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VRC vs. ASRC


Bo Gercke 845743
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That said...

 

What I am not looking for here is a pissing match, or war of words.

 

I'm coming home in a short time, and need to get requainted with a controller client. Since I've been gone, ASRC v1.1, or 1.2 has come out, and VRC has come out. I am starting from scratch as far as clients go. I need your EXPERIENCES; read: not blanket statements, regarding these clients. Which client do you like better, use, prefer, AND why?

 

Here's what I know:

 

VRC is more effiecient with dual monitors.

ASRC has an updated version.

 

That's it, really and honestly. So, I would like to know why you guys made the switch to VRC. What does do it better, more effieciently, or more user friendly than ASRC?

 

I am starting from scratch, and am looking for FACTS. I'm trying to get to a point to make the best decision for me.

 

Ross, I'd certainly like to hear your input. Why did you decide to make another client? What do you think ASRC was missing? Do you feel that those things were accomplished? If an email will work better, let me know, and I'll kick you over the address.

 

Thanks.

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ASRC v1.2 added features that came with VRC 1.0.

And VRC v1.2 appears to be progressing very well and includes such major inovations such as voice ATIS.

VRC v1.1 has the "tower" mode, where it starts an FS2004 multiplayer session that you can then join and view the aircraft with (no pilot clients needed, no proxy server or second connections to the network, it's all built in).

 

The ONLY two reasons I'd choose ASRC is the built in VSCS and it's interfaced designed to fit onto a single monitor.

For everything else, it's VRC all the way.

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VRC all the way. Not that I dislike ASRC or anything, its just that VRC has it all compacted into the one program instead of loading a prograsm for this and that. VRC is simple, to setup and simple to use. PLUS wer actually get to see the planes with VRC 1.1.0 and soon to be released VRC 1.2.0 will have VOICE ATIS!!!!

 

Aside from ATISMaker, which is optional to download and use, what programs are you referring to that need to be run in addition to ASRC?

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I greatly enjoy ASRC primarily because it replicates the MEARTS system I've seen in use at ZAN coupled with the movable strip board and realistic VSCS, which can also be "floated" to a secondary monitor, which is my current setup.

 

It's not quite as user-friendly (e.g. there is no right-click menu, flight strips still require the "dot" commands for changing, etc.), and the strip board acts strangely sometimes (for example sometimes I try to move a strip with my mouse and the strip right above it moves instead).

 

I'd venture to say that ASRC is the most closely related client to the real-world en route environment (since they type everything and only use trackballs to slew aircraft anyway), whereas VRC is a great program for the terminal environment (I believe it now has the new STARS radar-display system, and it of course has the Tower view and coming soon the voice ATIS). Additionally in the en route environment there's no need for hourly-updated ATIS' (and voice ATIS is only authorized on Tower anyway). I no next to nothing else about VRC, though, as I haven't used it personally; I've only observed a fellow controller using it. I am personally considering utilizing both programs--one for the terminal and the other for the en route environments.

 

In the end it's your preference.

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First, thanks so much for the replies and for keeping within the "spirit" of my post. You guys have given me a ton of places in which to ask some questions, if you don't mind.

 

It's not quite as user-friendly (e.g. there is no right-click menu, flight strips still require the "dot" commands for changing, etc.), and the strip board acts strangely sometimes (for example sometimes I try to move a strip with my mouse and the strip right above it moves instead).

 

Is ammending flight strips really as easy as the manual says? If so, I think that's the deal maker/breaker. I see that there are no ..'s required like they are in the FIDO/ASRC/PC. So much of my time was wasted, both on VATSIM, and ITRW with those stupid dot dot's.

 

Second, with the virtual tower mode; does it take a monster PC to run it, or can I run it from my laptop linked to a wireless connection? In addtion, is FS9 required to run the virtual tower, or will it run with 2004? Soory if we're getting into repeat questions here, but I'm just trying to be time efficient, and hopefully this post can help someone else.

 

Thanks again for the replies.

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VRC has 2 Virtual Tower options;

 

1. 3D View - this is a 'simple' view of the sector file in 3D, with all aircraft appearing as paper planes. It requires very little of the PC and is an excellent tool - you should have no problems at all running this.

 

2. Link to MSFS - VRC hosts a multiplayer session that FS can connect to. This requires you to have MSFS installed and running, and connect to the Multiplayer session. This can chew up a lot of resources, so you may need a lot of processor and RAM to do this effectively.

 

Screenshots of VRC 3D mode and some shots using MSFS multiplayer are on the VRC site;

 

http://www.metacraft.com/VRC/screenshots.shtml

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In VRC flight strips are VERY easy to edit. F6 and select the aircraft. Then type in the text box what needs to be changed, click the ammend button and it's done. You can also click the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign squawk code button in there.

 

As for the Twr mode, it doesn't require a "monster" PC to run it. My now dated PC does it just fine. FS2004 with some settings turned a bit down and VRC running together with average frame rates in FS of 30fps.

 

But you can use multiple computers via a network if you want. Myself and a friend did some testing where he connected to my VRC multiplayer session with FS2004 and was able to view aircraft (I was also connected at the same time with my FS2004).

