Vor / vortac / vor-dme

I opened the marvellous pandora box of non gps navigation and while I achieve some success on vor to vor (and some ndb) navigation I have some doubt on tuning frequencies and getting the needles work right

while VOR-DME tuning always got the needle to move and so letting me choose the radial I need, when I try to tune a VORTAC the needle just don’t move so i basically need to go in heading mode and check the plan on skyvector to set the correct one

Is that a normal behaviour (vortac doesn’t offer a radial) or am I missing something?

down here a VORTAC frequency I never get to make it work (117.400 PIA)

same happens with NDBs, it seems I can only tune (and get the needle to point them) the ones with the DME

so this one never made the needle to move

while this one i can get it right

do i need to always choose navaids with DME support to get needle instruments to work?

many thank!

PIA is not a VORTAC, it is a military TACAN. You will only get DME when tuning it on a standard VOR receiver.

The problem with VOG is that the actual published frequency is 333.5, not 333. Evidently the Skyvector chart does not depict it correctly.

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Some aircraft have ADF receivers that don’t have the 0.5khz tuning and the sim does not simulate this very well in these instances. In the real world you could tune your ADF to the nearest whole frequency (333 or 334 in this case) and still receive the ADF signal. I think this is why some records omit the 0.5 because in practice it makes no difference. In the sim it’s critical and therefore a bug that needs addressing. If you use the G1000 or an aircraft with an ADF that has the 0.5 tuning then it will work.

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Yes most older r/w ADF receivers only tune in 1 KHz increments, and have broad enough tuning that they will work in this scenario, but the sim doesn’t work that way

VOR stands for VHF Omnidirectional Range. It is a navigation beacon intended for civil use and provides a user with a radial to/from the station. It works on frequencies between 108.00 and 117.95 MHz.

TACAN stands for TACtical Air Navigation, a military system that is similar to VOR but with higher accuracy. It works on frequencies between 960 and 1215 MHz.
Part of the TACAN is DME (Distance Measurement Equipment), which works in the same frequency band. The DME used in TACAN is the same that can be used by civil aircraft. Due to the higher frequency the system is more accurate and the antenna is much smaller and therefor easier to deploy (e.g. on a ship, on a battlefield).

Rumor, TACAN might come to MSFS in May when the Top Gun II add-on is released. Something new to learn. The DC Designs F-14 and (assumed) F-15 has the receiver, but believe they are inoperative but in the cockpit of both planes. The receiver is in the Virtavia C-17 in X-Plane, but I have not tried it, it is also present but inoperative in FSX using that same plane.

N6722C - Excellent narrative on the TACAN system. I am going to keep it so I don’t forget it. Thank you.

I thought the TACAN was already implemented. I might be getting confused with another sim though. I remember doing a test flight when someone had a TACAN query a while back. For some reason I am thinking I was in the F18 over Italy somewhere. Purely based on memory from several months ago.

you may have been able to use the Tacan’s DME, but its VOR is up on a UHF frequency, and civilian planes do not tend to have UHF nav receivers (or UHF COM receivers)

I also did not think that MSFS supported UHF nav or Com Receivers, but that might change with the introduction of Military Aircraft (that I have very little Knowledge of)

Same goes for HF radios – are they supported in MSFS. ?

I have never actually looked !!! I tend to fly only light GA.

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Sorry I actually replied to the wrong post. It was a military aircraft the F18 from memory. I also don’t usually fly it but I needed TACAN for the query. I really can’t remember what the query was now so I’ll just have to take another look.

I was able to tune the vog ndb using the keyboard to +0.1 to 333.5, thanks!

it’s going to be a long process for me since I’m a newbie and I really appreciate all of you guys help!