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My take on RC4

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Well, having finished a number of flights with RC4, here's my take:Pros:1. pretty good IFR procedures all the way from clrnc to approach; I did notice a few strange things, like being clrd to land by tower on an ILS approach before I had even reached the IAP and flown outbound.2. nice to be able to use on a WideFS machine, and therefore be able to feed the ATC thru headphones; adds to ambiance3. Nice to be able to select any runway for T/O and landing4. Nice to have diversion for turb, Wx, emergencies, etc5. Nice to have Speed controlCons:1. interaction with AI is marginal at best (this is HUGE for me); I feel alone in the sky.2. Robotic sounding voices (personally, I like canned ATC voices better)3. PD descents are not what I expected them to be; I assumed there would be some sort of STAR recognitionI hate to admit it, but I should have done more research before purchasing RC4. I had always been hesitant to purchase, but a week ago, I read several reviews and took the plunge. Unfortunately, it's just not what I had hoped for, and I'm heading back to the canned ATC.I have high hopes for RC5. RC most certainly has some very nice features, but for me it's definitely two steps forward, and in my opinion, two steps back. I really want to see solid interaction with the AI; I can imagine that coding that is pertty tough.Anyway, just my take.James

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just curious1) what does interaction with ai mean to you? maybe i'm providing this, and it's not working on your machine. did you rebuild the scenery database in rc? that way i know where the runways are in your scenery files?2) do you have rc 4.2? do you have the sliders all the way to the left (not the right)3) PD descents covered in the manual, in the real world, a STAR does end at the runway. i'm only duplicating real world experiences. If you are looking for profile descents, the number of real world profile descents is so small, it hasn't been provided for in rc.if you want to go back to ms atc, send me an email, we'll work something out.

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Hi jd, happy to provide additional feedback.>1) what does interaction with ai mean to you? maybe i'm>providing this, and it's not working on your machine. did you>rebuild the scenery database in rc? that way i know where the>runways are in your scenery files?Simply put, if I had RC4 and MSATC turned on at the sametime, and the MSATC gave an instruction to the AI (e.g. c/m FL210), that same call would be heard in RC4; if I hear an AI pilot in MSATC check in with ATC "with you thru FL235 for FL190", a second later I would hear that same call. Same goes for VFR traffic.>2) do you have rc 4.2? do you have the sliders all the way to>the left (not the right)Yes, the CD I received came with 4.2, and the sliders for the voices were all the way to the left. It's not bad, I just think MSATC sounds better; also, you do have some better features here: i.e. "United seven twenty-five" vs MSATC of "United seven two five" is very cool.>3) PD descents covered in the manual, in the real world, a>STAR does end at the runway. i'm only duplicating real world>experiences. If you are looking for profile descents, the>number of real world profile descents is so small, it hasn't>been provided for in rc.Let me explain better: The rome 2 arrival into KATL has VNAV planning of 14K at DALAS for West landings. I ASSUMED(my bad) that I would be able to program into the flight planning stage of RC4 that I planned the Rome 2 and that the crossing alt at DALAS is 14K. Then, when I'm flying along, at the appropriate time RC would tell me "cross DALAS at 14K, descent at pilot's discretion." I should have researched this more, because it very clearly states in the manual how RC handles descents.>if you want to go back to ms atc, send me an email, we'll work>something out.Thanks for this; I will contact you.James

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>Hi jd, happy to provide additional feedback.>>>1) what does interaction with ai mean to you? maybe i'm>>providing this, and it's not working on your machine. did>you>>rebuild the scenery database in rc? that way i know where>the>>runways are in your scenery files?>>Simply put, if I had RC4 and MSATC turned on at the sametime,>and the MSATC gave an instruction to the AI (e.g. c/m FL210),>that same call would be heard in RC4; if I hear an AI pilot in>MSATC check in with ATC "with you thru FL235 for FL190", a>second later I would hear that same call. Same goes for VFR>traffic.fs9 atc doesn't have the concept of stratums. if you aren't in the same stratum, you're not going to hear the same chatteri could go on with the differences, but, if ms atc works for you, i'm happy.>>>>2) do you have rc 4.2? do you have the sliders all the way>to>>the left (not the right)>>Yes, the CD I received came with 4.2, and the sliders for the>voices were all the way to the left. It's not bad, I just>think MSATC sounds better; also, you do have some better>features here: i.e. "United seven twenty-five" vs MSATC of>"United seven two five" is very cool.small difference between microsoft and a company of two people and a slew of talented beta testers.we'll get there. i guess our focus is doing it better and less on what it sounds like.for those that care what it sounds like, and will sacrifice real-world realism, ms atc is for you.>>>>3) PD descents covered in the manual, in the real world, a>>STAR does end at the runway. i'm only duplicating real world>>experiences. If you are looking for profile descents, the>>number of real world profile descents is so small, it hasn't>>been provided for in rc.>>Let me explain better: The rome 2 arrival into KATL has VNAV>planning of 14K at DALAS for West landings. I ASSUMED(my bad)>that I would be able to program into the flight planning stage>of RC4 that I planned the Rome 2 and that the crossing alt at>DALAS is 14K. Then, when I'm flying along, at the appropriate>time RC would tell me "cross DALAS at 14K, descent at pilot's>discretion." I should have researched this more, because it>very clearly states in the manual how RC handles descents.>>>>>if you want to go back to ms atc, send me an email, we'll>work>>something out.>>Thanks for this; I will contact you.>>James>>>

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>>Simply put, if I had RC4 and MSATC turned on at the sametime,>and the MSATC gave an instruction to the AI (e.g. c/m FL210),>that same call would be heard in RC4; if I hear an AI pilot in>MSATC check in with ATC "with you thru FL235 for FL190", a>second later I would hear that same call. Same goes for VFR>traffic.>Why not just put MSTS ATC on COM2 so then you only hear RC4 calls?

