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Audio for VATSIM launch announced


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Just like to congratulate the development team on a job well done. My VFR group and My Comp[Mod - Happy Thoughts] VA group are having no problems using AFV on XSB. The only thing we would like in due course is a bit more range for CTAF's and Unicom. Thanks again for all your contribution.

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Hello,

 

from docomeentation is clear that CTAFs freq can be used in future after some time, only UNICOM can be used this time. In other side, I can't really imagine why more distance for this service is needed because 15nm is enough distance in my opinion. Pls be kind describe reason of need set higher value, maybe example, idea.

 

OM-ICO

OM-ICO

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I agree with Daniel, that the range should be extended. In the real world, UNICOM can be heard, with frequency overlap for about 50 miles or more, depending on altitude. Ideally the range should be increased dramatically, and the introduction of CTAF's should be expedited as well.

 

The difference with the real world is that:

 

- The real world doesn't have a single global frequency for this function

- The real world isn't trying to use that single frequency for all movements in and out of major airfields as well as the much smaller, quieter airfields

- The real world isn't using/monitoring that frequency at altitudes where total reception range spans half a continent.

- Real world pilots are trained and legally required to have up-to-date frequency information on board and accessible

 

The range of 122.800 is effectively 30nm -- 15nm for you, and 15nm for the other pilot, so on the basis of the AFV ranging algorithm if you are 30nm apart you will hear each other. For a service intended for use at low altitudes in the terminal area only that should be more than enough for its intended purpose of collision avoidance and coordination: 30nm equates to flying time measured in minutes rather than seconds, and if it takes 5+ minutes to initiate avoiding action then I'm not sure any range increase is going to have an effect!

 

For some context, in the UK, Safetycom -- our rough equivalent -- usage is supposed to be limited to within 10nm of the landing site and 2000ft AAL to try and ensure that transmissions are relevant and if you frequent UK general aviation forums you will find a lot of people with major issues about the amount of irrelevant operational comms, not to mention the frequent misuse of the frequency for general chat (sound familar?)!

 

The options, therefore are:

 

1) Have a totally realistic (in terms of range) 122.800 that nobody ever uses because 99% of the chatter is irrelevant to them. To give some context -- in another topic, someone talked about wanting to be able to co-ordinate with other traffic whilst they were in the descent at FL150.

 

Those transmissions would be received by everybody within roughly a 170nm radius on the ground, and anybody airborne would be hearing that stuff up to 430nm away!

 

Now multiply that transmission by all the other transmissions from other aircraft within that radius, and tell me if you that that is likely to be a useful frequency...

 

2) Remove the artificial 122.800 range limitation and use discrete frequencies from day 1 and, if you're lucky, someone else might even be tuned to the same frequency as you if they have the right charts and they know how it works and, for somewhere like Heathrow which doesn't normally have a designated 'CTAF' frequency, plucked the right one out of the air.

 

I mean, neither really sounds particularly useful, does it?

 

The 15 (as I say, really 30) NM restriction was chosen to make the Unicom system, at least for now, actually relevant, useful and usable as opposed to unmitigated chaos.

 

I'm all for transitioning to discrete frequencies, but for that to happen there needs to be a global, univerally and easily-accessible, VATSIM-specific, single source of truth as to which frequency to use at any given airfield, otherwise your CTAF is going to be worse than useless. I believe this is what some people are working on in the background in order to make it possible... still, I'm sure when we do get there we won't be seeing pages of rants from people complaining that they got run in to by somebody who wasn't on the right frequency

 

Note that it is only 122.800 that has the range restriction applied. All other frequencies just work like a normal VHF radio with normal realistic ranging

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@simon

 

I vote for option two. We already expect ATC and pilots to use current charts/procedures/frequencies for flight when ATC is online. Why not extend that to when the airspace is uncontrolled? I think people are smart enough to figure it out. Heck they figure out the crazy departures and arrivals in Europe, pulling a frequency should be simple, right? LOL.

 

I see your point about simplicity, but it seems at odds with most peoples expectations of simulating real world operations.

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@simon

 

I vote for option two. We already expect ATC and pilots to use current charts/procedures/frequencies for flight when ATC is online. Why not extend that to when the airspace is uncontrolled? I think people are smart enough to figure it out. Heck they figure out the crazy departures and arrivals in Europe, pulling a frequency should be simple, right? LOL.

 

I see your point about simplicity, but it seems at odds with most peoples expectations of simulating real world operations.

 

I honestly would like to see this eventually as well, but let's make sure everyone is comfortable with the current transition first, shall we? I'm sure you can imagine the chaos if this was introduced right now. Training requirements for pilots would also need to be upgraded to pull this off successfully.

Josh Jenk

CZVR S2 controller

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Using real charts is all well and good and I would totally agree to use the real frequencies is sensible.

