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Anyone Using FS Commander

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Is anyone using FS Commander in a serious manner? I'm considering the purchase but would like to hear from some others about the use of Navigraph for updates. It appears to be a pay as you go operation, or more accurately, pre-pay to purchase credits that you then "spend" for their products as you need them.

 

Is anyone doing that? How does it work out? How expensive? What products besides the AIRACs are required or desirable? Do you maintain the current cycle(s) or just buy one and go with it? Do you get one set of data free when you buy FSC or does that have to be purchased separately to use the program effectively?

 

I'd really appreciate hearing from any others who are using FSC regarding how they use it, how they like it and how well it works. I have the pdf manual and am working my way through that. What I read sounds pretty good so far, but this Navigraph business sounds potentially expensive.

 

Does anyone know of a planner/navigator add-on that they like better? I'm using FS Navigator and it's still pretty good, but is getting kind of dated and I'm thinking it's time to look for something a little better.

 

John

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Probably a little late, but I've used it for 3 years.....

It does have it's bugs and annoyances, but is the best thing out now for now.

Also, the newly revised 9th version, is out before Xmas and promises to be a vast improvment, revamping most of the current niggly bits. Best waiting till then if you've not got it yet, as it's gonna cost to buy.....although it's half price for existing users. (n/b I've not paid for any updates since buying version 8.3..... out 3-4 years ago)

AIRACS all work fine, and I've just about synched my JeppView plates and FMCs with it. I can't afford, nor need, to keep up to date so I'm on about July 2009 and sticking there. You get an AIRAC when you purchase it....I think the last was 6 months old, or you can just buy a pack of AIRACS for 'every' FMC addon for $5 or so. Not much really, and then just stick with it. A pack wil include your PMDG/FSC/Wilco/Flight 1 ATR etc......about 20 or so addons are included. This synchs all your addon FMC and flight planners.

You need then to get a bunch of charts at the same date-ish.....quickly, before they go out of date. They work out at 20 pence per airfield....and you get all the charts for that airfield...which may be 6 or may be 60 !

In conclusion, although FSC is more 'fiddly' than FSNav, it can be run networked via WideFS on its own monitor...that alone is worth the admission price ! Clearly FSNav in FS9 is a module and was always a nightmare having to switch between the two.

Also, because it is standalone, you can boot up FSC on a laptop on the bus or in front of the TV, boot up Air Hauler plan your routes and jobs ! Very useful.

Hope that helps. :winka:

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Gabe,

 

It does help - thanks. I have bought it but haven't used it much.

 

I use FSN on a second monitor and have no problems with it but it has limitations. Looking forward to getting to know FSC but may just wait for the new version before investing a lot of time in it.

 

John

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I see.

Well, FSC did take me a while to suss-out it's foibles, but once you realise how it works, it's pretty good.

For example, it took me ages to find the "Option" tab..... believe it or not.... hidden under the "Window" tab..... Huh ? And there's lots more things like that !

But now it shows SIDS and STARS and I have the measure of it, I love it and can't wait for the new version to come out: it's loooking pretty nice and should only cost registered users, around $20. Bargain.

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But now it shows SIDS and STARS and I have the measure of it

It shows SIDS and STARS!!

I bought FS Commander about a week ago and I ve been hunting for it.

How do I make them show up??

Thanks

Rich

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But now it shows SIDS and STARS and I have the measure of it

It shows SIDS and STARS!!

I bought FS Commander about a week ago and I ve been hunting for it.

How do I make them show up??

Thanks

Rich

The latest update is needed..... v8.6

STARS and SIDS are clearly shown on main toolbar. Check Display and Select - click on various choices to show them on map. As with many things in FSC, it usaully takes a little fiddling around to get it sussed. The program is okay, but seriously lacks "common sense" when it comes to intuitive design.

Things like not being able to resize the flightplan window, fields in the flightplan window that are never filled - like altitude, bearing vs heading etc. Little things, that all add up over time, really bug me. You will also find "Options" under the "Windows" tab..... I know ! It took me 2 years to find that. Shocking really.

He may be a decent 'programmer', but he could do with a couple of 10 year olds to sit him down and talk to him about 'user interfaces' and intuitive logic: all sadly missing I'm afraid.

BUT... the new Version 9 due out soon, does look vastly improved....but, I bet there are still some howlers though !

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Should have mentioned: you need to create at least a basic flightplan first... ARR and DEP airport, or the STAR/SID tab is greyed out.

