Pilot2ATC, World Traffic V3 & Active Sky XP Glue

x-plane
#1

I think I have a masochistic streak when it comes to X-Plane and trying to break it. My sub-conscious plan seems to be to keep adding stuff until the PC starts burning like blow-torch thrown at a magnesium depot. My latest pain has been getting the following to all talk to each other:

http://pilot2atc.com/ Despite the crimes against humanity of the home page web design, behind that facade there is a really nice ATC and speech input/output tool. It provides the missing GA and IFR ATC communications so sorely missing in X-Plane. No more being routed into a mountain. I really enjoy jumping to https://flightaware.com/statistics/ifr-route/ entering a common route and then setting it up in Pilot2ATC. It’s good because it is nice at both ‘do some patterns at the local field’ GA plus the full IFR SID/J way transitions/STAR of the heavies. The speech recognition (all Windows stuff underneath) is great. I use it in VR via a button here - X-Plane VR Push to Talk and a general overview here - Pilot2ATC.

http://www.classicjetsims.com/WorldTraffic/ I got fed up with empty skies and my system crawling to its knees with 3 AI flights. World Traffic takes a lot of setting up (a post of its own) but once using the AFRE Real traffic data pack here things look alive. More info here - World Traffic 3 for X-Plane

https://hifisimtech.com/asxp/ Active Sky XP was recently on sale, so I picked it up. I really only wanted it for the ability to do historical weather, but the feature that caught my eye was in being able to plan a route and have the weather transition better. It doesn’t really do this that well so far, but it is certainly an upgrade over the default clouds and winds.

So the goal is to get them all to play nicely. Here’s what I found out so far:

  1. Get Pilot2ATC To See World Traffic 3. One problem is that Pilot2ATC doesn’t know about the WT3 external traffic. To fix that you can add ‘dummy AI’ aircraft, that World Traffic 3 draws but X-Plane uses a tiny one line icon for. This allows Pilot2ATC to ‘see’ the aircraft, as they are X-Plane AI (minus slow drawing model) which means we get TCAS and routing. Yes, you can now sit at 26L and hear ‘You are number 6 for takeoff’ and ‘Traffic alert, 3 o’clock, 270 - do you have them in sight?’. To do this, click in the ‘AI Aircraft’ at the top of the flight planner:

Hit the ‘Add Aircraft’ button (here you can see I’ve done a few already, they seem very light on fps impact)

Look for the dummy ‘World Traffic’ type entry and use that.

…so now you have fast AI traffic that looks good and that Pilot2ATC can see and plan around. Cool!

  1. Pilot2ATC to see Active Sky Custom Weather. Pilot2ATC uses the default X-Plane weather and I had a bit of trouble finding out how to make it use Active Sky XP. This is important as the flight planning takes into account the winds and active runways, so getting the two out of sync is no fun. To do this, the setting of Pilot2ATC look like this:

The tricky bit was finding the Active Sky Weather folder. Here it is (use your own windows username of course):

X:/Users/<UserName>/App Data/Roaming/HiFi/AS_XPL/Weather/current_wx_snapshot.txt
  1. Pilot2ATC VR Usage. The last tip is that Pilot2ATC usually expects to be seen on a desktop on another monitor or something. In VR that ain’t happening (well, not after the flight planning stage on the ground), but you can use it with the help of some really important co-pilot options. These two settings make a huge difference, as you can push to talk, say a command verbally, i.e. ‘WS11 - Established on the ILS for 26R’ and then the co-pilot will read back any confirmation radio messages (plus change frequencies for you if you’re lazy like me). Makes it so much easier in VR that you essentially don’t ever need to see the Pilot2ATC window anyway (if you must there is MoveVR that does work, but it a real framerate drain - X-Plane MoveVR Plugin). The one downside is that you will need PDFs in X-Plane AviTab Virtual Tablet as the parking to gates help that P2ATC gives you won’t be there. Old school is good anyway. :slight_smile:

image

Those three changes made a huge difference to how these things work together, and although I can see some steam leaking out of the PC now and again, does work well. Together with Zibo 738 and OrthoXP or Orbx we’re living in the future man. :space_invader:

Now what can I add to break this. Hmm, there is a MCE Co-pilot plugin I heard about…

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#2

Mmm…delicious. I’m going to do all of this…but not until I get a new system. I’m hoping for clean and fresh install with all the bells and whistles on a new rig here in a few weeks.

I should buy you a Reverb and really make your compulsive streak work to my benefit…haha…

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#3

I can’t wait to be held in the Teterboro penalty box for 2 hours!

