DCS Configuration

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DCS uses .LUA files, which are really just text files containing the information and settings. Editing them is best done in Notepad++ as it respects the formatting and can display many different files.

Contents


[edit] Editing Countermeasure Profiles

Fist navigate and open AN_ALE40V_params.lua, this can be found in

   Eagle Dynamics\DCS World\Mods\aircrafts\A-10C\Cockpit\Scripts\AN_ALE40V\device

or in DCS: A10C v1.1.1.1

   Eagle Dynamics\DCS A-10C\Scripts\Aircrafts\A-10C\Cockpit\AN_ALE40V\device

It is recommended that you leave the first 3 profiles as default as the system will use these for the Semi and Auto modes. Editing the files is pretty self explanatory.

   programs['D'] = {}
   programs['D']["chaff"] = 2
   programs['D']["flare"] = 2
   programs['D']["intv"]  = 0.25
   programs['D']["cycle"] = 4

[edit] Installing TARS TeamSpeak Plug-In

What is TARS?

"TARS stands for Tactical Aviation Radio System and is a combination plugin for Teamspeak 3 and mod for DCS A-10C Warthog and DCS Black Shark. Its purpose is to allow players to use the in-game radios to communicate with fellow players in the multiplayer environment."

TARS is a plugin for the Teamspeak voice chat application that works with DCS: World modules. Currently it supports the A-10C Warthog as well as KA-50 Black Shark 2 modules. It allows people to join Teamspeak and enter the same voice chat channel and then once everyone has joined the same multiplayer server it intelligently manages what players can communicate with each other based on frequencies set on the in-game radios. Just like real life, if your flight group is on UHF 235.000 and there is a second flight group on UHF 245.000, the two groups will only be able to talk to people on their same radio frequency.

TARS Mission Example.png

Why Use TARS?

Have you ever joined a voice chat channel with more than four or five players and then tried to play a team based online game? Imagine joining the mission being organized in the image above, three different flight groups with a total of ten players, and trying to communicate with your group and coordinate attacks on targets. Now imagine the other two groups doing the same, all on the same voice channel! Ordinarily, as you can imagine, there will be a lot of cross-chatter and people talking over one another as well as confusion as to who is ordering what. What TARS does is separate each flight group, based on the in-game radio frequencies, into sub-groups to better organize the in-game communication.

Why Not Use Separate Channels for Each Flight?

This is indeed one possible solution for creating different segregated communications groups but consider this: if there are two flight groups, and flight lead 1 wants to talk to flight lead 2 about a coordinated attack on a larger target, if they are in separate Teamspeak channels there is no way for them to communicate with each other without minimizing the game, quickly switching between channels, communicating, then switching back and bringing the game back up. Not the most efficient way to communicate between flight groups.

With TARS, just like in a real airplane, you must select which radio you wish to communicate over. In the A-10C Warthog there are three radios: UHF, AM and FM. You can have each flight group set on its own UHF channel for inter-group communications and each flight lead can tune their FM or AM radios to the same frequency for intra-group communcations. When talking to their group members, everyone will stay on the UHF channel and be able to communicate within their own group; however, if a flight lead needs to contact a different flight he can simply select one of his other radios and transmit over that radio band instead! This way the flight leads can communicate if and when they need to while not cluttering up the group's radio band and without the need to leave the game!

It is also very convenient in that they can still hear incoming transmissions over all of their radio bands, so if someone reports something or asks a question while a flight leader is talking on a different radio channel, he will receive and be able to react to the communication immediately.

OK, OK, so TARS is Awesome. How Do I Get It Installed?

This is actually much easier than you think BUT you must be able to follow directions.

  • First, grab version 3.0.12 of Teamspeak from the TeamSpeak Website. Install it as you normally would. This is the latest version that supports key features (Namely Direct Input) that makes TARS work.
  • Second, grab the latest version of TARS from the TARS Website. Install it as you normally would.
  • After TARS is installed, you must right click on the TARS Control Panel icon and go down to "Properties..."
  • Select the "Compatibility" tab and place a check mark in the box labeled "Run this program as an administrator".
  • Close the Properties window by clicking the OK button.

You MUST complete the previous steps even if you currently are logged in under an Administrative account otherwise TARS may not install and/or work properly. TARS modifies files and folders located in your computers Program Files directory. This directory is protected by Windows 7 and Windows 8 and programs are not allowed to write to files in this directory unless they have special privileges. TARS does not modify any of your system files, it modifies files that TeamSpeak and your DCS Modules use. If you do not run the TARS Control Panel as an administrator, it will not modify these files.

