There are 6 radios available to you in Aces High. These radios allow you to communicate by text or voice (commonly referred to as VOX) with members of your country, members of your squad, friendlies who are nearby, members of other countries, and even to have private conversations with an individual. These capabilities are available from anywhere in the game. Understanding how to communicate with others in the game is an essential part of Aces High.
You can communicate by typing messages on one of the pre-designated channels or by voice with other players who are tuned to the same vox-capable channel as you.
The Aces High Radios
Accessing the Radio Interface
The easiest way to access your radio interface is by pressing the / key. This will bring up the radio box shown below with radio 1 selected.
The first 4 radios are labeled 1 through 4. These radios are text only and can be tuned to any of the pre-set channels (shown below), to a numbered channel, or to an individual for private conversations. In the picture below, radio #4 is tuned for a private text conversation with a player whose GameID (sometimes called "handle", "callsign", or "CPID") is "Magoo". The fifth radio is labeled "V". This is your voice ("vox") radio but may also be used to tune to a text only channel or to send text messages on a voice capable channel.
To use one of the 4 numbered (text only) radios, use the following default key commands:
- Radio 1 - [ / ]
- Radio 2 - [SHIFT][ / ]
- Radio 3 - [CTRL][ / ]
- Radio 4 - [ALT][ / ]
Using one of these commands will bring up a translucent radio bar with the selected radio ready to use. To send a text message, type your message in the text bar (shown with the white “Type your text here.” in the picture above) and press [ENTER]. If you selected the wrong radio, you can change which radio is selected by clicking on the radio number you wish to use. The radio in use will show the numbered button pushed in. On the picture above, radio 4 is in use. The alpha (i.e. darkness) of the radio bar can be adjusted from the "GUI" interface in your setup.
Before using your radio, you will want to tune to the channels you wish to communicate on. Radios are tuned using either the radio bar or a dot command. Tune using the radio bar by selecting a channel from the drop-down box on each radio. To tune using a dot command, bring up your radio bar (using the [/] for radio 1 is easiest) and type ".radio number channel". For example, to tune radio 3 to channel 2, the entire sequence would be "/.radio 3 2 [ENTER]" (don't type the quotation marks!). To tune a private channel to another player on radio 3, the sequence would be "/.radio 3 GameID [ENTER]".
You will want to put the channel you will use the most on radio 1 since it is available with a single key. If you are a member of a squad flying with other members of your squad, you will probably want to tune radio 1 to channel 4 (Squad). Otherwise, it will most likely be channel 2 (Country).
The channels available are:
- 1 (All) - Everyone from all countries can see messages sent on this channel. Messages on channel 1 will show up in your text box as gray text. You can squelch channel 1 by typing ".squelch 1 [ENTER]" in your radio's text buffer. Because of abuse by some, this channel has been disabled in the Main Arenas.
- 2 (Country) - This channel sends messages to all members of your country. It can't be squelched. Messages sent on this channel show up as green text.
- 3 (Room) - This channel sends messages only to those who are nearby. If you are in the tower, hangar, or O Club, only people in the same location can see messages on this channel. If you are in a plane, GV, or PT Boat, only people who took off from the same field as you can see messages on this channel. Messages on this channel show up as purple text.
- 4 (Squad) - Channel 4 is the squad channel. Members of the same squad can communicate on this channel regardless of which country or arena they are in. When other members of your squad type a message on a radio tuned to channel 4, the message will appear in all squad members' text box as red text. Text sent on channel 4 is also sent to squad members in the other main arenas (Early War, Mid War and Late War) so you can log in to any arena and contact your fellow squad members to see where they are. Channel 4 is also available for vox on your "V" radio as a squad member only voice channel. Voice transmissions sent on channel 4 are only sent to squad members in the same arena you are in.
- 5 (Mission) - This channel is only available if you are part of a mission which was put together using the game's mission editor. Messages on this channel will show up as yellow text. When you join a mission, this channel will be added as an additional selection in your drop-down list. Channel 5 is also available for vox on your "V" radio if you are a part of a mission. When you are part of a mission, you can hear the mission channel even if you are not tuned to it. Be aware of this as it might lead to confusion if you respond on the channel you are tuned to.