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#4

I’m sitting here waiting for my scheduled push back time… lol

It’s sort of relaxing watching the real flights come in with a cup of tea. I might be losing all my DCS street tough credentials here… :wink:

6 Likes
#5

Oh man. I’m getting that itch again. Almost without the vr too to really use all these tools

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#6

They need to inject an occasional Tornado or something running down the runway dropping a stick of Durandals on occasion. Just to make it exciting…

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#7

FYI: JustFlight is coming out with their own traffic system based on Traffic Golbal for FSX and I think it does not need any of the setup that World Traffic needs … but it is coming sometime later in 2019.

3 Likes
#8

What happened with that by the way? Did you re-order from the same place?

#9

MSI hasn’t started shipping the specific build I’m looking to buy - the 9SF-054US. It was supposed to be out in Feb-Mar but it looks like maybe the first week of May now. I don’t currently have anything ordered…sort of waiting to see how the units are received by consumers.

I briefly considered a Corsair One i160 (again, liking the small form factor), but it had some things I didn’t like. I think it had an older and slower USB-C type (not the 10Gb type) , less room inside for M2 and SSD expansion, it had a Z370 instead of the Z390, and it was $600 more. So I think I’ll wait a couple more weeks for the MSI…

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#10

So I have two questions. Well maybe two.

  1. With Pilot2ATC, it seems like you have to talk to it. How do you know what to say for various phases of the flight without being a real pilot? I guess it is covered somewhere but I am ignorant of this information :slight_smile:;
  2. And this relates to the Air Race thread, how should I be properly figuring out my VFR flight path/route according to ‘the rules’? Right now I just take off, try to be sensible, approach my destination from a safe distance/speed/altitude and figure out a pattern. In the videos that Mr. 2001-Web-Page has, he obviously knows the VFR pattern that he is practicing but how do I learn it without going to school;

ActiveAkyXP + Ultimate Weather XP impressed me this evening.

But still threw in an abrupt change. Can you spot the difference in the next two pictures taken, literally, seconds apart:

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#11

I think you can just pick the phrases from the ‘say it’ window if you don’t want to use the speech recognition and keep the app running on a second monitor or something. In VR you pretty much have to know the phrases, but the fun/pain part for me was part of it. There is a ‘practice’ bit in Pilot2ATC that you can use for voice training, but it doubles up as a way to learn the expected voice procedures anyway. It’s called ‘Grammar Helper’ and looks like this:

If you pick a phrase rather than speak it, you can use the comms window to ‘Say It’ for you (providing you can see the window, which in VR you can’t really):

If you are just doing GA then there aren’t that many to learn, while true IFR is a bit more procedural. I (of course) cheat a bit and put the following two docs in my AVITab ‘Charts’ folder, so I can peek at them in VR if I’m feeling tongue tied:

A ‘one-pager’ for VFR GA:
common voice cmds.pdf (198.4 KB)

The complete delicious cannoli for reference:
voice-cmds.pdf (131.0 KB)

You go to school, but it’s only for 10 minutes and there’s donuts! Essentially what I do (and I’m no real pilot) is that I follow ‘The Pattern’ for all landings. What this means is that I announce I am ‘entering the pattern’, I find out if it is a ‘left hand’ (usually is) or right hand pattern. In the following diagram you can see I would enter the pattern at the aircraft symbol on the ‘Downwind Leg’ bit if I’m from the North, or into the Upwind leg if I’m from the South etc:

So I’m at 1,000 feet above ground level (each airfield will have this on their plate, but it’s usually 1000ft AGL), doing 100kts in a Cessna 172. I then ‘announce’ at each leg as per the voice commands and listen out for instructions as I do so. Down to 800 ft, 500 feet from Base Leg to Final and then set it down. Having to talk and walk at the same time does make it harder but it is enjoyable, and becomes pretty second nature after a while.

For taking off, if you are departing straight out then no pattern, otherwise it’s the same but in reverse. A better summary than I could type here:

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#12

Thanks! i may give this app a whirl because i am all about learning new things in aviation :slight_smile:

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#13

There’s a setting that can prevent this from happening if you’re on approach. Kinda sucks it snaps in like that when the product says it won’t.

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#14

thanks for the tips! I have all three but could never figure out to get P2ATC to interact with WT3 and vise versa.

As a day one purchaser of ActiveSkyXP I threw my teddy bear out of the crib when ASXP brought my machine to its knees in ways I hadn’t seen since FSX. As a result I have been exclusively flying in DCS (and dabbling in VTOL-VR thanks to AV8R)… so perhaps now it’s time to return to my beloved X-Plane.

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