After you have set TARS Control Panel up to run as an administrator, go ahead and double click on the shortcut to open up TARS Control Panel.

  • The first thing I am going to tell you is to ignore the Radio Frequencies section of the control panel.
  • Leave these values the way they are.
  • Just don't worry about it.
  • Second, you should see all of the compatible DCS Modules that you have installed listed in the Games section.
  • Click on the little picture next to your game's name. A window will pop up with information regarding that game.
  • Make sure the Installation Path points to your DCS World directory.
  • Make sure the check box to the left of Install TARS is checked
  • Make sure the check box to the left of Standby is not checked.
  • Ignore the rest of this panel and click the OK button.

Repeat the above steps for each DCS World module that is listed.

Once you are done installing TARS for your DCS Modules, you should be back at the TARS Control Panel main window. In the Teamspeak Plugin section of the control panel, make sure the "Location of Teamspeak 3" is correct and that the check box to the left of "Install Teamspeak Plugin" is checked. Ignore the Network button and move down to possibly the most confusing part of this tutorial. Don't worry though, we'll get through it together.

Radio Keys and Settings

Here is where you set the push to talk buttons for each radio. As I said, the A-10C has three radios in it and they work with the UHF, AM and FM bands. As you can see, there are three radios listed here under Radio Keys and Settings. The buttons you set here will control which radio band you will be communicating over in-game. You can set them to the in-game radio keys if you want, in which case they will also open the in-game radio menu for that band. You can also set them to any three keys or joystick buttons that you want. Either way, they do not directly affect anything but which radio TARS will send your voice over. They are also completely independent of your Teamspeak Push to Talk key (or if you are using voice activated communication).

That being said, you COULD set them up in Teamspeak to also be bound to Push to Talk. That way, when you push down the Radio 1 key you know you are talking over Radio 1 while you are holding the key down; however, this is not necessary.

  • Radio 1 - This sets TARS to transmit over your UHF radio.
  • Radio 2 - This sets TARS to transmit over your AM radio.
  • Radio 3 - This sets TARS to transmit over your FM radio.

The check boxes to the right of each radio hot key indicate which audio channel incoming transmissions will be played over. Generally we check both boxes for Radio 1, the left box for Radio 2, and the right box for Radio 3. This way communications within our flight group (usually UHF) come in stereo while communications from other parties come over either the left or right speaker. It makes it very easy to identify what band someone is using to communicate with you so that you can in turn select the correct band to reply over.

That's it. TARS Control Panel is configured and should look something like this:

Tars Control Panel.png

Go ahead and close TARS Control Panel.

Enable TARS to Work in Teamspeak

Open Teamspeak. Go to Settings > Plugins. Check the box next to TARS and then click the "Reload All" button at the bottom. TARS is now enabled.

Disable TARS from Working in Teamspeak

Open Teamspeak. Go to Settings > Plugins. Uncheck the box next to TARS and then click the "Reload All" button at the bottom. TARS is now disabled.

How to Use TARS

The TARS Plugin has been installed and configured both in the TARS Control Panel and in Teamspeak. So why can you still hear everyone talking in the channel you just joined?

TARS is great in that it does not work until you join a game and the game is un-paused. Up until that point, Teamspeak will work the way it always has. You will hear everybody and everybody will be able to hear you. Once someone loads up DCS: World and gets into a game that is not paused, they will no longer be able to hear anything going on in the Teamspeak channel except for other players who are in the game as well and tuned to the same frequency as him. Obviously, this means your radios need to be on and powered before you can talk to anyone.

Once you are in a game, if you start in the air with your plane fully powered on simply tune your UHF radio to the same frequency that your team is using then push your UHF Radio Key (as set in the TARS Control Panel) then push your Teamspeak Push to Talk button and start talking. Usually a good thing to say is "mic check, UHF". Your team should hear you and reply with "good copy, UHF". Repeat these steps for your AM and FM radios as well, just push the TARS AM Key or FM Key prior to trying to communicate over those bands. Unless you have these keys also set as Teamspeak Push to Talk keys, you only need to tap them to tell TARS which radio to use, then talk normally over Teamspeak until you want to talk over a different radio.

If you start the game on the ramp with no power, your radios will not be working since your plane is off. Turn on your battery and inverter before tuning your radios and trying to communicate.

NOTES

TARS emulates real world radios. If you join an airbase that is miles away from your flight group, you will be outside of radio communications range and you will not be able to talk with your group. It's good to start missions in the same area or same air base as your group and make sure radio communications are working prior to joining a mission in progress.

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