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Chris F.

Audio for VATSIM Launch Date Announced

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For those who don't know yet, there's now a launch date for the new Audio Codec for VATSIM. it will be released on Monday, October 14th, 2019.

 

More Info here: Audio for VATSIM

 

Apologies if this has been posted already.

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Chris Ferguson

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Vatsim? Vatsim, back in the day use to be fun. Everyone helping everyone. Now, it is a dictatorship. ATC is the dictators that do not know what they are doing, Pilots have no say. Turned into a dog and pony show. Left vatsim and never going back.

I fly on IVAO, it is no better, but no atc in the United States and I do not have to deal with IVAO's dog and pony show and put up with bad ATC.


RP

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Sorry you feel that way..

my vatsim organization is very professional and helpful, so you might wanna generalize less.

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1 hour ago, leon310 said:

Vatsim? Vatsim, back in the day use to be fun. Everyone helping everyone. Now, it is a dictatorship. ATC is the dictators that do not know what they are doing, Pilots have no say. Turned into a dog and pony show. Left vatsim and never going back.

I fly on IVAO, it is no better, but no atc in the United States and I do not have to deal with IVAO's dog and pony show and put up with bad ATC.

I really have trouble wrapping my head around your comments.  I have very rarely run into ATC that does not know what they are doing.  Maybe you are a RW pilot and notice that some procedures have been modified to suit an online simulation environment?  The only time I find ATC has issues is during large events when they are slammed with substantially more traffic than any controller would be required to deal with in the real world.  

The new voice codec is incredible, voices are clear and easy to understand...having to say "say again" is almost eliminated and other features like realistic radio range makes the entire thing really fun to use.  I am sure Vatsim traffic will experience a nice jump when this is released in 2 weeks.


Mark W   CYYZ      

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My Concorde Tutorial Videos available here:  https://www.youtube.com/user/UPS1000
 

 

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2 hours ago, MarkW said:

The only time I find ATC has issues is during large events when they are slammed with substantially more traffic than any controller would be required to deal with in the real world.  

As a real world pilot I will have to disagree with you.  Real world controllers deal with 60 to 80 aircraft an hour on some of the arrival and departure sectors in the USA. 

It has been my experience on Vatsim that most of the controllers can't handle more than 10 aircraft at any one time.  A lot of that is caused by pilots flying on the system that don't listen and can't/don't comply when given instructions. Poor phraseology is also a real problem for the Vatsim pilots and controllers which  creates a lot of confusion.    

Before you folks start beating on me I've been flying regularly on Vatsim for over 15 years.  🙂

 


I Earned My Spurs in Vietnam

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2 hours ago, BlueStar said:

It has been my experience on Vatsim that most of the controllers can't handle more than 10 aircraft at any one time.

Not disagreeing with your post at all, but I did a little bit of searching around because I was curious about this... whilst it's difficult to find any absolute data (and clearly there will be lots of variation dependent upon the specific sector), and most data relates to overall hourly capacity rather than instantaneous sector loading (or 'sector occupancy'), I did find a couple of Eurocontrol capacity studies which predicated flow rates upon a maximum sector occupancy (i.e. number of aircraft in a particular sector simultaneously) of around 13 aircraft (i.e. if the controller found themselves with more than 13 on freq the sector would be considered overloaded). I also found an anectodal PPRune post in which the author suggested that a ballpark sensible maximum 'on frequency' figure would be about 12 with a single controller and perhaps 18 with two controllers working the sector (tactical and planner -- I think in the US they are referred to "R-side and D-side").

I think on VATSIM our smallest area sectors that would ever be used during events in the UK are made up of about 5 real sectors and in reality would be staffed by two controllers instead of one (much in the same way that most VATSIM pilots are flying two-crew aircraft single-handedly!).

Given the limitations of the current system -- the mushy voice quality, the latency (it currently takes anything from 0.5 to a whopping 1.2 seconds between you hitting your PTT and your voice coming out the other end, which is why people end up stepping on each other -- because when they started talking they hadn't yet heard your transmission start so they think you stepped on them!), the fact that clearly most VATSIM controllers and pilots are not professionals and the fact that VATSIM controllers even during events where there are lots of underlying positions open are typically at some point handling traffic in all flight regimes from cruise to approach/landing/on the ground/taking off etc in addition to whatever their 'primary' enroute task might be -- I would say that if VATSIM non-professionals are able to work at around 70-80% of real-world sector occupancy figures, that is pretty impressive really!