 

The only two differences where I could see his "aircraft" in FS2004 and he could see mine. And we could both use the FS2004 chat to talk to each other.

It didn't affect the performance of my PC and nothing was sent back to the VATSIM network.

 

Btw FS9 IS FS2004!!!

If you meant FSX then no, FSX isn't supported yet, only FS2004. But never fear because as soon as squawkbox is release for FSX then VRC will be given the updated code (Joel gave the squawkbox code to Ross to make the MSFS virtual tower work).

 

I don't belive FS2002 is supported, but I think there is a proxy tool that links FS2002 and FS2004 multiplay sessions that may work with VRC to let FS2002 join in.

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And in ASRC strip amendments aren't terribly bad. There was a particular ARTCC that had such a nice tutorial on that particular subject, but I've long since forgotten who it was.

 

What has worked best for me is thus:

to change CRL.J40.DJB.J123.JHW to CRL.JHW, type: .am rte crl.jhw [enter] and everything in between disappears.

to add LNN between J123 and JHW to the mix, type: .am rte j123.lnn.jhw [enter] and it's added.

 

Essentially pick two points that will not change (even if they are the departure and arrival airports) and change whatever you need to between them. Again it's not point-and-click friendly, but it's an interesting challenge if you're not already challenged enough with a couple dozen aircraft. From what I've seen, however, VRC allows you to bring up the flight strip in its own dialog box inside which you may change whatever you need to about the aircraft route, type, altitude, beacon, etc.

 

One feature I wish ASRC had which is found in VRC is the strip-push function whereupon a tower controller can push a strip to departure (using electronic means in lieu of the eight-story-high tube at co-located tower/TRACONs).

 

Have fun!

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Ross, I'd certainly like to hear your input. Why did you decide to make another client? What do you think ASRC was missing? Do you feel that those things were accomplished? If an email will work better, let me know, and I'll kick you over the address.

 

The primary reason I wrote VRC was for multi-monitor support. When working BOS_CTR and also covering BOS_TWR, I felt that I would really benefit from having a second scope zoomed in on KBOS, or zoomed in on a particular chunk of the ZBW airspace so that I could give more precise vectors to arrival aircraft at a given field. Granted, neither of these scenarios are realistic, but neither is the fact that CTR often provides local control services, nor the size of the sectors CTR and APP work. So I felt that a multi-monitor radar program was needed for VATSIM.

 

There were other issues that I wanted to address, but they have mostly been dealt with in ASRC 1.2.

 

I would strongly recommend that you give them both a thorough evaluation. If you are on a single monitor, ASRC's interface may feel less cluttered or easier to manage. However, some of the ease-of-use features that VRC has, such as the flight strip editing window, may make up for that. Also, if you primarily work CTR, the fact that ASRC very closely models the look of the DSR system may be very important to you. VRC's interface doesn't model any real world system. For example, VRC's button bar is not found in any real world system ... it just contains shortcut access to what I felt were the most important bits of information, such as weather, comms, etc.

 

Anyway, definitely use them both for a while ... actually control for several hours with each and see what you think.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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And in ASRC strip amendments aren't terribly bad. There was a particular ARTCC that had such a nice tutorial on that particular subject, but I've long since forgotten who it was.

 

We have one on our site. I'm NOT sure if we were the "originators" or not, but you can find some examples at:

 

http://www.nyartcc.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=114

Matthew Kreilein

?cid=881422attachment.php?attachmentid=1125&d=1321217166

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

here is my two pence worth.

 

I started on ASRC and whilst it didn't come easy i think I had mastered the main elements of the package although I did think the dot commands a very comebersome way of doing something. I also always thought the VSCS element of ASRC to be quite terrible and I always struggled with that if i wanted to set up other positions to monitor.

 

But, I'm not a programmer and whilst I have plenty of good ideas I can't put them physically into practice. I get others in my development team (at work) to do that.

 

VRC came out overe a year ago and i downloaded it on the day of release, I installed it and configured it within minutes and after two hours of use felt very comforatble with it. I have a two monitor setup which it was designed for. It's ease of use owes much to the intuitive windows environment on which it is modelled.

 

Like it or not Bill Gates maybe a lot of things but he does understand how adults like to work and his windows environment is very much like my physical desk that I'm working at right now. Ross has utilised that approach in teh design of VRC and done so admirably.

 

I find something new about VRC almost every day and the updates and personability of the developer Ross makes all the difference.

 

As I repeatdley say ASRC was fantastic but VRC has just moved us up the development ladder with his superlative VRC.

 

 

All the best and good luck, oh just one final thing the right click option is a godsend and once used never forgotten but as Ross said eralier try both and then make a choice.

Wycliffe Barrett: C3 Controller

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"if god meant for us to fly, he would have given us tickets" Mel Brooks

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I also started off with ASRC and managed to master the somewhat clumsy text-based interface quite well. When I discovered VRC I realized instantly that it had successfully implemented features that I once desired in ASRC, the cursor interface is very intuitive and simply quicker than ASRC. Although ASRC does have its place and I do have sentiment for it (scrambling to respond to an FP ammendment while doing a million other things ), especially for simulating enroute radar. I'm perfectly content with VRC at JFK tower, and the voice ATIS feature further raises the bar for future developments.

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