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vgbaron

Background Monitoring

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For the sake of earning a living while also playing, I will often leave the AP flying the long boring stretches while I do that boring thing called "work". After getting to altitude and into a cruise configuration, I commonly reduce FSX to a window and leave it running in the background until it's time to start the descent and approach.What would be nice is to remain properly on IFR and in communications with ATC during all this -- in order to remain "proper". However this requires that I catch the ATC communications when they pop up. For example, when being handed off to the next controller.As far as I can tell, FSX cannot be configured to keep playing the audio once its window loses focus. I did go poking around for such a setting. Seemed like something the designers might have caught. Am I overlooking an option like this?Another neat approach would be for FS to do one of those systray pop-up messages, like Outlook does, when ATC is directing a message at you and FS does not have the current focus. Any of the developers listening? :-)Does anyone know of any solutions that will allow a pilot to monitor ATC while FSX does not have the current window focus? Thanks!Ya ya, I know real world pilots don't run off and leave the flying entirely to the AP. Believe me, leaving the AP entirely in charge nags at my desire to be as "realistic" as possible. However, it's a trade-off for getting to "play" while also working. :-)

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Hi Jim --Ya know, sometimes it just takes somebody else to hit you over the head with the obvious -- a second monitor! :-)Originally my mind was operating under the consideration that I couldn't justify buying a second 1920x1200 LCD just so I could enhance FSX. But it is reasonable to buy a second cheap small LCD to toss FSX onto for monitoring while it's in "the background".I can even make the tax write-off argument that I need such a small spare monitor laying around for system building, servicing and repair situations. The big 1920x1200 is too big and expensive for that, and my old CRTs that I've been using for those purposes are getting outdated and too bulky to toss around for those purposes.Great suggestion. Thanks.

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Hi Garrit,Good suggestion that (I assume) solves the problem of ATC dropping IFR. Not exactly "proper", but it is a really good idea until I put a second monitor in place.It solves the problem of having to reload the flight plan just to get ATC to go back onto IFR. And reloading the flight plan leads to all the headaches of switching AP over to HDG, reloading the flight plan, getting the GPS switched back to the proper next waypoint, switching the AP back over to NAV, re-filing IFR, then re-requesting your current altitude if that's not the flight plan altitude.It's amusing the things virtual FS pilots get to learn how to do that are not a concern for real-world pilots. :-)-- Keith

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