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Odd and Ends

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AlanR View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 4:09pm
After now using this sofware for a couple of months, I find that I like it more and more, despite the few bugs (or maybe me just being clueless).  It helps that I am an old goat who is retired, with plenty of time to load it up and have some fun.  I'm still annoyed that I didn't make it out of the FAA Academy back in 1977, but this sim finally provides the experience after all these years that I had hoped to make a career out of.  

Just a few random observations.  Maybe some will help those just starting out, others will maybe help me, because I still have a lot of questions.  I know an update is coming, so some or all of these that I perceive as bugs may go away.

I was listening to ATL approach on liveatc.net the other day, and the controller was telling the aircraft on final (I forget which runway) to contact the tower at an intersection along the ILS.  For example, for 26R, he would say something like "DAL1459 contact ATL tower 119.1 at AJAAY".  I'd never heard that before (I have a private license, but haven't flown for years), so I thought I would give it a try, and it worked beautifully.  Maybe this is old hat to a lot of you, but it was new to me.  Another thing that has been helpful now and then is the instruction to "depart xxx heading".  For example, I can clear an ABQ arrival to "depart MOPSE" heading 360, and this lines him up fairly well for a runway 03 approach.

Speaking of North Final West flow(position V),  each time I run it, I get a handoff flashing from Falcon Approach that comes in from EVULE that dings me every time I accept the handoff, no matter where or when I accept it.  The instructor tells me something about he is out of my airspace, which isn't the case.  I usually end up middle-clicking him to airliner heaven, or lately, I run the same position with East flow, and that hasn't been a problem so far.

Same type of thing when I am working ABQ N and S.  Almost every time I run it, there is an aircraft flashing from center from the North who is at 6000.  If I leave him alone, I get an MVA ding, and I can't clear him higher until he's in my airspace.  That's another that quickly gets middle-clicked.

That brings up a question:  will there be a time in the future where an interphone feature will be implemented?  Not a big deal, but it would be pretty neat.  I remember on the old ATCC program by Xavius software, you could call the adjacent controller and have him change an altitude or something else.  Sometimes the guy would be busy and even a little grumpy, and reply "whatever!", but he would do it anyway.  

Through reading other posters comments, I have finally found that you don't want to try to change speed on an aircraft that is already cleared for the approach (at least ILS, I don't know about visual).  You will always get the "slowing to 0" or similar response from the aircraft.  If you combine the commands, like "AAL1451 reduce speed to 180, cleared ILS runway 27L", the response is "speed 0, cleared...".  I now have the habit of adjusting the speed before any approach clearance, and it works better.  I have no idea if that is proper procedure, but it works for now.

I've appreciated the videos that some of you have posted (like Andrew and deltamike172 and others).  I used Andrews tutorial to edit the database a little so that I wouldn't have Westbound departures climbing to 140 through my North approach A/C that I have decended to 110.  The North-departing aircraft stay nicely at 100 until somewhere past ZELAN.  I also saw a great youtube video of a real controller handling final approach at Seattle, and that prompted me to try that sector out, and work it the same as he did (I wasn't as sucessful, but it was fun).

I see where some have purchased specialty keyboards for use with the program, which might be a good upgrade later on, but for now I have made things a bit easier for myself with some keyboard macros.  I downloaded a free program called AutoHotKey, and created some simple macros for things like a 3-mile j-ring.  I just press f3 and slew for a 3-mile j-ring, or f5 for a 5 mile.  To remove it, I press ESC and slew.  I know the actual key combinations are not that hard (* j 3 slew), but referring back to my status as an old goat, remembering is the trick.  AutoHotKey has a bit of a learning curve, but there are other free utilities out there that would probably work just as well.

One more and I will shut up:  I have had several suggest that when you are handing off to center, you include the sector number after the letter "c" so that you specify exactly the sector.  It has been my habit to just use "c" and I see that the sector number is then almost immediately displayed in the datablock before it flashes to the center.   For example, if I am handing off to sector 16 in ABQ, and I press "c" and slew, c16 appears in the datablock.  I always make sure the A/C is exiting at the point specified on the flight plan, so maybe that's the reason I never have any problems with that?  In other words, what is the advantage to specifying the sector number when the system already knows which sector to hand-off to?

I didn't mean to write a book, and again, I know build 21 will be out soon, and I know many of these things have already been hashed around on this forum, so my listing of things that might be bugs are really just to document my feeble work-arounds for those who might be new to this.

Alan
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Tom@FlagMountain View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom@FlagMountain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jan 2018 at 1:18pm
Alan:
 
Thanx for the comments.  Will review your post and get back to you.
 
Regards
Tom Murdock
Flag Mountain Software
ATCpro Project Team
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Sim-Deck View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sim-Deck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2018 at 7:43am
I enjoyed reading that. It certainly mirrors a lot of my experiences with the simulation. You have to let go of 1977 though :)

All the best.
Based in the UK. Passion for simulations. ATC-Flight-Combat Sims. Runner, Kayaker, Mountain Biker.
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deltamike172 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote deltamike172 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jan 2018 at 10:56pm
You can issue a speed in the same clearance as an ILS, but just put the speed on the end, since any thing speed wise assigned before you say "cleared ILS" is cancelled.  

Since there is a limitation on how many parts of a clearance can be transmitted at a time in the game, I assign the altitude I want first.  Then issue a heading to join, the clearance and then the speed to maintain.  "Turn left heading 290, cleared ILS 27L approach, maintain 180 knots"  After this is said, speed assignments are read back as 0-0 but they will sometimes actually change to what you wanted.  

