

Stuart

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Hi Stuart,

 

No I have not used FSUIPC at all.

 

I just set my PTT in PF3, and set PF3 to use voice in the hotkey's, I think the default was ESC. I changed mine, I then set up my PTT button in MCE and that was it.

 

I'm not sure if using FSUIPC to map keys confuses MCE as I do recall being asked that question on a technical issue I had many moons ago.

 

Rob

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