Monday, November 20, 2017

SDR and ATC Transponders

Here is the skinny on my ATC transponder ADS-B phun and games. 

Get a SDR receiver for the princely sum of $25, including antennas and tripod here:
https://www.rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/




Mode A, C and S Transponders at Al Ain Airport

Ubuntu Linux

First try the Ubuntu repos for dump1090 if that is the Linux version you are using:
$ sudo apt install dump1090

and see if you are lucky!


Fedora Linux

Here is what I did to build Malcom Rob's version of dump1090 on Fedora 26:
According to legend, Malcom's is the best one and according to the below, it really is much better than rtl_adsb.

Get the rtl-sdr library, which includes a set of useful basic utilities, including rtl_test, rtl_fm, rtl_tcp and rtl_adsb:
# dnf install rtl-sdr

Get the development files, so we can build other software with this library:
# dnf install rtl-sdr-devel

Get and make Malcom's software:
# cd
# mkdir sw
# cd sw
# git clone git://github.com/MalcolmRobb/dump1090.git
# cd dump1090
# make

 

Test dump1090

Run it with the default settings:
# ./dump1090

and the output looks like this:
Found 1 device(s):
0: Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001 (currently selected)
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Max available gain is: 49.60
Setting gain to: 49.60
Exact sample rate is: 2000000.052982 Hz
Gain reported by device: 49.60

*5c89645ebfa547;
CRC: 000000 (ok)
DF 11: All Call Reply.
  Capability  : 4 (Level 2+3+4 (DF0,4,5,11,20,21,24,code7 - is on ground))
  ICAO Address: 89645e
  IID         : II-00

*5d8963c2b9d6d6;
CRC: 000000 (ok)
DF 11: All Call Reply.
  Capability  : 5 (Level 2+3+4 (DF0,4,5,11,20,21,24,code7 - is airborne))
  ICAO Address: 8963c2
  IID         : II-00

*5d8963c2b9d6d6;
CRC: 000000 (ok)
DF 11: All Call Reply.
  Capability  : 5 (Level 2+3+4 (DF0,4,5,11,20,21,24,code7 - is airborne))
  ICAO Address: 8963c2
  IID         : II-00

*0000019480b06c;
CRC: 8963c2 (ok)
DF 0: Short Air-Air Surveillance.
  VS             : Airborne
  CC             : 0
  SL             : 0
  Altitude       : 1500 feet
  ICAO Address   : 8963c2

*00050194ba3529;
CRC: 8963c2 (ok)
DF 0: Short Air-Air Surveillance.
  VS             : Airborne
  CC             : 0
  SL             : 0
  Altitude       : 1500 feet
  ICAO Address   : 8963c2


Old Transponder Modes

$ ./dump1090 --modeac --
Found 1 device(s):
0: Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001 (currently selected)
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Max available gain is: 49.60
Setting gain to: 49.60
Exact sample rate is: 2000000.052982 Hz
Gain reported by device: 49.60
*6041;
SSR : Mode A/C Reply.
  Mode A : 6041

*0130;
SSR : Mode A/C Reply.
  Mode A : 0130
  Mode C : 2400 feet

*6041;
SSR : Mode A/C Reply.
  Mode A : 6041

*0110;
SSR : Mode A/C Reply.
  Mode A : 0110
  Mode C : 2300 feet


Interactive Mode

To get a display as at the top of the page:
$ ./dump1090 --enable-agc --modeac --interactive --aggressive

 


Macintosh

I finally got ADS-B to work on my Macbook Pro with a combination of rtl_tcp and cocoa1090.


This is the best radio test tool I've ever bought and it is very useful for acceptance testing and fault finding of radio equipment in a laboratory, hangar, apron or helipad.  

Consider that a Keysight spectrum analyzer costs $30,000 and cannot do half of what this $20 hoosammawatzit does...


-. --- / .-- .. -. -.. --- .-- ... --..-- / -. --- / -.-. .-. -.--

Cheers,

Herman

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