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"Set TCAS ID String" Conflict


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Good morning, Pete.

Back in August you helped CTYankee (Sandy) resolve a conflict whereby FDCLiveCockpit and Radar Contact were stealing focus of the FSUIPC message window from one another. Your rather creative and elegant solution was to invent the "Message Filter" option in the FSUIPC.ini file -- thank you for that, a LOT. (And thank you for the Traffic Zapper option (lord, thank you for traffic zapper!))

There seems to have been a recent mini-resurgence of interest in the program FSHotSFX for use in FS9 (see this thread over at AVSIM, for example: << http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=c_id=53380 >> ). As you probably already know, thanks to FSUIPC FSHotSFX allows you to hear all AI aircraft sounds from your cockpit, including engine spool up, take off thrust, tire screech on touch down, reversers, taxi sounds, etc. including all appropriate Doppler effects and ambience. This alleviates for the most part one of the biggest annoyances remaining in Flight Simulator - the "Silent" AI issue. It does this in part by automatically setting the "Set TCAS ID String" drop down under the Miscellaneous Tab of FSUIPC to the "Flight +" option at program start up. I would imagine that this allows it to identify which one of 54 .wav files in it's default database is the correct one to queue up for a particular AI aircraft, depending on the A/Cs size, speed, and relative position.

However, it does this at a premium cost: another great program that many of us use, Radar Contact, must have the "Set TCAS ID String" option set to the "Flight" selection, otherwise it verbally identifies all AI aircraft by the bizarre sounding combination of manufacturer, aircraft type, and last 3 numbers of tail number (I think) from both the ATC side and the AI pilot side -- "Embraer . . . ERJ-200 . . . 339, Roger. Line up and wait." or something like that. As you can well imagine, this aircraft identification format is rather distracting and tends to generally detract from the whole flight sim experience. I have tried resetting the option in FSUIPC from "Flight +" to "Flight" after take-off (because FSHotSFX won't be needed again until after landing) -- but this seems to correct the problem only intermittently. RC still seems to call the AI Aircraft in the vicinity by the manufacturer/tail number designation more often than not.

The only work around I have been able to devise for this shortcoming is deselecting the "AI Chatter" feature in Radar Contact while at the gate so that RC makes no verbal contact with AI at all for the duration of my entire flight. I then immediately turn on the default Microsoft ATC (ick!) and listen to that for my background AI communications, but as you can imagine this work around is quite clumsy and has it's own drawbacks and shortcomings. However, it's been more or less acceptable for now.

I was wondering if there was any way to filter or split the "Set TCAS ID String" selection between multiple programs so that, say, for instance, the program "Radar Contact" is identified as always being assigned the "Flight" option and all other programs being monitored by FSUIPC were assigned "Flight +", or whatever other selection was in the drop down box, or vice versa? Perhaps the FSUIPC.ini file could be hard coded by the user in some way with a few lines of text (a la the "Message Filter" option) which would allow those of us who would like to use both of these programs to do so? Personally, I'm running Radar Contact on a WideClient machine and FSHotSFX must be run on the Flight Sim machine, so perhaps there's something that could be done based on that parameter?

Any help or insight you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your time and consideration with this "issue".

Chuck B.

Philadelphia, PA/Pennsauken, NJ

USA

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I have tried resetting the option in FSUIPC from "Flight +" to "Flight" after take-off (because FSHotSFX won't be needed again until after landing) -- but this seems to correct the problem only intermittently.

You must be using an out-of-date version of FSUIPC, or at least you missed the changes recently. There's an INI file option to lock the TCAS settings the way you like or need them.

I was wondering if there was any way to filter or split the "Set TCAS ID String" selection between multiple programs so that, say, for instance, the program "Radar Contact" is identified as always being assigned the "Flight" option and all other programs being monitored by FSUIPC were assigned "Flight +", or whatever other selection was in the drop down box, or vice versa?

No, I'm afraid there's no way to do that. Sorry. you just have to choose, then lock.

Regards

Pete

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  • 1 year later...

Hi,

I know this is dragging up a very old thread but the question is related (unfortunately, I suspect the answer will be the same too)

With regard to running FSHotSFX and ProFlight Emulator together but on different machines, using WideFS, is there any possibility to have the local machine displaying a table with the parameter "Flight +" and the network remote machine displaying a table with "Flight"? Obviously at the expense of some performance, as the table would probably have to be written twice per program 'cycle'...? Certainly it must be possible, but perhaps it is very complicted or would cause huge perfprmance problems...

