login

Author Topic: Cheap airplane tracking on the PC.  (Read 111 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Not Quite Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11512
  • Liked: 2525
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Cheap airplane tracking on the PC.
« on: April 08, 2019, 09:54:52 AM »
Rarrghhh, just spent 15 minutes typing and went to preview and lost it all..................

So, short version, last few days I've been wasting loads of time tracking planes using a cheap USB dongle that you can get from Amazon for $20.  You'll also need an antenna that you can get for less than $10. 

There are 2 programs needed, one to get the data and one to display it, several free ones to choose from.

If anyone wants more details ask and I'll post them, but here's what you get once it's all up and running:

Big image, right click and choose "view image" to see it all:


News chopper hovering in the area:
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 09:15:26 AM by MartyS (Gromit) »


Offline goflyblind

  • Ephialtes
  • *****
  • Posts: 7319
  • Liked: 6746
  • i was told there would be sugar syrup.
Re: Cheap airplane tracking on the PC.
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2019, 11:47:11 AM »
huh. i would've thought that info was not generally available.

you can set image size by using
Code: [Select]
[img width=nnn][/img]

[img height=nnn][/img]

where nnn is in pixels.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 11:48:53 AM by goflyblind »
dF = 0
d*F = J


Offline Darth Geek

  • The Efron
  • ****
  • Posts: 27612
  • Liked: 5530
  • I am boring and destined to die alone!
Re: Cheap airplane tracking on the PC.
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2019, 11:54:43 AM »

News chopper hovering in the area:

That looks like Arnie Pie got drunk.

“Looks like we got a little accident that’s backing traffic up as far as this reporter can see.”



Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Not Quite Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11512
  • Liked: 2525
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: Cheap airplane tracking on the PC.
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2019, 12:10:22 PM »
It's basically high speed Morse code being sent out by each plane, so easy to translate.  And since it's a system to let all planes see each other, it has to be readable by any receiver seeing the signal.  Before these software defined radios came along and got cheap you had to buy the same receiver used on a plane if you wanted to decode the data at home.

Some countries forbid sharing the data.  Most sites that collect data to share do a delay so the map is not real time, and some delete military planes.

I didn't bother setting the image size since at smaller size you can't really see the details.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Not Quite Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11512
  • Liked: 2525
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: Cheap airplane tracking on the PC.
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2019, 09:13:59 AM »
Chatting with people on a forum for this stuff I decided to try and build a better antenna that is tuned to 1090MHz and improves the signal, it's been working way better.




Now that I'm seeing more aircraft I went to Microcenter last night and picked up a Raspberry Pi, got piaware loaded onto it and it is now part of the flightaware network.  That means triangulation is possible for aircraft that don't send their GPS data, so even more tracks are showing up now.

This morning I was seeing this (right click and view for full size):