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Author Topic: Virtual FO software  (Read 3459 times)

Offline fsaviator

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Virtual FO software
« on: April 10, 2013, 01:33:35 AM »
Alright guys, looking for some help again.

I'm tired of reading checklists to myself as I get everything up and running.  It's not like in my RW planes where the checklist is short and sweet.  I'm now investigating taking the realism to the next level and asking for your experiences in the use of software such as FS2Crew or Flight Deck Companion.  I personally used to use both years ago but can't remember much other than they were a pain to set up.

Surprisingly, according to FS2Crew there doesn't seem to be a lot of experience in using their software with a home cockpit setup.  Has anyone tried, or is anyone using this type of add-on?

The problem I see is that flows use both pilots, so while the PF side of the equation on switches and actions would be fine, the PNF side would create issues at the software can't really flip a hardware switch.  Unfortunately, FS2Crew does not allow the changing of checklist item responsibility one way or the other.

I need to look into FDC to see how their system works.

Any ideas?

Warren
Warren "MTN385"
Florida

http://www.B737NG-SIM.com and https://www.facebook.com/fsaviator on facebook
FSX, Prosim737 Suite, FDS DSTD 2.0 MIP, RevSim Proline TQ, ACE Dual-linked Yokes, Intel 3.5GHz i7-3770K, MSI Z77A-G45, 16GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400, Galaxy GTX670 GC 4GB, OCZ 60GB Vertex 3

Offline jskibo

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 01:48:55 PM »
I think you nailed it Warren.  FS2Crew does the switch logic which would either be a mess (as its flipping switches virtually that hardware has in the opposite position), or it couldn't interact because the contral state of the switch doesn't lie in the location (FSUIPC) that it thinks it does.  (Like some of the logic with ProSim).

The other issue I recall is the menus popping up on the screen during the actions....But its been awhile since I used his stuff.
John


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Offline KyleH

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 03:41:07 PM »
Look at Multi-Crew Experience

http://www.multicrewxp.com/

You can customize the checklists, and control some sim commands and ATC by voice.

Offline philb737

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 12:00:23 PM »
I use Multi-Crew Experience too, two thumbs up!!!!! ;)
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while!

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 12:36:48 PM »
Hi Warren,

I've been using FS2Crew in my sim for a year or more and it works fine, if you remember to change the switches that the FO would normally do. However, the checklist flows are there and they workout just great.

FS2Crew has the FSX default and the PMDG737NGX versions (amongst other aircraft as well). The default will work with PM, SimA or ProSim737 (and others) because it does not depend on those Add-On suites; although, it does need to be tweaked a little for them. Also, the only on-screen menus are those that are required to setup FS2Crew for the flight (which you close after the setup) and a small bar like icon that I just put down in the lower-left corner of the projected screen (I barely see it). You don't have to do mouse selection on this bar during the flight. Pretty much everything is all voice activated, except a few switch requirement/issues during the flight.

In the past, I emailed the author of FS2Crew to ask him about having the voice activation module and program button module together. What that means is you could do the voice, but program the switches that the FO is switching to not occur. In other words, you still have to switch them yourself, but that means the FO cannot screw up your flight by switching them at the wrong time. As it is right now, the FO follows the checklists and switches his assigned switches according to certain flight variables; however, if that could be turned off it'd work really great, but you still have to remember to actually physically switch the same switch(es) yourself.

If it could be done this way I would call it a "Simbuilders FS2Crew"...

By using FS2Crew in the manner described above you feel like you have a good FO along with the Flight Attendant and Ground Crew Interactions...

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Offline fsaviator

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 02:41:39 PM »
Thanks Kyle.  I'm playing with it as I type this...

John, FS2Crew and I are not speaking right now...  what I mean is that my FO is mad at me.  He refuses to acknowledge my lawful commands and the barrage of insults I've thrown at him are not helping.  My kids however are very amused as I scream at my computer because it can't recognize me saying "Flaps 5".  I'm so sick of reading the Microsoft Speech training.  I'm thinking of retiring the software and taking the hit on the 15 Euros I paid for the Default version.  That is my biggest disappointment as if I knew it would be this hard I would have bought the PMDG NGX version so I can at least force myself to figure it out and use it on my laptop with my NGX when I travel.

I'm messing with MCE right now and I have to say that at least the speech training revolves around aviation terms.  Also, my FO, Trev, answers me when I cuss at him.  he just told me that I wasn't being very professional.  I can see I will have to build a checklist for my system though as the default one is not very good.  Maybe I'll take the PMDG one and tweak it.

