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Warning pressing PTT when not connected


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Maybe it was just a dream but wasn't there an option where you could get a warning sound when trying to use PTT when not being connected to Vatsim?

Reason for my question is I had an issue on last flight when X-Plane froze for a while. Resulting in xPilot disconnecting from the network. Then when X-Plane finally decided to resume, I forgot I had been disconnected from the network and finished the last part of the flight offline without realizing it. I even announced my intentions on 122.800, only that no one heard me for obvious reasons ­čśä

In this kind of situation, it would have been great having some kind of sound notification going off when I pressed the PTT when I was no longer connected to the network that would have reminded me to reconnect.

I'm on xPilot 1.3.31

Richard ├ůsberg

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vPilot used to have such a feature, but I removed it when we moved to the new voice system. Previously, it would sound a buzzer if you pressed PTT while not connected to a voice room. Since voice rooms are no longer a thing, I removed it.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Thanks for the info but unless I'm missing something obvious, wouldn't it still be a nice thing to have for the reason mentioned in my initial post?

In the situation today when I finished my flight offline without realizing it, that wouldn't have happened if this feature would have been there to remind me I wasn't online.

Richard ├ůsberg

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You're right to think that it would be easy to add. Practically a one-liner. However, the ease of adding a feature is only one of many factors used in determining whether or not that feature should be added. There are a lot of times when a simple new feature sounds like a no-brainer at first, but then you later realize that it has adverse affects on the user experience. To understand how that could happen here, consider people that use a keyboard key for PTT. They might choose a key that is used for other things they might be doing while vPilot is running but not connected, such as flight planning. It would be quite annoying to have that buzzer sounding when that key is used.

To counter that, you might be inclined to suggest that a checkbox option is added to the settings to disable the PTT buzzer. Then the developer needs to decide what the default setting should be for that checkbox. If it is enabled by default, you get people that don't notice the checkbox and they just get annoyed by the issue, or they post in the forums to complain about it. And when they disable it, or if the setting is disabled by default, then essentially the feature doesn't exist.

I realize this is a contrived example, but it illustrates how a simple feature can lead us down a rabbit hole, and thus developers must be careful not to add a feature as a knee-jerk reaction to something that may not actually be a problem to begin with.

All that being said, Justin may have a different opinion, and his is the one that matters when it comes to xPilot. :classic_smile:

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Having an option that is disabled by default. Meaning nothing would change from the way it currently is unless you enable the option. To me, that sounds like a good solution.

However, I guess the easiest way to avoid what happened to me is to simply make sure you're connected┬á­čśë

Richard ├ůsberg

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3 hours ago, Richard Asberg said:

Having an option that is disabled by default. Meaning nothing would change from the way it currently is unless you enable the option. To me, that sounds like a good solution.

I would agree if people actually read the documentation and/or explored the settings. These days, people expect software to just work right out of the box, and if something doesn't work exactly the way they want, they often just accept it and deal with it, or they complain. Only a minority actually go digging around in the software settings to see if there's an option to make it behave the way they want. This fact is evidenced by the countless forum posts where people ask "how do I do this" and the response is "go to the settings and check a box".

3 hours ago, Richard Asberg said:

However, I guess the easiest way to avoid what happened to me is to simply make sure you're connected 

Yeah, really, the true problem here is that you thought you were connected when you weren't. That issue should be solved directly, not indirectly with a PTT buzzer. (The PTT buzzer doesn't even solve the issue, it just highlights it after the fact if you happen to try to talk to ATC. What if you were flying in uncontrolled airspace? You wouldn't have any clue that you were offline.)

Maybe it would be good to have an obvious indication somewhere in X-Plane that shows that you are not connected if you get disconnected due to a frame rate issue, you got booted from the server by a SUP, or any other disconnect that is not user-initiated. I'll think about that for vPilot as well, but unfortunately I don't have the ability to render stuff directly on the sim screen like xPilot does.

Edited by Ross Carlson

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Yeah, that might be good, for any error message. However, vPilot already plays a tone and shows a red error message, and it has an option (enabled by default) to flash the vPilot icon in the taskbar if you are disconnected unintentionally.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Having a visual cue is a good idea but wouldn't have helped me since I fly in VR. And fact is there's already a visual cue if you have the task bar in Windows set to hide automatically. Then it will show and the icon for xPilot will be highlighted when you're disconnected.

As for people who don't care to check out what options are available to fix an issue they're having or not reading the documentation, it's sad if we allow those to be the ones that decide what our software should be like or stop us from implementing good features

Also (and again), including an option to make a sound if pressing PTT when you're disconnected that is disabled by default. That wouldn't be noticed unless you enabled it yourself.

Richard ├ůsberg

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17 minutes ago, Richard Asberg said:

As for people who don't care to check out what options are available to fix an issue they're having or not reading the documentation, it's sad if we allow those to be the ones that decide what our software should be like or stop us from implementing good features

True, and I think where we disagree is whether or not this is a "good feature". If I thought it was a good feature, I would add it, and add the checkbox, and have it enabled by default. The reason I think it's not a good feature is because it's a half-baked solution to something that isn't really a problem. If I had lots of reports of people getting disconnected without knowing it, then I would find a solution. And it wouldn't be a buzzer on PTT ... it would be a stronger notification when you are disconnected, something that works in VR. This would address the actual problem.

One way this could be done with vPilot would be a popup inside the simulator. FSX and P3D provide a way to show a popup window that stays there until you dismiss it. Perhaps xPilot could do something similar. Although this probably wouldn't have helped in your specific situation because some amount of time passed before you were able to reconnect, and by then you had forgotten that you weren't connected.

Edited by Ross Carlson

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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