I think it is fair to say also that there are occasions -- not regularly, or for long sustained periods, but still -- when VATSIM controllers are faced with much much traffic to deal with than their real world counterparts, given that VATSIM controllers are often operating an entire FIR on their own; also many events involve unrealistically large amounts of traffic on a single route between airports (and airspace) which are often not designed to cope with those loads. I'm not sure somewhere like Samos or Vladivostok often gets 100+ arrivals in a two hour period, as they did during Worldflight for example 🙂 .

I can say first-hand that the new voice system ('codec' somewhat undersells it: the codec -- the bit which converts wiggly amps out of your microphone in to 1s and 0s and back again in to the receiver's headphones at the other end -- is very much the straightforward bit. Creating a realistic radio simulation with all the bells and whistles around it, however, less so 🙂) has been a year of extraordinarily hard work from the development team (especially Mark, Gary and Néstor who are the real heroes). Through the testing process we have had so many people say to us that they had given up flying or controlling on VATSIM because they couldn't understand what people were saying or others couldn't understand them, because they were frustrated with the latency meaning their transmissions were constantly getting interrupted, or because they were hard of hearing and the old codec just didn't play well with their hearing aids etc but are looking forward to being able to return -- it's really helped keep us motivated and we are really looking forward to seeing it out in the wild (and getting our lives back!! 😄 ) in a couple of weeks' time!

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Simon Kelsey

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6 minutes ago, skelsey said:

I also found an anectodal PPRune post in which the author suggested that a ballpark sensible maximum 'on frequency' figure would be about 12 with a single controller and perhaps 18 with two controllers working the sector (tactical and planner -- I think in the US they are referred to "R-side and D-side").

The R side is from the non-radar days and was originally referred to as the Radio side where the controller only talked to the aircraft.  That is now referred to as the Radar side where the controller actually does the sequencing and talking to the aircraft.

The D side is the manual controller and would manually separate the aircraft before arriving in the sector. 

I know for a fact that in some of the arrival and departure sectors for airports such as KORD and KDFW that those controllers are working 60 to 80 aircraft an hour.  This is possible because the controllers are very experienced, they are dealing with professional flight crews, excellent radar and radios.  

As a side note on Vatsim I will ask for a HI-TACAN or to fly one of the ISJTAs and have yet to receive the correct clearance. 🙂  

 

 


I Earned My Spurs in Vietnam

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3 minutes ago, BlueStar said:

I know for a fact that in some of the arrival and departure sectors for airports such as KORD and KDFW that those controllers are working 60 to 80 aircraft an hour.  This is possible because the controllers are very experienced, they are dealing with professional flight crews, excellent radar and radios.  

Absolutely -- I am not disagreeing with you (although as I say, there is a difference between flow rate per hour and the number of aircraft on frequency at any one time which is obviously a function of flow rate and the average amount of time taken for an aircraft to transit through the sector. 60 to 80 aircraft an hour isn't 60 to 80 aircraft on frequency simultaneously -- if it only takes an aircraft two minutes to transit the sector, for instance, then if my maths is right -- which it probably isn't -- that would only be about three aircraft on frequency at a time. Obviously it will be more than that in practice).

My only point was to give the VATSIM guys a little bit of credit that despite the fact they have none of the things you have listed above (well, I suppose the radar is OK and hopefully in two weeks' time we we be able to say they have excellent radios as well!) if they are able to work 10 aircraft simultaneously then it can be said they are reasonably achieving anything up to about 70% of the (instantaneous) capacity of the real equipment and controllers and I think that is a pretty good effort!


Simon Kelsey

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I am repeating more or less what I posted elsewhere.

I fly FS9 mainly due to lack of money for a new system, and a stable FS9 with addons, scenery, etc. I run SquawkBox  and I see no real need for a new voice setup.

Clearer voices will not make VATSIM better, and I must question WHY?

It also seems as if SWIFT is the only option for FS9 pilots and they list FS9 and EXPERIMENTAL.

SO why push a large segment out out?
I shall download and install Swift, but I need far more info on how it works, IF it works, and how to make it work. Last thin  gI want to do is ADD something into my FS9 setup that MIGHT screw it up, of be a huge drain on my small computer. As you see I run with voice as a low priority setting to give the system I have max effort to run FS9.