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You missed my point. I was answering JD's question on what I expected to hear as far as RC4 radio calls go. I don't have a problem with hearing MSATC.

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Hmmm, guess MSATC's method of zig zagging you into approach is more realistic to you. You really do get used to the voices and they begin to sound natural. It's always sounded fine to me but then I've been using RC since the first version came out so again, guess I'm used to it. Had you ever requested the "full ILS" procedure then ATC lets you fly whatever STAR you want and you wouldn't hear anything more from them until cleared to land. MSFSATC doesn't even know what a SID or STAR is much less use them. But as JD said, if your happy with MSFSATC then more power to ya.

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Gents. Thanks for all the feedback and encouragement. JD has put together a great product that appeals to many folks, and it does a lot of things really well.As JD said, he and I are square.James

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Guest madbirdcz

>just curious>>1) what does interaction with ai mean to you? maybe i'm>providing this, and it's not working on your machine. did you>rebuild the scenery database in rc? that way i know where the>runways are in your scenery files?>>2) do you have rc 4.2? do you have the sliders all the way to>the left (not the right)>>3) PD descents covered in the manual, in the real world, a>STAR does end at the runway. i'm only duplicating real world>experiences. If you are looking for profile descents, the>number of real world profile descents is so small, it hasn't>been provided for in rc.>>if you want to go back to ms atc, send me an email, we'll work>something out.Well I dont want to nitpick but AFAIK the STAR procedure does NOT end at the RWY. The STAR should end at the IAF fix. From IAF to the actual runway you need a different chart which covers the actual approach procedure.Zdenek Cizek

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i mis-typed. you're correct. the star ends when the approach controller is contactedi meant to say, "a star does not end at the runway"sorry, that was a bad omissionjd

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In many of the STARS I have at the last point it states . . . expect (radar) vectors to final approach course . . . so while an IAF may be published it would not necessarily be used unless cleared for an IAP by ATC. That is my understanding. So there are exceptions.JD has already explained his typo.

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James,I must say that I agre with you up to a point. I to run MSATC quietly in the background. It certainly helps to give a sense of the business or otherwise of the skies at the time. It also helps me accept the mostly painfully slow delivery by RC controllers and pilots. If it wasn't that RC ATC is so much better than MSATC I would probably switch back.The fact is that to me (a retired ATC) the MSATC sound like real world controllers, but the application of ATC rules and procedures leave a great deal to be desired.RC on the other hand applies the ATC rules and procedures very well in general, but the delivery is terrible with far to much deliberate and slow enunciation of the words and phrases. It is something that I would recommend gets some attention in the future - for me it just spoils an otherwise excellent product.NeilYPAD

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Hi Neil,I accept that some of the voice sets deliver speech slower than others but I would not brand them all equally as delivering 'painfully slow delivery'. There are two real world controller sets in v4 so they must be enunciating at an acceptable rate. Do you have the latest update (4.2) and are all your voice sliders to the left for maximum speed?To compare the recording quality of RC4 with what volunteers have available to them with the massive resource Microsoft have is not entirely fair. They took volunteers into a controlled environment for many days and got them to repeat and repeat until the quality was there.We have to reply on untrained volunteers. If you are happy to record a controller or pilot set we would be delighted. Please email JD if you wish to take this forward. Be warned that there will be over 2,500 separate wav files for a v5 controller though.Cheers,

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Ray,Again I meant my comments to be constructive. Some time ago I offered to do a voice set. The offer still stands.NeilYPAD

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Hi Neil,Thanks for the offer of a voice set. You will be our second Aussie. We'll be in touch when we're ready to process the wav sets.I know the voices have attracted a lot of comments and it is a very subjective area. If you listen to real world ATC it's nothing like the sanitised FS sound. And if we had some of the RC controllers speaking as fast as the real world JFK Tower controllers we'd be flooded with complaints about that too!I deliberately 'radioised' the recordings to make them sound the same as a actual transmission. Perhaps it's that which makes people think it sounds 'robotic'? I'm not criticising your comments - I'm just trying to get a feel why people think the sounds are robotic. Maybe if I hadn't 'radioised' them they would sound more acceptable? But it wasn't a cleansed pure sound I was looking for - it was something akin to how things sound in the real world.Who said it's dificult to please all the people all of the time? ;-)Cheers,

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>Who said it's dificult to please all the people all of the>time? ;-)They probably said it's impossible, Ray! ;-) Iain Smith

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