Decode ACARs raw data

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amol_radhi

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Hi all

I've got WACARs running with my scanner and can receive and display acars messages. But, they are all in raw data format like this

quote

D@JEI(O604#<EOT>)<STX>
NG7,0@JNISHLPru1FNLKHSNLKISK>HHP?@NLSO?H7,9AJ@o<SYN>i~<GS>Q)+R49>K #%|6<BS>#P#######################################################<SYN>#######x#######################<SYN><SYN>~<GS>Q)<ETX>
###p<ETX>

unquote

How do i decode this into understandable english?

Thanx a ton in advance,

Amol.
 

frazpo

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Are you wanting to run WACARS specifically? I have run acarsd with success. It decodes into regular text.
 

amol_radhi

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hi

thanx for the reply.

No, i have nothing special for wacars, just that i tried acarsd and it just wouldnt run on the scanner - cable - comp setup. it did work great with a sbs-1, though. so, i dont understand how to either get wacars to decode acars data or acarsd to receive and decode.

any help is appreciated.

thanx again

amol
 

scanpprcn

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Hi Amol. Fortunately, ACARS is one of the easiest forms of digital text to decode. For example, I've pointed a microphone at the speaker of a scanner and decoded ACARS fairly well. As a matter of fact there's an iPhone app that will do just that.

Tell us what you are doing to get the scanner (radio) audio into the PC. I imagine you have a patch cable from the scanner to the PC mic or line input, yes?''

The squelch on the radio/scanner needs to stay open all the time. It must be a dedicated radio on a fixed frequency (no scanning). If you're using the built-in radio in the SBS then that's fine.

The volume of the output of the radio should be at about 1/8 to 1/4 of full volume. You should be able to hear the digital markers clearly.

On the PC, make sure the recording levels for either mic or line in are at about 1/3 on the slider or less.

These are just starting points. You'll have to play with the output/input levels for optimum. The software package should do the rest (ie decoding into plain (plane) text).

Best wishes,

Mike B.
 

amol_radhi

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Hi scan

thanx for the reply

i have a pro 79 on 131.725 mhz feeding via a radioshack cable into my soundcard. the squelch is fully open and i can hear the acars signals when the cable is unplugged. also, the signals can be heard on the comp speakers if i want.

ok...the vol and mic gain were full open earlier. let me try with ur settings.

the issue was that acarsd was not showing anything at all and wacars was showing only raw data. acarsd seems to great with sbs, but i simply cant get it to work with my scanner.

thanx again. hope ur tips sort out this issue !!

Amol.
 

amol_radhi

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hi scan

tried ur suggested settings. still no change.

wacars only showing raw data but not decoding.

acarsd not showing anything at all thru scanner/acars but working absolutely great thru sbs.

guess i have some settings wrong. anything else u can suggest?

thanx again.

Amol.
 

jsoergel

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It seems like you are getting some of the data, but it can't decode. I agree with Mike's suggestion: I have a feeling the audio is still overloaded. Use the bar in the bottom right of the program window to see how the level is. Optimum reception turns it green, but you should be able to decode with about 3-4 red blocks in the bar.

Search around the internet and see if you can find a [good quality] video or audio recording of an ACARS burst. Then plug the input cable into your headphone jack and see if it will decode that. I used this method to troubleshoot WACARS when I first started using it.
 

amol_radhi

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Thanx guys for all ur help !!

I'm trying, but wacars seems to just show only raw data. the bar shows 3/4th & yellow, but turns 3/4th & red when a signal is received. what does that mean? sorry, but really new at this.

could ne-1 tell me how to set up acarsd for receiving via scanner. i've got 131.725 on right now and the stuff is flowing really heavy ...... wish i could decode it !!!

thanx
Amol
aaarghhh !!!!
 

amol_radhi

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sorry, forgot to mention, but acarsd is displaying stuff faster than i can read it !!! thats with a sbs-1. and my sbs-1 has three blue lights on .... guess that means a lot of traffic. and the scanner is going crazy on 131.725 !!!

help !! fast !!

hahaha

thanx.
 
D

DaveNF2G

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I've got WACARs running with my scanner and can receive and display acars messages. But, they are all in raw data format like this

D@JEI(O604#<EOT>)<STX>
NG7,0@JNISHLPru1FNLKHSNLKISK>HHP?@NLSO?H7,9AJ@o<SYN>i~<GS>Q)+R49>K #%|6<BS>#P#######################################################<SYN>#######x#######################<SYN><SYN>~<GS>Q)<ETX>
###p<ETX>

How do i decode this into understandable english?
The above is not "raw data" but mostly garbage. Even in "raw" format, ACARS can be read directly.
 

amol_radhi

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jared...thanx for that tip. Will try to get green on the bar. David..thanx. If what i see is corruptf data, then what do i do ? thanx a ton in advance !
 
D

DaveNF2G

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Generally, it is a matter of adjusting the soundcard correctly for the software you are using. Some programs are not as reliable as others at dealing with the signals. The most common problem, as others here have already mentioned, is too much signal from the soundcard. No program can do a good job decoding distorted signals.
 

amol_radhi

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Mar 4, 2007
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Hi all

Dave....i was trying to improve the signal quality to the soundcard. found holding the scanner upto the left mic got all greens on the signal bar, but the cable gives me blank. also, while the scanner was facing the left mic, the 'raw data' on wacars seemed to be less garbage, in terms of less blanks and less ### but more english, if u get what i mean. so a cable fault was all it was is what it seems so far. plan to rig a new cable today. keep u posted.

would u or ne-1 here be able to help me out to set up acarsd for receiving via scanner (131.725)?

thanx every one for all the help.

Amol.
 
D

DaveNF2G

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When your soundcard and software are configured correctly, it is possible to get good ACARS performance while scanning the assigned ACARS channels. Some messages will not be decoded because of partial reception due to scanning, but you still get a lot more traffic than sitting on only one channel and missing every message on all of the others.

From what you describe, I agree that you probably have a cable problem.
 

jack008

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Oct 20, 2010
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Decoding ACARS

Hi,
ACARS messages are not always in the clear. Some airlines encode them for their purposes.
For example:

F-GMZB B9 49 [06 Aug 2012 19:04:35]
M78A AF283L /LFPO.TI2/064LFPOAB1AF§^§LT5.2
dTj4)+§'ESXE6M:§§y|tu§mvY5j2&§ IRV2mV%=95S§S§l§§S5§F]W3'SjUWW6K§fCQbMJwj,%:)`g\)ER§iR§ei
This is from an Air France flight (I am on holiday in France), and you can read all of it until the coded message starts (right after LFPOAB1AF). The paragraph sign starts it and the encoded message ends with the last four characters being a checksum.
Has anyone managed to decode such messages?
Jack
 
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