Visuals seem to allow speed changes at any time prior to the OM.  I've found that if there is more than a 30 or 40 knot speed difference between the leading and trailing aircraft, the trailing aircraft may not slow to follow appropriately and so I'll slow them down to match speeds.  "follow the boeing 737, cleared visual approach runway 16R, maintain 190 knots"  Then as they get about 2-3 miles apart, the back plane will match the front pretty well.  Very often I'll turn the trailing plane in towards the runway and issue a speed that matches the plane they are following and then call traffic.   When doing visuals, it's good practice to still control the situation and turn the planes onto base or even onto final first, or at least point all the planes out the OM and assign speeds.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sath_99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2018 at 6:31am
Originally posted by AlanR AlanR wrote:

I downloaded a free program called AutoHotKey, and created some simple macros for things like a 3-mile j-ring.  I just press f3 and slew for a 3-mile j-ring, or f5 for a 5 mile.  To remove it, I press ESC and slew.  I know the actual key combinations are not that hard (* j 3 slew), but referring back to my status as an old goat, remembering is the trick.  AutoHotKey has a bit of a learning curve, but there are other free utilities out there that would probably work just as well.

Can you give some examples of the macros's you in the scripting language of AutoHotKey  ?
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AlanR View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote AlanR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2018 at 8:52am
Here's what I have so far.  Keep in mind that some of these are defined and used by the sim already.  for example, F3 is used to turn on/off the weather levels, but I use the DCB for that.  Also, Shift and Tab are used for other functions in the program, so if you want to use those you will either have to disable the macro (right-click the icon in the taskbar), or chose a different key.  Also, the script file needs to have an extension of .ahk.  I just call mine atcpro.ahk.  You can then just double-click the script file to activate it, or you can also right-click and compile it.

; 3-mile j-ring.  Press F3 and slew target
F3::
send, *j3
return

; 5-mile j-ring.  Press F5 and slew target
F5::
send, *j5
return

;Remove a j-ring.  Press ESC and slew target
ESC::
send, *j
return

;3-mile TPA cone.  Press INS and slew target
Ins::
send, *p3
return

;Remove a TPA cone.  Press DEL and slew target
Del::
send, *p
return

;Hide or show Flight Plan List.  Press Tab
tab::
send, {F10}t{enter}
return

;Hide or show Sign-on list.  Press Shift
shift::
send, {F10}ts{enter}
return
Alan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlanR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2018 at 9:16am
Originally posted by deltamike172 deltamike172 wrote:


...Visuals seem to allow speed changes at any time prior to the OM.  I've found that if there is more than a 30 or 40 knot speed difference between the leading and trailing aircraft, the trailing aircraft may not slow to follow appropriately and so I'll slow them down to match speeds.  "follow the boeing 737, cleared visual approach runway 16R, maintain 190 knots" ...

Thanks, DM.  I'll try that.  I've so far avoided doing visual approaches at airports with parallel runways, because the traffic point-outs are something I haven't got the hang of yet.  I usually create weather that makes it necessary for an ILS so that I don't have to worry about it.  The datablock seems to slowly toggle the aircraft type and speed, so by the time I'm ready for a traffic call-out, I end up waiting too long to find it's a/c type.  Along with that, it takes me too long to figure out the direction.  I can't yet just look at the relative position and figure out if it's 10 o'clock or 2 o'clock immediately like some can.  I can do it, but that extra second or two gets me in trouble.   With practice I'm sure it will come.  At my age, I'm just happy to be here.Sleepy
Alan
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sath_99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2018 at 2:24pm
Originally posted by AlanR AlanR wrote:

Here's what I have so far. 

Thanks Alan, i'll give it a try.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ndsamuelson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2018 at 12:34am
Originally posted by AlanR AlanR wrote:

Here's what I have so far.  Keep in mind that some of these are defined and used by the sim already.  for example, F3 is used to turn on/off the weather levels, but I use the DCB for that.  Also, Shift and Tab are used for other functions in the program, so if you want to use those you will either have to disable the macro (right-click the icon in the taskbar), or chose a different key.  Also, the script file needs to have an extension of .ahk.  I just call mine atcpro.ahk.  You can then just double-click the script file to activate it, or you can also right-click and compile it.



If you wanna get super fancy you can script your map setup into hotkeys also. I have a script from when I controlled in abq all the time that would enable each map individually in order and set my range for me so I didn't have to always go in and click the maps I wanted. Not too difficult as long as you know which map numbers you want enabled. I also made it so that if you press the hotkey again, it can swap from arrival maps to departures. I haven't messed with it on any of the other airports simply out of laziness and the fact I use alot less maps now than I used to.

But I do have hotkeys for showing the flight path of the aircraft just by hovering over the plane and pressing the hotkey (it sends the mouse click). I'm not using AutoHotkey or autoit for these. I'm just using the macro functions for my gaming keyboard, but you could easily AHK the same stuff. I also have a macro that will deny a pointout if I so choose. Just a couple of suggestions or ideas if you wanted them :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tom@FlagMountain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jan 2018 at 12:12pm
Alan:
 
The low arrival altitude at ABQ happens on flights from KLAM.  Known problem, has been fixed in version 21.
 
Will look at the ATL issue further.
 
 
 
Thanx for all your comments.
 
Tom Murdock
Flag Mountain Software
ATCpro Project Team
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