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Tom Knudsen

NATCON, do you use it?

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Tom Knudsen    1

Been following this for a while and have noticed there is a general difference in the usage. So my question for curious sake is this:

Do you use the NATCON PLUGIN if/if not why?

Also if you do not mind, is there any other plugins that you perfer?

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No, and the simple reason is...too complicated in ES. Vanilla Euroscope with the sectorfile works perfect! (Still a minior NATCON plugin is there too, made by Even Rognlien)

Other plugins I use is;

vSMR

Ground Radar (modified to ENGM only), you`ll find it in FIR discussion, Norway

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Wygene Chong    324

All the other Scandinavian sector files use 'Topsky' now I think, except Norway :) It's easy to use, has some fancy transfer and holding pattern functions and other advanced stuff I don't touch.

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10 hours ago, Wygene Chong said:

All the other Scandinavian sector files use 'Topsky' now I think, except Norway :) It's easy to use, has some fancy transfer and holding pattern functions and other advanced stuff I don't touch.

 

Yep... I am working on getting Topsky to work with Norway... A hell-of-a copy-paste job from AIP Norway though...

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Tom Knudsen    1
13 hours ago, Krister Larsen said:

No, and the simple reason is...too complicated in ES. Vanilla Euroscope with the sectorfile works perfect! (Still a minior NATCON plugin is there too, made by Even Rognlien)

Other plugins I use is;

vSMR

Ground Radar (modified to ENGM only), you`ll find it in FIR discussion, Norway

Think I need that too when I start my Gardermoen training.. 

 

13 hours ago, Wygene Chong said:

All the other Scandinavian sector files use 'Topsky' now I think, except Norway :) It's easy to use, has some fancy transfer and holding pattern functions and other advanced stuff I don't touch.

That looks awesome, very promising. Sadly I just got used to Euroscope, hopefully it is an plugin. 

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Wygene Chong    324

@Tom Knudsen, yes it is just a plugin in Euroscope and easy to get used to for the basic functions :) Just download any other country sector file (Iceland, Finland, Sweden or Denmark), log on as an observer and you can try it out.

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I use NATCON. No problems with it.

I understand, i believe from @Daniel Klepp that NATCON in real is a lousy system. But that i beside the point. When people say it is to difficult to use with ES it's only because they have not read the manual or tried it properly.

All regular tasks used in vanilla ES is still usable with the plugin. (With the exepetion of transfer directly in tag callsign). If you absolutely don't want to hand off planes with the TID just press transfer in the list as normal.

I think it's a nice plugin. Many good maps made to put on top of the sectorfile. Easy to find maps in the plugin as well and you can open and close everything in the sector file from within the plugin without having to open display settings and thereby locking the scope.

I teach NATCON to all my students.

 

Other plugins I use vStrips (vstrips.co.uk) for flightstrips :) And Virtual Controller Assistant (VCA). Although VCA has some bugs so I don't use it always. But use it to autoassign Squawks and initial altitude, and also it has a very nice Block time function, count down timer, amongst other.

Also virtual AWOS is a nice feature for weather information :)

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21 hours ago, Wygene Chong said:

All the other Scandinavian sector files use 'Topsky' now I think, except Norway :) It's easy to use, has some fancy transfer and holding pattern functions and other advanced stuff I don't touch.

This I believe is because all other Scandinavian countries use this in real life :)

11 hours ago, Henrik Sonstebo said:

Yep... I am working on getting Topsky to work with Norway... A hell-of-a copy-paste job from AIP Norway though...

Why copy fra AIP when everything is available in the Sectorfile??

Why not wait until the new ATM system is implemented in Norway, and we can focus on a new plugin that match this?

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Wygene Chong    324
52 minutes ago, Bjoern Helge Smaavollan said:

This I believe is because all other Scandinavian countries use this in real life :)

Actually in real lifeIceland uses a custom-made system called 'TAS' - not the VATSIM Scandinavia TAS ;) 

https://www.tern.is/products/tas-tern-atc-system/

Bit of old video, but see it here: 

On VATSIM we've found it just easier to use Topsky :) 

Edited by Wygene Chong

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6 hours ago, Bjoern Helge Smaavollan said:

Why copy fra AIP when everything is available in the Sectorfile??