Any critical help would be great

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1 hour ago, CaptDennison said:

Clearer voices will not make VATSIM better

Hi there,

If you have looked at the feature list and you honestly don't beleive that any of:

- A realistic VHF and HF radio simulation including real radio propagation characteristics, real radio operating characteristics, realistic sound effects, range degradation effects, multi-frequency cross-coupling for controllers, voice CTAF and Unicom, air to air communications on any frequencies, realistic call blocking and much more to come in future updates such as terrain occlusion and atmospheric effects

- A reduction in latency from about 1.2 seconds to around 150-200ms

- Fewer crossed and stepped on transmissions

- And more

Will make your VATSIM experience better or more immersive in any way, then I'm sorry that I and the rest of the development team have wasted the last year of our lives and literally thousands of man-hours coming up with such a disappointing product!

The current codec may be just fine for you but it literally excludes thousands of VATSIM members who are hard of hearing (even with VHF effects off it is too mushy to work well with hearing aids), who have suffered from medical issues which have affected their voices (I know at least one guy who is immensely looking forward to returning to controlling on VATSIM as he gave up because pilots just could not understand anything he said), and non-native English speakers whose number one complaint is that they simply cannot make out ATC and so either do not fly on the network at all or use text only.

All that said - if you read the announcement you will see that you will still be able to use Squawkbox if you wish but you will need to download an additional voice client, because the Squawkbox developer abandoned that software around a decade ago and kept the source code to himself so nobody can update it.

That said, at some point in the future there really will be no option to update because things like smoother aircraft position updates really won't be compatible with the abandoned clients. Swift does, from what I understand, work with FS9 and I know the team really would appreciate more FS9 users giving them feedback to improve it - from what I can gather the main reason FS9 functionality is still listed as 'experimental' is because they literally could not find any FS9 users to help with testing it.

I genuinely would be interested to know what more you would have liked to see from the new system to make it worth your while -- perhaps we can make it happen!


Simon Kelsey

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skelsey

 

Hi there, as for the work you all put into it, thanks form the entire flight sim community. Somehow you read my comment as you wasting your life devolving a product, I never said that. However, in the real world, aircraft radio transmissions are FAR worse that what is currently on VATSIM as to quality, covered transmissions, whistles, pops, static etc. You say you are adding in  ATC real life features such as these, are you going to include a SQUELCH feature as well?

As you claim to develop this, What about the voice transmissions? Are they going to be sent to Google or some other type to be listened to? Yes, I am paranoid.

As for Squawkbox. you say download an APP, I saw nothing no where to get such an APP, and by APP do you mean for a Phone device? I simply am a dinosaur, and refuse to get a PHONE Device for internet use, nor do I feel a need to give any phone number out to gain access to sites, emails, etc.

SO EXACTLY where do I find this APP? I see nothing on SWIFT or anywhere else?

 

I used to drive trucks back in the 90's  and today I see truckers MUST have and give out their phone numbers yo shippers and receivers,etc, and I guess if I was still driving, I would quit.

Thus........if VATSIM really wanted to improve, they would NOT allow a controller to pop online and sit on GROUND when no other ATC is running, thats not realistic. Perhaps VATSIM needs to ensure a CENTER is operating before any other more localized areas run? Too many times I have got online, no ATC and as I taxied out, ATC would pop on, I would request clearance, be given changes, Depart, and ATC would go off line. Is that realistic?

I feel a phone should be a phone, Sure there are convenient things, and real life pilots must have one but, it does not fit my interests, and lastly, the email I got from VATSIM more or less said Squawkbox will no longer function, so IF I can find the APP, and it is usable on a desktop, then how long before it will be phased out?
As I said, Only Swift seems to be a FS9 client and it is listed as experimental?

Not trying in any way to argue, just seeking answers and help. I mean it appears that VATSIM may soon loose a lot of FS9 pilots to NEW TECH.

 

Edited by CaptDennison

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App is a term for application, program, etc? What does app for phone have to do with VATSIM or the new codec. They stated that SB and FSInn will be loosing support so there is no magic app to get it to were it’s compatible. All the Q/A is listed on the VATSIM general forum about the new changes.

Edited by TalonMX

Dan

 

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IVAO software still supports FS9. If you will really are set on flying on a online network.

Cheers


RP

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Just now, leon310 said:

IVAO software still supports FS9. If you will really are set on flying on a online network.

Cheers

Tried it, it was something I was not interested it at all.

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9 minutes ago, TalonMX said:

App is a term for application, program, etc? What does app for phone have to do with VATSIM or the new codec. They stated that SB and FSInn will be loosing support so there is no magic app to get it to were it’s compatible. All the Q/A is listed on the VATSIM general forum about the new changes.

Yes, but APP today is more Phone/Android related. And as I posted, I have not seen any APP to get to be able to use Squawkbox next month. And it seems if I wish to use SWIFT< I will need to D/: and install a vast huge library of World of AI in order to see other traffic.

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