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Trouble discerning Standby icon from Mode-C icon...


Robert Shearman Jr
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Hi all --

 

I'm a VATSIM pilot semi-veteran but new to controlling.

 

On the laptop I control with, it's difficult for me to discern the icon for ground targets squawking Standby from the one for ground targets squawking Mode-C. The former is a little oval-shaped dot (on my screen), and the latter is an asterisk, but the icons are very small. Zooming in, of course, doesn't change the icon size -- it only de-clutters the area around them a bit.

 

It's possible there's some sort of font issue going on because my ATC mentor showed me a screenshot of how Standby-squawking icons look on his VRC screen and they have a little "growth" on one side (he calls it the "thumbs-up icon"). It definitely does not appear in that manner on my side, and he and I run the same VRC version (1.2.4).

 

Aside from "buy a new monitor / laptop" (thanks, don't need that advice; don't happen to have the money burning a hole in my bank account at the moment), any suggestions?

 

(1) is there an easy way (or even maybe a difficult but do-able way) to edit which symbol appears for each, so I can change them to something more easily distinguishable from one another?

 

(2) I tried a few other radar modes thinking that if I found one which provided a limited data block on Standby but a full data block on Mode-C, that might accomplish what I need -- but I found that in all of the realistic radar modes that I tested, targets squawking Standby only showed as non-identified dot -- even with QuickLook engaged. Am I wrong about that? Are there any radar modes which still provide at least a callsign for Standby-squawking targets, with or without QuickLook on?

 

Any other ways I can make it so I can more easily tell who's squawking Mode-C on the ground and who isn't, while still being able to tell who is who?

Cheers,

-R.

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As far as I know you can't change the icons. Ground mode has like an L and then an * to tell the difference. That's worked for me on a variety of different monitors, including cheap ones that are sub-720p.

 

I really only use Ground (for training) and DSR (for controlling center), so I don't know the other data tags well. However, Ross's docomeentation has some good images of what each tag will look like in certain conditions, maybe you can find what your looking for there.

 

And last but not least you could try vSTARS. While not entirely developed for cab usage, there is an ASDE-X in the latest beta that may be worth checking out. And you wouldn't be the first controller that has used vSTARS for cab work

Senior Student (S3)

Chicago ARTCC Events Coordinator

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Ground mode has like an L and then an * to tell the difference.

I believe that's what I'm describing as the "thumbs-up" icon but for some reason I'm not seeing that on my end -- just a non-descript dot that looks too similar to the asterisk. :-/

 

Ross's docomeentation has some good images of what each tag will look like in certain conditions

I've read it. From what I have seen, if an aircraft is on Standby, there's no data tag at all, not even a callsign, and not even in QuickLook mode. I'm looking for a mode that would provide a callsign in Standby mode and a more complete data tag in Mode-C. I'm surmising one doesn't exist.

 

you could try vSTARS. While not entirely developed for cab usage, there is an ASDE-X in the latest beta that may be worth checking out. And you wouldn't be the first controller that has used vSTARS for cab work

Interesting; I very well may look into that. Thank you for the suggestion!

Cheers,

-R.

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The differences you see between the way two different machines render the same target symbol is due to different video drivers and how they implement OpenGL drawing instructions. Sometimes it even differs depending on how far from the screen center point the target is. I've seen it where if you pan your scope around, a target that looks like the "L" in themiddle of the screen might change to a + sign (which is what it's supposed to look like) when it moves closer to the edges of the screen, or vice-versa. It essentially boils down to floating point math and rounding/precision issues.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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