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Simplates X? Anyone using it?

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I just noticed something about a new product called "Simplates X" that was recently released. It looks to be very intense as far as providing Approach/Departure Plates, Airport Maps, Sids/Stars, and other forms of approach plates. Is this the most complete package available as far as Approach Plates are concerned? Is anyone currently using it? What other alternatives to this product exist right now?Thanks for any comments.

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Another option is SIMCharts 4.0 from Jeppesen: www.jeppesen.com (type SIMCharts in the search window, then select "AT1E4 - SIMCharts v4.0" from the results)I'll let you decide which is better, but one big plus is that these charts are the exact same data that was used to create FSX. You get the entire world in one package. Plus, I've always liked the look and feel of real Jeppesen charts better.-Gary Letona

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I have the older version of SimPlates. It looks like they've just re-packaged the older program, as it's mostly plates and nav data on thousands of .PDF files. What I think is new is that they've increased the coverage of plates worldwide.The older verion had a system of updating the plates, but their server was extremely, extremely slow, and often the updated plate packs, expecially the larger ones, would be corrupted and unuseable.Presumably, the new collection includes all of the updated plates. The old collection was notoriously poor for covering Eastern Bloc countries, so this new collection seems to have more of those plates. One that is missing from the new SimPlates X: the old Hong Kong Chiang Kai Shek Checkerboard. That was one of the coolest plates ever! The quality of the plates varies: they are just scans of existing real-world plates, however, they are out of date. Considering that FSX nav data is a few years old, it shouldn't be a problem. You're supposed to print out the plates yourself, as viewing them as .PDFs while flying is a bit clumsy.The biggest draw is the cost, which is less than $50 for a world-wide selection of plates. If you fly to many airports, then this might be attractive. If you fly primarily in the US of A, the plates are free to access on the Internet anyway. When the old SimPlates went out of print, used copies became highly in demand. I remember folks paying hundreds of dollars to get a used copy. Now that free Internet research has blunted the utility of SimPlates somewhat, I'm not so sure it's as great an investment as it was when FS8/FS9 were new, but I think it would be a decent enough product. Just make sure you load up on printer toner, and woe be to you if you have a lowly inkjet printer: if you don't watch out, you'll spend hundreds on getting the plates printed out, especially the full-colour French plates! As trivia, when I tried out to be an Avsim Product Reviewer, my try-out review was going to be SimPlates, but I had misplaced the discs, so I wrote a mock-up review of the PMDG 737 instead. The above represents my views and experiences only, and may or may not reflect the official opinon of AVSIM, if any. AVSIM does have a review for the original Simplates 2004:http://www.avsim.com/pages/0304/simplates/simplates2004.htmJeff ShylukSenior Staff Reviewer, Avsim

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Thanks for the replies fellows.I am very intrigued with "SIMCharts 4.0" from Jeppesen's. I am a little confused as to how much it costs though. I have seen several prices online that claim that this is an online service that costs $60 per year. However, when I go to the line that you gave me, it says that it only costs $42 with no annual subscription or renewal. This sounds to good to be true. Am I missing something here?

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www.vatsim.net > Pilot Resources > VATSIM Chart Center has SID/STARs available globally and free of charge.The problems with ANY approach plates at this point is that, if you use Navigraph's AIRAC cycles or SID/STARs for 3rd party add-ons, then you will have a tough time finding up-to-date and matching paper approach plates for it.The SimCharts have SID/STARs based on the original flight sim database from sometime in 2005, I believe. But then you have problems finding data from Navigraph to match those "old" cycles.I wish that this dilemma could be resolved in FS11 by standardizing the cycle and using one cycle that can be exported to virtually all 3rd party add-on. Since there is currently no standard this is very unlikely, unfortunately.Hope this helps,Pat

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