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Brand new to XPlane and VATSIM - need help


CHRISTOPHER Walters
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Let me preface this with I am not a computer guy - I bought my first PC, just to build a flight simulator to keep current and practice skills as I go through flight school for more certifications. So with that being said, I'm NOT TECHNICAL with the computer stuff.

The main problem: I fell like I've downloaded everything and am connected to the network, but I can't get my PTT button to work. I don't know if thats the Alpha Flight controls having an issue or something else. 

IF I can get that to work, the next problem I'm having is figuring out where I can find an ATC controller to talk to. It seems like nobody is doing ATC out of the Salt Lake City area, but maybe I'm not looking in the right spot. 

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Hi, Christopher -- welcome to the network!  How you set your push-to-talk depends on which of the three X-Plane approved Pilot Clients you are using (xPilot, Swift, or XSquawkBox), so start by letting us know that and we'll help you as best as we can.

As for locating online Air Traffic Control, map.vatsim.net is a good source -- as is simaware.ca (is that the same thing?) -- as is vattastic.net -- although my favorite method is a separate app you can download and install called VAT-Spy.  ATC coverage is not constant on VATSIM -- controllers are just like pilots in that they hop on and off the network at their whim.  When that is might not always be predictable, but statistically (a) many controllers work their real-world home areas and (b) many controllers work or go to school during the day and have free time in the evening -- so what that means is that you're typically going to see a higher level of activity in each area's local evening time.

Another way you can look for ATC coverage is by looking at either the VATSIM or the VATUSA Events Calendar -- although I don't recommend flying in hosted events as a brand new member, you will often see the *adjacent* facilities to events staffed as well, which may present an opportunity to plan in advance to do some flying in a less hectic area.

Edited by Robert Shearman Jr

Cheers,
-R.

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