How are you guys using the radios in DCS?

My confusion increases. I have now seen a post on ED that states the ‘com switch’ aka PTT is fourway, the two radios and the two MID boxes. I think I shall sleep on it.

I am off to bed. My wife has to work in the morning. I can ask around at RAF Cranwell and phone RNAS Culdrose in case they have a USN exchange officer.

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“* Communications Switch: 4-way switch that selects the radio being transmitted on. Forward and aft select the MIDS A and MIDS B voice radios, while up and down select the regular COMM1 and COMM2 radios.”

As far as I know the up/down parts (MIDS isn’t functional yet I believe) transmit on the freq in the box for COMM1 and 2. Up = COMM1 - selects it and transmits, if you will. Down for COMM2.

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Yeah, the Hornet radios are pretty simple devices, each with their own volume, channel selector, and transmit buttons. I suppose that if you wanted to filter out one radio or the other, you could just turn down the volume of the one that you want to filter. As it is, I don’t mind listening on 2 and transmitting on the radio/button of my choice.

I had to look up MIDS. According to @Chuck_Owl

MIDS sub-menu
The Multifunctional Information Distribution System
(MIDS) is the NATO name for the communication
component of Link-16 Datalink System. MID is an
advanced command, control, communications,
computing and intelligence (C4I) system
incorporating high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital
communication links for exchange of near real-time
tactical information, including both data and voice,
among air, ground, and sea elements. MIDS is
intended to support key theater functions such as
surveillance, identification, air control, weapons
engagement coordination and direction for all

Makes sense, but I don’t think that it’s modeled either in DCS or VA/VAICOM.

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The TLDR, from my perspective there is no “selecting” of radios required in aircraft like the A10 and F18 that have multiple PTT located on the HOTAS. In Viacom/Voice Attack set a PTT for each radio intended for use. Radio 1 will transmit when PTT 1 is pressed. Radio 2 will transmit when PTT 2 is pressed. Radio 3 will transmit with PTT 3. Intercom/inter phone will transmit when its PTT is pressed.

Long explanation
In the civilian aircraft I have flown, the desired radio is selected either on the unit itself, or more commonly, through an audio panel that routes input (transmit from the mic) and output (radio reception to headsets and speakers). The transmit signal is typically cued via a single push to talk switch (PTT) mounted to the yoke or stick. So, when the PTT is triggered, it transmits sound picked up by the mic through the radio selected for transmitting by the audio panel. The audio panel also controls which radio is heard. On most modern audio panels this is defaulted to the radio selected for transmitting, but can often be selected to listen to additional sources simultaneously. The DCS Huey works like this. There is a series of switches used to enable or disable audio reception from each radio. Then there is a selector to identify which radio transmits and a single PTT. (In Vaicom there is an option to automate the radio select for transmit though. I believe it is the PTT select menu; a knob that allows for “normal, single, multiple”).

No guarantees that this qualifies for the Hornet. However, many years ago I did spend quite a bit of time speaking with a crew chief on the A10 out of Selfridge Michigan at an air show.

From what I recall talking with him, most military fighter aircraft do not operate the same as the civilian norm.

On military fighters it is easier to think of the radios as being completely separate systems with their own respective PTT buttons. On the A10 this means that the VHF radio has its own radio, audio volume knob and PTT button. The UHF radio and the FM radio are the same, each with their own dedicated PTT and volume knobs. The only thing they share is the audio in and out source, in this case the headset/helmet speakers and microphone. When the PTT button for the UHF radio is pushed it transmits the audio via the UHF radio only. The same is true when the VHF PTT or the FM PTT is keyed. There is no way to transmit over multiple comm radios simultaneously. All three radio PTT are located on the HOTAS. Using this system there is no switching of audio required. Simply tune the radio desired, push the PTT dedicated to that radio and transmit the message. Similarly reception does not need to be selected, it is always on. The headset/helmet volume is set by the dedicated radio volume knob for that respective system.

Not the A10, but in my limited DCS experience the Hornet operates similarly with 2 radios. Each has a dedicated PTT with no radio or audio panel selection required. In the hornet’s case the two radios just share the Up Front Controller as the tuning and volume display. So, set freq and volume and then use the respective PTT for that radio to transmit on that radio only.


I believe we do. Paging @boomerang10 - I think he is our resident Hornet driver.


Yes, it is a four-way PTT. (Or at least it is currently - I can’t speak for certain as far as the specific block and time period ED has modeled.)

Up/down control comm 1/2, fore/aft control MIDS(aka Link16) A/B.

Typical usage is to use comm 1 for ATC or the primary tactical frequency and comm 2 for your intra-flight frequency.

Though, it’s not uncommon to find yourself actively talking on three radios, such as having a primary tactical frequency, tanker frequency, and then using MIDS for the intra-flight comms.

I’ve never seen anyone go NORDO because a failure of that switch, typically it’s a problem with the radio box itself or, probably more likely, a problem with the physical flight gear, such as a loose or unplugged connection.


God I love mudspike


Just gotta get low enough to fire off an SMS text… :rofl:


SMS Works fine below 5,000’ over land in Scotland, provided not over the mountains

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Thank you for that @boomerang10.

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Based on your description, sounds like ED modeled it correctly - minus the non-functional MIDS of course (single-player that is). Your typical usage is how it plays out for me. My issue, in single-player, is my Bot wingman will never change freq’s from what was initially input. Game issue that we have to put up with.

You can use MIDS over SRS in Multiplayer with Hornets. Not yet functional for the Viper.


I’ve always felt it more natural to use comm1 for intraflight and comm2 for atc etc. Close enough! :grin:

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