More to follow on this saga.  Really, all I want is an FO that will read me a checklist when I ask for it, and will call out V speeds and such.

Warren
Warren "MTN385"
Florida

http://www.B737NG-SIM.com and https://www.facebook.com/fsaviator on facebook
FSX, Prosim737 Suite, FDS DSTD 2.0 MIP, RevSim Proline TQ, ACE Dual-linked Yokes, Intel 3.5GHz i7-3770K, MSI Z77A-G45, 16GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400, Galaxy GTX670 GC 4GB, OCZ 60GB Vertex 3

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 03:07:57 PM »
One thing about FS2Crew is having the headset microphone in the right location, but more so that it's touchy with setup in FSX. Because Voice Recognition (VOX) is being used through FSX and Windows, you have to adjust both for FS2Crew. Once you get the VOX training done you leave it alone, but you then adjust the mic input settings in FSX. If FS2Crew is not understanding your Flaps 5 call or others, you must adjust the mic input level at that point, and there is a boost setting in Windows that might help or conflict the adjustment as well.

Also, one thing about FS2Crew, is that at times it will switch from headset to speaker mode, and/or it'll just shutoff. At that point you have to turn it back on via the on-screen bar. One last thing, if you do call flaps 5 and the FO does not acknowledge it, you could be in the wrong state. With flaps 5 call it should be done before you taxi because that is the cue for the FO to set the switches for Pitot Heat, the Packs and etc (you'll hear the switching sounds at that point). Therefore, if you call Flaps 5 say during pushback, the FO might not respond or it'll mess up the cues...

Finally, I agree with you 100%, a program that just reads V-speeds and calls them, plus VOX the checklist is all we really need, not so much the "AI" FO who screws up...lol.

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Offline fsaviator

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 05:47:41 AM »
So, here is where I am on this.

First, I'm using a RW Telex headset in the cockpit which is connected to a Flightsound X on my PC (PC#3) that runs my pedestal and comms.  I run FSInn on that computer, as well as my EFB and all comm related programs.  Due to that, I can't use my headset for Voice recognition without splitting off of it (that will be the last resort).  With that said I am trying to use a desktop type mic connected to my FSX computer.  The issue has been quality of the mic.  Well, I just discovered that my kids Rockband USB mic works great (no random pauses in the training and clear as a bell from about two feet away) in MCE. 

The issue I am discovering is that the FOs replies or comments over speaker are being picked up (and misunderstood) by the mic, and poor Trav is putting himself into loop of not only talking to himself, but misunderstanding what he is saying to the point of hilarity.  I just asked for a prestart checklist and Trav spent five minutes going back and forth and actually ended up starting engines and pushing back, all while I watched in disbelief.

Now with a better mic, maybe it is time to try out FS2Crew again.  I'm still not convinced this is going to make anything easier.

Someone please develop an app that will just read checklists and respond appropriately via VOX, and read V-Speeds from the system and call them out.  That is all we really need in this cockpitbuilder world.  Kind of pointless to focus on realistic flows when you are the only one in the cockpit (realistically, the PF would be responsible for everything if that were the case)

Warren "MTN385"
Florida

http://www.B737NG-SIM.com and https://www.facebook.com/fsaviator on facebook
FSX, Prosim737 Suite, FDS DSTD 2.0 MIP, RevSim Proline TQ, ACE Dual-linked Yokes, Intel 3.5GHz i7-3770K, MSI Z77A-G45, 16GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400, Galaxy GTX670 GC 4GB, OCZ 60GB Vertex 3

Offline KyleH

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 08:07:07 AM »
...
The issue I am discovering is that the FOs replies or comments over speaker are being picked up (and misunderstood) by the mic, and poor Trav is putting himself into loop of not only talking to himself, but misunderstanding what he is saying to the point of hilarity.  I just asked for a prestart checklist and Trav spent five minutes going back and forth and actually ended up starting engines and pushing back, all while I watched in disbelief.

...

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
I can just envision him going through that.  I've had that happen too, but not to the point of getting the airplane started up and pushed back. Setting the MCE audio output to come over just a headset resolved it for me.

MCE allows your to enable/disable certain features, and I believe you can have him just do the checklists, and not try to control anything.

