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Quick Start


This section is divided into six steps:

1. Install Radar Contact.
2. Develop your flight plan using your chosen planner.
3. Load the flight plan into Radar Contact.
4. Set your Radar Contact Options
5. Quick discussion of other software add-on incompatibilities with RC
6. Fly the flight plan in FS2004 or FSX.

Step 1 - Install Radar Contact

Installation is straightforward.  Once you receive your CD, insert it into your CD Drive.  If the following screen doesn’t automatically show, use your Explorer to find the rcv40.exe file, which is located in the root-directory of the CD.

Double click on the RCv4 icon to start the installation process.

The following screen will appear.  Check that you have other applications closed, then click “next”.


The next screen will provide you with a copy of the RCv4 license agreement.  Scroll through it (it isn’t long), then click “I accept the agreement” option.

Click Next.

This will open the following “Select Destination Location” screen, which identifies where Radar Contact v4.0 will be installed.  It also identifies the amount of space that needs to be available on your hard drive to accommodate the program.  Once you are satisfied with the location, click the “Next”.

The following screen will appear.  Then pick the kind of installation that you want: a drop-down box lets you choose the version of Flight Simulator (RCv4 works with FS2004 and FSX)

The minimum installation option includes the program files, pilots and controller voices, and

Two required interfaces between RC and FS: FSUIPC and AdvDisp.  After installation, check the website (http://www.schiratti.com/dowson.html) for updates to both of these utilities.

Peter Dowson is the author of both. 

”Full” installation installs the files included in the minimum install button, plus, thousands of chatter files which were recorded from real communications on the airways between pilots and controllers.  You don’t have to install them; if you don’t, you can use RC’s own generated chatter.

Clicking Next will be a “Select Start Menu Folder” screen. 

Click on the “Next” option, which will lead to the following “Ready to Install” screen, which summarizes the options selected in the earlier screens.  If all is correct, click the “Install” option.  If you want to chance parameters, click the “Back” option.

When you select the “Install” option, the following screen will appear.  It provides you with a status of the installation progress.  While it installs, it might be a good time to go get a drink since installation takes a few minutes.

When installation is complete, Radar Contact closes.  Remove the CD from your computer drive, go to your start menu, and open Radar Contact.  The following screen will appear.

You’ll see a number in a registration box, which is your Product ID number.  Click the Email button, and fill in your name.  Your name and number will be sent to register@jdtllc.com, and you’ll receive an activation key within 24 hours.

If you ever need to reinstall Windows, or upgrade your hardware, you will need a new key.

All registered users will be issued replacement keys promptly, free of charge.  New Product

IDs for replacement keys should be sent to register@jdtllc.com.  Be sure to include your full name and email address as per the original registration.

IMPORTANT NOTE – Copy/paste your Key to the Registration field to avoid mistakes and delays in registration.  Do not type this number out.  It must be exact.  If there is a minus sign in front of the product ID, you have to include it

Now that you’ve received your activation key and pasted it into the identified location.  The following Radar Contact Version 4 screen will appear.

Step 2 - Develop your Flight Plan

Develop your flight plan using any of the supported flight planners listed in the requirements section of this manual.  Please note that none of these planners are JDTLLC programs so we do not provide technical support for them.  Once you have completed your flight plan you should save it, and use that program’s export option and export your flight plan to FS.  If you need help contact the author for assistance or log on to our support forum at www.avsim.com, there are always several RC vets there, eager to answer your questions.

Step 3 - Load the Flight Plan into Radar Contact

You have filed your flight plan and it is now time to load it into Radar Contact.  Start MS

Flight Simulator and load weather if you want.  Next, load your flight plan into the FS2004 or FSX flight planner.  Start Radar Contact by clicking on the RC icon on the Start menu.

The first button to click is either one of the two on top: normally you would use the one marked with FS200x (*.pln).  If this is your first use of Radar Contact, browse to the directory where your flight plans are saved.  RC remembers the path to this directory, so you have to browse only this first time.  Pick the flight plan you prepared.

The other button on top, the one marked Legacy RC APL (*.apl) is meant for those people who had prepared flights for use by earlier versions of Radar Contact.  If you have saved those flights and wish to re-fly them with the new version, you can browse to the directory that contains the APL files.  We strongly recommend that you use the .pln file format.

