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Pro ATC X Pros and Cons

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I'm considering buying Pro ATC X and would like some opinions on it.  Pros and cons as the title suggests.  Thanks for any input.

Jim

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1 hour ago, planenut said:

I'm considering buying Pro ATC X and would like some opinions on it.  Pros and cons as the title suggests.  Thanks for any input.

Jim

If you do a search for the topic in the P3D forum, you'll find dozens of opinions about the program, which I like.

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To add to that, if you are a bit more specific with what you are looking for, I think you would get better feedback. Do you want to control it via voice, does it need to control AI, do you hate robot voices, ETC. 

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I am mainly interested in communication without voice control.  I have P2ATC now but the program struggles trying to understand me which is a little frustrating.  Just want simple method to communicate.  I took Wayne's advice and did a search on the P3D forum.  Got many opinions.  I may just wind up flipping a coin in order to make the decision on whether to buy it or not.

Jim

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3 hours ago, planenut said:

I may just wind up flipping a coin in order to make the decision on whether to buy it or not.

jim

you might note ProATCX is very much about class A & B airspace flights with Cat C and above aircraft (flown with 2 crew & with the co-pilot/pnf doing the comms).

you can use MCE as the PF to request the PNF to get clearances etc.

 

Edited by vadriver
clarity

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1 hour ago, vadriver said:

you might note ProATCX is very much about class A & B airspace flights with Cat C and above aircraft (flown with 2 crew & with the co-pilot/pnf doing the comms).

...? ProATC is very much for IFR and not really suited for VFR but that's it. No need to limit yourself to certain airspaces or to use a co-pilot.

Main advantages of ProATC imho:

1. it only needs you to enter departure and destination and ProATC takes care of everything else: flightplan, SID and STAR (both assigned at the appropriate time and changed depending on the weather), etc. It is BY FAR the easiest and quickest ATC addon when it comes to this. Some other ATC addons require you to setup every single part of the flight, including SID and STAR (which you sometimes even have to create yourself). BTW You CAN edit the flightplan any way you want to if you so desire so if you like to use a PFPX plan, simply copy it into ProATC.

2. basic communication is done without the use of an on screen interface: simply press 1, 2 or 3 to ask or acknowledge things and that's it. Very clean.

3. advanced options but also ALL the information you need can be called up and taken care off on screen anytime you want to. So if you missed what ATC said or if you didn't understand it you can read it on screen: it uses the SimConnect window for this which can be resized etc. You can also ask for another altitude or a direct to this way.

4. whatever ATC said can be shown at the same time on screen too, if you want to (same way it shows ATIS by default). You can also select the color of the text and how it appears (static or rolling) and even how long it should stay on screen.

As with any ATC addon it may take some time setting it up and getting to grips with it but once you know how it works ProATC is the most convenient ATC addon there is. Easy and quick and very clean. 😉 

Main disadvantage of ProATC imho:

1. voices could be better. Some are great, some are less great. But for me they are good enough. Voices are a problem with most ATC addons though...

Edited by Guest

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Thanks Jeroen.  I think you have convinced me that it is a worthwhile purchase.  Sounds like this is what I am looking for.  Info is much appreciated.

Jim

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4 hours ago, J van E said:

...? ProATC is very much for IFR and not really suited for VFR but that's it. No need to limit yourself to certain airspaces or to use a co-pilot.

Main advantages of ProATC imho:

1. it only needs you to enter departure and destination and ProATC takes care of everything else: flightplan, SID and STAR (both assigned at the appropriate time and changed depending on the weather), etc. It is BY FAR the easiest and quickest ATC addon when it comes to this. Some other ATC addons require you to setup every single part of the flight, including SID and STAR (which you sometimes even have to create yourself). BTW You CAN edit the flightplan any way you want to if you so desire so if you like to use a PFPX plan, simply copy it into ProATC.

2. basic communication is done without the use of an on screen interface: simply press 1, 2 or 3 to ask or acknowledge things and that's it. Very clean.

3. advanced options but also ALL the information you need can be called up and taken care off on screen anytime you want to. So if you missed what ATC said or if you didn't understand it you can read it on screen: it uses the SimConnect window for this which can be resized etc. You can also ask for another altitude or a direct to this way.

4. whatever ATC said can be shown at the same time on screen too, if you want to (same way it shows ATIS by default). You can also select the color of the text and how it appears (static or rolling) and even how long it should stay on screen.

As with any ATC addon it may take some time setting it up and getting to grips with it but once you know how it works ProATC is the most convenient ATC addon there is. Easy and quick and very clean. 😉 

Main disadvantage of ProATC imho:

1. voices could be better. Some are great, some are less great. But for me they are good enough. Voices are a problem with most ATC addons though...

If ProATC generates the flightplan, how do I then import into the FMC of either the Airbus A319, Ifly 737 or into the default flightplan set-up?