It will definatly take playing around with microphones, headset configurations, noise levels, background noise calibration to get any VOX program to work correctly. VOX unfortunatly is not yet a plug and play affair in this case. Though I must say that the Kinect for my xbox does seem to deal with it pretty good, except when the dog starts barking.

Offline fsaviator

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2013, 05:41:05 AM »
John (BSD) or anyone... I need help before i commit a virtual murder.

So, I'm using FS2Crew for the Default 737 for FSX, and I've loaded SP1.1.  My mic is awesome, and I can see that it understands pretty much everything I say in the Green Bar.

I get in the plane, cold and dark, and I go through both the CAPT and the FO Preflight flows, ensuring I hit everything (right out of the manual).  I hear the FO doing his thing and at one point, I get the asterisk next to PREFLIGHT in the Control panel which I've read tells me that he's finished.  I assume then that as far as FS2Crew is concerned, everything on his end is done.  I complete my tasks to the letter using the flows in the manual.

I've already been hit for the fuel by ground, and I can hear chatter in the back from the Cabin.

I call for PREFLIGHT checklist and...  nothing.  The FO is there as I can say Yes or No, and he answers "OK".  I can not get him to start the checklist.  I have no idea what I'm forgetting.  the only thing I can think of is that my NO SMOKING LIGHT switch is busted so I can't activate it, and so I've configured it to always ON in prosim until I can get around to replacing the switch.  Do you think that could be it?

Any ideas?  I'm frustrated as I cannot figure out how to get him going, or how to just skip it and move on.

Warren
Warren "MTN385"
Florida

http://www.B737NG-SIM.com and https://www.facebook.com/fsaviator on facebook
FSX, Prosim737 Suite, FDS DSTD 2.0 MIP, RevSim Proline TQ, ACE Dual-linked Yokes, Intel 3.5GHz i7-3770K, MSI Z77A-G45, 16GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400, Galaxy GTX670 GC 4GB, OCZ 60GB Vertex 3

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 03:57:42 PM »
Hi Warren,

Okay, first the asterisk at Preflight is indicating your starting or need to start Preflight Programming, but did you program all the info into PreFlight Screen. The one with V1, VR, DA/DH and etc? I forget the name of that screen...it might be configure.

Anyway, you need that info in order for PreFlight to iniate correctly. Also, did you click the timer or start button in the configure (most likely you did, but just making sure) (the timer will start to run down once clicked)? You can spend up the timer or let it run a full 30 mins. At 10 mins is when most things start like the flight attendant doing cabin annoucnements and etc. Are you switching on your logo light and do you have your parking brake set? Also, you must have either ground power connected and on or the APU running and on...

The good thing is your communicating with the program, so that just means it is a setting or two that is causing this hang up; however, hang in there because you'll be happy that you did.

I'll send you a PM with more useful info, but keep posting here until we get it working...

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Offline fsaviator

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2013, 04:01:31 PM »
Hi John,

yes, I had the V-speeds in, as well as the timer running.  I didn't have time to deal with it today, but hopefully this week.  I think I'll load it up on my laptop and see if I can get it working there.  Then at least I should be able to narrow down what I'm missing.

Warren
Warren "MTN385"
Florida

http://www.B737NG-SIM.com and https://www.facebook.com/fsaviator on facebook
FSX, Prosim737 Suite, FDS DSTD 2.0 MIP, RevSim Proline TQ, ACE Dual-linked Yokes, Intel 3.5GHz i7-3770K, MSI Z77A-G45, 16GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400, Galaxy GTX670 GC 4GB, OCZ 60GB Vertex 3

Offline blueskydriver

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2013, 04:26:52 PM »
Hi Warren,

Okay sounds great...

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

Offline fsaviator

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Re: Virtual FO software
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2019, 02:36:20 PM »
Wow.. you know you've been doing this a while when you google and pull up your own forgotten thread.  This was way back prior to two moves.

Well, I'm back at it.  My sim is flying beautifully (minus motorized speedbrakes and parking brake).

Based on this thread (and others), time to load up the MCE demo and try this out again.

Stay tuned
Warren "MTN385"
Florida

http://www.B737NG-SIM.com and https://www.facebook.com/fsaviator on facebook
FSX, Prosim737 Suite, FDS DSTD 2.0 MIP, RevSim Proline TQ, ACE Dual-linked Yokes, Intel 3.5GHz i7-3770K, MSI Z77A-G45, 16GB G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400, Galaxy GTX670 GC 4GB, OCZ 60GB Vertex 3

 

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