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Thread: Acars question

  1. #1
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    Acars question

    Hello community,
    I am a flightradar data feeder since roughly a month ago, I know only the basics of abs-b and mlat; my setup is an exterior ads-b antenna, the usb ads-b dongle recomended by flightradar and a raspeberry pi 3 (without screen) which I access remotely through the ssh. I know that acars is basicly an sms system between aircraft and ground, what I was wondering is if it would be possible to receive acars messages with my setup and if so what software would be neccesary to have in order to decode it and a bit of guidance on how to use it in the raspberry pi, if its not possible I would like to know what extra things would be needed in order to recieve them.
    Thanks
    willfrd.

  2. #2
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    kind of depends, but from what i have read you would need another similar setup (pi and usb dongle) as the acars software would want sole access to the USB dongle, although you could run two dongles on the same pi for the cost of a pi3 its far simpler to get another and you wont break anything adsb related .
    T-EGLF8

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Amper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpaxmoidJAm View Post
    kind of depends, but from what i have read you would need another similar setup (pi and usb dongle) as the acars software would want sole access to the USB dongle, although you could run two dongles on the same pi for the cost of a pi3 its far simpler to get another and you wont break anything adsb related .
    Correct.. Acars messages are on different frekv. so you need one more dongle.
    I used Acarsdeco for that. Works fine.
    Tricky part is tune it up. Acars msgs are...let's say "beeps". What I did was, first found exact frekv. on my pc with SDR# Sharp and then did a fine tuning on AcarsDeco on Rpi.
    On google you will find tutorials how to tune SDR# Sharp on Acars frekv.

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  4. #4
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    So if I wanted to recieve acars I would have to buy an new dongle (and preferibly another rpi), would the dongle that flightradar suggest work? and could I use the same antenna or would I need to buy another antenna and if so would a 1090MHz ADS-B antenna be fine or would I need another special antenna?
    Thanks for your answers!,
    willfrd
    Last edited by willfrd; 2016-10-02 at 18:47.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Amper's Avatar
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    ACARS is on eg.131.550Mhz and 131.725Mhz, ADS-B is 1090Mhz so you need:

    -New DVB-Stick
    -VHF antenna (simple DIY dipole will work just fine)
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  6. #6
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    With a cheapo DVB-T-dongle and the accompanying toothpick antenna, I can receive ACARS from distances moree than 200 miles (using acarsdec). I use a Raspberry Pi 2B, which serves a total of three dongles. One more for ADS-B and the last one for FLARM. The Pi also runs a mysql-db where all the data is put in and a webserver to visualize the data. The Pi2B has enough oomph for that, as long as you don't expect wonders.

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