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Squawkgear: transponder test?

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Squawkgear: transponder test?

Postby timekiller24 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:27 pm

All:

From reading the 20(!) pages of the other Squawkgear thread, I note that there are currently two ways of setting transponder code:

1) The old way: under the fg radios panel by modding the radios.xml file
2) The new way: with an entry under the fg menubar squawkgear menu

I am currently doing it the old way, as the procedure for that setup involving the radios.xml file is the method of install prescribed on reeed's blog (http://squawkgear.wordpress.com/setup/). However, I have no idea if that code is going out to VATSIM or not. Is there any way that I can verify that I am squawking a code with the transponder in the radio system? For example, when I squawk -- should there be a note of doing such in the sb747 buffer?

I am hesitant to request that the VATSIM controllers verify that I am squawking. Any ideas?

This might be another area where SquawkGear could be a bit more verbose, given the importance of transponder use in the VATSIM regime.
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Re: Squawkgear: transponder test?

Postby reeed » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:27 am

Hi.

The easiest way to check your currently emitted squawk code is to pull up the FG property browser ('/' key) and look for this prop:

/instrumentation/transponder/id-code

Anything non-zero will make the xponder go out of standby mode and make you visible to ATC radar. ('squawking mode Charlie'). ATC will complain to you if you remain invisible :-)

There is a dot command (".xpdr")that forces the xponder into specific modes. I think there is a mention of it in the other thread. I'll cross-ref it here if i can find it (later).
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Re: Squawkgear: transponder test?

Postby timekiller24 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:17 am

reeed wrote:Hi.

The easiest way to check your currently emitted squawk code is to pull up the FG property browser ('/' key) and look for this prop:

/instrumentation/transponder/id-code

Anything non-zero will make the xponder go out of standby mode and make you visible to ATC radar. ('squawking mode Charlie'). ATC will complain to you if you remain invisible :-)

There is a dot command (".xpdr")that forces the xponder into specific modes. I think there is a mention of it in the other thread. I'll cross-ref it here if i can find it (later).


Reeed:

I have no doubt that FG itself knows the code I'm squawking -- you are correct that id-code does reflect the code squawked. My concern is more along the lines of -- is that code leaving flight gear, going to squawkgear and making it to sb747 for transmission to the network? How do I determine that?

Reviewing the sb747 documentation section 7.4 on dot commands, there appears to be no mention of an .xpdr dot code. Indeed, in a post in the other thread (on Mon May 31, 2010), you report the following:

I've just learnt from the author an undocumented dot command that sets the transponder mode:
* .xpdr standby: force squawk-standby, regardless of the code that is set
* .xpdr on: force squawk-mode C (except when code is set as 0000)
* .xpdr auto: squawk-standby when airspeed is below 120 knots, regardless of the code that is set, and mode C when above 120 knots. This feature is meant to reduce ATC's radarscope clutter.


So it doesn't look like any of those .xpdr commands reports what code the transponder is currently set to and no command offers the ability to set a given squawk manually in sb747. Is there another undocumented "command" that can be used with the .xpdr dot command to show the current transponder status and code squawked?
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Re: Squawkgear: transponder test?

Postby reeed » Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:23 am

The link between FG and SB747 is all-or-none.

If SB747 is able to receive anything at all from FG (eg your dot commands work, your lat/lon position is correctly sent to VATSIM server) then you may safely assume that your squawk code is also correctly sent onto the network. The only remaining uncertainty is the SB747 transponder mode, which you've now learnt how to operate :-)

If the FG -> SB747 link is broken (eg missing Protocol/squawk.xml file or --generic commandline option, or SB747 not connected to SquawkGear) then nothing will work: not the .dot commands, not lat/lon sending, not squawkcode.

That block diagram on the SqGear website tells you how the components connect. Refer to it often :-)
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Re: Squawkgear: transponder test?

Postby timekiller24 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:55 pm

reeed wrote:The link between FG and SB747 is all-or-none.

If SB747 is able to receive anything at all from FG (eg your dot commands work, your lat/lon position is correctly sent to VATSIM server) then you may safely assume that your squawk code is also correctly sent onto the network. The only remaining uncertainty is the SB747 transponder mode, which you've now learnt how to operate :-)


Fair enough -- in any case, I asked ATC at a not-so-busy airport to confirm and we determined that the transponder was working fine.
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Re: Squawkgear: transponder test?

Postby Avionyx » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:11 pm

Its absolutely fine to ask ATC to confirm if your transponder is working.

One thing you have to get used to understanding in real life is that ATC are there to offer you a service, not the other way around. Simply ask "XXX can you confirm you're receiving my squawk"

Any controller interested in doing this properly is more than happy to help all the aircraft in their airspace work as efficiently as possible, if its not working then its only their workload that goes up and causes them far more hassle than just confirming your squawk.

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