- 6 (Help) – Messages on this channel can be seen by anybody in any country if they are tuned to this channel. It is used for asking questions about the game. Messages on this channel show up in your text buffer as orange text.
- Private Channel - You can send private messages over any of the radios, including voice over the "V" voice radio. Send to only one person by tuning the radio to that individual's PlayerID. In order for the conversation to be 100% private, that individual must tune one of his radios to you. Messages sent privately show up as white text. You can tune a radio to an individual using a dot command (.radio 1 PlayerID) or by typing the players name in the radio's channel box. Another way of tuning a radio to a private channel is to bring up your clipboard, click on the "Roster" button, and then highlight the individual you would like to have a private conversation with. You can then click the "Tune To" button which will tune radio #1 to that individual. Tuning the "V" radio to an individual will allow you to send a private voice message to that individual.
- HTC Channel - If any members of HiTech Creations (HTC) are on-line in their official capacity, they send messages to everybody using this channel. These messages show up as blue text. To respond or say hello, send your message on channel 1.
- Channels 100-299 - In addition to the 5 channels available from the drop down box, you may tune your radios to channels between 100 and 299. When tuned to one of these channels on the "V" radio, you can communicate using voice. Channels 100 - 199 are for people in your country only. Anyone from your country who is tuned to the same channel will hear you. Channels 200-299 - Anyone tuned to the same channel in this range will hear you, regardless of country. Text messages on channels 100 - 199 will show up as yellow text while text on channel 200 - 299 will appear as gray text. Channel 200 has become the channel of choice for communications between countries. Tune to it if you want to hear all the conversations. If you tune to 200 and find there is too much traffic or you just don't want to see / "hear" it, just tune to any other channel.
- Channel 904 - The CM channel is used by Campaign Managers in the Special Events arena. Messages on this channel show up as turquoise text. This is also the color text will show up when receiving messages from the official Aces High Trainers in the Training Arena.
In addition to the channels you can type or talk on, you may see some messages in your text buffer as gold text. These messages include notifications such as "You shot down Hammer" or "Hammer landed 2 kills". In the training arena, you may also see messages from the official Aces High trainers in this color.
It is currently not possible to change the colors associated with each channel.
<img border="0" src="image03.gif" width="229" height="346" align="right">When you activate your text box using one of the methods above, a box will appear which shows you the personnel available for you to talk to via vox. This box shows 2 lists. The list on the left, labeled as "Channel (T)" shows the people who have radio "V" tuned to the same vox channel as you. The default key to talk to people on this list is [T].
There are two versions of the list on the right. The one shown here is labeled "Room (F12)". This is how it will look if you are at the airfield in the tower, hangar, or map room. The people on this list are the other people located in the same "room" (either tower, hangar, or map room) as you. If you are in flight, in a vehicle, manning an ack gun, or driving a PT boat, this list will be labeled "Range (F12)" and indicates people who are near enough to be picked up on your range radio. The default key to talk to people on this list is [F12].
Notice my handle (HAMMER) is in red on both these lists. This is because I have checked the "Away from keyboard" box at the bottom of this box. My handle appears red on everybody's list, indicating I am away from the keyboard. Don't forget to un-check this box when you get back!
There are several abbreviations and acronyms that are used in both text and vox to shorten messages. <a href="../abbreviations/abbreviations.htm">CLICK HERE</a> to see list of many of these.
<a name="voice">SETTING UP AH VOICE</a>
If you have just downloaded the game or are attempting to use AH Voice for the first time, there are a couple of things you will need to do.
First, ensure your microphone is properly set up in Windows:
- In the sound mixer controls (speaker icon in your taskbar), <a target="_blank" href="http://www.hitechcreations.com/ahgs/waudio.html">configure the microphone as your recording device</a>. Make sure the microphone playback is muted and boost is selected if present.