Why not wait until the new ATM system is implemented in Norway, and we can focus on a new plugin that match this?

Yeah, true... The only copy-paste job that is needed is for the MSAs and Danger/Restricted areas...

Edited by Henrik Sonstebo

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6 hours ago, Bjoern Helge Smaavollan said:

And Virtual Controller Assistant (VCA). Although VCA has some bugs so I don't use it always. But use it to autoassign Squawks and initial altitude, and also it has a very nice Block time function, count down timer, amongst other.

VCA is nice for Squawk and IA allocation... given that everybody else uses VCA. If one person doesn't use VCA, that messes up everything :\

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4 hours ago, Henrik Sonstebo said:

Yeah, true... The only copy-paste job that is needed is for the MSAs and Danger/Restricted areas...

They are already in the sector file :)

And also in the NATCON plugin files :) (Which I believe use the same format as Topsky. (Same developer))

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1 minute ago, Bjoern Helge Smaavollan said:

They are already in the sector file :)

And also in the NATCON plugin files :) (Which I believe use the same format as Topsky. (Same developer))

 

From what I understood from the dev guide, TopSky doesn't rely solely on the data in the sector files.

It's going to be a copy-paste job nevertheless... 

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1 minute ago, Henrik Sonstebo said:

From what I understood from the dev guide, TopSky doesn't rely solely on the data in the sector files.

It's going to be a copy-paste job nevertheless... 

You will of course need to copy data into the different plugin files, but at least you don't have to convert the AIP formats if you use the data already available :)

 

But now we are offtrack of the original thread :)

 

NATCON is still a usable plugin for Norway :)

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Magnus Meese    21

Yeah, NATCON is wonky, but what else can you expect from a system originating from the late 80's (though Avinor and other parties did update it heavily before implementing it). I used it until recently, when I found that ES vanilla is more functional for me in high traffic volume situations because it's all on-screen (with the option of a tablet TID) instead of integrated in a controller's station as it is in real life, complemented by the strips, FP system, and whatever else is available to any given sector (wx/info screens, camera views, full document suite, etc). Vanilla ES is by no means lacking in the wonkyness-department, but it's better adapted for home PC use than NATCON is.

It can be used indefinately, but please note that all the maps with numbers and identifiers are subject to manual updates no longer provided by neither Anders nor me. When you use the MAP window to call up the non-indexed maps directly from the .sct, you're all good. Many of the maps will remain correct for an unkown amount of time, but don't rely on that (ENGM is still good). Anyone can of course pick up the task of updating the plugin files, go right ahead.

I would like to argue that teaching a semi-official plugin to students is inadvisable, however, even more so when vanilla ES is easier to deal with (imagine that, there's a situation where ES is comparatively easy to operate). IMO, students should start out using what ever is considered the base software at any given time, only adding plugins as a part of their own controlling style/method once they've got the basics down. Not only in order to simplify things, but because understanding the basic structure and functions of the software is smarter than starting out learning a plugin layer on top of it (unless that plugin is considered part of the official/basic software, of course).

 

Edited by Magnus Meese
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23 minutes ago, Magnus Meese said:

Yeah, NATCON is wonky, but what else can you expect from a system originating from the late 80's (though Avinor and other parties did update it heavily before implementing it). I used it until recently, when I found that ES vanilla is more functional for me in high traffic volume situations because it's all on-screen (with the option of a tablet TID) instead of integrated in a controller's station as it is in real life, complemented by the strips, FP system, and whatever else is available to any given sector (wx/info screens, camera views, full document suite, etc). Vanilla ES is by no means lacking in the wonkyness-department, but it's better adapted for home PC use than NATCON is.