After you have picked a flight plan by either of the methods described above, you’ll see the plan being loaded into RC through a status bar.  The textbox to the right of the flight plan buttons describe at what altitude the flight is to be flown and the waypoints that the plan contains.  Don’t worry about this information; this will be available to you when you are flying.  The screen now looks like the following:

Step 4 - Set Radar Contact Options

Next, click the button marked ‘Controller Info’.  The grey column describes the different ATC-services; the subsequent pink, green, orange, yellow, and blue columns give you the respective frequencies.  The name of the pink column is your field of departure, the green column gives the Center frequency, and the orange column is your destination.  For our first flight, do not change any of the displayed information.  You may want to verify that the cruise altitude under the Center column is correct as well as verify or set your transition level (Trans Lev).

Now is a good time to discuss one of the enhancements incorporated in RCv4.  The earlier version had an options box titled “Flexible Dep Proc”.  In RCv4, this has been replaced by a “Dep Procedures” menu providing three alternatives - No Altitude Rest, Alt Restrictions, and No Dep Proc.  There is also a box for No Speed Restrictions.  These are discussed in detail later in the document.  However, for users of previous versions, “Alt Restrictions” is equivalent to the old “Flexible Dep Proc” option.  What is a “Flexible Dep Proc”?  A ‘Flexible Departure Procedure’ means that you will not have to integrate the DP within your flight plan, but you’re free to go where you want as long as you are within a 30 nm radius from the airport.  That’s perfect for those occasions when you don’t know beforehand whether you need to fly a DP or not, or wish to join an outbound radial.  File your plan, wait to see which runway you are assigned, and use a DP as necessary.

Click the OK button, which returns you to the main screen.  You are ready for the next stage of your flight preparation.

On the main screen, under the Radar Contact Options section, click the “General” tab.

The following screen will appear.

There are several enhancements incorporated into RCv4 that are available on this screen as well. 

Radar Contact Version 3 had three sliders - Traffic V’s (vectors), Chatter, and Holding.  In Version 4 users are now presented with a checkbox for AI Chatter and for Pre-Recorded Chatter.  RCv4 will check this chatter setting in Flight Simulator and insert the communications generated by either the embedded AI of Flight Simulator or add-on AI such as Ultimate Traffic.  Enhanced Pre-Recorded Chatter is also available to further the immersion experience while flying.  In addition, when ATC needs to get through, the background chatter is relegated to a lower priority so you don’t miss communications from ATC. 

Holding has shifted from a slider to a three-option box; Off, Weather, and On.  Since you are most likely to be held due to weather this is the most realistic box to check.  If holding patterns are not your cup of tea, then check OFF.  

Under the “Plane Data” section of this screen, you can pick the airline you are flying with from the drop-down box and enter the call sign you’d like to be called.  When selecting your call sign, note that a space between the numbers defines how they are spoken.  For example, 6 6 3 would be spoken as six, six, three.  If you entered 6 63, it would be voiced as six, sixty-three.  Be sure to pick the type of plane you are flying with: heavy, jet, turbo prop, or prop.  Make your selections now.

The “Deviations” section includes options for setting your heading, altitude, and speed variation that ATC will allow before issuing you a warning.  It is suggested that you leave the defaults as set, at least initially.

Under the Other section, please make sure Chkpt Ding, Interact with AI, Play Pilot Wavs, Pilot Auto-Reply, and Tune on Contact all have check marks next to them.  Click the OK button.

Once you have selected the options desired, which are discussed in more detail in the general section of the manual, click OK and exit this screen.

The main screen now has populated under the Options section with the following:

Another feature of RC is the availability of “Tool Tips”.  For example, put your mouse cursor on the “Alt Restriction” procedure and the following window opens.

The next option available is the “Keyboard”.  When you click on this icon, you are presented with the following screen.

You can customize the key combinations for RC as much as you want.  Use whatever keys you want.  Just be careful they don’t interfere with the settings of FS itself.  For instance, it would not be wise if you set ‘g’ to be the key for repeating last instruction, since you would lower the gear at the same time.  One thing to note: new key combinations do not take effect until you restart FS.

Click Save and your settings will be applied in the next session of FS.  Click Cancel to exit this window without saving.  Click OK and you’ll be returned to the main screen.