Once you have, you can access the tab. As per usual, with FSC, there is a wierd thing whereby you can highlight multiple STARS or SIDS (why ? !!!) so you need to re-click on each one to remove it, and then clcik on the next and so on. Awkard I know, but again, once you work out the quirks, it works well !

Gotta love FSC, the quirkiest program ever written.

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One thing I have found odd is when I select my SID it shows up on the flight plan but only the first fix, I have to print the 'description of the SID' that FS Commander offers with the course line drawn on and a little description to the first fix on it. Is there no way to have this as part of the flightplan??!

Rich

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One thing I have found odd is when I select my SID it shows up on the flight plan but only the first fix, I have to print the 'description of the SID' that FS Commander offers with the course line drawn on and a little description to the first fix on it. Is there no way to have this as part of the flightplan??!

Rich

Hmm.. that sounds wierd. I simply open my flightplan window, stick in the two airfields in the box at the bottom like this: "EGLL LOWI" with a space, and hit OK. That gives me a straight red line between the airports showing the basic route.

Then I hit STARS/SIDS tab on the toolbar. Then check "Display". Then hit the TAB again (another annoyance in the FSC design !) and hit Select SID. The box opens, with the list of SIDS, I then click on the one I want, the display shows the red line.

Then all the points of the SID show up in the flightplan.

Then repeat for STARs, then you have to click on the last point of the SID to highlight it in the flighplan window, then hit Navaid or Low alt Plan tab to insert the central part of the route (if long enough and desired of course), and the whole plan shows up.

The main problem with FSC is that you need to click on the last waypoint BEFORE adding the next. It always defaults to no waypoints highlighted each time you change it, which is VERY annoying sometimes !

So, after adding say a SID, highlight the last point in the flight plan, then add your next waypoint or LOW/High airways.

But, having said that, SIDS and STARS should be added automatically. No need to highlight any part of the plan.

The other problem I sometimes find, is that you need to select the right aircraft and edit it, first, or your altitudes will be all over the place. Again, that menu is messy and keeps defaulting to the airbus after you close it. It really is a fiddly program, BUT, once you suss it out, it's actually very good !

Let me know if you are still having probs, send me your flightplan and I'll see if I can do a short video for you.

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John,

do excuse me for hijacking your thread here a little but I thought it appropriate to post here since we are both learning the quirky FS commander program.

Below is a screenshot of a SID I was flying out of Bristol International down to Geneva.

The flight was very enjoyable and I executed the SID and STAR perfectly, however I had to use the SID info in the little box to the left hand side along with a SID chart to perform the SID properly. As I did with the STAR chart also.

You will notice that HON 60 is my first SID point but the box info shows how you should fly to that point and the map just shows a straight line.

Is there anyway to get the boxed information onto the actual flight plan?

fsscr001-1.jpg

fsscr022-1.jpg

Many Thanks

Rich

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No problem from me. It's on-topic and good stuff. Every day I learn something new is a good day.

 

John

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I think the answer is no.

When you print out - either to printer or One Note (which I use, then to PDF), you wil see a textual description of the SID and STAR for each runway departure. That helps, but will not show up on the map as often it doesn't actually involve actual WPs.

It may be: 'follow RWY heading until x miles from DME then turn x degrees to pick up first proper WP'.... for example.

Also, if you select the corresponding SID in a FMC - for me I only know about the ATR thus far - it will basically join together the WPs, but when it flies it in RNAV mode, the turns etc. convert the actual FP into a curve that pretty much resembles the little SID box you refer to.

As an example, when I depart from LOWI, ALL the SIDs have a common initial point. From 08 departure, you are told on the charts to climb out until a certain distance from runway (or over a village often !) then do visual turn to x degrees and then head to intiial SID point.

Clearly, the FSC map can only plot actual WPs on the main map display, and join them with straight lines**. Them's the breaks I guess !

But, you can check "Show Track". Now, if you use a FMC to fly the SID, or you are a great pilot - like me :woot: - you will see your track will trace a route very similar to the pretty curves of the SID box ! Clearly, a/c cannot turn in straight lines, so the actual flight path should conform to the projected SID shown in the box, to which you refer.

PS. I have on occasion, found that the FMC plots a slightly more detailed SID than FSC. Don't know why, as they both use the same AIRAC. This is wierd, and I don't get it, but ultimately, it's no biggie at the end of the day.

**I can actually fly in straight lines, but only upside down, in a Gee Bee !!! :wow:

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