I too used NATCON earlier. Then I found that ES is a better alternative for training and high-stress environments, like for example the Oslo Realtime event. Then I recently started configuring the SMR plugin (GRPlugin) that Sweden uses in their controller pack for use on Gardermoen -- and I'm very happy with this plugin over the vSMR plugin I formerly used. Recently I also started configuring TopSky for Norway FIR, but I stopped halfway, because; for one, it has the same problems I was trying to avoid by stopping using NATCON plugin, and the plugin itself isn't designed for Norway FIR, which makes it impossible to use on VATSIM manning any Norwegian position without reverse-engineering it. I don't have time to reverse-engineer something that isn't a college assignment.

32 minutes ago, Magnus Meese said:

I would like to argue that teaching a semi-official plugin to students is inadvisable, however, even more so when vanilla ES is easier to deal with (imagine that, there's a situation where ES is comparatively easy to operate). IMO, students should start out using what ever is considered the base software at any given time, only adding plugins as a part of their own controlling style/method once they've got the basics down. Not only in order to simplify things, but because understanding the basic structure and functions of the software is smarter than starting out learning a plugin layer on top of it (unless that plugin is considered part of the official/basic software, of course).

Agreed. I teach all my students vanilla ES with correlation mode Easy/C-mode and with use of the NATCON tag datablock included in the sector files. This is because the curriculum is solely for EuroScope. If my students want to use plugins like vSMR and VCA after they've passed their checkout, I am happy to help them with that, but not before they have passed their S2/S2+MAE CPT. For training above S2, the students should have knowledge about their own ES setup with plugins etc, so then it's their choice, but again, I won't provide support for plugins.

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Daniel Klepp    256
On 5/4/2017 at 4:40 PM, Henrik Sonstebo said:

VCA is nice for Squawk and IA allocation... given that everybody else uses VCA. If one person doesn't use VCA, that messes up everything :\

The amount of crap caused by this, outweighs any advantages.. Still getting squawks and CFL reset on aircraft coming from the UK so the plugin is nowhere near fixed. So please do not use this plugin.

I do not use NATCON either, I have worked a bunch with it in real life, and its just too ineffective for me. As Meese mentioned, when doing high traffic loads, NATCON is more in the way than it is helpful.. Can't wait for the new ATM system to come, so we can start to look at how we can mimic that :)

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2 hours ago, Daniel Klepp said:

Can't wait for the new ATM system to come, so we can start to look at how we can mimic that :)

Do you have any inside information as to how far along this project is?

Will Avinor go for an existing system, or will they try to invent the wheel all over again?

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Daniel Klepp    256

As far as I know, existing system. The downside is that for now it is just the enroute systems that gets changed. But I know there is a separate project for Tower/App-system going as well.

The project is very secretive so far, so I don't really know anything about it yet..

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46 minutes ago, Bjoern Helge Smaavollan said:

We'll just have to start using towerview and vStrips only in the tower 😝

Regarding Towerview:

I've seen people logging on ordinarily with vPilot with the callsign "Tower", essentially dual-logging. This is not best practice, nor is it in line with the VATSIM Code of Conduct. If you want to log on using towerview, you need to log on using observer mode.

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Magnus Meese    21

Are you sure it's a dual login? When you use the .towerview command in vPilot, it does connect under that callsign, but it's connected via the ES proxy. So you only have on real connection to the network, but vPilot looks as if it's online itself.

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21 minutes ago, Magnus Meese said:

Are you sure it's a dual login? When you use the .towerview command in vPilot, it does connect under that callsign, but it's connected via the ES proxy. So you only have on real connection to the network, but vPilot looks as if it's online itself.

I am almost positive it's a dual login, seeing that I can see an extra tag with the callsign "TOWER" when observing those positions in ES.

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I can write up a short tutorial for how to do it properly, including how to get your towercab up to correct altitude :)

Short story is, in vPilot use the command ".towerview" to connect it to Eursoscope :)

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It is people that have failed to install the propper versions of either euroscope or vpilot so they fail doing .towerview and connect directly to vatsim with callsign "TOWER" instead. (Note, this do not happen with command .towerview, only if they on purpose connect with callsign tower as I have experienced)

One other thing, connecting as a observer or with callsign "TOWER" is dual connection, something not allowed even for this purpose, you must use the function build into vpilot v2 and euroscope beta version.

Edited by Adrian Bjerke

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