The final screen available in RCv4 under Options is the “Voices” section.  The number of pilots, controllers, and chatter pilots has been significantly increased in RCv4.  In addition, flexibility has been added to allow the user to select which voices they want.

One item to note is that if when a voice is chosen as a pilot or co-pilot you may not want the same voice uses as a controller.  Make your selections and click the save option.

Finally, you will notice four icons under the Utilities section of the main menu screen. 

“Rebuild Scenery DB” is important to run initially to allow RCv4 to align its database with the runway/taxiways you have built into Flight Simulator.  While the default FS database has been included, any add-on scenery packages you’ve added will skew available runways and/or positioning.  It is important to run this utility whenever you modify your scenery as well to re-synch between where you think you are and where RCv4 thinks you are.

The second icon “Check for Updates” allows the program to query the Radar Contact server for software updates to the program.  This is a good utility to run after you first load RCv4 and periodically thereafter.

The “Debug” icon is useful when you run into a repeatable problem.  JDTLLC tech support will request that you run with Debug highlighted and send them the file for analysis.  You don’t want to run in Debug mode unless instructed to as the file sizes can get quite large.

Finally, the “About” icon displays details about your version of Radar Contact, and optionally about your computer. 

We can now close Radar Contact and launch Flight Simulator for the last bit of configuration. 


In FS9, click on the FS9 modules menu item, then click FSUIPC. In FSX, click on the FSX add-ons menu item, and then click FSUIPC.  You will see something like this:

Make sure the “FSUIPC multiline display window” checkbox is checked, and the “Hide all single line messages” checkbox is checked.

Click OK


Step 5 – Radar Contact and Other Add-On Software Incompatibilities

Radar Contact will not function properly if either FSHotSeat or FSHotSFX is installed.  When either FSHotSeat or FSHotSFX is loaded for the first time, it permanently changes the FSUIPC TCASid parameter (in the FSUIPC.INI file) from Flight to Type+.  This means that AI aircraft are now always identified by type and model rather than by airline and flight number, regardless of the application currently using FSUIPC.  This adversely affects RC AI chatter.

Users of Active Sky V need to go into the Startup and General group box of the Options Form and disable the item titled “Voice ATIS/Flightwatch” as well as check the box “Disable Text Messages”.  Otherwise, you will receive ASV ATIS reports on 122.0 over the top of RC’s instructions.

Step 6 - Fly the Flight Plan in FS2004 or FSX

When you’re ready to start your flight, click on Start RCv4. Radar Contact will minimize to the task bar (this may take 30-60 seconds).  Maximize Flight Simulator.


RC will display a screen similar to this:

CID is your first checkpoint

86m is the distance to that point

70 is the no-wind heading to that point

114.10 is the frequency you should be tuned to.

Are you ready to start your flight?

Press 2 to get a weather briefing.  Set the altimeter after listening to the briefing.

Next, get your clearance from Clearance Delivery by pressing 1.  Set your altitude and squawk code!

The screen will change to something like this:

 If you need to Push and Start, Press 2.

When ready to taxi, Press 1 to contact Ground Control.

Taxi to the runway 13, or request a different runway by Pressing 2.

Then runway 13 threshold is 3095 ft on a heading of 300 from your current position.

As you approach the end of runway 13, Ground will tell you to contact Tower.  The display will change to something like this:

Press 1 to contact tower or 2 to request a different runway.

Follow Tower’s directions either hold short or taxi into position and hold.

Taxi on to the runway and takeoff when told to do so.

Shortly after leaving the ground, Tower will tell you to contact Departure.  The screen will be similar to this:

 Press 1 to contact Departure.

The controller will give you heading and altitude settings.  Make the changes.

At this time, you can give the plane and comms to the co-pilot if you want.  Ctrl-Shift-K gives the comms to co-pilot Ctrl-Shift-M gives the plane to co-pilot

The screen will change to something like this:

Options 2 and 5 are optional depending on what you want to do.

Notice “Main -0 Next-9?

If you press 9 you will get to what we call Page 2.

Page 2 shows more options if you need them:


Go back to the main page by pressing 0 or 8.  For this flight, do not select these menu selections.

At this point, give the plane (assuming the plane has a standard MS autopilot capability) and comms to your co-pilot and watch what he does in relation to what is showing on the RC screen.

Congratulations – enjoy your flight!

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