How to observe
Are you interrested in (virtual) controlling? Do you want to know how does this work? If yes, follow the guide written on this page. After successfull installation and configuration you'll see air traffic over Czech Republic.
You might know some older ATC clients like VRC or ASRC. Although they are still formally supported, all VACC-CZ controllers are now using only the Euroscope (ES) so you'll find here only the ES setup.
The software is available only for the Windows platform. The installation itself is easy. Just download and launch the installation package from ES author's pages.
There is also full documentation available on this site so it won't duplicated here.
Full ES configuration is slightly more complicated. For observing however a simplified configuration packed into one file is enough. Download the file below and unpack it to a selected folder.
Start the ES, when you start it the first time it asks you for a profile configuration file with .prf suffix. Find the folder POSITIONS where you've unpacked the file and select the only one profile file Observer.PRF. Once the configuration is read you'll see the LKAA FIR as it's shown to most of the VACC-CZ ATCs.
This package contains only a minimal configuration not prepared for controlling. The full ATC configuration differs in certain aspects.
The ES screen is splited to the following areas:
- top tool bar where you can find all the important functions and configuration
- bottom dialog bar used for text communication with other ATCs and pilots or for showing flight strip
- bottom information bar for entering commands and messages and for displaying short information about selected aircraft or ATC
- varous information panels and lists with dynamic information
- and of course the radar area itself with the traffic
Once you launch the ES click to the "CONNECT" button in the top tool bar and fill in the connection dialog as follows:
- In the "Callsign" field fill in your call sign. As an observer you should insert a call sign with "_OBS" suffix. Likd LKAA_OBS, LKPR_OBS or similar. If you are discconnected right after the connection with message "Callsign in use", try to change your callsign as some one else is using the same callsign already.
- In the "Real name" fill in your real name.
- In the "Certificate" fill in your VATSIM ID.
- In the "Password" fill in your VATSIM password, the same as you are using as a pilot.
- In the "Logoff time" you can fill expected logg of time (in UTC) however it's not reuired for observers. The format is 2 digits hour and 2 digits minutes, for example "1200".
- In the "Facility" and "Rating" choose Observer.
- In the "server" choose the server you will be connected into the VATSIM network by. The Czech pilots and ATCs are using mostly the "CZECH" server , which runs with the VACC-CZ support, however you can choose any other server. They might be slower.
- On the "Range" slider choose your visibility - depending on the position you are observing. If it's an airport position, select 30 nm max., if it's an approach position select 100 nm max. and if it's an area control position, select reasonable range depending on the area size. This value is being watched by the network supervisors as too high values may overload the VATSIM servers. You may be asked to decrease the range value.
Once you fill in all the data, press the "Connect" button and if everything is ok, you are online... so welcome in the Czech FIR!
For disconnecting click the "Connected" button and in the open dialog click to the "Disconnect" button or just close the appliction.
Sound system st up
To be able to listen the voice communication follow the following steps. In the top bar click to the headphones symbol or open the "Other SET" menu and choosie "Voice". The opened dialog fill in the following way:
- In the "Primary input hardware" choose your primary voice input device, a microphone (not necessary for observing).
- In the "Primary output hardware" choose your primary output device, a headphones, speakers or anything else.
- In the "Primary squelch" section press the "Find squelch mode" button for setting the squelch level fir the voice activated by voice mode.
- You can test level of your voice by pressing the "Test" button.
- In the "Primary PTT key" press the "Set" button followed by choosen key which will be used as a push to talk button. Choose some special key like apostrophe, CTRL, ALT, TAB etc.
As an observer you'll use only the primary channel.
Voice communication lostening
Before you can listen the voice communication you must be connected on VATSIM.
click again to the headphones symbol in the top bar or choose the "Voice" option in the "Other SET" menu. You'll see list of preconfigured positions. Find the one you want to listen to and check the "RCV VOI" and "RCV_TXT" item in the corresponding line. If the position is active you'll immediately connect to the voice channel and you can listen the communication.
Another option is to use the non-pilot possitions list (in the "QUICK SET" menu the "Show controller list" option). In the listen find the requested ATC position, press rlight mouse button over the position item, choose "Listen to voice" and listen.
Radar screen example