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Hello y'all

I know there is already a future request for this but mine is a bit different. Since you can operate on two different frequencies on vatsim (e.g. opening up a _DEP freq when you are logged in as _APP) it would be usefull to have a secondary PPT for the other frequency. If you operate two different frequencies and you transmit, you transmit to both frequencies. With a second PPT you can choose on wich one you want to transmit.

IMO this would make it much more realistic for both pilots and ATC!

Yoran Willocx
S3 controller 

 

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Why do you think that would be more realistic? When operating multiple frequencies, they are usually coupled for the re-transmissions to be done, otherwise you have constant crossed-transmitions and won't be able to differentiatie between frequencies and give proper service.

Or am I missing something regarding your suggestion?

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There's nothing realistic about this. Real-world controllers only have one PTT that activates all of their transmitters simultaneously* which serves two purposes. It's one less thing for the controller to have to manipulate when talking with aircraft, and it also alerts aircraft on every frequency to wait a few seconds for the readback since they may not hear it if they're too far apart--and definitely won't if they are on different frequencies.

*Most ARTCCs/FIRs have sectors that will have multiple transmitters that share a common frequency for better A/G coverage. In these situations, the controller may have to select different transmitters in order to reach certain aircraft, but they still use the same PTT and transmit on all of their other selected frequencies simultaneously.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It may be rare, but it does have a few uses, even IRL.
Nearest airfield to me, for example, is mixed military - civil. Although most of them usually are, not all VHF and (secure) UHF frequencies are cross-coupled, as the military sometimes doesn't want to broadcast everything in the open. To reduce ATCo workload and avoid mistakes, the ATCo doesn't have to enable / disable radios, but has two PTTs instead.

Another civil-only airport nearby has one controller to handle GND and TWR. If I remember correctly, they also use separate PTTs, so as to not disturb air work with ground ops, especially because it's home to a flight school and new students probably already have a ton of helmet fire without a busy frequency in their ear.

 

If not that, however, a secondary PTT could be useful if you want to use AFV for inter-ATCo coordination using a secondary frequency (and would in fact be necessary when it's integrated in AFV)

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7 hours ago, Mathias Jacobs-Anseeuw 116 said:

If not that, however, a secondary PTT could be useful if you want to use AFV for inter-ATCo coordination using a secondary frequency (and would in fact be necessary when it's integrated in AFV)

Can you expand on why you say it would be necessary in that situation? I see no reason why a second PTT would be necessary once AFV supports coordination calls. At least in the US, controllers use the same PTT for air-to-ground and ground-to-ground calls.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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6 hours ago, Ross Carlson said:

Can you expand on why you say it would be necessary in that situation? I see no reason why a second PTT would be necessary once AFV supports coordination calls. At least in the US, controllers use the same PTT for air-to-ground and ground-to-ground calls.

It would depend on how coordination calls are implemented, I suppose.
In the system I worked with, you would call someone, they'd answer and you have full-duplex comms until you hang up, in which case, you don't need a secondary PTT at all. That said, we worked in pairs, so while the coordinating controller was handling the phone, the executive controller kept control over the frequency. That's not the case on VATSIM, where we're alone to work the traffic and the phone. (I don't know how it's done in IRL places where one ATCo also does both.)

If I were calling someone, and had to get something out on the frequency, I wouldn't want to transmit more than "Standby" over the ground comms, so I don't have to disturb the other ATCo with my transmission(s) to the pilot(s). I definitely wouldn't ever want to lose PTT functionality on my primary frequency, and a secondary PTT, or if we're working full-duplex, a secondary function to the primary PTT that would temporarily mute the mic in the call, would allow that.

For the workaround of using a secondary frequency until the coordination calls are implemented, a secondary PTT would definitely be needed, as the ATCo would always be listening out on that coordination frequency, and having full-duplex on secondary or using a single PTT for both primary and secondary frequency would be extremely disruptive to each other's work.

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7 minutes ago, Mathias Jacobs-Anseeuw 116 said:

I don't know how it's done in IRL places where one ATCo also does both.

In the US, they just have a single PTT, and there are multiple types of coordination calls. One type, often known as an "override" call (though different places may call it different things) means the receiving controller has a hot mic and does not need to press PTT to talk to the caller. If the receiving controller does push PTT, his voice is transmitted over the air-to-ground frequency. The caller hears anything the receiving controller says, whether the receiving controller pushes PTT or not, so the caller knows if the receiver is actively speaking to his aircraft, and can thus wait for an opportune time to speak.

The other type is an intercom call (also known by other names such as a "ring line") where the receiving controller must answer the call by pressing a button, and then both parties have to press PTT to talk to the other, and neither party can talk to their airplanes (though they can still hear them) unless they put the call on hold or end the call.

Anyway, I mainly wanted to understand why you felt that a secondary PTT was necessary. I don't see it as necessary, but it may be beneficial to some people. Sounds like you agree. And some, like myself, would prefer to have a single PTT for both, to mimic how it works in the real world US facilities. If there are real world facilities that use a separate PTT for coordination calls, then I think that should be an option that people can enable if desired.

14 minutes ago, Mathias Jacobs-Anseeuw 116 said:

For the workaround of using a secondary frequency until the coordination calls are implemented, a secondary PTT would definitely be needed

I still don't think this workaround would necessitate a secondary PTT. It could still be handled as I describe above. I wouldn't have the coordination frequency be always connected ... it would be more like real coordination calls that begin and end as needed, they would just use a special AFV frequency to carry the audio data. As we say in the software development world, that's just an "implementation detail" that doesn't affect functionality.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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