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NEWS! - Stick and Rudder Studios updates both X-Key Pad 1.6.0 & X-ATC Chatter v1.7.3 beta

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NEWS! - Stick and Rudder Studios updates both X-Key Pad 1.6.0 & X-ATC Chatter v1.7.3 beta


X-KeyPad_X-Chatter update News! header.jpg


Mark Cellis of Stick and Rudder Studios has been very busy of late. Two of his excellent utilities have had updates, first X-ATC Chatter, and now with the X-Key Pad. Both these excellent utilities can fly under your radar, but both are worth exploring, certainly as both are currently 25% off on sale.


X-Key Pad 1.6.0

X-KeyPad gives you the ability to create Virtual Keyboards with highly dynamic key behavior and labels that can interact with and display data in X-Plane 12/11. These virtual keyboards can be placed on a secondary monitor, touch monitor, or a tablet by using Duet Display or SpaceDesk.

X-KeyPad also supports a rich integration with all the Elgato Stream Deck Devices, the X-Touch Mini Midi Controller and P.I. Engineering X-Keys keyboards as well as a graphical user interface to create and edit all your configurations.

The latest v1.6.0 version has had a massive up date, the changelog is massive.

Version 1.6.0 (June 3rd 2024)
  • Changed the communication protocol between X-Plane and the Stream Deck X-KeyPad plugin to use TCP rather than a shared memory approach. This provides a much more stable connection method, particularly on OSX.
  • Added the ability to set the virtual device background color on the virtual device layout, issue 84
  • Added support for single/continuous command mode in Stream Deck dial rotations, Issue #86
  • Added Copy and Paste buttons to X-Keys key editor, Issue #66
  • Added try command to the list of last used commands, Issue #81
  • Added a Save as Default menu item in the Stream Deck editor
  • Added the ability to have a history of commands that were last used in the command finder
  • Added the ability to pop out the command and dataref finder to a separate window
  • Added the ability to edit a dataref from the finder
  • Enhanced the dataref finder so that it can filter on changes in a more robust way than the current dataref tool
  • Added green text in the X-Touch editor dataref list to indicate a writable dataref
  • Added the ability to detect if changes had not been saved when you close the editor window or load a new aircraft, issue #74
  • Added an ability to generate a cross reference file to easily see what commands and datarefs were used and on which keys/encoders.
  • Added feature #67, the ability to test keys and encoders without having to map them in the Stream Deck device.
  • Add the ability to specify a min and max on a numeric dataref when the increment mode is none
  • Added datarefs for the numeric buffer character count and numeric buffer float value
  • Added the ability to use expressive commands on the Stream Deck Plus encoder dial rotations
  • Added a Teleport feature and two sample Stream Deck Plus teleporter encoders in the generic Stream Deck sample JSON.
  • Added an optional continuous mode the to the X-Touch Mini encoders when using command mode.
  • Added dual trigger support to expressive commands
  • Added number buffer support to expressive commands
  • Changed the baro key on the Stream Deck sample and the X-Keys C172 steam gauge and G1000 samples to use the new expressive command capabilities


X-KeyPad v1.5 2.jpegX-KeyPad v1.5 1.jpeg


To use you will need the FlyWithLua plugin, which is needed for a number of the sample configurations, there is also a willingness to learn about X-Plane datarefs and commands, and the dataref tool plugin for X-Plane is highly recommended.



X-ATC Chatter

One of the quiet achievers, this clever plugin has built a huge amount of momentum since it its very modest introduction in late 2018. X-ATC Chatter started with only 5000 sound files, now it has 45,000 high quality ATC audio clips to it's name via using LiveATC.net. The concept has been widened as well.  The result is a collection of audio files organized by geographic region and ATC controller / facility type that can be played during your flight with an intelligent player plugin for X-Plane to give background chatter to your flightdeck.


Not an official release yet, but Stick and Rudder Studios have released the latest beta v1.7.3...  details include;


Release Notes for Beta 1

  • Changed the Out of Range detection to take into account your aircraft’s altitude. This also affects the range in the Nearest Facility window.
  • Added shut down message to the log file
  • Improved some Simple ATC Hints
  • Fixed a bug where SimpleATC would set the radio to clearance after arrival taxi clearance confirmation when copilot handles radios was on
  • Started using X-Plane 12 airspace center frequencies


  • Prior to 1.7.3 center frequencies and their transmitter location accuracy were a bit mixed. Data was generally good for U.S. and to a lesser extend Canada but the rest of the world the frequencies and
  • locations were estimated. Many ARTCC services are assigned to specific altitudes. As an example, Boston ARTCC is divided into two altitudes. Services when you are between 0 and 17,999 MSL and another
  • when you are between 18,000 and 60,000 MSL.
  • X-Plane 12 has better airspace information. Although we still don’t know exactly where the RCAG transmitters are located we do know the frequencies, the altitude range they service, and the location on the globe
  • defined by a polygon that the frequencies service.
  • Simple ATC version 1.7.3 will use this data when you are running X-Plane 12 to hand you off to different center frequencies when you cross an FIR airspace boundary or cross an altitude assignment boundary.
  • We still don’t know the exact locations of each transmitter so X-ATC-Chatter will scatter them around the airspace polygon roughly 70 NM apart from each other.
  • This is a very new approach to handling center frequencies so I have given you the ability to shut it off it you don’t like the way it works. That can be done on the settings dialog on the radios tab.




The X-ATC Chatter latest beta is available here; Beta 5 - 1.7.3 beta release

Yes highly recommended!



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes! X-KeyPad by Stick and Rudder Studios is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


Price is US$18.00

Now on Sale, US$13.50...  You Save:$4.50(25%)
X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 
Windows, OSX, Linux
Current version: 1.6.0 (July 3rd 2024)


Support forum for X-KeyPad



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


Yes!  by Stick and Rudder Studios is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :


X-ATC Chatter

Price is US$18.00

Now on Sale, US$13.50...  You Save:$4.50(25%)
X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11
Windows, Mac or Linux
Version 1.7.2 (April 27th 2023)


Support forum for X-ATC Chatter



News by Stephen Dutton

5th July 2024

Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved


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  • Stephen changed the title to NEWS! - Stick and Rudder Studios updates both X-Key Pad 1.6.0 & X-ATC Chatter v1.7.3 beta

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