- Test the microphone with your .wav recorder. Record a test message as a .wav file and then listen to the playback. If you can't hear yourself in Windows, your microphone won't work in Aces High.
A quick test is to tune the V radio to yourself (/.radio 5 YourPlayerID [ENTER]) and transmit. If you hear yourself, your microphone works in AH Voice. If it doesn't work, try updating the drivers for your sound card or on-board sound and try again. If it still doesn't work, contact the folks at firstname.lastname@example.org for more help.
<img src="image04.gif" align="right">After ensuring your microphone works, you will want to make some adjustments to how your VOX works. Bring up you clipboard and go to OPTIONS -> PREFERENCES -> VOICE to get the interface shown at the right.
"Use Wave In" affects how you transmit and receive transmissions. Some sound need the .wav format before they can stream audio. If you can't transmit or the sound is garbled, then try this option. Some people's radios work better with it, some without. You will have to test to see what works best for you.
"Enable Range Channel Beeps" and "Enable Tunable Channel Beeps" - Clicking this will cause a short beep prior to the start of a transmission on the selected channel. I recommend having one turned on and one turned off so you can easily recognize which channel is being transmitted on without having to look.
"Mic Volume" Slider - If your transmissions are weak, slide this further to the right. If you are blasting everybody else out, slide it to the left.
"Play Volume Slider" - Adjusts the volume you hear voice transmissions.
"Effect Volume" Slider - Adjusts the volume of your sound effects while you receive voice transmissions. Useful for cutting engine noise, etc. One danger is it also reduces the "Check 6" volume while you are talking.
Once you have adjusted these, go to the arena and test your settings. Come back to fine tune them to your liking.
USING AH VOICE
Using AH Voice is simple. Push the transmit key and speak into the microphone. Here are some tips that will help.
- The transmit button must be held down while you are talking. On the Range Channel, you are limited to a few seconds transmit time. It is advisable to give a slight delay between pushing the button and speaking to ensure the beginning of your transmission does not get clipped. The same goes for the end of your transmission. Hold the button down slightly longer than you are talking to avoid clipping the end.
- Always speak with the microphone the same distance from your mouth. Once you have made all your adjustments, speaking from a different position will cause problems. Too close and you over-modulate, causing your transmission to sound garbled. Too far away and you won't be heard well on the other end. I highly recommend getting a headset. This makes it much easier to keep the microphone at a constant distance. You don't have to use the speakers in the headset. I simply put the headpiece around my neck and adjust the microphone from there.
CHECK SIX CALLS
One feature of Aces High that is all too often ignored is the "Check 6" call. While not technically a part of the radio, it does come across as a radio call.
To give a "Check 6", you must have your intended recipient in your view and then press the ' (") key. A box will appear around the icon of the individual who is going to receive the "Check 6". If there are multiple friendlies and the box appears around the wrong one, hit the ' key again to cycle through the friendlies in your view until the right one is highlighted. Once the correct individual is highlighted for about 2 seconds, the "Check 6" will be sent.
If you see a friendly with a bogie behind him, send him a "Check 6"!
RADIO PROCEDURE and ETIQUETTE
With the advent of AH Voice, radio procedure and etiquette need to be thought about. This is especially true on the Range Channel, where there are potentially lots of players whose only common denominator is being within 6k of each other. While we can't expect a military type radio procedure, some common courtesy and common sense will go a long way in keeping the range channel useful.
First, keep your transmissions short and to the point. AH keeps your transmissions on the range channel fairly short. You need to keep them to the point (game focus). If you are going to discuss last night's ball game with someone, tune to a channel and do it. Don't tie up the range channel.
Second, make sure you target your audience. While "High pony north" is probably useful to everybody around you, "Watch the F6 on your 6" is only useful to the one person you're talking to. Put their ID in at the beginning. "Hammer, watch the F6 on your 6".
Finally (for now at least), remember that there are all kinds of people playing this game. Keep the language civil, the politics out, etc. There's no telling who is listening on the other end.