I was wondering if anybody has installed the John Bell FSX version of the Radio Range Gauge into their aircraft panels and the Ground Stations into their Scenery files. More particularly have you used it and how does it work.
I am familiar with the principles of radio range navigation and how it used to work in principles but I was curious as to how well it functioned in the simulator.
I am thinking of installing the gauge into the Gibson/Pepper FSX DC-6B.
Post by mrcapitalism on Aug 1, 2019 13:03:14 GMT -5
It appears to work great, although after installing it I've had some problems with modern databases in some aircraft (FSLabs A320 and PT KLN90B). I don't know if they are related but you should exercise caution.
It places NDB stations at the RR locations, and the gauge has the Range data stored within it's code. Apparently the real station continuously broadcast the A and N signals (except when interrupted by the ID) but because the A and N is derived from audio files, there is a momentary break while the track loops. Thus an "on course" isn't a steady tone, but a very long "dash" (both files played simultaneously at same volume). You pick it up quickly, and it functions.
Ok, I think get what they have done. I remember in the very distant past in my early flying career they had a few of the VOR versions still about with an ILS like needle same principle A or N depending on what side of the beam you were on and a steady or null tone when right on track (The panel instrument was a simple two halves, one blue one yellow with a single needle that swung between the two and the audio. There were only about 3 left in the whole country and they were quickly decommissioned and replaced with NDBs and VORs and of course the ILS for precision approaches (long gone now). For a long time a few aircraft still had the equipment installed but you could not longer use it, always a mystery box.
You can you use the range for flying a sort of ILS or precision approach and I was interested in giving it a go but just did not want to go the trouble of installing panel config etc to find out it was not really the same thing. I just wondered how they did it in the sim and whether to give it a go. Not sure about the US but here in OZ the range stations were very powerful transmitters on huge towers so they had very good range coverage in terms of distance, signal strength.
Please do this before trying to install Radio Range scenery. It's author (FSAviator) goes into great detail on the history of navigation, including the LF Radio Range. This tutorial will teach you how to replicate Range approaches in your flight simulator, and Blind (ILS) approaches (they are not the same thing).
After reading the tutorial, the "FSAviator Archive" section of this very forum goes into greater detail if you so desire. You'll be specifically interested in "Backdating Approaches" "Airport Approaches" and "Backdating Airfields"
VAR=Visual Aural Range. They bridged the gap between pure LFR (Radio Range) and the VHF Omni-directional Range (VOR). One beam was A/N in the usual aural way, while the other one was coded Blue and Yellow and worked like an ILS and the reciprocal back course.
They didn't get too far in the U.S. since the LFR was easier to maintain and the Second World War also made the VHF radios scarce until later in the war. Here we just went straight to the VOR for the most part. There were a few VAR's in operation, however, until 1960 according to the following Wikipedia article:
Well I will have a close re-read of the propliner tutorial thanks for pointing that out, can always learn new tricks. Yes VAR was still around in Australia right up until the mid 1970s, Tamworth NSW had the last one, not sure why, nobody could use them anymore but you could you the VHF/VOR/ILS box to do it but it was a lost art.
As soon as I'm back home at the end of next week I'll see if I test out the files. I really appreciate it and it's going to REALLY help with the Platinum Wings project. I managed to do some more work on the B314 panel last week, but nothing more on the actual model yet. As soon as I get a chance to do some more I'll definitely post something!