ACARS (DO's and DONT's)

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UAL008 Keith Rocke

ACARS (DO's and DONT's)

Post by UAL008 Keith Rocke » Nov 8th, '16, 13:15

Let's get to the point quickly here guys. This is sooooo simple. We have SmartACARS (the dumb one) and we have kACARS (the finicky snooper one) and some other kind of reporting CARS in our VA.

Regardless of the 'tool' you decide to use, ACARS (in general) reads the "TITLE" of your selected aircraft. The title that is contained in the AIRCRAFT.CFG file and has a particular section named [fltsim.n] where 'n' begins with a '0' (meaning the first livery in this group of aircraft).

Immediately BELOW each and every [fltsim.n], there begins a line such as "title=Blah Blah Blah and more blah blah blah". Got it?

EVERYTHING
on the Right Hand Side of the equal sign "=" is what an ACARS reads and interprets - AND - writes to the ACARS PIREP LOG. The same log your HM and AHM has to review BEFORE accepting or rejecting your Pireps. That's their J O B!

Now! Here comes an Aircraft Developer who chooses to write a potpouri of 'language' - into that "TITLE=" line that TOTALLY DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY VALID INFORMATION your HM or AHM can use to verify if you - the Pilot - is following vUAL SOP.

Your Pirep is REJECTED because your HM or AHM is unable to see what Livery you flew - BECAUSE THERE IS NO NORMAL/TRADITIONAL LIVERY text on that "TITLE=" line.

Here's the question! Did your HM or AHM step off the Dark Side by rejecting your Pirep... OR... did YOU... the Pilot not follow the SOP?

The Developer I'm referring to... for some ODD reason... has packed some type of CODING ALPHANUMERIC DATA into that "TITLE=" line... that is in some way HOOKED into either the .AIR or .MDL file... such that if YOU 'FUdge' with that line? Your 'shiznit' stops functioning COMPLETELY. In fact... the Developer tells you - right in that LINE - to NOT mess with that line.

Those are the facts. Last year, I downloaded and installed one of their FREEWARE planes and noticed the problematic issue IMMEDIATELY! My decision? The EASY BUTTON... DELETE!!!!! No worries!!! No GRIEF!!! !!!!! D E L E T E !!!!!

Please! It is your choice what you wish to fly! It is vUAL's SOP we ALL (Everyone) has to follow in order to be an active member. We have a GOOD program going on here at vUAL.

Please don't give HMs and AHMs any grief because YOU are unable to make a good choice.


Keith VP EVENTS
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UAL277 Kevin Finch
Posts: 100
Joined: Apr 25th, '16, 23:52
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Re: ACARS (DO's and DONT's)

Post by UAL277 Kevin Finch » Nov 8th, '16, 15:56

I'm guessing that most pilots install an aircraft and check whether it shows up on their screen with the expected livery. I don't get into the cfg file unless something's not showing up correctly on screen. If everything showed up as expected and I liked the look of the livery, I'm done.

Keith, it would be helpful if you identified which software is causing the problem.

Cheers.
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UAL008 Keith Rocke

Re: ACARS (DO's and DONT's)

Post by UAL008 Keith Rocke » Nov 8th, '16, 19:47

Hi Kevin,

The situation is totally NOT with how the aircraft (Livery) shows up on the screen after installation. In fact... the aircraft shows up CORRECTLY.

The "Texture.XXX" folder has the correct Livery paint scheme to correctly display the plane. In the above, let's imagine "Texture.XXX" actually reads as "Texture.THY". This would indicate the paint/Livery in that folder draws a Turkish Airlines... whatever plane... a B77L, B738 or whatever.

However, there is an "aircraft.cfg" file that catalogs and displays each plane to show up in the (FSX) aircraft picklist. Here is an example for my installation of the iFly B737. In the aircraft.cfg file for the "700" variant, the 1st line is [fltsim.0]. The 2nd line title=iFly 737-700 United Airlines is what you see as the description of that plane within the aircraft picker (FSX)...
  • [fltsim.0]
    title=iFly 737-700 United Airlines
    sim=iFly737_700_24k
    model=MCP_SW_Winglet
    panel=wide
    sound=
    texture=CLOLUNIX
    kb_checklists=iFly737NG_CHECK
    kb_reference=
    atc_flight_number=029
    atc_id=N395UA
    atc_airline=UAL
    ui_manufacturer=iFly
    ui_type="Boeing 737-700 (Wide screen)"
    ui_variation="United Airlines (Retro)"
    ui_createdby="iFly Development Team"
    ui_typerole="Commercial Airliner"
    description=iFly Jets: The 737NG v3.1 for Flight Simulator X\n\nAircraft by iFly Developer Team\nNavDataPro from http:\/\/www.aerosoft.com\/\n\nforum: http:\/\/ifly.flight1.net\/forums\/\nemail: support@iflysimsoft.com
    visual_damage=1
    MyConfig=iFly737_1
... all ACARS programs are written/designed to read EVERYTHING to the RIGHT of the equal sign "=" (on the Title Line) and write that description (or Livery identifier) to the ACARS Pirep log. It is THIS identifier that HMs and AHMs look for as part of the process of approving or rejecting a Pirep for a Livery infraction (Livery Check).