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1 hour ago, Ian S said:

If ProATC generates the flightplan, how do I then import into the FMC of either the Airbus A319, Ifly 737 or into the default flightplan set-up?

I personally program the plan myself (if I use P3D I only fly the Majestic Q400). 😉 But as soon as you activate a flight in ProATC you get the option to 1. load the plan into the sim itself and 2. load the plan into specific planes. I don't know though which planes are supported. I think PMDG is supported, the old Aerosoft Airbus was supported (and maybe that option also works for the new one...?). I don't have P3D and ProATC installed right now so I can't check. I myself did use the first option so the plan was loaded into the sim and hence also into ActiveSky (so I could check weather at departure and destination). These options can be checked and are remembered by ProATC so it's a one time setup.

As with any ATC addon the program needs a bit of time and attention to set it up to your liking and get to grips with. So be prepared to fail during your first few flights. 😎 I was sure at first that ProATC was full of bugs but after a while I found out I simply wasn't using it properly and/or I had chosen some wrong settings. As soon as you passed that phase ProATC is extremely easy and quick to use.

Edited by Guest

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11 hours ago, J van E said:

I personally program the plan myself (if I use P3D I only fly the Majestic Q400). 😉 But as soon as you activate a flight in ProATC you get the option to 1. load the plan into the sim itself and 2. load the plan into specific planes. I don't know though which planes are supported. I think PMDG is supported, the old Aerosoft Airbus was supported (and maybe that option also works for the new one...?). I don't have P3D and ProATC installed right now so I can't check. I myself did use the first option so the plan was loaded into the sim and hence also into ActiveSky (so I could check weather at departure and destination). These options can be checked and are remembered by ProATC so it's a one time setup.

As with any ATC addon the program needs a bit of time and attention to set it up to your liking and get to grips with. So be prepared to fail during your first few flights. 😎 I was sure at first that ProATC was full of bugs but after a while I found out I simply wasn't using it properly and/or I had chosen some wrong settings. As soon as you passed that phase ProATC is extremely easy and quick to use.

Okay thanks Jeroen, I haven't used ProATCx for a while, might have to get the manual out again... 

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On ‎7‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 5:22 PM, J van E said:

...?

jeroen

raise you ??? .... fake approach / departure / ground freq's  at class C & D airports that can't be found on any chart (but the pnf can) !

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I probably have well over 1,000 flights with PATCX, and even beta tested it a couple of times. I had also used PF3 for my VFR and Copter flying a couple of years agoi. The last release of PATC broke the compatibility with P3D Version 3.4 , so I decided to go back to PF3 permanently. 

What I found was that in PF3, once you start a SID or STAR, you have to check the charts, and find a SID or Star that works for the flight and weather conditions. With PATC, I never looked at Sids or Star charts, so basically I learned nothing. Became a real issue when flying on Vatsim. The PATC  routing from beginning to end was spoon fed to me, so why bother. Even when flying a Sid or Star, all headings and altitudes are directed by PATC, which is not the way it is in the real world. The first week or two using PF3 for IFR, was a little slow, as I got used to looking at charts, but once I grew accustomed to it, only took a few minutes, prior to starting the flight, to get my SID or star sorted out.. Now when in a Sid or Star, PF3 just leaves me alone, only picking up directions when the Sid is finished or when the Star turns into the final approach. I recently got Avialosoft EFB, which makes the entire process much quicker and way more realistic. I can see which Sids are good for my departure runway, and which Stars work with my Flight Plan while in Flight, so if weather and wind change, it is easy to change the Star, because in seconds I can try the one's that are available and pick the one I like the best and then PF3 let's me fly it. It also has a great moving map that shows you flying the route, Sid, and Star, together with altitudes, Headings, waypoints, etc. 

The second thing I like about PF3 is the climbs and descents, With PATC you usually get the same climb altitudes and descent altitude changes on every flight, mostly two or three to your cruise altitude, at just about the same places in teh FP, very predictable and boring after awhile. With PF3, the climb and descent profile is different every flight. Sometimes it is in 3,000 foot steps after the initial altitude assignment,  for a couple of changes, then 10,000  foot steps, to cruise. Much more like real life ATC. Then the voices in PF3, there are 140 voices that change in different regions of the world, talking to the AI and to your aircraft. With PATC, there about 15 or so, if you add some of the user voices that are available on their forum( in fact one of the voices is mine). 

The vectoring in PF3 is way better than in PATC in my opinion . PATC gives you made up waypoints to fly to on approach ,if you are not on a SID or Star, PF3 gives you exact headings and altitude changes which will bring you right to the final approach. The support in PF3 is excellent, if I post a question, I usually get an answer on the forum within hours, many times from the developer who is there all the time. PATC, you will never see the developer. Updates on PATC are once a year, and if an update has an issue, you go another year till it is fixed. PF3, issues constant updates. 