Thanks,

Geoff

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... is there any possibility to have the local machine displaying a table with the parameter "Flight +" and the network remote machine displaying a table with "Flight"? Obviously at the expense of some performance, as the table would probably have to be written twice per program 'cycle'...?

Sorry, no. The limitation is nothing to do with generation of tables or transmission to WideClients. It is the compression of all the possible information about AI aircraft into the limited table space allocated in the offsets. The whole system of offering traffic data was intended to be sufficient for TCAS implementations, and it certainly is. Most of the other applications it is now used for are naturally more demanding, but to redesign it now would mean a pretty thorough revision of both versions of FSUIPC and all of the applications which depend on the formats already provided.

FSUIPC does (and has for a long time) provided a way for applications to read any or all of the full AI traffic descriptive strings (not just the very abbreviated ones in the TCAS tables). This is by individual AI requests (one request per string) via the 16 byte offset D000, also the palce for detecting runways in use. The strings available, up to 48 characters each, include:

Tail number

Airline name + Flight number

ATC aircraft type + model (as tweo zero-terminated strings)

Aircraft title

ATC aircraft type + last 3 digits of tail number

Of course, this mechanism was intended to be used by ATC programs needing specific information about an aircraft they are about to talk to, so they could formulate their requests correctly no matter what mode the TCAS table was set to. I believe it is used in this way by Radar Contact. Because of the amount of FSUIPC interaction required for each AI aircraft, it isn't really so suitable for the construction of tabular traffic displays such as those provided by TrafficBoard (or my own TrafficLook), though it isn't beyond the bounds of feasibility.

Really, if there was any reason for me to seriously revise the TCAS tables in FSUIPC, I would prefer to expand the current limits of 96 ground and 96 airborne aircraft. Both are now getting to be quite a serious limitation, with products like UT2 and MyTrafficX easily able to populate "mega airports" like Heathrow with 200+ aircraft. However, even if I found a way to expand this without inducing incompatibilities for existing programs, the extra "slots" still wouldn't be useful without those programs being revised to access them.

Of course for FSX it would be more appropriate for new or thoroughly revised programs to use SimConnect directly, as always intended. The extended life of FS9, probably still around 50% of the market, has really spoiled that type of renewal, but things are going that way, nevertheless.

Regards

Pete

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Hi Pete,

Thanks very much for the detailed response. I suspected that it would be more complicated than I thought - otherwise the issue in question would be resolved by now. One part of your response is particularly interesting: if Radar Contact is really now set up to read the AI data correctly, then perhaps it is now compatible with FSHotSFX..? At some stage in the past when I looked into it, it suffered from the same issue as PFE.

Cheers,

Geoff

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Thanks very much for the detailed response. I suspected that it would be more complicated than I thought - otherwise the issue in question would be resolved by now. One part of your response is particularly interesting: if Radar Contact is really now set up to read the AI data correctly, then perhaps it is now compatible with FSHotSFX.

Sorry, I don't know what the incompatibility was. But a good place to ask is on the RC forum at

http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showforum=135

Quite honestly, I don't actually know that RC uses the facilities I mentioned, only that they were originally added to FSUIPC for RC after discussions with the RC authors. Even if RC does use the facilities, it might be that it also still depends on the TCAS mode setting for other parts of its interaction.

Regards

Pete

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If you want just to view the basic traffic information have you tried running the TrafficLook utility? Not sure if that shows what you are looking to see.

I'm really after finding out if changes are possible / have been made to allow either of the better ATC providers (PFE or RC) are able to work with FSHotSFX which needs to have the TCAS ID set to "Flight +" while the ATC programs seem to need "Flight" or else AI is called by aircraft type rather than callsign...

Sorry, I don't know what the incompatibility was. But a good place to ask is on the RC forum at

http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showforum=135

Quite honestly, I don't actually know that RC uses the facilities I mentioned, only that they were originally added to FSUIPC for RC after discussions with the RC authors. Even if RC does use the facilities, it might be that it also still depends on the TCAS mode setting for other parts of its interaction.

Regards

Pete

Thanks Pete, I've posted a question over there to see what they say...

Cheers,

Geoff

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