In the specific situation - from which this Post surfaced - a particular FREEWARE Developer (I call NO name at this time) decided to write something that is totally unconventional... including some non-modifiable TEXT within the title that renders the ACARS UNABLE TO ever display the Livery of the plane the pilot used. Totally different from the [fltsim0] example I showed above.

The HM rejected the pirep for "Non-identifiable Livery".

The argument - should there ever be one - is... is it the HM or AHM responsibility OR the Pilot's responsibility to send CORRECT information to ACARS? Earlier Pireps by this same pilot revealed NO problems UNTIL he installed this FREEWARE package.

Having flown with other VA's where the Pirep Approval is FULLY AUTOMATED... there is NO ARGUMENT that the pilot can bring to the table. Here at vUAL, we do things the old way... which leads to ALL SORTS of interpretation and re-interpretation of something very basic and simple.

In closing... I once installed a FREEWARE paint from the same "developer" where the EXACT SITUATION surfaced. My choice was "DELETE". I like S I M P L E.

The ONLY WORKAROUND is for the Pilot to Fly ONLINE (the entire flight) then file a MANUAL PIREP and include a VATSIM ONLINE link to the flight... TOTALLY BYPASSING the ACARS.

Hope this sheds some light on the REAL issue Kevin.

Keith VP EVENTS
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UAL336 Jason Weaver
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 20th, '15, 08:49

Re: ACARS (DO's and DONT's)

Post by UAL336 Jason Weaver » Nov 9th, '16, 15:19

I don't use said freeware developer much anymore because I have payware. But they do this to their title for copyright reasons but also the code in the title is used to apply certain antennae/lights on the aircraft. So removing would invalidate this. The operator and type of a/c are still on the title line just at the very end. They can be moved up to the front of the line with a simple copy/paste. Maybe that is the fix that ACARS can recognize.
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UAL008 Keith Rocke

Re: ACARS (DO's and DONT's)

Post by UAL008 Keith Rocke » Nov 9th, '16, 15:31

But they do this to their title for copyright reasons but also the code in the title is used to apply certain antennae/lights on the aircraft. So removing would invalidate this. The operator and type of a/c are still on the title line just at the very end. They can be moved up to the front of the line with a simple copy/paste. Maybe that is the fix that ACARS can recognize.
Jason. Thanks for that input. The HOPE is... the Pilot (in question) will read this Topic and ATTEMPT the correction/mod you suggested - so that the ACARS can do its JOB. I, on the other hand, chose the EASY BUTTON - "DELETE".

Keith VP EVENTS
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UAL277 Kevin Finch
Posts: 100
Joined: Apr 25th, '16, 23:52
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Contact:

Re: ACARS (DO's and DONT's)

Post by UAL277 Kevin Finch » Nov 9th, '16, 17:39

UAL008 Keith Rocke wrote:Hi Kevin,

The situation is totally NOT with how the aircraft (Livery) shows up on the screen after installation. In fact... the aircraft shows up CORRECTLY.

...
Yeah, I know all that cfg stuff, Keith; my point was that I don't go into the config unless something doesn't go right with the installation. :D
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UAL008 Keith Rocke

Re: ACARS (DO's and DONT's)

Post by UAL008 Keith Rocke » Nov 9th, '16, 19:08

Kevin. I didn't misunderstand your original comment. But clearly, as Jason has suggested, this IS a situation where diving into the .CFG file and making the modification COULD solve the issue... allowing the ACARS program to do it's JOB. That's all I'm saying. The facts bear out that 'plunge'.

The FREEWARE PLANE Developer chose to piggy back THEIR STUFF in an UNCONVENTIONAL MANNER - within the 'Title'. As far as I know, no other DEVELOPER (including other FREEWARE guys) took that approach.

Again! The ONLY TWO (2) options - for whomever decides to NOT dive into the .CFG and change the TEXT on that line SO THAT vUAL ACARS can report the Aircraft and Livery correctly into the Pirep (THE REASON FOR THIS TOPIC)...
  • a) fly ONLINE and file a MANUAL PIREP... completely bypassing ACARS
    b) fly a conventional PAYWARE or FREEWARE plane that does not create a problem for ACARS
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Keith VP EVENTS
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