The only down side to PF3, is the free demo only has 4 voices, and frankly two of the four are not so good. Other than that, the free demo works fine. When you get the full program, you get all 140 voices. If you hear a controller voice that you don't like, it is very easy to go to a menu and deselect it, and it won't play anymore. Out of the 140 voices, I have eliminated only 3. 

So to some it up, if you want to just fly, and not bother with charts and really learning IFR, PATC is the better bet, and of course you need to always be IFR. If you want to learn procedures, give PF3 a try. You can also get a free demo of EFB, use them together, and you will be amazed at how much you will learn in just a few flights. By the way, I use Simbrief for my flight plans, and it usually suggest a sid and star, if available, and imports the FP directly into your sim where PF3 can load it, and to EFB also,  with one click. It even loads it into my NGX and Q400 FMC. 

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On 8/3/2018 at 2:13 PM, Bobsk8 said:

What I found was that in PF3, once you start a SID or STAR, you have to check the charts, and find a SID or Star that works for the flight and weather conditions. With PATC, I never looked at Sids or Star charts, so basically I learned nothing. Became a real issue when flying on Vatsim. The PATC  routing from beginning to end was spoon fed to me, so why bother. Even when flying a Sid or Star, all headings and altitudes are directed by PATC, which is not the way it is in the real world. The first week or two using PF3 for IFR, was a little slow, as I got used to looking at charts, but once I grew accustomed to it, only took a few minutes, prior to starting the flight, to get my SID or star sorted out.. Now when in a Sid or Star, PF3 just leaves me alone, only picking up directions when the Sid is finished or when the Star turns into the final approach. I recently got Avialosoft EFB, which makes the entire process much quicker and way more realistic. I can see which Sids are good for my departure runway, and which Stars work with my Flight Plan while in Flight, so if weather and wind change, it is easy to change the Star, because in seconds I can try the one's that are available and pick the one I like the best and then PF3 let's me fly it. It also has a great moving map that shows you flying the route, Sid, and Star, together with altitudes, Headings, waypoints, etc. 

You are talking about realism and that PF3 is more realistic but in real life pilots don't (have to) pick their own SID or STAR... ATC assigns them to you at the appropriate time, which is what ProATC does. A real pilot never has to check the weather and figure out a STAR using an EFB during flight. So in that regard ProATC is the only realistic ATC addon. The fact that you never bothered to look at charts and learned nothing isn't ProATC's fault, it's yours. 😉 With ProATC you can learn about procedures just as well as with PF3. And apart from that, even with PF3 there is no real reason to check out charts (apart from figuring out which one to use) because once you load a SID or STAR in the FMS you only have to follow it from there. You STILL wouldn't need to check charts if you don't want to. I also wonder what happens if you don't fly the SID or STAR properly: you say PF3 leaves you alone whenever you fly a SID or STAR: does it also leave you alone when you leave the proper path? Doesn't sound realistic to me that PF3 let's you fly any SID or STAR without contacting you.

When it comes to variation, voices, vectoring, VFR, etc. PF3 sounds interesting though. 😉

Edited by Guest

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4 hours ago, J van E said:

You are talking about realism and that PF3 is more realistic but in real life pilots don't (have to) pick their own SID or STAR... ATC assigns them to you at the appropriate time, which is what ProATC does. A real pilot never has to check the weather and figure out a STAR using an EFB during flight. So in that regard ProATC is the only realistic ATC addon. The fact that you never bothered to look at charts and learned nothing isn't ProATC's fault, it's yours. 😉 With ProATC you can learn about procedures just as well as with PF3. And apart from that, even with PF3 there is no real reason to check out charts (apart from figuring out which one to use) because once you load a SID or STAR in the FMS you only have to follow it from there. You STILL wouldn't need to check charts if you don't want to. I also wonder what happens if you don't fly the SID or STAR properly: you say PF3 leaves you alone whenever you fly a SID or STAR: does it also leave you alone when you leave the proper path? Doesn't sound realistic to me that PF3 let's you fly any SID or STAR without contacting you.

When it comes to variation, voices, vectoring, VFR, etc. PF3 sounds interesting though. 😉

I seriously doubt if you don't fly a sid or star properly, that real ATC gives a pilot step by step altitude and heading changes, rather than lecturing them about their piloting skills or lack of. I listen to real ATC on line from some of the busiest airports in the US, and I never hear controllers flying the aircraft for the pilot. All I can say is I got my pilots license in one of the busiest ATC areas in the US, and flew in it for decades. The immersion I get from PF3 is way better than what I had in PATC. 

Edited by Bobsk8

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FWIW, i have flown with PATC, but that was in the early days when the dev was having some real difficulties. Since then I moved to VoxATC and absolutely adore it. I was very wary at first, but I have no issues with the voice recognition. The immersion factor, using voice control, increased tenfold for me and as such, increased my enjoyment enormously.

Edited by Rockliffe
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I now use Pro ATC, enjoying it very much for the airlines I fly with. I use it along with PFPX, all good I use it for every flight I do and I like the vectoring all so. I would give it 8.5 out of 10.

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