By Simon Kelsey 810049
#520278 Hi Ross,

I suspect this has come up before but I can't locate the thread... however, would you consider adding a private voice room function akin to that which was available in Squawkbox and FSINN?

I know Teamspeak is often quoted as an alternative but there are occasions where it would be really handy to have a system driven by the aircraft radios -- for example, we do a lot of shared cockpit training. Not often much ATC or 'external' traffic about, but there are times when it would be useful to co-ordinate; Teamspeak doesn't really work for this though as we are already using it for intra-cockpit comms and so each "aircraft" is effectively in a different TS room.

Obviously we can (and do) still use text, but I've often thought it would be nice to just be able to monitor UNICOM on Box 1 and have Box 2 tuned to a 'company' voice frequency for quick and easy co-ordination (also quite good for getting students used to the VATSIM voice quality!).

I appreciate though that we are probably a very niche user group!

Best,

Simon
By Ross Carlson 887155
#520280
Simon Kelsey 810049 wrote:I appreciate though that we are probably a very niche user group!


Simon, who is "we" in this context? A VA?

I believe Squawkbox didn't use the aircraft radios for private voice ... I believe you just defined a private voice channel on the server (a voice URL) and then mapped a separate PTT to that channel. So you didn't have to tune a frequency to use the private voice.

How does FSInn do private voice?

I do like the idea of using the aircraft radios for this ... it would be much more realistic. How are you picturing this would be configured? In other words, how would you define what the company frequency is, and what voice URL it maps to?

I could see it being as simple as two text fields in the settings. One is for the company frequency, the other is for the voice URL that vPilot should connect to when that frequency is tuned.

That being said, perhaps a better way to handle this would be something similar to what we've proposed to the BoG for voice CTAF. We could have a mapping of geographic areas and frequencies to voice URLs. So, for example, if you tune 123.45 within 50 NM of BTV airport, vPilot joins a voice room, and anyone in that voice room can hear each other. If you fly out of that range, you disconnect from that voice room. This would make the functionality usable by anyone with no configuration necessary. It would also mean that anyone could listen in on company chatter if they knew the frequency. That is a double-edged sword though, because it's also more realistic that way.

Let me know your thoughts.
By Simon Kelsey 810049
#520284 Hi Ross,

Yes - BAV (more specifically our ATO in this particular instance). I would imagine others would make use as well!

FSINN private voice allowed you to define a voice sever/room and associate that to a frequency. So when you tune that frequency (I think FSINN tied it to COM2 only but I don't think there's any particular good reason to do so ) it would automatically join that voice room. FSINN allowed for multiple frequencies/rooms to be defined IIRC, but essentially pretty much what you're proposing as far as I can see.

The other method you propose would also work well - I suppose the advantage of being able to define specific voice rooms would enable people to set up discrete voice frequencies which might be useful in certain circumstances (off the top of my head, e.g. formation flights etc where a discrete air to air frequency might be useful) unless you can think of a way to make that work without further configuration!

Best,

Simon
By Randy Tyndall 1087023
#520286 Ross,

FSInn connected to private voice through liveatc.net voicerooms that the user created in the VVL tab. Here is the excerpt from the manual:

Private channel

Drop down combo containing

http://www.liveatc.net/text (private channel)

Type channel info in the text field + ‘Enter’ or select in the list to connect.

Buttons are the same as COMM 1&2 functions, except channel status button (bigger) to connect / disconnect.


I used to set up "www.liveatc.net/Randy" to private voice chat with other pilots I was friends with during flights. Once I had the channel set up I private texted the channel to the pilot I wanted private voice with. They typed that exact same channel in their VVL tab bar and hit enter. Then you talk and only those in that channel could hear you. I don't think it was tied to the Comm Radios, but it has been so long since I used it that may be wrong and Simon is probably right.

Seems like we had to set a different PTT button to use it, but don't recall how we did that. I used left ctrl for VATSIM and right ctrl for private voice IIRC. But, if Simon is right about it being tied to Comm 2, then maybe all you had to do was make sure Comm 2 was selected and use the VATSIM PTT button.

Randy
By Ross Carlson 887155
#520288
Simon Kelsey 810049 wrote:The other method you propose would also work well - I suppose the advantage of being able to define specific voice rooms would enable people to set up discrete voice frequencies which might be useful in certain circumstances (off the top of my head, e.g. formation flights etc where a discrete air to air frequency might be useful) unless you can think of a way to make that work without further configuration!


The method I proposed would work for that as well, you'd just need to define contiguous geographic regions for that frequency, each mapped to their own voice channel. Then for all the pilots in the group flight, vPilot would switch them from one voice channel to the next as they moved between these geographic regions. That way you stay on the same frequency the whole time, but you only hear pilots that are within your geographic region, so you don't hear people from across the continent or across the planet.

This leaves the possibility of two pilots in the group flight being on either side of a geographic region boundary, and thus not being able to hear each other even though they are only a couple miles apart. We deal with this in the Voice CTAF proposal by having the regions overlap, and if you are in the area of overlap, your pilot client connects to BOTH voice rooms, thereby bridging the gap as you transition between regions.
By Simon Kelsey 810049
#520294 Hi Ross,

Sounds good! I suppose (perhaps looking to the longer term future ) the ultimate pipe dream would be to reach a situation where localised voice communications could be achieved on any frequency -- and perhaps once the infrastructure to drive the voice CTAF proposals is in place that might not be too ridiculous a thought as you'd have the geographic information in place, it would then just be a case of the client automatically creating a voice room unique to the frequency (and location) tuned (although I guess there'd be a question over how you balance the voice server load etc evenly amongst other things!).

Randy -- now you mention it, I think there were two ways of creating a private voice room in FSINN -- the way you describe which worked off a separate PTT, and secondly in the main settings where you could define frequency, server and voice room and that ran off COM2 and the normal PTT based on ACP selections.
By Ross Carlson 887155
#520295 Yeah, certainly the holy grail is true range-limited voice where we don't have to worry about the fact that voice channels are global in nature. What we really need is a server that is aware of each user's location and transmitter "wattage" and forwards the voice data to any other user on the same frequency that is in range. This is how text radio transmissions work on VATSIM, we just need the same thing for voice.