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So I've finished my entire hardware setup and I'm ready to install 3rd party add-ons. My first choice on the list is an ATC add on. I have both P3D v3 & v4 and FSX Gold with the acceleration pack. I have been reading about the many different ATC add ons out there such as VATSIM, RADAR CONTACT, PF3, PILOT EDGE etc..... What I want to know is a two fold question. #1) Which ATC add on is the most realistic in regards to true G/A aviation? #2) Is or does the ATC preference provide coverage in my neck of the woods which is the eastern USA (Cleveland Center)?

 

I tried Vatsim a long time ago and what I recall was that it was very (IFR) only supported. Of course the controllers would help VFR but not with pleasure. Maybe now things have changed. Anyone's thoughts? I also looked into PILOT EDGE and see that this program is mainly on the US West Coast.

 

If there are any recommendations out there I am all ears. I am a real G/A pilot looking to make my sim as realistic from the ground up on a real life budget. I don't mind spending the $$$$ to get the best experience however I am not going to waste my time on stuff that does not work. My sim is to keep me current when I can't fly. Being VFR only in the Cleveland area is frustrating because of the lake and all the weather concerns we have here. That's why I need it as realistic as I can. I also need the ATC practice. My instructor was not very helpful in ATC communication. He bred a fear in students that "ATC" is out to get you. Stay away from their airspace. Since I received my pilot license in 2005, I have been struggling with the instructors advice. To get over my phobia I actually visited one of my local ATC towers and spent a few hours bending their ears and gaining the comfort level I needed to communicate with them. Now I want to do the same, in the privacy of my own home and learn what I've been missing out on all these years.

 

So help me with your suggestions as to the most realistic ATS add on out there. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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WELCOME! Can't help you with the sim ATC recommendations, but ones manned by real people would be as real as it gets in the sim :)

Good on you for getting over your phobia. I've only recently started flying gliders, not yet gone solo, but I would have thought that ATC is not "out to get you" as such, it's a service which is out to get you safely separated from other traffic. ;)

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I would suggest you give Vox ATC a try if you were getting a bit 'mike shy', since it does actually have you talking to ATC in your sim. There is a free demo of it, although note that it is not yet P3D V4 compatible.

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ETA for v4 compatible version is currently unknown, although it is being worked on.  The dev in a single person operation with a busy life and a 'normal' job outside of sim development.  Personally, I think Vox as it worked in P3Dv3 was bang on.  If we can have the new terrain aware v7 beta working in v4 it will be happy days, but don't count on it tomorrow...

For best result use updated navdata  - since it indexes your active scenery and data, having up to date navdata will of course increase the accuracy of ATC instructions.

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2 hours ago, kevinfirth said:

Personally, I think Vox as it worked in P3Dv3 was bang on.

VOXATC bridges the gap between the rest of the ATC add-ons and VATSIM. Where it differs from the crowd is that it also provides its own AI aircraft control and communications, such that the user really feels imbedded in a real ATC situation. I really miss it in P3d V4 and I hope that at some point that there is a 64 bit version of VOXATC 7. 

The next best combination IMO is using Pilot2ATC combined with one of the "live" AI apps and LAAP (for seamless streaming of live ATC communications). This would be my preferred approach if it weren't for the two previously mentioned drawbacks. First, there isn't a universal requirement for aircraft to have their ADS-B transmitters active on the ground and second, some countries prohibit live ATC audio streams. I do believe that at some point in the future, these two obstacles will be overcome.

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Thank you all for the input and most of all valuable advice. I'm going to try a few on my older system before I load it onto my monster simulator. I want to communicate like ii would in real world flight. I want to talk into the mic and have a real response. This for sure will make it as realistic as possible. I will follow up as to how it goes. Again thanks community for the input. It's nice to know that there are others out there as enthusiastic about flying as I am.

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