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Aircraft Data Decoding A forum to discuss decoding the various data transmissions such as ACARS, Mode-S, ADS-B, etc.

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Old 03-07-2013, 3:02 PM
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Default ADS-B with a Realistic PRO-2006?

I've been having a bit of fun picking up ACARS signals with this old Realistic PRO-2006 I was given. I was wondering if there was something similar to Acarsd or PDW that could receive 'process' ADS-B. Also if my equipment is even capable of doing such a thing or if it's some specialized hardware you have to have..
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Old 03-07-2013, 6:40 PM
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The 2006 is not capable of receiving the frequencies used by ADSB (1090MHz) You can however buy one of the USB TV tuners and with a little work and technical knowhow you'll be able to receive ADSB. I paid less than $20 for mine shipped and it works great! I've received signals out over 100 NM! Do some searching around if it sounds like this would interest you. You can also use PlanePlotter and do ADSB and ACARS simultaneously.
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Old 03-08-2013, 2:50 AM
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Tell me more about this TV tuner set up. I have an old PCI one which doesn't get much use anymore. Also, I started playing around with Planeplotter but by the time I was able to get the map set up and calibrated, it seems like all the traffic died down.

What other cool plane spotting programs should I be aware of?
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:05 AM
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PlanePlotter is the best by far, and as stated the RTL2832U dongles work great with it. You'll want the R820T model for best results. A company named Nooelec sells them for under $20. A good resource for getting started with the RTL2832's is Ham Radio Science . The PlanePlotter Yahoo Group will be of great help as well. There is another program called Virtual Radar Server that is free and is fantastic as well; it works with these dongles also. Of course key to any such setup is going to be the antenna. The antenna included with the dongle will provide results, but minimal ones depending on your location, surroundings, height above average terrain, etc.
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Old 03-08-2013, 4:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ay00 View Post
Tell me more about this TV tuner set up. I have an old PCI one which doesn't get much use anymore. Also, I started playing around with Planeplotter but by the time I was able to get the map set up and calibrated, it seems like all the traffic died down.

What other cool plane spotting programs should I be aware of?
I use a combination of the following software:
-PlanePlotter (ADS-B and ACARS simultaneously)
-ADSBSharp (Tunes the RTL stick and provides a data output)
-ADSBScope (Decodes the raw data from ADSBSharp and plots it on a nice map)
-Virtual Radar (Also decodes the raw data and provides the ability to set up a server, piping the data to other programs and allows real-time remote access of your data)
-SBSPlotter (Shows you what kind of range you're getting. Kinda overkill if you're using ADSBScope)

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Originally Posted by scancapecod View Post
. A good resource for getting started with the RTL2832's is Ham Radio Science .
I agree this is a great starting point. If you have any other questions feel free to ask!
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:42 PM
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Cool! I just ordered the stick today but I opted for the E4000 chipset because of the larger frequency range, I hope that doesn't change too much. I will update when it comes in, maybe you can help me catch my first plane.
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Old 03-15-2013, 8:00 AM
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Actually the R820, unless I'm mistaken, has a wider receive range than the E4000. The R820 also does not have the DC spike in the center of the FFT. It also has been tested and appears to have superior reception in the UHF and above areas of its coverage. The nice thing about this though is the price is right, not a bank breaker to have one or more of each!
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Old 03-15-2013, 4:45 PM
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You're totally correct about the frequency range. I wanted something with access to the higher bands. The lower bands aren't going to be a problem because I'm going to buy the ham it up v1 as well. All the same for ADS-B it should be alright.

Any thoughts on my antenna? I know zip about these things. The guy who built it said there's a 50db gain? (http://i.imgur.com/Z9lvlB2.jpg). The tower was all my doing (still have a couple things to finish, I just mounted it last night) but the antenna itself was built by someone who is a lot more knowledgeable than me. I was told it has a 50db gain??
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