 

However we do have a problem with that... Only about 20% of our clients support 8.33 spacing. The charts will specify 8.33 frequencies which cannot be tuned!

 

Therefore we need a global database of the VATSIM equivalent of these frequencies, and the problem starts growing.

 

Imagine trying to transition everyone to discrete CTAF at the same time as AFV is rolled out, we are all maxed out supporting that at the moment.

 

Give it 6 months for things to settle down and we can go through that process as a community then. We made the decision to make a single change at a time. Keep things simple.

 

Cheers

Gary AFV Lead

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Hello,

 

if I can little bit put some experience, it will be important for pilots that don't have AFV set inside FPL message about not use this because most pilots use UNICOM voice and not AFV pilots answer basically also no with text. Maybe they are not experienced with voice but I had some collisions many times and is enough write inside FPL not use of AFV and use text transmissions.

 

OM-ICO

OM-ICO

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I've been using AFV's controller client for VRC since it was released. EXCELLENT! Voice clarity is so much better and no lag time. Really love all the features that it brings to the simulation.

 

My only feedback is this.. when I am working APP, I like to set up multiple frequencies to better simulate radio procedures from DEL to GND to TWR to DEP. Several times I have asked a pilot to "contact ground 121.70" and get the response, "I don't see that controller online." Some pilots comply without question, but the majority freak out because they don't see the frequency listed in the "Who's Online" window. It would be terrific is the pilot clients could display the list of frequencies that are within range and are opened by the controller. I realize there will be a steep learning curve here, but if the goal is to better simulate ATC and the use of a multitude of radio frequencies, then it may be helpful if the pilots could see which frequencies are within their range. Perhaps in one of the updates planned for down-the-road this could be included.

Michael McClelland

ZMA-C3

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I've been using AFV's controller client for VRC since it was released. EXCELLENT! Voice clarity is so much better and no lag time. Really love all the features that it brings to the simulation.

 

My only feedback is this.. when I am working APP, I like to set up multiple frequencies to better simulate radio procedures from DEL to GND to TWR to DEP. Several times I have asked a pilot to "contact ground 121.70" and get the response, "I don't see that controller online." Some pilots comply without question, but the majority freak out because they don't see the frequency listed in the "Who's Online" window. It would be terrific is the pilot clients could display the list of frequencies that are within range and are opened by the controller. I realize there will be a steep learning curve here, but if the goal is to better simulate ATC and the use of a multitude of radio frequencies, then it may be helpful if the pilots could see which frequencies are within their range. Perhaps in one of the updates planned for down-the-road this could be included.

 

Don’t use multiple frequencies yet. All the AFV guidance has advised against that practice.

Dhruv Kalra

VATUSA ZMP ATM | Instructor | VATSIM Network Supervisor

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My only feedback is this.. when I am working APP, I like to set up multiple frequencies to better simulate radio procedures from DEL to GND to TWR to DEP. Several times I have asked a pilot to "contact ground 121.70" and get the response, "I don't see that controller online." Some pilots comply without question, but the majority freak out because they don't see the frequency listed in the "Who's Online" window.

 

While its been pointed out that current guidelines say not to do this even if you were to I think the phraseology is ambiguous because this isn't Pilot Edge. Typically Vatsim controllers identify as the one position they're on even if working top down. I would more readily use, at least in FAA terms, the phraseology "change to my frequency" if trying to simulate multiple position frequencies as it makes it clear you're still the same person even if you've broken the freqs up. This is what I would say if I were breaking my enroute airspace up into multiple freqs as it is in reality. For multiple positions you could still identify on that frequency as the appropriate position. I know I often say departure to departures and approach to arrivals even if controlling a single freq as APP.

 

However I don't see much advantage to separating frequencies this way. In fact I think a lot of people would prefer to have one frequency with more traffic on it. Lots of pilots I've found complain about the lack of cross coupling on my enroute freq as they find it unnerving to not hear the pilots I'm talking to. Of course that is doubled down when you're multi transmitting on 5 different freqs. With multiple divided frequencies you're also dealing with a greater chance of multiple simultaneous transmissions so its less efficient.

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However I don't see much advantage to separating frequencies this way. In fact I think a lot of people would prefer to have one frequency with more traffic on it. Lots of pilots I've found complain about the lack of cross coupling on my enroute freq as they find it unnerving to not hear the pilots I'm talking to. Of course that is doubled down when you're multi transmitting on 5 different freqs. With multiple divided frequencies you're also dealing with a greater chance of multiple simultaneous transmissions so its less efficient.

 

I've had a good example of how to use it. We were staffing EDDM before our online day started and had quite some traffic. I was working tower with only DEL below me, so I activated the Apron frequencies and asked DEL to send the pilots there.

I had cross coupling active, of course.

 

When the apron controller came online, it was a single click on my side and all aircraft he needed talking to were with him, no cascade of "contact apron" calls.

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